Category: government

A Few Words On Classification

     As this is likely to be a hot topic for the next few weeks – say, up to and possibly well beyond the DOJ’s near-inevitable attempt to indict President Donald Trump for something — I thought I’d throw what I learned about the classification system and the authorities pertinent to it into the pot. …

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A Spot of History

     This comes from FEE, by way of our favorite Graybeard. It concerns the first important communications development of the 19th Century, the telegraph:      In America, the first telegraph line was run by the federal government, from 1844 to 1846. As historian Burton Folsom explained,      Cave Johnson, the Postmaster General, argued that the …

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The Lowest Steps

     Mike Miles has provided another thought-provoking graphic:      The “message” could hardly be more obvious. But what about its wider applications – that is, its applications to various aspects of social and economic mobility?      Give it a moment’s thought while I finish my breakfast. ***      We often hear of “social climbers,” usually …

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A Quick Thought On Government And Freedom

     ‘The Enemy, of course, has long known that the Ring is abroad, and that it is borne by a hobbit. He knows now the number of our Company that set out from Rivendell, and the kind of each of us. But he does not yet perceive our purpose clearly. He supposes that we were …

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A Vignette About Government Subsidies

     There are a whole lot of people, organizations, and industries fighting for a place at government’s feed-trough. In the main, governments are happy to have them there, for a simple reason: Money Is More Addictive than Heroin.      That addiction can be used to control the behavior of nominally independent actors and organizations. Charles …

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Targets

     If you need a demonstration of just how little intelligence, candor, and personal integrity are required to win a high public office, just look here:      I totally forgot Bernie existed. And then I saw THIS gem today:      We talk about being a divided nation. In many ways, that’s true. But, in some …

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The Fraying Part 3: Action And Reaction

     Through the first and second pieces, the news has all been bad. Now it’s time to review the other consequences of the sociocultural assault on American norms: the ones that hold out some hope for a future of freedom and decency. ***      As I’ve written before, word gets around. What people need to …

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“National Interest”

     We interrupt this series of “Fraying” essays to address the question that seems to be on a majority of Americans’ minds at this time: Is Biden Out Of His BLEEP!ing Mind?      Warning! Spoiler Alert! Yes.      But this leads to a larger and ultimately more important subject: foreign policy and what constitutes the …

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History And Its Lesson

     “The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel      I sometimes envision History as a teacher standing before a classroom filled with squalling teenagers. The kids are entirely uninterested in what Miss History has to say. Who cares about all that old …

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Why I Wrote And Promote The Spooner Federation Books

     Regular Gentle Readers have noticed that I’ve been indirectly touting this novel recently. A couple have expressed curiosity about it: “If you’re going to sneak pitches for your novels into your op-eds, why that book? It’s one of your oldest.” One, whom I know more personally than most of my other readers, went even …

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Comprehension: A Primer

     First, a few quotes:      You say: “There are persons who have no money,” and you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside society. – Frederic Bastiat, The Law      …

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For Real Americans Everywhere: Lest We Forget

     Just a quick reminder, before I go offline for the Christmas weekend:      Government kills.      All governments, at all levels.      All elements of government, whatever their nominal function.      Killing is the only thing they’re good at.      The events of January 6? Capitol police officers killed three protestors. All three were …

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Monopolies And What They Want

     I’ve got news for you, Gentle Reader: You are a monopoly.      Surprised? It’s true, though: You are the one and only source for goods and services made by you. Because of the 13th Amendment, you have absolute control over the source of those goods and services. Assuming you’re not incarcerated for a felony …

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That’s Gotta Sting Dept.

     The U.S. gets criticized by many other nations, but when it’s the French, you just know an important threshold has been crossed:      The worst part about it, of course, is that this time around, the French are right. Mark your calendars, Gentle Readers; it’s an occasion worth remembering.

Authoritarian Theft Part 2

     Concerning my tirade of yesterday, Mike Hendrix adds a report on an incident I should have included:      After the FBI seized Joseph Ruiz’s life savings during a raid on a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, the unemployed chef went to court to retrieve his $57,000. A judge ordered the government to …

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Authoritarian Theft: Three Cases

     “Taxation is theft!” rises the cry from thousands of freedom lovers. And it is so, if viewed through the lens of direct comparison. After all, what practical difference is there between the highwayman who points a gun at you and says “Your money or your life,” and the IRS agent who assesses you for …

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The Instruments Of The Faith

     First, a few thematic quotes:      No power is strong enough if it labors under the weight of fear. – Cicero      Fear is an acid which is pumped into one’s atmosphere. It causes mental, moral and spiritual asphyxiation, and sometimes death; death to all energy and growth. – Horace Fletcher      Fear is …

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How Can We Be Sure?

     The great goal of the knowledge-seeker is practical certainty. Note the modifier: for most propositions in this universe of discourse, absolute certainty is unattainable. That’s in the nature of causal propositions. Only in completely formal systems such as mathematics can we be absolutely certain of anything.      This has critical implications for the sciences. …

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Who Should Be Allowed To Vote?

     Victory Girls’ Nina Bookout has a good piece on the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding Arizona’s new anti-fraud statute and the Democrats’ reactions:      Democrats are really good at gaslighting temper tantrums. Some great ones have been taking place since SCOTUS announced their decision on the Arizona voting rights case.      In a nutshell …

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The Fear Weapon

     Allow me to lead off with a snippet of an old essay by humorist P. J. O’Rourke:      Something is happening in America, not something dangerous but something all too safe. I see it in my lifelong friends. I am a child of the “baby boom,” a generation not known for its sane or …

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