I feel like the Flying Dutchman: if I stop blogging, either I’ll die or the world will end, whichever would be worse. So here we go again.
According to Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, the smash-and-grab robberies in California are not ending. I hadn’t imagined otherwise. Indeed, my response upon reading the article was Why would anyone think otherwise? Conditions there are so favorable to such crimes that for them to come to an end would be baffling.
It’s not just the flaccidity of California law enforcement and its justice system. Smash-and-grabs have begun to proliferate, nationwide. The would-be thieves have discovered that there’s a shortage of people who’ll impede their fun. In any district where the cult of victimism has taken root, individuals who see the opportunities are finding a “conscience loophole” that permits them to get in on the gravy. Few are pursued afterward. Fewer still are arrested, indicted, and tried. So the incentives surrounding such criminality are strongly positive.
Yes, California cities get more of it than any other city not currently experiencing riots. But that’s California, a.k.a. “The Land of Fruits and Nuts.”
My Gentle Readers have probably already read about this monstrous bill, which I believe has passed the House and is headed to the Senate. Add to the mix this equal monstrosity, which seeks to turn the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment into a permission, revocable by the federal government at any time and for any reason or none.
Whoever it was who said that the Second Amendment is the guarantor of all the others had it right. The right to keep and bear arms is what distinguishes the citizen from the subject. If you think your First Amendment freedom of expression is being curtailed today, just wait for the day when you’re no longer allowed to possess weaponry unless the State thinks you can be “trusted.”
Jeffrey Tucker has written a heartfelt essay on the COVID-19 lockdowns and “the loss of moral clarity.” Tucker sees the connection between the two and pins it as few others have done. In speaking of the empathy fostered by a regime of freedom and free markets, he writes:
Adam Smith’s masterwork The Theory of Moral Sentiments… is heavy on the analysis of what it means to feel empathy, and not only to feel it, but to rely on it to the point that our own well-being is connected to the belief that others too are experiencing something like a good life.
What instills this higher sense in our minds? It is the practical experience of depending on others and finding value in their labor, productivity, contribution to community life, and coming to see our own well-being as bound up with the fate of others. This is what the market and socializing encourages: the gradual recognition that others, and indeed all people, are worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.
The universalization of this sense is never complete, but as civilization and prosperity grow, we make progress toward that end. This is what grants us ever better lives. Without it, we can very quickly descend into barbarism in the way The Lord of the Flies describes. This is particularly true in the volatile years of youth, when the search for meaning is active and the mind is malleable in both good and dangerous ways.
I could not have put it better.
The educrats are very worried. Frantic, even. The kiddies are steadily leaving the “public” schools! And you know what that means:
In New York City, the nation’s largest school district has lost some 50,000 students over the past two years. In Michigan, enrollment remains more than 50,000 below prepandemic levels from big cities to the rural Upper Peninsula.
In the suburbs of Orange County, Calif., where families have moved for generations to be part of the public school system, enrollment slid for the second consecutive year; statewide, more than a quarter-million public school students have dropped from California’s rolls since 2019.
And since school funding is tied to enrollment, cities that have lost many students — including Denver, Albuquerque and Oakland — are now considering combining classrooms, laying off teachers, or shutting down entire schools.
I added the emphasis. Every so often, even the reliably statist New York Times will blurt out the real issue. And so it is in the above.
I read recently that homeschooled children in these United States now number about five million. That’s quite an increase from the roughly one million of thirty years ago, when I first started to watch the rise of homeschooling. The folks who promoted Critical Race Theory and transgenderism, who turned their classrooms into propaganda centers for socialism and catastrophic climate change, and who engineered the “pandemic” have shot the educrats in the foot, if not somewhat higher up. I couldn’t smile any more widely. What about you, Gentle Reader?
Speaking of truth-blurting, here’s a case that shouldn’t be missed:
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla explains Pfizer’s new tech to Davos crowd: “ingestible pills” – a pill with a tiny chip that send a wireless signal to relevant authorities when the pharmaceutical has been digested. “Imagine the compliance,” he says pic.twitter.com/uYapKJGDJx
— Jeremy Loffredo (@loffredojeremy) May 20, 2022
Some will find this blatantly totalitarian emission shocking. I don’t. Yes, it’s Kinsleyesque, but it reflects the mindset of the corporate captain of our time: Profit Uber Alles. If we can get the State to force the public to buy our product, we’ll be on Easy Street!
“A corporation has neither a body to be kicked nor a soul to be damned,” said Isabel Paterson The incentives built into the existence and special privileges of the limited liability corporation have brought about exactly the sort of person we see in the above: a CEO of a drug company who cares about selling drugs. Nothing else. If he can get the government to push his drugs, he’ll be happier than a clam at high tide.
The days of the Thomas Watsons, the Thomas Edisons, and the Andrew Carnegies are far behind us.
Since last year, Canadian law, in all its majesty, has allowed both the rich as well as the poor to kill themselves if they are too poor to continue living with dignity. In fact, the ever-generous Canadian state will even pay for their deaths. What it will not do is spend money to allow them to live instead of killing themselves.
As with most slippery slopes, it all began with a strongly worded denial that it exists. In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed 22 years of its own jurisprudence by striking down the country’s ban on assisted suicide as unconstitutional, blithely dismissing fears that the ruling would ‘initiate a descent down a slippery slope into homicide’ against the vulnerable as founded on ‘anecdotal examples’. The next year, Parliament duly enacted legislation allowing euthanasia, but only for those who suffer from a terminal illness whose natural death was ‘reasonably foreseeable’.
It only took five years for the proverbial slope to come into view, when the Canadian parliament enacted Bill C-7, a sweeping euthanasia law which repealed the ‘reasonably foreseeable’ requirement – and the requirement that the condition should be ‘terminal’. Now, as long as someone is suffering from an illness or disability which ‘cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable’, they can take advantage of what is now known euphemistically as ‘medical assistance in dying’ (MAID for short) for free.
Soon enough, Canadians from across the country discovered that although they would otherwise prefer to live, they were too poor to improve their conditions to a degree which was acceptable.
Not coincidentally, Canada has some of the lowest social care spending of any industrialised country, palliative care is only accessible to a minority, and waiting times in the public healthcare sector can be unbearable, to the point where the same Supreme Court which legalised euthanasia declared those waiting times to be a violation of the right to life back in 2005.
It seems that in Canada, the waiting times for medical treatments have become so long that they effectively render it unavailable. If he lacks the means to seek treatment abroad, there’s nothing the sufferer can do except suffer. But he can die with State assistance.
Look ye upon the future of socialized medicine, and despair.
Just this morning, I ran across this JPG:
At first blush, it sounds like a perfect solution to the problem of ballot fraud. However, we wouldn’t want to use the technology involved in printing currency.
In 1980, a single Treasury Department Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) currency printer cost about twenty million dollars. I doubt it’s less expensive today. And they are not simple devices. Consider the implications of having to mark every bill printed with a unique number, so that each bill will be unique. The intaglio printing method – ink squirted onto engraved steel plates – is expensive all by itself. This extra requirement raises the cost.
Now turn to the ballot-making procedure. The United States has over 88,000 governments, the majority of which have elected members. Each of those election contests would require a set of engraved plates that would differ from any other set, even omitting the serialization requirement. Moreover, the plates would have to be changed from election to election. Printing ballots is already quite expensive. Doing it the BEP way would compel school boards to subcontract their ballot production to larger and richer bodies, such as the federal government. If you’re looking for a way to compel the federalization of all elections, look no further.
It might be possible to avoid that pass by the use of contemporary digital printers that are highly programmable and don’t require the special paper used for currency, but that means involving some highly special specialists in the programming. How many of those are there? Are they trustworthy?
Finally for today, a graphic I found earlier that neatly expresses my struggles of yesterday:
Yes, indeed. But do have a nice day.