Liberty: There is No Greater Cause

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

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“Evaluating the Current Union of the States: Character and a Consolidated Union,” By Bruce P. Frohen

It is not very often you come across a piece that is as intellectually exhilarating as this.

Nomocracy In Politics


Editorial Foreword: This essay by Bruce P. Frohnen is the first installment of a new Nomocracy in Politics symposium, “Evaluating the Current Union of States.” The symposium will examine the various costs and benefits that Americans and others incur as a result of our current Union of States–a.k.a., the United States of America. The symposium will progress gradually over a period of weeks.

Essay: A symposium devoted to “evaluating the current union of the states” may sound designed to institute reconsideration of the issues and grievances precipitating and resulting from the Civil War.  Perhaps in part because I was born and raised (mostly) in the West, I have no emotional investment in such a debate.  Moreover, it seems to me that there is plenty of fault on both sides in relation to that war, and that the airing of grievances in terms of a conflict 150 years gone, while certainly…

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Female Philly Cop Pulls Teen’s Scrotum – During Stop/Frisk Genitals Torn Off 16-Year-Old

Ouch!

Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman

Mises Daily:
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 by Ron Paul

Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the comic book heroine.

That is just one of the many outrageous projects buried in this 1,582-page bill. The legislation gives the Department of Education more money to continue nationalizing education via “common core.” Also, despite new evidence of Obamacare’s failure emerging on an almost daily basis, the Omnibus bill does nothing to roll back this disastrous law.

Even though the Omnibus bill dramatically increases government spending, it passed with the support of many self-described “fiscal conservatives.” Those wondering why anyone who opposes increasing spending on programs like common core and Obamacare would vote for the bill, may find an answer in the fact that the legislation increases funding for the “Overseas Continuing Operations” — which is the official name for the war budget — for the first time since 2010. This $85 billion war budget contains $6 billion earmarked for projects benefiting Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and other big defense contractors.

Ever since “sequestration” went into effect at the beginning of last year, the military-industrial complex’s congressional cheering session has complained that sequestration imposed “draconian cuts” on the Pentagon that will “decimate” our military — even though most of the “cuts” were actually reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” In fact, under sequestration, defense spending was to increase by 18 percent over ten years, as opposed to growing by 20 percent without sequestration.

Many of the defenders of increased war spending are opponents of welfare, but they are willing to set aside their opposition to increased welfare spending in order to increase warfare spending. They are supported in this position by the lobbyists for the military-industrial complex and the neoconservatives, whose continued influence on foreign policy is mystifying. After all, the neocons were the major promoters of the disastrous military intervention in Iraq.

While many neocons give lip service to limiting domestic spending, their main priority remains protecting high levels of military spending to maintain an interventionist foreign policy. The influence of the neocons provides intellectual justification for politicians to vote for ever-larger military budgets — and break the campaign promises to vote against increases in spending and debt.

Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have recognized that a constant defense of liberty requires opposing both war and welfare. Many of these Americans, especially the younger ones, have joined the intellectual and political movement in favor of limiting government in all areas. This movement presents the most serious challenge the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus has faced in generations. Hopefully, the influence of this movement will lead to bipartisan deals cutting both welfare and warfare spending.

The question facing Americans is not whether Congress will ever cut spending. The question is will the spending be reduced in an orderly manner that avoids inflecting massive harm on those depending on government programs, or will spending be slashed in response to an economic crisis caused by ever-increasing levels of deficit spending. Because politicians are followers rather than leaders, it is ultimately up to the people what course we will take. This is why it is vital that those of us who understand the dangerous path we are currently on do all we can to expand the movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity.

[Via The FREE Foundation and The Mises Institute]

Opinion: DPS Has No Authority To Arrest

Open Carry Texas

I’ve been doing a lot of research since two of our members were assaulted and falsely arrested by DPS troopers at the Capitol a few weeks ago. Besides the law that we already are aware wasn’t broken with respect to having BP pistols, I found some other interesting tidbits of law that I think support our assertion that DPS is overstepping its bounds.

The State Preservation Board is an agency of the state. Among its responsibilities is to “adopt rules concerning the buildings, their contents, and their grounds.” Additionally, “the board may allocate specific duties and responsibilities to any other state agency, if the other agency agrees to perform the duty or accept the responsibility.”

Section 443.018 of the Government Code allows the Board to regulate visitors and vendors to the capitol under certain circumstances.

Sec. 443.018. REGULATION OF VISITORS AND VENDORS. (a) The board shall adopt rules that regulate…

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The Power of the State vs. the Power of Love – Robert Higgs – Mises Daily

The Power of the State vs. the Power of Love – Robert Higgs – Mises Daily.

The Power of the State vs. the Power of Love - Robert Higgs - Mises Daily

For thousands of years, philosophers have argued that society must invest great power in the rulers because only great power can hold back the forces of evil — violence, plunder, and disorder. They have often conceded, however, that this solution has a down side: powerful rulers may themselves resort to violence and plunder.

In any event, society’s positive, productive forces always resided within the people themselves. All the genuine peace, cooperation, production, and order the society enjoyed sprang from them. So the state was never a solution to a problem the people could not solve for themselves, but itself a problem masquerading as the only solution to problems whose real solutions already lay close at hand, if they existed at all.

Given that wealth destruction undermines social well-being, how did it come to pass that the state — an institution based on violence and plunder — has overridden peaceful cooperation as the dominant factor in social life virtually everywhere on earth? Although this simple question requires a complex answer, we know that the rulers have used fear — of themselves and of other dangers known and unknown — to terrorize the people and convince them that they are incapable of providing security, that only the state can provide it. First through fear alone, then through complementary religion, and ultimately through complementary ideology, the people’s convictions were twisted into forms compatible with the rulers, the priest/ideologists, and the military elite’s living at the expense of the plundered masses, who were kept in line more by false beliefs than by raw force.

So it remains today. Is any feasible alternative conceivable?

Hardheaded people mock the idea that “love is the answer” to the people’s dire situation. They insist that evil forces and evil men are afoot in the world, men who care nothing for love and seek only vile ends, and that such malevolence can be fended off effectively only by meeting it with adequate force and violence. Thus does the perceived “security gap” fuel a race to the bottom in which the ostensible protectors become more and more indistinguishable from the evil men who allegedly seek to hurt us. By meeting evil only with the rulers’ upward ratcheting force and violence and their upward ratcheting suppression of our liberties and our means of self-protection, the ultimate goal — a social environment of real security and peaceful cooperation — recedes ever farther from realization.

Jesus declared, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). Of course, people — even most Christians, no doubt — will say that this admonition, however lovely it might sound in a sermon, is utterly impractical, that behaving in accordance with it would leave us entirely at the mercy of those who seek to harm us. Perhaps it would.

Yet, here we are, inhabiting a world divided in countless ways by mutual misunderstandings, hatreds, and yearnings for vengeance. Because each society is subject to a state whose own interests are served by keeping this vicious pot boiling, we have no prospect of ever breaking out of the endless cycle of evil, violence, and retribution. In the process, the whole world forgoes the immense blessings that would flow from mutual cooperation, peace, and tolerance.

Individuals may rest their personal lives on love and thereby find the peace that seemingly evades all philosophical and sociological understanding of social affairs. Whatever wise men and women may know and practice in their own lives, however, essentially Hobbesian analysis holds the great thinkers in its iron grip, and those who recommend love are dismissed as muddle-headed and simplistic. Yet, to repeat, here we are, inhabiting a world made no better by our hanging on the words of the greatest political philosophers, statesmen, and international-relations experts. In their view, the state is a given, and their analyses take for granted its nature and conduct. Perhaps this point of departure is their root error: that they readily accept what most needs to be challenged.

So long as the state exists, with its intrinsic violence, plunder, and insolence, and we seek solutions to our pressing social problems through it or in its dark shadow, we are doomed not to second-best or third-best solutions, but to make-believe solutions that are, at best, momentary rest stops on the road to our worsening degradation and ultimate demise. Destruction is what states do (or threaten to do); it is the nature of the beast. As technological changes augment state powers, the culmination of this terrible sequence may be our absolute annihilation.

Love turns us in the opposite direction. It seeks to build up, whereas the state seeks to overawe and kill in the service of the self-interested elites who control it at the expense of the people at large. Love has no need to flex violent muscles or seek vengeance time and again. Love intends the good of the other for its own sake, not as a means toward the end of one’s own aggrandizement. Love is patient and long-suffering; power is impatient and easily provoked.

Love does not keep score; international rivals do so in numerous dimensions. Love leads to inner peace and cordial relations with others, whereas the state remains always at war, if not against other states, then certainly against its own subjects, on whom it preys ceaselessly in order to sustain itself and to gratify the rulers’ insatiable ambitions for personal acclaim and unchecked power.

Hardheaded people will say, of course, that in socio-political life, love just doesn’t work. In sharp contrast, they insist, power in the hands of the rulers does work. And indeed it does. That’s the trouble.

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The Upside Of US Default

Don’t believe anything until it has been officially denied.

Courtesy mises.org.

Hey NSA…

image

Courtesy Legal Insurrection.

Trial for Veteran Illegally Disarmed Begins Today in Temple, TX.

Send @cjgrisham  some support today. His trial for exercising his rights as a free man starts this morning.

Below is a video of the incident that Sgt. Grisham took during the encounter.  The officer’s dashcam video is expected to be viewed in court and shows the interaction from the beginning. The court has placed a gag order on this dashcam video prior to trial.

When it is available, I will share it here.

An original news story is here via TheBlaze.

The Truth About the “Redskins”

Without Government, Who Will Live in Antarctica?

Courtesy The Circle Bastiat:

NPR has been running a series of sad stories about various taxpayer-funded activities delayed by the non-shutdown. The other day I heard one about a dinosaur skeleton that was supposed to be shipped to the Smithsonian, but will now languish in a warehouse in Montana. I could barely contain my grief. Today was a feature on Antarctica, and how some scientific missions — all government funded, of course — may have to wait until Spring, because the ice is getting too thick, or something. One thing you will never, ever hear on NPR is a feature about a poor, beleaguered taxpayer who cannot maintain or improve his lot in life because his hard-earned funds are going to paleontologists or ice geologists. Nor will you hear about any potential harm to middle-class Americans from continued government borrowing and spending. NPR itself, of course, would not exist without taxpayer subsidy, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with it. In any case, I keep tuning in too late to hear the conflict-of-interest disclaimer that runs with such stories. Right?

If you like what you read here, like the Facebook page for updates as posts become available or, on the right hand side of this page, please type in your email to follow the blog. Twitter = @NoGreatrCause. Thanks!

 

 

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