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Waxing Philosophical

…or your mustache or surfboard.  Your choice.  :-)

(from Free North Carolina)

David Hume, Republicanism, and the Human Scale of Political Order

Hume 2

Aristotle taught that “To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements, for none of these things retain their natural power when they are too large or too small.”1 In this paper I want to explore Hume’s views on the proper size and scale of political order.

Size and scale are not the same thing. The scale of a thing is the size appropriate to its function. Scale for human things is the human body and its capacities. Classical architects have longed explored the relation between the human frame, its sensory capacities, and the proper size of doors, windows, courtyards, gardens, the width of streets, plazas, and so forth.

What is the proper size and scale of political order? The answer depends on what we think the function of political order is. Plato and Aristotle thought the function of political association is to achieve human excellence. Since virtue is acquired through emulation of character, face to face knowledge is required of political participants, and this places a limit on the size of the polity.

Aristotle said it should contain “the largest number which suffices for the conduct of life, and can be taken in at a single view.”2 Another classical measure was that one should be able to walk across the polity in a single day. The ancient Greek republics were of this human size and scale.

I’ve asked this question previously.  What is the function of political order? (government?)  Is it to ‘nanny’ the population into some pre-determined ideal – pre-determined by the (almighty, all-knowing) government?  Or is it to allow individuals to be FREE; free to make their own choices and mistakes, and perhaps learn from them?  Or not?  THEIR choice?
And allow them to follow whatever path they choose, as long as it doesn’t impinge on the ability of others to follow THEIR path?
Sadly, I believe most Americans are so fed-up by the ongoing political machine that they don’t care.  And, anyway, they are too busy trying to eke out an existence for themselves and their families, with the ever-present demon of surveillance and taxation wolves at the door.  Or already inside.
How many different taxes and fees are you forced to pay?  And how many agencies are recording your movements, actions and attitudes, through direct physical surveillance, monitoring email, cell phones and social media?  Information many times given up by you voluntarily.
What kind of political order do YOU want?
And do you even have a choice, anymore?

A Nation Of Thieves

and other minor questions…

By Walter E. Williams @ Townhall

Last month, I celebrated the beginning of my 81st year of life. For nearly half that time, I have been writing a nationally syndicated column on many topics generating reader responses that go from supportive to quite ugly. So I thought a column making my vision, values and views explicit might settle some of the controversy.

My initial premise, when looking at all human issues, is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are your private property. If you agree with that premise, then certain human actions are moral and others immoral. The reason murder is immoral is that it violates private property. Similarly, rape and theft are immoral, for they, too, violate private property. Most Americans will agree that murder and rape violate people’s property rights and are hence immoral. But there may not be so much agreement about theft. Let’s look at it.

Theft is when a person’s property is taken from him — through stealth, force, intimidation, threats or coercion — and given to another to whom it does not belong. If a person took your property — even to help another person who is in need — it would be called theft. Suppose three people agreed to that taking. Would it be deemed theft? What if 100,000 or several hundred million people agreed to do so? Would that be deemed theft? Another way to ask these questions is: Does a consensus establish morality?

Self-ownership can offer solutions to many seemingly moral/ethical dilemmas. One is the sale of human organs. There is a severe shortage of organs for transplantation. Most people in need of an organ die or become very ill while they await an organ donation. Many more organs would become available if there were a market for them. Through the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, Congress has made organ sales illegal. Congress clearly has the power to prevent organ sales, but does it have a right? The answer to that question comes by asking: Who owns your organs? One test of ownership is whether you have the right to sell something. In the case of organs, if it is Congress that owns our organs, then we have no right to sell them. That would be stealing from Congress.

People have the right to take chances with their own lives. People do not have a right to take chances with the lives of others. That is why laws that mandate that cars have brakes are consistent with liberty and seat belt laws are not. You might say, “Aha, Williams, we’ve got you there because if you don’t wear a seat belt and you have an accident and turn into a vegetable, society is burdened with taking care of you!” That’s not a problem of liberty. It’s a problem of socialism. Nobody should be forced to take care of me for any reason. If government assumes the job of taking care of us, then Congress can control just about every aspect of our lives. When I was a rebellious teenager, my mother frequently told me, “As long as you’re living in my house and I’m paying the bills, you’re going to do as I say.” That kind of thinking is OK for children, but not for emancipated adults.

I have only touched the surface of ideas of self-ownership. The immorality associated with violation of the principle of self-ownership lies at the root of problems that could lead to our doom as a great nation. In fiscal 2015, total government spending — federal, state and local — was about $6.41 trillion. That’s about 36 percent of our gross domestic product. The federal government spent $3.69 trillion. At least two-thirds of that spending can be described as government’s taking the property of one American and giving it to another. That’s our moral tragedy: We’ve become a nation of people endeavoring to live at the expense of others — in a word, a nation of thieves.

COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

Just thought I’d bring a little light reading to your Saturday morning!  –  Guffaw

Barely A Peep…

(from Joe @ The View From North Central Idaho)

Quote of the day—Paul Craig Roberts

An attack on abortion rights, for example, produces a far greater outcry and resistance than the successful attack on habeas corpus and due process. President Obama was able to declare his power to execute citizens by executive branch decision alone without due process and conviction in court, and it produced barely audible protest.

*Historically, a government that can, without due process, throw a citizen into a dungeon or summarily execute him is considered to be a tyranny, not a democracy.  By any historical definition, the United States today is a tyranny.

Paul Craig Roberts
Does The United States Still Exist?
An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida
[Interesting points.

Remember: Why Boomershoot? Insurance against tyranny.—Joe]

Re: *Historically (above)

SOMEONE had to say it!  –  Guffaw

Nasty Statist(tics)

See what I did there?

Regular readers (thank you!) know I am pro-law enforcement.  However, just as I promote the entire history of the United States (warts and all), I believe in reviewing all efforts by the police (good and bad).

A Washington Post article regarding the police came to my attention.

Pursuing drugs and guns on scant evidence, D.C. police sometimes raid wrong homes — terrifying the innocent

For the time constrained, here’s the juicy part…

A Washington Post review of 2,000 warrants served by D.C. police between January 2013 and January 2015 found that 284 — about 14 percent — shared the characteristics of the one executed at Taylor’s apartment. In every case, after arresting someone on the street for possession of drugs or a weapon, police invoked their training and experience to justify a search of a residence without observing criminal activity there. The language of the warrants gave officers broad leeway to search for drugs and guns in areas saturated by them and to seize phones, computers and personal records.

In about 60 percent of the 284 cases, police executing the warrants found illegal items, ranging from drug paraphernalia to guns, The Post found. The amounts of drugs recovered were usually small, ranging from residue to marijuana cigarettes to rocks of cocaine. About 40 percent of the time — in 115 cases — police left empty-handed.

Ah, The War on Drugs (and Guns) strikes again.  How many folks are incarcerated for possession of a joint, and how many cops are employed to locate and incarcerated such folks?

And if The Second Amendment is indeed an individual right (as the Supreme Court has stated)…yatta, yatta, yatta.

It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” – English jurist William Blackstone

h/t Jeffery

Gov’t Just CAN’T Leave Well Enough Alone!

As recently posted by the lovely and talented Tamara

The .gov giveth and the .gov taketh away…

So, with the brewing industry having finally (mostly) bounced back from Prohibition, and small craft breweries having sprung up all over, you just knew there was some way the feds could screw up a good thing, didn’t you?

Small breweries will have to spend hundreds of dollars per beer to analyze the nutritional value of each type sold.

“A good analysis [will cost] probably somewhere between the $500-$1,000 range of what I’ve seen. Then multiply it across the styles that you have,” said Lawinski.

And at a thousand dollars a pop, that could keep unique and seasonal brews from making it to your favorite watering hole.

I’m thinking the BATFE is seeing the handwriting on the wall, and we’ll see a sharp upturn in revenooers chasing moonshiners as well!  After all, Eliot Ness & Co. wants to keep their jobs!

Yep.  Government.

It continues to be all about control…

You Only THINK You Own Your Land

You hold title to it.

But must pay the government in perpetuity taxes for that privilege.

Then, there’s this –

Hammond Family Declared as Terrorist and Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

Via Iver

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hammond family with deep empathy.  The magnitude of the injustices dealt to them is hard to comprehend.  Their once happy lives have been forever darkened with pains of corruptions.  The nature of their sentencing proves once again that justice is currently not found in the federal courts. The Hammonds are a simple ranching family that for generations has cared for the land they live upon.  Prescribed burns are a vital process in keeping the land healthy and productive in the area.  The BLM also performs prescribed burns and have let it get out of control many times, but never has it cost any federal agent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years of life in prison.

The Hammonds prescribed a fire that moved to public land, they extinguished the fire themselves.  The courts found that the burn increased vegetation for the following years, and had a positive impact on the land.  With no authority or justification to prosecute, eleven years after the fire, federal attorneys have obtained judgment that the Hammonds are terrorists and must be punished severely for their actions.

h/t Brock Townsend

The Meat Of The Matter

cured

(Via Theo Spark)

BALONEY writ large……………………from Rico

This is sheer BALONEY writ large.
– Here’s some nanny government, leftist, multi-culti, envirowhacko agenda shenanigans to be aware of.
A few days ago the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report saying bacon, and other meat is bad for you and suggests that eating meat is as dangerous as smoking.
– WTF? Really? You wouldn’t shit me now, would you?
Of course, this is a UN organization and about half the names on their ‘report’ suggest a religious and/or cultural rejection to consuming pork and beef.
– That’s just a coincidence, right?
Let’s connect some dots before deciding.
Two weeks ago the Federal Government took bacon off prison menus and said it was because the prisoners “didn’t want bacon.” They then almost immediately reversed that decision because of the outcry from prisoners.
– In May 2013 AP reported that WHO said people should eat more insects, that it was good for you, and good for the planet.
– Look at the attached photo from 2008. It was taken at a UN Food And Agriculture expo promoting eating insects.
Yeah, there is a clear “pattern” here, and it’s not a good one. It is chronic and persistent social engineering from the cultural Marxists who refuse to grasp that some things are simply “none of their damned business.”.
Now I’m hungry for some bacon to go with my breakfast eggs (remember when the “experts” said eggs were bad for us, only to be proven wrong?).
– Maybe a nice hot-dog for lunch, followed by a steak for dinner. Make that a grilled steak in honor of all the global warmunists that tried to outlaw backyard grills to “save the planet.”
Have you ever noticed that the  folks who said we were all going to freeze to death in the 90’s are now saying we are all going to drown in warm water?  And that these same folks are the ones who are largely vegan, or support things like eating insects and tofu (for the good of the planet), and that animals have RIGHTS? There is a a geopolitical agenda linked to all of this.  The United Nations, lessening the sovereignty of The United States and COLLECTIVISM. And hatred of the individual and belief that people are inherently EVIL, and we are all killing Mother Earth.
I’m all about individual choices, let the collective be damned!  I’d rather die earlier eating bacon, pepperoni and hot dogs, then live to be 105 eating tofu and insects!
And I LIKE bacon!

Become A Member Of The Party!

…or, rather, a dis-member!:-)

(from Joel, in part)

In a year when Donald Trump is the GOP frontrunner, you have to dig deep to find political news that’s considered weird. But leave it to the intrepid Libertarians to fill that void…

Libertarian Party drama: Goat sacrifice, eugenics and a chair’s resignation

Adrian Wyllie, chairman of Florida’s Libertarian Party, resigned his post Thursday to protest the party’s U.S. Senate candidate, accusing the rival of supporting eugenics and for being expelled from a cult group for “sadistically dismembering a goat in a ritualistic sacrifice.”

The dispute between the two has brewed for months, but finally came to a head after Wyllie was unable to persuade the Libertarian Party of Florida’s executive committee to publicly disavow Invictus, an adopted name that means something like “Invincible Sun Emperor.”

In other news, spokesmyn(sp) for the National Libertarian Party say they simply don’t understand why nobody takes Libertarians seriously.

And people ask me why I’ve never joined (aka filled-out-forms and sent money to) the National Libertarian Party?

For whom have I voted?  My standard answer is, “The Australian Secret Ballot is one of our most cherished possessions!”

And I’m certain even MORE ridiculousness is evident in the skeleton closets of the two major parties!

Full disclosure – I have stumped for some of their candidates (especially back in the 70’s), but I have never dismembered a goat (even to make tacos)!

Regarding Indiana’s’, Arkansas’ New Law(s)…

And Texas’ old one…

AND a federal one.

(and rather libertarian principles…)

I believe contracts between people (and corporations) should be voluntary in nature.

If your religion (or principles, or personal beliefs, or bigotry) coerce/convince you to not do business with someone because of their beliefs, or creed, or disability, or gender, or age, or sexual preference, et al, then, by all means, DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!

(AHEM, however)

Be prepared to reap the attention of the Federal government.

Federal law already prohibits denial of goods or services due to a customer’s race, color, age, disability, or gender.  (Thank you President CLINTON!)  Why do States feel the need to rubber-stamp the federal law?

HOWEVER, I also believe, as they do in Texas, that businesses have to right to refuse service.  Period.  No explanation is necessary or required.

And THE MARKETPLACE will make the ultimate decision!

If a business excludes certain persons from engaging in contracts with them, then they will make less money.

More open businesses will prosper more.

Because there are more capitalists then there are bigots.

I’m certain there are more businesses ready, willing and able to do business with any customers brought to them by anyone with a wallet.

In Indiana, Arkansas, and Texas!

Imagine a world where government stays out of such things?

Why would I want to do business with someone who wishes to not do business with me?  Just to force my agenda on THEM?

A pizza place in Indiana closed because of protests by persons who didn’t like their refusal to cater a gay wedding.  Here’s a hint – go elsewhere!

And the pizza place received unsolicited contributions from  freedom-loving folks (to the tune of over $450,000!)

Here an exemplar:

View image on Twitter

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS KILLING US!

h/t Free North Carolina, The Blaze

A Libertarian Nightmare

I was fortunate to have pizza (and salad) delivered for lunch! (This was last week.)

Was NOT so fortunate to have taken yet another strong pain med today – this is probably 10 days I’ve needed the ‘extra’ medication above-and-beyond the daily pain med I take.  For diabetic neuropathy and arthritis pain.

There have been weeks I’ve not needed to take any!

And, I chose to have one (one) bottled beer with my lunch.   A special white chocolate brew.  (I wasn’t driving anywhere.)

And after lunch I took a nap.

And this is what I dreamt…

HUGE numbers of people lining every street,
and our troops advancing down the street.
And the people trying to stop their advance!
I don’t know why they were advancing, or why we were trying to stop them.
But, it wasn’t pretty.
Libertarian nightmare?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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