Saturday, June 30, 2007

Points to Ponder:
(On Perversion of the Law)

Today would have been the birthday of arguably history's greatest advocates of liberty. We at Rerum Novarum will write more on this later on when there is time. In the meantime though, the occasion is commemorated by a "points to ponder" excerpt from his magnum opus The Law -a text which has has no small degree of influence on us over the years. Without further ado:

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them. [Claude Frederic Bastiat: From The Law (circa 1850)]

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Miscellaneous Musings:

I had a few stray minutes here and there throughout the day to compile some tidbits so here goes...

The first bit to cover is from the war on terror front:

--Two Bombs Were Set To Blow In London (Sky News Courtesy of Drudge)

Here are a few bits from the article:

Police have confirmed that not one, but two massive car bombs were set to explode in the heart of London's West End.

The first, in Haymarket, was defused after police were alerted by an ambulance crew called to an incident at a nearby nightclub.

The second was in a car that was illegally parked nearby and towed to the Park Lane car pound...

The device, which contained 60 litres of petrol, a large amount of nails and several gas canisters, was found in the Mercedes early this morning.

Police had received reports of a suspicious vehicle close to the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Piccadilly shortly before 2am.

An ambulance crew, who treated a person in the club in an unrelated incident, reported that there was smoke inside the car.

The second device is believed to have been found by police in a blue hybrid Mercedes that was illegally parked in the West End and was towed away to the Park Lane car pound in the early hours of the morning.

I hope the British take these matters seriously and do not act like many of the useful idiot sorts for Al Queda. The latter tend towards hyping abstract idealist notions of fighting a casualty-less war where the enemies who want to either convert us to their twisted notion of what "God" is or kill us will somehow magically (without coercion) tell us everything we need to find out about how to stop their plans for our destruction.

Such pseudo-"peacemaker" sorts usually defend their termite-like undermining of just public order and the common good of society (part of which involves the right to self-defense both individually as well as communally) by claiming they are for "human rights" but this is functionally not true. In reality, they favour a kind of anecdotal human rights spiel which by logical extension downplays fundamental God-given rights of man{1} at various points.{2}

Unfortunately, many of these useful idiots will only find out the error of their moronic advocacy when it is their head being sawed off by a dull knife while chants to "God" are uttered in Arabic by turban-wearing cowards who deserve a fate befitting the rabid disease-infested animals they are.{3} But enough on the useful idiots and their anecdotal human rights spiel for now.

--Today would have been the birthday of Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, the sort of journalist we do not have nearly enough of in this world anymore. Tomorrow would be the birthday of arguably history's greatest advocate of liberty Claude Frederic Bastiat. As this posting was started in the morning today and not completed for posting until very late, it is unlikely that I will post anything tomorrow of a significant nature about Bastiat except (perhaps) quote from his magnum opus The Law in a "points to ponder" installment to this humble weblog. I will however do some kind of combined tribute to him and America's founding on or around the Fourth of July this year since the core underlying theme of both is the same. Moving on...

--If the first part of this posting appears to put me in an ornery mood today, the truth is anything but that. I would however be remiss when noting the stupidity of the anecdotal human rights crowd (AHRD for short) just how livid their obtuseness makes me. But enough on that as I noted earlier, today legislatively is a good day so without further ado and as an old BB King song aptly put it:

No matter whether rainy weather
Birds of a feather gotta stick together
So get yourself under control
Go out and get together and let the good times roll

Today after all is the day after the day the immigration bill died. Of course I am not going to presume that this thing will stay dead but it is at the very least dead until after the next presidential election. Readers who were angry that this absurdity was even contemplated should press the presidential candidates on it and refuse to support any presidential candidate that would support amnesty for illegal aliens.

--Court Ruling Likely to Further Segregate Schools, Educators Say (Washington Post)

I of course have no problem with this ruling though I am sure that many of the contemporary ignorant will read into that statement presumptions of my view which are not correct. The bottom line for my stance is a simple one: there is no civil right properly speaking{4} to desegregated schools. It is about time the Supreme Court got away from activist agendas and got back to doing what it is supposed to do and the latter involves interpreting the Constitution not inventing out of whole cloth penumbra of a penumbra kind of bull crap and passing it off as "constitutional." Or absurd "right to privacy"{5} schtick and claiming that such things are "constitutional." But enough on that matter for now.

Notes:

{1} We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life -- physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production--in other words, individuality, liberty, property -- this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. [Claude Frederic Bastiat: Excerpt from The Law (c. 1850) as quoted in a Rerum Novarum posting (circa October 3, 2002)]

{2} They are so much like marxists methodologically that it is disturbing but that is a subject for another time perhaps.

{3} Wake up you self-anointed "activists" with your blind and irrational hatred of George Walker Bush. Your position is not only illogical but further: it is idiotic and plays Russian roulette with this nation's national security. You would compromise the safety of American citizens for the sake of political advantage in an election. For that, I spit on you!!! ...

[I]f the savage beheading of American civilians by rabid infested subhuman debris is not enough to get self-styled "activists" to wake from their pathetic Vietnam-era pretensions and face reality, I have to wonder what it will take. And if they think people like me will wait around for them to finally "get it", I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell them. That is all for now. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 18, 2004)]

{4} I went over the subject of specifically what is and is not a civil right properly speaking a few times in the past -most recently (to my recollection) here.

{5} I cannot recall if I have said this on the weblog in the past or not (as I cannot find anything in a quick archive search) but I am not opposed in principle to the idea of a federal right to privacy. The problem is, there is no constitutional foundation for such a position; ergo those who want to see one should do what they can to amend the Constitution to reflect that right. Otherwise, they should have the decency to admit that they do not give a damn about the Constitution at all.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On a Tree Fallen Across the Road:
(To hear us talk)

The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are

Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an ax.

And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole

And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.
[Robert Frost]

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In reviewing some unpublished drafts to this weblog today, I ran across a link to a Crisis Magazine review of a book I noted earlier in the year I was reading: H. W. Crocker III's United States military history Don't Tread On Me. For those interested in what I noted as I was about 60% through the book{1}, my assessment of the book did not change as I finished it. After finishing the work, I found an review of it published in Crisis Magazine and forgot about that thread until now. Here is the aforementioned review:

Soldiering On (Scott Belliveau)

I assessed the contents of that review once again and find my own position on the merits of the book substantially outlined to at least a macro extent. For that reason, I want to at this time note that book for readers of this humble weblog with the recommendation that they obtain and digest its contents. It is not a perfect work and I do not agree with all of the author's views but he makes a compelling case for every position he takes and the work itself reads very smoothly unlike a lot of other military history tomes. (Which is certainly something well worth pointing out for those hesitant to want to read anything pertaining to military history.)

Note:

{1} My Initial Assessment of H. W. Crocker III's Don't Tread On Me (circa May 5, 2007)

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Another solid reason why Justice John Roberts is an excellent Chef Justice of the United States Supreme Court

And also another reason why my friend Kevin Tierney has more crow to eat on that judicial pick -and knowing him he will do so willingly but that is neither here nor there.

I am aware of how some might view the above aside comment which is why I want to take this moment to briefly note my reason for referring to it. The example of Kevin's geopolitical miscue is noted here{1} not to gloat because I was right and he was wrong. The reason I note it is to point out that Kevin has been so forthright in admitting to making a mistake -indeed he was the one this morning who pointed me to this link and reminded me of his miscalculations in 2005 on the Roberts pick.{2}

I just happened to find a bit in the archives after he mentioned it but it goes to show an important element of character that is often lacking today: the willingness to admit to actual mistakes rather than merely make some generalized statement on "everyone makes mistakes" or something akin to it in the absence of particulars. This is what so many people{3} have a very bad habit doing when they are not engaging in an attempt to revise the historical record to appear to be more correct than they really were{4} of course.

Also, before ending this post, I wanted to note that I have with this posting inaugurated another subsidiary category for tagging postings to this weblog; namely the one that reads The John Roberts Court. That subsidiary tag{5} has also been retroactively applied to the posting noted in footnote one.

Notes:

{1} One of the benefits of the old blog being nowhere around, unless I say so, nobody is able to verify me opposing Roberts. :) [Kevin Tierney as quoted in a Rerum Novarum posting (circa March 7, 2006)]

{2} While not the only miscalculation Kevin made on the Roberts nomination, this is all I am going to note at the present time about it.

{3} Particularly those of a particular geopolitical weltanschauung but they are not the only apologist sorts to have this problem.

{4} This is the hallmark of apologist sorts of various persuasions -particularly pseudo-"progressivists" or pseudo-"peacemakers" who so often are marxists who do not have the guts to admit to what they really are. (The latter is something I have written on before at sundry times and in divers manners.)

{5} To remind readers of the differences between primary and secondary blog tag categories, the whole subject was covered rather thoroughly in this thread from mid May of this year.

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Points to Ponder:
(On the Proper Function of the Law)

Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice. [Claude Frederic Bastiat: From The Law (circa 1850)]

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