May the State Compel You…? – Martin L. Shoemaker

May the State Compel You…?- Martin L. Shoemaker

May the state compel you to sign a loyalty oath?

May the state compel you to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?

May the state compel you to sing the Star Spangled Banner?

May the state compel you to fly the flag?

May the state compel you to remove the flag?

May the state compel you to burn the flag?

May the state compel you to endorse the current President?

May the state compel you to endorse all past Presidents?

May the state compel you to denounce all past Presidents?

May the state compel you to endorse Amazon? Ford? GM? The UAW? Microsoft? Monsanto? NBC? Greenpeace?

May the state compel you to denounce Amazon? Ford? GM? The UAW? Microsoft? Monsanto? NBC? Greenpeace?

May the state compel you to join a church?

May the state compel you to leave a church?

May the state compel you to denounce a church?

May the state compel you to buy a home?

May the state compel you to sell a home?

May the state compel you to buy things you do not need and can never use?

May the state compel you to sell things you wish to keep?

May the state compel you to give away things you wish to keep?

May the state compel you to work for free?

May the state compel you to work in a field of their choosing?

May the state compel you to not work?

May the state compel you to charge only state-approved prices for your goods and services?

May the state compel you to move to a new town?

May the state compel you to eat what you’re told to eat?

May the state compel you to steal?

May the state compel you to give?

May the state compel you to take your medicine?

May the state compel you to take your own life for the benefit of society?

May the state compel you to take the life of another for the benefit of society?

May the state compel you to take drugs?

May the state compel you to abstain from drugs?

May the state compel you to support art that offends you?

May the state compel you to denounce art that offends the state?

May the state compel you to read the Bible? The Koran? The Talmud? The Fountainhead?

May the state compel you to burn the Bible? The Koran? The Talmud? The Fountainhead?

May the state compel you to do what they decide is in your own good?

May the state compel you to become friends with people who offend you?

May the state compel you to denounce your friends?

May the state compel you to say things you do not believe?

May the state compel you to remain silent when you believe you are in the right?

May the state compel you to claim there are five lights when you only see four?

May the state compel you to think only approved thoughts?

May the state compel you to believe what you do not believe?

May the state compel you to love the state?


If you answered Yes to any of these questions, who’s the real target: yourself, or everybody else? Or if you answered It depends, does that mean the state should compel those thoughts and beliefs that you share, but not the ones you don’t?

In either case: you little tyrant, you…

381 thoughts on “May the State Compel You…? – Martin L. Shoemaker

  1. Short answer: Yes. The state can compel us to do whatever it wants to if we allow it to.

    1. We know that it CAN, but here the question was, “MAY”. And remember that this is a thought experiment, it’s a question of opinion on whether the READER thinks each thing is a Right and Just thing to do, not a question of whether the State itself thinks it is.

      1. Not entirely — I want health insurance; I simply don’t want the load of frills they package and insist I buy.

        1. No one in this house is — as of right now — capable of giving birth. However, we still must have birth control covered. No one in this house (that I know of. Haven’t discussed it with the boys) would have had an abortion if we COULD get pregnant. It still has to be covered. Etc.

          1. What’s more, if you need to be on the Pill for medical reasons — like keeping yourself from being hospitalized every month — YOU don’t get zero dollar coverage. You have to pay. For yourself, and through your higher premiums, for women who don’t need it for medical reasons.

            1. Mine when I had to take them to control bleeding and other fun effects like my hair falling off, were completely paid for. Until the law came into effect.

              1. “well yeah, but now your(sic) better covered” -this was an excuse I got once when pointing out that the old coverage someone had, worked better for them, and was cheaper. The idea that paying more for coverage and getting stuff you had no need of with higher deductibles was not an improvement.

                1. I haunt a blog where Obamacare threads seem to attract shill/trolls and you keep on having to slap down people who will call insurance garbage if it doesn’t cover what you will never get, even if the replacement doesn’t cover things you have.

                  1. it is a group not noted for intelligence.
                    Had people tell me that if you had no insurance, you couldn’t go to the hospital, Period. Pointing out that I had none, and went when I got Gastroenteritis, and listing folks I knew who had none and went for various things from accidents, tonsillitis (girl I was going with at the time) to cancer (knew a guy who got testicular cancer twice!) has never changed that bullet point of theirs. Neither did pointing to places like Charity Hospital in N.O. and “free” clinics, many out in the sticks somewhere .Also, the law change is now forcing a lot of those clinics and hospitals closed so the folks who went there with insurance for the convenience are now unable to get timely emergency help. “Sorry you have a nasty compound fracture … clinic is closed … nearest ER is an hour up the road. good day”

                    1. Back in the stone age, when everything was done with stone knives and bearskins, (Pre 1970), almost every county in Texas had a hospital that was partially supported with county tax revenue voted on in every year’s budget by the county commissioners. Usually the hospital was owned and operated by the local doctor(s) or a local church. Those who could pay, paid the hospital for it’s services, those who could not, paid what they could and the county or horrors!!, a church or charity did, if not both. These local hospitals took care of all the births, accidents, and minor surgeries. If you needed more than it could offer, they’d refer and transport you to one in a nearby (by Texas standards) bigger city hospital. Low population counties would usually go in together to fund one in a neighboring county.

                      Then came Medicare/Medicaid in 1965. For the first few years, they took over paying for a lot of the formerly county/charity cases, but by 1969, there were articles (look in the Newspaper Archive, I’ve read them) about how it was soooooo inefficient for the feds to be making all these payments to all these little backwoods hospitals run by all those uneducated hillbillies and rednecks who knew nothing. By the early 1970’s they started forcing all the rural folks covered by their services to go to “Regional” hospitals,(in)conveniently located in the bigger cities. Then subtle pressures were made on counties and states to close these little hospitals or convert them to clinics. The insurance companies joined in this too.

                      By 1980 the little county hospitals were either almost all gone, or converted to clinics, and the pressure was now put on the multiple small hospitals in the bigger cities. In 1976, there were 4 hospitals in Big Spring TX, one large one and three small ones. Medicare/Medicaid started refusing to pay for treatments in the smaller ones and increasingly intrusive federal/state regulations started making an unbearable burden on the smaller ones who could not afford to hire the extra staff to deal with them. By the mid 1980’s there was just one, and complaints about poor service and callous treatment became rife.

                      But the Feds loved it because it was ‘efficient” as efficiency is defined by a bureaucrat.

                    2. brings to mind the story of my Aunt.
                      She developed MS, and during the run up to diagnosis she was ranting for Single Payer. She wanted to go to the high dollar places but was stuck going to Charity Hospital (Tulane Medical School now) which she hated.
                      Why did she hate it? Well, you see, because it was the free clinic it was crowded, and worse, being a racist, it was crowded with black people. So she found other clinics less crowded and got hauled (often by me) an hour up the road to Independence, La, and later to Houma, La. Oh, sure, both still had a ton of poor black folk for her to hate on, but the wait times were less.
                      So she hated the state run free Hospitals and clinics …. and her solution was for the state to run ALL hospitals and clinics.
                      My uncle is worse. He is a vet, but flat out refuses to go to the VA, and also refused to get insurance of any sort. He was a clumsy carpenter, so he made several visits to ER (most after finishing work for the day, so nothing overly serious … until his heart gave him issues) and ended up with fairly large bills. Yet his solution too is for the same people he refused to use to run ALL hospitals and clinics. Well, now both are Wards of The State. They got what they want, and apparently are still complaining about it. I get it all 4th or so hand. Last time they called me was to fix something, and after I did I didn’t even get a call back for a thank you.

                    3. Joe Wooten brings up a point – a feeling I have about a lot of policy issues, not just “healthcare”; if the situation is so godsdamned broken that A solution might be a huge (as in so bug nobody’s read it) piece of legislation, why don’t we start off by totally REPEALING the last several layers of legislation that clearly didn’t work. Clear the decks, take a look around, and see how things settle?

                      Now, I know, of course, why the Proggies (bless the black hearts) don’t want to do this; dismantling any part pf The Holy State™ is anathema, the sin of witchcraft. But why doesn’ somebody ELSE suggest it. Loudly. Take the public position “Well, since this issue is such a mess, the huge legislative package that was passed five years ago is clearly a bust, and the very first step to solving the problem is undoing the last set of mistakes!”

                      If nothing else, the squealing would be entertaining….

                2. These Proglodytes are unable to understand “but we’ve given you a Coupe Deville!” is not acceptable to the rancher who’s just been told his pick-up truck is going to be hauled off as a clunker.

                  Soccer Mom probably isn’t much satisfied by the news she’s having her unfashionable minivan replaced with a Miata, complete with leather upholstery and surround-sound Bose audio system.

                  Stupid taxpayers; whatta they think they are – citizens?

                  1. Nah, their giving us a Smart Car (was there ever a more stupidly named vehicle?) and telling us it is a Coupe De Ville, and charging us Bentley prices, because they’ve added 38 cup holders, a roof rack to the floor and an ejection seat that fires downward for the driver.

              2. Hormone therapy, technically. Same pill, different use.

                Every time they brought up an example of someone who needed it, and it could be provided by off-label use of hormonal birth control, it turns out it was already covered.

            2. Very interesting…

              The only argument of Sandra Fluke’s that had any real weight with the majority of the population was her story about her supposed friend who needed birth control pills for a medical condition, and had to pay a lot of money because the school didn’t provide free birth control.

              (ignoring, of course, that the school did in fact have a provision providing for those pills if needed for medical reasons that had nothing to do with pregnancy)

              But apparently you can’t actually get the government-required health insurance to pay for the pills if they’re needed for non-birth-prevention reasons?

              1. I was in that exact situation in college. Medical condition, needed birth control pills. If it *hadn’t* been birth control pills insurance would have paid a percentage, but because of the med type, no dice. And even though I was a starving college student, I paid the cost of the medication. It did not break me. (I did think it was a little stupid of the insurance companies to balk at paying for something much, much cheaper than the pregnancy that might otherwise result, though.)

                1. I did think it was a little stupid of the insurance companies to balk at paying for something much, much cheaper than the pregnancy that might otherwise result, though.

                  Even before the false security of “I’m on birth control, I can’t get pregnant,” there’s the issue of STDs and other complications associated with promiscuity. No idea if they’re caused by or not, just know they’re associated– heck, for all I know, some of them are caused by the hormonal b/c.

                  I know you said it was you at the time, not making a current argument, but I’ve actually had this discussion with my sister in the last year. 😀 Per her: “Oh! The ‘it’s low fat, I’ll eat the whole box’ thing!”

                  1. *I* was taking the pill for medical reasons. To prevent pregnancy and STDs, the major in physics worked perfectly 😀 . I got the rather nasty hormonal issues if I *didn’t* take the pill. My innards were clearly poorly designed

                    I still think it was stupid to exempt that one thing from the prescription coverage. Use of birth control pills is not sufficient evidence of promiscuity or even inability to protect against STDs or consult with a physician about hormonal side effects. I never had any side effects, myself.

                    1. Did your state laws forbid prescriptions for off-label uses, by chance?

                      And of course you didn’t have side effects– you were fixing an imbalance, while a normal system with the same additions would be creating one. A side effect in your case would be only if you overshot, or didn’t get enough, and it’d still be more mild than other folks (for A) or normal (for B.)

                    2. Nonsequitor:

                      In a book store yesterday evening a friend turns to me and says, “Watch my stuff a moment I have to order a book. My book club decided to read a book by an independently published author this month.”

                      “Oh?” I inquired, “who?”

                      “Sabrina Chase,” was the reply.

                      The High Point Library Book Club will be reading The Last Mage Guardian this month.

          2. Most of the costs incorporated in their insurance are for trivial items which could be easily handled out of pocket and which impose processing costs on the insurer far out of proportion to their value. But the government won’t allow insurers to offer a catastrophic policy with a deductible starting at a reasonable* level. Effectively the state is forcing us into managed care stores with a different facade in the front window.

            *For various values of reasonable

            1. As I said on FB — the end result of all socialist paradises is such an onerous regulatory burden that only corporations can meet it. Fortunately corporations are also the only ones large enough to be able to bribe the corrupt socialist state. See how well it works? It’s like it’s by design.

              1. Once may be happenstance.
                Twice can be coincidence.
                Thrice and you should suspect enemy action.

                1. And if it happens every damn time, the problem is systemic.

                  See, it isn’t necessary that the Progressive Left be plotting to discommode us. They may be, but proving it is a waste of effort. It’s much simoler to demonstrate that their go-to solution of “let the Benevolent State™ handle it” simply does not work.

                  Oh, there are some things it does sort of work for. Or, at least, the history of privitizing the military is an ugly one. But by and large, The State is a bust.we can prove that. It will take driving it into their solid biscuit heads, but it’s not the waste of time that provong conspiracy would be.

            2. Your “*various values of reasonable” is exactly the point. A 20 yo in good health and a 60 yo diabetic have radically different health issues and resources. Their values of reasonable are different. This one size fits all approach is Socialism plain and simple. It will be interesting April 15 when the IRS part of healthcare is revealed to all.

              1. I am always amazed that so many people I talk to use IRS withholding and the refund as a forced short term savings plan. Some use that check to “get well” from the hole they’ve dug themselves over the course of the year, others use it for toys and vacations, but in any case it’s still a free no interest loan to the government, not the windfall they seem to think it is.
                So, yeah, I expect to hear a lot of “what the hell happened to my check!!!” from the low information folks. Don’t have the heart to tell them it will be even worse each of the next several years as that penalty escalates.

                1. I used withholding like that when I was in the Army, because I knew that if I got an extra 20 or 30 bucks a month I’d just drink it, but getting a few hundred dollars in a tax refund would let me buy a TV or a bike.

                2. I try to delicately balance the amount I owe just enough under that I won’t get fees. The year I owed the IRS $7,000 they didn’t complain, but the State of VA whined about their comparable share.

              2. The value of reasonable is surely a matter to be negotiated between the insured and the insurer, nicht wahr? Having some porn-surfing bureaucrat* rule what is or isn’t reasonable seems arbitrary and inefficient.

                *I mean no slur against porn-surfing bureaucrats; would that all bureaucrats spent their working days surfing porn.

          3. Or how about this? The state compels me to carry pediatric dental and vision coverage for children I don’t have. Can I claim those nonexistent kids as dependents?

            1. I’m thinking of applying for some kind of benefit-sharing program since I supply my own – perfectly effective, completely free – contraceptive.

              My personality.

        2. What RES said at the top-ish of the thread, in spades. I do not want certain types of coverage. I did not have certain types of coverage. Because of this, my original coverage got cancelled. I was lucky to be able to find a replacement, but it is still run-over-by-a-bus insurance, because of the very high deductible. And that coverage I am supposed to have? Only good for a doctor in a city 150 miles away. So my well-woman exams and such still come out of my pocket. And my annual dermatology checks, and internist visits, and yeah.

    1. The state is sure trying, but the problem is, I CAN’T AFFORD IT. Because I’m a single white male who works for a living, I don’t get any aid from the government, so it would cost me over 20K.
      So now lazy slobs get it for free (and I pay for it for them) and I get nothing.

    2. Obamacare adventure:
      Okay, so as seen on government lists we’re so far below the poverty line we can’t see that sucker. Happens part of that is due to a layoff, which also left us without health insurance, and there is no economy, so Husband took on two part-time jobs. So we went to buy health insurance–because neither employer offered any, and we want to be covered (if we could get catastrophic we would–that’d be perfect for us).
      We don’t get ‘subsides’ because those are only for people who aren’t poor: we’re supposed to get medicaid or something but our state doesn’t do that. Thank goodness. So we buy our health insurance, the cheapest plan because that’s all we can afford, it’s offered by Blue Cross: we’ve had Blue Cross before and liked them, we’re happy.
      Fast forward a couple months, I find a new mole, growing fast, right by my eye. So, like I’m supposed to, I call my primary care provider. Because even though I have two relatives who have been treated for skin cancer (Mom and Uncle) I can’t just call up my dermatologist, whom I’ve seen for years. Weeks go by. I call Blue Cross. “Well, if we had agreed you need to see a specialist, you would have gotten a letter in the mail. We don’t send you anything if you don’t need one.” Never mind that I have a family history of skin cancer, and I’ve had several moles biopsied before. This is one area where I have significantly higher than average risk, however, Blue Cross has decided according to whatever metric they have that a suspicious, irregularly shaped, funny colored, fast growing mole does not need to be seen by someone who can tell what it is.
      We cancel insurance. What’s the point? It’s cheaper to pay out of pocket than to carry insurance. Insurance doesn’t actually cover seeing anyone when you need to. And when you’re poor you don’t get fined. Yet.
      (The mole is benign. But I can’t tell that, and neither can Blue Cross. That requires the dermatologist.)

  2. “Yes” or “It depends” deserves the response of “Freedom For Thee But No Freedom For Me” or worse.

    1. It deserves the response of “Sic Semper Tyrannis” followed by an Ommmminous Hummmm.

  3. Yes, particularly if you can’t stick a gun in their face and tell them to piss off when they come around with the Compelling Wagon. And yes, particularly if they have already confiscated half your earnings for the year and are threatening to take the other half.

    Both are the case right now, my friends. So yeah, they can pretty much compel whatever the fuck they want.

    We should work on that, eh?

  4. It depends on what the meaning of “compel” is, doesn’t it?

    It can certainly “lean in” and “push” a little. It can force you to choose between compliance and rebellion, between liberty and death.

    Some things, such as thinking only approved thoughts, believing what is unbelievable, loving the state, it cannot compel; it can only compel their outward appearances.

    It is a generally a good idea to distinguish between dissimilar things, such as inward states versus actions, pressure versus compulsion and what the state has the power to do versus what it has the right to do.

  5. The state can TRY, but the state derives the right to govern from the consent of the people, and whenever it violates that consent, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
    And ultimately, the power to do so comes from the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
    Or, in other terms, “If y’all keep ****ing with me, I’m gonna shoot yer ***.”

    1. Understand you are dealing with a radical idea here. That while we may hold it to be self-evident, for all too many, even in this country, it is not recognized that the state derives the right to govern from the consent of the people, and that this right is there whether or not the people or the government functionally recognizes it.

      There are those who think it means that if the majority of voters were to choose to have a tyranny then, by their rights a tyranny should be imposed. The Founders feared the concept of mob rule and did not embrace democracy — which meant mob rule to them.

        1. Or very many sheep with the force of the government watch dogs on their side voting what the few wolves have to give them.

        2. No. Not exactly. There really aren’t so many wolves to sheep. Democracy, as Mencken said, is the theory that the Common Man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard. Is it a mess? Oh, hell, yes. Should there be limits on it? That’s what the Constitution and Bill of Rights (and the Amendment process) were (and are) for.

          Every other theory of governance, save tye barious flavors of anarchy, is based on the idea that there exist people so much better than the average that they deserve to rule, AND that who those people are can be determined by some human system.

          I know of scant evidence for the former, and NONE for the latter.

          Anarchy, in all its forms, is based on the notion that if there is no State, the Strong will not MAKE one.

          Don’t know of any evidence for THAT one either.

          1. I believe you missed the point that the United States is not a democracy but is, instead, a democratic republic, with certain enumerated rights inalienable to the individual. Thus the sheep nor the wolves can deprive their ideological opponents of those basic rights no matter their majorities.

            There be reasons, of course, that so many Americans overlook this distinction and reasons the confusion over this directly correlates with when you attended school.

            1. Absolutely correct in the theoretical sense. Unfortunately, we are heading directly into one of the traps, and your second paragraph points to one of the reasons. By keeping the little girls and boys ignorant and implying the State grants the rights (like your ‘right’ to free medical care and your ‘right’ to free housing). Even the more horrible, “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together”. Once you believe that, it is all over for our democratic republic. It might help if you cast the Founding Fathers as old white men that owned slaves. If November 2016, you are looking at a ballot with the names Clinton and Bush, then we have lost forever.

              1. While I might be wary of it, I do not think that a Clinton v. Bush choice is a signal of an absolute end, probably less than a Warren v Whomever would be — particularly if Warren were to win. The question to me would be how we got there.

                1. Personally, on the D side, I’m rooting for Webb; although a snowball in the hot place has a greater chance of making it. I know people in Maryland, so O’Malley, about the only thing nice I can say is nice Irish name.
                  On the R side, I’ll settle for not-Bush, there hasn’t been enough whoopla for me to decide any farther than that.

                  1. On the Rs, I’m sure Cruz would be tons better than who we have now, but personally I hope he doesn’t get the nomination. I know it’s a silly reason, but there’s a frequency in his voice that makes me want to hit things.

    2. “The state can TRY, but the state derives the right to govern from the consent of the people, and whenever it violates that consent, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”

      This is a happy fantasy. That it happens to be written down and signed by George Washington is neither here nor there. Their “right” to govern comes out of the barrel of a gun, just as it always has.

      The People, capitalized, have no rights that don’t come out of the barrel of a gun as well.

      We can pretend otherwise, but the last 80 years or so have seen no fundamental shifts in basic government policy (tax and spend, inflation, wide open immigration, socialism) no matter what party got voted in to office. When the same party owns both sides of the House and the Senate AND the Presidency, you don’t get to chose anything by voting.

      As Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals says, “Not showing up to riot is a failed Conservative policy.”

      Goes double for Canada, incidentally. We’ve been where Obama and the DemocRats are dragging you. We got here 20 years ago, dragged by another charismatic socialist demagogue named Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

      It sucks. I suggest you start scaring some highly placed civil servants. 200,000 pissed off pitchfork carrying TeaPartiers besieging a prominent government building would be a good place to start. Venezuelan style.

      Doing it in a new location every week for 6 months would be better. Venezuelan style, turbo nitrous version.

      Incidentally, the thing you want is a TAX CUT. Currently we all give MORE THAN HALF of out total income to government, one way or another. Not just income tax, also sales tax, inflation, and a few more hidden things that when you add up local, state and federal, it comes out to more than half. Poor people too. Half of your piddling minimum wage ends up in government coffers, dudes.

      Take that 50% and cut it back to 5%, then maybe you have some hope of telling them to shove it when the Compelling Wagon rolls into town. Anything and EVERYTHING else is changing the table settings in the Titanic’s dining room.

      1. Well duh. Why is it that all their attempts at “sensible” gun control basically involve disarming law abiding citizens leaving only the criminals and agents of the government with weapons? Forgive my redundancy.

  6. I would quibble that there are circumstances where the State should be able to force a person to take their medication, or else to execute them for being a danger to others. But that’s the only one that I had any potential disagreement with.

    1. well, and that one is the one that’s making our streets unsafe. We’ve chosen, but it might not be the best. OTOH we use compulsion in much less urgent cases. Hence, this is something to think about.

    2. If the state can compel you to do one thing, they can compel you to do anything, using the exact same argument.
      As for being a danger? That’s why we have the 2nd amendment. We’re supposed to protect ourselves, not be protected by the state.

      1. If the state can compel you to do one thing, they can compel you to do anything, using the exact same argument.

        Improper use does not invalidate proper use.

        Illustration: a guy who pushes a little old lady in front of a bus, a guy who pushes a little old lady out of the front of a bus, and a guy who pushes a little old lady nowhere near a bus.
        If your reasoning holds that these are all the same, then your reasoning is flawed.

    3. The state is not responsible for protecting individuals. Nor does it have any business trying. Police “protection” is mostly another form of welfare, that’s why Lefties love it. Call 911 and die, baby.

      And no, the state is not responsible for making you take your medication. If you freak out and get blasted by one of your intended victims, perhaps the tragic story of your demise will convince some other nutcase to take his medication. Or more to the point, convince his family to make him take it.

      The state is responsible for defending the nation and its borders, keeping the general peace, and enforcing contracts. Period. All else is socialism.

      Tax cuts are how we get back to that proper state of being.

      1. What level of state? Federal, 100% agree with you. However, if my city/county decides it’s tired of crazies downtown and will make them medicate, that’s something else. the city fathers are supposed to enable prosperity and protect the small businesses downtown from people peeing on their wares. HOWEVER the crazies, or anyone unjustly accused of crazy, can MOVE.

        1. I just realized came down firmly on both sides of the fence on this one. Good thing I’m tall. 🙂

          Government has no business managing people’s health. EXCEPT, as it impacts their responsibility to defend the nation and keep the peace. So crazy off their meds types are part of government’s remit only insofar as they disturb the peace. As to the rest of medical practice, only insofar as an individual has or is suspected of having a life-threatening contagious disease.

          I still don’t think its proper for government to compel people to accept treatment, its enough to corral scofflaws and put them someplace where they can quietly expire without infecting or otherwise inconveniencing the rest of us.

          If that seems a bit harsh, consider that mental health issues do not lend themselves to the factory model of medical treatment, which is the BEST you can get when government runs things. Presently the policy is do-not-treat, for which we one and all pay bazillions of dollars a year for shrinks, social workers and etc. on local, state and federal levels.

        2. HOWEVER the crazies, or anyone unjustly accused of crazy, can MOVE.

          From memory, preventing emigration is a traditional sign of a Really Bad Tyrant, even if it’s done by stripping property.

          Incidentally, it seems Portland has put in a retroactive tax on folks who live in the city for.. road repair, I think it was. The blurb for next hour’s topics mentioned that they’re applying it to people who already left the city, even moving out of state. We’ll see if I manage to catch the rest of the story.

          1. If I were a former Portland resident, and I got a notice for a retroactive tax from them, I’d send it back with a photo of an upraised middle finger.

      2. When college age neighbors, who recently moved in to a house on the next block over are in their back yard having a kegger, crank up the music so loud you can hear as well as feel it through the walls of your house and you are alone (The Spouse was working night shift) in the house with a six month old who is screaming because it is after two in the morning and it can’t sleep — the police are useful.

        All else is socialism? Really?

        1. Especially when there’s a similar situation like the one I had– where the guy below us came up and made nasty threats because the guy above us had his music so loud.

          He thought it was us.

          He went up to try the same trick on the loud guy… who looked like a punk dwarf. (Tolkien type, not reality TV type.)

          Thankfully, nobody got hurt.

          1. When we bought our first house we chose one in a mixed age pocket neighborhood near the University. Once our neighborhood was being taken through eminent domain by the University the houses were converted to rentals as the owners moved out.

            At one point the residents of the house next door were Deadheads. They were not a problem. I liked them. They had a Australian Shepherd who would happily practice his heading skills on The Daughter, who was still quite young, keeping her from the steep drop-off at the back of our yards.

            They were considerate neighbors overall and even forewarned us that they whenever they were going to have the party. But on one occasion their party was targeted and crashed by some rather rude people. When the police first arrived one of the crashers shot out the back window of the police car. It was not a pretty scene.

    4. There is where many OWLs differ (thank you, Sarah, I have now adopted that designation).

      The State should not compel someone to take their medication. But if you choose not to – and your unmedicated state is a danger to others – they may ensure that you are isolated from those others.

      The State should not compel someone to execute another person. Now, if they have a volunteer, that is different… (This is why I do not support conscription into the military. Besides the fact that a State which must compel its citizens to defend it is no longer a State composed of citizens, as RAH once noted.)

          1. Thank you. My mind kept flashing to Harry Potter and I knew that couldn’t be it.

  7. You left out, can the state compel you to give 30% of your yearly income to the state? And Mr. O’s recent suggestion:
    Can the State compel you to vote?
    Take your/other’s life for the benefit of Society: This is the only pair that require discussion (all the rest are H*ll NO!)
    Capital crime, where beyond reasonable doubt of evidence presented to a Jury of your peers, you have intentionally murdered or tortured another person. I’m OK with that.
    War, where the two legislative bodies of elected officials, along with the duly elected President have determined another State/entity (one of those Han/Chewie slash combos) poses a deadly danger to the people of the United States. That is OK too. This does not include cruise missiles into a tent in the desert, nor a Hellfire missile fired from a drone unless a formal declaration of war has been made.

    I think these two were recognized by the Founding Fathers as necessary evils that must be provided for the common good, and indeed that is why the requirements before committing either act are well documented in the Constitution. To assure the severity of the situation requires this ultimate measure.

    1. “And Mr. O’s recent suggestion:
      Can the State compel you to vote?”

      If the State doesn’t trust someone’s judgment on whether he should vote, on what conceivable topic could he vote with more judgment?

          1. I’ve heard of a place that does this. If “NOTA” wins, then a new election must be held, and nobody from the previous ballot is allowed to run.

                  1. There should be a vat of warm tar and a big bag of feathers at the member’s entrance to every legislature.

        1. Effectively, there is. Simply vote ONLY in the one race where your vote is least likely to significantly matter — reelecting an incumbent politician who is running effectively unopposed, for example, or in opposition of a sewer measure or for the local dogcatcher.

          That qualifies the ballot has having been validly cast and as merely “present” on all other races.

          If you feel devilish, a winning candidate must receive a majority of all ballots cast, not simply those casting a vote in the individual candidate’s race. Yes, this would probably eliminate a number of down ballot candidates in presidential years.

      1. The interest is not in you voting, it’s in having the maximum scope for fraud.

    2. War and Capital Punishment are instances of state action and not individual action. You are not being compelled to take a life, the state is. The state is NOT a corporeal entity that can take action on its own, so it requires that which it derives its just power from to execute its will from time to time. In effect, the personality that inhabits the body and mind of the soldier on the battlefield – or the juror in a capital crime trial – has been set aside and been taken over by another entity called the “state” or government. When my finger squeezes that trigger, it is not my will but the state’s, therefore I am do not bear the guilt for the actions that my body took, the state does.

      In essence, it is the result of combining, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” and, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” War and capital punishment fall into Caesar’s bailiwick, MY personal, individual actions/beliefs/etc. fall into God’s bailiwick.

      1. A soldier is obligated to follow all legal orders. He is also obligated to not follow what he firmly believes are illegal orders.
        For good or ill, that point was settled quite some time ago at an international tribunal in a little town called Nuremburg.

        1. Nuremburg was a mistake of colossal proportions. It presumed a super-state which did not, in fact, exist. It lost any pretense of legitimacy by including representatives of Stalin.

          We should have taken out all the Germans we decided we didn’t like and shot them out of hand. THAT we could have justified, as those were the rules THEY were playing by. Also (to quote Alexis Gilliland) “When you lose a war, bad things happen to you” has been understood for longer than recorded history.

        2. Legal as defined under the UCMJ and the “laws of war.” Also, there is a darned fine line between refusing what you believe to be an illegal order and mutiny.

          1. Is ordering soldiers not to aid their fellows (i.e. Benghazi, I’ve heard that we had assets nearby who were specifically told not to aid the folks there) an illegal order?

            1. No.

              The troops could be being held out because of considerations unknown to them.

              Yet, unless there proved to be good reason, withholding troops under such conditions could ultimately prove an utter mess to the command.

              1. I know hindsight is 20/20 but with what we now know about what happened in Benghazi can the President as C-in-C be held accountable for Benghazi?

                  1. Given properly developed evidence of culpability in the dereliction of duty which allowed the assault to occur with such devastating effect and the ham-fisted cover-up (including knowingly railroading an innocent — albeit bad — filmmaker as inciting such furor) afterward a president could indeed be impeached for such mishandling.

                    But it would only be because Republicans are racist.

                    Frankly, if we discovered that Barry himself had led the “rioters” attacking the compound I doubt we could find thirteen Democrats (and “Independents”) in the Senate willing to vote for his impeachment and would be surprised if all fifty-four Republicans voted in support. This administration has long since committed greater abuses of office than did Dick Nixon while suffering no significant cost.

          2. It’s not that fine a line, and every recruit is trained on where the line is and how to deal with illegal orders.

            “Shell the village” is not an illegal order, “Kill everyone in the village” is.
            “Shoot the prisoners” is an illegal order “shoot anything that isn’t actively surrendering” isn’t. Neither is “Shoot anyone who refuses directions and gets within 50m of your position, surrendering or not.”

            1. Neither is “Shoot anyone who refuses directions and gets within 50m of your position, surrendering or not.”

              This is especially important in terms of how often “surrender” is a farce.

              1. Right. Once you stop following directions, you are no longer surrendering. If you don’t understand the directions DO NOT MOVE.

                1. I had a rather long discussion with some folks who thought “running around corner of house with hands up after getting return fire” was the same as “surrendering.”

                  Home invasion with multiple armed attackers, and only one home owner.

                  Never did get the idea of “flanking” through to them.

                  1. It would be too much to hope that they were historically literate enough to understand the lesson of the Battle of Cowpens?

                    1. Wouldn’t work. In their mind, there are strict divisions– private, police and military.

                      The tactics cannot cross over.

                    2. They need to be introduced to tacktics. That would be where I hit the subject in the head with a tack hammer until they’re less dumb.

                    3. Re: the tack hammer teaching method –

                      “When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.”

                    4. Most people don’t know about ANY battle, from Cannae (which they will probably think was catered by Jesus) to Hastings to Agincourt to the Bulge (which they probably will guess was commanded by General Special K.)

      2. The legal principle in effect here is that of agency. That which you do while as an agent of the state (and the state is the agent of the people) is done with the authority of the state with the responsibility being that of the state.

        Thus the state has due diligence requirement to exercise it authority responsibly, to direct its agents responsibly and to (as agent of the people) keeps its principal properly informed of its actions. That which is done under color of the authority of the state MUST be held accountable and any abuse of the state’s conveyed authority must carry severe penalties.

        The fact that no state ever has carried this out properly is beside the point.

  8. “May the state compel you to take your medicine?”

    Certainly for some medicines. The state has the right to force you to leave other people alone and do them no harm, which means that if you have paranoid delusions that will cause you to commit (objective) crimes, the state has the right to institutionalize you, which is certainly coercion.

    Or if you are going to a region where an epidemic is raging, the state can require you to take prophylactic medicine and quarantine you if you neglect it.

    1. Be careful with that quarantine part. The Ebola scare proved that if you are a b*tchy nurse or reporter, you can flaunt quarantine rules with impunity.

      1. That is happenstance. Are you prepared to defend their flouting the rules? To protest only that other people are unable to thus evade?

        1. Defend them no. Condem them yes. Quarantine has a long history of acceptance for moral as well as civil duty. It is one of the few examples of where the progressive’s loved ‘precautionary principle’ applies. Based on established medical procedures does not necessarily cut it since, as we all are aware, viruses mutate. My understanding is that months after the initial denial by the CDC, it was determined that this particular instance of Ebola could exhibit air-borne infection capabilities.

          1. My understanding is that months after the initial denial by the CDC, it was determined that this particular instance of Ebola could exhibit air-borne infection capabilities.

            The CDC’s own PSAs explained how that worked– basically, they were equivocating, using a very special definition of “air borne infection” (which is correct in the proper place) as if it meant “can’t be spread by sneezing.” (Without, thankfully, removing the PSA stuff that pointed out it did exactly that.)

            I can’t remember the precise special definition, but I think it was basically that the germ can spread in the air without body fluids being involved, as opposed to types that have to be “splashed,” even if the “splash” is invisible.

            1. I believe that is correct. They were defining air-borne as spread without limit. I visited an EMT website, and they were concerned about sneezes in the proximity of 5-6 feet. Like in row in front of or behind and the people next to you on the airplane. One definition was pedantic, the other practical.

    2. This falls under the “protecting the nation from threats foreign and domestic and securing the borders”. If medicine/quarantine is required to secure the populace from a contagious disease, then government can and should force its use.

      The AIDS epidemic is an example of this not being done. The currently building drug-resistant tuberculosis epidemic that’s going to be kicking your ass round about 2016 is another.

    3. There is also how you’re going to define “compel” in this case. For example I don’t think The State should be able to threat parents with jail or removal of their children if they don’t want to vaccinate. However I’m perfectly comfortable with The State saying that your children cannot participate in state schools or state sponsor child activities without proof of vaccination.

      Is that compulsion? Then in some cases, yeah, that’s ok.

      1. Many people fail to recognize that a driver’s license is not required to drive a motor vehicle, it is merely required to legally operate such a vehicle on the publicly owned roads. See: Rez car

        If you own enough land you can legally operate any vehicle which you own anywhere you want on your property willy nilly you (or your designee) have license to operate.

        CAUTION: debating this with uniformed law officers may result in contusions, abrasions as well as minor aches and pains.

        1. CAUTION: debating this with uniformed law officers may result in contusions, abrasions as well as minor aches and pains.

          On the other hand, uniformed law officers probably shouldn’t be wandering around your property without a warrant…

          1. when you own the property, and if you (the owner) does not post any speed limit… than their is no legal limit to the speed you may drive.

        2. Around here, it’s pretty safe to go tooling around your own property without being molested by the police. Lots of people have “Farm Trucks”, which frequently don’t even have a bumper. I don’t think it’s required to insure or register these vehicles, either, let alone the driver. Heck, for Farm vehicles, a lot of drivers are too young to get licensed.

            1. I’ll never forget the first time Dad turned me loose in his 56. Tapped the corner of a shed, almost knocked it off its foundation.

              1. I was three when my folks let me “drive” the tractor. (When there wasn’t a kid to drive for feeding, they used some bailing wire.)

                Resulted in my sister and brother and I driving a stick-shift pickup when I was about six. I was on the pedals and giving orders– “the other left!”– my sister was on the wheel, my brother was working the stick. We didn’t damage anything, but boy were our folks surprised to not have to walk back to the pickup…. (They told us not to leave.)

            2. Same here. I had to look between the top of the steering wheel and the dash to see the road ahead.

              1. My grandfather had to do that even when he was an adult. Well, actually, my dad said his father’s eye-line was right AT the top of the steering wheel, and he would alternate between hunching down to look under and stretching to look over the steering wheel.

          1. Heck, for Farm vehicles, a lot of drivers are too young to get licensed.

            Saw that in Tennessee. I believe that there were restrictions, although I don’t know if they were formal or understood: the under age driver had to be part of the family that owned the farm or farm equipment in question.

  9. The one that caught my attention was “can the state compel you to kill?”. If not, then the draft is immoral? I remember that Heinlein said “any state that needs a draft to survive, shouldn’t” or words to that effect, but can we really hold ourselves to that standard?

    1. More to the point, once you’ve enlisted, you can be court-martialed and shot if you refuse a lawful order.

      “Shoot the enemy” is certainly a lawful order.

      1. Usually legal. IIRC there are exceptions like prisoners, airmen and sailors fleeing from sinking/crashing ships/aircraft, and properly-identified medical personnel.

        1. The generic term is “hors de combat,” i.e. out of the fight. Aircrew in parachutes, unarmed prisoners, sailors in lifeboats, and unarmed medical personnel cannot influence the battle or harm your forces, so killing them serves no military purpose and is thus murder.

      2. However, you enlisted in the first place. Very different from being forced into uniform by the draft board.

        1. Ah, so all these compulsions become all right if you — sign a contract? Take a job?

            1. Why do you object to hers, but not to the original posts’? At the very least, some states get their legitimacy from the members, so if you have a “no” answer to any instance of the above then you are accepting limits on contracts.

              1. I didn’t mean to be objecting to her limits, I was curious as to where they might be. The ability to make and enforce contracts is a pillar of Western civilization. It behooves us to think long and hard as to how we might want to chip away at that pillar.

                1. Oh, good– we’re on the same side, then, mind the prickles please. 😀

                  I get really tired of folks going in the direction of destroying all the implicit contracts, as if “well, I didn’t formally agree this time to pay for the meal when I walked in, ordered and ate it” was a reasonable stance!

    2. I would argue that the draft is immoral. But I would also argue that in a true emergency, the state has a right to do certain immoral things to preserve itself.

      Of course the problem is that many things that are ok and reasonable in emergencies get abuse in non-emergencies.

      1. I agree, but we’re left with Master and Commander’s “lesser of two weevils”, are we not? If we do not use the lesser evil of the draft, we then allow some less free country to take over a leadership position in the world, putting many more people under much more duress.

          1. Many of our ancestors would not have been able to come to America without selling their indentures, which subjected them to involuntary servitude. Willingly submitting to a period of involuntary servitude, or being compelled into it (i.e. draft) as a duty of citizenship, is different from being captured and made a slave by force. A case can be made that both are evil, but it seems plain that they differ in degree.

            1. Willingly submitting to servitude is not “involuntary servitude”. I don’t think being born in a country automatically concedes consent to duty either. Frankly, I was going to enlist in the Air Force until I became aware of the draft and the compulsory aspects of the selective service laws. Looked like slavery to me! Contract law has been mentioned and is relevant.

        1. War is cruelty and cannot be refined. Attempting to apply normal morality to actions taken in war is folly. We are talking about the state gearing up to kill people in job lots, but involuntary servitude to defend the system they benefited from their entire life is beyond the pale?

      2. It is never ok to do immoral things. This is simply by definition.

        However we have a long tradition of accepting that what is “right” and “wrong” is, if not relative, at least contextual.

        Trespassing is immoral. However trespassing when trying to escape an angry moose is generally not seen as an immoral act.

        A sufficient threat provides an “Affirmative Defense” in these cases.

        The war in Vietnam was not an (immediate) existential threat to the US, and drafting soldiers for it was immoral (same with Korea. My father got caught up in that one). However the Cold War certain was an existential threat (and one could say a threat that did end the US).

        WWI was (probably) not an existential threat to the US, but WWII certainly was.

        1. Evil is the deliberate sacrifice of a greater good to a lesser good. Trespassing for one’s amusement is evil because it sacrifices the other guy’s property rights to your amusement. Escaping an angry moose properly sacrifices his property rights to your life.

        2. The principle of mens rea also enters into it. An immoral act committed without immoral intent might not be immoral. Questions are often much clearer in hindsight than they were going in.

            1. Wouldn’t willful ignorance indicate that you knew solidly enough that it was wrong to avoid finding out it was absolutely wrong– so you were sure enough to take specific action which only made sense if you were right and it was wrong?

              1. No, you can also do less than a reasonably prudent effort to find out, you can just not bother to check because you’re lazy — and yes, you suspect but don’t want to clear things up.

        3. In 2000, I was in Churchill Manitoba as a Polar Bear tourist. The city/province requires all residents to leave their doors and cars unlocked during the bear migration. Now, the thought of crime doesn’t enter into the equation when you realize the only two ways to leave Churchill are by plane or by train (and possibly a tramp steamer loaded with corn).
          I believe the community considers the public good of all the tourist dollars to outweigh the personal loss by trespass.

        4. Ah, but if you consider that VN was the “hot” part of the Cold War… And I do, having been one of the Cold Warriors for some years

    3. While I’m not sure exactly what Mr. Heinlein meant, but there is a certain level of truth to that statement. Military service requires certain things to be learned so early as to be innate – duty, honor, courage, service, loyalty. In one of his articles, LTC Kratman stated that these are things that a soldier has to come with, they can be reinforced, emphasized, and developed; but they cannot be taught or developed in someone that completely lacks them. So, if your society, your state has become so decadent, so self-centered that these things are not taught at the mother’s breast, then you will not have the volunteers to fill a military. If you, if your state, has lost so much of its soul, does it deserve to survive? In that sense, yes, Mr. Heinlein was right. I’d go further and say that such a state will not long survive – whether you believe it deserves to or not.

      1. Such a state may indeed not deserve to survive, while at the same time being better than all the alternatives. What then is the moral course?

        1. The question is whether a state that has lost its “soul” deserves to continue to exist, not whether one state is more deserving of survival than another state.

          The moral course does not change for the moral citizen – whether the state deserves to survive or whether it is better than all of the existing alternatives. The moral course is to fight to return that state to the foundational beliefs that once made it strong and worthy of survival – assuming that it once had those.

          I think you are making a mistake in not separating the individual acting as an “individual” from the individual acting as an “agent of the state” carrying out the will of the state. As an agent of the state there is only legal and illegal, morality doesn’t enter into it. A game warden may hold the opinion that it is wrong to arrest a poacher who is poaching because his family truly does not have any money for food (I know of several that have turned blind eyes to exactly this, btw), but it is still the law and the law must be defended from ALL who would break it. We don’t have to like it, we just have to obey it. For the individual, morality is THE question – do you fulfill your moral obligation to obey the law or do you fulfill your moral obligation to make sure your children have enough to eat to survive?

            1. But I want to go to camp. Camp was fun. Working for a living isn’t so much.

              1. Then there appears to be an issue where you and Hillary agree. She thinks many of us would benefit from attending camp, too.

                1. I’m doubting her idea of a camp and mine are quite the same. Let alone our definitions of fun.

          1. I’m afraid I have to apply the second part of your argument to the first. If a state is no longer as good as it once was, but still provides a better environment for my descendants to grow up in than what would be in place if that state were allowed to fall, am I not morally obligated to do all in my power to see that the state does not fall? I’m reminded of Ensign Flannery, fighting the fall of the Empire, and the coming dark times.

          2. No, you have it backwards. The question is whether a state that has lost its soul deserves to die. (If so, there are a lot, a LOT, of states that want killin’.

            A living state can always recover its “soul” — if a bit shopworn — as has been proven several times in America’s past. See: Coolidge, Reagan for examples.

    4. Because of the nature of our force structure it is highly unlikely that we would EVER return to conscription (indeed, to do so would be tacit acknowledgement of a collapse in military doctrine.) We don’t have much trouble with our current all volunteer forces that couldn’t be resolved by increasing our budget (stop driving experienced enlisted, nco’s and officers out as cost-cutting measure) and shooting half the general officers, with a premium on those whose careers have been long in the Pentagon.

      Efforts (threats) to restore conscription are efforts to undermine our military by saddling it with malcontents and encouraging the general populace to oppose deployments. Why else would those like Charlie Rangel have pushed it?

      1. On the other hand, depending on our opposition, we in the US might one day find ourselves in a situation in which conscription becomes required. The sheer manpower required to face some opponents (say, a war with China) means that a volunteer army likely will not pull in enough volunteers no matter the inducements offered.

        1. One notes that in World War II, you could not volunteer. The Army complained that they were not getting enough of the smart men, and it became mandatory to wait for your draft notice.

          1. I’m not so sure about that. I have plenty of family members who volunteered then. One told me the line at the recruiting offices were very long in the weeks after Pearl Harbor.

            1. See Audie Murphy. IIRC, he lied, tried to enlist at 16 and was finally accepted 10 days after his 17th birthday.

          1. Yeah…

            Wasn’t it Rumsfeld who thought the same thing? You need boots on the ground regardless of anything else.

            1. Depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re looking to eventually build an ally or claim resources, then you need troop on the ground. If all you’re looking for it to eliminate a threat, nukes are all you need.

                1. Bush’s biggest foreign policy failure was in not eliminating the Iranian threat once Baghdad fell and our flank was clear.

                  1. The problem is that to pursue that policy he would have had to clear up the Disloyal Opposition and the Fifth Column here first,

                    1. Why, what would they have done? Demonize him? Call him an idiot war-monger?

                      Hindsight is 20/20. The good news is that the next conservative President won’t be under the illusion that the Left can be swayed. He’ll take their opposition as a given and do what needs to be done.

                    2. Cut off funding, for starters. Between the Democrats and the RINOs, impeachment was a real possibility. Heck, the reason the TSA was made a Federal agency was that the Democrats threatened to deny funding for various defense bills. Google up “To Professionalize you must Federalize” and look at the Democrats spouting that.

        2. Technology has changed the nature of much of the weaponry we now employ. The time it takes to train people makes it much harder to use conscription to fill the ranks. Or at least, so I have heard it argued.

      2. This is on target about current administration efforts to screw the military up.

    5. The problem being that an all volunteer army is an unholy mess, as oir experience in the early stages of the (un) Civil War demonstrated.

      1. The issues in the Late Unpleasantness was more due to the experience level than the volunteer level. Conscript or volunteer, it takes time to turn a civilian into a soldier. Far more time than boot camp entails. Once the units had sufficient experience – both combat and non-combat – their effectiveness improved dramatically.

  10. The fifth amendment US constitution implicitly protects the right of the state to compel you to sell your property *to the US government*:

    > nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    This phrasing implies that private property *can* be taken for public use with just compensation – whether you’re a willing seller or not.

    1. Government condemnation of private property under eminent domain certainly crossed the line with it is used to aid the development of privately owned shopping centers.

      1. Since when did seizing and then reselling land to allow construction of malls and hotels become a “public use?” WTF was the Supreme Court smoking, and why is it legal?

        1. “WTF was the Supreme Court smoking,”

          Power, the headiest drug of all.

          “and why is it legal?”

          The Supreme Court says so.

          1. One of the great bits of black comedy regarding property laws is that the property at the heart of Kelso, which was the case in which the US Supreme Court effectively said, “Yes, the local government can seize your property pretty much just because,” was never actually used for anything.

            1. Right. The R&D center for Pfizer was in New London, and they wanted a nearby hotel for visiting researchers, corporate bigwigs, etc. along with nice shops and restaurants to help attract/retain the regular employees. By the time the case was over and preliminary work was underway on the project, though, Pfizer had merged with somebody else and was shutting down the R&D center, so the demand for hotel rooms and all the retail that went with hit dropped drastically. The reduced demand meant the developer found little financing was forthcoming for the project.

        2. In the early half of the nineteenth century, it was a common thing for states to seize land and then turn the land over to private turnpike and railroad companies.

          How is seizing land and then turning the land over to private mall and hotel companies different?

          Is there something about being a railroad or a turnpike, open to the public, which is inherently more “public use” than being a hotel which is open to the public?

          1. Roads, railroads, and the like are built for the purpose of the improvement of the ease of movement of people and/or cargo for the benefit of everyone. Taking the land to allow a developer to build a hotel is only profiting the business owner.

            1. As I recall the argument used was that by seizing property for private development the local government benefitted from higher tax revenues. In other words the greedy selfish bastards would take your property so as to generate more tax revenue for them to spend to buy votes to stay in office and avoid having to actually work for a living. Truly compelling logic there ain’t it though?

              1. Or rather, they had a study that showed they would earn more revenues. . . often they decrease it.

                  1. Yes! That’s the case I was trying to remember. And I’d bet a shiny new dime that none of those responsible were ever held to account for all the damage they caused.

                1. And thus we get that perversion of the free market we call crony capitalism. Successful businesses with deep pockets “buy” political influence so as to crush competition and protect their advantage.

                2. In order to build that pipeline, you have to purchase the right to lay the line under ground from every property owner whose property is traversed.

                  Would it be obstruction for a politician to decline to use the power of the state to force a property owner to sell you that right?

                3. This example is not one of the actions of the government, but the actions of private entities in trying to sway the actions of the government, thus the question really does not apply to the issue of eminent domain.

                  OTOH, since the politicians should be evaluating things on the basis of whether they improve the “general welfare”, then TAKING payments to torpedo something in the public’s interest is unjustified.

              1. Really, as far as being “good or bad”, that’s a whole other debate. One could say that it’s not proper for a government to take people’s property in order to do something to promote the public interest, but it was written into the founding document for the country, and if one wants to change it, then they should start campaigning for an Amendment.

                The question here is whether taking private property is justified when the plan is to give it to a private entity, and based on what the intention was when it was included in the Constitution, it is NOT. So this example would be not justified.

                1. Justified or not, and I personally think the whole argument is an abomination, it was used in support of seizing a private home through eminent domain to permit a developer to build a shopping center a few years back. Don’t recall the details, but in the aftermath I do remember the state passing legislation to ensure it could not be done again.

                  1. The roots for such abuses were established in the hubris known as “Urban Redevelopment” although many “beneficiaries” of the TVA might claim “Rural Development” as the bastard’s father. The Court decided correctly (much as it angers me) because the corrective for this abuse of power should not be the government but the ballot box.

                2. The big problem is that whatever powers the government has, they have ’em for good and for ill.

                3. > The question here is whether taking private property is justified when the plan is to give it to a private entity, and based on what the intention was when it was included in the Constitution, it is NOT

                  I think that in order to support that statement you need to demonstrate (a) that the use of eminent domain to endow *privately owned* turnpikes was not intended by the framers, or (b) that endowing privately owned turnpikes with land taken via eminent domain is NOT giving that land to a private entity.

                  I think (b) is a contradiction in terms, and I think (a) is hard to maintain given evidence of such behavior in the first generation after the adoption of the Constitution. [Not impossible, as I think most people would say the Sedition Act is inconsistent with the intent of the first amendment – but it’s *difficult*.]

            2. Hotels profit the public, though, because they provide people who are coming in and out of town with a place to stay – and the presence of those people is a benefit to the businesses they do business with. It’s a difference in *degree* from the railroad, but I don’t think it’s a difference in kind.

          2. Sort of. The right of condemnation conveyed by the charter of a turnpike railroad, or canal company was a sort of borrowing of the state’s power of eminent domain to what was a generally accepted public use: transportation. The companies granted such charter in turn legally obligated to provide services to the public. This power also came from the individual states, either directly from the legislature or as a power delegated to, for instance, the state’s Secretary of State. The property involved didn’t go from private owner to state to another private owner.

            In the modern problematic examples, where private property is being seized by a city and then sold to private developers to construct malls and hotels, it is all about raising revenue or pleasing a special interest. Building a road, or school, or expanding a hospital are perfectly acceptable, IMHO.

            Other cases are less clear cut. A local university got the city to condemn as “urban blight” a few adjacent blocks of (mostly) thriving independent businesses, a small number of locally-owned franchises of fast food chains, and some residences. After demolition, the property remained empty for several years. What went up were not classrooms or dormitories, but a sprawling combined retail and apartment complex. A tiny fraction of the space was occupied by university conference rooms. The local independent restaurants and shops were largely replaced by pricier national chain places, many not even locally owned. Is there a greater variety? Yes, but it has come at financial cost to the local customers (higher prices), a loss of local character, and a reduction in the number of independent local business owners. Many who’d owned shops and restaurants before couldn’t afford the higher rents.

            1. I haven’t reviewed the material in a while, but IIRC there was accumulating a compelling body of evidence that state licensed operations of canals and the like were far less profitable/efficient than independent entrepreneurial operations.

              So long ago I can’t recall the sourcing, although the name Burt Folsom comes to mind. Look into works about The Myth of the Robber Barons if the topic interests.

              1. With the exception of (IIRC) the Erie Canal, most of the canals were direct money losers for the states that built them. In a few cases, the increase in economic activity may have been of sufficient benefit that it was worth it. However, most of the other canals were started after the success of the Erie (opened 1826), and were either completed about the time the early American railroads entered the scene, or built through territory that could not provide enough business to support the canal, even with the added growth potential the canal offered.

                Perhaps the strangest (and most costly) example was the complex of canals, horse-drawn railroads, and steam-driven inclined railroads Pennsylvania built, known as the Main Line of Public Works. Built to keep Philadelphia and Pennsylvania competitive to Manhattan and New York, it was a vastly more costly undertaking as it had to cross the Alleghenies along the way. Freight and passengers had to transfer between rail and canal boat at least once on any long distance trek, but the inclined railways carried the entire canal boat across the worst of the mountain slopes. It was also completed so late that the new steam railroads soon began to compete, and the state started losing money even faster. Finally, the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased much of it for the useful rail portions and the ability to reuse some of the canal rights-of-way for rail purposes, and began to turn on a profit.

                Most of the early state or city owned railroads were sold off to private interests who were eventually able to turn a profit. Under government ownership, they were often money-losing propositions.

                1. There is a rich history of State built or encouraged networks of many kinds that were so-so profitable, but appear to have had large economic benefits. Canals, roads, railways, rural electrification, and the Internet spring to mind. It seems to me that there is room for a mumber of PhD dissertations in history and economics about this.

                  The problem seems to be getting the State to recognize when the window for a certain kind of network is open (or closing). Progressives, for example, seem to be fascinated by passanger rail systems, and the results in the last half century or so have been consistently dissapointing.

            2. So, basically, the solution is similar to the phrase being thrown around for the RFRA– can’t call it to mind right now, but demonstrate a compelling interest for violating the rights, and that there’s no better way to do the same thing.

  11. Let me note: I do not answer Yea or Nay to any of these questions today. I have answers, but that wasn’t my point. My real point was in the last paragraph: whatever your answers, do you apply them consistently, or only when they affect others but not you? Tyrants believe the state can compel OTHERS to do ANYTHING, but what are you willing to let the state compel YOU to do?

    1. None of us want to be compelled to do any thing. To me, at least, the question is where to draw the line between compulsions that are required for a free society to function and things which cannot be allowed. Personally, most of the items on the list are going to wind up at “it depends”. It would be wonderful to live in a world where we could draw sharp lines and say this is always in, and this is always out. We don’t live in that world.

      1. “To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.” Douglas Adams

  12. I only answered “Yes” to two questions, and one is kind of a sophistical thing:

    May the State compel you to sign a loyalty oath? Yes, but only in the sense that to be part of the State at all you have to declare your citizenship thereof. The conditions of membership in the State constitute a requirement of the State, but not a compulsion by the State.

    May the State compel you to give away things you wish to keep? If that thing is a toxic waste dump, a meth lab or a dogfighting pit bull farm — or something similarly dangerous or horrendous — yer darn tootin’ they may. Your right to pile asbestos in your back yard stops where the air my kids’ lungs are breathing begins.

    1. Funny, all our elected leaders take an oath to defend the Constitution, then ignore it.
      Can the State compel you to stop at a red light? My answer is no, I do it for moral reasons.

      1. Can the State compel you to stop at a red light? My answer is no, I do it for moral reasons.

        Practical reasons as well.

        Cars may be ‘safer’ than ever, but that does not mean that people won’t get injured, including you and yours.

        Replacements are expensive and I don’t really like the inconvenience of doing without.

      2. The Constitution was a wildly revolutionary document when signed, and the Founders, bless their black hearts, started weaseling around it before the ink was dry. Probably less because they were bad men than because there was so little experience working within such limits for them to go on.

        Govermment is like fire. It gets oit of control quickly, and is hard as hell to contain, but while living without it is just barely possible, it is likely to be unpleasant.

    2. Define horrendous.

      How does a dog (or rooster or bull or rat or…) fighting arena (formerly a popular “sport”) harm you? Other than the noise and smell, which in rural areas, aren’t an issue.Some find boxing to be at least as horrendous. Should that be banned? How about full contact football? These are men harming each other, not animals. Shall we ban football and boxing arenas? Or are you simply offended by animals tearing at each other – shall we then ban wolves, foxes, bears, lions, weasels, falcons, eagles, sharks, and other predators?

      Asbestos, when not airborne, is harmless. What if my historical asbestos firewall collection is properly coated in layers of shellac (or other preservative) and displayed artistically in my back yard for my own appreciation and the education of those who are interested in such artifacts?

      You are correct that my rights end at your yard. Toxic and unusually noxious materials must be properly stored so as not to cause harm. As such, they are rightfully regulated. Regulation implies inspection and, ultimately, force. Who decides what is toxic? Who has oversight over them? Who monitors the inspectors? Who pays for all that? These are the questions that we should rightfully be asking ourselves and each other each election. And our duly elected officials should actually have some influence over those activities – else what purpose are they? That is the real question we face at this time.

      1. in Kansas, the state flower is the sunflower, it may be grown in a regulated manner (i.e. in a garden, or its like) in Iowa it is classified as a noxish weed. there has been several reported cases, where imports from Iowa have reported gardens of our state flower to county and have them issue tickets to the garden owners. point being made (other then its funny) the morals change. what is right in one area is not in another. what is moral in one time of history (slavery, for most of human history), is not moral now (in this country) this is in response to who decides what is toxic, who monitors the inspectors. who monitors the state? the people, yes, but…
        we monitor by reading/watching the news (the great WE, he public) but the majority of the news org. are controlled by one party, not being independent. we correct the inspectors (the government and its agents) by free elections, but in the very recent past, on this blog T.L.Knight (and others) have reported election fraud. with the inspectors ( using this term loosely) reaping the benefits of a not so free elect. I am advising caution when demanding absolutes in morality, in power invested in the state, in being so sure that you are right, that others will then use that “right” against you.
        this is somewhat disjointed, but I hope my meanings come across. (which I am sure will not stop any of you from making fun of me)

        1. greyratts first observation of life: if you can’t laugh at yourself, everyone else will do it for you.

        2. Noxious weeds aren’t an issue of morality, they’re a prudential matter. A lot of the weeds that are obnoxious enough to have to be fought are garden plants– the Omak area has a plague of baby’s breath.

          (Did you know it smells amazingly similar to rotting meat when you get acres of it?)

          1. A number of plants have blooms whose smell would associate with unpleasantness, but it attracts insects necessary for pollination. Bradford Pear trees are beautiful in bloom — as long as you can’t smell them. They have an odor that will make you certain there is a broken sewer line nearby.

              1. Yes, granted. If you have several Bradfords at peak bloom in your neighborhood pray it will be either warm enough or cold enough to close up the house until it has passed.

  13. Two items missing from this discussion: (1) The concept of what economists call a “public good”: something that can not be provided to a limited group without being provided to others; and (2) the *purpose* of the state (or of government). This is why the answer to some of the questions should be, “it depends”, because the questions can be situationally dependent.
    A well-known example of a “public good” is “protection from enemy attack” in a general sense. It is impossible to, say, provide an anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) system to protect, say, those houses which might choose to pay for one without simultaneously protecting those next door.
    Regarding the purpose of government, the Declaration of Independence posits that it is to secure the rights of the governed to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (the latter most likely meaning the use of property as the owner desires). This preservation of necessity involves preventing one person from depriving another, which immediately brings up State compulsion.
    So . . . “it depends” is, for many of these, a good answer.

    1. Commie mutant traitor scum! You are thinking thoughts above your infrared (black shirt) clearance! Report to the nearest termination chamber immediately!

      1. Report to the nearest termination chamber immediately!

        Whew… I was afraid you were going to make me report to R&D to check out some new equipment…

        Stay Alert!
        Trust No One!
        Keep Your Laser Handy!

    2. No, the computer is an enemy with whom I have a temporary truce to allow me to attack a third (and mutual) enemy: lack of income.

  14. Compel you to work for free… first day of jury duty. Later days get nominal pay.

    Sell a home/ things you wish to keep… if that’s the only way to pay debts?

    1. It’s not really “for free”, it’s part of the payment for having a legal system that uses a “jury of your peers”.

        1. If I may…
          Now this notice had a date
          On which I was to be wed
          To have such duty on that day
          The thought filled me with dread

      1. “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

        Simone de Beauvoir

  15. For various reasons, I’d like to follow this without stepping in, for the moment.

    So I’m just gonna swap a couple of tired turtles for fresher models.

    Then I’m gonna take those over to the tired turtle terrarium where luscious lettuce and other delicacies await consumption by those who’ve done a job well and thoroughly.

    1. …This was a fun subscription comment.

      (I am also taking this opportunity to snag my own notifications.)

    2. The turtles are only tired because SOMEBODY convinced them that they needed to keep spinning, each in the opposite direction as that above, for stability.

      And you can’t talk turtles out of a notion like spinning.

      1. ‘Twasn’t me. Just because it’s easier to polish ’em while they’re turning…

          1. Nope. Just took advantage of the ongoing rotation.

            Somebody else must’a done the turning. Not me. I’m an innocent. Bet it was sumdude.

      1. Nah, we leave him alone. Too much trouble chasing him about the galaxy, and in the end you’re just gonna get slapped in the snout with a — long snout.

    1. More to the point,
      May the state compel you to do business that you deem morally wrong?

      1. I have a vague recollection of women getting in trouble with the employment office in one of the EU countries when they turned down sex industry jobs.

        1. There was a rumor that it was so. Turns out that for now, prostitute is not considered a reasonable job offer.

          Various brothel owners were annoyed at that. For the publicly professed reason that it stigmatizes them.

          Let’s see how long it lasts.

          1. Actually, the incident I’m thinking of might have involved a strip club.

            It’s been long enough that I can’t remember any of the details, though.


              No cutting of benefits has thus far happened, but the actual wording of the laws make it possible for a brothel to sue a jobs office that does not penalize applicants who turn down offers of employment from the brothel.

              Interestingly, snopes lists this as false/only hypothetical… but their reasoning is that no brothel has yet brought a suit for it, not that the lady didn’t get a letter or that the law doesn’t say what is claimed.

      2. You mean, like requiring a Catholic pharmacist to fill a prescription for abortifacients?

        I guess if you’re a devout Catholic you should have taken that into account before applying for your pharmacist license.

        Same logic applies when they license suicide pills in a few years. Oddly, we are already facing the absurdity of activist groups demanding certain drugs be taken off the market for state mandated executions but be available (often subsidized through insurance) for those wishing to commit suicide.

        1. Wesley Smith, writing in National Review Online’s Human Exceptionalism blog, notes this report in the Vancouver Sun:
          “Now that the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed Criminal Code provisions against physicians who help terminally ill patients [Me: NOT LIMITED TO THE TERMINALLY ILL] in intractable pain [Me: DOES NOT REQUIRE INTRACTABLE PAIN] end their lives, doctors must get up to speed on the drug cocktails and methods for hastening death, not to mention the ethical issues and processes, [Dignity in Dying’s Derryck] Smith said.

          In its unanimous ruling in February, the Supreme Court gave Parliament a year to introduce a new law that heeds the right of consenting adults with a “grievous and irremediable” illness to seek physician aid to end their lives. Dr. Dave Snadden, executive dean (education) at the University of B.C. medical school, said the curriculum is already in a process of “renewal” and once the federal government announces the legal framework and processes to be followed, medical educators will have a clearer picture of what students and medical residents need to know about physician-assisted death.

          “The curriculum is always a dynamic thing that must respond to changes in knowledge, medical science, laws and ethics. There’s a lot more to learn about than just setting up the drip,” he said, referring to intravenous drugs to hasten death.

          Read more at:

        2. No, I mean like the case where a person came into a bakery owned by homosexuals and ordered a cake with an antihomosexual slogan on it.

          1. Piffle. We all well know that all citizen subsets are equal, it’s just that some are more equal than others. Because of historically mumble-mumble discrimination or some such.

          2. Back when I was younger, my roommate and I ordered a cake from the local bakery (he was dating one of the ladies that worked there, we had a lot of cakes baked until they got married). There instructions were “I want Bugs Bunny, whatever else you do is fine.” When we picked up the cake, it had both Bugs and Daffy Duck. They were engaged in oral sex. Hopefully, no homosexuals were offended. The decorator was very talented.

    2. Apparently in Oregon, they can not require you to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding; however, they can fine you $150K for not complying.
      More incredible is the recent pizza parlor in Indiana which has closed up for death-threats because a reporter ‘asked’ if they would.

      1. My immediate thought was why on God’s green earth would anyone wish to have someone who did not like them prepare food for them. Wouldn’t have to be malicious or life threatening, just nasty tasting.

          1. Sadly, yes.

            I fully expect a politician to have their career torpedoed in the near future for having turned down an invitation to a homosexual wedding, or not denouncing a relative who did.

        1. Because opposition of any strength to their wishes must be stomped out right now and really bad examples made of those opposed so nobody else will want to even THINK about what might bring such a s***storm upon them. (Copyright, Fascism ‘R’ Us.)

        2. That was my thought about the wedding cake.

          For the pizza parlor, my immediate thought was “do pizzerias cater a lot of weddings in Indiana?”

          1. I thought the same thing. Perhaps for the rehearsal dinner, if they are an upscale other Italian dishes type. When I lived in Kentucky, the secretary had been divorced and married 4 times. All to the same man. Perhaps when they got re-hitched the 5th time the pizzeria would be appropriate.

          2. It is my understanding based on a piece on Fox News tonight that no one ever even attempted to hire the pizza place for a wedding or anything else. Some reporter posed a hypothetical question to the owners as to whether they would be comfortable doing so. Their answer was that anyone was welcome to patronize their restaurant, but because of their religious convictions they would rather not be directly involved in a ceremony they did not believe in.
            So, they’ve gotten death threats and had to shut the store down based on a what if hypothetical from some A-hole reporter. Land of the free, home of the brave, once upon a time anyway.

              1. I was thinking something roughly similar…
                but this morning, I woke up to the news about college kids shot for not lying when asked “are you a Christian?” by murderous thugs. I don’t know what the break down is going to be, but I heard that they headed straight for the women’s accommodations, and I know that when I heard they’d accounted for all of the students– I was darkly relieved, because at least the dead aren’t being put through what some of those who weren’t killed immediately in that mall attack went through.

                Yeah, the pizza folks probably realized they were being set up, if not how far the psychosis would go.
                Kind of like how Peter, before the cock had crowed, realized that he was being lined up for being brutalized.

                Timely. Not for Easter, but for Holy Week.

                1. Garissa University. In Kenya, one of the homes of radical terrorists (in this case Al-Shabaab) on the march.

                  1. *sickly smile*


                    “The Youth.”

                    I’m not going to make it easier for the young-at-head to target me, but I’m not risking being shot in the head. Or worse.

              2. I think a better response would be to assert that “whatever our president wants of us we must do because he is our president and we worship him.”

                Done in best beauty contestant “whirled peas” manner.

                I view this as feeding false information to the enemy.

          1. I had a co-worker, that tended to be a little more hostile than he realized. One of those days, he was painstakingly ordering his lunch. I told the waitress, Just go ahead and spit in his salad, you will thank yourself later.

            1. …Just go ahead and spit in his…

              That reminds me of an episode of Wings. I belive it involved a milk shake.

          2. one of my many rules for life. never anger the waiter/waitress, at some point they will be alone with your food.

            1. My Lady and I have a habit that serves us well; when we get good service, we ask to speak to the manager and say so. If we aren’t going to be in that restaurant again, that gives the waitress a nice lift, which is always to the good. But if we ARE going back, oh BOY do we get remembered!

              It takes less energy than causing a scene about BAD service, it makes US feel good, and it means that the one or two times we have had to (later) complain about something where we are known the problem gets taken care of with a speed and thoroughness that is astonishing.

        1. Right now? The kind where Christians are seen as safe targets.
          On the other hand, you never see stories about Muslim bakers driven into hiding, no matter who they refuse to serve.

          As Instapundit says: Be careful what incentives you set up:

          Presumably they’re afraid that the Islamists will kill them if they do that. One hopes that religious Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc., won’t take the obvious lesson regarding incentives . . . .

          For the future? I’d rather live in a nation that believes in freedom of association because it’s right. I suspect that Professor Reynolds is closer.

            1. I worry that the US may reach the point where Christians (and Conservatives) may feel that they have to react in self-defense.

              1. There are already isolated cases where the attacks ratchetted up– starting with words, going to insults, then to violence. Two examples off the top of my head, the attempted shooting of the traditional marriage supporter headquarters (with chick-fil-a sandwiches bought specifically to rub in the faces of the dying— stopped because the first target was a lot tougher than expected) and a really poorly made maltov cocktail thrown at a pro-life group praying outside an abortuary. (one guy got a photo of the back end of the car; it was a bottle of gunkout type fuel improver)

                It doesn’t even make the news over here in Seattle when opponents of homosexual anything get attacked. Heck, I was startled to find out that net-famous SOB who had the great bravery to be horrifically nasty to a young lady working at a drive through hasn’t been hired by somebody, in spite of the utter lack of sense shown in posting the video.

      2. “With the help of The Blaze host Dana Loesch, a GoFundMe campaign to support Memories Pizza has raised more than $200,000 in less than 24 hours. Yesterday, after telling a local reporter that they would not be willing to cater a same-sex wedding, the O’Connors of Walkerton, Ind., received death threats and threats to their business — leading them to shut down indefinitely. Kevin O’Connor, who owns the small-town pizza parlor, says he is not sure when he will be able to reopen.”

        Emphasis added.

        1. Guess folks really don’t like bullies.

          Or there’s more support for freedom among the tech-savvy than some folks think.

        1. Sib and Sib-in-law had their rehearsal dinner at an Italian place, but even their buddies are/were a little too adult to want pizza at a wedding reception. OK, most of them were.

          1. Pizza is the perfect symbolic dish for celebrating a wedding. The crust symbolizes the leavening effect of love, the sauce represents the merging of blood into a single family, the mozzarella is for the hot gooey love and the pepperoni is … um, something that eludes memory.

  16. Of course it depends; the problem is that it’s not possible to have a reasonable conversation with someone who wants to change the definition of “tyrant” to mean “anyone who thinks the state can compel.”

    Little things like what is the recourse, are you forced to participate and is the force in keeping with how the state was formed, much less questions of God-given rights get ignored.

    Maybe you can’t imagine making a rule you don’t want to follow, simply because it’s a good idea, a needful thing.
    Not. My. Problem.
    Although it does make it clear that attempting to convey the concept is unlikely to be effective.

  17. While the government can compel squat it cannot compel defecation. There are limits to the power of even the greatest tyrannies, which is why they so often tend to be full of >ahem<.

    I first learned of this song from Stalinist tool, Folksinger Pete Seeger; this is an irony I find on a par with its original language, in which it was sung insufficiently often eight decades ago … if you know it not nor sprechen sie Deutsche, Bing it, Google it or ask for a translation.

    🙂 I LOVE this version, and i don't generally care for metal. I wonder whether the watermelon slam dunk is symbolic.

    1. Die Gedanken sind frei
      My thoughts are free
      By my understanding it was sung by the prisoners in the Nazi death camps to tick off their German captors.
      On a par with a similar pithy saying:
      Arbeit Macht Frei
      work brings freedom
      Which was a sign above the entrance to Auschwitz

      1. Interesting. I always associate the song with the 1848 “Revolution” and the Burschenschaften (student clubs). I heard it on a Pete Seeger tape, then from a relative who recalled the tune but not all the words (that, or the version he’d learned was too pungent for my 10 year old ears, even in German/Yiddish/Louisiana French).

  18. Moved down for space from here.

    Joe Wooten brings up a point – a feeling I have about a lot of policy issues, not just “healthcare”; if the situation is so godsdamned broken that A solution might be a huge (as in so bug nobody’s read it) piece of legislation, why don’t we start off by totally REPEALING the last several layers of legislation that clearly didn’t work. Clear the decks, take a look around, and see how things settle?

    There’s several reasons– frequently, more than one applies. I’ll try to make a list.

    Prior solutions were a start, but not good enough.
    It’s too urgent.
    Removing the prior fixes would be too complicated.
    They don’t recognize that there were prior “fixes,” they’re just upset about THIS specific thing.
    Don’t want to spend the political capital with no ROI.
    It would take too long to get results to point at.

    1. I admit, the notion would have to be sold, but so do the train wrecks we are dealing with now. There must be a way to make a dedicated public servant see that he could collect graft enough to live like a king while working diligently to repeal every failed Federal regulation and die of old age before he ran out of work.

      1. Like the origin of Marvel Comics’ No-Prize. $10 to $1000 for every useless, out-of-date, contradictory, now-dangerous, or flat-out-useless regulation located, shown to be one of the above, and also demonstrated not to cause danger to national security by removing it, and repealed.

        1. Award 0.15% of the annual budget savings over a ten year period.

          Current admitted excess payments were 125 Billion. 0.15% of that is $187.5 million.

        2. Pass legislation that allows any citizen to challenge any law, regulation, or government department before Congress. If Congress is not willing to publicly vote to approve the challenged section, the citizen gets whatever budget was dedicated to it for a one year period, AND it cannot be revived for five years.

          A) The challenge process should slow down regulatory creep even if Comgress is willing to support everything.

          B) If Congress IS’T willing to support everything, it gets rolled back.

          C) If there are enough challenges that Congress feels it must hear, Congress is kept busy, always a plus.

          D) The Statists will collectively have a cow, breach presentation, on National TV.

          Oh, well, we can dream…….

          1. per RAH, establish a third house of Congress dedicated to repealing legislation.

            Perhaps, in time, participation in that House would become a qualification for the other houses.

  19. Well, I would answer yes to precisely one of those, depending on the specifics. “May the state compel you to abstain from drugs?” Well, which drugs? Because there may be some drugs that, if taken, make the user an immediate danger to those around him. For example, if there is a hallucinogen that tends to induce a fight-or-flight response, in many cases that would make the user randomly attack innocent people. Since I hold that the state may, and indeed should, compel people NOT to randomly open fire into a crowd, I would also hold that it should compel people to abstain from any drug such as I described.

    Or take another example. If you consume enough alcohol that operating a vehicle would be dangerous to those around you, I believe the state not only may, but should, compel you to wait until you sober up before driving a car. Once you’ve sobered up and driving would no longer represent a threat to other people’s lives, then you may drive again. This could certainly be abused (setting the BAC limit far lower than actually needed, as I believe many states do), but in principle, the state may and should prevent people from actively putting other people’s lives at severe risk.

    1. Robin this is what Self-Defense is for.

      If someone actually becomes a danger to you then defend yourself if not then there is not a problem.

      1. so if a shooter climbs up into a tower to open fire, the police can’t stop him — even after he opens fire — only those he’s firing upon? What if it’s firing on preschoolers? Still their duty to take him down because after all, for anyone else it would not be self defense?

        1. Mary,

          The shooter is causing harm so not sure what the objection is.

          Would you have the government compel people to not clime to the top of towers at all, because some might go on a shooting spree?

          You get a speeding ticket for harm you might have caused, not any actual harm.

          It’s a pastime of ours in the US of trying to get the government to compel our neighbors to do what we feel is right.

          1. Josh,
            RE-read the discussion from the start of the thread. Mary was responding to your assertion that you only get to act when “someone actually becomes a danger to you” by pointing out that under your standard (as expressed) those not being targeted had no right of action.

            Putting it another way, if the tower shooter is only targeting some particular group, such as white males, then females and non-white males have no business acting to deter such behaviour. After all, they’re not in danger so they cannot claim self-defense.

        1. CACS,


          People can ban and work together.

          Let’s stop people or punish people for harm that is actually caused not some harm that could happen or might never happen.

          It’s delusional to think we can prevent bad things from happening. The best is that we can become resilient or even antifragile.

          I can’t read minds or see the future.

          If you drive your car at 100 miles an hour should you be prosecuted for murder?

          1. So, you cruise through at 100 mph and the guy ahead of you swerves to get out of your way, loses control and hits an oncoming vehicle, nothing to do with you, right?

            Traffic laws, as mentioned elsewhere hereabouts, are legitimate as requirements for using publicly built and maintained roads. Build your own roads on your own property and nobody here will care how fast you drive on them.

            1. RES,

              If you have evidence that my actions caused harm then prosecute me, if not you are just working on what might or could have beens.

              You want to compel people to be a safe while driving by passing laws and regulations. Because I guess we are to stupid to figure out what is and is not on our best interest without the government there to tell us and compel If people can’t determine for themselves that being proactive in driving cautiously and with forethought is in their best interest then then just passing a law or regulation isn’t going to change this. They can and often will just ignore these inconveniences.

              This leaves two choices.

              Not drive or not give people a false sense of safety by telling them driving within limiting factors is safe driving.

              Driving the Speed limit doesn’t make you a safe driver. Nothing makes driving safe. Safer maybe.




              This believe that we can “Nudge” people into making better or the “Proper” choices is one of those little conceits that lead to great tyrannies.

              If you (the general you out there reading this.) feel more qualified to make life choices for others than they themselves, then you are part of the problem as I see it.

              Stop lying to yourselves. Stop telling yourself that you are for freedom and liberty; when what you are really are for is freedom and liberty as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you or threaten your safety.

              Because we can always find an excuse to us government compel our neighbors into doing what we feel is the right thing.

              1. [Edited]


                If you have evidence that my actions caused harm then prosecute me, if not you are just working on what might or could have beens.

                You want to compel people to be a safe while driving by passing laws and regulations, because I guess we are to stupid to figure out what is and is not on our best interest without the government there to tell us and compel us. If people can’t determine for themselves that being proactive in driving cautiously and with forethought is in their best interest then then just passing a law or regulation isn’t going to change this. They can and often will just ignore these inconveniences.

                This leaves two choices.

                Not drive or not give people a false sense of safety by telling them driving within limiting factors is safe driving.

                Driving the Speed limit doesn’t make you a safe driver. Nothing makes driving safe. Safer maybe.




                This belief that we can “Nudge” people into making better or the “proper” choices is one of those little conceits that lead to great tyrannies.

                If you (the general you out there reading this.) feel more qualified to make life choices for others than they themselves, then you are part of the problem as I see it.

                Stop lying to yourselves. Stop telling yourself that you are for freedom and liberty; when what you are really are for is freedom and liberty as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you or threaten your safety.

                Because we can always find an excuse to use government to compel our neighbors into doing what we feel is the right thing.

              2. Josh,
                All riders died in the two cars which crashed avoiding you — no other witnesses. Who can sue you?

                But you ignore the main point: driving on the public roads is contingent on abiding by the rules established for their use. Those roads are owned, and not by you personally, therefore your use of them can be restricted.

                Nobody said driving the speed limit would make you safe, nor is that relevant to your use of the property owned by others.

                1. RES,

                  So let me get this straight he the rules of the road or not their to keep us safe?

                  Someone needs to tell this to the Texas DPS.

                  So their are no family or friends that can make a claim? Who said anything about only those involved being able to make a claim on behalf of the injured party?

                  So, can freedom only be entrusted to the responsible, and who gets to decide what that entails and to what standard should one meet before someone is allowed to exercise this dangerous condition of Liberty?

                  I know what we do; wewill pass some laws and make some rules. People will still be careless and die or cause the death of others, but it want be for lack of trying to compel them into doing what we think is best.

                  We can either accept the risks of freedom; one of them being the risk that some might use their freedom to cause harm. If and when some causes harm then you hold them accountable for the actual harm caused.

                  Or we can try to limit peoples freedoms in an attempt to limit the harm they can cause to others and themselves.

                  The circular argument that we must relinquish liberty to the State so it can insure our liberty is one that I find frustrating to counter because it’s not based in logic.

                  It’s comforting not have to take responsibility for our own lives. If something doesn’t go right it’s not really our fault it’s those darn rules and laws and those making up the rules and laws fault not ours. We were just doing what we were told is the right thing to do. We don’t need to use common sense or think for ourselves, because we have rules to tell us what is right.

                  What if the law said it was mandatory to drive 45 in school zones because the sudden slowing down of cars cause rear end accidents. Will this rule change actually make us safer? Who knows? If you run over a kid a 43 your good to go but not 47 not so much.

                  The world is too complex to make broad generalizations about what is or is not the correct response to any given situation. But we sure like to pretend that we can make rules to cover any situation, and then hold people accountable to these preconceived notions.

                  We can error on the side if liberty or safety bet not both.

                  1. So let me get this straight he the rules of the road or not their to keep us safe?

                    Incoherent. Answering the imputed question: the rules of the road are established for a variety of reasons, only one of which is vehicular safety. The rules are, nonetheless, the option of the roads’ owners or their representatives. Are you arguing that the owners of a property have no right to establish rules for its use?

                    So their are no family or friends that can make a claim? Who said anything about only those involved being able to make a claim on behalf of the injured party?

                    ReRead the hypothetical, Josh. As established, in this situation your driving up behind somebody at twice the speed limit resulted in them swerving and hitting an oncoming vehicle, all riders in those two cars died and the only witness is you, assuming you noticed the engulfing fireball in your rear-view mirror. WHO will the relatives be able to sue? No surviving witness. Nothing to identify you as precipitating the accident.

                    Sure, as a responsible member of society you have the option to make a public statement of your connection to the accident and invite relatives to address you for redress. Doesn’t strike me as likely to occur.

                    We can either accept the risks of freedom; one of them being the risk that some might use their freedom to cause harm.

                    We can also exercise our freedom to voluntarily submit to minor infringements on that freedom to help mitigate unanticipated consequences of our action. Just so we establish lower speeds in school zones to ensure alert drivers have greater opportunity to hit the brakes if some child darts into the street to retrieve a passed ball.

                    It does not need to be an absolutist binary black & white paradigm of freedom. Small limitations — such as restricting freedom of speech in theatres — do not materially infringe on our liberty.

                    I find frustrating to counter because it’s not based in logic.

                    It is generally a mistake to decide something is “not based in logic” simply because you do not understand or agree with the logic.

                    As for the remainder of your diatribe, as Dickens’ Mr. Bumble observed: “The law is a ass.” The fact that it is an imperfect solution is inherent in its creation by and for humans. You always have the choice to set yourself above the law and live with the consequences. You can even lobby those responsible for the law’s crafting and enforcement to make changes in the law to make it more “reasonable” in your eyes.

                  2. Correction:

                    If you run over a kid a 4 7 your good to go but not 43 not so much.

                    Sorry had the numbers backwards in my had as common sense tells me going slower is safer for the kids but the law might not see it that way.

            2. Just recently I had someone (on a Catholic blog) claim that there was no moral wrong until they’d caused harm.
              And they got to cause harm, of course; if others were able to act and avoid the deadly threat, so that there were no deaths, there was no wrong done in violating that traffic law.
              No responsibility to avoid causing a hazard, so long as you were surrounded by those who managed to prevent the harm.

              1. Foxfier,

                How much life responsibility is on my shoulders to avoid the dangers of life.

                The rules of the road say pedestrians have right of way in crosswalks. This means that I should be able to just step off the curb as soon as I get the white walk signal, but do you know what I still do? I still look both ways before I step out into the street because I still personally responsible for my own safety. Just because there is a rule is no guaranty of safety.

                What if the rules where the opposite, and cars always had the right of way?

                What if neither party had right of way and all parties where expected to do all they can to avoid accidents?

                A car runs a red light miss everyone and causes no harm.

                A car runs a red light clips the rear end of a car no one is seriously injured.

                A car runs a red light kills a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

                The initial incident is the same but the outcome is different. Passing a law that says do not run red lights does prevent people from running red lights it just allows us to feel justified punishing people for the harm they could have caused.

                1. How much life responsibility is on my shoulders to avoid the dangers of life.

                  That is part of why we have laws, and enforce them– to establish a bare minimum, because it is far too common for people to hold that their desires outweigh the far more dire risk to others.

                  Your objection that it isn’t prefect ignores that it mitigates the issue with your proposition, “trust everyone’s judgement and after they’ve caused serious harm, maybe do something about it.”

                  When someone is playing Russian Roulette, you don’t have a moral or practical responsibility to wait until someone has been “actually” harmed, whatever you choose to accept as harm– since your response indicates that you do not consider requiring others to take on the burden of responsibility for preventing harm from others’ bad judgement to be a cost, only the dire effects after the bad judgement bill comes due.

                  1. Foxfier,

                    I reject the notion that I know what is best for my fellow man at best I can possible know what is in my best interest, but that is because I probable the best qualified to know my own needs and wants.

                    I do not know you Foxfier. I don’t no how Mitch training you have had in driving or the condition of your vehicle or of the roads you normally drive, so I’m not going to pretend to know or tell you what the safe driving spends are for your car. What I can do is try to hold you accountable for your deviation in these matters.

                    In self-defense law there is a concept called reasonable man standard. Would a hypothetical average citizen come to or make the same deviations. Where your actions justified with the available knowledge at the time you acted?

                    What we get is did you follow the letter of the law or not. How many laws get passed and we are left with what the… were they thinking?

                    1. I reject the notion that I know what is best for my fellow man at best I can possible know what is in my best interest, but that is because I probable the best qualified to know my own needs and wants.

                      That philosophy only works if there are no non-Josh-category people around, and is self contradicting because you recognize that others can do you harm.

                      You are imposing limits on what others may do in their best interest, while objecting as a matter of principle to others doing the same simply because you don’t agree about the costs involved.

                      That’s assuming your conclusion.

                    2. Foxfier,

                      Yes, people have agency they have the power to harm me, you are correct I could harm them first, or I could try to do what the government does which is threaten to harm them if they don’t do what I want, but that would make me no better than the government and that’s called tyranny.

                      I’m not rejecting that they can’t not harm me they can, I’m just rejecting that they can do so in the name of safety, security, and liberty and still be moral supporting the same.

                  2. Foxfier,

                    As a matter of law you are not held responsible or obligated to stop someone from harming themselves or others.

                    As a matter of morality I do not find myself morally responsible for your happens or health. That is your personal responsibility; not mine.

                    I would hope you would continue to want to live for yourself, but that a choice for you to make about your life.

                    1. Josh-
                      in each response you have gone off on a different tangent without bothering to engage any actual point made.

                      I am not in the mood for chasing after your philosophical pronouncements when you can’t even be bothered to talk with me, rather than at me.

          2. If you drive your car at 100 miles an hour should you be prosecuted for murder?

            No one here suggested that you should be prosecuted for murder for driving 100 mph.

            But if your driving 100 miles an hour results in someone’s death? Yes. And if it can be reasonably argued that anyone with quarter of a lick of sense sould have anticipated that driving at such a speed in the location would endanger others — Hell yes.

            1. CACS,

              Yah, I took it to the extreme.

              You are only being fined, giving you a ticket, because you could have possible killed someone. You haven’t harmed anyone, but you could have.

          3. People can ban and work together.

            This is what your local government is — and your county and state and federal governments are by extension. And when people band together in this manner they may decided to hire police to enforce their agreed upon regulations.

      2. A suggestion, read back over the posts and notice that we rarely address each other by name. Our comments are put out as part of a general conversation …

        1. CACS,

          Understood but part of my point is that people need to own what they believe.

          1. It comes off as your taking one person aside and having a private arguent with them in a public place.

            1. CACS,

              Understood, but if I have something critical to say about someone’s position or what they have said I feel I should be forthright and upfront about it.

              Hmmm …. I think on it.

              Does anyone else feel the same way?

  20. We feel compelled to have the State compel our neighbors, all in the name of safety and security.

  21. RES,

    “It does not need to be an absolutist binary black & white paradigm of freedom. Small limitations — such as restricting freedom of speech in theatres — do not materially infringe on our liberty.”

    It is not against the law to yell fire in a crowded theater, but we have made it against the law to speed. I can yell fire in a crowed theater, what that ruling doesn’t do us protect me from the consequence of doing so if there is no fire and I cause harm when people are harmed fleeing when there was no needed to do so. Crying fire in the crowed theater is not the problem. It is doing so in a manor that causes harm that is the problem. Speeding is not the problem it is doing so in a manor that causes harm that is the problem. It might even be appropriate to speed loved ones to the hospital.

    Irony. Funny I’m absolutely sure that when it comes to life there are no absolutes so why should we pretend otherwise when it comes to rules and the law. It’s ok to give up are freedoms willingly, but if we choose differently the State can still compel us, so effect really no choice at all. We’ll tell you you have a choice, but you really don’t. The illusion of freedom that is the State.

    People give up freedoms all the time, but if your not given a choice then it’s not voluntarily given up.

    You can give me a million dollars or let me shoot you in the head. Your choice.

    1. Hmmm… This was supposed to be reply to the above.

      Continue the thought about roads.

      The State is holding the roads in trust as part of the commons, and as part of this trust it gets to decide have it is used and the rules for such use. As I asked who gets to decide and by what standard? Elected officials and Studies? Why not just let people choose for themselves and hold them accountable?

      No one will answer the questions, but I’m told that it is right for them to make the rules and that I must follow them as the price for being allow to use the public commons. I could freely give up driving at all , that way no one could ever be hurt by me,. You and the a State are not asking me to be prudent you’re demanding I take a specific action that might or might not be the most appropriate response to a given situation.

      1. Why not just let people choose for themselves and hold them accountable?

        You are at liberty to attempt to persuade those elected officials to try such a standard. Better improve your debating technique. So long as the state can be sued for failure to maintain the roads in a safe condition and establish fair and reasonable rules for its use you will have a heavy burden.

    2. The property owner (or agent thereof) establishes rules for its use. You want to drive on the public road you implicitly agree to do so according to the owners’ conditions.

      Seems simple enough. Why the excessive contortions to avoid that fact? Build a highway in your back yard and drive on it at whatever speed you like so long as the neighbors aren’t materially disturbed. Drive on the public highway and abide by the public rules.

      Funny; you are “absolutely sure that when it comes to life there are no absolutes” yet you insist on absolute freedom.

      1. RES,


        May the State compel you to stop at a check point and to present “Papers Pease?”

        So , you are going to cloak you authoritarian belief that the State has the right to control how it’s citizens move about under property rights.

        You haven’t even attempted to prove how or if the State owns the land, you just made the claim that it has this right to set the rules as owner.

        Who owns the roads?

        Click to access Article18-04WhoOwnsRoads.pdf

        Ok does the government when it is the “owner” have a right to control access or how the roads are used. [The State owning land is another issue that I’m not going to get into right now.]

        So! We have discussed Freedom of Expression and Association now we are on to Freedom of Movement, and what does the Law actually have to say about this:

        Click to access WILHELM.pdf

        RES you seem to be under the mistaken belief that the State can do what ever it wants on this issue.

        So again I’m going to ask, “Instead of trying to compel and control people. Why don’t we, as a society, just realize people are going to do what they do, and hold them accountable for their actions?”

        1. Josh, are you truly incapable of distinguishing between what the state has the right to do and what the state has the power to do? All of your ranting about the rights of the state are moot.

          Josh, you seem to be under the mistaken belief that the State cannot do what ever it wants on this issue. Yet the only restraint on the state is the state itself. It is no more necessary to endorse this fact in order to recognise it than it is necessary to endorse gravity in order to trip and fall.

          1. RES


            We did I ever say the State could not do a thing? Well I did state legal not allowed. You’re not coming over to my side with the realization the a peace of paper is a poor protector of our liberties.

            I was talking should or shouldn’t. Under our supposed constitutionally limited government. I thought the government was supposed to be limited by the will of the people?

            You’re not suggesting “We the People” are not the masters of our government?

            CT passed a law compelling citizens to register their guns and most of them said, “No!”

            So technically RES you are correct the answer to all May the Government questions is “Yes” with a side “you can try” but “We the People” are going to answer with, “No you may not.”

            Still have not answers my question. And there is a simple answer.

            There seems to be an intrinsic part of human nature a need to meddle in the lives of those around us. A good portion of us, the collective we, have a hard enough time taking care ourselves, but g-d forbid if we don’t get a say in what those around us can and can not do in or with their lives.

            Until we can learn to control this impulse in ourselves then we will never truly be free. Though the left imbodies this the right shouldn’t feel all smug.

            1. Josh,
              As you have never answered any of the questions I have raised (except when yo could warp them into a convenient tub to thump) I disdain further discussion. You trollishly want others to “own” their positions but never bother to take ownership of your own.

              1. RES,

                I answer your questions they’re just not the answers you want me to give.

                I own my position maybe to much so for you; as, you have given me no reason to deviate from it.

                1. I answer your questions they’re just not the answers you want me to give.

                  No, you answer the questions you wished I had asked. The ones I actually asked are left unaddressed. Such intellectual dishonesty (or incapacity) devalues any arguments you make.

                  1. RES,

                    Which question or point am I refusing to address again?

                    The point that you feel the government “can” compel us to do what is in “our” best interest in the name of security and safety with a side of this is actually ensuring our freedoms and liberties.

                    Cloaking this as a property rights issue is what I found intellectually dishonest. Going over to your house is one thing. I’m free to choose wether or not to go, but if I want to get to work I’m forced to you the roadway or the commons in some form or other.

                    Trying to compel someone to do something is trying to compel someone to do something. Whether or not you “feel” justified doesn’t change the fact that what you or the government is doing is trying to compel someone to do or not do something.

                    “If you answered Yes to any of these questions, who’s the real target: yourself, or everybody else? Or if you answered It depends, does that mean the state should compel those thoughts and beliefs that you share, but not the ones you don’t?”

                    All I did is ask why not try something different instead. Let’s not have all the different rules and such. Which are one mans or groups opinion on the best way of doing something, but on a principle and understanding that we will hold you accountable for the harm and damage you cause.

                    The choice between a subjective or objective system.

                    Speeding does not harm anyone. It might lead to farm or it might lead to saving someone’s life.

                    Instead of dealing in reality of what is, we try to deal in possibilities in an attempt to control the future. We punish people for not what they have done but what they could have done.

                    Give someone a speeding ticket is no different than punishing a pizza joint for hypothetically not catering a gay wedding.


                    “In either case: you little tyrant, you…”

                    Own it.

                    1. Again at no point did I say you could not act if your life is in jeopardy, but passing a rule or law is not the same as doing so.

                      My point is instead of making rules and trying to compel people to do what we think is right, we hold people accountable for the harm they actually cause.

                      This is the point I was unclear on. You can stop people from harming you if their actions place in imminent danger or jeopardy.

                  2. RES,

                    This question?

                    RE-read the discussion from the start of the thread. Mary was responding to your assertion that you only get to act when “someone actually becomes a danger to you” by pointing out that under your standard (as expressed) those not being targeted had no right of action.

                    Putting it another way, if the tower shooter is only targeting some particular group, such as white males, then females and non-white males have no business acting to deter such behaviour. After all, they’re not in danger so they cannot claim self-defense.”

                    I addressed this.

                    Legally (in most states) you do not have to be personally at risk to come to others defense. You can be a Good Samaritan. And another thing how would you know in the moment you’re not endanger. That is what is know in the Self-Defense community as assumed perfect knowledge. People start getting shot around me I’m going to assume I’m in dander too.

                    This is called jeopardy.

                    Speeding may or may not cause jeopardy and may or may not be justified.

                    Just making a rule that says speeding is bad just dumbs down and assumes that people are to stupid to determine for themselves when speeding is and is not appropriate.

                    The law doesn’t care if you need to get to the hospital fast.

                    1. You should be careful there. Legally, you can have the duty.

                      More to the point, by the standards you are propounding here, you seem to hold that not only should the law not have any such duty, it should not allow such intervention. If only self-defense is permitted, it would be a tort to intervene.

                    2. Mary,

                      I’ve made no such claim. At best I’ve put forth a question on how do we determine what is and is not a duty.

                      You and others have made the claim that the government has a right or duty to be able to make rules in the name of safety or some other undefined reason, and that to remain in good standing and have a duty to follow the rules.

                      Does the government have a duty to protect the citizens even from themselves, and if so where is the line drawn.

                      In the name of this “Duty” what is the government allowed and not allowed to do.


                      You and others have made claims that you want me to take as fact without providing supporting evidence.

  22. Foxfier,

    An other thing every one is a non-Josh-category people there is only one me, and people in general should be thankful for that. If you mean people close to me that I might have a better clue as to what might make them happy, sure that is a possibility, that doesn’t mean I would be in the right to try or moral responsible for doing so.

    At best I will try to support loved ones in finding their own happiness that way they are not tied indebted to me as the provider said happiness.


    Let’s me tray again to make my point.

    The Law should be about having a framework for resolving disputes and holding people accountable for harms caused; not about making rules and ensuring people follow the rules.

    Remember we human beings can rationalize anything.

    1. Who’s going to make us follow that rule? You can rationalize anything, but you can’t persuade us that compensation after the fact is superior to preventing the harm in the first place.

      1. Mary,

        So, you are a witch?

        Able to see the future and know with 100% accuracy that a harm was committed. You can see the unseen a know what second and third tier effects of implementing said laws will be.

        Project Insight?

        Minority Report?

        How many good SciFi stories do we need to write be for we believe this simple truth.

        Captain America Winter Soldier This Isn’t Freedom, This is Fear

        This conceit that we can control or determine what the future will bring leads to bad bad things.

        Black Swan events are Black Swan evens.


        Let’s say you have a test that will determine the likelihood of some committing a serious offense and it is 99.99% accurate.

        Out of 100,000,000 tested, that would lead to 100,000 people with false positives or false negatives with no way of determining which is correct.

        You want to service Black Swan events then become Antifragile, but remember there are no guaranties that you will even then.

        Oh, but that’s just fiction we in the US would never put anyone in camps out of fear.

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