Liberty In A Statist World by Dr. Karma

Liberty In A Statist World
by Dr. Karma

Idealism

Anyone who knows me well would agree that I’m nothing if not an idealist. Idealistic about politics, about medicine, about science, even about my car and guns. But it’s a funny thing about ideals; they never quite have a one-to-one relationship with the real world. The less electronic tomfoolery in a car, the better, I say. Yet the car I drive has one of the more advanced automatic transmissions on the market, and an electronic throttle body (Throttle cable? Kickdown cable? What?). Therapy before pharmacology is my motto, and yet I became a psychiatrist rather than a clinical psychologist, with the primary difference between the two being the ability to dispense street drugs with fancy labels.

But such things are comparatively minor compared to how a liberty-oriented individual is forced to operate in this most statist of all worlds. Just as a surgeon must sometimes remove part of the body to save a life, we may sometimes be forced to advocate legislation where we’d rather none exist whatsoever. Beyond that, we must occasionally push for a direct curtailment of liberty in order to protect that which remains. This situation is best articulated in a quote I’ve seen, roughly paraphrased:

“We’re at an awkward point in American history. It’s too late to work ‘within the system’. But it’s too early to pull out the guns.”

The Problem

The essential problem is that once government has become involved in the regulation and restriction of various aspects of behavior, it is almost impossible to remove government interference from the picture. Furthermore, once involved in a given area, it becomes easier and easier for government to increase its scope and breadth. In other words, free societies will inevitably spiral downward should something occur to upset the balance between individual liberty and government control (as happened after Reconstruction, Roosevelt’s ‘Great Experiment’, Johnson’s ‘Great Society’, and the increasing trend for theocrats and ‘mixed economic model’ advocates to make up the bulk of mainstream political thought).

A complicating factor has to do with people themselves; their attitude toward liberty and government, the superficiality of thought, and the inherent tyranny of democracy. I’ve often thought that many in Europe (as in England, where the backs of their passports bear testimony to this) haven’t yet learned the difference between subject and citizen. Although they participate in democracies, they seem to have an unthinking, unfeeling belief that no matter what one speaks of, ultimately it is government’s responsibility to handle matters. It’s all too reminiscent of the days in which a serf would trade his freedom, his land, and the fruit of his own labor for the knowledge that his feudal lord would protect him. From the speeches of Franklin Delano Roosevelt declaring comfort to be a primary responsibility of government to the political landscape today, where the Democrat platform largely consists of how many ways and how extensively they can interfere with our lives ‘for our own good’. And the Republicans little better with their ever more invasive ‘national security’ programs and insistance on legislating against actions that, though dubious in morality, have little or no effect on others.

In the stark language that I’d use it’s easy enough to see the problem that lies in this mindset. However, it’s all too easy to present it in such a way that it sounds oh so good. Which is exactly what FDR did when he essentially sold us on socialism. A lot of people don’t understand why I vilify the man so much. There is no doubt that the man was between a rock and a hard place during the Depression, there isn’t any doubt that some kind of governmental interference was necessary to bring us out of the doldrums. [According to latest research, no. He prolongued, if not created the depression. We saw a repeat of this with Obama and the Great Recession, so I’m inclined to believe it – SAH] But the way in which he did it was reprehensible. As I was telling Intellect Impure a few nights ago, it reminded me of the way doctors used to function back in the day.

From the first day of medical school onward it’s been beaten into our heads that we do not make decisions for patients; we educate patients about their choices and help them choose their own path. This runs counter to the way it used to be, with the doctor telling you what was to be done, telling you that you needed it, and then doing it. Indeed, letting the patient know what was going on was more a courtesy than part of allowing him to participate in his own health choices. Personally, I’m glad it’s changed.

The doctor used to operate on the principle of unquestioned authority; he simply knew what was best for you whether you agreed or not. Depending on the situation, the patient was all too happy to leave the decision-making and disease management in the doctor’s hands. I imagine being told you have a life-threatening disease can be very daunting indeed, and the ability to leave your health in the hands of someone with more knowledge and skill can be a very comforting thought. There is a problem with this, in that, although the doctor may have your best interest at heart, he’s making the cost/benefit decision for you.

I remember when I had a meningitis scare and mom (a doctor herself) dragged me off to the emergency room at 3 am. The resident on duty handed me some gloopy orange colloid and told me to drink it before mom could stop and ask what it was. After she’d inquired about associated side effects , the resident calmly reported that there was a chance that I could bleed out through my GI tract. Now, if mom had had a chance to get a word in edgewise, she might’ve been able to tell the doctor that when I did get sick (fairly rare), my fevers tended to skyrocket, no matter how minor the infection. She might’ve asked the resident to tell her just how sure she was that I had meningitis before giving me the stuff. Like I said, it’s a good thing that the doctor now dialogues with the patient about treatment.

And this was the problem with FDR’s ‘Great Experiment’. He simply told us ‘Government knows best. We will take care of you. Just put those blinders back on and let us worry about it.’ And so the veritable litany of alphabet agencies was brought into existence from the Works Progress Administration to the Rural Electrification Administration (which still exists, by the way). The way he expanded federal control over our lives was to couch it in the language of a caring authority. He told us of the benefits, he told us that government had a responsibility to take care of us, he used the language of a doting, authoritarian figure to seduce us into serfdom. But he never told us about the costs, he didn’t tell us that because of his transgressions we’d find ourselves wading through the sort of red tape that caused the revolutionaries to take up arms against an oppressive government 150 years before him. And worse, he told us that through government control we would become ‘more free’.

And it is the same sort of language that continues to pervade statist political talk today. “We need to establish this government program for your own good,” they tell us, never asking if the benefit of comfort is worth the cost of freedom. Words are all too pliable, and definitions that were held constant for thousands of years were in the blink of an eye turned on their head in the first half of this century. ‘Freedom’ became a property that required an active role on the part of the government, ‘rights’ could only be produced by taking from the pockets of men the fruit of their hard-earned labor. In short, liberty was transformed into comfort. And so we lost the ability to perceive our freedom taken away bit by bit as government expanded its role in our lives.

It is a central conceit of economic theory that individuals will act in a rational manner. Yet in certain aspects of life, we consistently fail to do so. Beyond the fact that reality is filtered through the imperfect perceptive abilities of the human brain, we are simply too emotional of creatures, too sentimental, too susceptible to romantic ideas. And so, although rationally none could argue that the ‘liberty’ and ‘rights’ that statists speak of represent neither liberty nor rights, such strains of thought will remain and probably continue to expand in popularity. The idea that you can be protected from the slings and arrows of fortune, that someone else can be responsible for your safety, your health, or your well-being, is simply one that will never die. These things are far too precious to us to resist temptation when someone offers promise of them to you on a golden platter.

The Solution

The true ideals of liberty unfortunately stand little chance against the rhetoric of statists and their utopian talk of better living through regulation. We will never be a large part of the population for the simple fact that few are willing to put in the thought and rationality required to wade through the statist nonsense and understand the true meanings beyond the words twisted into shapes like so much modelling clay. Emotions, promises, dreams, though. These are things that all can and do understand. And it is these that most will vote with when it comes time to do so. Unless ever-so-carefully-safeguarded, a liberty-minded state will eventually fall prey to the charismatic powermongers and the very people who make up the republic. Just to get an idea of how difficult this is, remember just what a paranoid, forward-thinking, and all-encompassing document the Constitution really is. Read the strong language, the simple statements, see the truth laid bare for all to see. And think back to the speeches of Bush, of Kennedy, of Santorum, of Boxer or of McCain. Think of how easily they make a sham of the founding document.

No, the regrettable truth is that our ideals, though noble, cannot win against the statist once they have established so strong a beachhead that we find ourselves cowering against our inland borders, cowering as we await the killing blow. But that is not to say we are doomed to failure, or that the time has come to ready those ‘assault weapons’ so deplored by the mainstream left in order to start a revolution. It is simply that in order to win, we must sully our ideals, we must turn to the statists’ own tools in order to prevent further transgressions, and, if we’re lucky, regain a little ground.

The two tools at our disposal are the strength of the federal legislative bodies and the ability to compromise one ideal in order to protect another. Earlier I brought up a medical analogy and I’ll return to different ones here. The first concept can be characterized as ‘Cutting to Cure’ while the second is plainly and simply ‘Triage’.

Cutting To Cure – Reading the constitution, bill of rights, and historical documents of the birth of our nation yields no compelling reason why the second amendment doesn’t apply to handguns, ‘assault weapons’, or to the carrying of said weapons upon one’s person, concealed or otherwise. Furthermore, one cannot find a reason why a man must be prevented from using said implements in the defense of his person and property. Indeed, the definition of ‘to bear’ means literally to carry on one’s person. And for what purpose is a man to bear a weapon if not for the potential of its use. Yet here we sit with ‘assault weapons bans’ in several states, handgun bans in many cities, and even outright bans of all firearms in one or two localities, not to mention restrictions on when and where a man may defend himself. Here, federal legislation, despite being a non-libertarian tool, has been instrumental in at least partially returning to us a right enshrined in our most basic documents.

Triage – Every now and then, a man is forced to make a difficult decision. Does he save the wife he’s pledged his life to? Or the child he’s sworn to protect and raise from infancy to adulthood? Thankfully, the quandaries we are presented with, though ideologically painful, are not so bleak. An example can be found in the illegal immigration debate. Several respected libertarian minds have come out against immigration control and for amnesty. Just as many have come out in favor of strict enforcement and deportation of those who’ve broken the law in coming here. Personally I fall in the latter category (except for the ‘respected mind’ part), even advocating making English the official language and qualifying ‘of the soil’ citizenship with the need for the parents to have been here legally on some sort of long-term visa.

As several have mentioned, this isn’t a very libertarian way of looking at things. And they’re right. But this isn’t a libertarian world. In this world one has to worry about the statists and how the massive influx of new voters of a neither American nor particularly affluent population will change the political balance. And the answer is perhaps even uglier than Kirsten Dunst. In this place, at this time, the 10-20 million new voters represent a sizeable addition to the ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘mixed economic model’ camps. More social welfare, governmentally mandated bilingualism. Neither things I much look forward to. So I’m forced to choose between my belief that those who wish to come here should be allowed to versus my fear of treading down the road Old Europe has cautioned us against with their own pitfalls, both culturally and economically. Which is more important? To hold true to your ideals as they are all voted away from you? Or to compromise one to save the many? No, it’s not a very fun choice, but it’s one that we have to make.

No matter how we paint it, the future is pretty bleak for liberty; no matter the time or place, it will always be. But by understanding the mechanics of a statist world, we can learn how to cure it, or at least stem the flow of liberty’s lifeblood from our nation’s many ideological wounds.

** Dr. Karma is an attending physician at (information redacted). His many professional accomplishments include contributions to evolutionary biology and saving an untold number of kids from stupid adults and an even more stupid entrenched bureaucracy. His primary accomplishment remains convincing his coworkers that he’s a pediatric specialist rather than a hitman in a mere six months. He specializes in whatever he feels like that day, and his coworkers are too scared to point out that he’s ‘just a psychiatrist’. The kids get better just to get him to stop yelling, singing, dancing, or dressing up like batman. It works, so he’s good with it.

222 responses to “Liberty In A Statist World by Dr. Karma

  1. Depending on the situation, the patient was all too happy to leave the decision-making and disease management in the doctor’s hands. 

    I know that there is much I don’t know.  So, while I may ask questions about what and why a particular doctor recommends something, I generally accept the recommendation. Now, if they were to suggest something that I knew was not right, like a medication that, if they read my records, they would know had nearly killed me? (This happened to a friend.) Oh, that’s different.

    There is a difference between choosing to accept the treatment prescribed by your doctor and allowing politicians (who are supposed to be your agent, not your caretaker) to run your lives.

    • You’re allowed to choose a different doctor. Politicians, or rather the bureaucrats they have delegated to, are forced on you at point of gun.

    • All good leaders solicit information, opinions, and recommendations from their subordinates. they’re not required to follow any of them. We’re in the same boat when it comes to deciding whether to accept physician’s diagnoses and treatment recommendations. Our choice, assuming of course, that we can afford it.

      • A leader’s job is not to have all the ideas or knowledge. A leader’s job is to decide.

        • We are not electing kings or chiefs or commanders. What we are electing are representatives … in the case of the House they are even called just that. They are are agents, which means that in some cases they may choose to go against the will of the people, but when they do they best have good reason.

          Two statements from Dr. Lyman Hall in the musical 1776:

          In scene 3:

          ‘Georgia seems to be split right down the middle on this issue.  The people are against it — and I’m for it.  But I’m afraid I’m not yet certain whether representing the people means relying on their judgment or on my own.  So, in all fairness, until I can figure it out, I’d better lean a little toward their side.  Georgia says Nay.”   

          and from scene 7:

          I’m sorry if I startled you.  I couldn’t sleep.  In trying to resolve my dilemma I remembered something I’ once read — “that a representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgement, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.”  [He smiles.]  It was written by Edmund Burke, a member of the British Parliament.” 

          [He walks to the tally board and moves the name Georgia from the ‘Nay’ to ‘Yea’ column.

          It is very important to consider the character and judgement of the candidates when voting.

          • WordPress delenda est.

            That last sentence should not be in italics. I had closed the block quote, as can be seen by the lack of indentation, and I did not mark for italics.

          • [USA] After the Victory in Europe and again after Victory (over) Japan, there was a broadcast sans commercial interruption about what might come next. After VE, the point that job was Not Yet Done and after VJ that the issue was “Let’s Not Have To Do This Again.” I think it was the VJ broadcast that had the line, “…and be sure your Representatives ARE representative.” Alas, I fear we might have not met that standard for a while.

          • Cybersmythe

            I know that the legislators and the executive are our agents, I just wanted to point out that thing that I’d observed about leadership.

          • Exactly why I voted for Trump. He had poor character in several ways, but at least he had some. Her Shrillness had none at all.

            • You wanna know why I actually side with Trump on the latest thing the media is screaming about? From what we were hearing from the grey side of the net, their observations were that all the stuff on the election being blamed on Russia was all originally from within the US, and so slanted for Shillery we were certain there was no way Trump would win. So it was a very pleasant surprise when he won.

              • And lets not forget the massive amounts of cash Hillary got from the Russians. Note how the Democrats had no problem with Obama’s open mic request to the Russians “Tell Vladimir I will have more flexibility after the election” where he essentially invited collusion from Putin prior to the 2012 election to assist in his own re-election. And who can forget Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy going to the Soviet Union prior to the 1984 election to actively seek Soviet assistance in preventing Reagan from getting re-elected. But somehow Trump, whose substantive polices are all things Russia hates is the one who is Russia’s puppet?
                The key to the Democrats is they count on people having short memories, being ignorant, and willing to swallow whatever BS the Democrats feed them. When people think for themselves, or insist on relying on themselves instead of the grace of government, they are outraged-how dare we?
                Trump has many character flaws, but he was still far better than any Democrat.

                • two hundred some million from some Russian sources, went into the clinton foundation, went poof when they shut it down, and we’re not supposed to question it… or the millions that various saudi sources put into it

            • SheSellsSeashells

              At absolute worst, Trump and Hillary reminded me of the C.S. Lewis quote about how tyrants can be satisfied but do-gooders never will “for they torment you with the approval of their own conscience”. I’m not sure I’d qualify Hillary as a do-gooder even in her own mind, but the endless torment I was reasonably certain of. Glad I didn’t have to find out.

              • We are getting endless torment from Shrillary even after she lost; it would have been far worse had she won.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  She may be attempting to send “endless torment” our way but I don’t see it working very well. 👿

            • I don’t think that Madame Clinton had no character. Rather I think that she had only vices, negative character. Of the seven deadly sins she clearly evidenced five of them with only gluttony and lust missing. And some might argue for lust given her rumored preferences.

    • I ended up having to go to 2 doctors the last time I needed one. The first one wanted to deal with everything but the actual reason I went! (Somehow scratched my eye while sleeping and was in quite a bit of discomfort, not to mention that my eye looked like it came straight out of a bad effects zombie movie). The 2nd was much more helpful and actually treated my problem.

  2. We have a doctor running for governor here. I’d never vote for a doctor to be a politician. Far too many already have illusions of godhood. Last time I was in the hospital I spent 5 days and was never treated for what I presented myself for in emergency. I wrote a letter from my bed demanding my treatment be stopped and the duty nurse just destroyed it. I presented myself unable to urinate and had six chest x-rays – my testicles examined by ultrasound for tumors, a heart monitor and was put on a low salt diet because I am fat therefore I MUST be a cardiac patient. After a few days on a low salt diet they had to send pills up from the pharmacy to replace my low electrolytes despite having a saline drip in my arm that provided an ungodly number of grams of Na a day.
    I was lucky to get out of that place alive. My own doctor was on vacation and I had no advocate there to protect me form ridiculous treatments and wild flights of fancy. They were milking me for anything they could charge to my ‘insurance’. Each specialist saw something in his field I must need treatment for.
    I can only imagine the harm that mentality could do to the state budget.

    • Docs can end up with the same type of credentialism that harms journalism and law. “I went to school for years, I know better than you”. And since the increasing costs and consolidation (mostly from bureaucracy such as billing) most get hooked to a hospital where their responsibility to patients is less and less direct. As long as they don’t run afoul of medical board or health department (or disturbingly more likely from an oversight perspective DEA) they’re safe. Plus since gp and internists are rare because paid less you need specialists who look thru their own lense.

      And because the AMA keeps residencies and slots down they keep an artificial shortage. Hence the “need” to import doctors from the Caribbean, Africa, and Middle East.

      Plus you have the same problems you get from any interested party that governs because the hobby horse that got them elected is all they care about.

    • I have been told by more than one private pilot that “Never fly with doctors, lawyers, or preachers.” is sound advice. The reasoning is that doctors & lawyers think they’re so important they don’t need all those pesky rules, and the preacher figures he’s going to live forever no matter what. I do know of one local M.D. who is a pilot… and what I know of him has me convinced that no matter tempting a flight might be, I’ll be better off on the ground or with (almost?) anyone else piloting. [For the private pilots: Someone ELSE does his pre-flight. I have no intention of being at the scene of that biting him.]

      • The V-35 Bonanza was called “the Fork-tailed Doctor Killer” for a reason. For a while it looked as if the Piper Malibu Mirage was going to become the Straight-Tailed Lawyer-Killer, but sanity and training (and liability) prevailed.

        • I’ve seen a Bonanza with a “no doctors” sticker on the window. And one of the (thankfully few) non-practice ARES outings/searches I was on was for a Bonanza that didn’t stay in the air. We didn’t find it. A month or two later someone tripped over the wreck. (It helps to have the search area be in the right place… or make it big enough so… but practicality. However, even if we HAD found it right away, nothing would have changed. Nosed in hard.)

        • Cybersmythe

          That reminds me of one of my favorite stories: Immediately after the second world war, Beechcraft and Cessna, both of which had been converted to military production for the duration, came out with designs that represented their visions of the future. Cessna’s was the model 190 “Businessliner” which had a high-wing, fixed “conventional” (that is “taildragging”) landing gear, and a seven cylinder radial engine. It’s truly a beautiful airplane, but not the subject of the story, so I won’t mention it again.

          Beechcraft came out with an airplane that had a low wing, retractable tricycle landing gear, and a six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. It also had two variants listed on the manufacturer’s type certificate: The “Debonair” which had a cruciform tail, and the “Bonanza” which had a “V tail” which combined the horizontal and vertical stabilizers as well as the rudder and the elevator.

          The Bonanza/Debonair was certified and put into production and had been out a while when something strange was noted: The Bonanza had a fatal accident rate that was about four times that of the Debonair, or of any other single engine light aircraft. Now, since the only difference between the two was the tail, the investigation naturally focused on the tail. The CAB took the unusual step of suspending the manufacturers type certificate pending what amounted to Beech doing all the flight testing over again.

          And they found nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing. Now, they couldn’t just put it back in production without any changes, so they required some stiffening of the tail, and steadfastly resolved to ignore the fact the Bonanza still killed for times as many people per 100,000 hours as the Debonair. This went on until the 1960’s.

          In the 1960’s Beechcraft decided that having two different sets of “marketing collateral” was too much trouble, and so decided that they would call both variants the “Bonanza” which would come in “straight-tail” and “V-tail” variants. At which point the fatal accident rate of the straight-tail Bonanza was found to be four times the fatal accident rate of the Debonair, which was an identical aircraft, except for some embroidery on the seats, a sticker on the side, and the title of the POH.

          Aaand that’s where it stands today, as far as I know.

          • Jay Maynard

            I listened to a show on the SiriusXM old time radio channel one time from the mid-fifties. It was about a Bonanza that had gotten caught on top of a solid overcast and was running low on fuel. The show itself was basically the conversations between ATC trying to talk him through an instrument letdown (of course, he wasn’t IFR rated) and the pilot not succeeding through several attempts.

            What got me was that the pilot finally just gave up. It really turned me off: I can’t picture any pilot just giving up in that situation – did I mention he had his 9-year-old kid on board? – especially not one who could afford to fly a Bonanza. Every pilot I’ve ever met would keep trying until he either succeeded or (more likely, especially given the repeated failures) lost control and ripped the wings off.

            • Cybersmythe

              If you ever want to be depressed, go to YouTube and watch some of the Air Safety Foundation videos. There was one I saw where a pilot with one IFR lesson was flying his daughter and her friend to college, and got in to IMC. By the end of the video I’m saying “Turn around. Don’t die” out loud, but he didn’t listen.

        • Jay Maynard

          “Straight-Tailed Lawyer-Killer”
          “liability prevailed”

          Somehow, I think those two are related…

        • tregonsee314

          The Bonanza with the V tail was not as bad as the jump to high performance (usually 2 engine) craft. I grew up near a small airport (Griswold in Madison CT) which had a short (initially unpaved runway) A moderate distance off the end of it stood about a 90 foot tall water tower in Hammonasset State park. Invariably about once a summer someone would have just moved to a two engine craft. They’d try to take off on a hazy VERY hot day with a full load of fuel to reach somewhere at the limits of their range. The results were utterly predictable and universally horrible. Because of the reduced lift from the hot air and slower climb rate of the heavier aircraft they would be too low. Either they would not see the tower until too late, or see the tower and try to maneuver and stall or spin at low altitude. As noted doctors and lawyers tend to be confident, even in fields that they are not trained in.

          • As noted doctors and lawyers tend to be confident, even in fields that they are not trained in.
            Which is why they feel the need to open their yaps about guns, nuclear doomsday, global ‘warming’……………..

            Just because you’re very* competent in one field, does NOT mean you’re even remotely competent in other fields.

            (* For some value of “very”. After all, what do you call someone who graduated medical school with all C’s? “Doctor”. Some seem to think that makes them supernatural geniuses – even the “C” students.)

    • You coearly did not throw a loud enough tantrum.

    • ” I’d never vote for a doctor to be a politician.”

      With the possible exception of Dr. Paul . . .

  3. FDR was Franklin, not Frederick. Just sayin’…

    • Yep, pride of the Democratic party to this day. And under his watch America saw two of the greatest abuses of government ever enacted: the internment of native born U. S. citizens purely due to their ethnic heritage, and the establishment of the Social Security system, the very definition of a Ponzi scheme. And a host of such malfeasance, but that’s for another discussion.

      • You may need to correct me if I’m wrong on this, but from what I understand, at least half the problem with social security has been that our politicians have been treating the social security trust fund like a piggy bank to be raided to help make other issues look less expensive.

        I don’t argue it’s NOT a ponzi scheme, but one that might not be in quite as bad of a position is at is now if it hadn’t been abused by those in power.

        • 11B-Mailclerk

          “Siphoning off money” is the fundamental -purpose- of a Ponzi Scheme.

          The “redirection” of SS funds was the -intention- from the start.

        • Here’s the deal. Money is collected, mostly through payroll deductions, and received by the SSA. That money goes to fulfill current obligations, Social Security checks for us old farts and any other citizens that qualify for assistance. Up until about two years ago any surplus was transferred to the general fund while an equal amount in government treasury bills was placed ever so safely into what’s known as the Social Security lock box. But two years ago the cash flow reversed and more had to be paid out than was coming in, so some of those T-bills have had to be cashed out. And where does the money for that come from, you might ask, why from the general fund of course. Officially Social Security does not get into trouble until all those T-bills have been cashed, but in actual fact it has been a drain on the national economy ever since the cash flow reversed.
          I like to equate the situation to one where mom and dad raid junior’s college fund and leave paper IOUs in place of cash all so they can buy beer and smokes, as both cases are in my opinion of equal moral merit.

        • I don’t believe that the politicians ever could have done anything else*. All of the taxes go into a general fund, and I think there’s even a Supreme Court ruling that they can’t segregate out certain funds and save them while at the same time borrowing money to pay for other things.

          * = Well, okay I guess they maybe could have just not run deficits at all, but what are you expecting? Miracles?

          • That’s my understanding, too. Which s why, any time you hear a politician say that a particular tax is to go to a particular cause, you should clamp your hand on your wallet and move quickly away.

            • The point is that SS can only work if there are more young people than old people, forever.

              • The evidence of history seems to be that FDR created Social Security purely to get a lot of old people out of the job market, to make the unemployment situation look better. Maybe he expected it to crash and burn shortly after he left office. He was certainly that cynical.

        • Oh yes, SS could go longer before it runs out of other people’s money, but stealing from it definitely shortens its lifespan. But, in reality, most of the going-bankrupt-in-some-year calculations actually count Congress’ IOU as if it really had value.

    • Did I miss that on the edit? Damn it.

  4. The danger with this, and one I’m not sure how to or if solveable, is that once you accept that you are a slave to government, why shouldn’t you use it to your personal advantage. This is how you get all the squabbling factions that rip the shambling corpse of the constitutional US from left to right, each side trying to rip off pieces to hurt the other.

    Why shouldn’t I use the government or other force to smash the face of my enemy. He’s just going to do it to me. It’s the same as the political targeting of retaliation tariffs or selective declaration of disasters that we see elsewhere. Ya. I’ll get hurt in the end but it’s gonna happen anyways since we’ve sinplified the constitution to “might makes right” and DC has all the might.

    • “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
      Mao Tse Tung
      Explains the intense push to disarm the American people, don’t you think?
      The founding fathers rightly intended that the people outnumber and outgun those with political power, and in fact abhorred the whole idea of a standing army, instead favoring a citizen militia.

      • But are there people willing to stake their names and honor. And is that still true. Remember that the one time a US army was loosed without RoE was against the CSA. Even ww2 bombing was targeted on military targets. With the propaganda machine unleashed and internet muzzled it’ll be easy to say that Dallas has to be bombed away because rebellion.

      • They DID support a standing Navy. 🙂

        OTOH, just about every military junta I ever heard of was run by the army or air force.

        • *tries to imagine the Navy running a totalitarian state*

          *gets the giggles*

          • Just run it into something

          • Chris Nelson

            Especially when the new breed of officers won’t even talk to each other or report broken communication gear.

            • Dan Hamilton

              And they let their FAST ships be T-Boned by SLOW SLOW Tankers and other ships. Come on, radar can see the ships many miles away and all you have to do is increase or decrease your speed by just a little but they can’t seem to manage that. Put down the Phone while on duty, please.

          • Lighthouse vs aircraft carrier (No, you move!) was what popped to mind for some reason.

        • It’s difficult to have a non-national navy. OK, you get the Great Lake states, and the east coast, and the Gulf. Then the west coast. And that’s all that can contribute. So nationalize that.

          But, every state has people in it. And an army just requires warm bodies that can point a gun and pull the trigger and occasionally charge a machine gun nest.

          And, yes, it’s also hard to quarter a ship in a mid-westerner’s home, so, they weren’t so nervous about that.

          (Yes, the army bit is simplified. But the point is armies need people more than almost anything else, and every state has that.(

          • But the point is armies need people more than almost anything else, and every state has that.

            And they took an explicit step to MAKE SURE the raw material was of high quality!

            (2nd amendment)

          • Ships have a limited crew, and also a limited supply of weapons, consumables, etc. As long as they can’t resupply, their zone of control is limited.

    • I look at it this way. There are government funded programs you can get for all kinds of things for autistic spectrum kids. We made as full a use of those funds as we could for child 2. That doesn’t mean I think we should have those programs in the first place, we could have afforded the useful ones on our own, and I’ve been voting and writing to have them reduced and deleted for years because in the end, they’re of less value to our society than they cost.

      • It’s not as much the ‘get your money’s worth’ I’m referring to but the use of the government as a tool of oppression. Trump’s family and business will be targeted once the left returns to what it sees as its proper place. Businesses and people that don’t genuflect to the ruling class fast enough will be as well. Local governments will toy with zoning and services to deny them what their tax dollars are supposed to be paying for.

        And the Republicans can’t even prove that sending classified information over private email is wrong and illegal. But they can dump millions into the FBI targeting each and every person that helped trump’s win while handing immunity out to coconspirators who made the same actions, with more culpability.

        The Republicans just warm the seats until the fascists can regain their rightful place ruling the sovereign state of DC and its slaves.

        • Local governments will toy with zoning and services to deny them what their tax dollars are supposed to be paying for.
          Like a liquor license?

          There is a group in DC working to get the liquor license of the Trump hotel pulled. Because of the character of the “ultimate” owner of the place. The neighboring ward (NOT the one it’s actually in – who have begged off) has voted to support the petition.

          ‘Cause Trump’s a baaaad man, doncha know!

          • At a minimum. Referring more to when police, fire, sanitation, etc start having errors causing delayed responses. Same as how neighborhoods that voted against Deblasio were not plowed or have trash pickups

            • Where I live. Technically we are county, not city. But we are in the official City Urban Growth boundary. Fire protection not a problem as there is a volunteer tax paid Fire Department (that is highly rated). Police OTOH … County says we’re the City’s problem, City says we’re the County’s problem. Or least we were. Over the last 20 years there have been some incidents where some of the “victims” were families of County & City authorities, including police. Because of this & the checkerboard jurisdictions (any new or rebuild in the area = auto city) we now see regular patrols from both.

              City has been trying to get this area for 55 years that I know of. My response to anyone who complains “that area is not paying city taxes” has always been “you want us, fine. Add us in & the conservative city vote will take over. No, to anything that will cost anything. Yes, to anything that will take power away from the city, including cleaning out the “homeless” out of downtown (just a bit NIMBY). Go ahead.” Hmmm 55 years & counting. It’ll be another 5 to 10 years before they surround the area, making it an island surrounded by city, which point they’ll have “won”. They tried it when we were forced to hook up to the sewers, but courts shot that down.

              • Same happened to Oklahoma city. There is no unicorporated land in Oklahoma county. As for jurisdictions, about a year ago there was a car crash. Two fire departments, two police departments and sheriff dept ended up responding. Initial dispatch sent our pd and neighboring fd.

                This type of thing is also why i like the salt deduction cap. My town contracts waste disposal, paying as part of utilities. Others include with property tax. One deductible, one not.

      • Some of the best, and certainly the most efficient special needs programs are privately operated and run with charitable contributions.
        Always remember, the first goal of any government program is to maintain its existence, and the second is to grow its empire. To actually perform its stated purpose always falls farther down on the to do list. And every government program is funded by taxation taken, by force if necessary, from citizens whether they support that particular program or not.

        • If a government program ever does its job it goes away or shrinks. If its always failing it gets more money.

          Welcome to the public school system.

          • Chris Nelson

            Don’t get me started on the unconstitutional school taxes. I calculated that a minimum of 35% of the local school taxes goes to non-resident offspring.

          • Sometimes the spigot is turned off. Not very often, and usually after a lot of money is badly spent. But, I’ve had it happen to an acquisition program.

            • We have a dod contract that has been nothing but a money sink. We have valid other options but it has taken five years to even get consideration that since everything that sold the contract has been proven false maybe we need to try something more traditional.

              But stuff like the epa pollution limits, schools, police and fire, etc has no stop. Even when 70% of graduates are illiterate you cannot fire teachers and nuke the school district. You take more money and give it to them to further increase their salaries.

  5. Education in liberty has to start new in every generation, and that includes the persuasion of adults. We have been shortcutting, and we have let opponents of liberty be educators; thus we have bad results. But we really aren’t any farther behind; we just did not start and continue when we should have.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Anytime I hear anybody throw the term “theocrat” (or “theocracy” around, I wonder about their knowledge of US history and religion.

      Theocracy is “Rule By The Clergy” not voters (citizens) being influenced by their religious beliefs when voting to support or oppose laws and/or politicians.

      Sometimes I get the idea that people who whine about “theocracy” would support laws preventing “religious people” from voting or otherwise taking part in politics.

      • People confuse rule by churchmen with rule by God. Even royalty used this device with the ‘King by the grace of God.” lie.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          People confuse “Rule By Churchmen” with “Citizens Writing The Rules Based On Their Religion”.

          I don’t give a Shit about “Religious Based Rules” as long as the vast majority of Citizens agree with said rules.

          • Define “religious based rules” in a way that doesn’t include prohibitions on theft and murder as “religious based.”

            There are objective and subjective benefits to something like a more-or-less enforced sabbath, for example. And thus we have laws that limit work to a 40 hour work week before employers are penalized for requiring more.

            What’s super funny is that the communists claim credit for making people take a day (or two) away from labor every week.

            • We can thank a *two* day weekend on the disagreement between Christians and Jews on which day ought to be the day of rest.

              • Let’s disagree with the Muslims too, and then we can get Friday off.

                • Ha! I approve of this idea.

                • Isn’t there a religion that meets on Monday? Come on! We could start one?

                  Never mind. I’m of the co-religions of (by choice) “early retirement”, so “what day is it?” 😉

                  Honestly, a number of school districts have gone to 4 day weeks (Friday off) for the religion of “save money.” Funny when the funds come back, teachers, & students, attitudes are “never mind, we’re fine.” Depending on the grade level, parents, not so much, but they are out numbered, generally.

            • A few years ago in France the Communists were fighting tooth and claw to keep the feast of Corpus Christi as a paid legal holiday. Go figure.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Anybody who speaks out against “Religious Based Laws” should be required to work a full day on Sunday & Saturday.

              That includes governmental officials.

              • I have nothing against religious principles having an impact on our common laws, but I have a real problem with the imposition of so called “blue” laws. I’ll also note that US common law only incorporates about half of the Ten Commandments, and rightly so. Not that they shouldn’t be followed, but for moral reasons, not codified into statutes.
                And I have held several jobs that required me to work many a Saturday and often Sunday as well. I recall one year that I kept track and got seven Saturdays off, and those only because holidays happened to fall on a Saturday.

                • Stuff that’s based on motivation can’t really be effectively codified into law– which is why “Hate Crime” laws are evil.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  The “problem” with most Blue Laws is that the critics normally ignore secular reasons for such Laws.

                  And no, I’m not going to “get into a fight” over this.

                  • Well, sure. We define “blue” laws as the ones we think are stupid or silly. Like not selling booze before noon on Sunday. Why? If we thought something was important we wouldn’t call it a blue law no matter where it originated.

                    • The thing that bugs me is when people decide a law is a “Blue Law”– and then ignore the actual history, the explicit justification, and the actual results. Their minds are made up, don’t bother them with any other considerations.

                      The “alcohol on Sunday morning” laws were associated with religion, yes– but they were JUSTIFIED in places out west by preventing a specific subset of bad behavior which impacted the general community, basically “drunken packs of single men who were paid last night and have their day off today on the one morning when the general population was also going to the population center, resulting in an extremely high level of traffic.”

                      Delaying the serving-and-sale time until noon almost completely removed the problem, even though the most basic of planning would have gotten the problem types to buy a bottle (or three, for the price of what they would’ve drank at the bar) and just hold on to it until their NEXT day off…but the problem guys couldn’t do that, they’d drink it that night, and lose their job.

                      Basically, public intoxication law formatted to deal with a once-a-week overwhelming spike, kind of like putting a traffic cop to direct traffic at a busy intersection when you KNOW there’s going to be a huge spike.

                      Outside of military towns, not so much of a justification for it anymore, beyond cultural– although cultural justification isn’t inherently invalid, either.

                • The primary problem with “blue laws” is twofold (imo):
                  First is that nowadays many do not follow a rigid rule surrounding Sabbath (no matter which day). Like many of our holidays, the meaning is lost on a large bit of the population, and it’s just a day off. (I’m not judging on that, just stating a fact.)

                  Second, just like the Pharisaical laws in Roman Israel, they were weird and convoluted. You could buy a hammer but not nails (or vice versa). You could buy booze in a bar but not the store (or vice versa). Or you could buy a case of beer, but not a single bottle of whisky. You couldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner, but could buy bags. There was all sorts of lobbying to tweak and twist and mangle the laws because someone had a cause or a profit at stake. Gov’t really shouldn’t be in that position.

        • I always found that kind of ironic given how strenuously God argued against kings back in the Old Testament. He basically agreed to anoint a king with the words, “Fine, if that’s what you want, but you’re going to be sorry.”

          • That’s one of my favorite passages.

          • So why the heck did we get a Pope foisted off on us?

          • For Christian rulers, the “God makes a king” thing is also a limit– kind of like “eye for an eye.”

            Means that if the guy is going against God, you can take him down.

            Same way that laws can be recognized as inherently unjust.

          • He didn’t just say “You’ll be sorry.” He *enumerated* all the REASONS they would be sorry.

            And some still didn’t take the hint.
            *smh*

            (Sorta like leftists today, when they’re told “Do you really want to give gov’t all that power? Because some day someone who doesn’t like you will be in charge.” Our Founding Fathers knew their Scripture….)

        • The two sentence summary of David Weber’s Safehold series.

      • I’m perfectly happy with religious people voting and/or being elected to office. I do, however, understand the worry that, once elected, they might decide to codify religious morality into law.

        That said, it’s a problem that is largely disappearing on it’s own, so cries of “theocracy” are increasingly more ridiculous. For instance, In my lifetime I’ve seen the US go from open, often violent discrimination against gays being the norm, to gay marriage being legalized, and even non-violent, “soft” discrimination (such as refusing to bake a cake, especially when there are dozens of other bakers in the area who would be happy to do so) being punished by the state.

        As an aside. I actually worry that the Left is pushing things too far, too fast in this regard. It’s way past time to ease-off and let things settle or they risk a snap-back reaction that will make things worse.

        • On some level we all understand that people should not be able to vote in anything they desire to. majority vote tyranny doesn’t just hurt minorities, it also hurts the majority itself. every electorate in history was self harming to a certain extent. because most people think freedom is not a basic human right

        • I dang near put my fist through the car radio when Garrison Keillor said that Evangelicals (all Christians who had voted for Bush in 2004) should be disenfranchised. So much for the “Joke Show.”

          • I tried to listen to/read Keillor starting back in 1979, and never found him the least bit funny or, for that matter, interesting.

            Garry Trudeau at least started out being genuinely clever, until he began to take himself seriously sometime around the election of Ronald Reagan. I’ve (sadly) watched several cartoonists succumb to ‘Gary Trudeau’ syndrome, the greatest pity being Dave Sim. Cerebus was hysterically funny for the first sixty or so issues, and shortly therafter became borderline unreadable.

            *sigh*

          • They all believe that. “Conservatives” like David French who claim that evangelicals who voted for Trump have renounced Christianity overlook the simple fact that at least Trump wasn’t going to continue weaponizing the government against the church.

      • Technically speaking, theocracy is “rule by clergy,” also called an ecclesiocracy, although that term is far rarer. But in practical terms, there are two basic situations where it gets applied:

        1. The use of the coercive power of the state to enforce uniformity of religious practice within its territory. Iran and Saudi Arabia are rather obvious modern examples, while the Massachusetts Bay Colony is a historical one. The formal heads of state and government may be clergy or laity, but the clergy has strong influence on the process of governance and the punitive organs of the state are often deployed to enforce religious observance and to ferret out and punish heretics.

        2. More broadly, a situation in which one sect has been able to get secular legislation enacted that goes beyond the general morality common to most religious traditions (don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie or break promises, etc) and seeks to enforce a particularly sectarian set of commands and taboos. Frex, dietary taboos, or rules about contact between different categories of people (gender, race, class, etc). There’s been a fair amount of conflict in Israel with ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities trying to encode their understanding of certain aspects of Jewish religious law into the secular law.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I submit that the first is a State Religion which IMO is different that a Theocracy. Don’t like or want a State Religion but I also dislike it called a Theocracy.

          On the second, at its worse the term Theocracy might apply. However, IMO the screamers aren’t really talking about the second. Screaming about “Theocracy” is just another way of saying “I Don’t Like The Law” and the Law likely don’t fit this use of the term “Theocracy”. They don’t care about secular reasons for the Law and in many US cases there have been secular reasons for the Law that they are screaming about.

          • The fallacy is usually “appeal to motive”– although it also usually rises to flat-out genetic fallacy, where because there CAN be a religious motive, the whole thing is to be dismissed.

            Which is why atheists who disagree with at-will killing of any living human, no matter the location, are informed that they’re trying to institute a “theocracy” and are just religious bigots.

          • A good point, but one can have an official state church without having the state enforcing religious observance. Until very recently, most European countries had an Established Church, and a portion of everyone’s taxes supported it, but by the end of the nineteenth century, there were no real civil disabilities for not being a member in it. Dissenters were no longer barred from government jobs, commissions as officers in the military, etc.

            I could, in theory at least, imagine a society in which senior church officials also double as government officials in their regions, but do not use the coercive power that comes with the latter to enforce theological positions and religious observances upon dissenters, non-believers and indifferentists. Whether it could work in the Primary World, I don’t know — although individual clergymembers can keep their roles separate (James A. Garfield was an ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ), it seems that once a religious hierarchy assumes government power, they start enforcing theological orthodoxy and uniformity of religious observance. But it’s fun to play with in a Secondary World, because the sort of church that could do that is so different from the network of free-standing congregations that I grew up in.

            That said, in the Primary World, most of the time when a nominally lay-run state is enforcing religious orthodoxy and orthopraxy, the laypeople at the head of the government end up being window dressing, while the leaders of the Established Church are actually calling the shots behind the scenes. In some ways it can be almost more pernicious than an outright ecclesiocracy.

            • it seems that once a religious hierarchy assumes government power, they start enforcing theological orthodoxy and uniformity of religious observance

              Part of that is that anybody who is in power will tend to make choices that reflect what they believe to be true.

              That’s how we ended up with the “party of science” being the ones who insist that it’s impossible to know when “life” begins, and insisting that those who hold to the basic, biological definition of human and alive are enforcing their theology.

              It’s just disagreement over theology, but it’s like when my mom was always drafted to umpire when she was a coach: the appearance of conflict is a killer, unless you always go against your side.

              Who the heck wants a politician that will do what he thinks is WRONG unless everybody agrees?!

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              And where in the Primary World does such an animal exist?

              Besides possibly Vatican City.

    • You are NOT going to get an education on freedom and liberty in a public school. Just not going to happen. That needs to be taught at home, in small social groups and organizations, occasionally in churches.

  6. Hmm. Seems like an expansion of the point I made yesterday in my own poor way. Karma? I ain’t normally that lucky.

    Oh, and sorry for the pun.
    Okay, no I’m not, not worth this lot.

  7. Dr Karma works in pediatric care? OMG If they found out his stand on the 2nd Amendment they’d burn his place to the ground, drive over it with cars, and then sow salt on it.

    • My much missed baby doctor is a pro-life, science minded, gun friendly guy. (As much as I could identify without being nosy, anyways– it is Seattle, not like he had his freak flag flying.)

      They exist, they’re just hard to see from the road.

      • As Sarah has repeatedly pointed out in so many ways and in countless types of associations conservativism is the sin that dare not speak its name. Education, the media, medicine, and so many more, lean right and you can expect a collective shunning at the very least.

      • > freak flag

        A DNA helix, a Roman numeral II, and a Bohr atom?

      • My retina specialist makes sure to have a copy of Field and Stream in the waiting room, and this is on the left side of Oregon. The general opthamologist back home (East of the Cascades) is equally firearms friendly My primary doctor carefully does not ask. While the hospital and associated clinic is a free fire gun free zone, I’ve long suspected it’s Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell.

        • They have a sign up?

          *wolfish grin*

          Nice thing about Oregon law. The signs do not have force of law. You have to either enter illegally, or remain after being asked to leave, for the “armed illegal trespass” law to be triggered. ( ORS 164.265 )

          That is something the attempted mass shooter at the Portland mall did not know, but the guy who was doing grunt work with his pregnant friend DID.

          • Very Interesting (cue Artie Johnson voice).

            It’s going to depend on circumstances with the hospital/clinic.

          • doing grunt work with his pregnant friend
            That… ummm…. o.O?

            • You’ve never been drafted to be the shopping mule?

              • Ah. It had me thinking something else entirely.

                • There’s also that it was Portland, near Christmas time. It’s movie setting stuff.

                  That one sticks in my head even though only two innocents died because my cousin, a fire fighter, was called in for it.

                  His pregnant wife and her mother were supposed to be shopping at that exact mall that day.

                  They unexpectedly changed plans and went to a smaller mall basically on a whim when he couldn’t make it because he got called in that day, because those malls are madhouses.

        • “Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell” s/b edited to “Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell-Carry-Concealed”

          Every annual. I get asked “Are there fire arms in the house?” Look right at my doctor & state “No. Why do you ask?”

    • WHY do you think he’s using a pen name?

  8. As several have mentioned, this isn’t a very libertarian way of looking at things. And they’re right. But this isn’t a libertarian world.

    Any philosophy that requires that you ignore all facts and behave as if the world is already set up correctly for the philosophy is going to fail– especially when one of the things being ignored is THE PEOPLE INVOLVED!

    For crying out loud, even God Himself spent time forming His chosen people!

  9. The things that would make open borders work aren’t in place. And actual open borders (anyone can fly in and stay from Europe or China or India or South Africa) isn’t on the table anyhow.

    • Are you sure? We have a decent shot of voting in a congress that is running on the platform of “abolish ice”. Politicians have ignored the desire of a majority of their subjects expressed desire to combat illegal immigration for longer than I have been alive. Cities and states openly nullify federal laws, support occupations of federal LE agencies and punish cooperation with the feds.

      Seems we’re closer to open borders than even the heydays of immigration between 1860 and 1930.

      • 1. Abolish ICE
        2. Any Russian with funds for a plane ticket flies to the US.
        3. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT WE MEANT!!!! ELEVENTY!

        • For any one Russian they get two dozen South Americans of military age willing to fight

          • I doubt it. Seriously. The melt-down will happen before that could happen.

            The political “open borders” thing and “abolish ice” thing is an extension of the “perpetual illegal” thing. Democrats don’t WANT to solve the problem. They want to USE the problem. To get what they want, they can’t let it pass. There’s a reason that Obama did nothing on this issue but kick the can down the road, no actual resolution for the “Dreamers” because they were too valuable as an unresolved problem.

            • Not sure I trust the political party tryingnto emulaye Venezuela and again agitating for a shooting war with Russia because they intruded into a private organization’s private servers and released their dirty laundry. But China’s tech theft, killing of spies, and acquisition of blackmail material on millions of govt employees and contractors barely got a shrug.

          • “Willing to fight”
            The same way the Mexicans were willing to fight us at Buena Vista and Molino del Rey?

    • Byzantine General

      *What* things would make open borders work?
      How many Congolese former child soldiers do you want in class with your kids?

      • open borders is one issue on which I have no time for the Libertarian position. But I’m not a Libertarian, or,a,Comservative, or a (horrible retching sound) Liberal. I’m a Crank.

      • That’s a very strange question. Particularly as I mostly homeschooled. But who’s to say that Congolese former child soldiers might not appreciate freedom?

        But to answer the question, the thing that might make open borders “work” is something very close to “pure” market capitalism and extremely limited social benefits. No free emergency rooms or welfare… maybe you have to apply to and be accepted by a mutual aid society instead, so don’t be too anti-social or they won’t take you. If you can afford to come here and live here, you can. If you can’t, you leave.

        But what else is true is that *open borders* wouldn’t mean tons of poor people from Central America, and probably darned few Congolese former child soldiers. It would mean middle class people from all over the world because it would no longer require huge amounts of money to immigrate legally and there would no longer be the “income inequality” between those with the means to go through that process and those who try to walk across the border deserts.

        This is why, when Trump called for immigration reform and said “lets let more people in from these (non-white) countries,” Pelosi gave a irrational speech about “making America white again”… because taking more middle class from various places isn’t what she WANTS.

        • A traumatized kid who has been exposed to physical and sexual abuse does not belong in school. Needs help and a lot of it.

        • But who’s to say that Congolese former child soldiers might not appreciate freedom?

          Freedom to do WHAT is the problem– there is already quite enough idealism on other folks’ dime going on, and children are already paying quite a high price.
          Parkland, for example– his “freedom” was worth more than the lives of those who actually followed the laws, and the rules.

          What it would actually mean is a shit-ton of raiders showing up, because “everyone knows” that America is rich pickings.

          It doesn’t matter how pure you are or how great of a fighter you are when you are utterly overwhelmed.

        • What’s the word we can apply to the Pelosi’s of the world? Racists is technically accurate but incomplete. Someone against those able to raise above repressive conditions by hard work, & intelligence, regardless of various tanning skin tones or religion or education?

          *blank* racist?

          Intellectual racist, isn’t good enough, because (although implied) does not consider work ethic, too much emphasis on education.

          Ideas?

  10. It wouldn’t matter if they paid their own way. But many of them come for the freebies. That’s a huge distortion. The great influx at the start of the last century had to sink if they were to lazy to swim.

    • Many countries have strict rules that you have to be able to support yourself or they kick you out. Some (Sweden?) require a rather large sum in the bank at all times and kick you out even if you’re quite gainfully employed and have all your debts paid, if that account drops below the threshold.

      I don’t think that all that many people come to the US with *plans* to be on welfare, but that’s maybe a slightly different issue… plans vs. reality. We might probably have more of a problem with citizens who plan to be on welfare. Or at least with politicians who tell everyone that they can’t hope for better than being on welfare… the jobs, they’re gone forever.

      • Early American welfare consisted of moving to the frontier, and foraging for edible plants and hunting any animal you could get. The natural consequence of not doing so wasn’t having your neighbors all feed you (at least not for the first couple of weeks), but of starving to death.

        • For a very long time it consisted of day labor.

          “I’m hungry today, I will try to find some work to get a meal or some food, they always need someone to (insert dirty task here) down at the (local business there) and will give me (a meal or enough money to buy some food.)”

          The old trope about going into a restaurant and forgetting your wallet and then having to wash dishes “to pay for it” would be 100% and utterly ILLEGAL today.

          There’s panhandlers on every corner here. They obviously have “work ethic” because they’re there reliably for hours and it’s *miserable*. They’re not old. They’re not dirty (well, some of them aren’t). Could they walk into a bar and ask to be put to work in the kitchen? It would be illegal. In order to hire someone there are laws to follow and documents to procure and taxes to pay.

        • “I need some extra money today, and I have a little on hand, so I’m going to go to the store, buy some potatoes and a few other cheap things, cook it all up and go around the work sites at lunch to sell to the laborers.”

          Oops… also illegal.

      • Canada is 250k iirc. Many others are marry, work, or money. For legal immigrants to the US just the process could hit 10k+ last i remember. Jump the border and its free. The US has to subsidize illegal aliens with lawyers and support.

        • They upped the cost twice I know of, iirc a fee of $1500 jumped to $3000 and I knew several who rushed to get things in motion before the change, then during 0bama it did again or just associated casts were increased, but several co-workers did the rush to Citizenize before the increase took effect.
          On a related note, we never heard much how deportations under 0bama were higher than before.
          Of course it was because those were legal resident aliens being deported, not illegals. One coworker’s family in Jalisco was concerned he would be one of them.

          • Iirc some of the deportation shift was relabeling rather than ‘get on a plane and go home.’ See someone crossing in Arizona, tell him to turn around andhe does? Deportation

            • No, this was folks here legally and being sent home for minor or nonsense infractions, or not having their greencards/Visa renewed for no good reason ( like changing it from student visa to working visa because you got a job. This almost happened to a former coworker, but he was Chinese, not Mexican)
              While Cali was not deporting illegal alien drunk drivers, INS/ICE were deporting folks for forgetting to renew their driver’s license, and stuff like that. Some though were bigger violators, that needed to be told to leave.

              • Oh, not saying it was that entirely, just that, like GDP, there was some number gaming.

                And meanwhile rapists and traffickers go free.

  11. My first OBs had cultural blinders on that meant they did not share things with their patients because they didn’t want to worry them. They’d share with the father but down play things to the mother. So if they didn’t talk privately to the father information wasn’t passed on, hence the reason we thought there wasn’t an urgent need for the C-section they started advocating for after two days of failed induction. It took five years of examining the records, looking at science articles and randomly stumbling across things that finally showed us why the doctors thought it was necessary. But they framed it as “well, if we don’t do it now, it will just be a big hassle for you, the hospital and us.” Kind of “it would be more polite to just do as we say.”

    Second pregnancy, we are with the same doctors because we hadn’t yet figured it all out. They framed that C-section the same way despite all the other things going on. A hospital OB came in, did an ultrasound and frankly discussed pros and cons of waiting a little longer or C-section now. Based on that frank discussion, we went ahead. It was the first frank discussion we’d ever had during pregnancy and we saw the stark difference in treatment styles. We switched OBs after that.

  12. In some countries lack of candor is institutionalized. In Japan for example a doctor will withhold the information you have cancer from you until death. I find that crazy – like it is a personal failing of which you should be ashamed. But a lot of things in the Asian cultures seem as weird as I’d expect space aliens to be.

    • In Portugal, when I was a kid, cancer was treated AS a moral failing, in fact. It was the “evil disease” a curse that would only fall if you’d done something wrong. So it was kept secret, like AIDS in the nineties.

      • Keeping AIDS secret. Bet that killed more than a few people.

        • Aren’t there even laws on the books here and there about who can’t be told that someone has AIDS or that it can’t even be tested for in some situations?

          It’s crazy. Something that catchy really is other people’s business. Maybe not *everyone’s* business, but certainly some other people’s business.

          • Yes. HIV is one of the reportible diseases, at least in TX. Depending on what jurisdiction you live in, your most recent partners and/or spouse are supposed to be notified so they can be tested. In other places, the health department is NOT supposed to notify anyone but the person being tested. And he or she can give a false name. I read about an adult movie “actress” who had to go in and get tested twice in one week because she was in one film under a stage name and in a different film under her “real” name. Both film companies needed copies of her results (negative) but the state and feds will not allow those results to be released to employers.

            Yeah, public health is a strange, messy world.

            • When the recent spate of privacy considerations hit the Pharmacies my Pharmacist told me he had heard it was because a Congresscritter had been asked “How did that Viagra work out” in front of the wife he hadn’t been taking it for. My gut reaction was “Did nobody have the guts to tell him; ‘If you are cheating on your wife, you’re SUPPOSED to get caught, you silly sonofabitch!’”

        • More than 80% of the deaths of the AIDS epidemic could have been prevented if we had implemented full disclosure and quarantine. I hold the members of the gay ‘community’ back then directly responsible for all those deaths.

    • > withhold the information from you

      It wasn’t *that* long ago American doctors would still do that. Recent enough that, as an adult, I made the decision any doctor who tried that would predecease me.

    • Entertaining story – I know of a Japanese CEO who specifically hired a PA because he did not have that trait. She was admitted to hospital for a complicated pregnancy, and she planned to work remotely. He walked into her hospital room, took away her laptop and gave it back stripped of work related anything since she was supposed to be taking it easy. Later, she admitted she wasn’t sure if she wanted to fire him or give him a raise.

      I believe she went with the latter.

  13. Byzantine General

    “theocracy” is for some reason not a concern when the devotees of baal or moloch advocate for continued human sacrifice of the innocent products of their lusts.

  14. Dogmatic libertarianism, like socialism, doesn’t work in the real world. A pure libertarian world will degenerate into the rule of the strongest…and quickly. Without order, you can’t have liberty. The key is recognizing that order is a means, not an end in itself.

    • There’s a difference, of course, between libertarian and anarchist.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        At times, I’m not sure but of course after listening to some libertarians I wonder if there’s a difference between libertarians and libertines. 😦

        • Based on my observations in far too many cases the difference is slim at best.

        • For some, the main difference is that they get to act like it’s a religious calling.

          So they’re self righteous Libertines.

          Thankfully, those sort tend to get ripped up from the sane libertarian minded, too.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          And then there’s the libertarians who sound suspiciously like liberals.

          • “Libertarian socialists” – and I’ll quote L. Neil Smith again “Something is sticking to our shoes!”
            Or quote Shakespeare “hot ice, and wondrous strange snow.”

          • RonPaul supporters I knew were “If RP doesn’t get the nomination I’m voting for Obama, so we can get single payer healthcare”
            with one, pointing out that under a Canuck style NHS her mother’s rare cancer would be untreated and she dead, was answered with a “How Dare You!”
            Later, after monitoring and not often conversing with her, she complained often about how expensive her 0care coverage was.
            Others wanted the worst to happen so things would fall apart and they thought then utopia would result.
            poor students of history

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              The great thing about single payer is that liberalism is an incurable, fatal productivity destroying illness, and big daddy government will finally have the leverage to put them out of our misery.

  15. I think the biggest tactical mistake we tend to make is to argue economic and political theory with the Left. The real answer to their importunings is almost always “Look, we tried it your way. It didn’t flaming work and it cost a lot more than you claimed it would. We’re going to do something else now.”

  16. They certainly are childish, so that’s halfway there. As for being cool … well, many have room temperature IQs … assuming you live in an igloo.

    The Left Just Wants to Be the Cool Kids
    By Sarah Hoyt
    The left just wants to sit at the cool kids table. They’ll sacrifice everything for it: honor, principles, even self-respect.

    Everyone says we’re divided as a country, but I don’t think anyone fully realizes how much

    The problem is that to heal the division, we not only would need to be able to speak the same language – doable – or work together towards common goals – common goals are debatable, but we might be able to identify some – but – and this is more difficult – we would need to have the same interests in life.

    Okay, let me explain. I don’t mean that we have an interest in freedom and the left has an interest in slavery.

    Sure, you could say that and not be far wrong, but it’s not just that.

    As humans, we come from great apes (trust me, those were the best Apes! Very great apes!) Great apes are social animals. It is normal for social animals to want to fit into the group at all costs.

    Yesterday, my friend Tom Knighton wrote a post for my blog in which he explained that the left doesn’t care if it makes things up. This is true. In fact, their deceptions reach the childish level, and I’ll have more to say about that in another article. Anyway, as part of his post, there was this sentence:

    After all, the American left has made it pretty damn clear that they don’t really care about the lives of people who disagree with them ideologically. They’ve taken to stalking and harassment in public spaces to try and shame conservative leadership into…who the hell knows? I guess they think they can turn the right into leftists with enough shame or something. That’s not how it works, mind you, but that’s what they apparently think.

    When I heard this, something clicked. It makes no sense to us, of course. But here’s something I noticed, stalking, and harassment in public spaces (and private) do work on the left. …

  17. Waitaminnit! This ain’t about Politics or the Culture!

    When Your Novel Dies
    By Sarah Hoyt
    [This is part two of my series on becoming a more effective (or simply a) writer.]

    Sometimes your novel dies.

    You know precisely what I’m talking about. You’re standing there – well, usually sitting, but I do have a standing desk – typing away, the novel is going great guns, and suddenly… nothing.

    There was life there, a spark of interest, you knew what was going to happen next chapter, and you were dying to write it and unfold every nuance. And suddenly there’s nothing you’d rather do than clean the kitchen, scrub the toilets, or even rotate the cat.

    Worse, when the desire to write strikes, it’s always a new and shiny thing.

    First of all, know you’re not alone. …

    • Or programming. Nice shinny “new toy/concept” (FYI, either 100% new programs, or just new to you.), ohhh, funnnnn to “Oh, that thing again …”, & again, & again, & again, …

  18. they tell us, never asking if the benefit of comfort is worth the cost of freedom.
    No, the problem is so many really don’t care about the freedom. So it’s not a burden to give it up.

    by taking from the pockets of men the fruit of their hard-earned labor.
    I think you meant the “hard-earned fruits of their labor”. Labor is very easy to come by. It’s getting something out of it that takes some effort.

    • No, the problem is so many really don’t care about the freedom.

      Freedom to what? Freedom from what?

      The old song was partly right when it said that freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose.

      Frequently, the argument that someone doesn’t value “freedom” actually tries to remove their ability to freely choose what they want, rather than what the person defining “freedom” wants. (The place you’d probably see this most often is when someone is trying to get in the pants of a person they are interested in, who is already taken; that is, they’re not free to hook up.)

      In American political discussions, “freedom” is usually a short-hand for the least obstructive way to assure that everyone can do the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness thing– but like all shorthands, it can be corrupted with assumptions. For an example that has shown up here but isn’t from the regulars, that influx of “Libertarians” we had where you were free to make any contract that THEY thought you should be allowed to make, and you could want anything that THEY thought you should.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Reminds me of the joke that (roughly) goes
        “Come the revolution everybody will have [fill-in-the-blank]”
        “But Comrade, I don’t like/want [fill-in-the-blank]”
        “Come the revolution, you’ll will like/want [fill-in-the-blank]” 😦

      • OK, let’s say they don’t value Liberty. Honestly, if they did, they would vote differently. A LOT differently.

        Most humans are pretty short-sighted: they value security, safety, wealth, health and fun more than Liberty.

        It’s why you have to fight to keep a free republic. You can either fight to keep everyone focused on, and appreciative of, Liberty. Or you can fight to get the boot off your neck, later. And, even if you’re successful in the latter, you still have to do the former, or the boot will be right back.

        • Might start by selling Liberty, rather than just deciding people don’t want it– they’re frequently going off of bad information.

          You can’t fix bad information by acting as if they have good information.

  19. Rich Rostrom

    WRT the Second Amendment and concealed carry: many states enacted laws against concealed carry in the early 1800s, when many of the Framers were still alive. AFAIK, there were no constitutional challenges to these laws.
    (The laws were intended to tamp down the tendency toward shoot-outs and knife fights in the streets that was prevalent in the Old Southwest. Too many “hot-blooded Southern gentlemen”!)

    • That’s probably in part because of the culture and technology– it was not abnormal to carry weapons openly, and it’s hard to conceal one of the old style guns. (Revolvers weren’t even invented until the mid 18, wasn’t it?)

      Then the move was to “may issue,” so you could have a trusted authority identify trouble on the hoof while not disarming people.

      Then the trusted authorities showed they weren’t to be trusted with the number of folks involved (big difference between a town of a few hundred, and a town of a few thousand!), so it went to must-issue.

      • Then the trusted authorities showed they weren’t to be trusted
        Well, duh. (Numbers ain’t got so much to do with it.)

        • When the numbers are low enough, the authority’s ability to do harm is far lower relative to the benefit of being able to go “only a complete idiot would let THAT GUY walk around armed.”