Archive for the ‘U.S. Constitution’ Category.
George Washington’s “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport RI”
Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City
Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, from George Washington, August 18, 1790:
While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.
The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.
If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
Source: George Washington: A Collection, ed. W.B. Allen (Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1988)
Tags: Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City, F5P1_81OLF0, freedom of religion, George Washington, Moses Seixas, religious liberty, T9wUHhEOBUE
In a Salon essay published today, Alecia Phonesavanh recalls the night her 19-month-old son, Bounkham (a.k.a. Bou Bou), was horribly injured by a flash-bang grenade tossed into his crib during a fruitless drug raid in Habersham County, Georgia. “It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby,” she writes, “and he’s still covered in burns. There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.”
. . .
The ACLU mentions declining public support for the War on Drugs as one reason to reconsider the ferocity with which it is waged. But while de-escalation would be welcome, it does not address the fundamental immorality of responding to peaceful transactions with guns and handcuffs. Even if reforms like those recommended by the ACLU encourage police to be more judicious in their use of force, unjustifiable violence will always be a defining feature of drug prohibition.
Burned Babies and the Militarization of American Policing
The “War on Drugs” is immoral and has turned the DEA and many police departments into armed gangs of thugs.
Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and 30s and it isn’t working today.
Continue reading ‘Your Tax Dollars At Work’ »
Tags: drug prohibition, drug war, GbveB5AYpQ0, Ozymandias, prohibition, war on drugs, WiyvNIn6Zbc
Moral preening from the 1920s and 30s.
While members of Congress may have championed Prohibition laws on the House floor, many of them happily broke the rules in any of the 3,000 speakeasies scattered throughout downtown Washington. And when members needed to restock their personal hooch supply, they turned to one man: George Cassiday.
During his time as a booze distributor on the Hill, Cassiday estimated that four out of five members of Congress drank—and many of them availed themselves of Cassiday’s services. Congress even gave Cassiday his own storeroom in the basement of the Cannon office building.
How Congress Stayed Wet in the Dry Years of Prohibition
Continue reading ‘Laws are for the little people….’ »
Five rules I learned from 7 years of coaching Launch Festival & TechCrunch50
Dormi Turns Old Android Phones into Internet-Connected Baby Monitors
Rand Paul’s Republican revolution
Faster daddy! Faster!
Oh yeah, this will work out well….
The “War on Drugs” has attracted numerous rent seekers, including the DEA, police, prosecutors, brewers, distillers, prison guards, and more. Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and 30s, and it isn’t working today.
Federalism appears to be on the rise. About time.
But in the meantime, we just don’t have enough no-knock raids.
You will respect John O’Donnell’s authoritah!
Continue reading ‘Misc Stuff’ »
Tags: Albany Airport, baby monitor, Dormi, drug prohibition, drug war, Federalism, Jh3d_Qo3jTI, John O’Donnell, libertarian, police misconduct, police state, prison guards, prohibition, Rand Paul, TSA, war on drugs, ZTpn30Pms8I
It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.
— G.K. Chesterton
Benghazi, IRS, AP, Fast and Furious, NSA, Obamacare.
Mockery and truculence are called for to properly honor the Moral Preener in Chief.
Continue reading ‘President Asterisk Expands the Imperial Presidency’ »
Tags: AP, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, G.K. Chesterton, Imperial Presidency, IRS, mockery, Moral Preener in Chief, NSA, Obamacare, political class, President Asterisk, truculence
The Constitution at your fingertips.
Includes the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Amendments to the Constitution
Single copies of the Pocket Constitution are available at no charge by sending a self-addressed stamped business-size (#10) envelope (SASE) with first class postage for two (2) ounces to: TheCapitol.Net, Pocket Constitution, PO Box 25706, Alexandria, VA 22313-5706. Repeated requests and requests with insufficient postage will be returned or destroyed. Only 1 copy per request.
For details, see http://www.thecapitol.net/Publications/PocketConstitution.html
Tags: FREE Pocket Constitution, Pocket Constitution
Libertarians fall into two distinct groups: strict libertarians like Rand Paul and classical liberals such as myself. “Classical liberal” is not a term that rolls off of the tongue. Consequently, “libertarian” is the choice term in popular discourse when discussing policies that favor limited government. Libertarians of all stripes oppose President Obama’s endless attacks on market institutions and the rich. The umbrella term comfortably embraces both strands of libertarian theory vis-à-vis a common intellectual foe.
It is important to understand the differences in views between the strong libertarian and classical liberal position. Serious hard-line libertarian thinkers include Murray Rothbard and Karl Hess. Rothbard believes nonaggression is the sole requirement of a just social order. For Hess, “libertarianism is the view that each man is the absolute owner of his life, to use and dispose of as he sees fit.” There are large kernels of truth in both propositions. It is quite impossible to see how any social order could be maintained if there were no limitations against the use, or threatened use, of force to enslave or butcher other people, which Hess’s proposition of absolute self-ownership strongly counteracts.
Yet the overarching question is how does a group of people move from the Hobbesian “war of all against all” toward a peaceful society? Hess claims that stable institutions are created by “voluntary association and cooperation.” Again, strong libertarians are on solid ground in defending (most) private contracts against government interference, which is why Lochner v. New York (1905), reviled as it is by most constitutional thinkers, was right in striking down New York’s sixty hours per week maximum labor statute. Yet the hard-line libertarian position badly misfires in assuming that any set of voluntary contracts can solve the far larger problem of social order, which, as Rothbard notes, in practice requires each and every citizen to relinquish the use force against all others. Voluntary cooperation cannot secure unanimous consent, because the one violent holdout could upset the peace and tranquility of all others.
The sad experience of history is that high transaction costs and nonstop opportunism wreck the widespread voluntary effort to create a grand social alliance to limit the use of force. Society needs a coercive mechanism strong enough to keep defectors in line, but fair enough to command the allegiance of individuals, who must share the costs of creating that larger and mutually beneficial social order. The social contract that Locke said brought individuals out of the state of nature was one such device. The want of individual consent was displaced by a consciously designed substantive program to protect both liberty and property in ways that left all members of society better off than they were in the state of nature. Only constrained coercion can overcome the holdout problems needed to implement any principle of nonaggression.
The flat tax is preferred because it reduces private incentives to game the tax system and, likewise, the ability of government officials to unfairly target their opponents. The optimal theory of taxation minimizes the distortions created by the need to fund the government activities that maintain public order and supply infrastructure. The classical liberal thus agrees with the hard-line libertarian that progressive taxation, with its endless loopholes, is unsustainable in the long run. At the same time, the classical liberal finds it incomprehensible that anyone would want to condemn all taxes as government theft from a hapless citizenry. The hard-line libertarian’s blanket condemnation of taxes as theft means that he can add nothing to the discussion of which tax should be preferred and why. The classical liberal has a lot to say on that subject against both the hard-line libertarian and the modern progressive.
My Rand Paul Problem: Why classical liberalism is superior to hard-core libertarianism.
Acton Institute, Cato Institute
Wikipedia: Libertarianism | Classical Liberalism | Christian Libertarianism
Continue reading ‘Libertarian, Classical Liberal: Richard Epstein’ »
Tags: Acton Institute, administrative agencies, administrative state, aYYIRJpXqGA, Beadledom, Cato, Cato Institute, classical liberal, DRut_LTJpwI, Forward!, free markets, libertarian, Lord ACton, PPSglKMzx5o, Rand Paul, RDT, revolving door tax, Richard Epstein