Archive for the ‘U.S. Constitution’ Category.

Laws are for the little people….

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

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Open Borders

If you’re worried about those who live off the taxpayer, pay more attention to who crosses the DC border than the US border.

Daniel Lin

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Misc Stuff

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Jury Nullification

Jury Nullification: Wikipedia |

Fully Informed Jury Association

Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine

Jury Nullification

How Jury Nullification Accelerates the Drug War’s Demise

Juries do not only decide guilt or innocence; they can also serve as checks on unjust laws. Judges will not tell you about your right to nullify….

Just say no

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President Asterisk Expands the Imperial Presidency

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.

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Free Pocket Constitution

The Constitution at your fingertips.

Includes the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Amendments to the Constitution

Free Pocket 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

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Libertarian, Classical Liberal: Richard Epstein

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

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America is Not Becoming More Libertarian

[I]t is a myth that the US is becoming ‘libertarian’ – the number of restrictions on personal behaviour is increasing, not decreasing. At the same time as marijuana is being legalised in Colorado, cities are banning e-cigarettes for no rational reason. The newly ‘liberal’ America says it’s cool to smoke marijuana but then demonises those who eat a McDonald’s hamburger or drink a Big Gulp soda. Many of the same people who are posing as liberty’s champions over marijuana are the same ones who are leading the charge when it comes to bans, limits and nudges on tobacco, soda, school lunches, and so on.

Marijuana and the myth of libertarian America

The American Aristocracy worries about the little people:

What an odd situation in which we find ourselves, where the most influential figures in politics, media, culture, and the academy, the leaders of institutions from the presidency to the Senate to multinational corporations to globally recognized universities, spend most of their time discussing inequalities of income and opportunity, identifying, blaming, and attacking the mysterious and nefarious figures behind whatever the social problem of the day might be. This is the way the clique that runs America justifies the inequalities endemic to “meritocracy,” the way it masks the flaws of a power structure that generates Brown-educated cable hosts and personal chefs who open ballparks with a phone call. This is how a new American aristocracy comes into being, one as entitled and clueless as its predecessors, but without the awareness of itself as a class.

Love in the Time of Obama

Let’s start by downsizing the federal government – a smaller government means less rent-seeking.

DownsizingGovernment.org

Department of Education – college con

Department of Labor – unemployment, FUTA, job training, monopoly unionism

Department of Energy – clean coal, Solyndra

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS – Medicaid, fraud, Medicare,

Department of Agriculture, USDA – ag subsidies, wheat, corn, rice, dairy, soybeans, cotton, sugar

The gradual accretion of power by a vast administrative state, combined with an administration intolerant of dissent, has produced a clear and present danger to basic American freedoms.

Enemies of Friends of Abe: How the IRS chills freedom of association.

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I Have a Dream!

I say to you, my friends, even though we face difficulties today, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

I have a dream, that one day all across this country, all people will …. [more]

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Free Will and Liberty

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