Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: Natural Law vs. Tyranny
segunda-feira, janeiro 04, 2016
Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance:
Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.
Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be. This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits.” The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.
Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism,” a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire. He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming..
The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.
Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission.
He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies..
The Myth of the Good Guy Cop por Christopher Cantwell:
This is absolute nonsense. The fact of the matter is, the best cop on the planet, would be a do nothing tax leech. Literally, the best case scenario for a police officer, would be somebody who showed up for work, got in his squad car, parked it, and went to sleep .. perhaps we could thank those sleepy evildoers for not harming anyone that day, except for the fact that they are getting paid to do the exact opposite, and they are paid by taxation.
Taxation is theft. No matter what your opinion on taxes is, this is proven by the fact that myself and others do no consent to taxation. Our money is taken from us without our consent, and under threat of violence. If we do not pay, men (cops, actually) will break into our homes, shoot our pets, and kidnap us. If we resist, they will gun us down without a second thought. If you think that’s a morally justifiable thing because some slave owners wrote a document 230 some odd years ago, that’s a topic for another article, but it’s still theft.
So really, when the highest possible aspiration for a man with a uniform is literally that of being a lazy thief, one can easily imagine that the jump to heroic savior of mankind is rather unlikely.
quarta-feira, dezembro 30, 2015
Why Libertarians Are Hopeless:
Libertarians, to our credit, have worked very hard to spread our ideas by way of reasoned logical arguments ..
In so doing, we have largely overlooked the crux of the issue. We have attempted to understand the realities of the universe and make better libertarian arguments, without trying to understand the flaw in our fellow man which prevents him from understanding reason. It is that inquiry which has led me to my startling conclusion, that libertarians are hopeless.
If libertarians are interested in reason, logic, and evidence, then they should start processing the evidence that reason and logic have nearly zero relation to modern social and political discourse. When one refuses to process a reasoned argument, giving them more reason is a senseless exercise in futility. Hence the great frustration of so many libertarians who might study themselves into the grave, never understanding why they have not saved mankind from his own irrationality.
PC Is About Control, Not Etiquette:
If PC truly was about kindness and respect, it wouldn’t need to be imposed on us. After all, we already have a mechanism for the social cohesion PC is said to represent: it’s called manners. And we already have specific individuals charged with insuring that good manners are instilled and upheld: they’re called parents.
But what exactly is PC? Let me take a stab at defining it: Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation of language intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel, and act, in furtherance of an agenda.
PC is best understood as propaganda, which is how I suggest we approach it. But unlike propaganda, which historically has been used by governments to win favor for a particular campaign or effort, PC is all-encompassing. It seeks nothing less than to mold us into modern versions of Marx’s un-alienated society man, freed of all his bourgeois pretensions and humdrum social conventions.
Like all propaganda, PC fundamentally is a lie.
The Only Principle Is Faith in the Power of the State
As vague and misty as most modern leftist ideals can be, they do share one solid, bedrock principle: the need for continuous expansion of the government’s role in our lives. The government’s heavy handed regulation of our industries has imposed unbelievable barriers and costs to the supply of goods and services. No matter that this overhead hurts the poorest among us the most, to the Progressive, these costs are necessary in order to ensure we are protected from “greed” or “racism” or sexism” or “wage injustice” or whatever word-clothing that particular government expansion merits. The goal of the policy is vague therefore the government impediment will last indefinitely. The crusade will never end.
quinta-feira, novembro 26, 2015
Social Justice versus the Left:
In a free market — where there is private property, free association, reciprocity, and fair play — exchange will only take place if both parties believe they will be made better off by it. Of course, one or both parties may be wrong, and losses do happen, but it’s in everyone’s self-interest to engage in trades that make themselves better off. In that sense, trade in a free market is a positive-sum game — one that allocates scarce resources in a way that both parties gain.
Politics is the opposite. Unlike markets, political power requires physical violence or the threat of physical violence to achieve particular ends. That’s because the only way one person can gain from a political encounter, regulatory or redistributive, is for the other side to lose.
Economic reform that is branded as neoliberal, and as a conspiracy against the people, has lifted millions out of poverty in countries like India and China — a stark contrast to the mass starvation caused by failed socialist models. When I look at capitalism, I see hope in the eyes of children in the poorest countries as they anticipate having the same things we have in the West.
My dear friends, I don’t doubt your values, but I want to see your values bear fruit. We don’t differ in our values but in our methods. History has shown capitalism to be the superior mode of economic organization, not just in terms of output but as a harbinger of hope, democracy, and individual freedom.
quarta-feira, novembro 25, 2015
Some 250 years ago, the area we recognize now as “Sweden” was a frozen tundra inhabited by a huddled mass of starving peasants. Their lives were tightly controlled by a series of kings, aristocrats, and other men of artificially high esteem. As award-winning author, Johan Norberg points out in this excellent piece on Sweden, it took a series of classically-liberal minded revolutionaries to wrestle control from the elites and put Sweden on a path to prosperity.
Licensing czars, an oppressive guild system, and a litany of other onerous regulations on free exchange were dramatically reduced or eliminated. In the century from 1850–1950, the population doubled and real Swedish incomes multiplied nearly tenfold. Despite the almost non-existence of a welfare state or any major state control of economic sectors, by 1950 Sweden was the fourth richest nation in the world. Sweden’s extraordinary growth during that century rivaled even that of the United States (Sweden was not a participant in the two World Wars). As a matter of fact, capital formation and wealth creation proved so abundant in Sweden during the global depression of the 1930s that even social democrats in the legislature practiced a form of salutary neglect to ensure the prosperity would continue. As with any other country, Sweden’s impressive capital stock was built by entrepreneurs operating in a free market system.
segunda-feira, novembro 23, 2015
Vaclav Klaus: the West’s lies about Russia are monstrous:
Listen to Klaus in full flow on the absurdities of the EU and it’s hard to think why any sane individual — on left or right — would want their country to stay in it. ‘A few days ago I studied the names of the EU commissioners under Mr Juncker, and their portfolios. We in my country say that 16 is already too high for having meaningful portfolios. But the EU now has 28, more than in any country in our part of the world. If you look at the names of those portfolios, I really don’t believe my eyes. The former Estonian prime minister is a commissioner for digital markets. As an economist I really don’t know what the term “digital markets” means. Plus there is another, a German politician, Günther Oettinger, who is the commissioner for “digital economy and society”. We would laugh in the communist era to have such names for the members of our cabinet. I can’t imagine what these commissioners are doing.’
Four Ways to Build a Free Society:
What can we do to fight back against government? We all understand the problem, but what is the solution? What can we do in the current environment to help build a more sane and libertarian world? And how can we find some measure of freedom in our lives today, to live more freely in our lifetimes? When libertarians talk about what must be done, the discussion tends to revolve around four common strategy options. None of them are mutually exclusive necessarily and there can be plenty of overlap between them.
1. The Political Option - The first, we’ll call the political option, or to borrow a tired phrase, “working within the system.” .. The argument goes something like this: government, and the political process that surrounds it, are inevitable in the real world. Therefore libertarians must not stand idly on the sidelines while politicians inexorably steal our freedoms. Instead we must organize and become active politically, under the banner of a third party vehicle like the Libertarian Party or by working within the Republican Party, because whether we want to involve ourselves with politics, politics involves itself with us.
2. Strategic Withdrawal - A second approach libertarians often consider might be loosely termed strategic withdrawal. You may have heard of the “Benedict option” being discussed by Catholics unhappy with the direction of the Church and the broader culture. Ayn Rand fans talk about “going Galt,” in reference to the strike by the productive class that takes place in Atlas Shrugged .. This approach involves separating, withdrawing, or segregating in some way from the larger society and political landscape. It asserts that the current environment is largely hopeless for libertarians politically and culturally, and therefore attempting to play the game where the rules are so heavily slanted in favor of the state is foolish.
3. Hearts and Minds - A third tactic that libertarians often advocate we might call “winning hearts and minds.” This approach is multi-pronged, involving education, academia, traditional and social media, religion, books and articles, literature, and even pop culture. Hearts and minds is why we hold conferences like this. The hearts and minds strategy is all about education, persuasion, and marketing, at every level ..
4. Resistance - Of course another strategy often discussed among libertarians involves simple resistance to the state, whether open or covert. This tactic contemplates actions like civil disobedience, tax protests, evading or ignoring regulations, and engaging in agorism and black markets .. It also contemplates the use of technological advances to advance freedom.