Hobbit@Law

Looking carefully at that which is unseen.

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Stopped clocks

As a libertarian, I’m not particularly enthused by any group who wishes to achieve world domination, whether it’s by the Left, Right, Center, or religious whackos of any persuasion. That being said, regardless of whackiness, you can occasionally find nuggets of truth in the streams of dross. The above-referenced R. J. Rushdoony seems to have described socialism perfectly when he said it “…tries to give the slave all the advantages of his security together with the benefits of freedom, and in the process, destroys both the free and the enslaved.” Socialism, as a political and economic system, involves State ownership of everything that is within the boundaries of the State, despite the high-sounding definition offered in Wikipedia: “…an economic system in which the means of production are publicly or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively, or a political philosophy advocating such a system. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.”

Yet anyone in Mao’s China or Stalin’s USSR would not describe their ability to control their own lives and properties as “relatively equal power relations.” State prohibitions and mandates were standard – just as the slave is controlled by his master. People were seen as slaves to the State, with some as overseers, but the very top acting as nothing but owners.

So, while the thought of the Religious Right (so to speak) attempting to dominate the world is not particularly attractive, neither is the current scenario of the Secular Left doing so. In either event personal freedom is destroyed and I fail to see any reason to become more outraged by one methodology over the other.

Got popcorn?

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Today’s quote

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.” – Robert A. Heinlein

There’s a reason that voters were, in the Original Plans, supposed to either be earning money or be property owners. Everyone else is along for the ride and only the people who own the car or who are buying gas should be responsible for deciding the direction of travel – which, presumably, should not be toward the bakery or the circus.

Thinking about: Overthinking the obvious

Conservatives frequently complain that Liberals do nothing more than make excuses for bad behavior, completely disregarding any potential for individual responsibility for actions. They’ll also go so far as to equate any explanation with an excuse.

Liberals often deserve the accusation, as they’ll get so lost in navel-gazing looking for reasons when sometimes the reasons are obvious and right in front of them.

Take for example this bit by the New York Times. The writer actually nails it, when he points out that the looting was caused by a “culture of greed and impunity.” A “culture of greed” may have been the reason behind the interest in looting, but it was the perceived lack of any possible punishment for doing so that made it happen. I can guaran-effin’-tee you that no person with a police officer standing right behind him, gun drawn, has ever, ever, in the history of the world, looted so much as a used toenail clipping.

Unless, of course, he knew that he couldn’t be punished for it.

Does this mean that I think looters should be shot? Don’t be silly – hanging is much more economical, as you can reuse the rope.

Compare and contrast the rioting and looting during the last brouhaha in LA, between the undefended sectors (in both cities) and the shops guarded by armed Korean merchants. Even the potential for punishment was sufficient to induce the barbarians to pillage elsewhere. Or check out the orderly and guarded homes in New Orleans, vis a vis the ones where people took the advice of the impotent authorities (but not so impotent that they couldn’t injure the law-abiding) and left.

When a behavior is rewarded – or not punished – it should come as no surprise to anyone that you get more of it. And as the world continues to head down into the abyss, let us not be surprised to see that thieving does anything but increase.

Got rope?

Word of the moment: NEDS

Neds.

“No Education Delinquents.”

It’s interesting to compare and contrast the view in that article with the view in this one.

The whole purpose of community is that it benefits all of the participants. What the Left generally forgets, though, is that community, like society, is actually better seen as a verb. It’s the interaction between two or more individuals which, ideally, is for the benefit of all parties involved – otherwise why be involved in it? To the extent that neds are not giving anything to the other members of the group, what right do they have to demand – whether by tax or by force (but I repeat myself) – that others give them anything? Individuals have a right to life – but there is nothing that indicates that life should or must come at the expense of another, unless the other wishes to provide that life as a gift, or in exchange for something.

The industrialized nations have, as was pointed out, spent generations breeding up neds – and other parasites. Although the biologic model of sociology is out of vogue, nevertheless the metaphor remains apt: when an entity has more parasites draining it than it can produce for, the entity inevitably dies. A strong entity can last a long time, but death is still inevitable.

Got popcorn?

Thinking about: Gun owners

Not every gun owner is a gunnie. Gunnies tend to see firearms more in religious or mystical terms, rather than as tools to manage certain situations. And it is exactly that religious view that creates no end of problems for many of them.

Left wing perfervid fantasies, allegations, and paranoia aside, gunnies are nevertheless generally a very law-abiding group. Criminals see guns more as tools of the trade, or as status symbols, rather than attaching to them emotionally. In regard to law-abiding, I’m fairly sure that if, say, stainless steel guns were made illegal to own, a substantial majority of gunnies would simply turn them in, perhaps grumbling and with rationalizations, but nevertheless would comply. Because it’s the law. Moreover, I’m sure sizeable minority of that majority would even be willing to narc out fellow gunnies who didn’t turn in THEIR stainless stuff. Some might only turn in unknown guys seen at the range, but more than a few would be dropping a dime on their own mothers, if it came to that.

Despite – or maybe as an adjunct to – that law-abiding nature, gunnies also tend to live in a chest thumping fantasy world that Edgar Rice Burroughs would be perfectly at home in, a fantasy world that is without any regard for the law. The fantasies range from muy macho handlings of individual predators to grandiose dreams of the end of the world where their manliness and firearms skill enable them to roam the wastelands without problem, a la Mad Max.

Which leads to three thoughts on the fantasy life: The first is that the gunnies living in those fantasy worlds (as opposed to the ones who say “I hope I never have to shoot someone, but if I have to, I plan to do it right”) rarely seem to be, say, combat veterans from the military. As one writer put it, “Reality has a way of killing fantasy.” This is not to say that there are not guys who love combat and live for the chance to go and kill people legally – but they are a minority. The second observation, tied to the first, is that there are not that many female gunnies. Being a gunnie tends to require a Y chromosome, for some reason. As a guess, being someone without a degree in psychology, a lot of the gunnie fantasy comes from a reality in which the gunnie sees himself as – or really is – a powerless cubedwelling drone who’s never going to make an impact on modern industrial society. The final thought regarding the fantasy life, and serious evidence that it is indeed fantasy, is the tendency for gunnies to have a marked disdain – if not outright hysteria – when any of their fantasies are challenged. Their response to someone pointing out a problem is not, “Crap, I guess I didn’t think my cunning plan through all the way” followed by intellectual, psychological, or mechanical adjustments to the system. They immediately default to defensiveness at best up through anger and infantile temper tantrums directed at the questioner.

This is not to suggest for even an instant that gunnies should be prohibited from owning guns. It is a suggestion that anyone owning a gun ought to take a serious look at reality and make sure that his feet are there, rather than on a sound stage representing post-apocalypse Australia. It won’t reduce the hysteria of the hoplophobes, but it will help improve their own personas.

Welcome to the party, pal!

In the action movie Die Hard, Bruce Willis plays a police officer trapped in a building filled with terrorists and hostages. He tries desperately to attract the attention of law enforcement officials outside, and finally succeeds by throwing a dead terrorist through a window and onto the hood of a police car. He shouts his tag line, as is obligatory for any action hero, to the officer scrambling for cover, “Welcome to the party, pal.”

Welcome to the party, pal

Someone just tossed a body – or something equivalent – on the British press. The Guardian, has apparently just realized what any observer of government and the State has known for years: That the minions of the State are reactive in nature, that in regard to their relationship with the citizenry they basically show up to draw chalk lines around bodies, and that their ultimate purpose is really nothing more than exerting control of the citizenry on behalf of the State. Americans saw this during any number of outbreaks here – the Rodney King riots come to mind – and courts have affirmed for decades that the police owe no obligation whatsoever to individual citizens, but only to “society as a whole.” Based on their actions during various outbreaks of large scale violence, I’d question whether there’s even an obligation to society as a whole – especially because police “survival” training emphasizes that their actual and foremost obligation is to “come home alive at the end of their shift.”

One can only wonder how supportive the Guardian – and other media – will continue to be of their beloved State as more and more of the impotence that the Guardian describes comes into view. My guess is that they’ll sit back and cheerlead for more powers, more authority, more money, because no True Believer ever wants to find out that his god is not only mortal, but has feet of clay in the bargain.

The barbarians are here, and the supposed guardians of civilization are impotent.

Got popcorn? And ammunition?

Edit: The thoroughly insightful Justin Raimondo describes and offers some excellent thoughts on these Barbarians With Blackberries.

So what? Obama’s Birth Certificate

Let’s presume, just for argument’s sake, that President Obama’s birth certificate is – as many argue – a complete and utter forgery and that the current President of the United States is actually not a Natural Born Citizen.

So what?

Is that reality going to bring back the dead people from all the wars he’s started or continued?

Will it put any money back in the Treasury?

Will it do anything to halt the ongoing slide into tyranny (or Third World life) for the US?

No. It’s not.

So get the heck over it, and move on to other areas of life. Areas that might actually have relevance, and may have some slender chance of actually improving the nation.

Thinking about: Duh Voters

I see headlines like this:

CNN/ORC Poll: Most Americans dislike debt deal, think lawmakers acted like ‘spoiled children’ and my reflex thought is “but who, exactly, put them IN there?” Why is it on a “bad” year Congress only has 90% reelection rate for incumbents?

The answer – or an answer at least – is that voters generally are happy with their own representatives, because he’s usually bringing home federal pork in some form or other for the local district. It’s the other guy who is a problem.

Which leads to at least one fascinating solution (or part of one) to the problem of the federal legislature not looking out for the nation as a whole, but rather just looking to get their trotters in the trough for their own constitutents: Have reelections be based on randomly chosen districts, with that designation occurring only ten days prior to the election. So it’s very nice that Congresman Porkbarrel brought a new bridge home to his electors in New York City – he’d best be ready to explain to the voters in West Skunkbutt, Idaho, how that bit of tax money from their pockets, going to New York State, was a benefit to them.

I figure if we combine the Random Reelection District process with the elimination of withholding tax (that having been imposed to win WWII and WWII having been won 65 or so years ago), and moving Income Tax Day up to the first Monday in November … I suspect we’d see a lot more enthusiastic voter participation and a much higher quality – or at least honest – level of representation.