PreviewThe people shape their own destiny
-- either as free people or as slaves.

If they remain self-reliant, they stay free.
Ever expanding state power destroys lives.

Government panacea is a defective idea.
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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Strategy for anarchy --- never-fail, time-tested

What makes citizens obey the law is not always their sterling character. Instead, fear of punishment -- the shame of arrest, fines or imprisonment -- more often makes us comply with laws. Law enforcement is not just a way to deal with individual violators but also a way to remind society at large that there can be no civilization without legality.

Or, as 17th-century British statesman George Savile famously put it: "Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen."

In the modern world, we call such prompt, uniform and guaranteed law enforcement "deterrence," from the Latin verb meaning "to frighten away." One protester who disrupts a speech is not the problem. But if unpunished, he green-lights hundreds more like him.

Worse still, when one law is left unenforced, then all sorts of other laws are weakened.

The result of hundreds of "sanctuary cities" is not just to forbid full immigration enforcement in particular jurisdictions. They also signal that U.S. immigration law, and by extension other laws, can be ignored.


The problem with ignoring laws is that it is contagious -- and can boomerang.

Sanctuary cities could in theory birth conservative sanctuary zones. Would today's protesters wish for other jurisdictions to nullify federal laws and court rulings concerning abortion, gun registration and gay marriage?

If thousands of Hondurans in a caravan are deemed above the law, then why not exempt future mass arrivals of Chinese or South African immigrants?

If Cruz and other Republican politicos can't eat in peace, will Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi soon face the same disruptions -- the illegality justified by higher moral concerns?

If students can block a right-wing speaker or storm a diner, will they also object when anti-abortion protesters bar the passage of a pro-choice campus guest?

German philosopher Immanuel Kant noted that "anarchy is law and freedom without force."

Translated to our current context, Kant might say that all our high-minded talk about the Bill of Rights means absolutely nothing without the cop on the beat and the local district attorney.

 -- Victor Davis Hanson

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Good economic news

From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Announced on:
Job openings hit a new high of 6.9 million; hires and separations little changed in July.
Prosperity is arriving.
Payroll employment increases by 201,000 in August; unemployment rate unchanged at 3.9%
More people are working (which means they will be paying taxes, which will help to  lower the national debt.

Productivity rises 2.9% in second-quarter 2018; unit labor costs fall 1.0% (annual rates)
That indicates that wages will  also start moving up.
Republican policies are working.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

White power handsign?

Zina Bash supposedly made a white power sign during Brett Kavanaugh's examination by the Senate.  Zina Bash, of mixed (i.e. "American") ancestry.

So lets explain how this is supposed to have worked.  Mrs Bash rested her right hand on her left arm with the fingers more or less in the "ok" gesture (She looks like she is gonna scratch her arm to me).  But if you apply your imagination, you can see the three fingers make a "W".  The thumb and index finger circle into the letter "P".  WP.  White Power.  Or maybe "What Patience."  Or whateverp.

The purpose of the Leftist tempest is to silence people they don't like, by (falsely) interpreting their movements/words/gestures as something evil.  The Left thinks they can frighten people into not saying anything, since only the high and mighty Left has the loudest voice. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

So many school shootings?

"Almost 240 shootings took place at U.S. schools during the 2015-16 year, according to figures published in April by the Department of Education. Think about that number: 240. That's tens of thousands of American children exposed to mortal danger.

"Now think about this number: 11. Because when NPR tried to confirm the incidents reported by the government, that's how many it could verify. And while some of the entries in the Education Department's study could neither be verified nor disproved, NPR's report found that in two-thirds of the cases, the school districts contacted by the news organization said that no shootings had occurred.

"How can NPR and the Education Department be getting such clashing results?

"NPR's reporting suggests that much of the problem is that school districts simply filled out the forms incorrectly. In Cleveland, for example, whoever was in charge of compiling the data seems to have put the answer to the previous question - which asked about possession of a knife or firearm - into the space designated for the discharge of a firearm on school grounds.

"These kinds of data errors inevitably creep into any large survey, as anyone who has ever made a slight mistake on a tax form can attest. And in most contexts, such errors probably don't matter much; they're just a bit of statistical noise in a broadly sound dataset.

"But they become a big problem when the phenomenon being studied is relatively rare."

--  Megan McArdle

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Iraq expands legal private firearms ownership -- for public safety.

Iraq: citizens of that turbulent nation also have new options for self-defense. This week, Reuters reported that a recent change in government policy “allows citizens to own and carry handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other assault weapons after obtaining official authorization and an identity card that also details the individual’s weapons.” Prior to the change, “gun sales were restricted to firearms for hunting and sport.”

Of course, a lack of legal avenues for gun ownership did not mean that the volatile country’s population was previously unarmed. Faced with anarchic violence in the wake of the Iraq War, average Iraqis armed themselves through various extralegal means. A December 2006 New York Times article by C.J. Chivers documented the country’s flourishing black market gun trade. Reporting from Sulaimaniya, Chivers wrote, “The weapons are easy to find, resting among others in the semihidden street markets here, where weapons are sold in tea houses, the back rooms of grocery kiosks, cosmetics stores and rug shops, or from the trunks of cars.”

Speaking with Reuters about the new firearms policy, Baghdad gun shop owner Hamza Maher explained, “The reason for buying is self-defence, and it’s safer for citizens to buy a weapon from an authorised store instead of from an unknown source.” Maher went on to say that he believes the new rules will decrease crime, telling the news outlet, “The criminal who plans to attack others will understand that he will pay heavy price.”

Another encouraging sign? In a part of the world not typically celebrated for its progressive tendencies, it appears – at least anecdotally - that women are increasingly interested in armed self-defense. Maher noted, “Customers are mainly men, but the number of women buyers is growing.”