What should the government own?

By Nathan Barton

I recently found this fascinating quote.

I don’t see any justification for the federal government owning land, other than the Statue of Liberty and maybe a few parks, maybe a few refuges. But to just own land to do nothing with it I think is a disservice to the Constitution. – Don Young

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Supreme Court – worth fighting and fussing about?

By Nathan Barton

Eric Holder, that wonderful paragon of government service “to the people” and incredible example of strict adherent of the rule of law, has condemned the Nazgul, questioning the body’s legitimacy in the wake of adding Kavenaugh to its august membership. His attack is echoed by thousands of other talking heads. Among other things, it seems the first bill which will be introduced by the inevitably Democratic-majority House of Representatives will be to impeach the man. Based on what might, by then, be all of twelve or thirteen weeks of work.  Work which is unlikely to have resulted in a single SCOTUS decision, based on their usual schedule.

Others have declared the “death” of American democracy, the demise of the Supremes as a viable institution, and worse.  Mobs continue to roam the halls and streets of DC, seeking victims for their ire.  Once again, it seems that the world is doomed.

(To listen to the screams of protest, I wonder if progressive women are not hurriedly getting pregnant so that they can enjoy another cycle of rite by getting an abortion before he locks up their uterus.)

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Political theater, at its worst

By Nathan Barton

It has been virtually impossible, for the last two weeks, to NOT have to hear something about the popular daytime (and nighttime) political soap opera starring Kenneth Branagh – whoops, sorry – Brett Kavanaugh, with its cast of thousands.

  Jonathan Baz Reviews...: July 2013

Next Nazgul?

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Free people do not get permission

Nathan’s note: Mama Liberty (Lady Susan) and I both have four fingers pointing back at us in this commentary, at least for our professions in the past. Because she had retired from the profession of nursing, she had freed herself. Because I still (attempt to) practice engineering and provide certain kinds of training in various of the Fifty States, I am still not free in the sense we discuss here.

Free people do not go to the State to get permission to pursue a profession.

They simply pursue the profession….

Free men and women aren’t required to submit to mandatory government in order to earn the right to use their God-given talents and abilities.

They simply use those God-given talents and abilities.

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Civil war thoughts

By Nathan Barton

I would like to thank a reader, and elaborate on his remarks and my thoughts on the issues he raises.

“Beau” has made some remarks worth sharing, writing:

as an aside, all the talk of ‘civil war’ (as if any war is ‘civil’) is absolute lunacy, but, then, the historically challenged (virtually all ‘citizens’) have no concept of what such a cataclysm will usher in. it would be infinitely better to simply acknowledge the truth – our divisions cannot be remedied – and divorce/separation be undertaken, than the lunacy put forth by those exhorting such a course.

further, those advocating a civil war have obviously failed to ask themselves the one question they should: who will we get to fight a civil war in our stead, as we have done before, always? THEY will be on the front lines, rather than other people’s children, as has always been the case. in the end, this fact, ie, those fomenting the civil war being on the front lines and actually having to participate in what they have started, will be the only ‘positive’ to such an event.

The name “civil war” whether applied to the American War Between the States, or the English War of King versus Parliament, or any of the hundred or so internal conflicts that come to mind… It is both a misnomer and oxymoron.  And a term of art and legal understanding.

Internal war – rebellion, war of secession, uprising; whatever term we use – is often the ultimate expression of “Live Free or Die,” “Sic semper Tyrannus,” “Freedom = I Won’t” and other sentiments of lovers of liberty.

Seldom are such conflicts actually initiated by an act of aggression on the part of those who so want (and need) to secede, liberate themselves from tyranny, and regain the freedom that is God’s gift to all humans.  It is almost always the penultimate response to a long series of abuses, of initiation of violence (and the threat of violence) by the powers-that-be.  The rulers, the elite, the state, government.

However foolish it may be to resort to weapons, and to violent self-defense and defense of others. However slim the chances of a successful outcome.  However high the chances of death for you, for those with you, for those you are seeking to help.

And no matter how likely you are to betray the ideals, abandon the objectives, and behave dishonorably and immorally in fighting the war.

But advocating a civil war (or rebellion) is far different from fighting one. Or even accepting the inevitability of one.  Heinlein wrote of “small-mouthed pacifists” which is what I see most self-governors and lovers of liberty as being.  Jesus said that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” But even He made it clear that the Father gave us the right of self-defense.

But He also taught that we must count the cost, as Beau speaks of.  And that cost can be very high.  As has been proved time after time, not least in the bloody hills of Judea just a few decades later, and in the scattered fields and forests of Virginia, Tennessee and elsewhere 1800 years later.

Beau makes other important points – repeating what others have said. Who will fight? (and die?) There may be no “others” to do that for us.

He suggests a “peaceful” separation and divorce.  Which is both a wise thing and something that has been done, even in the recent past. The division of the Czech Republic and Slovakia immediately comes to mind, as does the gaining of independence by many parts of Asia and Africa. It is being attempted in Scotland and Catalonia, even now.

But I fear that those are rare.  Even those divorces which seemed to be peaceful have often been surrounded by bloody fighting.  The breakup of the Soviet Union, for example. The division of Ireland into Free State and Northern Ireland. And many many others.

The fighting of a war or rebellion, and its aftermath, are also (as Beau terms it), a cataclysm. Often, the original reasons, the first causes, are completely forgotten. Whether the war is “won” by the “right side” or not. Bad as Reconstruction was in the South, the annals of history recall far, far worse.  And as with revolutions, the outcome is usually not what was being fought for.  Yes, important matters were decided, for which blood was paid.  But the end results are… less than optimal.

So, a civil war, a war between the states, a war of secession, a rebellion against the most hideous of tyrants – these are all things to be avoided.  We must clearly define what is intolerable, and search our brains for other ways to overturn those intolerable matters before resorting to arms, even in self-defense.

Please pray we me that we do so in the Fifty States.

 

 

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Human rights? Sorry, not here.

By Nathan Barton

The recent discussion of the increasing discrimination of “major” social media companies and major information technology companies, against lovers of freedom deserves more discussion.  We are condemned as being evil monsters, promoting such things as firearms, disobedience to government, resistance to the “wrong kinds of tyranny,” and as being racist, sexist, exclusivist, and even nationalists and fascists, because of the principals we seek to follow and teach.

I pointed out that we are finding ourselves in (or being pushed into) ghettos and modern technological equivalents.  We are finding a need to create enclaves in which we can live and trade. At the same time we are being put into Coventry by the other three corners of the political diamond.  These discussions prompt this thought.

What are “human rights”?

Specifically, is not the buying and selling of goods and services, trade, a human right? Is it not inherent in the very concept of “private property” as we understand it?

Are we not entitled by our humanity to spend our time, use our skills, and take resources available to us to produce material things which are valuable to other people? And trade them for things which we need or find valuable? Or to take something we own (whether purchased by us or given to us) and sell it to someone else?

Yet the FedGov and state and local government have erected this vast edifice of laws which DO prevent us from selling and buying what we will from whom we will – not just “illegal substances” or “illegal devices” or “illicit services.” But virtually everything!

Will we give these rights – these God-given rights – up?  The Nazgul of the FedGov have made it clear that “commercial rights” are NOT (in their eyes) human rights.

We can see it most clearly in “free speech.”

“Commercial speech” was removed from “free speech” decades ago when SCOTUS found that the FedGov (in the form of Congress and the FCC) could outlaw certain kinds of free speech: specifically advertising for tobacco products, liquor and other alcoholic beverages.  And when Congress mandated certain packaging and labels: the infamous warnings on cigarette packs and cartons. They called it “commercial speech,” and even had the gall to call it “commercial free speech,” even though it was anything BUT free.  In any definition of that word.

There is no distinction whatsoever in the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution between “private” and “commercial” free speech – or freedoms of any sort.  What about corporations?  The current federal restrictions on commercial free speech purport to apply to sole proprietors, partners, and all kinds of business organizations.  Want to advertise or radio or television for your little cigarette and tobacco selling handcart?  Sorry, that is “against the law.”

Except that any “law” that violates the Constitution is not a law.

Our right of free speech (freedom of expression) must, of necessity, include the right to NOT speak, to NOT write, to NOT publish something which we do not want to speak, write, or publish.  But our governments here in the Fifty States, as they near totalitarian goals, demand that we (and our businesses) say and write certain things. Funny how a school child cannot be made to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but a manufacturer of tobacco products (even a sole proprietor) can be forced to print warning labels condemning their own product. And a clinic established to provide alternatives to abortion can be forced to advertise where abortions are provided.

And we have no recourse to “free trade zones” or “open ports.” Or “free speech zones” for commercial speech – that only applies to petitions and protests and the like.

Of course, there is more to this idea of human rights than just speech and its variations.  Those are topics for future commentaries.

 

Consider this quote:

    • Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

Funny, but that is found on an official FedGov website.

 

 

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The Pledge … for the children?

By Nathan Barton

I recently commented on child abuse here in the Fifty States. Especially as dealing with the so-called public schools.

One area in which there is abuse is in the rituals and customs of schools.

Specifically with the recitation of that venerable tradition, the Pledge of Allegiance.

In this one thing, we see both the way children are abused in the government-run, tax-funded (“public”) schools AND the incredible inconsistency of statists and progressives.  Whether those are national, international, or transnational socialists.

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