Libertarian Commentary on the News, 29 August 2014, #15-34D: Shrinking government to the size of its brain

by Nathan Barton

Ben Carson, the MD turned candidate for Prez, has ticked off veterans groups who aren’t bothering to think very much. As reported in World Net Daily, Carson does not want to do away with medical care and other aid to veterans (as the headline mistakenly claims), he wants to get rid of the VA; merge its services and facilities into the Department of Defense: especially the medical care system.  Amen to that. It certainly does not solve the problem of letting government provide health care, but it DOES reduce costs and many problems, and more clearly establishes accountability – and as much as anything can, reduces the political mess and boondoggle the VA is.

Of course, from a minarchist point of view (not my own, but I can argue in support of it, as a temporary measure and better than what we have now), an “ancient” book, “Spirit of ’76” by Alexander Holmes, published in 1966 illustrates what can be done to reduce government on a large scale.  It was written in a day when government was massive, but nothing like the leviathan it is today.  A “ticket” balancing, quasi-libertarian VP comes to power when the Prez dies, and rejects most of his predecessor’s policies. Among other things, he merges the Departments of Commerce and Labor, Agriculture and Interior, and both privatizes and militarizes NASA.  When North Vietnamese communist forces launch an invasion of the “Free City of Saigon,” the sole remaining US ally in that part of the world, the new Prez, also a USAF Reserve officer, flies as part of the first flight of attack aircraft to hit the enemy columns advancing on the city. He then really goes to town, eliminating bureaus and agencies (no more FTC, FCC, etc.) and selling off all kinds of stuff: the Tennessee Valley Authority, dams and power plants and ammo factories and airports and more.

Of course, what REALLY happened in the late 1960s and 1970s was the opposite. NEW bureaucracies were created either by splitting up old agencies (HEW becoming the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education), elevating old agencies and giving MORE power to bureaucrats (the Department of Energy and the DVA), or creating powerful  agencies out of whole cloth (the EPA, for one).  Still later, in the Bush II administration, we saw the evil get even more blatant, splitting Commerce and swiping agencies from elsewhere to create the vicious and insanely corrupt Department of Homeland Security.

So Carson’s idea, from a minarchist point of view, makes tremendous sense and would no doubt quickly prove to be better for those being served. Put the Coast Guard and Energy back in Commerce, and have it absorb Labor and the EPA (suitably reorganized, of course).  Merge Interior and Ag and have DoD not just absorb the VA, but the Border Patrol (Customs would go with the Coast Guard) and Energy’s nuclear programs (while cutting back overseas forces by about 80% and spinning at least two-thirds of the active duty force and reserves to the various State National Guards).  Ah, a dream indeed.

Don’t think any of this will happen, even if Carson were inexplicably elected as Prez, and even with Ron Paul as his VP.  But it is fun to dream about.

Meanwhile, let us discuss the so-called “Justice System” in these Fifty States, where the corrupt and corrupting Nine Nazgul sit at the apex of a grand hierarchy like neither Imperial Rome NOR the Roman Catholic Church envisioned or had.  The WaPo reports that on the Supreme Court plaza (what! Not the “people’s plaza?”) there is NO PROTECTION for the First Amendment.  (Any more than there is in front of the Federal Courthouse in Denver, CO, for fully-informed jury activists, nor on most college campuses today, with their “Free Speech Zones.”)

An appeals court ruled that protesters do not have a right to congregate on the plaza in front of the court, reversing a ruling two years ago by a lower court.  Opps, here come the troops – sorry, just the Capitol Police in their “heavy combat mode.”  Round up those people who want to protest or applaud (stupid is as stupid does) what the Nazgul do.  More security, more “safety” – less and less liberty and freedom to do anything but bow down and kiss their toes.

No liberty there, either, but LOTS of room for delusion and deception and… madness.  Wow!  The WaPo reports that the North Korean leader says that his nukes, not negotiation, avoided war.  Yeah, right. In Kim Jong Un’s version of events, last weekend’s standoff with South Korea was a sign of North Korea’s strength. Strength of body odor, maybe.

Gasp! What happened?  Europe is supposed to be an example (a “good” example) for the Fifty States on how to treat border jumpers. But the WaPo  tells us that instead, all these countries in Europe are building NEW border walls and fences, seeking to do the opposite of the Berlin Wall but JUST what the Dems and Reps in DC are telling us we should NOT do – keep people out unless they are polite and follow the rules.  Dear, oh, dear.  Walls, migrants being killed and drowning at sea, the mullahs and ayatollahs and imams and caliphs and all pushing the new barbarian invasions, and… Europe has lost its compassion and love.  Gee, maybe it is time for some more missionaries to head over there, eh?  Shucks, the next thing you know, those dastardly Europeans will be letting their citizens arm themselves, and have free speech, and the swastikas will go up all over the place.

Except of course, the swastikas (or their equivalents) already have a place they are going up.  Anyone remember that old TV show, the FBI, with its simple three letter logo, and tales of brave and honest and law-abiding special agents facing horrible odds?  Long gone, of course (if it really ever existed: look up J. Edgar Hoover some time).  Personal Liberty reprints a story reporting that the Associated Press (AP: evil incarnate of the mainstream media) is suing because the FBI impersonated a journalist in a sting operation, used a fake AP story to distribute a surveillance trojan, AND failed to turn over information under the Freedom of Information Act. Goodness me, who on earth do we want to root for in THIS case when the Nazgul gets it?  Forget the “you can’t appreciate the game unless you have a score card” business. the Feebs are the criminal gang – maybe THAT is what Trump is talking about when he promises to rid the Fifty States of gangs, as also discussed in Personal Liberty Digest.

Mama’s Note: I just love it when the various gangs fight among themselves. This “election” silly season should give us a ring side seat at various knock down, drag out fights. The warm-ups have been pretty entertaining already.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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