Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

on leftists, justice, and the state

September 22, 2017

Civil asset forfeiture has become a crazy situation. I get the potential for crippling organized crime syndicates, and I’m warm to that idea. But what in the world are law enforcement officers thinking when they abuse citizens because they can? This case of the man from Kentucky having his truck seized by Customs agents may be the nail in the coffin of what might have been a useful tool but one that can’t be trusted in the hands of totalitarian minded LEOs.

And it’s this very dynamic that baffles me when I hear Leftists propose that the only way to bring about social justice is giving more authority to the State at all levels to compel citizens to behave in specific, “just” ways in their religious, commercial, and a private lives. Civil asset forfeiture abuse should make it obvious how that’s going to work out.

single payer health systems

September 19, 2017

Apparently the Democrats are going to push all out for government controlled health insurance. Healthcare is a right in their view. To the situation in the UK, where this summer it was revealed that millions of people can’t get to a general practitioner in less than a week, with more than 11 percent of patients failing to get an appointment at all, I’m sure the advocates in the United States will point out that we’ll get it right, that in the UK they haven’t really been trying single payer.

It’s going to suck.

when you’ve lost Mika Brzezinski

December 1, 2016

She reiterates her love for Senator Warren, and uses “we” when discussing how the media and political Progressives need to listen and learn from the 2016 campaign. That makes her criticism very significant. These next few months into the first year or so of the new administration are going to be very bitter if Senator Warren sets the tone from the far left of the Democrats.

h/t Legal Insurrection

on the 2016 Presidential election in the USA

November 16, 2016

I don’t think the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is quite as consequential as we are being led to believe. Most of the Sturm und Drang reflected in news reporting over the past week or so seems to me oriented toward maintaining interest. No judgement there, that’s just the way those companies do business, and it’s their business to do. That’s how they make money. Whether or not it makes life better for their customers is being debated in the wake of the campaign. I suspect governance from Washington, D.C., will muddle along in 2017-18 as it has for the past several years.

That being said, how people are responding to the election of Donald Trump says a lot about the condition of the society. It’s intriguing to me the number of responses that were in the vein of “I didn’t realize how horrible the country is.” Granted, that type of response is coming from people not only against Trump but for Hillary. My wrestling with the decay in the character of the country occurred in the summer when he clinched the GOP nomination and she clinched the DEM nomination, and I wondered how it was that the two major parties managed to nominate candidates with historically high unfavorable ratings. Regrettably, the Libertarians also nominated one of the worst possible representatives of their governing philosophy:


But I digress.

Donald Trump isn’t particularly conservative in his policy preferences, if his past statements are a guide, nor is he particularly Christian, again, if his past statements and lifestyle are anything to go by, yet he gained enthusiastic support from conservatives and many Christians, who rode along with the wave of people who want a drastic change from the political status quo. That’s among the problems Hillary faced, but she’s not particularly Progressive, if her past behavior and policies are a good guide, and that’s the only major group on the Left that was genuinely enthusiastic about voting. The Obama coalition did not transfer to her, and the rank and file democrats who couldn’t push themselves far enough left to embrace Bernie Sanders don’t seem to have found a compelling reason to get excited about electing her. The Christians on her side of the political divide seem to be deeply committed to the Progressive vision for governing the country, but I don’t know how energized they were, or if their energy bolstered others in the way the energy for Trump seems to have done.

So conservatives and Christians on the Right have found themselves aligned with someone like Donald Trump, and progressives and Christians on the Left found themselves aligned with someone like Hillary Clinton. That to me is the point at which there should have been some soul-searching about what it says about our society that in our quest for political control and power, the process we’ve created produced this contest.

But are we really surprised? Should we be surprised that a society steeped in the type of song lyrics, television shows, and movies that dominate pop culture would find a Donald Trump palatable? Should we be surprised that a society that regularly makes allowances for powerful people to avoid consequences for illegality would find a Hillary Clinton palatable? The Trump campaign may have attracted a following among the bigoted fringes of social media, but the Clinton campaign relied on identity politics that makes it inevitable for individuals to segregate and identify by racial and gender categories, which creates clear targets for bigots, and may generate more.

The Humpty Dumpty of the American experiment seems to me to be off the wall, and I’m not hopeful it can be put together again because the character and vision for what it should be is no longer agreed upon, at least as far as I can tell. That’s not a result of this election, or any other over the past 20 years, at least in my opinion. These elections are symptoms of a society that has made choices of what it’s willing to do and be, and those choices have made us a disparate people without a corresponding idea of a common meeting place to pursue divergent ways of life peacefully together. That’s what seems worth attention in these next few weeks and months, rather than where President-Elect Trump is having dinner and the minutia around the transition.

the State against the people

June 25, 2016

It’s hard for me to imagine that the next four years will be on balance better for the public at large, whoever becomes President of the United States. The shift toward government at all levels as the main driver for most aspects of American life, whether education, business, family, spiritual practice, etc., seems to me to lead inevitably toward greater tension between the rulers and the ruled. We’ve entered a phase where “the common good” is defined by the state as what’s best for it rather than as what’s actually best for the citizenry. Examples like Wisconsin’s from a few years ago show that there is still a recognition among many that there are limits to what should be granted to government and its employees, but overall I’m afraid too many people are too willing to turn over power to the centralized government rather than be responsible for their own welfare.

when Chris Christie was rising

June 23, 2016

I kind of miss the Chris Christie of the early part of this decade.

it can’t continue

June 21, 2016

Despite the problem being ignored for the past several years, the looming fiscal crisis in this country is inevitable, and it’s going to lead to a lot of problems because so many will be caught completely off-guard and unprepared to cope.

This is an overview from a few years ago: “A Tsunami Approaches

This is a specific illustration from Illinois: “Illinois on the Fiscal Brink

The public is going to be set in opposition to the government at all levels, and it won’t look good for either side.

on distrust of institutions

June 20, 2016

There’s a sense among many that well established points of view should command general assent, and that it’s somewhat of a sign of mental deficiency to dissent from the widely promoted points of view. The problem for those in the ruling class, however, is that their position has been so abused over the past few decades that more and more people have abandoned the principle of credulity, the default assumption of honesty in communication. Part of the reason for the baseline skepticism is that the powers that be have promulgated falsehoods frequently enough that fewer and fewer people are willing to accept their statements at face value.

From the wayback machine, a reminder of how disingenuous and mendacious the reporting was after Representative Giffords was injured, and many others murdered, in early 2011. Politicians and reporters can’t expect people to believe their statements without scrutiny after this sort of conduct.

when history is practiced

June 18, 2016

By “history” here I’m referring to the engagement of research and investigation first hand and personally with the subject to be analyzed and evaluated. Walt Harrington seems to practice history pretty well, based on this essay about President George W. Bush, written a couple of years after the end of his presidency. He personally has engaged with the subject and so writes with real knowledge and understanding. It’s remarkably refreshing in contrast with so much that gets posted these days.

heresy and climate science

June 10, 2016

If recent proposals in California are a harbinger of things to come, the title of this piece about Freeman Dyson’s rejection of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming will be far more literal than originally intended, I think. The AGW ideology has enough of true believerism about it that “heretic” may become a legal term for those who don’t buy into it.