Posted in American Exceptionalism, American Independence, big government, Free Society, Government Regulations, Influence peddling, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, Uncategorized

Old Wisdom, Modern Folly | Frontpage Mag

Welcome to another edition of Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare!  Bruce Thornton examines the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville to illuminate “The wages of modernity’s technocratic hubris.”

“When it comes to America’s political order, no commentator today has yet come close to the brilliance of Alexis de Tocqueville, who was astonishingly prescient in pointing out the dangers inherent in the democracy he so admired.

“the ablest men . . . are rarely placed at the head of affairs.” With the citizens’ attention focused on their private affairs and necessity to make a living, “it is difficult for [them] to discern the best means of attaining the end,” which is “the welfare of the country.” Hence the voters’ “conclusions are hastily formed from a superficial inspection of the more prominent features of a question.” As a result, “mountebanks of all sorts are able to please the people, while their truest friends frequently fail to gain their confidence.”

This description obviously rings true today, in our age of the “low-information voter” and the multiple information platforms that promote the “superficial inspection” of sound-bite reporting that highlights only the politicized and emotionally charged “prominent features” of any issue.

“The people, surrounded by flatterers, find great difficulty in surmounting their inclinations; whenever they are required to undergo privation or any inconvenience, even to attain an end sanctioned by their own rational calculation, they almost always refuse at first to comply.”

And they are egged on by special interest groups like AARP that lobby politicians (“flatterers”), especially Democrats, who always champion expanding redistributionist programs rather than reforming them. Here, too, Tocqueville was prophetic:

“The power of the majority is so absolute and irresistible that one must give up one’s rights as a citizen and almost abjure one’s qualities as a man if one intends to stray from the track which it prescribes.”

That description fits Congress no matter which party is in control, and explains why nothing is being done to address this threat to our economic well-being.”

Source: Old Wisdom, Modern Folly | Frontpage Mag

Posted in American Presidents, Cost of labor, Crony Capitalism, Dependency, Economic Issues, Education, emotional intelligence, Entitlements, Entrepreneurs, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Income Inequality, Influence peddling, Job loss, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Unemployment, Wealth

Watch “Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Eric Weinstein, and Dave Rubin LIVE!” on YouTube

One of the most fascinating discussions I’ve ever heard about socio-economic & socio-political issues.

Proof that honest discussions, which generate better understanding, can happen when we view different opinions as coming from different vantage points rather than as “the opposition.”

Posted in American Independence, Free Society, Leadership, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution

Choose Sides? You Bet. But Antifa and Fascism Are the Same Side. – Reason.com

“That side is in opposition to the violent, authoritarian thugs of the right and of the left. If we regain our faith in what we already have, there’s no reason to choose between rival siblings competing to rule over the ruins of everything that’s worthwhile on behalf of their illiberal family.”

“Sooner or later… one has to take sides—if one is to remain human,” Haider writes, quoting a character from Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. “The liberal center has to heed the same warning,” Haider adds. But the character Haider quotes is a member of Vietnam’s Communist party—which killed “probably about 1,040,000″ people in the post-Vietnam War period, after it came to power over the united country, as estimated by the late Prof. R. J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii…That’s an unpalatable side to pick in any situation.”

Source: Choose Sides? You Bet. But Antifa and Fascism Are the Same Side. – Reason.com

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, big government, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Health Insurance, Individual Mandate, Liberty, Nation-Building, Neo-conservatism, Policy Issues, Progressivism, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

Fascism: A Bipartisan Affliction – Ron Paul

ron-paulFascism’s distinguishing characteristic is a “mixed economy.” Unlike socialists and communists who seek to abolish private business, fascists are content to let business remain in private hands. Instead, fascists use regulations, mandates, and taxes to control business and run (and ruin) the economy. A fascist system, then, is one where private businesses serve politicians and bureaucrats instead of consumers. Does the modern American economy not fit the definition of fascism?

Obamacare is an example of fascism that is often mislabeled as socialism. Obamacare did not create a government-run “single payer” system as would exist under socialism. Instead, Obamacare extended government control over health care via mandates, regulations, and subsidies. The most infamous part of Obamacare – the individual mandate – forces individuals to purchase a product from a private industry.

The true path to real free markets, peace, and individual liberty starts with rejecting the bipartisan authoritarianism in favor of the non-aggression principle. 

Source: Fascism: A Bipartisan Affliction – Ron Paul

Posted in Caricatures, Cartoons, Economic Issues, Nation-Building, Neo-conservatism, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Uncategorized, War on Drugs

Playboy’s Amusing – and Accurate – Assessment of Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians | International Liberty

 

Source: Playboy’s Amusing – and Accurate – Assessment of Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians | International Liberty

Posted in Free Society, Influence peddling, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Rule of Law

Indiana RFRA: What Part of Economic Boycotts Do Conservatives Not Understand? – Hit & Run : Reason.com

download (25)
Nick Gillespie

From a libertarian perspective, belief in the freedom of association generally trumps belief in anti-discrimination actions by the state. Not always, but mostly. In fact, things are more complicated, since it’s typically the state (whether at the local, state, or federal) that historically was doing most of the discriminating. Jim Crow was ushered in by the Supreme Court’s vile “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld a Lousiana state law barring railroad companies from selling first-class tickets to black customers. When businesses in the segregated South attempted to treat customers equally (often a good business strategy), they were typically hemmed in by specific laws preventing such things or by de facto laws enforced through brute force by various “citizen’s councils” and terror groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (which often included politicians and law enforcement). It was government at all levels, not local businesses, that disenfranchised blacks for decades. And it was, in many cases, government action that was necessary to change things.

If conservatives are serious about individual rights and limited goverment (as they claim to be), you’d think they would be at the forefront of striking down laws that treat marriages between two men or two women differently than, say, one man and one woman or one black person and one white person. Why should the same government that can’t educate your children or deliver your mail get to decide which couples can marry in a civil ceremony, right? Some conservatives are at the forefront of marriage equality, of course: Former Bush-era U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson is one. But the conservative case for state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts such as the one passed in Indiana is precisely that the state should not be able to compel people to contravene religious beliefs when it comes to certain activities; government should be limited in its ability to force people’s actions in matters of conscience.

via Indiana RFRA: What Part of Economic Boycotts Do Conservatives Not Understand? – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Posted in DC & Related Shenanigans, Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Neo-conservatism, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

Who Will Keep Our Freedoms Safe? – Judge Andrew Napolitano – Page full

JNapolitano
Judge Napolitano

None of these flagrant violations of privacy, dignity and basic American constitutional values was enacted by a majority vote of any representative body of lawmakers — and yet none has been stopped by those lawmakers. That’s because we have a deep state system in American government, whereby certain law enforcement, military, intelligence and diplomatic personnel can do as they wish, no matter which party controls the legislative and executive branches and in hair-splitting defiance of the courts.

That hair-splitting defiance argues that the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of privacy in the “persons, houses, papers and effects” of all in America only pertains to criminal prosecutions; thus, the government, this argument goes, can invade all the privacy it wants so long as it is for some other — non-criminal — purpose. Supreme Court decisions recognizing privacy as a personal natural right, as well as American constitutional history (the Fourth Amendment was written largely in reaction to British soldiers invading privacy by looking for items in the colonists’ homes to tax), profoundly reject that argument.

How does the government get away with this? If you peered into your neighbor’s bedroom with a high-tech device, you’d be prosecuted or sued. Yet when the government does this, most folks are supine enough to be grateful for the safety it produces. That’s what Big Brother wants you to believe. What safety? Who will keep us safe from the government? Who will keep our personal liberties safe? What representative government splits hairs in order to defy the Constitution, rather than complying with its oath to protect it?

via Who Will Keep Our Freedoms Safe? – Judge Andrew Napolitano – Page full.

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Exceptionalism, American Presidents, Bailouts, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Foreign policy, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Influence peddling, Keynesian Economics, Leadership, Liberty, Nation-Building, National Debt, Neo-conservatism, News From Washington, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized, Unemployment

Restate of the Union – John Stossel – Page full

download (15)
John Stossel

If Obama gave the State of the Union address I’d like to hear, he’d say this:

I heard you, voters, in November when you took control of the Senate away from my party. I get it. I overreached. I was arrogant. I imposed Obamacare on a nation that was deeply divided about it. I ruled through executive orders instead of legislation. I threw money at “green” nonsense. I’ll give up the payments to the “green energy” industry if the Republicans stop coddling defense contractors.

The more I think about it, the more Congress and I could transform America for the better just by getting out of America’s way. The state of our union will be truly strong if the state — by which I mean government — is strictly limited.

Read More at: Restate of the Union – John Stossel – Page full.