The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

08 January 2011

Pray for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the surviving wounded, and for the souls of the murdered in Arizona

...they are innocent victims.

You have but to watch Jared Loughner's video on youtube to know that he is insane (psychotic and sociopathic);  he is likely to be diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic. 

Towards the end of the video, you can see elements of contitutionally conservative ideas that he has come across, but the ideas and his use of language are deranged.  

This guy is not one of us;  he is seriously mentally ill.  It is to be expected that the left and the mainstream media will exploit the tragedy to re-assert their assault on private gun ownership.  You can expect the media to connect the shooting to the patriot/constitutional conservative movement:

Here is an opening paragraph from neocon FoxNews:

Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old man who sources identify to Fox News as the gunman in custody in the deadly shooting rampage Saturday in Arizona, is suspected of posting a series of YouTube videos that show a focus on literacy and currency -- as well as his distrust in the government.

This type of act is random, and happened only because of the man's mental disease.  

That Jared Loughner came by a gun at all is a breach of the current laws.  Either he acquired the weapon prior to his disease progressing (schizophrenia can manifest and become debilitating in late teens to early 20's, and he is 22 years old), or someone screening him had no reason to suspect his illness (a weakness in the law), or he stole the gun or otherwise obtained it outside the law.

This guy is a perfect example of the fallability of gun control efforts.  

If more citizens were armed,  trained to react to such situations, and practiced concealed carry, it might not have stopped Jared Loughner from getting off his first shot or shots;  however, it is unlikely that he would have been able to shoot 18 people.

I am very sorry for all the victims.

Mike Vanderoegh's "Choose this day whom you will serve"

A great and eloquent essay to read, along TL Davis' "Of Oaths and Loyalties" post.

" There is another image that many of you can see in the mirror if you choose to take an honest look -- that of tax collector and nanny state bully boy. Yes, we know, you didn’t make the laws, some liberal puke with a control fetish did. But when you write speeding tickets for 3 miles over the limit because you’ve been told to write “x amount” of dollar value, or when you pull people over for “seatbelt violations” at random roadblocks and then ransack their cars without probable cause, can you understand how such behavior eats away like acid on your reputation -- individually and collectively -- as servants of the citizenry? What part of “to protect and serve” does that represent?

But worse than all that is the militarization of the police -- in equipment, tactics and, worst of all, attitude -- and the federalization of all law enforcement over the past forty years, but especially in the last ten. There were, last time I checked a few years ago, something like 750,000 full time state, city, university and college, metropolitan and non-metropolitan county, and other law enforcement officers in the United States. Add to that another 150,000 or so full time law enforcement personnel working for the federal government. With the growth of new agencies like the TSA during the “war on terror” (who, because of political correctness can’t seem to figure out who the real “terrorists” are so they merely oppress the rest of us in order to be “fair”) that number has certainly risen."

Read "Orders we will not obey" at Oathkeepers.

Quote of the Day 1/8

“The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated republic. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1820, following McCulloch vs. Maryland 

07 January 2011

TL Davis' "Of Oaths and Loyalties"

Of Oaths and Loyalties

"This website has been getting hit a lot by Federal Law enforcement of late. I understand their curiosity and interest and I certainly appreciate their visits. It gives me an opportunity to broach a subject long left unaddressed. We live in a republic based on laws that are reliable, not serving only the powerful or the corrupt, but the average citizen. That definition includes them as well. I know they feel more powerful than that, but they aren't. When the worm turns against them, all of the previous law enforcement experience will do them no good, except to help them accept their fate at the hands of a tyrannical government.

But, they have a choice. They can go along with this unconstitutional government right up to the end, when the government decides to cover their tracks by eliminating the stooges they used to do the dirty work, or they can embrace the legal and proper scope of the Constitution. When you have representatives of the people, who have sworn oaths to the Constitution bray and swear at the reading of it in public, spitting their disgust at the sound of it being read, you do not live in a Constitutional Republic as designed by the founders and I suppose you know that already. Don't you? That republic no longer exists and those who wield the power of it do so illegitimately as surely as if they walked into the station house and started barking orders to kill civilians. Would you stand up to that? I doubt it more and more everyday.

There is a moment to decide where one stands, behind the barricades of totalitarianism, or in front of the citizens one is sworn to protect. There is an oath and it doesn't mean much to people today. It means nothing to more than half of the civilian government. They are just words they hide behind when they commit their crimes against the people and the only thing that allows them to do it is the cowardice of the law enforcement personnel who tolerate it.

One might ask oneself a simple question: Which way should the guns be pointing? If in one's good conscious it should be at the shopkeepers, the day laborers and the nurses for seeking a peaceful change in their government and demanding that the law be followed and obeyed, then fine. No one can argue with a person's perspective and if that is what they believe, then by all means line up as many citizens as you care to and do with them what you want. They are willing victims to this madness for their failure to revolt.

But, if one sees oneself as a champion of legitimate government, of true representation and one who takes the contract with the people as legitimate, then some soul-searching should take place directly. We are moving past the point of decision. The leaders, the ones who have decided to turn their backs on everything lawful and right, are in control right now and they are giving you their orders. But, you are not a Nazi, you do not have to follow orders from people who show no regard for the oaths they have taken, or the loyalties they have sold for the comfort of power.

Ultimately though, you must ask yourself: At whose behest am I reading this blog and why? Is that freedom of speech? Is that freedom of expression? How long before I start enforcing Sharia law? These questions have probably already defined your patriotism, the validity of your oaths and your loyalty.


T.L. Davis"


To all LEO, DoD, DoJ, DHS:  

What kind of country do you want to live in?  

You have it within your power to declaw the beast -- you are the claw...

Take responsibility for the part that you are playing in allowing the persistence and growth of a government that no longer represents the interests of the great majority of the American people.

There is a terrible inertia in this country, and those of us who blog about the original intent of the Constitution and personal liberty are fighting a difficult battle against this inertia. 

After all, a battleship travelling at 30 knots can be stopped and turned about, but it takes an amazing amount of effort and energy.  

We are attempting to reach people's minds and tell them the truth as we understand it;  I am speaking of an objective rational truth, or as close as one can get to it.  Not the "truth" put out by the mainstream media or the government.  (Did you know the daily newspaper of the Soviet government, called "Pravda", means "Truth") 

I deal with original 18th and early 19th Century sources as much as possible when I write something about the Constitution or States' Rights, not the post-1865 literature and myths created to justify the actions of the Union.  

I am convinced the ideas that I am trying to propagate to a wider audience are the best ones for the country as a whole,   allowing a greater sense of freedom to people that are socially liberal or socially conservative, and will benefit everyone economically.  

Please help us to stop a burgeoning police state.

Latest on ATF / Mexico "Gunwalker" Scandal

"Darren Gil former attache to Mexico is an honest and honorable guy. He was forcefully removed from Mexico w/o warning in Nov in large part because he wouldn't sit silent on these matters. He will tell the truth if asked by competent authority. He retired Dec 31 because of all this."

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Did you hear that, did you hear that, eh?  That's what I'm on about!  Did you see him repressing me?
You saw it, didn't you? 

Big surprise! Government doesn't make us safer!

"Hardly anyone has seriously scrutinized either the priorities or the spending patterns of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its junior partner, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), since their hurried creation in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Sure, they get criticized plenty. But year in, year out, they continue to grow faster and cost more -- presumably because Americans think they are being protected from terrorism by all that spending. Yet there is no evidence whatsoever that the agencies are making Americans any safer.

DHS serves only one clear purpose: to provide unimaginable bonanzas for favored congressional districts around the United States, most of which face no statistically significant security threat at all. One thinks of the $436,504 that the Blackfeet Nation of Montana received in fiscal 2010 "to help strengthen the nation against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks"; the $1,000,000 that the village of Poynette, Wisconsin (pop. 2,266) received in fiscal 2009 for an "emergency operations center"; or the $67,000 worth of surveillance equipment purchased by Marin County, California, and discovered, still in its original packaging, four years later. And indeed, every U.S. state, no matter how landlocked or underpopulated, receives, by law, a fixed percentage of homeland security spending every year."

"Hardly anyone"...That's a laugh!

Regarding the bonanzas in the second paragraph:  Did the government ever stop buying hammers for $500, or toilet seats for $7000? So glad the feds have come so far since the old days...

Article in Foreign Policy magazine in their "unconventional wisdom" section, via Drudge.  Seems like conventional wisdom to me.


Quote of the Day 1/7

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... O sir, we  should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people!

Patrick Henry

06 January 2011

Major ATF scandal brewing -- ATF transported AZ bought AR-15s across Mexican border

In order to pad the numbers of US firearms being "acquired" by Mexican drug cartels.

Read the latest from David Codrea's gun rights examiner here.

  • ATF’s Phoenix office allowed the guns to go across the border.
  • The ATF office in Mexico was denied permission to share this information with their Mexican counterparts.  Believing this was wrong, they went over the heads of the Phoenix office and requested permission directly from headquarters in DC.
  • The higher-ups sided with the Phoenix decision to withhold the information from Mexican authorities.
That would make this an international law enforcement incident, would it not?

Unmanned Drone to be deployed in Florida for police work

Just like water dripping on a stone, which over many years creates a depression and then a hole in the stone, so our country is on the verge of a totalitarian shift.  Inexorable small and large usurpations of our rights and liberties have occurred at an increasing pace over the past 180 + years...

Are we too late?

Quote of the Day 1/6

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
We must make our election between economy and liberty
or profusion and servitude.
If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and
in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and
our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...
[we will] have no time to think,
no means of calling our miss-managers to account
but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves
to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers...
And this is the tendency of all human governments.
A departure from principle in one instance
becomes a precedent for [another ]...
till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery...
And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt.
Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."

Thomas Jefferson

The great man sees our plight as clear as day, two hundred years ago...

The Trial of Hank Rearden, from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

This is a long passage from the great novel, but it is worth giving extra time to read it carefully, and absorb Ayn Rand's lesson:  

--The government's hold on us is not as strong as it seems.
--The government needs our sanction/cooperation to maintain the illusion of their legitimacy.  
--Withdraw your own sanction, and the powers that be are laid bare;  their power is derived through the barrel of a gun, not through any intrinsic validity of their own.

This passage should be read and re-read a couple of times a year with Francisco D'Anconia's Money Speech 


For a month in advance, the people who filled the courtroom had been told by the press that they would see the man who was a greedy enemy of society; but they had come to see the man who had invented Rearden Metal.

He stood up, when the judges called upon him to do so. He wore a grey suit, he had pale blue eyes and blond hair; it was not the colours that made his figure seem icily implacable, it was the fact that the suit had an expensive simplicity seldom flaunted these days, that it belonged in the sternly luxurious office of a rich corporation, that his bearing came from a civilised era and clashed with the place around him.

The crowd knew from the newspapers that he represented the evil of ruthless wealth; and - as they praised the virtue of chastity, then ran to see any movie that displayed a half-naked female on its posters - so they came to see him; evil, at least, did not have the stale hopelessness of a bromide which none believed and none dared to challenge. They looked at him without admiration - admiration was a feeling they had lost the capacity to experience, long ago; they looked with curiosity and with a dim sense of defiance against those who had told them that it was their duty to hate him.

A few years ago, they would have jeered at his air of self-confident wealth. But today, there was a slate-grey sky in the windows of the courtroom, which promised the first snowstorm of a long, hard winter; the last of the country's oil was vanishing, and the coal mines were not able to keep up with the hysterical scramble for winter supplies. The crowd in the courtroom remembered that this was the case which had cost them the services of Ken Danagger. There were rumours that the output of the Danagger Coal Company had fallen perceptibly within one month; the newspapers said that it was merely a matter of readjustment while Danagger's cousin was reorganising the company he had taken over. Last week, the front pages had carried the story of a catastrophe on the site of a housing project under construction: defective steel girders had collapsed, killing four workmen; the newspapers had not mentioned, but the crowd knew, that the girders had come from Orren Boyle's Associated Steel.

They sat in the courtroom in heavy silence and they looked at the tall, grey figure, not with hope - they were losing the capacity to hope - but withan impassive neutrality spiked by a faint question mark; the question mark was placed over all the pious slogans they had heard for years.

The newspapers had snarled that the cause of the country's troubles, as this case demonstrated, was the selfish greed of rich industrialists; that it was men like Hank Rearden who were to blame for the shrinking diet, the falling temperature and the cracking roofs in the homes of the nation; that if it had not been for men who broke regulations and hampered the government's plans, prosperity would have been achieved long ago; and that a man like Hank Rearden was prompted by nothing but the profit motive. This last was stated without explanation or elaboration, as if the words "profit motive" were the self-evident brand of ultimate evil.

The crowd remembered that these same newspapers, less than two years ago, had screamed that the production of Rearden Metal should be forbidden, because its producer was endangering people's lives for the sake of his greed; they remembered that the man in grey had ridden in the cab of the first engine to run over a track of his own Metal; and that he was now on trial for the greedy crime of withholding from the public a load of the Metal which it had been his greedy crime to offer in the public market.

According to the procedure established by directives, cases of this kind were not tried by a jury, but by a panel of three judges appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources; the procedure, the directives had stated, was to be informal and democratic. The judge's bench had been removed from the old Philadelphia courtroom for this occasion, and replaced by a table on a wooden platform; it gave the room an atmosphere suggesting the kind of meeting where a presiding body puts something over on a mentally retarded membership.

One of the judges, acting as prosecutor, had read the charges.
"You may now offer whatever plea you wish to make in your own defence," he announced. Facing the platform, his voice inflectionless and peculiarly clear, Hank Rearden answered: 
"I have no defence."
"Do you --" The judge stumbled; he had not expected it to be that easy. "Do you throw yourself upon the mercy of this court?"
"I do not recognise this court's right to try me."
"I do not recognise this court's right to try me."
"But, Mr. Rearden, this is the legally appointed court to try this particular category of crime." 
"I do not recognise my action as a crime."
"But you have admitted that you have broken our regulations controlling the sale of your Metal."
"I do not recognise your right to control the sale of my Metal."
"Is it necessary for me to point out that your recognition was not required?"
"No. I am fully aware of it and I am acting accordingly."

He noted the stillness of the room. By the rules of the complicated pretence which all those people played for one another's benefit, they should have considered his stand as incomprehensible folly; there should have been rustles of astonishment and derision; there were none; they sat still; they understood.
"Do you mean that you are refusing to obey the law?" asked the judge.
"No. I am complying with the law - to the letter. Your law holds that my life, my work and my property may be disposed of without my consent. Very well, you may now dispose of me without my participation in the matter. I will not play the part of defending myself, where no defence is possible, and I will not simulate the illusion of dealing with a tribunal of justice." 
"But, Mr. Rearden, the law provides specifically that you are to be given an opportunity to present your side of the case and to defend yourself."
"A prisoner brought to trial can defend himself only if there is an objective principle of justice recognised by his judges, a principle upholding his rights, which they may not violate and which he can invoke. The law, by which you are trying me, holds that there are no principles, that I have no rights and that you may do with me whatever you please. Very well. Do it." "Mr. Rearden, the law which you are denouncing is based on the highest principle - the principle of the public good."
"Who is the public? What does it hold as its good? There was a time when men believed that 'the good' was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and that no man had the right to seek his good through the violation of the rights of another. If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they deem to e their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it - well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act."

A group of seats at the side of the courtroom was reserved for the prominent visitors who had come from New York to witness the trial. Dagny sat motionless and her face showed nothing but a solemn attention, the attention of listening with the knowledge that the flow of his words would determine the course of her life. Eddie Willers sat beside her. James Taggart had not come. Paul Larkin sat hunched forward, his face thrust out, pointed like an animal's muzzle, sharpened by a look of fear now turning into malicious hatred. Mr. Mowen, who sat beside him, was a man of greater innocence and smaller understanding; his fear was of a simpler nature; he listened in bewildered indignation and he whispered to Larkin, "Good God, now he's done it! Now he'll convince the whole country that all businessmen are enemies of the public good!"

"Are we to understand," asked the judge, "that you hold your own interests above the interests of the public?"
"I hold that such a question can never arise except in a society of cannibals."
"What ... do you mean?"
"I hold that there is no clash of interests among men who do not demand the unearned and do not practice human sacrifices."
"Are we to understand that if the public deems it necessary to curtail your profits, you do not recognise its right to do so?"
"Why, yes, I do. The public may curtail my profits any time it wishes - by refusing to buy my product."
"We are speaking of ... other methods."
"Any other method of curtailing profits is the method of looters - and I recognise it as such." 
"Mr. Rearden, this is hardly the way to defend yourself."
"I said that I would not defend myself."
"But this is unheard of! Do you realise the gravity of the charge against you?"
"I do not care to consider it."
"Do you realise the possible consequences of your stand?"
"It is the opinion of this court that the facts presented by the prosecution seem to warrant no leniency. The penalty which this court has the power to impose on you is extremely severe." 
"Go ahead."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Impose it."
The three judges looked at one another. Then their spokesman turned back to Rearden. "This is unprecedented," he said.
"It is completely irregular," said the second judge. "The law requires you submit to a plea in your own defence. Your only alternative is to state for the record that you throw yourself upon the mercy of the court."
"I do not."
"But you have to."
"Do you mean that what you expect from me is some sort of voluntary action?"
"I volunteer nothing."
"But the law demands that the defendant's side be represented on the record."
"Do you mean that you need my help to make this procedure legal?"
"Well, no ... yes ... that is, to complete the form."
"I will not help you."
The third and youngest judge, who had acted as prosecutor snapped impatiently, "This is ridiculous and unfair! Do you want to let it look as if a man of your prominence had been railroaded without a --" He cut himself off short. Somebody at the back of the courtroom emitted a long whistle.
"I want," said Rearden gravely, "to let the nature of this procedure appear exactly for what it is. If you need my help to disguise it - I will not help you."
"But we are giving you a chance to defend yourself - and it is you who are rejecting it."
"I will not help you to pretend that I have a chance. I will not help you to preserve an appearance of righteousness where rights are not recognised. I will not help you to preserve an appearance of rationality by entering a debate in which a gun is the final argument. I will not help you to pretend that you are administering justice."
"But the law compels you to volunteer a defence!"
There was laughter at the back of the courtroom.
"That is the flaw in your theory, gentlemen," said Rearden gravely, "and I will not help you out of it. If you choose to deal with men by means of compulsion, do so. But you will discover that you need the voluntary co-operation of your victims, in many more ways than you can see at present. And your victims should discover that it is their own volition - which you cannot force - that makes you possible. I choose to be consistent and I will obey you in the manner you demand. Whatever you wish me to do, I will do it at the point of a gun. If you sentence me to jail, you will have to send armed men to carry me there - I will not volunteer to move. If you fine me, you will have to seize my property to collect the fine - I will not volunteer to pay it. If you believe that you have the right to force me - use your guns openly. I will not help you to disguise the nature of your action."
The eldest judge leaned forward across the table and his voice became suavely derisive: "You speak as if you were fighting for some sort of principle, Mr. Rearden, but what you're actually fighting for is only your property, isn't it?"
"Yes, of course. I am fighting for my property. Do you know the kind of principle that represents?"
"You pose as a champion of freedom, but it's only the freedom to make money that you're after."
"Yes, of course. All I want is the freedom to make money. Do you know what that freedom implies?"
"Surely, Mr. Rearden, you wouldn't want your attitude to be misunderstood. You wouldn't want to give support to the widespread impression that you are a man devoid of social conscience, who feels no concern for the welfare of his fellows and works for nothing but his own profit."
"I work for nothing but my own profit. I earn it."

There was a gasp, not of indignation, but of astonishment, in the crowd behind him and silence from the judges he faced. He went on calmly:
"No, I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers - with the facts, but not with the evaluation. I work for nothing but my own profit - which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage - and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with - voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people - the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbours and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologise for my ability - I refuse to apologise for my success - I refuse to apologise for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me. This is my code - and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow men than you can ever hope to accomplish - but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognise the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work - my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good - that nobody's good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices - that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the right of all, and a public ofrightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation - as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won't. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"

The crowd burst into applause.

Rearden whirled around, more startled than his judges. He saw face that laughed in violent excitement, and faces that pleaded for help; he saw their silent despair breaking out into the open; he saw the same anger and indignation as his own, finding release in the wild defiance of their cheering; he saw the looks of admiration and the looks of hope. There were also the face of loose-mouthed young men and maliciously unkempt females, the kind who led the booing in newsreel theatres at any appearance of a businessman of the screen; they did not attempt a counter-demonstration; they were silent.

As he looked at the crowd, people saw in his face what the threats of the judges had not been able to evoke: the first sign of emotion. It was a few moments before they heard the furious beating of a gavel upon the table and one of the judges yelling:
" -- or I shall have the courtroom cleared!"
As he turned back to the table, Rearden's eyes moved over the visitor's section. His glance paused on Dagny, a pause perceptible only to her, as if he were saying: It works. She would have appeared calm except that her eyes seemed to have become too large for her face. Eddie Willers was smiling the kind of smile that is a man's substitute for breaking into tears. Mr. Mowen looked stupefied. Paul Larkin was staring at the floor. There was no expression on Bertram Scudder's face - or on his wife, Lillian's. She sat at the end of a row, her legs crossed, a mink stole slanting from her right shoulder to her left hip; she looked at Rearden, not moving.

In the complex violence of all the things he felt, he had time to recognise a touch of regret and longing: there was a face he had hoped to see, had looked for from the start of the session, had wanted to be present more than any other face around him. But Francisco d'Anconia had not come.
"Mr Rearden," said the eldest judge, smiling affably, reproachfully and spreading his arms, "it is regrettable that you should have misunderstood us so completely. That's the trouble - that businessmen refuse to approach us in a spirit of trust and friendship. They seem to imagine that we are their enemies. Why do you speak of human sacrifices? What made you go to such an extreme? We have no intention of seizing your property or destroying your life. We do not seek to harm your interests. We are fully aware of your distinguished achievements. Our purpose is only to balance social pressures and do justice to all. This hearing is really intended, not as a trial, but as a friendly discussion aimed at mutual understanding and co-operation."
"I do not co-operate at the point of a gun."
"Why speak of guns? This matter is not serious enough to warrant such references. We are fully aware that the guilt in this case lies chiefly with Mr. Kenneth Danagger, who instigated this infringement of the law, who exerted pressure upon you and who confessed his guilt by disappearing his guilt by disappearing in order to escape trial."
"No. We did it by equal, mutual, voluntary agreement."
"Mr. Rearden," said the second judge, "you may not share some of our ideas, but when all is said and done, we're all working for the same cause.For the good of the people. We realise that you were prompted to disregard legal technicalities by the critical situation of the coal mines and the crucial importance of fuel to the public welfare."
"No. I was prompted by my own profit and my own interests. What effect it had on the coal mines and the public welfare is for you to estimate. That was not my motive."
Mr. Mowen stared dazedly about him and whispered to Paul Larkin, "Something's gone screwy here."
"Oh, shut up!" snapped Larkin.
"I am sure, Mr. Rearden," said the eldest judge, "that you do not really believe - nor does the public - that we wish to treat you as a sacrificial victim. If anyone has been laboring under such a misapprehension, we are anxious to prove that it is not true."

The judges retired to consider their verdict. They did not stay out long. They returned to an ominously silent courtroom - and announced that a fine of $5,000 was imposed on Henry Rearden, but that the sentence was suspended. Streaks of jeering laughter ran through the applause that swept the courtroom. The applause was aimed at Rearden, the laughter - at the judges.

Rearden stood motionless, not turning to the crowd, barely hearing the applause. He stood looking at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant - and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step. If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours.

He was jolted back into the courtroom by the people pressing to surround him. He smiled in answer to their smiles, to the frantic tragic eagerness of their faces; there was a touch of sadness in his smile.
"God bless you, Mr. Rearden!" said an old woman with a ragged shawl over her head. "Can't you save us, Mr. Rearden? They're eating us alive, and it's no use fooling anybody about how it's the rich that they're after - do you know what's happening to us?"
"Listen, Mr. Rearden," said a man who looked like a factory worker, "it's the rich who're selling us down the river. Tell those wealthy bastards, who're so anxious to give everything away, that when they give away their palaces, they're giving away the skin off our backs." "I know it," saidRearden.
The guilt is ours, he thought. If we who were the movers, the providers, the benefactors of mankind, were willing to let the brand of evil be stamped upon us and silently to bear punishment for our virtues - what sort of "good" did we expect to triumph in the world? He looked at the people around him. They had cheered him today; they had cheered him by the side of the track of the John Galt Line. But tomorrow they would clamour for a new directive from Wesley Mouch and a free housing project from Orren Boyle, while Boyle's girders collapsed upon their heads. They would do it, because they would be told to forget, as a sin, that which had made them cheer Hank Rearden.

Why were they ready to renounce their highest moments as a sin? Why were they willing to betray the best within them? What made them believe that this earth was a realm of evil where despair was their natural fate? He could not name the reason, but he know that it had to be named. He felt it as a huge question mark within the courtroom, which it was now his duty to answer.

This was the real sentence imposed upon him, he thought - to discover what idea, what simple idea available to the simplest man, had made mankind accept the doctrines that led it to self-destruction.

05 January 2011


Hello to the boys at the United States Army Information Systems Command.  

Hope you learn something about the Constitution here...

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Israeli vulture being held as "spy" by Saudi Arabia

 What total bullshit.  I know a Chinese foreign operative when I see one.

Yes, yes, I know the tracking band on the bird's wing reads Tel Aviv University, but on the back of the band it says "Made in China".  


Thomas E. Woods debunks the claim: deregulation caused the financial crisis

"Deregulation caused the financial crisis..."

Sick of that one?  Me too.  Here’s the quick note I sent someone who asked Professor Walter Block this very thing.“I cover this in detail in my forthcoming (February 7) book Rollback.  For now, I’d ask your friends for specific examples of deregulation that led to the present crisis.  They can’t name one.  There isn’t a repealed regulation that would have prevented the securitization of mortgages, or prevented banks from holding such securitized mortgages as investments.  Banks were allowed to do this all along.  If they cite the so-called repeal of Glass-Steagall they are even more clueless.  The partial lifting of barriers between commercial and investment banking had exactly zero to do with the financial crisis.  (Much more on this in my book.)

“Moreover, who could possibly look at banking and think this was a deregulated industry?  Regulation is absolutely everywhere.  No one seems willing to consider the possibility that regulation may simply have failed, that regulators may be human beings rather than demigods, etc.  Walter is right: banking is the most heavily regulated industry in America.  There are already 115 agencies regulating the U.S. financial sector.  Your friends think things would improve if there were 116.  They are stuck in an interventionist worldview they cannot break free of.  The thought never occurs to them that the very institutions that are supposed to provide stability may be the sources of instability — beginning with the Federal Reserve.  This story is told in my book Meltdown, which Walter recommended.”

The North knew the South's secession was legal!

I found an old post about the possible treason trial for President Jefferson Davis by the US Government.  The best and brightest Northern legal minds would not take the case to prosecute Jefferson Davis.  They knew there was no chance to make a treason charge stick, or to prove that secession from the Union was illegal:

At any rate, the Northern government prepared to try President Davis for treason while it had him in prison. Mr. Conner has observed that: "The War Department presented its evidence for a treason trial against Davis to a famed jurist, Francis Lieber, for his analysis. Lieber pronounced 'Davis will not be found guilty and we shall stand there completely beaten'." According to Mr. Conner, U.S. Attorney General James Speed appointed a renowned attorney, John J. Clifford, as his chief prosecutor. Clifford, after studying the government's evidence against Davis, withdrew from the case. He said he had 'grave doubts' about it. Not to be undone, Speed then appointed Richard Henry Dana, a prominent maritime lawyer, to the case. Mr. Dana also withdrew. He said basically, that as long as the North had won a military victory over the South, they should just be satisfied with that. In other words - "you won the war, boys, so don't push your luck beyond that."

Mr. Conner tells us that: "In 1866 President Johnson appointed a new U.S. attorney general, Henry Stanburg. But Stanburg wouldn't touch the case either. Thus had spoken the North's best and brightest jurists re the legitimacy of the War of Northern Aggression - even though the Jefferson Davis case offered blinding fame to the prosecutor who could prove that the South had seceded unconstitutionally." None of these bright lights from the North would touch this case with a ten-foot pole. It's not that they were dumb, in fact the reverse is true. These men knew a dead horse when they saw it and were not about to climb aboard and attempt to ride it across the treacherous stream of illegal secession. They knew better. In fact, a Northerner from New York, Charles O'Connor, became the legal counsel for Jeff Davis - without charge. That, plus the celebrity jurists from the North that refused to touch the case, told the federal government that they really had no case against Davis or secession and that Davis was merely being held as a political prisoner.

Author Richard Street, writing in The Civil War back in the 1950s said exactly the same thing. Referring to Jeff Davis, Street wrote: "He was imprisoned after the war, was never brought to trial. The North didn't dare give him a trial, knowing that a trial would establish that secession was not unconstitutional, that there had been no 'rebellion' and that the South had got a raw deal."

Here is the rest of the article.

Quote of the Day 1/5

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion
of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished
period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers
(adminstrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan
of reducing us to slavery."

Thomas Jefferson

04 January 2011

The elite is unfathomably powerful yet; its injuries will make it angry

We do not anticipate that a free-market society with all its benefits will experience a dramatic resurgence – whether or not the elite succeeds in further expanding the internationalist paradigm. But it is possible that aspects of free-market living and thinking can rise again in the West. The power elite in our view is facing significant challenges as it tries to move toward more global governance. In fact, we speculate that the elite's moves in this regard are setting up some sort of additional dialectic and have speculated it has to do with Julian Assange and an alternative form of global governance that will seem to arise spontaneously, emphasizing the populist will and "transparency." See this article: Transparency Meme Expands.

Just yesterday further elite "squeaks" emerged online in the form of an extraordinary video of a George Soros interview. We are not sure of the provenance, but the interview itself is surprisingly revealing. In it, George Soros suggests bluntly that China's leadership is not yet fully cooperative with the West (despite its intention to bail out Europe) and that if China won't go along with the West's plan for a one-world currency, then two currencies will emerge, worldwide. Nonetheless, Soros emphasizes that the dollar is in decline – a decline that ought to be managed – and that the US is also in decline, terminally, as the engine of the world's economy. China, he suggests will have to take over.

Interesting article in today's Th Daily Bell. Read whole article here.

Quote of the Day, 1/4

From The Outlaw Josey Wales:

"We thought about it for a long time... 'Endeavor to persevere.' And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union."

Lone Watie

Jury Nullification, ultimate ninth Amendment reserved right...

...and trump card of the people against tyranny.

The following is from Lysander Spooner's "Essay on the Trial by Jury" (1852)



FOR more than six hundred years that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.

Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead of juries being a "palladium of liberty" a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed.

But for their right to judge of the law, and the justice of the law, juries would be no protection to an accused person, even as to matters of fact; for, if the government can dictate to a jury any law whatever, in a criminal case, it can certainly dictate to them the laws of evidence. That is, it can dictate what evidence is admissible, and what inadmissible, and also what force or weight is to be given to the evidence admitted. And if the government can thus dictate to a jury the laws of evidence, it can not only make it necessary for them to convict on a partial exhibition of the evidence rightfully pertaining to the case, but it can even require them to convict on any evidence whatever that it pleases to offer them.

That the rights and duties of jurors must necessarily be such as are here claimed for them, will be evident when it is considered what the trial by jury is, and what is its object.

"The trial by jury," then, is a "trial by the country" that is, by the people as distinguished from a trial by the government.

The object of this trial "by the country," or by the people, in preference to a trial by the government, is to guard against every species of oppression by the government. In order to effect this end, it is indispensable that the people, or "the country," judge of and determine their own liberties against the government; instead of the government's judging of and determining its own powers over the people. How is it possible that juries can do anything to protect the liberties of the people against the government, if they are not allowed to determine what those liberties are?

Any government, that is its own judge of, and determines authoritatively for the people, what are its own powers over the people, is an absolute government of course. It has all the powers that it chooses to exercise. There is no other or at least no more accurate definition of a despotism than this.

On the other hand, any people, that judge of, and determine authoritatively for the government, what are their own liberties against the government, of course retain all the liberties they wish to enjoy. And this is freedom. At least, it is freedom to them; because, although it may be theoretically imperfect, it, nevertheless, corresponds to their highest notions of freedom.


03 January 2011

Pelosi is in the same boat with us now ;-)

How the South "rationalizes" Secession, it's "Revolution"

In an article entitled: "How the South rationalizes secession" on, Prof. Glenn LaFantasie of Western Kentucky University has an agenda to smear any defender of the Southern perspective in regards to the reasons for Secession in 1860.  He does this through a number of historical errors and omissions.

"In any event, Southern secessionists believed that it did, so they came to see themselves as conservatives, not revolutionaries. This position entrapped them in the contradiction of wanting to overthrow the government of the United States while also remaining under the protection of the Constitution. As a result, Southern justifications of the constitutionality of secession and their own conservatism became almost surreal. "

LaFantasie calls Jefferson Davis "One of America’s worst traitors, a man who had committed or condoned far worse acts against his country than Benedict Arnold,..."
and:  "...Until his death in 1889, he found a stronger voice in passionately defending the right of secession and extolling the nobility of the Lost Cause. He became, like so many of his fellow Confederates, an unreconstructed rebel. As one might expect, he never believed that he had committed a single traitorous act; in fact, he boldly, even arrogantly, affirmed that every one of his actions was legal and constitutional."

He asks:  "How can anyone possibly be a patriot by calling for the destruction of the country one professes to love and honor?"

Prof. LaFantasie concludes thus:  "In pledging allegiance to the flag, Americans vow to uphold "one nation, indivisible." For Lincoln, the issue was straightforward. Secession was revolution. Secession was treason. There still should be no doubt about that, especially as we ponder the meaning of the 150th anniversary of South Carolina’s ignominious -- and traitorous -- secession from the Union."

Let's start off with the basics here.  We need to define our terms, something Professor LaFantasie doesn't bother to do:

rationalize Look up rationalize at

1803, "to explain, to make reasonable," from rational + -ize.
secession Look up secession at

1530s, from L. secessionem (nom. secessio), from pp. stem of secedere "secede," from se- "apart" (see secret) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Originally in a Roman historical context, "temporary migration of plebeians from the city to compel patricians to address their grievances;" modern use in reference to religious or political unions dates from 1650s.

revolution Look up revolution at

late 14c., originally of celestial bodies, from O.Fr. revolution, from L.L. revolutionem (nom. revolutio) "a revolving," from L. revolutus, pp. of revolvere "turn, roll back"
insurrection Look up insurrection at

mid-15c., from M.Fr. insurrection, from L. insurrectionem (nom. insurrectio) "a rising up," from insurrectus, pp. of insurgere "to rise up"
treason Look up treason at

early 13c., from Anglo-Fr. treson, from O.Fr. traison (11c.; Fr. trahison), from L. traditionem (nom. traditio) "a handing over, delivery, surrender" (see tradition). O.Fr. form influenced by the verb trair "betray." In old English law, high treason is violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state

Please forgive me, Professor LaFantasie, but I have doubts about secession representing treason.

The Texas v. White case used to demonstrate the illegality of secession is silly, because it was written after the fact to justify the war by one of the former members of Lincoln's cabinet.  

Let me counter the quote "It is safe to assert that no government proper, ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination" with the following inconvenient points:  The federal government is the servant of the people, who are sovereign, and of the States, which created the federal government and gave it specific enumerated powers.  The right of the government to rule derives from the consent of the governed.  The voluntary consent of the governed.  Otherwise you cannot claim that the United States is a free country.

Moreover: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

To continue:

Using the different etymological definitions listed above, there are many rationalizations for secession.  The rationalizations for secession were and are reasonable and Constitutional.  The Southern States did want a Revolution in the original sense of that word.  That is to say, they wanted to come full circle back to States Rights as it was understood by the ratifying conventions of the several States in 1787-1788. The federalist proponents of the Constitution recognized that if powers were not specifically enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the powers were reserved to the States and the people of the States.  The understanding of the Southern States ratifying conventions was that of implicit recognition of the right of a Slave State to maintain it's slaves and set its own laws regarding slavery and slave ownership without Federal interference.

This is what is meant by the claims that secession is both conservative and revolutionary. 

You can go on about the immorality of Slavery and the need for Abolition all you like.  If you utilize the Congress and Federal judiciary to effect changes that affect the Southern States in particular on these issues then you have crossed a constitutional line.

As far as Professor LaFantasie's claims that [the Confederate States were] "taking up of arms against the United States":  Does the professor propose that the Confederate States government was planning a march on Washington DC to overthrow the United States government (at the time of secession)?

Secession was separation and withdrawal from the Union.  It was not an internal revolt or insurrection.  Militias were raised at the time because the States were withdrawing from the Union and no longer had the US Army or Navy for defense.  Moreover the Southern States had reason to fear the Lincoln government and the remaining States in the Union based upon the rhetoric from the Executive Branch and the northern press at the time.

To claim treason, you must prove that individuals were working to overthrow their government (by the specific definition of Treason in the Constitution).  In the case of secession of the Southern States in 1860-1861, you have State conventions of elected representatives of the people of the individual states voting to withdraw from the Union.  The Union was formed on a voluntary basis in 1788, and was being undone on a voluntary basis in 1860-61.  That is, this was a legal Constitutional process of withdrawal;  There is no call for marches on Washington or the overthrow of Lincoln, etc.,.  The Confederate States increased in number when Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the insurrection [sic], pushing the border States out of the Union.

Is it not clear to a reasonable person that the United States could continue to exist as an independent nation with Abraham Lincoln as its president, without the seceding states, just as the 11 states of the United States existed without the States of Rhode Island or North Carolina after the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 to 1789?

The South's withdrawal from the United States cannot be logically likened to trying to destroy the United States.  It is a change from the past, to be sure, but both countries could have coexisted and benefited from commerce and mutual defense.

The pledge of allegience that LaFantasie refers to in his conclusion was written by a socialist utopian in the 1890's.  This was long after the unsatisfactory conclusion of the War to Prevent Southern Independence, long after the death of the voluntary Republic.  The pledge was written to indoctrinate children to a new way of thinking about their "nation," as the true history of the United States was buried.

Regarding the Professor's continued use of the terms Revolution and Treason, I defer to Inigo Montoya:

Regarding "How can anyone possibly be a patriot by calling for the destruction of the country one professes to love and honor?"  

I would say that equating one's government to one's country is not legitimate.  The country, in my opinion, is composed of it's people, not it's government.  Too often the people in government have an agenda which increases their own power at the expense of the productive members of that country.