There’s a saying among lawyers: “Hard cases make bad law.”
What it means, essentially, is that it’s easy to allow one’s emotions to supersede reason – and set a terrible precedent for the future. Such is the case as regards the Executive Sanction just carried out against the thoroughly unappealing – and probably deserving – Anwar al-Auluqi. It is easy – dangerously easy – to relish in the termination of this apparent baddie. Only Ron Paul took note of the key fact; the wheel turning – the thing that may (no, that will) come back to bite us one day: The president has asserted – and we have accepted – his authority to have people killed on his say-so. And not just “people” – specific individuals, even if they are American citizens.
The office of the president is now the office of Don Corleone.
And the rule of law officially – explicitly – null and void.
Hard cases make bad law. And in this case, the law being made is that the president, personally, has the power of life and death over us. He may, at his whim, order us killed. Oh, yes, I know. Only “terrorists” need worry. Al Towelhead was a bad guy and if you are not a Towelhead or a bad guy out to steal our treasured freedoms then you may sleep soundly at night knowing our current Great Decider is keeping you safe.
Until he decides otherwise, of course.
And that is the measure of the disaster that has just taken place.
America has not been a “country of laws, not men” for many years but now it’s official. The state’s fangs have been bared. Within living memory, presidents and congresscretins were at least nominally bound by law. They paid lip service to it and if caught transgressing, there was usually embarrassment if not punishment – and for awhile, the abuse would stop or at least be dialed back a little bit.
Now, not even a letter d’ cachet is required. All that is required is for the eye of Obama (or that of his successor to the purple) to fall upon you. Improbable, you say? Idiot, sez me.
Idiot, because you – if you believe you’re safe – believe that the laws of human nature do not apply to our Great Leaders, merely to Great Leaders of other countries, who are not spayshull like us. Idiot, because – if you believe you are secure – you believe that precedents don’t set policy. That once established they are always and inevitably expanded upon. That once any individual is subject to arbitrary state terror any of us may be subjected to arbitrary state terror – and the only thing holding it back (for the moment) is that the eye of Obama has not (yet) fallen upon you and yours.
No more is there the restraint of procedure, of the submission of evidence to a jury in open proceedings, to weigh against the charges leveled. Indeed, charges are no longer required – let alone a finding of guilt based upon evidence. Merely:
Ah ahm the decider! And ah have deecided!
Oh, surely, it is now enunciated in a more polished and highbrow manner by the current Don. But it is the same thing, essentially. I decide. From Lincoln to Hitler to Bush II to The Constitutional Scholar: Fuhrerprinzip. Power flows from on high, incarnated in the person of the leader.
I am being hysterical you say?
Yes, I am. Because I see where this is headed and what it will come to mean for all of us, eventually – or for any of us, that is, who might find ourselves described as “domestic extremists” for disbelieving in the principles of IngSoc and expressing criticism of the same.
For what, friends, will stay the hand of Obama, et al? Charity and goodwill? A perfect sense of fairplay? Why, we don’t need no stinkin’ laws… so long as good Christian men like George W. Bush … oops. Well, er… maybe good Muslim men… er…. uh… well.
Perhaps you see the point?
The tendency toward the arbitrary use of force has been latent in American government for at least 100 years but now we’ve turned a corner and made it openly our policy. Or rather the policy of the individuals who control the machinery of organized force. That is, of the Dons who control what has become the cosa nostra in Washington.
What was it that Martin Niemoller said?
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me…
But I find the following quote taken from the great play, “A Man for All Seasons,” spoken by the Thomas More character, more apt:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
But I doubt one out of 1,000 Americans is familiar with the play.
Eric wrote: “I am willing to accept the following:* Sales/use taxes (or even tariffs…”
Is it possible then that you do not fully embrace the libertarian idea of the non-initiation of force? The realpolitikers always have an exception to that idea. They always have some societal program or other that is so vitally important that it requires others to be FORCED to give up their liberty (for the greater good, of course). And there’s the rub. Once you start cracking heads it becomes too easy to keep on. Who would Jesus coerce?
Well, I dunno… sales/use taxes strike me as compatible with liberty because no one is forced to pay them. They are also completely unintrusive, unlike the income (and property) tax.
I would never coerce anyone. But I would voluntarily pay a small sales/use tax to support a court system to enforce contracts and deal with people who do use coercion. I think most people would, too. Mind, we’re talking about a minimalist infrastructure, so the taxes involved would be trivial; perhaps 5 percent of our income – and entirely avoidable, if we needed to avoid them or just wanted to avoid them.
What do you think?
As someone who has had to collect sales tax, I can say that it’s pretty coercive from that perspective. I could have chosen not to have a retail business at all, but that would have put a crimp in my liberty.
I’m sure you’ve read some of Gary North”s articles on lewrockewell.com. He didn’t file a form to notify the Texas sales tax nazis that he was wrapping up his business in that state and moving to Virginia. He found out that they were displeased when he noticed that his Virginia bank accounts had been seized (by Texas). He didn’t owe them any money, just didn’t fill out a single stink’n form.
I’m a fan of the Stateless society. It’s not easy for everybody to imagine — people once couldn’t imagine how agriculture could work without slavery — but I am sure that this is what the future holds and that we will figure out how to make it work.
I love the idea of stateless, voluntarist, peacefully cooperating individuals – and societies. Probably you and I and some of the others here could, if we all got together on the same plot of land, etc., live (and let live) on that basis. But then we have the fact of Clovers. And worse – people who are dishonest, or violent. I can imagine dealing with such without the infrastructure of “the rule of law” – but absent some sort of codified, formal structure, it seems to me that it would be subject to failings as bad or even worse than the problems we have under “the rule of law.”
For example, let’s say I have a dispute with my neighbor over where his land ends and mine begins. If there’s no third party arbiter – “the rule of law,” which references surveys of our plots to determine the exact boundaries of my land and my neighbor’s land – my neighbor and I are left to hash it out between ourselves. What if one of us is not interested in surveys – and being reasonable and honest – and just decides to use what he deems to be “his” land – and tells the other, “screw you, buddy. What are you going to do about it”? Does the other party have any recourse other than physical violence or its threat? How much threatened (or actual) violence is warranted? What if my neighbor is bigger than I am and I can’t force the issue?
What was it Plato said about justice being the advantage of the stronger?
Just thinking out loud here…
But I suppose it could be done – or at least, tried – though I still prefer and have no moral issue with “the rule of law” (courts enforcing contracts, protecting ownership rights; dealing with the violent, etc.) because I don’t view it as necessarily inimicable to liberty, if properly constructed and administered. We had such a system – to a great extent- for a good long while in this country.
The other issue is (legitimate) national defense. Even if we managed to create a voluntarist, stateless community, that community would have to recognize the fact that other communities (that is, nation-states) might be organized along different lines and not share our respect for voluntarism and liberty. They might wish to enslave us, take our land – and so on. I loathe the “defense” apparatus we suffer under today but don’t have a problem with something along the lines of Swiss-style national self-defense. Indeed, I don’t see how any of us could risk not having such a system in place, given the realities of the human condition and the world as it exists (and probably always will exist).
The one intellectual foundation stone I do share with what used to be meant by the term, “conservative” is the notion of imperfect human nature; that (unfortunately) people (all of us) are prone to bad behavior and some of us, consistently throughout time, can be counted on to behave badly. In the context of a small village, of course, that can be dealt with absent “the rule of law.” But in the context of 300-plus million people? Or even the population of a good-sized county? And how would such a community preserve itself in the face of external threat?
This is an age-old debate among Libertarians (and conservatives). I hope i am not coming across as stridently For (or Against). My aim here is just to put these questions on the table and get a good conversation going….
I’ve gone both ways, Eric–minarchist vs anarchist.
In my mind I’ve settled on anarchist as the ideal, but will settle for minarchist in practice but always continuing to strive for true statelessness.
I believe private security firms and private “reputation” firms–much like credit reporting agencies but reporting on reputation–could work, and work well.
We’re already seeing it; there are more private security guards than polizei, and private arbitration is much more efficient, effective, and desirable than the barnacle-encrusted justice system.
I can easily see a time when bad actors’ ratings preclude them from just about any interaction with honorable people; they’re essentially shunned, outcast. And THAT is more effective than any imprisonment.
Also remember the old saying–
“If you build a society FOR fools, you will guarantee a society OF fools”
We’ve neutered people psychologically. In an atmosphere of personal responsibility, Cloverism will decrease by necessity. Do you think people could afford to be Clovers in 1840? Much less so!
The anarchist in me rejects this “national sovereignty” idea. The only border that really matters is the one between me and my stuff, and the next guy’s. Nationalism is just another form of coercive collectivism. Of course it might behoove me to join up with my neighbor in a society of common interests, but it has to be voluntary or not at all.
This one is a tough one for many Libertarians. I make a distinction between nationalism (which like you I equate with coercive collectivism, militarism and so on) and nationhood, which, to me, can be understood in the sense of “we’re Americans, this is America” and we share common bonds of culture, history, political tradition – and so on. Being a realist (basing my realism on flawed human nature) I also concede that organized defense of the nation is probably an essential thing, without which, other states (thug states) would surely just annex or otherwise take over.
I am willing to accept the following:
* Sales/use taxes (or even tariffs on goods produced in foreign lands that do not allow their citizens liberty) for the sole purpose of maintaining the rule of law internally (that is, enforcing contracts and pursuing/punishing those who use force or its threat against others) and a legitimate defensive capability to deal with potential external threats.
I know I am in disagreement on this point with some Libertarians, but I can’t see any realistic alternative given the “facts on the ground” about human nature and the way human society actually works in real life – where there will probably always be bad/evil people uninterested in moral persuasion and incapable of living together with others on the basis of peaceful, voluntary free association.
Eric, your assessment is spot on. The Libertarians that don’t agree with you are idealists not realists. We either organize for our own defense (i.e. a citizens’ militia on the Swiss model) or we get annexed. It’s that simple. I always wondered when I was young why a nation that went to war with another nation, if they were able, didn’t just completely exterminate their foe and take over the land. I didn’t understand that “power” not winning per se, was the object and requires a populace to rule over; it has never been ‘just’ about land or resources. It’s almost always about subjugation of the populace. Oh, some vicious dictators may murder millions, but not all. They always seem to leave the bulk of the productive alive. They just use the mass homicides of the “weed people” to set an example for the rest of us: submit or else.
Consequently, this is why in these United States we were only supposed to have a tax base of imposts, excises, duties and tariffs; all taxes one can avoid, thereby not supporting or consenting to things they find morally reprehensible like expeditionary warfare. This was supposed to keep the national purse small enough that the government couldn’t afford an empire. The present system makes the corporations (and even small business men) de facto enforcers of the income tax and removes our ability to dissent by withholding funds from the government. We are in fact paying tributum to the empire (ultimately under pain of death if we resist).
In my ideal system (flawed as my thinking may well be) only the privately armed would vote. It would go like this: in order to vote you would have to be member of the citizens’ militia, show up at the polling place with your own serviceable main battle rifle (that you paid for or was supplied by your family or friends, not issued at the public’s expense), a minimal amount of ammunition (say 100 rounds) and enough kit for 72 hours in the field (minimum). If you are an elected, appointed or hired employee of the government, a member of the navy, air force, marines or regular army or on the dole you don’t vote. If you are physically, legally or morally unable to defend hearth and home with force, you don’t vote. I know it sounds harsh, but to me, anyone who isn’t willing to put their ass directly on the line in true ‘defense’ of their country shouldn’t be making political decisions.
I bring up the issue of navy, etc., because we will still need things like ships, submarines, missile systems and aircraft for modern defense. This is in the same vein that I don’t rely on a single shot cap and ball pistol or a cutlass for home defense these days. I wouldn’t stand much of a chance against a couple of assailants armed with Glocks. These are also things that most individuals or even families cannot afford for themselves (even on the used market), so we would still need sufficient major military hardware and specialists trained to maintain and use it even in peace time; i.e. national porcupine quills.
We would also need to maintain some semblance of standardization so we could share parts, ammunition and trained personnel in the event we are invaded. You either organize for your own defense in a local or decentralized manner with interstate cooperation or you live under the umbrella of the empire of the day. The bottom line is this: When you know you may get shot, you’ll probably do a much better job of keeping the peace. When you know you and your kids will sit safely in the White House or the suburbs of D.C. you’re much more inclined to start wars in which other people will get shot. I’m very sorry to burst the idealists’ bubble, but that’s the reality of the matter and it always has been.
The concepts “sovereignty” and “defense” do need serious updating in order to become more appropriate and useful in today’s interconnected world. Outfits like the Independent Institute, CATO, F.E.E., and the Foundation for Economic Education continue to advance our understanding. For the most part, however, we still rely on older, more simplistic, and perhaps dangerously obsolete versions that were designed to function in a pre-industrial world and way of thinking. It is almost like still thinking of “rocket” as a toy used by the Chinese for celebrations.
Sorry, I meant to say The Future of Freedom Foundation rather than the Foundation for Economic Education (F.E.E.) which I had already mentioned.
If the Constitution were to ever be amended again these suggestions would be on the top of my list: Abolish the income tax and spell out the right to constitutional carry in the form of an additional clause appearing within the second amendment. I personally think that it is a self evident truth that an armed citizenry is both a more polite and safer citizenry.
Yes, and the hard data backs this up – much to the chagrin of the Sarah Brady/citizen disarmament lobby. It is a fact, for example, that crime rates have gone down wherever CC is “shall issue” – and where it is lawful for ordinary citizens to readily buy and possess handguns especially. Also, that wherever CC has been approved (or laws relaxed), there has not been the tediously predicted “mayhem” that emoting Cloverites warned would take place. Quite the opposite. Here in my area, for example, it is now lawful to CC on the Blue Ridge Parkway (and in restaurants) where previously it had not been. The Emoting Clover Lobby warned sonorously (and hysterically) about all the shoot-’em-‘ups that were just bound to take place. Of course, none did. The assholes never apologize or retract, though.
Eric, why would anyone incapable of simple logic apologize or retract? After all, it doesn’t matter what facts or experience prove; the Bradyites are only concerned about how they feeeeeeeel. So when one refuses to accept human nature combined with simple boolean logic, e.g. ‘IF I mug her AND she is armed THEN I will get shot. THEREFORE I will NOT mug her.’, one has no argument. Rather than accepting reality, that ilk merely substitutes grandiloquence, falsehood and histrionics in an effort to herd the lemmings off the cliff. They don’t like us because we are not lemmings.
Alas, my CWP issued here in Idaho is not valid in VA.
Our laws are trial by persuasion. Those that hire the best persuader win! Not much different than trial by combat, except the hired professionals do not normally get physically damaged. They go out and have a drink together after putting on academy quality performances in a court of law.
This is convenient for the rich. They can afford the best mouth pieces in the business. The poor not so good . . .
Anyone who believes in justice should take a good look at the American Indian and the Bureau that steals from them. AT last look, I believe they are still being robbed. Nothing has really changed.
The murder of people hasn’t changed much either. We have serious problems with intelligence agencies and have had for a very long time. Balance the budget? Do away with all the federal agencies involved like the CIA and other agencies with runaway budgets and you will go a long way to doing so.
As far back as the founding of this country murder has been the case. One pirate in New Orleans was pardoned three different times because he came to the defense of this country. Never mind rape and pillage charges against him.
Look at recent decisions backing the Executive branch against all plain English language in the Bill of Rights.
The only legal defense against using plain ordinary English in law is to simply ignore the law. Well our courts are very good at doing just that.
The entire enforcement of the bill of rights has been ignored when convenient. The triple nature of our government was supposed to provide checks and balances against that action.
I was once stationed in a very poor, war ridden country 15 years later. I asked the local Catholic Bishop what is the morale character of this country?
His reply still haunts me: “Whatever is convenient, is morale.”
So ordered murder amongst the executive branch of government has evolved.
The problem with murder is those that live by the sword will eventually die by the sword. The only reason for the laws is to keep these type of things from happening.
No one individual is invulnerable to being murdered. Not me, you, or anyone else out there. That includes the VIPs in our government. Someone somewhere can and will return the action of murder. There is in human affairs laws of motion. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That is the problem with murdering individuals. The opposite reaction can be a hell to deal with. Eventually that is what is going to happen. An equal but opposite reaction . . .
I know it sounds crazy, but that actually eventually happens.
Dave, I’ve actually witnessed what you described one time right before court started. One of the shysters opened the door to the judge’s chambers prematurely. I was sitting close enough to hear the social exchange between the defense attorney, commonwealth’s attorney and judge. They all acted like old buddies and arranged to have lunch together that day. The defense attorney literally set up a golf date later that week with the judge. The lawyers came out and took their positions in front of the bench. The bailiff called court to order, the judge came out, everyone got real solemn, rose from their seats and the act began. Biggest load of manure I’ve ever seen and I’ve worked on some the largest hog farms in Oklahoma!
I learned early on that lawyers are officers of the court. Their first responsibility is to the court, then to themselves (or their practice) so the paying client comes in third (at best). If the opposing team has some political clout or there’s some major issue at stake and you’re on the wrong side of it, you’re done. There’s a reason why we call it the “Criminal” justice system.
I don’t understand why anybody is surprised by this. A global government, New World Order, has been the plan since the beginning of time. The New World Order is a counterfeit of God’s Millenial Reign, as outlined in the Bible. The Bible predicts a one world government, and an antichrist, and false prophet. In order for this to occur, America must lose her sovereignty and fall to a one world government.
The conditions are certainly ripe for this to occur, since John Adams, a gnostic founder of America, stated that the Constitution was only fit for a religious and moral people (not a Christian people, but a moral people). The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, a gnostic deist. It was signed primarily by Freemasons. It was an experiment in Democracy (liberal thought freedom) based on a Republic (rule of law). The experiment was freedom, although the rulers of America were primarily white male land owners, the new aristocracy. Although we had the illusion of freedom from time to time, America was built primarily for industrial wealth, and after NAFTA that was summarily removed by the Illuminati and sent to other countries (the true rulers of the world, the global elite, with no allegiance to anyone but themselves, but ultimately Satan).
Periodically throughout America’s history, we have fought battles to weaken our rights (Civil War, WWI, WWII,Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) and to consolidate our wealth into the hands of a few individuals under a corporate facade. Good men, such as both my boys, fought in these illegal wars, and returned confused borderline pycho due to new training techniques to advance killing. Now America is NOT wealthy, has little industrial base, no morals, except what is right in their own eyes (read the book of Judges, esp the last sentence in your KJV) and the most powerful military might in the world (refer to Eisenhower’s Farewell address). Our country died with JFK, who intended to destroy the Federal Reserve and the CIA and was murdered by operatives protecting these organizations. However, America has served the purpose of the global elite and now it is game over.
Our rights are determined by God, not the government, and ultimately Christians are protected by God, not man. Resistance is futile, revolutions serve to only, in the end, to enslave man further and to consolidate the global elites plan of a New World Order.
America has forgotten God and will now be placed under cruel authority. That’s the way it goes. For those who deny the existence or Diety of Jesus Christ, the end will be particularly unhappy for you. This life is short compared to eternity. America was a grand illusion for a short while, esp the last generation who is now dying off, many of them worshiping America, not God, who provided relative wealth, security, the illusion of freedom and a social security check. Health care too. A chicken in every pot. Vacations for nearly everyone, cars, TV’s, central heat, comfort. Even peace because our military fought wars away from home. The elite brought it home on 9/11 and rocked our little world. This is only the beginning of the end. Matthew 24. Read it.
Mother of 2 Marines.
Yes, we bought the lie, then it came home.
Experience is the best teacher.
Very well said Sue! Amen sister!
There is a reason we called it “The American Dream”, because that’s what it turned out to be. Your point about deists and paticularly Freemasons setting the framework of this nation is quite accurate; mercantilists have no interest in a Liberty only personal gain. Even the Romans did quite well so long as they remained morally upright. Once they abandoned decency, compassion and integrity their culture decayed into an empire, both overextended militarily and hedonistic, even sadistic, domestically. Then it collapsed. Does that sound familiar?
The second chapter of Romans spells it out very clearly. God is not partial. If the Gentile not having the law handed to them as Israel did, lives by his conscience and the law that is written in his heart, he is justified in the sight of God. The framers understood this as Natural Law and knew that when the people abandoned moral principle this experiment in Liberty would be over. We are headed into winter, dress warmly.
Sorry you had to learn by having two kids in the military machine. What lessons did they learn, if I may pry?
I weep for the decent young men and women who get sucked into the maw of Leviathan under false pretenses and faux patriotism. A pox on the house of the criminals who send them in harm’s way.
Bless you sister and your sons. Everything you said is true far as I can tell.
When Bill Clinton was elected I thought, what a moral slob; an awful
man. When George Bush got in I thought, what a horrifying little
pissant; an awfuller man than Clinton, even. Now, Barak Obama: a man
so egregiously bereft of understanding of what it means to hold the
office of American President that his degree of awfulness forms the
next in what I believe mathematicians call an arithmetic progression
I purely can’t wait to see who we get next.
Agreed. Precedent tends to build on itself. Many Americans now consider to be be normal and unremarkable that which would have caused earlier generations to erupt in outrage. Just consider the public reaction to Watergate – a mere prank in comparison to the assault on the rule of law that is happening all around us today. Nixon lied to try to cover up a bungling political burglary of his opposition by his flunkies. That was enough – the public outrage – to hound him out of office. Today, politicians don’t even bother trying to lie about the fact that they’ve committed far more heinous acts.
And almost no one cares….
B.H.O., right down to his cute little circle logo was a packaged brand. Sure, he’s devoid of any morals and when it comes right down to it, he’s a sock puppet for the bankers and the war machine. McCain would have done the same things B.H.O. has done with slightly different window dressing. I point this one fact out to people all the time: when the two of them were on the campaign trail and the bailout package was coming up for a vote, the both of them couldn’t get back to D.C. quick enough to vote “YES!” to handing nearly a trillion dollars of our money to the very people that screwed the economy up to begin with.
If there were any substantive difference between the two parties or the two men even, one of them would have voted NO. But the Amerikan consumer could only see this young, slim, community organizer as the messiah who would bring them Hope and Change and assuage the guilt imputed to them from previous generations’ transgressions against the black man. Now that all is said and done, those of us that still have a job are looking at our inflated currency and “hoping” he’ll let us “keep the change”.
Worse yet, they can even host triumphal celebrations commemorating their deeds and get cheered by groveling sycophants.
I’m wondering if there were Roman citizens that were able to live relatively well during the rule of corrupt emperors in that empire’s Decline and Fall. Ditto for regular German citizens while Hitler was getting up to speed. On the other hand, there probably weren’t many Russians having much fun during the Stalin era.
What is happening in America right now is almost certainly not reversible. I mourn for the disappearance of what was once a great country..perhaps the greatest ever. Nevertheless, I hope to avoid “going down with the ship.”
It’s a big country; if you live in a rural area, for instance – and fly under the radar – probably you can still have a decent life. We do ok… but for how much longer… well… that is the question, eh?
Agreed. Being near good hardware, grocery, and auto parts stores is desirable. A close by lumber yard certainly wouldn’t hurt either. As far as flying under the radar is concerned, malicious busybodies, venomous authoritarians, and all-around jerks seem to be everywhere these days and rural areas aren’t immune from the bastards. This may be wishful thinking but if an area exists that isn’t overly infested with them it might be worth looking into. I think that Claire Wolfe (author of One Hundred And One Things To Do Until The Revolution) would agree with that last point.
How much longer? No one knows for sure. Yes, we should stand up to the bad guys but still try to enjoy life as much as possible because it’s so darn short.
Yes, but there are usually fewer of them (malicious busybodies, venomous authoritarians and all-around jerks) in rural/less-populated areas and you can usually avoid interacting with them to a greater extent. At least, that’s true in our case, here in rural Va. vs. where we used to live in suburban Va. It’s far from perfect, of course. But it is better. I think Dom (who did basically the same thing as us) will agree with me.
Most average Romans worked twelve hours a day seven days a week even during the best of times.
No they didn’t – they had slaves to do all the work.
And average pay for that 12 hours of labor was a Denarius a day–one tenth of an ounce of silver.
It gives you some idea of how undervalued silver is today. It’s a fantastic hedge and probably the investment of the century.
I agree with your point about silver. Historically, it’s also been more commonly used for coins than gold. No one really know what it will be worth once it again regains its role as as money. Getting back to Rome, soldiers were were required to build their own barracks and other fortifications. Stone was the preferred material for permanence. If you have ever done any landscaping work involving moving heavy stones you will know how exhausting the labor must have been. Hadrians Wall is a good example of their work although it is not all made of stone. Apparently, there weren’t many military contractors then getting no bid contracts. Our fiat currency has so far provided government the illusion of limitless resources but that nay be changing in the near future.
Didn’t the Clinton administration set the stage for this with Waco and Ruby Ridge? I said at the time that these two (high profile) raids (there were others that received less media coverage) were Litmus tests for the resolve of the Amerikan public. We failed miserably. It’s no surprise, because by the early 90’s Amerikans had already become so domesticated, most would have never considered resisting the gubmint, no matter how corrupt. After all, who can make war with the beast?
It was different in the 1940’s when men actually took up arms to at least set local corrupt government straight like in the Battle of Athens (Tennessee that is; http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/athens.htm). Note that even though the locals were veterans and called for federal intervention before violence broke out, none was forthcoming.
But in the Waco case, the Prez had the Attorney General take the blame. Although one of Slick Willie’s own advisors now says the Prez actually called the shots (http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/clinton-plays-the-oklahoma-city-card/). So what’s new about this isn’t that the Prez is calling hits on people he doesn’t like, but he’s coming right out and bragging about it. Even Don Corleone couldn’t get away with that.
So, Eric is quite right to be hysterical. This movie typically ends with labor camps for productive political dissidents; big ditches and bullets for dissidents without useful skills. Pretty soon if you don’t want to take your vaccines, only drink pasteurized milk or serve in th’ military; “Hell, you must be one uh them lifestyle terrorists. Better send in HRT snipers to take you out before you start growin’ weed and marrying 12 year old girls too! Can’t be too careful. Gotta stop terrorism before it happens ya’know!” I hear the pre-crime unit is looking for a few good men…..
I knew there were problems, but even 25 years ago I would have never believed that I would see Amerika come to this point. Being disillusioned can really suck at times. If you need me, I’ll be just outside of town in the woods, face down in that big ditch DHS just dug……
So what stopping you (Internet) tough guy and your friends marching into gpvernment halls? Isn’t that what the 2nd Amendment is supposed to be about?
Not biting, Clover. No one else here will be, either.
You like to quote sayings about physically overthrowing the government from the comfort of your own home – I guess things aren’t really that bad then.
Give it up, Clover. Your pathetic attempts to provoke people here to post violent or suggestively violent comments – in order, no doubt, to help your Handlers target web sites like this one as “extremist” and possibly “dangerous” – aren’t getting any traction and never will. If your Handlers had any real intelligence, they’d have realized by now that the people posting here are thoughtful, educated individuals who are doing what is most dangerous to you and your kind, even if it’s not physically violent; that is, exposing you and your kind for what they are and what they represent.
No wonder your Handlers are worried!
Actually Gil, you are quite right: we still have the comfort of our own homes to this day, because of the sacrifices or our ancestors. The other things our ancestors left us with was common sense and the lessons of history. One of those lessons was taught by Benjamin Franklin: The is no good war and no bad peace. People like you, who long for violence are evil and should remember the words of another great man: he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. And, the meek shall inherit the earth. Wake up Gil, nobody here will take yor bait because you’ve run into a group of non-aggressive peaceful people.
Yeah sure Eric, with the Patriot Act and other unconstitutional stuff soon basic criticising of the gubmint will get Americans deported to some faraway place where they’ll never be heard of again.
Then again you didn’t mind it when methyl’s quotes Solzhenitsyn equating cops with Soviet operatives and how if only some of them were not sure if they would return home if the people fought back. Not to mention that Libertarians think the purpose of 2nd Amendment is to support insurrections rather than suppress them.
That’s right Clover – because once the rule of law has been vacated, once it is no longer necessary to present charges and them prove them, with evidence, before a jury, before dragooning government critics into the night, it is only a matter of the whim of some future Decider whether to deport them to “some faraway place where they’ll never be heard of again.” You apparently believe this cannot happen because … well… uh… because… well… the government would never do such a thing! It is benevolent, good and just and those who wield power are exempt from the failings of human nature, the tendency to abuse authority and to go after “enemies.” …. .
You handlers really ought to feed you some better material.
Oh haven’t you heard? Libertarians are currently going ape-poopy of a U.S. citizen getting snuffed out via an executive order.
Gil (predictably) misunderstands my Solzhenitsyn quote. There’s a difference between violent insurrection and self defense; entirely too subtle a point for Clovers I fear.
Eric your recent article on withdrawing from the system is excellent. I’ve seen several in that vein recently, and the idea is spot-on.
Withdraw your consent, and refuse to participate. I’m not advocating tax resistance because that REALLY whacks the hornets’ nest. But in every way possible, work outside the system. Don’t support the globalist corporations. Ostracize those who work for the system. If you know a TSA agent, snub them, cut them out of your social circle; same applies to any government worker. They’re parasites. If they’re friends of yours, gently persuade them to see the evil of what they’re doing–even if they’re just a low-level functionary, they’re contributing to an immoral system.
Start small. Frown at a mailman.
As much as I want a Corvette Z06 I’ll never buy GM; it’s like supporting Zil. Use open-source software; just about everything has a free counterpart that’s almost as good or often better. Shop at farmer’s markets when possible. Buy durable goods and fix them, don’t replace them, and use local handymen not national shops. Barter.
The Power Elite need to keep us in Dreamtime/the Matrix. If you wake up, you’re terribly dangerous to them; not because you have physical weapons, but because you see them. Sociopaths fear one thing above all others: exposure. They work diligently to hide their sickness, for it is the source of their power. Remember that campy movie They Live?
“We’ve got one that can see!”
It terrifies them.
Look up Agorism
Gil, first and foremost the 2nd Amendment was originally intended to be the final check and balance in our system of government. It was supposed to act as a general deterrent to tyrannical government (much as the police are supposed to be a general deterrent to crime). It was a last resort, the “nuclear option” if you will, for the people to take back the country if all else failed.
It didn’t take long after the founding before some ambitiously greedy and evil men took the reins and began using the government to run roughshod over their fellow countrymen. When this became sufficiently intolerable, a few of the several states attempted to peacefully depart from the overreaching central government’s control…oh…along about 1860.
When the central government refused to relinquish these sources of revenue, all hell broke loose. The free and sovereign people of these states exercised their option to take up arms against the aggressors. It didn’t turn out well.
True to form, the same villains that were already stealing these states blind, under the guise of government, then waged total war on their civilian populations; raping, pillaging, razing, plundering and murdering with careless abandon. The bloodletting was phenomenal and unprecedented in modern civilization. Is that what you want? I am confident that I speak for the vast majority who identify with the libertarian / panarchist philosophies, when I say we don’t want anything of the sort.
Consider this: Under the law of war, when a sovereign occupies a territory with its military, that territory is subject to the will of the sovereign (translation to Gilspeak: If the gubmint has more men with guns on your land than you do, they get to tell you what to do). Pray tell me, (a) when was Reconstruction officially (by writ, decree or statute) declared “over”? And (b) which, if any, of the states or territories does not have a U.S. military base on it?
Gil, the answers are so simple: Reconstruction has never been officially declared over and all of the states and territories have U.S. military bases on them (even Cuba is occupied). In 1865 the Constitutional Republic ended. It was replaced by a pseudo-democratic military government and all of the several states have been occupied ever since. The original intent of the 2nd Amendment became a moot point.
I ask you again; who can make war with the beast? To even attempt it would be stupid and suicidal. Only a truly evil person would want to provoke such idiocy, since it would lead to more democide. If that’s what you want, there’s something seriously wrong with your mind Gil. And you need both professional and spiritual help.
The 2nd Amendment is primarily about protecting the militia so they can be called forth for the protection of society, e.g. as in suppressing insurrections as per Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
Clover, you’re clueless – as usual.
In addition to the comments already posted, have you stopped to consider why, if the men who wrote the 2A (and Constitution) intended to limit the possession of firearms to “the militia” (that is, to the military – though this is a modern mistranslation of what “militia” meant in the 18th century) virtually every adult (and adolescent) male did in fact possess firearms at the time, without any legal sanction? If – as per your idiot argument – only “the militia” (military) was intended to possess arms, then why weren’t there mass gun confiscations, arrests and prosecutions of all the millions of private individuals who very openly possessed arms and who were not members of the army? Why was there no registration or regulation of the private possession of firearms whatsoever from the time of the ratification of the Constitution forward and all the way through to the 1930s? Hmmm?
This one glaring, incontestable fact of American history is routinely overlooked by ignorant assholes such as yourself, who try to twist and warp what the 2A meant and was written to protect; that is, the right of of ordinary citizens to possess and bear arms for self-defense.
Heard on the news an interesting fact yesterday. The number one deterrent to crime is fear of lawfully armed citizens.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
You seem to be reading more into this than I can see. Please be kind enough to cite your sources supporting your statement.
Gil you have now stepped into a battle of the wits. You are unarmed.
Patrick Henry said: “The great object is, that every man be armed….Everyone who is able may have a gun.” Yes, the militia was crucial for the national defense and Henry recognized that. But by the preample to the Second Amendment merely including the phrase “a well regulated militia” in no way detracts from its intended purpose; that we all have the right to privately held arms.
The right very clearly being protected is an individual right that was possessed by “the people” prior to its articulation in any document; that being the fundamental right to self-defense and by extension, the right to possess the means to do so. These are the same “people” named in the 9th and 10th Amendments (both of which also happen to be very inconvenient to statists such as yourself).
James Madison pointed out that (I’ll paraphrase for brevity) that the European kingdoms did not trust their citizens with arms. That Americans were unique in doing so. There was no certainty that if the common people in Europe merely held private arms that the monarchies would be able to keep them under the yoke.
There is an overwhelming body of political discourse, scholarship and commentary extant from the founding of this nation that clearly refutes and defeats your position little salamander in training. More recently, the U.S. Supreme court has confirmed that the Second Amendment protects the individual right of Americans to privately keep and bear arms. This of course has sent your fellow statists in big city government scurrying to preserve their monopoly on the use of force.
If you even had a cursory knowledge or understanding of the issues concerning the founders of the United States in their day, you’be very much aware that the militia was the aegis against standing armies and their misuse by evil ambitious men in government who wish to exploit their fellow countrymen. Thou art either woefully ignorant of the subject at hand or you are one of them. Again Gil: what do you do for a living?
“(Internet) tough guy”
So what does that make you?
Quite likly a Homeland Gestapo representative.
Toxic environments, Gil.Not good for your health. If we could just get those selfless civil servants to clean the mess up, sterilize it.
You know, I hated 1984, but I’m really glad I read it. Thanks Eric
1984 was written in 1948 and took its cue from Nazi and Soviet-style authoritarianism – overt force to control society. I think we’ve developed more into a Brave New World scenario, a society that is (mostly) controlled by subtler means of conditioning. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it.
yeah, except they won’t let me have my soma, it is still illegal.
Problem, reaction, solution. This guy was either not killed(just like the last few times he was reportedly killed) or has been dead for a long time. Either way, he was wined and dined at the Pentagon a decade ago, and in all likelihood is/was a US government asset. I for one refuse to even take this soap opera as truth. Just like the obvious lies of the Osama bin Laden fairytale…
Agree, both counts.
The Osama thing is so fishy you want to start looking for the dead grouper, it stinks so bad….
Notice, too, how that story has just… disappeared?
Yeah, even Michael Jackson was on the news for a few MONTHS after he died.
Yes, indeed. It’s scheisse of that type that the idiot masses feed on. Celebrity worship, jocksniffing…. American Idol, TMZ and fuhhhhhhhhhhhhhtball. The typical American knows more about “the game” than he does about anything that matters.
Soma. The Tow Minutes Hate. Panem et circensum.
Down the memory hole; Osama’s death? Never happened. Birth certificate Photoshop faux-pa? Never happened. Seal Team 6 killed in a helicopter crash…probably the same ones who “killed” Osama? Never happened.
How many fingers, Winston? No that’s not good enough. You have to believe there are five.
We’ve crossed a crucial line, THE crucial line–the power of life and death. How dumb do you have to be to believe it’s all OK when your government can arbitrarily name you, and then fucking kill you?
And yet, speaking to one of my fairly wealthy and well-educated neighbors his take was that “well Alwaqi was a terrorist, you know?” Followed by “did you see the Texans game?”
I literally shuddered, made my excuses, and left. That is intentional ignorance; it’s the same apathy that let Germans convince themselves the camps didn’t exist. Next, that same neighbor will be ingratiating himself to Leviathan by informing on me. If you See Something, Say Something.
Welcome to East Germany.
The day may come when:
The White House announced the successful assassination of an American Lenny Greenworld, journalist and leading critic of the Obama administration whose intractable attacks on his country’s foreign policy, and the President in particular, swelled the ranks of terrorists and killers of US soldiers according to leading administration officials.
He was hunted down at the behest of President Obama under an executive order allowing the President to kill an American citizen without due process. The President hailed the killing as a triumph of good over evil, and added that anyone who consistently lies about the intentions of his government’s efforts in the Middle East and encourages others to rise against it is certainly a traitor and deserves to die. When asked what the facts were to back his claim that Greenworld was a terrorist, the President said you’ll just have to trust me; after all, I am the president.
At the New York Times the smell of urine was everywhere as journalist peed in their pants.
Mr. Obama will celebrate the death of Greenworld at a nationally televised White House lawn party where Greenworld will be barbequed Texas style and served to the President, former president and guest of honor George W. Bush,and other dignitaries. The event promises to be Bone Suckin’ Good!
There was also dancing in the streets, but the dancers had no rhythm.
Could not have said it better, art – post o’ the day!