The “Living” Constitution…

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It’s said – approvingly, by some – that the Constitution is a “living” document.living-lead

Imagine any other contract that was also “living.” That is, subject to unilateral changes according to the whim of one of the parties to the contract.

Would you sign?

Would you feel yourself bound by such a contract?    

Probably not.

Any contract subject to change without the explicit prior consent – freely given – of both parties is no contract at all.

The words agreed to either have very specific meanings (this is what lawyers are for) clearly stated and clearly agreed to – or they don’t. If the meaning is “living” – subject to interpretation by one side or the other – then the document has no meaning, except whatever suits the party doing the “interpreting.” If that party has power to enforce its “interpretation,” then what you’ve got is not a contract.

It is an excuse to abuse.

A means of compelling the acquiescence of the victim to an outrage he would otherwise never tolerate.living-2

This is the evil genius of the “living” Constitution, which was purposefully engineered to do exactly that by its engineers.

They referred to themselves as Federalists for a reason.

The Constitution, they assured was, was supposed to define the limited powers of the federal government but – as ought to be evident by now – provided the legal mechanism for the acquisition of unlimited power by the federal government. Exactly as intended.

There is now, very plainly, absolutely nothing beyond the scope of the federal government’s authority to micromanage (and punish).

If the Constitution had merit as a contract, one would be able to read the thing and determine whether “x” was within the scope of the powers granted or not. But it is a “living” document – and so everything is at least potentially (and increasingly, actually) within the scope of the powers granted.

If a majority of the nine robed high priests of the church of state – who have given themselves the power to “interpret” the “living” document – agree that the government has lawful authority to do “x” then – presto! – it has the power. Regardless of any direct language to the contrary such as found in the tacked-on Bill of Rights, the plain language thereof being purposefully ignored when not in accordance with the desire of the Nine to increase the “constitutional” powers of the federal government.

The “living” Constitution is metastasizing cancer. It grows without limit.living-3

In a will or other valid contract, you will not encounter essentially meaningless verbiage such as the “general welfare” – which is meaningless precisely because it can mean anything, according to anyone’s opinion thereof.

Rather, you will find meticulous, precise language that is not the least bit “living.” That’s the point of having a contract. It’s why you hire lawyers to write them. So that there is no misunderstanding.

No interpretation after the fact.

Each party is assured of the other’s obligations prior to signing – and they sign (agree) on this basis. That “x” is within the terms of the contract but “y” is not. If one or both parties to the contract become unhappy with the terms of the contract, they may agree to change the contract or to null and void the contract. But both parties must agree to this.

One party cannot unilaterally change the terms – and then demand the other party obey.humpty-dumpty

Imagine if the fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage you signed became a “living” document one fine day. You receive a letter in the mail informing you that your lender has “interpreted” the fixed 3.2 percent interest you agreed to actually means “fixed according to changing market conditions” and your new rate is higher.   

Would you send in your next payment?

No contract – except the “living” Constituion – works like this.

Yet we are supposed to accept constantly shifting unilateral changes regarding our obligations under said contract, alongside constantly shifting, unilateral changes regarding the powers enjoyed by the government.

These powers always increasing – along with our obligations.

Our liberties constantly diminishing.

Lord Vader’s quip to Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back comes to mind: “I am altering the deal; pray I do not alter it further.”

Lando, of course, was under no illusion about the nature of the “deal.” He understood where he stood in relation to Lord Vader (and the empire) and felt no moral obligation to obey; he did so as necessary to save his skin – under duress. And disobeyed whenever an opportunity presented itself.

Why are so many Americans deluded about the “living” Constitution? So pathetically reverentially toward a contract that binds them but not the other party? That imposes new and onerous obligations on them at whim – while releasing the other party from any obligations whatsoever?

At what point will a sufficiency of the public realize such a contract is no contract at all?

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112 COMMENTS

  1. Imagine any other contract that was also “living.” That is, subject to unilateral changes according to the whim of one of the parties to the contract.

    Would you sign?

    Would you feel yourself bound by such a contract?

    Probably not.

    You’ve just described the modern marriage contract under (so-called) “no fault” [*bullshit!*] divorce law.

    One party –the wife in 80-plus percent of cases– can default on the contract at any time, for any reason (or none at all), and the other party –the husband in most cases– is still held liable for performance under the contract even after it has been breached by the other party.

    It is, for all practical purposes, an adhesion contract for the party aggrieved, one that any sane human being (especially any male human being) would avoid at all costs unless he was an idiot (in which case under the law, if it were any other form of contract, would be considered null, void, and unenforceable). Yet for some reason millions of otherwise sane men of normal-range IQs continue to sign up for it. Go figure.

    • Re:No fault divorce – have to agree, except in my case it was ex post facto, i.e., ‘no fault’ became the ‘the law of the land’ AFTER my ex and I entered into the ‘contract.’
      I say, if both parties want out, let them out, as long as they peacefully negotiate the division of property (including child custody). But if only one wants out, he/she forfeits all ‘community property,’ including children.
      I remember several years ago someone was running for orifice (sorry, I don’t remember who or where) and was making the point that he could more easily be rid of his wife of 20+ years than the secretary he hired last week.

      • This should not be understood to mean that I would not allow ‘For Fault Divorce,’ if one party violated the original terms of the contract, e.g., adultery.

  2. We, the American people, are in deep poo.

    The Constitution is a deeply flawed document. At my most charitable, I may assess it as having been written for saints and scholars. More realistically, it is something far and away worse.

    That notwithstanding, there are instruments and other organs available to us that, if properly applied, could result in huge sea-changes for what I daresay would be the better. That, I fear, will not be forthcoming any time soon. What I call FAIL (Fear Avarice Ignorance Lassitude) has gone too broadly and deeply into the fabric of the average American.

    At this point, I fear I see only two possibilities: we capitulate to those who would have us do so, or we engage in physical combat in a last ditch attempt to salvage what we might of our liberties.

    While the scoundrels, cads, and bounders who have perpetrated these crimes against us are to blame, the real accountability lies with we who allowed the others to get away with their crimes. We should have put all this nonsense to ends long ago, yet we did nothing of substance to stop the varlets from trespassing upon our individual sovereign rights as free men. It is we who are mostly to account for wreckage of our liberty and prosperity because we turned as ignorants and cowards away from requisite wisdom and courage to remain as free men. There is always someone, somewhere who has designs upon the lives and other property of his fellows. Such people need to be corrected without hesitation or equivocation. Sometimes that means killing. It always means being able to recognize the truth and having the courage and industry to make the necessary amendments.

    We have turned our backs upon our freedom, excusing ourselves ever so kindly with all the lies of the progressive such as the notion of peace at any cost.

    Shame on us all and those who came before us for not having had the self-respect and guts to stand tall and put all tyrants out of business, even if it means putting them to the sword. Just look at what our children will inherit.

    The sad truth of it is that people want all of what they narrowly see as the benefits of liberty without having to bear any of the costs and other requirements for being free men. Real freedom demands of a man that he be courageous, industrious, intelligent, smart, honest in some non-trivial measure along certain lines, and respectful of his fellows.

    These are the demands that cause men to turn and flee from freedom in favor of that which I call “pretty slavery”, which is that of the gilt cage. Such men, the poor and seely bastards that they are, lie to themselves by taking this form of slavery and stenciling upon its forehead “freedom”. A more pitiable creature cannot be imagined. He is despicable in his will to ignorance, bullshit, and the outright lies directed inward in his hopelessly ham-fisted efforts to absolve himself of responsibility for his cowardice and corruption.

    Such men deserve every misery that comes their way. It is for the men of real courage and a will toward intelligence, honesty, integrity, and the love and regard and respect of himself and his fellows for whom my concern and affection goes out. They are comparatively few and far between and at this time I have no clear thoughts on how they might be saved from the juggernaut of the progressive death machine that seeks to grind them into extinction.

    • Hi Andy,

      I’m more kindly inclined as regards culpability. There are millions of us who didn’t ask for the system we have; who would prefer liberty and accountability. But we are carried along by the rip tide. The pending (s)election, for instance, will result in authoritarian collectivism of the red or brown variety. We who prefer not to have authoritarian collectivism have no such option.

      Well, what to do?

      Your suggestion strikes me – for now – as unwise. Because it is certain to result in the opposite of what we desire. Open/physical resistance would be (has been) portrayed as “extremism” (the “t” word) and the general public would probably support the efforts of the state to suppress such. In other words, it would strengthen the state. Also, it would be a losing fight. There is no chance of even peaceful secession at the present moment. Forget an open confrontation – unless you want to go out Way-co (purposeful misspelling) style.

      The time is not right.

      But, wait a while.

      The moral legitimacy of the system is waning. And with it, the strength of the system. See the old USSR as an example.

      A time may come when it will be possible to peacefully secede – or at least, be left alone to a much greater extent than now.

  3. The system’s fucked. Let’s have some fun!

    MICHELLE OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    Get out the posters! Strike up the band! Hail John Philip Sousa!

      • Hi feeriker,

        If such a thing were to happen – Hillary replaced by Michelle Obama – it would be a benefit to the cause, so to speak. She would have virtually no legitimacy to rule outside of a few acres of real estate within the Beltway and San Francisco.

        I worry less about about Hillary being sick in body than I do about her being sick in the head.

  4. The articles of confederation never had a chance. What is seen by those in charge today as “weaknesses” were it’s actual strengths in preserving liberty and freedom, which is what some (never the majority) of the founders wanted. If there was to be government, it would be more local (the 13 states the high levels). The central government largely weak, powerless and ceremonial for the most part. It probably would have worked well if it had been left in place.

    Those founders knew what a large central government could do (the British), of course they were ignored when the new constitution was written (since they were supposed to amend the AOC not replace it) , since they had lost sway. The majority of the founders only wanted to replace the British with themselves. They used the threat of the British as the need for a central government. How ironic.

    The AOC didn’t allow for congress the ability to tax for one. Imagine the central government having to ask the individual states for funds instead of the other way around (like it is now). Most of the time the states wouldn’t provide funds. Which I think was part of the design of the AOC, the central government can’t grow at the expense of the taxpayers without hard cash or gold. If something wasn’t good for an individual state, they could refuse simply by not funding something. Imagine that!

    Of course it would make doing anything hard. That was the idea. Make it hard so that it wouldn’t do much if anything. The less a central government does, the less it can step on freedoms. And the less debt it would create too.

    They used the debt incurred by the revolution (which the states had little incentive of paying) as an excuse for direct taxation. The irony of that too, as we have $20 trillion of debt on paper and over $200 trillion in debt in reality now.

    I imagine what would have been had the AOC been left in place. We have probably missed out on a lot of things that could have been really good. At minimum it would have kept us out of a lot of other nations wars. Would we be one nation? Probably not, but we probably wouldn’t have had a civil war either. Hard to tell though, as things would have evolved pretty differently with a weak central government.

    • The majority of the founders only wanted to replace the British with themselves.

      Yep. Replace the British aristocracy with a native one. Also note the extent to which the Freemasons have been involved in every aspect of this nation’s founding and governance since Day One. That, sez me, is something that deserves much more study than it has been given.

      • Hamilton was explicit about that. He was an agent of the British.

        He also basically cucked Washington.

        Of all the leading “founding fathers” who were Federalists, the only one I have some respect for is John Adams, who I think was at least an honest man.

        Hamilton was loathsome in every aspect. The archetypical opportunist without principle except his own aggrandizement. He was a willing tool of the banking/mercantilist interests that rule the country to this day.

        Washington, at least, had some merit as a man.

        The same – and more – for my flawed (like all of us) hero Jefferson. Many admirable qualities, but tarnished by his penchant for owning people and also his own betrayal of principle as, for instance, by usurping powers he did not lawfully possess to buy land with other people’s money.

  5. When I came to the US, and was learning English, civics and all that stuff meant to civilize me, one of the constant themes was that this is a nation governed by laws, not by men. I had to pledge allegiance to a flag, and stand at attention whenever a few notes of the national anthem wafted in through a window.

    I always wondered – do laws put people in jail, do one-sided living contracts shoot people for disobeying them? Not one bit, these are just contrivances, produced by man, which enable the men who claim to enforce them to do whatever they want.

    I live in the US, and in CA. This means that there are many thousands of laws governing my every possible action in this world. Statistically, I commit three federal felonies per day (https://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474058839&sr=8-1&keywords=two+felonies+a+day), and God only knows how many state crimes. I probably broke some law taking a leak in the morning when I woke up.

    Anyhow, this giant pile of laws is selectively enforced by the local cops. If I have the wrong skin color, or show inadequate boot licking behavior, they absolutely will find some law that I am breaking and use it to make my life miserable. As long as I work, pay my taxes, and don’t object too loudly at the latest communist bullshit at the local PTA meeting, I will be mostly left alone to live my life.

    No matter how this is framed, living document, nation of laws, whatever, the end effect is that of enabling men with guns to tell me what to do. This is no different to an individual than living under totalitarianism, however, in a totalitarian state, you know who your enemy is, you it has a face, this face is plastered on every wall of every building (think pictures of Lenin or Mao everywhere), that is your enemy. Our leaders under democracy are brilliant – they’ve convinced us all that “we” are the government and only have ourselves to blame. Hah! Genius.

      • And who was later executed by Khrushchev. This is the funny thing about totalitarians – none of them ever imagine that it will be them up against the wall.

        • When Stalin realized he was on the way out, and that Kruschev would be his successor, he gave him 2 envelopes, and said “You will face some difficult times. When it first happens, open envelope #1. When it happens again, open envelope #2. Sure enough, not too much later things were not going well. So he opened #1 and it said “Blame everything on me.” And that worked like a charm. Things were much smoother for several years. But, of course, the time came when it started to fall apart. So he opened #2. It said “Prepare 2 envelopes.”

            • Warp, evidently Bush gave the entire Republican playbook to BO and maybe the second envelope…..which he’s never needed. I don’t believe for a second Trump has any intention of not using that same plan. Technically, BO hasn’t started any “wars”…..technically. You don’t need to declare war if you use the shadow govt. to spread weapons around to everyone you see as an enemy even though Iraq is not “technically” our enemy. But give Iraq a huge amount of new tanks and an even larger arsenal of ammo for them and knowing the people who got them wouldn’t be able to keep them is just another back door war. What we need in this country is nothing less than a purge of the international banksters and the rest of the shadow govt. At this point I doubt it can be done and can’t see an even remote chance of success without a huge, bloody civil war.
              The only thing that might hurt those entities will destroy most of the world’s population. I see the US coming out very bad in that regard. Everyone here lives from import to import, truckload to truckload and once that’s gone we won’t need some artificial disaster such as nukes to kill off most of us. We be screwed, blued and tattoed.

          • Hi Phillip!

            Stalin was an interesting species of tyrant. Far worse than Hitler, who arguably possessed some human feeling. Which was why Der Fuhrer was less effective. Stalin had people shot at random, for example. Including members of his own family. Hitler, all his crimes notwithstanding, never had the stomach for such. He rarely did more than dismiss his generals. Stalin had them tortured and killed.

            On whim.

            This was genius, from a certain perspective. In Hitler’s Germany, you were relatively safe if you did not openly criticize the regime and were not a member of a class of people (Jews, obviously, but also gypsies, “asocials” and homosexuals, among others) deemed untermenschen. But in Stalin’s USSR, no one was safe. Not even the wife of the foreign minister (Molotov). Not even Stalin’s old Bolshevik friends (Kirov and many others). The knock on the door could come for anyone. For no reason at all.

            This paralyzed potential opposition. And made it possible for Stalin to absorb losses in the field that would have toppled any other regime (including Hitler’s).

            Der Fuhrer did not even put the country on a “total war” footing until 1943!

            • Hitler was a boy scout compared with Stalin. Just the fact that he was in power way longer 1924-1953 vs 1934-1945 gives him the edge on the body count. Most of his crimes are still unknown and likely never will be known. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stalin’s body count is double of Hitlers.

              Sure would never know that looking at today’s popular history.

              • Double? Probably 5-6 times or more.

                Hitler did massively evil things, but all with good intentions. Stalin and Mao, OTOH, were the very essence of malefaction.

                If Hitler represented one unit of tyrannical stoogery, Stalin was 100+.

          • Were it known more generally, possibly we wouldn’t have to endure all this bullshit ‘soft Marxism’.

            Who am I kidding? The siren song of socialism will never go away.

            • The siren song of socialism will never go away.

              Yep. This is, in the final analysis, the reason why Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and every other historical communist pyschopath gets a free pass, while Hitler, a pathetic amateur in terms of body count by comparison, is demonized.

              Part of me wants to say that this is due largely to the fact that a certain not-to-be-named ethnic group with a disproportionate influence on the institutions governing the historical record was most adversely impacted by Schickelgruber’s brand of murderous tyranny, as well as said group being the driving force behind the development of modern communism.

              What is especially hilarious (and that, to a cynic, points to some form of mental illness that manifests itself as subtle self-loathing) is that their hero Stah-lin hated their guts as much as, if not more than, Uncle Adolf did. It emerged after Uncle Joe’s death that, had he lived a little while longer, he would have launched another purge like that of ’36-’38 that would have targeted these “special people.”

              Pure madness that anyone with a single functioning brain cell still accords this murderous ideology any respect at all.

              • Hi Lib,

                An example (which I’m betting you’re aware of) being Stalin’s putting the wife of his longtime crony Molotov into a camp. Why? Because she was Jewish and a supporter of the then-infant state of Israel. Stalin had the popular Jewish actor Mikhoels murdered for the same reason – and (as you note) was gearing up for a massive anti-Semitic purge (and, according to some accounts, preparing for a nuclear first strike against the West) when he very luckily for all concerned died at his dacha.

                I’ve read (and tend to believe) that members of his inner circle decided to murder the Vozhd (“boss,” very etymologically similar to Fuhrer in German, which translates literally as “leader” or “chief”) in order to avoid both a second Holocaust and a third world war.

              • The Nazi conc. camps were exposed for all the world to see: piles of dead emaciated bodies; bodies still alive and looking like walking death. Remembered every year.

                Did the world see the independent Soviet farmers who starved by the millions because their crops were stolen by Smilin Joe? What about the 10’s of millions of ordinary Russian people, and soldiers returning from WW2 that were cycled through the Gulag, many who died slow painful deaths.?

                It took brave and resolute men and women who survived to tell their stories and the stories of those who died to begin to expose the Orwellian world of Stalin. Solzhenitsyn knew people in the Gulag who professed their undying love for Stalin and USSR even as they were dying from disease, malnutrition and cold. Crazy.

                Compared to Nazi holocaust the Gulag seems a mere footnote in history, at least in popular culture.

                • Hi Art,

                  Yes; but Stalin was also the darling of the media in the West. At the least, he was “soft-sold,” his tyranny and the atrocities he committed swept under the rug.

                  Hitler, in contrast, was (and is) presented as the greatest tyrant who ever lived, his crimes the most appalling in history.

                  This is nonsense.

                  Yes, Hitler was a tyrant; yes, his crimes were appalling. But the greatest tyrant? The most appalling crimes?

                  By any rational measure, Stalin exceeded Hitler in horror.

                  This is not a defense of Hitler.

                  It’s a defense of historical accuracy and perspective.

                  • I couldn’t agree more with you, Eric. I was just adding a tidbit. It reminded me how ISIS is demonized for graphically and forthrightly publicizing their sadistic violence showing the world what war does to the human body and spirit, while the the horrors that the American War Machine inflicts on the people of the ME is denied or sanitized.

                  • Yeti,

                    I tried to leave a comment: “Thanks, Yeti.” but the administrator said it was too short. So here’s the longer version: Thanks, Yeti.

                  • Thanks Yeti, that looks good. I’ve read quite a few books along these lines. It’s not difficult to guess why back in Vietnam era European countries weren’t gung ho to “do their part aka NATO” of empire building. It was still fresh in people’s minds….the few that had survived.

                    German troops(supposedly allies at the time)move through some country, rape and pillage, come back through to rap and pillage again with Russian troops on their ass. Then the official political atmosphere has changed so the Russians are now their allies. They come through, rape and pillage what’s left. Next thing you know a big German offense is bloodily pushing the Russians back through the country. This time there’s nothing left to rape of pillage. And US politicians chastised Europeans for not wanting to go to some SE asian country and sacrifice their military forces.

                    But “murcans’ get real pissed when Al Quaida cuts some red-blooded ‘murcan teen-agers head off after they’ve been raped and pillaged…..for the last 100 years.

          • eric, a picked committee was the way most things were decided on the surface. The fact that there was even a committee formed meant the decision had already been made. if anyone dared to speak of a minor change or different direction the presiding “political officer” would note that. Sometimes people spoke and immediately knew they’d sealed their fate. Others who weren’t even on the committee would know of the fate of everyone there at times.

            I read of one man who was trying to enact a minor change in policy that would have been good for the people and even the country. As soon as he spoke he realized his error. When they came for him in the middle of the night, he simply got out of bed, fully dressed, and left. He was hoping to save his wife and child. He disappeared, like everyone else who heard a knock in the door in the night. His wife was ostracized and died from malnutrition. Their son survived because he was smart and ruthless and lived outside ‘the law’.

            There are at least millions of stories such as this and literally hundreds of millions within the Soviet reach that were murdered en masse, some simply being robbed of their food. I don’t recall the name of the specific harvest raid that caused tens of thousands to starve. The entirety of eastern Europe was invaded by Germans and/or Soviet troops who would take everything worth anything including all food, rape the women(those who might have survived a German occupation and consequent raping and pillaging would then be killed when the Soviets took or sometimes, re-took the territory. This had to be the ultimate nightmare for years. Fleeing populations were simply slaughtered. I believe the largest mass killing by starvation may have been when the Ukraine was relieved of its entire grain crops and livestock.

            Just what’s happened in Argentina to the farmers and cropland by corporations supported by govt. has a quite extraordinary genocidal record just in this century.

            Maybe the US was once the “freest” country on earth but that’s not saying a hell of a lot. To paraphrase Ross Perot on NAFTA, you can hear that great sucking sound of our basic human rights being taken away day by day if you pay attention. Clover loves this shit though…..since it’s the only way she can survive.

          • How about Yezhov, the “bloody dwarf”? He was one of most viciously and remorselessly murderous people in all recorded human history. He ran Stalin’s purges during the 1930s.

            When post-trial paperwork would go up to Stalin through Yezhov for signature, Niki would thereafter write on the sentencing order “utmost punishment”, which never meant anything good for the poor bastard whose name was on the sheet.

            The twentieth century was mind-numbingly depressing in terms of governance the world over. The twenty-first stands to make it look like the good old days.

            • Hi Andy,

              Yup! If not one out of 100 Americans know Beria’s name, probably not one out 1,000 have ever heard of Yezhov. Or “Bloody Felix” Derzhinsky.

              I’ve long been intrigued by the fact that one can walk down a busy city street wearing a T shirt with Stalin’s (or Beria’s or Yezhov’s) face on it and probably no one will say anything about it. But see what happens if you walk down that same street wearing a T shirt with Hitler’s (or Himmler’s) face on it….

                • Hi Roland,

                  Well (as you know!) we might as well dig up Karl (or unpickle Lenin) given that every major plank of the Communist Manifesto is now the law of the land to one degree or another.

              • The schools are designed to make learning unpleasant. So people in general only learn what they need to learn to get through school and then stop learning and usually start to reject new information that would require reformulation of their cemented world view.

                Hence information is restricted without ever needing to restrict it.

                • Indeed, Brent.

                  I think one of the things that saved me (if it can be called that) was that I loved reading on my own and widely from a very early age.

                  I’m guessing you did, too.

              • A friend of mine once wore a Mao T shirt to a church picnic, and no one batted an eye. I asked him if he realized Mao was a bigger mass murderer than Hitler and Stalin combined and he had no clue. What truly amazes me is that none of these psychopaths carried out these atrocities singlehandedly; they had plenty of willing minions to carry out their crimes. As mentioned earlier the USSA hasn’t reached critical mass yet for a genuine revolt of us mundanes, the PTB will brand us as “terrists” and the masses of sheeple will cheer as we’re executed. Hope I live long enough to see a turning, but as an old fart of 70 it’s not likely.

  6. Unfortunately, thanks to the Greek revival movement, we’re stuck with the concept of the philosopher king structure of government as spelled out by Plato. The ruling class really loves the idea that they’re above the rest of us (hey, who wouldn’t) and while they’d love to have their family rule everything, they tolerate several dynasties within the government structure. And I’m sure they’re all warned of the dangers of inbreeding, so having some fresh breeding stock on hand helps keep the dullards and family shame to a minimum. Harvard or Yale law degree, connections to past political “leaders,” etc.

    Note that “philosopher” is not the current definition. The natural philosopher term referred to what today is known as a scientist. I haven’t read Republic, and I have better things to do with my limited time on Earth to bother, but I did get the gist of it from a few summaries (and just the fact that we seem to be living in it). They say that all modern non-fiction is just variations on the seven plot lines written by Shakespeare. I think all modern governments seem to be variations on Plato. Or at least they think that way. The reality seems to look more like the Gambinos and the Colombos.

    You shouldn’t question the philosophers, Eric. You’re not qualified!

  7. I was in advanced classes with nerds and being moved ahead to be with older students but one day I found a way out.

    I started playing dumb and purposely getting answers wrong early enough that when puberty kicked in I was in the average classes where all the pretty party girls were at.

    I had a great time, it wasn’t always easy pretending, but I’m glad I did it. Why give them anymore than the minimum required. There’s nothing in it for you to play in their rigged competitions anyway.

    If you’re an Brave New World Alpha who spends his days among Gammas, you’ll have all the time in the world to pursue whatever it is you really want, and they’ll never guess you aren’t trying very hard, because who would ever do such a thing?
    http://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/

    • What I could never figure out is just why the powers put so much emphasis on the first 20 years of your life. Puberty is no time to be assigning life roles to people, yet most of your future is completely dependent on how well you play along in school.

      • “yet most of your future is completely dependent on how well you play along in school”
        Exactly – especially how well you memorize and regurgitate ‘facts.’ That’s the best way to screen future ‘burro-craps,’ which is what they are looking for.

        • The school system was designed to produce fungible human resources for government, military, and corporations. Ever notice how people are conditioned to think that smart is simply repeating what they are told? You research something and come to a conclusion outside what the mass media has been pushing and then people have to “correct” you with their TV watching level of education because you don’t repeat what you were told?

          • Got a D for the first time in my life in the first section of Econ 101. This was at a school once-owned by the once-largest automobile manufacturer in the world. We were required to have a visit with the instructor on Ds. He explained his grading criteria.

            D: You tell me most of what I told you.
            C: You tell me everything that I told you.
            B: You tell me something I didn’t tell you.
            A: You tell me something I never even thought of.

            Bugger! But I did work to at least generally meet B and occasionally pulled an A. He would honor the A criteria even if it was off the wall as long as it was an honest attempt at thinking.

      • How are animals sorted?
        The ways of managing society and industrial farming are very much the same.

        Furthermore getting people stuck with a decision they made as a teenager is great for economic control.

        • Morning, Brent –

          One of the events in my life that got me thinking along hard-core Libertarian lines (and away from “conservative” ones) was my arrest – as a college sophomore – for growing pot plants in my dorm room. I was initially charged with felony “production and manufacture of a controlled substance.” They handcuffed me and took me to jail. For growing plants.

          I was looking at a possible prison sentence, a felony record. Being kicked out of college, too. For growing plants.

          My life could have been destroyed by this. A felony record renders a person almost unemployable except for menial work.

          Luckily, this all happened before the world went nuts and the charges were reduced to misdemeanor possession, the equivalent of being caught with a joint. My life was not ruined.

          But I was a white, middle class college kid. Presentable, articulate. What would have happened to me had I been a black kid from a poor family?

          Yes, exactly.

          Thousands – hundreds of thousands, maybe millions – of kids and others have had their lives ruined over precisely such nonsense. The realization made me despise “conservatives” who support such inhuman policies while prattling on about “freedom.”

          It cemented my already Libertarian-leaning tendencies.

  8. As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

    The Law, Fred Bastiat

  9. I think Spooner put to rest the idea of the USC being a contract. There is no contract there is only violence and flim-flam.

    The ruling and political classes always employ an intellectual class to con the masses into obeying them and sacrificing wealth to them. The living document and horse whisper interpretation of it is just part of the con. The public loves these con jobs. From rulers who could talk to the gods to cops that have unique ability to communicate with canines the public buys into the theater.

    Six thousand years of this nonsense at the very least and there is no sign of it even slowing down. Same as it always was.

    Government cons small children and when those children grow into adults they will not accept data that shows they were conned.

    That’s the con. There’s also the violence. That’s for those people who figured out it is a con but refuse to go along with it. For people who stop paying taxes. Who stop obeying. Who stop paying the rent seekers, the cartels. Those who speak out against it too. However that last bit has been largely dropped because the con works so well few even listen.

  10. Modern U.S. society unfortunately works too much like this, to the point where many people my age have become completely disillusioned with a majority of society altogether. I’ll use a few examples in my life as an example, as I think it might help “you old people” understand a bit more of what it’s like growing up as a millennial and why some of us are so submissive in the face of tyranny.

    When I was 9, I had already claimed 1st place in a school wide math competition and was attempting to also take 1st place in the spelling bee as well in the finals. I would have been the first in the school’s history to do so. I was given a word, spelled it, and then was told to sit down and that I was “out”. Turns out the teacher had heard me wrong, but rather than admit she made a mistake, I wasn’t allowed to rejoin. Several of my classmates protested to no avail on my behalf. I still lost, and lost my faith in public school and became a rebel afterwards.

    When I was 12, my mother sued my father for custody of me and won, despite not having a job, not having a stable mental history, and having multiple social workers testifying on my father’s behalf. The judge was a sexist however, later impeached for her unfair judgements after being taken to court herself, but the damage was done. I lost faith in the judicial system.

    At age 13 I was called into the pricipal’s office and told I was the first student to “ace” the standard exams in school history. Thinking I was on track to be a success, I started planning for scholarships and graduating early. However, I was not offered ANY scholarship despite maintaining perfect scores, perfect attendance, and near perfect grades for 2 straight years while everyone around me was given a free pass. At age 15 I decided I had enough of applying for scholarships that were obviously meant for black and hispanic minorities (east asians don’t count), and dropped out of high school. I had no faith or trust in the education system at that point.

    When I was 16, I was pulled over on my motorcycle and was not given a reason why. It was 2 AM, I was following the speed limit, lights were working, I was just told it was “Highly illegal” what I was doing. I was issued a ticket, contested it in court, lost the court case despite mounds of evidence in my favor, and had my motorcycle AND car license suspended and was out over $1,000 in legal fees. I appealed that case and won, but was out another $1,000 just to get my license back. Needless to say, I lost a bit of faith in policemen after I learned from the lawyer he had probably pulled me over because he had a quota to fill.

    When I was 18 I found my pastor and his father, was involved in shady business practices and illegal trading. When I blew the whistle, I was scapegoated and ostracized from the congregation and he retained his position and reputation. Made me lose a bit of faith in the religious system.

    When I was 22, after having been out of the country for years, I found someone managed to rack up tens of thousands of debt in my name. Despite providing evidence of me not being in country and that the charges were made in a state I had never lived in before, I still have yet to clear my name, and in the meantime have a horrible credit rating because of it. I have no faith in e-banking or credit now, nor have faith in any of the financial system.

    So I’m still in my 20’s now, but as you can see, there’s so much over the top beating around the bush bullshit that goes on while people like me are growing up, that unless you’re an incredibly angry rebellious stone headed person like me who will fight to the teeth any nonsense they encounter, it’s much easier to surrender yourself and tell yourself that it’s not that bad. After all, we all have a good life right? Other people suffer more than you right? Quit complaining, the system’s fine, just go to sleep and drink your kool-aid.

    The only thing that keeps me sane these days are all my “old” friends who tell me I’m not crazy, and that the modern world really has gone to hell in a handbasket, and that there really is a better world to be had if the government where to go back to hell where it came from.

    • ^^And to clarify, I’m not saying that every person goes through what I did, however, most people I know have grown accustomed to thinking that injustices are just a part of life these days. Getting kicked out of school because you stood up, unfair traffic stops, being screwed on credit card interest rates, getting charged more for “services” that don’t exist and being threatened on losing your service if you don’t pay. It’s all mob style assaults every day of our lives, and just to exist we’ve grown accustomed to it.

      So when it comes to the constitution and the law itself becoming a living document, meh, so what right? After all, it’s not as if we haven’t been taught what it says, or even how to read the damn thing. I had to teach myself cursive handwriting, so many people I know can’t even read the constitution in it’s original form and it’s a fucking shame it’s come down to this. Screwed over from all angles and all orifices without lube and without guilt, shamelessly, heartlessly, and mercilessly. I can’t wait for the government to come crashing down on itself and destruction abounds, because it can’t happen soon enough.

      Sorry, rant over.

    • A life of crime that started with the spelling bee. Oh the humanity!

      Just kidding, A.J., thanks for the post. Yes, it’s a crime that government-controlled schools take brilliant and naturally curious kids who are excited about learning new stuff and immediately beat that out of them by ordering them to sit down, shut up, and march to the next class like trained rats when the bell rings.

      I recommend a strong dose of Jeffrey Tucker. Rejoice that it is still possible – albeit increasingly difficult – to find a place in the voluntary division of labor where you can experience the joys of satisfying the preferences of consumers. Laugh at the buffoons who claim the authority to rule us, and concentrate on voluntary trade. I’ll bet you’ll do just fine.

    • The other people have it worse, shut up…. that has got to be all the time worst argument. They are totally unaware that the fact other people have it worse is because they shut up and take it.

      While not suffering so severely I too lost faith in every institution bit by bit as it became clear they only existed to screw over achievers. That politics means more than merit. That law and order only means a shake down of those who are vulnerable. That every institution people believe in some sort of con.

      But you know what people tell me when I point it out? They tell me that I just have to do X,Y, and Z. Which is of course to various degrees become part of the problem. Play the social games instead of achieving on merit. Exploit other people instead of working hard. Learn how to socially manipulate people. To them this is just the way it should be. The way its supposed to work. They accept this but someone who is actually good at the things they do, doesn’t play the social games, works hard and is competent? They’ll viciously attack.

    • Dammit A.J.,sounds like a country song. I’ve always been crazy but it kept me from going insane per Merle Haggard. Merle had one hell of a time trying to get along with the law but he was just a thief for the most part, occasionally assaulted someone. After such as Okie From Muskogee and The Fightin Side of Me he was pardoned by RR. I never considered forgiving the guy till 30 years later when he said he was stupid and totally taken in by the system. I guess he wasn’t the only one. I’m just hoping to outlive so many who never did wise up and continue to be contradictory hypocrites. At least he stood up for the Dixie Chicks when they were thoroughly trashed by the bought and paid for MSM after they said they were ashamed to be from the same state as the Shrub. I was ashamed he and others called him a Texan, still am and can’t believe there’s anybody from Texas who isn’t. But they still line up for their chance to give him a bj and that’s just pathetic.

  11. This “contract” is but one of the fairy tales we’re all taught in fourth-grade civics class. Another is “representative government.”

    Think about it: There is a bill before the U.S. Senate. My neighbor wants our senator to vote Yes on the bill and I want her to vote No. How can she represent both of us? If she votes Yes, she is representing my neighbor but not representing me. If she votes No, she is representing me but not my neighbor. If she abstains, she is not representing either of us.

    So, if she cannot represent even two of us, how can she represent six million? The whole idea is absurd, and its near-universal acceptance is a testament to the thought-controlling power of government-run schools.

    A real representative of me does exactly as I say, every time.

    • “So, if she cannot represent even two of us, how can she represent six million?”
      When the CONstitution was ratified, it was intended that one Representative would ‘represent’ no more than about 10K people, IIRC. But then about a century ago, it was decided to lock the number of CONgressmen at 435 so it did not become too unwieldy. Since then the population has almost exploded, so that an average CONgressional district today contains nearly 3/4 of a million. And thanks to State Legislature gerrymandering, odds are that at best 1/2 of those think somewhat like you do.
      Of course Senators were never expected to represent the people (until the 17th Amendment). They were to represent the States.

  12. What more can be said? We are victims of fraud. But, unfortunately, most of “us” (as in mah fella ‘mericans) love it.

    Then there is the crowd in favor of a constitutional convention to “fix it”. Can you imagine what would come out of that? I’d kind of modify the old car advice in this case. If it’s broke, don’t fix it.

    • Hi Arylioa,

      The idea of a new constitutional convention terrifies me given that “mainstream” politics in this country (left/right, Republican/Democrat) shares a collectivist authoritarian philosophy. At least there are remnants of individual liberty expressed in the Constitution (well, the Bill of Rights). A “revised” constitution would no doubt do away with that and – best case – leave us with a European-style social-democratic form of authoritarian collectivism in which every “right” becomes a conditional privilege determined by bureaucrats and politicians, claiming to represent the “public.”

      • Calvin Coolidge saw it coming in 1926:

        About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

        Principles are hard. A new CC would be the end of the experiment.

        Great article.

        • Good quote – I had not seen that before.
          I find myself with mixed feelings about Illary’s ’email scandal.’ If gunvermin is to be by the consent of the governed, there can be no secrets, because we cannot consent to that of which we do not know. Yes, there is the arrogance of her deliberately violating ‘the law,’ but that is par for the course these days.

        • Coolidge was the last president who actually believed the constitution restricted the Federal Government to only the roles specifically delegated to it. There were a couple times where he caved to congressional pressure, but he was only human. And we might even understand that in light of the fact that he was never really “himself” after his son died. Being the man he was, he knew he could not do the job properly and declined to run in 1928.

          I love the quote that speaks to the character of both of them: ‘The young Calvin was a student at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. When his father became President of the United States after Warren Harding’s death, Calvin, Jr. was working in a Massachusetts tobacco field. Another young worker remarked to him, “If my father was President, I would not work in a tobacco field.” Calvin, Jr. replied, “If my father were your father, you would.”’

          He, of course, is branded a “do nothing president”. No wars…….

  13. Come for the car reviews, stay for the anti-Federalism. Well said, Eric.

    You sound downright Lysander Spooner-ish – and I like it!

    • Thanks, Wally!

      I wish I could just focus on the cars (and bikes) … but if we don’t discuss politics, the cars and bikes will become an irrelevance.

      • imho the real problem isn’t politics per say but psychopaths (no empathy, no remorse, no conscience) in positons of authority (and people influenced by this mindset).
        since these types currently infest government (among other places) I would say the solution is not going to be a political one.

        • I’ve come to realize something in the last day or so. Human society considers the psychopath and the extrovert persuader to be the normal state of successful people. If you aren’t those then you shouldn’t be successful. Introverts have to go to reeducation to become extroverts. If you want to be successful you have to learn to manipulate other other people. Persuade them using social tricks instead of reason. Then exploit them. Exploit their irrationality, fears, instincts, etc.

          I started reading Scott Adam’s blog and it’s on and on about social persuasion. Like I’ve been told many times over in my career as well. Extrovert behavior too. Why? Because human nature I’m told. But all that is are the traits of social animals. Aren’t we supposed to grow beyond that? Instead from every angle these days it’s how to be some sort of psychopathic, sociopathic, extrovert alpha to succeed… Or at least act like one.

          Be the worst humanity has to offer if you want to get somewhere in life. No wonder human society is the way it is.

          • I can see how some aspects of being an extrovert would aid in becoming ‘successful,’ but don’t see how they are necessary. As for being a psychopath, if that’s what it takes, I don’t want to be successful, thank you very much.

              • there is such a thing as a secondary psychopath.
                it can happen from something like a brain injury or just by being around/idolizing psycopaths/admiring their ‘leadership’ qualities. obviously in varying degrees….

          • I think you’re onto something, Brent. Look at Ron Paul’s last two presidential campaigns. He was soft-spoken, respectful of his opponents, and presented well-reasoned arguments in an orderly manner. In other words, the American electorate’s idea of a loser.

            • Hi Roland,

              Yes, exactly. I note, in contrast, the boorishness/belligerence and condescension displayed by the authoritarian collectivist candidates….

              • TV hasn’t helped the political process one bit, and in fact made it worse. Style over substance.

                The first TV debate was between of course, Nixon and Kennedy. The story was, if you were listening on the radio, Nixon was the clear winner. If you watched it on TV Kennedy. Largely because Kennedy looked good on TV and Nixon didn’t.

            • The messenger is as important as the message. For instance, the LP finally has a little momentum and they put forward….GJ, who apparently doesn’t know a damn thing about libertarianism.

              Ron Paul had the right message, but he was the wrong messenger. Libertarianism is a radical departure for the vast majority of the people in this country. To sell it is going to take a long time and a lot better persuaders than we’ve seen to this point.

              In business, you need your best persuader out trying to generate sales. If you put the wrong person out there, or if there is not a clear and persuasive message, you lose. I have always worked for and owned tiny companies. We never had the marketing or development dollars that out competitors did. What we did have was compelling products, good salespeople and consistent principles. I don’t know where this idea came from that successful people get there through some bullshit coercive strong-arming. That only works for government. Even big companies with near monopolies can’t sustain such a model.

              Only government. The State is coercion.

              • “Ron Paul had the right message, but he was the wrong messenger.”
                Yes, he is a good man, and it seems there is no room for such in politics.

                • Ron Paul was trying to send the right message for the wrong party. I kept up with every move in that election only because of him. I doubt there’s ever been more immoral and illegal dealings to keep the right man down in the history of the Republican party……and that’s saying a lot.

                  • Well, he tried to run as a Libertarian (88) and found, at least then, there was no bucking the’2-party system.’
                    And besides, he was trying to make the GOP be the party they have always claimed to be.

                    • Well, yes, Phillip, he tried to make them live their platform and that will never be done with Reps or Dems and I sincerely doubt even if a Libertarian were elected they’d give more than lip service to Libertarianism.

                      Big party politics is an inherently evil system. It invites and rewards those with no scruples or conscience.

        • I have to disagree, DBB. The problem is politics, and that people are content to subject so many decisions to it instead of leaving us alone to interact as we see fit.

          The fruits of politics are squandered resources and constant and increasingly silly squabbles about everything imaginable. To see them on display, just turn on the news any time of the day or night. Which restroom does the glorious collective believe this person should use? Everybody vote! Sheesh.

          Everything politics touches turns to crap, and it attracts the sort of scum that you’ve described: lowlifes whose reason for living is to boss other people around. That will never change; it’s the nature of the beast.

          • We need a return to (or, more likely, origination of) private property and the rights thereof. Whoever owns the restroom should be able to make the determination of who may use it. The very existence of ‘public’ restrooms is a big part of the problem.

            • Amen, Phillip –

              Whoever built it (or paid for it) rightly owns it. And by dint of ownership has the right to control how it is used, including setting conditions for service (and outright denial of service, at the owner’s discretion). That is ownership.

              If someone else controls a thing, then he is the owner. Not you.

              “Public” property is a contradiction in terms.

              There is privately owned property and there is property owned by the government, which may perhaps be conditionally used by a private person.

              • Oh Eric, you are such a racist/sexist/homophobe tool of the capitalists. Don’t you know that private ownership is unfair? Just look what your libertarian utopia has done to the price of microwave ovens. Now only the rich can afford them! 😉

          • “…it attracts the sort of scum that you’ve described: lowlifes whose reason for living is to boss other people around. That will never change; it’s the nature of the beast.”

            yes, it is. I still contend that (and people’s complacency) is what needs to change before there will be any meaningful progress.

          • Politics gives the unproductive, lazy, parasitic, and worse a voice and through politics they can personally rise in stature above their own limited skill set. It turns everything to crap because crap people end up with a huge say, maybe the only say, in how anything is done.

            Maybe it’s jealousy that drives the whole thing. Politics is a way to nail that hard working smart guy down the block. Which is so often how it is used.

            Ever notice how the whole share the wealth notions of redistribution attack the people who got it through merit but not those who get it through politics? Maybe it’s a little bit more than politicians protecting their own way to wealth but that’s the way people ultimately want things. Anyone can be a parasite with social skills but not everyone can succeed by merit. So maybe in someone like say GWB they see that if even if that moron can succeed with some family connections that’s all they are really lacking. On the other hand you have someone like Ron Paul whom to be like requires a lot of hard work and maybe even some natural ability. As such they don’t want to be confronted with their own failings?

            Where’s the FTL drive?

            • “Politics gives the unproductive, lazy, parasitic, and worse a voice and through politics they can personally rise in stature”
              In other words, crap floats.

            • Brent, just finished Jose Phillip Farmer’s “night of life”. The blink of an eye you’re 50 million light years away. But the book ends with every group killing each other for conquest and the assurance in their own minds they are the truly righteous. And the question of “which is the true religion” being more in question in the end for even the most committed than when it started.

              • Hi Eight,

                It’s bad programming. The Annunaki (or Pleadians or whomever they were) didn’t excise the essence d’ Chimp from the donor DNA.

                If only they’d used Bonobos instead…

                • eric, that book’s worth reading, again, if you already have. The very last page, even the last paragraph bring the entire book to the desired end like maybe no other I’ve read. What a great mind.

  14. Well done, Eric. I’ll bet all of us libertarians have at some point in the journey yearned for the day the U.S. government will “get back to the Constitution.” I used to read the thing over and over as if it were Holy Scripture (want to hear me recite the Tenth Amendment?) so I would be equipped to make sound arguments based on it. Sheesh, what a waste of time. The Constitution was designed from the start to expand the power of the state, and it has been violated from the get-go. Bush the Dumber was right: It really is just a bleepitty-bleep piece of paper. One more reason to laugh our asses off at politicians every chance we get.

      • James Madison and the making of America by Kevin Gutzman is good reading too. The federalists were–from their own notes–illogical and insane.

        All DiLorenzo books are recommended reading.

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