Biden’s Regulatory Administration

A motto for this strain:

A friend and I had a quick soiree that was based off of my OP (original post) that read thus:

BIG TECH PURGE: Facebook permanently bans Conservative #WalkAway group because it supported Trump

Just as we said they would, Facebook is using the Capitol riot as an excuse to begin purging conservatives from their platform, especially the ones who supported President Trump:

(MORE AT RIGHT SCOOP)

All conservatives are being treated as pariah… this is only the beginning. Already a majority of Democrats believe Trump and Republicans are “racist/bigoted/sexist,” which is why social platforms feel like they can shut down businesses and ban conservative ideas from their platforms. While this maligning is historical:

  • From Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, the Tea Party, the NRA and Republicans everywhere, Democrats have played the race card to tattered, unrecognizable bits. They have all but destroyed the ability to even have a constructive conversation about race. (REVOLUTIONARY ACT)

The difference is you have an entire generation raised on the government tit being taught “critical race theory” in some way that truly believe we are Hitlerian in some way. Thus, “deplatforming” conservatives is thought of as being on the side of angels. Even banks have “redlined” conservatives (WALL STREET JOURNAL). (See also my post where I note the tribalism is being created by deplatforming.)

Like telling Jews they cannot do business in society. The storefront is literal as well as digital in today’s world. Conservatives are the current bogeyman:

  • 49% of Democrats think Trump voters are racist — July 2019
  • 83% of Democrats think Trump is racist — June 2020

Here is the conversation with some visual editing for increased access. I post a Rick Wilson Tweet to remind Jim of the people he admires and how far from being a “Reaganite” [whom Jim invoked] he and his peeps are, as, he is a fan of the Lincoln Project. So, this is where we left off, and really the response after it is for everyone to get a feel for what is coming.

So, my response is simple, Biden and Harris (Harris is the MOST LEFTIST senator available — showing Joe Biden is not moderate. See below as well). And Trump lies, but crowd size and ego building lies is a sign of a politician… and? But Trump’s lies are not equal to the administration Biden was in previously:


LIES


IRAN DEAL & Ben Rhodes:

Remember that time the White House deceived those gullible Americans about the Iran deal? Haha, good times!

That was the undeniable tone of a recent New York Times profile of President Barack Obama‘s national security advisor Ben Rhodes. In the profile, Rhodes goes on at length about his failed attempt to become a novelist, and how he sees his work at the White House as essentially the same kind of storytelling and narrative-weaving. And when crafting his non-fictional storylines involved selling the American people fiction, well, Rhodes was more than up to the task.

Apologies for the long block quote, but it really does need to be read to be believed:

Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency…

In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration.

By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making. By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.

It’d be one thing if the New York Times dug through archives, spoke with anonymous government officials in hushed tones, and independently came to the conclusion that the White House was lying to Americans about the purpose and history behind the Iran deal. That factoid alone ought to be the front page headline in papers across the country rather than consigned to page 44 of the Sunday magazine.

To say nothing of that last paragraph, where we learn that the long-term policy goal of the administration is to “disengage” from Israel and our Arab allies and wash our hands of the Middle East. In line with that policy, the purpose of the Iran deal is not to protect our allies, but to abandon them…..

(MEDIA’ITE | and see TWITCHY)

This old story reminds me of talking to millennial’s who listed to comedy shows as their source of political moral guidance on what is the case in our body politic. Here is the WASHINGTON TIMES noting the gullibility of these younger persons who really haven’t read much or watched much outside of what they had to for their bachelors in literature of psychology or business administration:

Ben Rhodes, the man who majored in creative writing and then ended up the Deputy National Security Adviser for President Obama, told The New York Times about the “echo chamber” he was able to create and feed:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’

“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. … They literally know nothing,” Rhodes bragged.

And the know-nothing millennials loved him for it. And, apparently, they still do….

KEEP YOUR DR. & HEALTH CARE PLAN

I don’t know how crowd size compares to that, but let’s continue. Can you name a lie that Trump made that is as big as a lie made to take over a large portion of the economy (one-sixth, some say one-fifth) comparable to Obama/Biden? “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” “If you like your doctor, you can keep him/her.” That was a lie that captured MORE government control of the economy.

POWERLINE has a good link fest to various “Obamacare Lies.”

Calling Trump & Republican’s Hitler

RUSSIA & UKRAINE

MOVIE: The Plot Against the President

For the past two and a half years this nation has been roiled by the incessant drumbeat of accusations that its newly elected President, Donald Trump, was a clandestine agent of Russia and colluded with them to alter the outcome of the 2016 election.  On their face, these accusations were so preposterous that anyone with a modicum of common sense would have thought them totally unbelievable.  

Nonetheless, within 7 months after Trump’s inauguration 54% of all Americans believed he had acted illegally or unethically in his dealings with Russia (80% of Democrats).  Within 14 months after the inauguration 66% of Democrats believed Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Trump elected and 59% accepted the premise that there were improper relations between the Trump campaign and Russia before the 2016 election. 

In what was a staged and unnecessary inquiry, and despite turning over every marginally relevant leaf and conducting a dogged 22-month investigation using partisan prosecutors, Robert Mueller was unable to link Donald Trump or his campaign to even the minutest degree of collusion with the Russian Government.  Nonetheless the drumbeat of lies and insinuations was a major factor in the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in 2018.

The American citizenry now definitively knows that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the presidential campaign of 2016.  Further, based on the testimony of Rod Rosenstein and others involved in the Special Counsel probe, the Russians did not tamper with any vote tallies

How were the Democrats, and their allies in the mainstream media able to suspend rationality and manipulate the emotions of so many Americans for so long?  

[….]

From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (791 days), the major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage.  During this period no other issue received more than 10% of this level of attention.  Further, the spin of the overall network coverage of Donald Trump was 92% negative. 

Two cable networks, CNN and MSNBC, each devoted, on the average, nearly 2 to 3 hours per day on Trump and Russia collusion, or an estimated 1,978 hours (118,700 minutes) since the inauguration.  Virtually all the coverage was negative with innumerable false and misleading reports, accusations of treason, supposed imminent arrests and the unabashed reporting of any salacious or unproven rumor or allegation. 

The print media went down the same path as their counterparts in the electronic media.  The New York Times and The Washington Post between them published nearly 1,000 front page articles on the subject and had to issue numerous retractions days later after the damage was done.  That process was repeated by news services such as the Associated Press and Reuters, pumping out to its newspaper, radio and television station subscribers throughout the United States daily stories negative to Trump regarding collusion.

On a near daily basis, so-called celebrities in Hollywood and the entertainment establishment unabashedly regurgitated to their untold millions of followers on social media virtually all the false stories and innuendos promulgated by the media and the Democratic Party.

The illegal and unethical maneuvering of the upper echelon of the FBI and Department of Justice immediately after the inauguration to appoint a special counsel added gravitas to the accusations regarding Trump and the Russians, as well as a means of finding anything that would either implicate Donald Trump in any potential criminality, or misbehavior outside of the Russian matter that could lead to impeachment.  Further, their willing accomplices in the media breathlessly reported, without hesitation or confirmation, any leak or innuendo from these same denizens of the deep state.

The Democrats in Congress, undeterred by ethics or the laws of slander and defamation, were free to fabricate or leak stories regarding Russian collusion that were accepted at face value by their allies in the media….

(AMERICAN THINKER)

Hugh Hewitt and Generalissimo Duane read the phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian President. One debunked position people attribute to the call was that President Trump used military aid as a bargaining chip to get what he wanted from Ukraine. However, the far Left magazine, The Nation, notes this about the issue:

  • Democratic leaders and media pundits are convinced that Trump extorted Ukraine by delaying military aid to compel an investigation into Biden. Their theory may prove correct, but the available evidence does not, as of now, make for a strong case. Trump had held up military aid to Ukraine by the time of his call with Zelensky, but if the public transcript is accurate, it did not come up during their conversation. According to The New York Times, Zelensky’s government did not learn that the military aid was frozen until more than one month later. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who met with Zelensky in early September, said that the Ukrainian president “did not make any connection between the aid that had been cut off and the requests that he was getting from [Trump attorney Rudy] Giuliani.” It will be difficult to prove extortion if Trump’s purported target was unaware. (THE NATION)

GLENN BECK has a good reading too:

Another big lie from the Left/Democrats is that Gender is assigned, and not inherent to our nature.

Another charge made over and over by the left — the mainstream media, academia and the Democratic Party — that the Trump election had unleashed an unprecedented amount of anti-Semitism was proved to be yet another left-wing hysteria based on a left-wing lie.

NEWSBUSTERS Notes CNN’s Fareed Zakaria admitting to what I have argued for a long time, that is — if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, whay was he tougher on him than Obama?

“I think in general, there isn’t going to be as much difference as people imagine. The Biden folks are pretty tough on Russia, Iran, North Korea. You know, the dirty little secret about the Trump administration was that while Donald Trump had clearly had a kind of soft spot for Putin, the Trump Administration was pretty tough on the Russians. They armed Ukraine, they armed the Poles. They extended NATO operations and exercises in ways that even the Obama Administration had not done. They maintained the sanctions. So I don’t think it will be that different.”  

Wait a second! It was a “dirty little secret” that Trump was tough on Russia? WHY?? Who kept it a secret and for what purpose?? 

And the obvious answer is that the liberal media/Democrats were intent on pushing Russia Russia Russia. Admitting that President Trump was in fact tough on Russia would undermine that line of attack. And so they buried it: kept it a “dirty little secret.”

See my post: Trump, Tougher On Putin Than Obama


REGULATION


Besides Trump cutting Federal programs, getting rid of regulations that held back small business, factories, and agriculture — he also added t he fewest laws to the Federal Registry:

The Trump administration issued the fewest new regulations during 2019 than in any year since the government began keeping track more than four decades ago, as President Trump cuts away at Obama-era red tape.

The Federal Register for Dec. 31 has published 2,964 final rules in its pages, the lowest number since records began in 1975, said Clyde Wayne Crews, policy vice president of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank.

Mr. Trump’s previous low for new rule-making was 3,281 in 2017.

“It is a notable achievement that all three of the lowest-ever annual rule counts belong to Trump,” Mr. Crews wrote in his blog on Forbes’ website. “This an even more significant development given that some of Trump’s ‘rules’ are rules written to get rid of or replace other rules.”

(WASHINGTON TIMES)

Biden and Harris will outdo themselves to break spending and regulatory records.

FARMERS (WOTUS):

Biden will reimplement regulation that will retake (under fiat) 247 Million Acres of Farmland. Among other regulatory increases. What it is….

WOTUS gave the federal government effective authority over water use on 247 million acres of American farmland.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, together with Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Douglas Lamont, signed a proposed regulatory rescission of WOTUS. As soon as the proposed rule change can be published in the Federal Register, under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203, the public will have a 30-day comment period to “review and revise” the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The EPA took to Twitter at #WOTUS to call its action a significant step to return power to states and provide regulatory certainty to the nation’s farmers and businesses. The EPA added that its decision is consistent with the Executive Order signed by President Trump on February 28, aimed at “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”

The Obama administration’s WOTUS regulatory expansion cleverly redefined the term “navigable waters” to include “intermittent streams.” Environmental activists hailed the WOTUS’s expansion of federal jurisdiction over land and water use as an essential common-sense-rule to protect water for wildlife and drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans….

(BREITBART)

The Biden Administration has all but promised a rescinding of this huge shrinking of government intrusion into the lives of the individual. Here is a small excerpt of a wonderful resource via RED STATE:

….Who is looming EPA Chief Michael Regan?  All you have to know is – Leftists LOVE him:

“Several environmental advocacy groups lauded the selection….Reganis known for prioritizing environmental justice, which’helped win him the post.’”

Here’s Regan Tweeting:

“Climate change is the most significant challenge humanity faces. We’ll make meaningful progress together by listening to every voice—from our youth & frontline communities to scientists & our workforce. I will be honored to be part of that work as EPA Administrator.”

I’m quite sure Regan won’t actually be listening to any farmers’ voices at all.

Can you feel the EPA mojo coming back?  Farmers certainly can – and they’ll hate it.

Who is looming Interior Chief Deb Haaland?  All you have to know is – Leftists LOVE her:

“Even before her selection, Haaland was drawing broad support from environmental groups, indigenous peoples’ advocates and members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who released a statement on Wednesday saying ‘Haaland knows the territory, and if she is the President-elect’s choice for Interior Secretary, then he will have made an excellent choice.’”

It looks like Interior too will get back its exceedingly awful mojo:

“Haaland’s selection positions Biden’s Interior Department to build on the budding alliances between tribes and environmental groups that have been formed in recent years to battle fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access pipeline, expand land conservation and keep water in overdrawn rivers.”

Water, you say?  More mojo a-coming:

“(T)he Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule…could be a top priority should the former vice president win the White House in November — right after reinstating President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and reining in President Trump’s revisions to a rule for National Environmental Policy Act compliance.

“‘I think there’s going to be considerable pressure to deal with the Waters of the U.S. mess,’ said Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau, referring to the regulation that defines the scope of the Clean Water Act. ‘I think what he really has to do is what Trump did, in reverse, and flip the script.’”

Farmers yet again hardest hit…..

PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD

  • If power corrupts, as it is said, Americans are going to feel a jolt of degeneration when Joe Biden plugs back into the climate-change network. Rather than save the world from global warming, a President Biden would force Americans to spend more of their hard-earned dollars just to keep the wheels turning and the lights burning. One pledge the presumptive Democratic president-elect has chiseled in stone is that when he first sets foot in the Oval Office, he would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Trump’s 2019 withdrawal became final on Election Day 2020: “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement,” Mr. Biden tweeted. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.” (WASHINGTON TIMES)

Executive Orders

On January 20, 2021, Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. As soon as his first day in office, Biden plans to sign at least five executive orders that could reverse several of President Donald Trump’s policies. He’ll also focus on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, improving the economy and providing financial stimulus. These executive orders may include:

1. Paris Climate Accord

  • Biden wants the U.S. to rejoin the Paris climate accord.
  • Biden said he would build upon President Barack Obama’s efforts to fight climate change.
  • As part of his plan, Biden proposed $2 trillion in clean energy and infrastructure spending. Biden also wants net zero emissions by 2050.

(FORBES)

FLASHBACK: The Paris climate agreement was a terrible deal for the US

Pulling us out of this bad deal is good news. As it was negotiated under the prior administration, this agreement imposed a goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by nearly 30 percent over a decade. The so-called “Obama pledge” accompanied a host of related federal regulations that would have damaged the economy, killed jobs, and driven up energy prices for families across the country.

Sticking with the deal could have cost 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to a National Economic Research Associates study. And the effects would be widespread, including a loss of 440,000 manufacturing jobs, according to NERA’s numbers. Meanwhile, according to proponents’ own data, the agreement would have no discernible effect on global temperatures.

And the longer the agreement ran, the worse it would get, according to NERA’s data. By 2040, production (and thus employment) would be decimated in a host of industries, including a 38 percent cut in iron and steel, 31 percent in natural gas, and 86 percent for coal. At that point, the total economic cost to the U.S. would approach $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and 6.5 million industrial jobs.

Speaking last week, Trump correctly noted that the damage is not spread evenly across the globe, noting that China and India can proceed with adding coal-fired capacity well into the future. “The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States and ships them to foreign countries,” he noted.

Other good news from last week is stopping future U.S. payments to the Green Climate Fund, part of what Trump rightly described as “a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.” The federal government has already sent $1 billion of U.S. taxes to prop up energy projects in foreign countries.

Taxpayers and ratepayers have seen firsthand how green energy subsidies fail to deliver on promises of long-term job creation and energy affordability — it makes little sense to repeat these mistakes abroad. The Green Climate Fund is essentially an international version of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that took $535 million in taxpayer money before going belly-up.

Exiting the agreement means the U.S. can lead with strength in promoting energy and environmental policies, protecting U.S. jobs and easing the costly regulatory burden across the country. Now the Trump administration can push ahead with a plan that conserves the environment while protecting economic competitiveness and promoting affordability and reliability. He should keep these priorities in mind as he engages in future negotiations with international stakeholders on energy and environment policies.

What is on the horizon for more tax-payer expenses

….It was the heavy burden on the American economy compared to the easy terms given to industrial powerhouses like China and India that convinced Mr. Trump to bail. U.S. participation in the pact would cost the average family of four $20,000 and the national GDP $2.5 trillion by 2035, according to The Heritage Foundation. The resulting reduction in global temperatures: a nearly unmeasurable 0.015 degrees Celsius in 2100.

It’s unsurprising, then, that environmental extremists argue a Biden return to Paris won’t cut it. “Paris is a good starting point, but we need to go well beyond Paris now to achieve the reductions that are necessary,” climate activist and climatologist Michael Mann tells NBC News. That means reaching even deeper into American pockets.

A Biden administration would queue up a modified version of the $93 trillion Green New Deal that environmental firebrands like Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez favor. The Biden plan would build the nationwide infrastructure for “clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” With it would come a transition to electric vehicles….


TAXES


Who Decides Who or What is “Essential”

Editor’s Note: No politician has a right to note which organizations are and are not essential.

From the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, governors told us what were and were not essential businesses. But what criteria were used?

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano provides insights into legal battles over state stay-at-home orders.

Australian Election Summed Up Well

WEASEL ZIPPERS hat-tiup:

AUSTRALIAN SPECTATOR:

The majority of the mainstream media have for months predicted either a Labor landslide, or a comfortable Labor win, with only a handful of pundits brave enough to suggest that the Liberals could or might win – but I repeatedly and consistently said on Sky News for the last six months that the Liberals would win and I never deviated from that prediction. None of the polls or prominent experts picked it, although of course writers at The Spectator Australia such as David Flint and John Ruddick most certainly did.

[….]

Laughably, a veritable army of commentators, pundits, doyens of the ABC on massive taxpayer-funded salaries and other red-faced experts spent election night blithering and blathering that nobody foresaw this result. Which is nonsense. We did.

The more important question is why those of us at this magazine and on this website who foresaw the result were correct.

For my part, quite possibly the fact that I am one of Australia’s more open global warming sceptics gives me an insight into how normal, real people – away from the latte-sipping, wealthy SUV-driving trendy inner-city types – actually think. This was indeed an election dominated by climate change. Labor put forward the most radical left-wing climate polices at the very time when, in various places around the world, voters who have lived with these policies are rejecting them. Common sense Australians have now rejected them too, recognising that climate change policies would financially damage them severely whilst achieving no change whatsoever to the planet’s temperatures, as was admitted by Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel. Australians have woken up to the fact that climate change is simply socialism in drag.

This was the climate change election, and climate change lost. This was the socialism versus capitalism election, and socialism lost. This was the identity politics versus traditional values election, and identity politics lost. This was the political correctness versus common sense election, and political correctness lost. This was the luvvies versus the tradies and small business people election, and the luvvies lost.

Take note those of you in the virtue-signalling business world who sneer at people because of their religious beliefs, their love of Australia, their traditional family and conservative values. If you pander to the Left and allow your business to be hostage to left wing activism, you lose. You lose market share. You lose profit. You lose customers. And now, as we have seen you lose votes….

BIG UNIONS and Politicians (Public and School Unions)

Public-sector unions have been gaming the political system for decades, bankrupting whole cities and plunging states into massive debt. How did this happen and can it be stopped? Akash Chougule, senior policy fellow for Americans for Prosperity, has the answers in this sobering video from Prager University.

Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.

There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions.

Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. But when teachers and parents understand why school choice works, they support it. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-ed…). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

FBI and CIA Leaders Seem To Want Larger Government

Let me just say that the Founders would probably have preferred State agencies over an over-arching Federal one like the FBI. Comey seems to like the people now that will allow carte-blanche to what the regular agents call the “Seventh Floor.”

PAJAMAS MEDIA comments on Comey’s Tweet (emphasis added):

Former FBI Director James Comey — a lifelong Republican — urged Americans to vote for Democrats this November, echoing other #NeverTrump Republicans in abandoning conservatism just to flout the president. Ironically, his reasoning fits better for supporting Republicans than Democrats.

“The Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must … counteract ambition,'” Comey tweeted. “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall.”

Comey tweeted this at a time when not only progressivism (the ideology that encourages a bureaucratic state unaccountable to the people)  but outright socialism (a supercharged big government version of that ideology) holds sway in the Democratic Party.

If Comey were truly interested in “ambition counteracting ambition,” he would encourage years of more effective Republican rule, because only Republicans have shown the spine to begin dismantling the unaccountable bureaucracies that represent the greatest threat to the founders’ vision.

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a CHILLING BLOW to the unaccountable bureaucracy. That court struck down one alphabet soup agency — the FHFA — as unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers. The FHFA is an administrative agency, but it was not accountable to the head of the administration, the president of the United States. The 5th Circuit defended the Constitution and restored sanity to the operation of government.

Similarly, President Donald Trump has been slashing regulations and ordering his administration to PARE BACK the excesses of the administrative state. Furthermore, on the very day Comey told Republicans to vote Democrat, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018, a law that would VASTLY BENEFIT ENTREPRENEURS.

When James Madison wrote that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition” in Federalist 51, he was not addressing the different parties in Congress — the founders firmly opposed modern parties, what they would call “factions.” Instead, he was addressing the separation of powers between the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

“Faction” has dominated American politics for nearly 200 years — with only a few respites. The separation of powers, however, has fallen on hard times. The current bureaucratic administrative state consists of dozens of alphabet soup agencies that effectively make laws, with very little oversight from Congress and rather tepid oversight from the president.

If the costs of federal regulation flowed down to U.S. households, they would cost the average American family $14,809 IN A HIDDEN REGULATORY TAX — that’s $14,809 on top of Social Security, income tax, and estate tax.

Furthermore, the administrative state fosters the perverse situation of a “deep state.” There are so many bureaucratic agencies that it takes a long time for a new president to replace the directors the previous president put in place. For this reason, there can be a large cabal of bureaucrats appointed by the last president (in this case Obama) who are hostile to the policies of the current president (in this case Trump).

[….]

If James Comey really wanted to return to the founders’ vision of ambition counteracting ambition, he would support Tea Party and conservative Republicans. These leaders would actually restore the Constitutional checks and balances, reining in the administrative state.

Instead, Comey turned traitor not just to the Republican Party but to the Constitution itself, supporting Democrats who are embracing socialism and even less separation of powers. Make no mistake: Comey’s “higher loyalty” is not to the Constitution.

/// READ IT ALL ///

Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration (Prager | Zmirak)

Here is the full interview… followed by links to the topical breakdown of it:


Dennis Prager interviews John Zmirak, who is the author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration.” This was quite an interview. I will be splitting some of this up into topical segments in a bit. But Mr. Zmirak is a guy I would love to sit and have a beer with (a few of em’).

Here are the edited portions:

 

Another Conservative Notch On Donald Trump’s Belt

Hat-Tip to THE BLAZE. Below is a larger excerpt of the WT article, but I noticed this quote:

  • Trump’s unprecedented, illegal action is a brutal blow to our public lands, an affront to Native Americans and a disgrace to the presidency,” said Randi Spivak, public lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

IF THAT Executive Order is illegal, then so is Clinton and Barack’s making it federal land to begin with. Trump would win in the the Supreme Court if the Leftist 9th Circuit sides with the eco-fascists.

More from the WASHINGTON TIMES:

President Trump’s long-awaited decision Monday to pare down and carve up two highly controversial national monuments in Utah has set off an unprecedented legal fight over the scope of an executive’s power to cede control of federal lands.

During a speech in Salt Lake City, Mr. Trump said he’ll reduce both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, which were established by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, respectively.

The president cast his move as an effort to return control over land to local stakeholders, and to reverse a trend that saw administrations stretch the century-old Antiquities Act to its breaking point by using it as a tool to shut down huge swaths of land to energy development and recreation.

“Some people think the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” Mr. Trump said. “The families of communities of Utah know and love this land the best and you know best how to take care of your land.”

While past presidents on 18 occasions have reduced monuments, none have done so on the scale Mr. Trumpannounced Monday. The Antiquities Act gives presidents the power to create monuments, but is silent on whether they have the authority to cancel or amend them.

Courts have never ruled on presidents’ power to shrink monuments, and opponents of Mr. Trump’s move immediately took their fight to court. Some legal scholars have said the battle, ultimately, could wind up before the Supreme Court.

[…..]

Trump’s unprecedented, illegal action is a brutal blow to our public lands, an affront to Native Americans and a disgrace to the presidency,” said Randi Spivak, public lands program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “He wants to hand over these lands to private industry to mine, frack, bulldoze and clear-cut until there’s nothing left for our children and grandchildren.”

The reductions have long been a policy goal of Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, and other lawmakers who saw the Trump administration as a golden opportunity to finally reverse egregious federal land grabs. Supporters of Mr. Trump’s actions say they’re the beginning of true reform of how national monuments are created and managed.

“These new proclamations are a first step towards protecting identified antiquities without disenfranchising the local people who work and manage these areas,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Clinton administration’s 1996 creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante — done with virtually no consultation with Utah officials — was the first example of a president truly stretching the Antiquities Act.

The law states that a monument designation should be limited to the “smallest area” compatible with the artifacts or other historical items to be protected. Many other monuments across the country are relatively small and were created to protect specific items or locations of historical significance, such as the Stonewall Inn in New York City, an iconic location for the LGBT rights movement. But in the case of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, hundreds of thousands of acres of wooded area were locked up, leading critics to charge that Democrats had found a legal loophole that allowed them to grab massive patches of land with impunity.

“I Can’t See Myself Supporting Anyone But Trump” | Rand Paul

Rand Paul dodges on if a 2020 primary would be good for GOP: ‘I can’t see myself supporting anyone but’ Trump

….“I think no one can stop primaries from happening, and there could well be a primary that happens. Before you get to that, you need to know, is President Trump running for re-election,” Paul said. “You won’t know that until you get into the second, third year of his presidency. At this point, I can’t see myself supporting anyone but President Trump BECAUSE I THINK HE’S GIVEN US THE MOST CONSERVATIVE CABINET WE’VE SEEN SINCE REAGAN.”

WE’VE REPEALED REGULATIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME. GAVE US A GREAT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE AND I’M HOPING HE GIVES US A COUPLE MORE IF WE HAVE RETIREMENTS. I see the glass as half full. Doesn’t mean I agree with him on everything. There will be people that if we can end the Afghan war, that’s who I would support. I don’t think that’s going to be an alternative to president trump. I like to accentuate the positive, and I would support him.”……

(WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

Nicole Gelinas On Free-Market Capitalism vs. “State Capitalism”

In an excellent article entitled:

(Via CITY JOURNAL), it is noted [well] that what many people THINK is the free market is anything but that:

…Free-market capitalism isn’t the same thing as radical libertarianism. Stan Veuger, an American Enterprise Institute scholar and economics lecturer at Harvard, dismisses what he calls “the anarcho-capitalist ideal”: an economy with no regulations and zero taxation. “There are places like Somalia that score well” on such purist definitions of free markets, he points out. To work well, capitalism needs “an environment where people can concentrate on being productive,” rather than, say, having private armies to assure personal safety. Free-market capitalism requires laws and rules, more than ever, now that more people live in close proximity in dense cities than ever before. Human activity leads to disputes, and disputes can be solved, or at least moderated, by resolutions that govern behavior. We often forget that markets don’t make broad public-policy decisions; governments do. Markets allocate resources under a particular policy regime, and they can provide feedback on whether policies are working. If a city, say, restricts building height to preserve sunlight in a public park, free-market actors will take the restricted supply into account, raising building prices. This doesn’t mean that the city made the wrong decision; it means that the city’s voters will risk higher housing prices in order to preserve access to sunlight. By contrast, a city that restricts housing supply and restricts prices via rent regulation is thwarting market signals—it takes an action and then suppresses the direct consequences of that action.

[….]

In critical areas of the economy, though, markets are in retreat. Behind the veneer of free-market governance is a deep expanse of government involvement in massive areas of the economy, such as the housing market and health care. People don’t make decisions on housing and health-care concerns every day, but when they do, they would benefit from the information that markets provide about whether they can afford a large house or whether a particular drug is worth the price. Government distortion of these key markets has scrambled these signals.

An annual congressional report, “Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures,” gives insight into how Washington manipulates supply and demand in these sectors. Consider house prices. This year, Washington will pay homeowners $99 billion in forgone taxes to borrow money to purchase or refinance a house or to sell that house and reap the profit. Americans will buy or sell about $600 billion worth of houses this year. Government subsidy, then, represents nearly one-sixth of this market. The federal government also provides a guarantee for most mortgages, thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-supported mortgage companies that benefited for decades from an implicit government guarantee before they got an explicit guarantee during the 2008 financial crisis.

These subsidies have fired the growth of the housing industry. Between 1975 and 1979, the U.S. Treasury paid out $102.6 billion in mortgage-interest breaks in today’s dollars. Between 2015 and 2019, the Treasury will pay out $419.8 billion in such tax favoritism—a more than fourfold rise, nearly ten times the population increase. The hike is particularly extraordinary, considering that in the late 1970s, the annual interest rate on a mortgage was 9 percent, twice what it is today. Taking today’s lower rates into account, Washington has increased the mortgage subsidy more than eightfold.

It’s no surprise that mortgage debt has soared, to $9.5 trillion, from $2.6 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars in 1981. Back then, mortgage debt constituted 31 percent of our nation’s GDP. Today, it makes up nearly 53 percent. McCloskey, who thinks that free markets are generally healthy, acknowledges that “there are examples of the price signal not coming through.” The mortgage-interest deduction is “a silly idea,” she says, yet “very hard to change.”

Indeed, government subsidy is a critical factor in whether families can afford to purchase a home, and what kind of home, how large, and in what zip code. The home-mortgage deduction, then, helps determine how people live—yet we barely notice. Few of us consider how the government shapes one of the biggest decisions we’ll ever make, or how the U.S. government’s presence in the housing market maintains the value of our homes.

Housing subsidies that distort individual decisions also affect the biggest investment market in the world: the American housing market is worth $27.5 trillion—more than a tenth of the world’s $250 trillion in total wealth. The government, not capitalism, has determined the value of this market, which, in turn, helps determine the value of other markets: money that goes into this 11 percent of the global asset market can’t go into the other 89 percent. Home values also affect consumer spending. Someone whose home value is rising will feel freer to take on credit-card debt, for example.

Perhaps American house prices should be lower, and people should put their savings into companies that create products and jobs. Or perhaps house prices should be higher, accounting for a growing population, and people should live in smaller homes, spaced more closely together. In turn, perhaps the price of Chinese stocks would be higher, reflecting future growth, if Chinese investors did not divert money into U.S.-backed American housing debt. No one knows, because market signals get obscured.

One can agree or disagree with government jiggering of the housing market. What one cannot do is call it “free-market capitalism.” It is better described as democratic socialism. Americans have embraced government control of one of the world’s most important economic activities.

Free markets are under attack in health care, too, and the trend began long before Obamacare. Critics of our dysfunctional health-care system often blame capitalism for its excesses and distortions. But the health-care “market,” like the housing market, is responding rationally to government signals.

Washington provides massive tax breaks to health care. This year, as noted in Congress’s tax-expenditure report, the government will provide $143.8 billion in federal tax breaks for employers’ coverage of workers’ health insurance—more than the housing-tax break. The health-care subsidy has increased ninefold after inflation since the late 1970s. This tax break means that workers don’t see the full cost of their health-care coverage and thus cannot respond, when the price of health care rises, by demanding lower costs.

In providing Medicare to seniors and Medicaid to poorer people, Washington is the nation’s largest health-care customer, accounting for more than 30 percent of the United States’ annual $3 trillion in health-care spending. The largest customer in any market affects the entire market. Medicare and Medicaid stipulate how much the federal government will pay to hospitals and doctors for visits and surgeries. If hospitals and doctors can’t recover their costs and make an adequate profit under this price schedule, they charge private customers more. Medicare also distorts the price that drugmakers can charge for prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies know that their biggest customer is the government of the world’s richest sovereign nation. They have no way of setting market prices.

This past summer saw a health-care episode that, depending on your point of view, might have looked like an example of successful free-market capitalism or uncontrolled capitalist greed. Drugmaker Mylan said that it would increase the price of a decades-old product, the EpiPen allergy shot, to $600. That was the latest in a string of price hikes that have made the EpiPen 400 percent more expensive than when Mylan purchased the product a decade ago. Mylan has quintupled EpiPen’s revenues during that period, Bloomberg News reported, partly through savvy marketing. At one time, doctors prescribed EpiPens only to people with histories of severe allergic reaction. Now, people with more moderate allergies ask their doctors for EpiPens as a preventive measure.

The would-be free-market defense is that Mylan is making a decent profit, giving some people what they need (a lifesaving drug and medical device) and giving others what they want (a sense of security). Under this argument, Mylan can take that profit and invest it in new drug development. The would-be free-market criticism is that Mylan is enriching its executives by taking advantage of people who have no choice but to buy this product.

The reality: Mylan doesn’t operate in a free market, so one can neither praise nor blame markets for the EpiPen price. Mylan could increase prices and sales over a decade because its “customers” weren’t directly paying—most people buy their EpiPen through subsidized private insurance or through Medicare or Medicaid. Mylan could also boost EpiPen sales by petitioning the government for special benefits. Through lobbying, as Bloomberg notes, the company pushed 47 states to stock the pens in schools. And when federal regulations decreed that people should carry EpiPens in packs of two, the company stopped selling single EpiPens.

Lastly, Mylan lacks a competitor. If Mylan were operating in a competitive market, it could not have imposed these price increases, regardless of whether it wanted to invest the profits in new drug research or line its executives’ pockets. If Penguin Books tried to charge $300 for a copy of A Tale of Two Cities, another bookseller would price the tome at $8, and that would be the end of that.

Just as political forces helped shape Mylan’s pricing, politics, not markets, made the company retreat from its latest price increase. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton singled out the drugmaker as “the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.” But Mylan wasn’t exploiting consumers; it was only responding to perverse government signals.

Just as in housing, one can agree or disagree with the U.S. government’s policies in health care. One can argue that the government should pay high prices for drugs to signal to global investors that they can expect big payoffs for taking risks. Or, one can maintain that the government should use its negotiating power to lower prices, as European nations do. One cannot claim that either policy is a free-market one; both are social-democratic positions.

The government’s hand is increasingly busy in other areas of society, too, preventing market signals from coming through. In life’s decisions, getting an education is right up there with buying a house or choosing the right cancer medicine. Yet prospective students don’t determine the free-market value of a particular school’s curriculum through the amount that they are able and willing to pay. Instead, the government distorts this market. Washington provides $2.1 billion a year in tax subsidies for student loans. Just as important, it keeps the interest rates on these loans low by directly lending money to students. This cheap money has inflated the cost of education by giving students more borrowed money with which to pay and by removing any incentive for schools to control expenses. Over the past decade alone, the amount of debt that students owe has more than doubled after inflation, from less than $600 billion in 2005 to $1.4 trillion in mid-2016.

Just as in health care, America saw a striking example of how government, not the market, governs education over the summer. Just before the start of the fall term, ITT, a for-profit college with 35,000 students, said that it was going out of business. It wasn’t for a lack of customers; rather, it was for a lack of federal money backing those customers. Washington had demanded that the company pay much more to participate in the federal student-loan program, to account for, as the government put it, “significant concerns” about ITT’s “integrity, financial viability, and ability to serve students.” The college couldn’t pay, and it shuttered its classrooms. When a school cannot stay open without ceaseless infusions of government-guaranteed tuition payments, it is not operating in a free-market environment (and neither are its for-profit and nonprofit competitors). Just as with housing and health care, one can agree or disagree with government control of the higher-education market. One just can’t call it a free market….

(read the WHOLE article… it is worth it)

The Long Road To Hell – Statism and Truth (William J. Murray)

Before the excerpt, here are some short videos with the author, who happens to be the son of MADALYN MURRAY O’HAIR:

Here is an excellent excerpt from a book a friend got me reading:william-murray-utopian-road-hell-book-330

  • William J. Murray, Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World With Central Planning (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2016), 112-119.

…As Hayek noted back in 1944: “There can be no doubt that plan­ning necessarily involves deliberate discrimination between particular needs of different people, and allowing one man to do what another must be prevented from doing. It must lay down by a legal rule how well off particular people shall be and what different people are to be allowed to have and do.”

From these examples you can see that the totalitarian nature of government does not suddenly appear in a democracy. First there must be social acceptance among the elite, who then persuade the rest of society to go along with them. Hayek noted this progress in his 1944 essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism”:

The political development of the Western World during the last hundred years furnishes the clearest demonstration. Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for the obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be per­suaded to adopt it as their program.

TYRANNY THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX

Hayek reminded us that socialist tyrannies can come through legal means in the democratic process just as easily as through abrupt totalitarianism. Adolf Hitler, for example, was elected to office, unlike Cambodia’s Pol Pot, who seized power. Thus, democracies aren’t necessarily a protection against utopian central planners taking away the liberties of individuals.

Quite often, democratically elected representatives can delegate authority to bureaucrats who have the authority to impose the draco­nian policies on an unwilling populace. Hayek wrote, “By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”

Hayek isn’t the only philosopher or economist to warn about the dangers of tyranny being imposed through the democratic process. Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French philosopher who visited the United States in the mid-1800s to study the democratic system and culture, warned that democratic systems could become despotic.

In Democracy in America, in his classic chapter “What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear” (volume 2), Tocqueville accurately predicted the rise of bureaucratic czars and webs of legislation that would stifle human freedom and productivity. It is as if he were writing prophetically about the Environmental Protection Agency, which has imposed so many irrational rules on industry that our nation is in danger of losing its ability to compete in many industries, such as energy.

Tocqueville compared the ancient tyrannies of the past and noted that Roman emperors had tremendous power over the lives of their subjects who were scattered throughout the world, but that the “details of social life and private occupations lay for the most part beyond his control.” However, Tocqueville warned:

It would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. I do not question, that in an age of instruc­tion and equality like our own, sovereigns might more easily succeed in collecting all political power into their own hands, and might interfere more habitually and decidedly within the circle of private interests, than any sovereign of antiquity could ever do. But this same principle of equality which facilitates despotism, tempers its rigour.

He continued: “I think then that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything which ever before existed in the world: our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I am trying myself to choose an expression which will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it, but in vain; the old words ‘despotism’ and ‘tyranny’ are inappropriate: the thing itself is new; and since I cannot name it, I must attempt to define it.”

According to Tocqueville, this kind of democratic oppression is

absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, fore­sees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances—what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself.

America’s schoolchildren today are educated under policies of “no tolerance” that demand they become automatons. Showing various emotions, such as anger or love, can lead to expulsion from school, or worse. Children have been arrested for pointing a finger and saying, “Bang!” and suspended from classes for sharing a hug in the hallways. Currently, some high school students, thanks to legislation promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama, are not allowed to eat more than 750 calories for lunch, even boys on the football team, who require upwards of 3,000 calories a day. This is exactly the type of democratic oppression that both Tocqueville and Hayek discussed, and it continues to spread in Western nations.

Tocqueville described what happens to citizens when they’re slowly enslaved by an all-powerful central government:

It [the statist] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, ener­vates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described, might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom; and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.

Like a frog placed in cold water, and then the temperature is increased slowly until the frog is cooked, the populace do not notice the melting away of individual liberty. For instance, the American people were placed in the cold water of a “small” income tax imposed by President Woodrow Wilson that has become today almost total control of the economy by the central government. Hayek and Tocqueville both described accurately the destruction of individual liberty, not only through absolute dictatorships, but by democratic totalitarianism as well.

THE END OF TRUTH

Hayek devoted a full chapter in The Road to Serfdom to the function of propaganda in a socialist welfare state. He pointed out that in such a totalitarian system, it isn’t enough just to force everyone to work for the end desired; they must also be convinced that those ends are actually theirs and that they are obtainable. Thus, the propagandist must be able to brainwash the populace into believing that the central planners are benevolent and that their goals are actually those of the people.

As Hayek observed, “The skilful propagandist then has power to mold their minds in any direction he chooses, and even the most intel­ligent and independent people cannot entirely escape that influence if they are long isolated from all other sources of information.”

According to Hayek, the moral consequence of totalitarian propa­ganda is that it undermines the sense of and respect for the truth. In fact, the totalitarian propagandist isn’t concerned with the truth. He only wants to convince the populace that the rulers are acting in the best interest of the enslaved citizens, to achieve their utopian dreams. Lying becomes the standard of utopian governments.

FREDERIC BASTIAT’S WARNINGS AGAINST SOCIALIST UTOPIANISM

French economist and politician Frederic Bastiat’s writings aren’t well known in the United States these days, but they certainly should be. Bastiat was the deputy to the Legislative Assembly in France during the mid-1800s, when that nation was rapidly turning into a socialist state.

Alarmed by the trend, Bastiat spent his time and energies debunking all of the    excuses that were used to impose statism on the French people. His classic, The Law, was published in 1850 and followed some of the similar lines of logic as did Hayek’s later work. It was his desire to convince his fellow Frenchmen that socialism would inevitably lead to slavery and Communism. Regrettably, his warnings were mostly ignored, but his prophetic writings against socialism are very timely, as our own nation’s leaders play with totalitarian ideas about how to turn us into dependent serfs.

Bastiat began The Law by clearly asserting that God gave us life, including physical, intellectual, and moral life. In addition, God gave each person the ability to use resources to create value and to own property. He further asserted, “Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?”

He defined law as the “organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and prop­erties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.”

But what happens when the state uses the law to destroy freedom? It is engaging in what Bastiat rightly called “lawful plunder.”

When a state legalizes plunder, wrote Bastiat, one of the first effects is to erase “from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

When legalized plunder becomes commonplace in a socialist govern­ment, noted Bastiat, every group in society will want to get their share of it. Everyone will begin plundering from everyone else: “Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few, whether farmers, manufacturers, ship owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so.”

Bastiat clearly shows us how we can determine if a law is actually legal­ized plunder. His definition perfectly fits much of the transfer of wealth that occurs in Western nations today, including in the United States.

See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites repri­sals. If such a law—which may be an isolated case—is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

Sadly, when Woodrow Wilson introduced the income tax, the people had the opportunity to stop just such an evil, but out of the promise that it would benefit the many at the expense of the few rich of the time, a constitutional amendment was approved to allow the theft of the income of those who produce value through labor or investment. The result is massive government today, which takes from virtually everyone’s earnings to some degree.

Bastiat continued: “Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.”

Augustine of Hippo made a similar statement regarding government plundering in the fifth century:

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity.

Following a road to serfdom as described by Hayek inevitably leads to what might be called a benign authoritarian system, where everyone is brainwashed into docile obedience, or to a brutal dictatorship that includes a police state, a reign of terror, and gulags to keep the populace under control. Authors George Orwell and Aldous Huxley have described these two kinds of societies, but the result is the same in both: freedom of the individual is destroyed and the state rules from cradle to the grave.