During Reconstruction–a euphemism for military occupation of conquered low-tariff states–a bolter was a voter who a left one duopoly party to vote for “the” other party. Continue reading
I walked to the polls in the local Brazilian precinct. They used to be at the school, but this year the voting took place at the intersection of Church and State. Brazilian citizens are forced by law to subsidize, then vote for, 33 parties. Here’s the sign…
When you walk inside this is what you see:
So is it any wonder the party most closely resembling the NSDAP led the vote count? Oddly enough, the other party standing for runoffs has a name that (no kidding) translates as Arbeiterpartei in German!
Servers are down so the list of party coalitions is unavailable… Maybe it’s just as well. There is a special gang of election judges that decide who can organize a party. National Socialists and International Socialists have 32 parties between them, and the gatekeepers make good and sure there is no Libertarian Party. The Cuban, Venezuelan, Peruvian, Chilean and most African governments or those of North Korea, China, Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, et alii do not permit libertarians to organize into parties.
Here is an apropos cartoon that appeared the morning after the elections. Other countries with no LP.org are Cuba, Venezuela, post-colonial African and Asian countries and so forth. Name a country people want to move to and I’ll show you a nation with a working Libertarian Party.
Translation has to do with the meaning of concepts encoded as language for transmission. If the receiver does not comprehend meanings, the signal fails to impart information. Pertinent questions make this clearer.
Ask people who seek to regulate, tax, curb or abolish economic freedom or energy:
What is force?
What is energy?
What is Work?
What is power?
The response in most cases is either bovine incomprehension or a frantic outpouring of gibberish. Every one of the answers requires familiarity with dimensions of mass, length and time and interrelatedness of their units not easily mastered without some effort, typically near the age of suffrage.
Now ask anyone who wants to abridge, infringe, restrict or regulate individual rights:
What is government?
What is freedom?
What is a right?
What is political power?
And the response is again bafflement or barking. Indeed, the very act of asking anyone committed to the initiation of force a simple question immediately elicits suspicion. A robber, kidnapper or thief rightly fears prosecution, and the first thing a prosecutor does is ask questions. Similarly a stupid lout even fears questions on a test sheet for fear of being confronted with its own ignorance. Self-deception is key to imagining that you can initiate the use of force against others and gain by it.
Ask freedom-divvying kleptocracy voters (the 96%) those eight questions. The ones with any notion of energy, work and power have less inclination to send men with guns to beat you out of your earnings because of “inequality” or impending doom by electrical stations you should fear, not examine. But they can be enlisted in a witch-hunt against birth control or personally enjoyable plant leaves.
The ones that grasp some notions of government, rights and political power but balk at physical reality are easily convinced that the End is Nigh because of an insufficiency of taxation and related government coercion. This lot is always ready to send armed men to ban electrical generating plants or try to repeal the Second Amendment. Republican, Democrat, Communist and Green voters can be counted on to get most of those questions as wrong as 2+2=5.
But if you ask a Libertarian–someone who actually pays dues and votes–chances you will get meaningful answers to most of those questions. As a kicker, you might ask: By what standard shall we distinguish between right and wrong?
Totalitarians and Libertarians understand that freedom is indivisible. Those that value it seek to preserve it intact, and those that despise it try to extirpate it root and branch. Yet there are many who struggle to evade this realization. A single example will suffice.
16 Then came there two women, Equality and Faith, that were voters, unto the Chancellor, and stood before him, one on his Left and the other on his Right
17 And the leftmost woman, Equality said, O my lord, I and this woman Faith dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child, named Sharing, with her in the house.
18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
19 And this woman’s child, named Righteousness, died in the night; because she overlaid it.
20 And she arose at midnight, and took my Sharing from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child, Righteousness, in my bosom.
21 And when I rose in the morning to give my Sharing suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my Sharing, which I did bear.
22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my Righteousness, and the dead is thy Sharing. And this said, No; but the dead is thy Righteousness, and the living is my Sharing. Thus they spake before the Chancellor.
23 Then said the Chancellor, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
24 And the Chancellor said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the Chancellor.
25 And the Chancellor said, we must compromise. Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
26 Then spake both women and said, Let this be settled by unselfish compromise, the common good before the individual good, and divide it, for half of Sharing or Righteousness is better than none at all. Any other view is unequal and extreme.
27 Then the Chancellor answered: divide the child in half.
28 But another woman, Liberty, protested this was monstrous, saying Equality had no more just power to deprive Faith of her precious child than Faith had to deprive Equality of hers. Then all three turned to Liberty. The Chancellor told her she was not invited to the debate–and the child was cut in half.
29 And all Germany heard of the judgment which theChancellor had judged; and they feared theChancellor: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment with integrity, as in the Twenty-Five Points, and that he would relentlessly seek the implementation of these points, if necessary at the cost of their lives.
I hope you understood this parable on how the mixed-economy, Left&Right socialists sacrifice all principles and integrity to take from others what they value, and the Libertarian Upper quadrant and Totalitarian Lower quadrant remain true to their values and principles. Remember that clarity next time you need a translator. Oh, and be SURE you remember what the Left-Right Socialist parties say about each other when you see LIB on the ballot.
My other blog is usually in Portuguese.
The nationwide defense debate best represented in Physics Today had by 1982 descended into plans for surrendering to the Soviet Union based on Pascal’s Wager and Ignoring Kennan’s Long Telegram.
Science advisor George Keyworth built on Sam Cohen and Edward Teller’s ideas, then stepped out of the conflict spotlight, which was taken over by William Robert Graham and Gen’l Daniel Graham. The foolishness of Robert Strange McNamara’s insane policy of mutual civilian genocide with nuclear weapons sank in after Dr. Strangelove, and Sam Cohen’s defensive strategies developed a large following–and some pro-surrender opposition. The Libertarian Defense Caucus organized by LP Presidential candidate John Hospers, Michael J Dunn, Virginia Postrel and others favored defensive weapons policies. One LDC member questioned assertions by German-American physicist Wolfgang HK Panofsky in Physics Today regarding treaties under the Constitution.
Dr Panofsky’s statement that “Nothing in the U.S Constitution dilutes the responsibility of a president to comply with existing treaties in force.” [Physics Today, June, 1985, p. 37] ought to be evaluated in light of the actual text of the Constitution itself. Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution specifies, in clause 15, that “Congress shall have the power…To provide for calling forth the militia to… repel invasions;”. Article IV, section 4 charges the United States with the responsibility to protect each of the States from invasion. Finally, Article II of the Bill of Rights guarantees that our right to “keep and bear arms”, within the context of a well regulated militia, “shall not be infringed.” While it is true that Article II of the main body of the document grants the President the power to make treaties (Section 2, clause 2), and it is also true that these treaties “shall be the supreme law of the land” (Article VI, Section 2), it is nowhere stated that this treatymaking power shall override the Bill of Rights or the main body of the Constitution. In fact, Article VI, Section 2 specifies only that the treatymaking power takes precedence over “…anything in the Constitution or laws of any STATE to the contrary notwithstanding.” (Emphasis mine). In fact, the very last clause of Section 10 in Article 1 allows the States to defend themselves if “…actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” Nothing in the Constitution supports the conclusion that the treatymaking power is arbitrary and unlimited and supersedes all individual rights guaranteed us by the text of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. One can readily infer, however, that all arms limitation treaties which infringe on our right to have our military forces keep and bear defensive weapons of our choosing are unconstitutional and therefore illegal. This would apply specifically to the ABM treaty as well as both versions of SALT. Because I do not believe that the framers of the Constitution would have subordinated their rights or those of their countrymen and descendants to any arbitrary power, foreign or domestic; and because the legal language supporting this conclusion is clear and precise, I submit that the ABM treaty is unconstitutional and illegal.
This issue, it turns out, had been addressed by President Calvin Coolidge when Panofsky was not quite five years old. At a news conference on November 2, 1923, Coolidge tried answering a question about a prohibition-enforcement treaty with wet Great Britain changing the definition of international waters. (…) “The question here is raised as to whether this treaty would be in conflict with the Constitution or the present Volstead Law.”
Coolidge improvised an answer that reporters thought missed the point entirely, and so the press insisted:
PRESS: Mr. President, some of the editorial writers seem to think that the proposed treaty would contravene the Constitution–not the Volstead Law, but the Constitution itself. Do you believe it within the power of the government to make a treaty that would contravene the Constitution itself?
PRESIDENT COOLIDGE: Of course not. The only power the government has to make a treaty comes from the Constitution, and there wouldn’t be any question about it, for any treaty that might be made, that was contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, would be absolutely void.
Panofsky’s immediate reply, like Coolidge’s did not satisfy all readers:
J. H. Phillips raises the interesting point whether any arms-control treaty violates the Constitution of the United States. He agrees that Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution states that treaties entered into by the United States preempt the constitution or laws of any state that might have contrary provisions. Indeed, the United States Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief and gives him responsibility to conduct foreign affairs and thereby provide for the national security. Yet one must recognize that increased armaments and increased national security are by no means synonymous; in fact post-World War II history has amply demonstrated the contrary. The power of the President to negotiate treaties, even if they conflict with private rights involving arms or ownership of property, has been confirmed by numerous Supreme Court decisions.
Negotiated arms control is rightfully considered a component of the conduct of foreign affairs. According to Article VI of the Constitution, treaties are the supreme law of the land, subject only to other provisions of the Constitution. They can be modified by mutual renegotiation or abrogated unilaterally under specific provisions that provide for prior notice and invoke the supreme national interest of one of the signatories.
The specific claim by Phillips is that arms-control treaties are in conflict with the provision of Article II of the Bill of Rights that “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” No court has ever held the Second Amendment to impose any limitation on the President’s power to conduct foreign affairs, but the specific relation of arms-control treaties to Article II has, to the best of my knowledge, never been explicitly litigated. In view of the foregoing it seems to me to be patently absurd to claim that the US President and Executive Branch cannot negotiate and sign a treaty that limits weapons by all signatories if the President believes this to be in the security interest of the United States, and I see nothing in the Constitution that would prevent such a treaty from entering into force once the Senate, by a two-thirds majority, has recommended its ratification to the President and the President has then executed the instruments of ratification. The Constitution has done well in weathering the transition to the nuclear age. If Phillips were correct in his interpretation it would be a sad day indeed.
Some real attorneys were also attracted to this questioning of authority and chimed in:
The letter by J.H. Phillips and the response by Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky (April, page 90) raise interesting issues regarding the relationship between the Federal treaty-making power and the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Although both Phillips and Panofsky deal solely with issues arising under the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” provision of the Second Amendment and with alleged infringements of this “right of the people” by arms control treaties, the issues are significantly broader in scope and deserve more careful analysis. According to Panofsky, the constitutional authority of the executive branch to conduct foreign affairs extends to the power of the President to negotiate arms control treaties, and such treaties when ratified by the Senate may abrogate any provision of the Bill of Rights. Although Phillips disagrees, both Phillips and Panofsky limit their discussion to consideration of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. However, there is nothing in the underlying issue that should limit the argument to the Second Amendment; rather, the issue should be treated more broadly for a better understanding. For example, it is not difficult to imagine a treaty with the following provision: Due to the utmost importance of this arms control treaty and the practical reality that it cannot be successfully implemented without mutual trust and harmonious relationships between the signatory nations, any critical or derogatory remarks, oral or written, against a signatory shall constitute a criminal offense against that signatory, and such signatory may search for and seize any offending writings, as well as punish the person making said criticism, in such manner as it deems appropriate, including trial by judge without jury in the courts of the signatory as it deems appropriate.
Of course, such a treaty would clearly abrogate the provisions of the Bill of Rights contained in Amendments I (free speech and press), IV (unreasonable search and seizure), V (due process of law), VI (right to counsel) and VII (trial by jury). But in spite of the fact that the constitutionality of treaties that conflict with the Bill of Rights has never been litigated, some obvious conclusions as to how the US Supreme Court would treat this sort of treaty can be drawn.
Moreover, that the precise issue has never been litigated does not justify Panofsky’s conclusion that it is “patently absurd” to claim that the treaty-making power cannot supersede the Bill of Rights. It is true that a treaty can override a state constitution or a state statute, but a Federal statute passed at a later date than a treaty prevails over the treaty, according to a line of US Supreme Court cases beginning with Head Money Cases, 112 US 580, 598-590 (1884). It is also well established that even Federal statutes violative of the Bill of Rights can be declared null and void by the judiciary. Thus, since Federal statutes can abrogate treaties, statutes have at least as high a dignity as treaties, and since statutes violative of the Bill of Rights can be invalidated by our courts, so can treaties.
Panofsky’s conclusion that arms control treaties can abrogate the Bill of Rights is thus, fortunately for America, clearly unwarranted. –David Caplan, NY & Richard Laumann, NJ
Panofsky of course denied having come to that conclusion, but the legalistic house of cards which Soviet weapons specialists had hoped would bluff These United States into submission came tumbling down. Soviet planners realized not even a single American State could be disarmed while the Second Amendment remained intact. The Strategic Defense Initiative grew, a German lad landed a Cessna near Red Square, and Soviet Socialist totalitarianism collapsed as entirely as German National Socialism had collapsed in May of 1945.
Prospects for resurrecting Soviet Communism are as hopeless as for bringing back the German National Socialism that prompted development of modern weapons in the first place. Russian voters are shrinking the communist party even faster than American voters are chipping away at the Dem & GOP kleptocracy. But the shrieking against the Second Amendment is today much shriller than in the 1980s, when gun violence was high but already eroding thanks to decreased initiation of force. Whether that–coupled with the feverish falsification of science by a tiny group of scientist-impersonators and former scientists in concerted efforts to lay an Energy-Conversion Tax on everyone except Not-Exactly-Communist China–is some sort of desperate comeback attempt by intellectuals of the looter persuasion, is unclear. After all, Republicans have published platforms for 46 years to Amend the Constitution to overturn the results of the 1972 Libertarian birth control plank–a fixation no less fanatical and hopeless.
There is, however, no question that infiltration of the Democratic Party Platform Committee by Socialists Against Buckminster Fuller Energy Slaves (and power plants in general) cost Democrats the Executive branch, both Houses of Congress, and appointments to the Judiciary, together with all associated pelf, paychecks, funding, graft and boodle. Now that Americans have notebooks and iPhones, getting them to ban electricity–even for Altruria–is as Quixotic a chimera as has ever before been dreamt up. The current war on energy is the one significant difference between the platforms published by the Dem and GOP factions of the ruling kleptocracy.
If the research that went into this article on legal questions was surprising, just imagine how surprised your competitors could be. The author can be hired to translate materials pertinent to international legal cases involving your law office.
My other blog is usually in Portuguese.
Since the dawn of collectivism humankind has engaged in biological, chemical and conventional warfare. The bloodiest wars have always been between collectives that believed almost the same thing. Union versus Confederacy, Christians v. Jews, Protestants v. Catholics, Mohammedans v. Christians, Communists v. National Socialists… these mystical hatreds underlie the deadliest wars of recent millennia. These international wars are all gone now.
Chemical weapons were gasped at in 1916 because they made young men appreciate the 13th Amendment–the one that outlawed involuntary servitude. American conscripts were ordered to shoulder clumsy arms and march into louse-ridden foreign trenches to save the Federal Reserve banks from war loan defaults after Russian communists quit the opium war. The war stopped efforts to use the Hague to curb heroin dumping, so it was a war to make Bayer Great Again–at least in Germany. American youths faced with the prospect of being sprayed like cockroaches in those foreign trenches might prefer imprisonment in support of the 13th Amendment. That’s the Amendment where the Supreme Court “could not see” the military draft as coercive, but COULD cancel the First Amendment right to hand out copies of Amendments from the Bill of Rights. Being blown to bits in distant trenches to protect the French opium regie in Vietnam or morphine acetylizing plants in Marseilles or Scotland was different from being gassed. High explosives were ‘murrican! Artillery shells were okay to politicians on the Republican and Democrat sides of the aisle. Poison gas, however, was baaad. Germs and nukes are also baaad, perhaps because they might muss the hair of the politicians and lobbyists who order attacks. That kind of hair-mussing is “mass destruction.”
So it was that things muddled along until a nuclear physicist named Sam Cohen worked out ways to make small H-bombs allocate less energy to explosive force and more energy to the production of neutrons. Sam found that neutrons could penetrate an incoming warhead and cause a premature chain reaction to melt an incoming bomb. Neutron-induced chemical reactions in the lensed explosive jacket could likewise be counted on to damage those enemy bombs. Sam Cohen briefed then-candidate Ronald Reagan on this class of weapons and how they might be deployed.
To Soviet military planners this was really bad news. Fighter pilots could not be trusted with enough fuel to cross borders. A Soviet pilot with plenty of fuel could defect and exchange the plane for a good reception from immigration authorities. Bombers and submarines presented that same vexing problem, plus the possibility their crews might nuke the Politburo or Soviet military installations instead of their intended victims.
Intercontinental ballistic missiles were naturally the communist weapon of choice. Fire them off and relax, with no chance of human meddling–until Ronald Reagan as President realized that Sam Cohen’s neutron bombs could cook those incoming ballistic warheads on their simple and predictable paths. Stinger missiles were doing pretty much that to Soviet helicopters in Afghanistan. To Soviet partisans, a way had to be found to stop America’s militias from keeping and bearing arms that could intercept and ruin incoming nuclear missiles.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty was the first such attempt, signed by Quaker Prohibitionist President Richard Nixon. Nixon was promptly ousted, but Soviet Socialists pushed Strategic Arms Limitation talks for a SALT treaty to really disarm These Sovereign United States. Debates in Physics Today were, in 1982, discussions of the virtues of preemptive surrender to communist regimes. That changed in 1986, with the possibility that any such treaty might infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms. That right to bear arms is in the Second Amendment, in the Bill of Rights–a thing that makes These States different from all the ancien régimes of Europe and Asia and their colonies in Africa and Latin America.
What happened next changed the Cold War. Stay tuned…
When the need arises for translations involving nuclear energy in South American or African Portuguese, look me up.
Religious bigotry has been declining for decades, but with lobbyists distorting the mixed economy, legalized coercion is harder to eradicate, and directed verdicts put murderers right back on the streets.
Thousands of Americans–and a few Canadians and Mexicans–were murdered during prohibition, most by religious fanatics not very different from the ones now banning beer in the Medieval Middle East. Government bureaucrats ordered alcohol poisoned with methanol, which causes permanent blindness in those not killed outright. Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals spokesmen invariably came forward to praise these killings as justified. The law, after all, is “the” law.
The Jamaica Ginger remedy contained alcohol, but also tricresyl phosphate, which caused permanent paralysis of legs and feet. This too was viewed as a sort of Divine Retribution. Hunter’s Civic Biology–the 1914 textbook banned in Tennessee for explaining the Evolution of the Species in 1925–was steeped in prohibitionist pseudoscience. Racial eugenics by compulsion to the extent possible was its primary message. The alternative? A degenerate race, and race suicide of the white Caucasians, the crown of Creation. This may be what President Herbert Hoover meant when in his inaugural speech he bragged that “We are building a new race…” After all, Hoover was a great fan of Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1902 urged American women to reproduce against their will. Teddy was concerned about:
fundamental virtues, for the practice of the strong, racial qualities without which there can be no strong races—the qualities of courage and resolution in both men and women, of scorn of what is mean, base and selfish, of eager desire to work or fight or suffer as the case may be provided the end to be gained is great enough, and the contemptuous putting aside of mere ease, mere vapid pleasure, mere avoidance of toil and worry.
German National Socialists, whom President Hoover’s Moratorium on Brains helped rearm (by sparing them from repayment of war reparations), were also keen on coercive eugenics and the altruistic trappings of race suicide theories. Yet here we are in the 21st Century, caught in shouting matches between Christian National Socialists eager to ban birth control and other socialists less pious but no less coercive in their vision of the proper role of government. Both of these communo-fascist variants of Socialism share a deep desire to resort to the initiation of deadly force in their efforts to make the world a “better” place.
The Libertarian Party is fielding some 800 candidates this election, all of them committed to voting for alternatives that do NOT rely on the initiation of deadly force in order to make the world a better place. Every libertarian vote helps repeal laws that coerce women and other individuals. We are growing, and both of the 19th Century Left&Right parties dedicated to European religious autocracies and concentration-camp dictatorships are shrinking.
This has been a Portugueseinterpreter‘s recommendation that a vote for peace and freedom might make the world a better place. Brazilian website is Speakwrite and our other language blog for Expatriates is Amigra.