Politics Matters Too Much–Because of Too Much Government

The year 2016 has not only brought us one of the most memorable American elections, it has also brought a remarkable post-election period. In the wake of Trump’s victory, American leftists have experienced a very public and embarrassing emotional meltdown. Instead of engaging in reasoned and dispassionate self-reflection, Democrats are attempting to ascribe their failure to a somewhat fanciful theory involving interference by the Russian government. To a considerable degree, the left’s hysteria reflects the unstable mental state of the typical person who is attracted to the political left. After all, if the Democrats had won, it is hard to imagine the right would have displayed the same hysterical reaction, since indeed they did not following the two election victories by the career leftist, Barack Obama.

The left’s emotionalism, however, is not completely unjustified; their despair is rooted in a correct assessment of how much this election has cost them. In this election, the left stood at the threshold of securing power–not just for four years–but for a generation or more. As president, Hillary would have been able to make at the very least two, and quite possibly as many as four, appointments to the Supreme Court, thus guaranteeing leftist control for decades. Hillary also had the opportunity to import millions more Democrat voters from the Third World, thus nearly extinguishing Republican chances of winning elections at the national level. In short, the left anticipated a final and total victory over their despised adversaries, only to have the dream turn to ashes in their mouths. No wonder they are so distraught.

Of course, none of this would matter much if the federal government weren’t so involved in our lives. But we have gotten to this point because leftists have spent the last one hundred years expanding the power of government. That worked out great for the left as long as they were the ones in control. Now, however, they face the agony of turning over all that power to someone they view as anathema. The left never learns the lesson that every time you empower the government to give you something, you also empower it to take away.

In a more perfect world, elections wouldn’t matter so much because the government wouldn’t be so big. That’s how things were back in the late 19th century, when the federal government didn’t do a whole lot. It’s hard to imagine, for instance, that the course of history would have been altered very much if the Cleveland-Blaine election of 1884 had been reversed.

Critics of the two major parties have often claimed that ‘there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them.’ But in truth, there’s a world of difference between the views and agendas of the people Hillary would have appointed and those that Donald Trump is already appointing. If Trump manages to appoint two or more strict constructionists to the Court, and also manages to significantly reduce immigration, his presidency could end up being the most consequential since FDR’s. And that’s not entirely a comforting thought, because elections should not matter this much.

The problem was summarized succinctly a number of years ago by Jerry Pournelle.

We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.

Indeed, the fact that elections are so consequential is a reflection of our political system’s dysfunction. The government is far too big, and too involved in our lives.

It’s Always About the Nutella

Migrant refugees fleeing the war-torn countries of Morocco and Algeria apparently started a huge fire in Dusseldorf after authorities failed to supply them with Nutella.

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nutella-jarWe wonder how much the decision not to provide ‘refugees’ with Nutella was influenced by political correctness. Leftists happen to be boycotting Nutella because they believe it is destroying the planet.

Denying migrants Nutella seems to be just the latest example of leftists putting their environmentalist ideology ahead of basic human rights.

When is it OK to Ignore Federal Law?

When is it morally justifiable for cities and states to willfully break or obstruct federal law?

Most would agree that it was morally justifiable in the 1850s for Northern states to resist Dred Scott and the ‘fugitive slave’ laws.

Historians, however, are less sympathetic to John C. Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification, which propounds that states can ignore federal statutes they deem to be unconstitutional.

Currently, Democrat mayors of big cities across the country are refusing to enforce federal immigration law.

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People who support open borders believe they have a strong moral case. In particular, many libertarians believe that borders and citizenship laws are just means of oppressing people, denying them the basic right to move freely in search of work and a better life.

This argument clearly has some merit, but I don’t find it entirely convincing. Effective borders serve to reduce chaos and ethnic strife. Moreover, open borders, as a practical matter, are incompatible with the modern welfare state. As Milton Friedman said long ago, you can have open borders or a welfare state, but not both. If libertarians want to open up borders, they should first work on setting the necessary preconditions by rolling back the welfare state.

Deciding which federal laws we can ignore is a tricky and dangerous business. If liberals and libertarians think that their moral arguments trump federal law, then can conservative localities do the same? In particular, can a conservative state like Utah or Oklahoma choose to ignore Supreme Court case law and enforce a statewide ban on abortion or gay marriage? Libertarians may disagree, but most citizens of those states believe they have a strong moral case.

How do we resolve conflicts between the law and our moral conscience? I’m not sure I know the answer, but Lincoln’s dictum that a nation divided against itself cannot stand should serve as a cautionary warning.

And as long as we’re on the subject of morality and the law, I have a question about when it’s OK for a private business to refuse service. For instance, Twitter this past week implemented a purge of numerous clients who were using the medium to propagate right-wing views. Many of the users who had their accounts terminated had never tweeted threats of violence, nor had they singled out other users for harassment. Some of the banned users even possessed accounts that had previously been ‘verified’ by Twitter, a distinction usually reserved for celebrities and public figures. Yet Twitter banned them on the basis, apparently, of their political views.

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Many commentators defended Twitter’s actions by asserting that, as a private company, Twitter is not bound by the First Amendment, and can therefore censor views it doesn’t like. This argument was made repeatedly in the comment threads of both conservative and liberal websites. For instance, at the USA Today, the most ‘liked’ comment among hundreds made essentially this point. usatoday

If Twitter were a newspaper or a book publisher, I would agree. But in the case of Twitter, the legal analysis does not seem so obvious. Twitter, it could be argued, is less like a private club and more like a public accommodation that offers a service to the public like a phone company. And the fact is that public accommodations are not legally free in all cases to censor speech. The phone company cannot terminate your service for telling an offensive joke over the phone. And under the Supreme Court’s 1980 “Pruneyard” decision, a California shopping mall–a private entity, to be sure–was told that it had to accommodate free speech.

In any event, I am not a First Amendment lawyer, but I do wonder about the apparent legal double standard. How is it that Twitter, as a private platform, can refuse service to right-wingers merely on the basis of their political views, but a private bakery cannot legally refuse to participate in a gay wedding? Can someone clarify that for me?

Furthermore, the foregoing discussion concerns only the law, and not what is morally right. Twitter might be able to censor speech legally, but that does not imply that it is moral for them to do so. As we have seen, morality and the law are often in conflict.

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Sad News: Libs Unable to Flee from America

One of the more amusing phenomena of every US election year is the parade of shitlibs declaring that if the GOP candidate wins, they will leave the country.

According to at least one poll, 28% of Americans have at least considered leaving the United States for good “for a country such as Canada” if Trump is elected. Of those who said they’re considering fleeing, 14% rated the probability as “very high”. Google searches for the phrase “move to Canada” spiked dramatically after the Super Tuesday primaries in March put Trump into the lead, hitting levels never before seen.

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to rid America of shitlibs. Most of them are not serious about leaving, but even those that are serious would be in for a rude awakening once they find out that no one will have them. In point of fact, it is difficult or impossible for most middle-class Americans to migrate out of the country.

I suppose Americans can be forgiven for thinking that, just because the US has a porous and broken immigration system, the rest of the world does too. But the fact is that immigration requirements are strictly enforced almost everywhere in the world. In order to win admission, you’d have to either be rich or have a universally marketable credential, like a medical degree. You and everyone in your family would also probably need to be free of any pre-existing medical condition.

Consider the case of Canada, a favorite destination because it is geographically close and English-speaking.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see whether I’d qualify for the Canadian equivalent of a green card. My fluency in French, the fact that I attended a Canadian university and have family in Canada help, but without a job offer from a Canadian company or skills in demand in Canada, I’d be rejected. Go ahead, see how you’d fare.

Many Americans will find it tougher to win admission to Canada than they assume. Then, too, there are some Americans that Canada won’t want, including, sadly, those they feel will be too much of a drain on the country’s single-payer healthcare system. A university professor from Costa Rica, Felipe Montoya, recently was denied permanent residency in Canada because his son has Down’s syndrome.

It’s true that Germany last year admitted a million new ‘migrants.’ But those were people claiming to be ‘refugees.’ If you’re not claiming refugee status, you’ll have to have an employer in Germany who will sponsor you, and the German government doesn’t make it easy for that employer to do so. The employer is going to have to want you badly because of some rare skill you possess. This, of course, underscores the insanity of Germany’s system. Completely uneducated and unskilled economic migrants from North Africa and the Near East can get residency by claiming to be refugees, even if they aren’t. But an American educated professional with job experience will find getting residency much tougher.

Notwithstanding the fact that the US seems to resemble a bus station for everyone in the world, in the rest of the world it is generally not possible for ordinary people to relocate across national borders. There are a few exceptions, of course, such as the countries within the European union. Various EU treaties have made it relatively easier for EU citizens to move to different countries within the EU. But that’s a privilege reserved only for EU citizens, not Americans.

Historically, all this border enforcement is a relatively recent phenomenon. As recently as the 19th century, nearly all borders, including the US borders, were unsecured, and people were completely free to cross at will. But that was only the case because, in those days, hardly anybody could migrate because travel was so difficult. There were no planes, trains, cars, or paved roads, and most people never in their lives traveled more than 20 miles from the town in which they were born.

Starting in the late 19th century, a lot of people did migrate to the US by ship, and the US was willing to accept them because the vast continent was still mostly empty. But after two or three decades of mass immigration, in the 1920s the US brought most immigration to a halt.

The bottom line is that most ordinary shitlibs aren’t going anywhere, even if they wanted to. That’s why it’s particularly galling when rich celebrities like the execrable Amy Shumer declare they’ll emigrate in response to a GOP victory. Unlike the rest of us, rich celebrities can actually emigrate, and by declaring they’ll do so, they’re flaunting their privilege. It’s really quite distasteful.

Again: How Much Immigration is Too Much?

Back in June, I posed a question: How much immigration is too much?

Would America be able to successfully absorb, say, a billion immigrants?

At that time, my question was directed at libertarians who advocate open borders. But now it appears I need to direct the same question to Ohio Democrats.

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Democrats surely have political reasons for saying that foreigners have a right to immigrate to the U.S., but the position makes absolutely no sense from the perspective of either law or policy. As far as the law is concerned, Congress has plenary power over immigration.

The broad power of the federal government to regulate the admission, removal, and naturalization of non-citizens has its roots in the early history of the United States. Modern statutes, Supreme Court decisions, and federal agency regulations attest to the plenary nature of this power.

Throughout the history of the United States the Supreme Court has upheld all manner of federal statutes regulating immigration…The Supreme Court’s basis for action is clear when the area regulated is naturalization. Article 1, § 8, clause 4, of the United States Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

To date there have been no successful challenges to federal legislation that refuses admission to classes of non-citizens or removes resident aliens. Federal immigration power thus appears limitless. Indeed, the Supreme Court has stated: “[O]ver no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete.” Fiallo v. Bell (Sup.Ct.1977), Kleindienst v. Mandel, (Sup.Ct.1972), and Oceanic Steam Nav. Co. v. Stranahan (Sup.Ct.1909). Extreme judicial deference bears witness to the truth of this statement.

In other words, the United States can legally exclude anyone, for any reason. Foreigners have no legal right to immigrate to the United States.

The idea of literal open borders also makes no sense from the standpoint of policy. If the United States invited the entire world to immigrate, more than a billion people would want to come. A 2008 poll by Reader’s Digest found that most people in India say they would like to immigrate to the United States.

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That’s 73 percent of over 1.2 billion people, implying more than 870 million potential migrants from India alone. This figure amounts to nearly 3 times the current U.S. population.

Of course, most of these people would not possess the financial means to pay for their own transportation. But law professor Eugene Volokh, himself an immigrant, points out that the U.S. would have difficulty absorbing even 10 percent of these potential migrants.

[S]ay that political barriers were removed, and only 10% of those people would actually come. That would be 80 million new Americans, perhaps in the span of only a few years. And that’s just from India. Where would they all go? What freeways would they drive on?

In today’s world, completely free immigration is simply not a serious policy. So why would Hillary’s campaign endorse it? Well consider that other result of the Reader’s Digest poll.

26% of respondents in India support McCain while 61% support Obama.

If the voting patterns of immigrants were reversed, Democrats would be drawing up Davis-Bacon union contracts to Build the Wall.

UK Authorities Still Failing to Protect Children from Rape Gangs

Two years after a horrifying investigation revealed that organized gangs of Pakistanis sexually abused and trafficked at least 1,400 underage girls in the city of Rotherham, witnesses say that police have still not managed to shut down the gangs.

Express.co.uk has pieced together shocking testimony from victims, campaigners and local residents in a large-scale investigation series being revealed throughout this week.

They all told us how police and the local council is still “failing” thousands of vulnerable girls.

It reveals how organised, criminal gangs of paedophiles are still using the town as their own personal fiefdom, peddling underage girls for sex as part of a multi-million pound crime empire.

The men are predominantly from the city of Mirpur in the disputed region of Kashmir, on the border between Pakistan and India.

[…]

In shocking testimony the father of one girl who was raped by the criminal gangs told how packs of young Kashmiri men linked to her abuser still turn up outside his home to intimidate the family.

One of the ways the grooming gangs were able to get away with their crimes for so long was due to a coordinated campaign of witness intimidation, which made the girls and their families too scared to speak out.

Recalling a series of incidents which took place in March this year, he said: “Every night for 13 nights out of 14 between midnight and 1am we had people coming and knocking on the door saying it was takeaways. We don’t really eat takeaways, and when we looked through the spy hole they had no food and you could see a car full of Asians.

“We had my granddaughter for the day nine weeks ago and we took the dog for a walk. On the way back I noticed two BMWs full of Asians.

“We were going past and we heard them saying something, but we just ignored it. We got across the road and all of a sudden we started hearing this abuse ‘you white bastards, don’t think your daughter is safe’, things of that nature.

“There was no one else in the street so it was obviously aimed at us. The next moment this big Pakistani guy with a shaven head – he was wearing some sort of robes – put his arm out of the car window and he was waving a tin of lighter fuel shouting ‘we will see, we will see’.”

[…]

He added: “These groomers, these paedophiles are still running this town and the police are still doing what they were doing back in the day – nothing. Children in this town are at risk now and it’s appalling.”

His comments were echoed by a former social worker who helps victims of abuse. They agreed grooming is still happening on an “industrial scale” and said new girls are still coming forward every week with harrowing tales.

[…]

In many instances the abuse is so open that neighbours in the town are aware it is going on.

But they say they feel powerless to act because of police indifference and the vice-like grip the criminal grooming gangs have achieved.

A concerned resident told Express.co.uk he regularly saw cars full of abusers kerb crawling in the area around his home, adding it is an open secret taxi drivers still target local schools at home time in the hope of picking up young girls.

The man – a former university lecturer – said he was “furious” grooming is still going on so openly despite the public outcry.

He said: “It’s not stopped and I’m furious about it. It’s rampant and it’s very, very wrong.

“I’ve seen the young men and they are like dogs on heat outside the house, they won’t go away. They are outside a white girl’s house, the kid is screaming in the kitchen, the men want to get in and screw her but the police aren’t interested.”

If the police won’t do anything, then it falls to citizens to take matters into their own hands. But unfortunately, the UK has no Second Amendment. The government therefore not only fails to rein in the rape gangs, but then actively denies citizens the means of defending themselves from the gang violence and intimidation.

Stories like this serve as a reminder that the National Rifle Association is perhaps the most important civil rights organization in America.

Somebody once said that the job of the police is not to protect the public from criminals, it is to protect the criminals from the rough justice the public would mete out. From that perspective, evidence suggests that UK police are doing their jobs all too well.

Germany: Speak against government policy, go to jail

If living in a free society means anything, it must be that ordinary people get to participate in choosing the government and its policies. That means, ordinary citizens get to speak out to make their views known on public policy. If people are not free to speak, there can be no real public discourse, and therefore no real freedom.

Germany is supposedly a free society, and by far the biggest policy issue there is the recent massive migration of Arabs into the country, and the prospect that the migration will continue. As we reported previously, the issue is so momentous that a mainstream Brookings economist called the policy a “radical social experiment” that could potentially “change the face of Germany.”

On a matter of such grave import for the fate of the nation, people in a free society would be expected to publicly express their views. But when a couple in Germany set up a members-only Farcebook page critical of the migration policy, a judge fined them and threatened them with jail.

Peter M. founded a secret group called AFB (Anti Refugee Movement) about a year ago on Facebook. As a secret group, people who are not members of it would have been unable to see its content. He and his wife Melanie were administrators of the Facebook group, so both had to attend the court on charges of sedition.

The offending Facebook page’s founding statement was read out in the courtroom. Written by Peter M. it read: “The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk. Bring an end to it!”.

In a free society, that’s legitimately protected speech. But Germany is apparently not a free society. Indeed, Facebook examined the site and could find no problems with it.

Unhappy with the fact that Facebook would take no further action, anonymous users turned to a police station in Lübeck. There, officers traced the internet activity to a computer in Vierkirchen in the Dachau district of Bavaria.

Raiding the couple’s flat, their computing items and digital storage were seized by the criminal investigation department in Furstenfeldbruck.

So Germany is a country where the police make ‘raids’ on citizens for exercising their fundamental rights. Guess some things never really change.

Judge Lukas Neubeck, presiding over the case, said the fact the group had a picture of a German flag on its Facebook page confirmed for him that AFB (Anti-Refugee Movement) is a right wing group.

The leftist judge’s mind is so distorted that he takes an expression of patriotism–posting the German flag–as incriminating evidence. If only the organizers had thought instead to post the hammer and sickle, or perhaps the black flag of Al-Qaeda. Then at least the judge wouldn’t have been able to indict them for being ‘right wing.’

In court, Peter M. and Melanie’s 10-month-old son sat on his mother’s lap and the pair had no one legally defending them. The barrister had resigned before the trial.

Within the Dachau courtroom Peter M. said:

“You cannot even express a little bit of criticism about refugees without getting called a Nazi.

“I just wanted to create a discussion forum where people can speak their minds about the refugees.”

[…]

Scolding the pair, Judge Neubeck said: “The description of the group is a series of generalisations with a clear right-wing background.”

The Judge sentenced Peter M. to serve a nine month suspended prison sentence, on probation. Melanie was ordered to pay a fine of €1,200.

“I hope you are clear on the seriousness of the situation. If you sit again in front of me on the dock, you will go to jail,” Judge Neubeck warned.

I must be extremely right wing, because I think the one who ought to go to jail is this commie judge.

Normal people need to wake up and start fighting back against these leftist freaks. And soon.

Orlando Exposes Political Cynicism

The recent mass shooting in Orlando should be a huge embarrassment for America’s political establishment. The shooting, after all, represents a failure of government in its primary responsibility: safeguarding the American people from violence. To evade responsibility for this abject failure, the political class desperately wants to change the subject by providing a distraction. And so, in order to defect attention and to reframe the issue, they have shifted attention to the issue of gun control. In this endeavor, the political class has been assisted, as usual, by its lapdogs in the national media. The effort , unfortunately, has been successful. Nearly all discussion in Congress and in the media is now focused on gun control, rather than on the failed policies and practices—immigration, political correctness, and an inadequate FBI investigation—that enabled the terrorist attack.

The political class is actually quite fortunate that the terrorist used a gun. Otherwise, if the terrorist had used, say, pressure cooker bombs like the terrorists who blew up the Boston Marathon, the pols would have found it much harder to reframe the issue. In that case, they probably wouldn’t have been able to talk with straight faces about the need for more ‘pressure cooker control.’

Making guns the issue is an exceedingly cynical ploy. Even the intellectual mediocrities populating our political class are smart enough to know that guns will never be eradicated from American society, any more than prohibition eliminated alcohol or drugs. Any attempt to go door-to-door to confiscate 300 million firearms would lead to civil war. As a result, criminals and terrorists who want guns will always find a way to obtain them. Very strict gun control in France did not stop terrorists from shooting up Paris.

The above observations are so patently obvious as to be almost banal in their expression. The more interesting question is what recent events tell us about the nature and character of our current political class. Instead of responding to the attack with candor and sagacity, the political class resorted to cynicism and disingenuousness. Instead of accepting responsibility, the pols, including President Obama, engaged in deflection and ass covering. The political class, as usual, showed itself more interested in evading accountability, and in preserving and enhancing its own power and privileges, than in serving the legitimate interests of the American people.

The political class fails to keep terrorists from entering the country. Then government agencies are too incompetent to catch up with and unravel terrorist plots, even when tipped off. The political class puts the American people in danger, and then tells the people they shouldn’t have guns with which to protect themselves. The political class fails, but suffers no consequences; instead, it’s the people who must give up some of their rights. GTFO.

The current political class is, in a word, despicable. Of course, to a considerable degree, the public gets the political class it deserves. A better class of voter, such as perhaps existed in America’s historical past, would never allow the pols to get away with such transparent cynicism and malfeasance. Our despicable political class reflects, sad to say, the degraded state of the typical American voter.

How much immigration is too much?

We have a question for libertarians, a slightly different version of a question we like to pose to left-liberals. The question for left-liberals is: How much government is too much? Or, is it possible for government to grow too big, and if so, how will we know? The reason we like to ask this question is because leftists talk as if growing the government has no risks or downside. Asking the question is a way of injecting reality into the discussion.

The question for libertarians is: How much immigration is too much? We know that many libertarian economists like Bryan Caplan and Tyler Cowen favor open borders. And immigration at this time is the number one issue facing the country. So: How much is too much? Would America be able to successfully absorb, say, a billion immigrants? If the answer is no, then the reason must be that immigration entails costs: a greater strain on public services, lower levels of trust and social capital, and more terrorism.

Even the world’s most famous advocate of migration–German Chancellor Angela Merkel–by her actions admits that immigration must be limited. After accepting a million migrants from the East, and telling Germans that immigration was good for Germany, Merkel paid off Turkey to staunch the flow of migrants. The most pro-migration European countries like Germany and Sweden are now mad at the rest of Europe for not taking enough migrants off their hands. But if migrants are such an unalloyed blessing, shouldn’t Sweden and Germany be happy to keep as many as possible?

Even the Swedes and Germans by their actions admit that immigration must be limited. If libertarians agree, then our disagreement with them is no longer an argument over principle; we’re just debating where to draw the line.

But if libertarians refuse to acknowledge limits to immigration, then their position is more radical even than Angela Merkel’s. In fact, it is more radical than the position of any and every official in the developed world who bears any degree of responsibility or accountability for immigration policy. The open borders advocates frolic in a world of dogmatic abstraction, having little to do with reality. Sad!

Finally, note that libertarians’ support for mass immigration conflicts with the libertarian objective of reducing the size of government. Surveys show that immigrants to America are more likely to support bigger government than is the native-born population. Libertarians love immigration, but immigrants have no love for libertarianism. Good luck creating a libertarian society in an America of mass immigration.