4 year old draws gun in school and so naturally her dad is arrested

This one is hard to believe it is not from a joke site. In Kitchener, Ontario:

A Kitchener father is upset that police arrested him at his children’s’ school Wednesday, hauled him down to the station and strip-searched him, all because his four-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun at school.

…“From a public safety point of view, any child drawing a picture of guns and saying there’s guns in a home would warrant some further conversation with the parents and child,” said Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Children’s Services.

Waterloo Regional Police Insp. Kevin Thaler said there was a complaint from Forest Hills public school that “a firearm was in a residence and children had access to it. We had every concern, based on this information, that children were in danger.”

Left, Right, and the political spectrum …

In his 1975 book Dear America, Karl Hess explained what was the “left”, “right” and all points in between. What follows is an excerpt from his book:

“My own notion of politics is that it follows a straight line rather than a circle. The straight line stretches from the far right where (historically) we find monarchy, absolute dictatorships, and other forms of absolutely authoritarian rule. On the far right, law and order means the law of the ruler and the order that serves the interest of that ruler, usually the orderliness of drone workers, submissive students, elders either totally cowed into loyalty or totally indoctrinated and trained into that loyalty. Both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler operated right-wing regimes, politically, despite the trappings of socialism with which both adorned their regimes. Huey Long, when governor-boss of Louisiana, was moving toward a truly right-wing regime, also adorned with many trappings of socialism (particularly public works and welfare) but held together not by social benefits but by a strong police force and a steady flow of money to subsidize and befriend businessmen.

An American President could be said to move toward the right to the extent that he tended to make absolutely unilateral political decisions, with no reference to Congress, for instance, or to the people generally, and when the legitimacy of the regime was supported or made real more by sheer force, say of police power, than by voluntary allegiance from the people generally. Such a regime, also, would be likely to suppress or to swallow up potentially competing centers of power such as trade unions. Major financial interests, however, if Adolf Hitler’s relations with industry, for example, can be considered instructive, would be bought off, rather than fought off, with fat contracts and a continuing opportunity to enrich their owners. Joseph Stalin, of course, had no problem with anything such as independent trade unions or business, since both had been killed off earlier.

“The overall characteristic of a right-wing regime, no matter the details of difference between this one and that one, is that it reflects the concentration of power in the fewest practical hands.

“Power, concentrated in few hands, is the dominant historic characteristic of what most people, in most times, have considered the political and economic right wing.

“The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands.

“Just as the scale along this line would show gradations of the right, so would it show gradations of the left.

“Before getting to a far-right monarchy or dictatorship, there are many intermediate right-wing positions. Some are called conservative.

“Somewhere along the line, for instance, a certain concentration of power, particularly economic power, would be acceptable in the name of tradition. The children of the rich, characteristically, are accorded very special places in the regimes of the right, or of conservatives. Also, there is a great deference to stability and a preference for it rather than change — all other things being equal. Caution might be the watchword toward the center of this right-wing scale, simply a go-slow attitude. That is, admittedly, a long way from the far right and dictatorship, but it is a way that can and should be measured on a straight line. The natural preference for law and order that seems such a worthwhile and innocent conservative preference is from a political tradition that came to us from kings and emperors, not from ancient democracy.

“This hardly means that every conservative, if pressed, will go farther and farther right until embracing absolute dictatorship or monarchy. Far from it. It does mean to suggest only that the ghosts of royal power whisper in the conservative tradition.

“The left shows similar gradations. The farthest left you can go, historically at any rate, is anarchism — the total opposition to any institutionalized power, a state of completely voluntary social organization in which people would establish their ways of life in small, consenting groups, and cooperate with others as they see fit.

“The attitude on that farthest left toward law and order was summed up by an early French anarchist, Proudhon, who said that ‘order is the daughter of and not the mother of liberty.’ Let people be absolutely free, says this farthest of the far, far left (the left that Communism regularly denounces as too left; Lenin called it ‘infantile left’). If they are free they will be decent, but they never can be decent until they are free. Concentrated power, bureaucracy, et cetera, will doom that decency. A bit further along the left line there might be some agreement or at least sympathy with this left libertarianism but, it would be said, there are practical and immediate reasons for putting off that sort of liberty. People just aren’t quite ready for it. Roughly, that’s the position of the Communist Party today…

“At any rate, at some point on the spectrum there is the great modern American liberal position. Through a series of unfortunate but certainly understandable distortions of political terminology, the liberal position has come to be known as a left-wing position. Actually, it lies right alongside the conservative tradition, down toward the middle of the line, but decidedly, I think, to the right of its center. Liberals believe in concentrated power — in the hands of liberals, the supposedly educated and genteel elite. They believe in concentrating that power as heavily and effectively as possible. They believe in great size of enterprise, whether corporate or political, and have a great and profound disdain for the homely and the local. They think nationally but they also think globally and now even intergalactically. Actually, because they believe in far more authoritarian rule than a lot of conservatives, it probably would be best to say that liberals lie next to but actually to the right of many conservatives.”

—–

The Greatest non sequitur?

“The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.”  ~ Murray Rothbard

I have talked with vast numbers of people from what we Americans call the “left” to the “right” and almost to a man they will say that the State is a must. How else would we have roads? Where would our food come from? Who would protect us from violent men? Who would protect us from evil business companies that would take everything we have? (but I thought the evil, violent men already got it all!)

I think that the State exists to this day because men conflate “society” with “government”. I also think that this error is perpetuated by the government run educational system and that is one of the main reasons for the state run educational system. After all, if we look back at the record of mass murder, exploitation, and tyranny imposed on society by governments over the ages who would not want to try something else? It is “education”‘s main job to make sure that man sees the State as necessary and impossible to live without.

This then, my friends, this “leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State” is the greatest error that we must correct in our thinking before man can reach the happy state of peace and prosperity.

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru Responds to Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal

After Robert Wenzel demolished Ramesh Ponnuru in his post, National Review Goes on a Crazed Attack of Ron Paul Monetary Economics,  Ramesh Ponnuru responded to him with more inane distortions. Bob has responded to that.

Bob Wenzel posted this as a follow up to his demolition of Ramesh:

In the comments to my post, National Review Goes on a Crazed Attack of Ron Paul Monetary Economics, , Ramesh Ponnuru has responded. My replies are in italics.

Click on all the links; the whole affair is delicious. The skinny on it is that the National Review and Ramesh Ponnuru did a hit piece on Ron Paul and the Austrian School of Economics by misrepresenting the ideas of the school. Robert Wenzel has been kind enough to correct Ponnuru.

Bob Wenzel goes on to say in his response to Ponnuru’s response to his original piece:

1) I’ve read America’s Great Depression.

So I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t read AGD and instead it you read it and didn’t understand it, that is, you have a reading comprehension problem. As I pointed out in my column Rothbard in AGD anticipated most of your objections to Austrian business cycle theory. Do you have a problem with any of Rothbard’s argument?

2) Whether or not monetary expansion to produce a steady 2 percent inflation rate can introduce distortions into the economy–something, by the way, I never deny–has nothing to do with whether Paul is correct to make the specific claims that I dispute (that even such a steady rate would amount to stealing from savers, etc.)

Again, you don’t understand the first thing about Austrian Business Cycle Theory. During a period of high productivity HUGE amounts of money would have to be printed to maintain a 2% price inflation rate. If you don’t think this would amount to major stealing from savers, I would really like to sell you one of my fog machines I store in San Francisco. I’ll even give you my normal Keynesian-believer discount.

3) Your graph doesn’t, and can’t, prove anything about the relation between monetary policy and government debt.

Oh puhleeze. Are you saying the wars haven’t had anything to do with the expansion of debt and the Fed’s buying of debt?

4) Almost none of the quotation from Hazlitt on Keynes is on point. It is true that I believe the empirical evidence suggests that wages are sticky downward, and that Keynesians also believe this.

Duh, this is what Hazlitt is discussing:

Take this strange sentence from page 14: “Any individual or group of individuals, who consent to a reduction of money-wages relatively to others, will suffer a relative reduction in real wages, which is a sufficient justification fort hem to resist it.” (His italics.)To see how bad this argument is…Again, your reading comprehension problem surfaces.

5) Someone who calls people whose views he dislikes “crazed,” questions their intellectual abilities, swears at them, etc., is probably not the best situated to describe his target’s words as “vicious.”

Oh, so you can give, but can’t take.

Well, I happen to think guys like you, Krugman and Bernanke are crazed. In fact, I think Bernanke is certifiable. Keep in mind that Bernanke brought us the Great Recession (Which I warned about in real time,(see hereherehereherehereherehere and here)  , Krugman missed the eurozone bailout, the turnaround in the economy and will look like a total goof when the price inflation comes. That you guys stick to your absurd theories suggests you are all crazed, even if you are doing it as evil bastard apologists/operatives for the state.

Great stuff! Wenzel is one of the best at explaining economics writing today.

Herbert Spencer

Probably no intellectual has suffered more distortion and abuse than
Spencer. He is continually condemned for things he never said —
indeed, he is taken to task for things he explicitly denied. The target
of academic criticism is usually the mythical Spencer rather than the
real Spencer; and although some critics may derive immense satisfaction
from their devastating refutations of a Spencer who never existed,
these treatments hinder rather than advance the cause of knowledge.
~ George H. Smith (Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies, p. 293)

Roderick T. Long has long been a defender of Spencer and once wrote:

I don’t know what it is about Herbert Spencer that brings out the worst in cultural historians; but the tendency to recycle the same bizarre, age-old smears against him, without ever checking the facts, remains firmly entrenched. Spencer, it seems, is a ready-made scapegoat, attacked because others have made it fashionable to attack him; and few bother to read what the man actually wrote, because “everybody knows” that his ideas, whatever they were, were inhuman and worthless.

To those, like myself, who admire Spencer as a profound thinker and a hero of liberty, the shameful treatment he regularly receives at the hands of careless and credulous scholars is especially infuriating. Indeed, lately I’ve found myself turning into something of a one-man Herbert Spencer Anti-Defamation League. (See my recent skirmishes here, here, and here.) Well, so be it; as long as scholars continue to misrepresent Herbert Spencer, I’ll continue to cry foul.

Those people who love truth will applaud Long’s continued attempts to set the record straight even if he is tilting at windmills. Leftists (and others) love to denounce the “evil men” with a self-righteous vengeance that needs no real truth of facts to get into the way. It is almost cruel to point out to the Spenser haters that they are full of the stinky brown stuff. (almost but not quite)

Economics class in 2030

What a commercial! “Economics Class in Beijing 2030 …”

China has been purchasing gold and will dump US dollars and they have an economy that is growing, while ours in the US is shrinking. What is bringing us down is lack of a free market, which puts goods into the pipeline, employs people, and raises the living standards. Government is the vampire that is sucking the lifeblood out of the nation.

Constitutions

One of early America’s leading political theorists, John C. Calhoun, wrote about the inability of a constitution to limit government:

A written constitution certainly has many and considerable advantages, but it is a great mistake to suppose that the mere insertion of provisions to restrict and limit the powers of the government, without investing those for whose protection they are inserted with the means of enforcing their observance, will be sufficient to prevent the major and dominant party from abusing its powers. Being the party in possession of the government, they will… be in favor of the powers granted by the constitution and opposed to the restrictions intended to limit them. As the major and dominant parties, they will have no need of these restrictions for their protection. …

The minor or weaker party on the contrary, would take the opposite direction and regard them as essential to their protection against the dominant party. … But where there are no means by which they could compel the major party to observe the restrictions, the only resort left them would be a strict construction of the constitution. … To this the major party would oppose a liberal construction—one which would give to the words of the grant the broadest meaning of which they were susceptible. It would then be construction against construction—the one to contract and the other to enlarge the powers of the government to the utmost. But of what possible avail could the strict construction of the minor party be, against the liberal interpretation of the major, when the one would have all the powers of the government to carry its construction into effect and the other be deprived of all means of enforcing its construction? In a contest so unequal, the result would not be doubtful. The party in favor of the restrictions would be overpowered. … The end of the contest would be the subversion of the constitution… the restrictions would ultimately be annulled and the government be converted into one of unlimited powers.

Nor would the division of government into separate and, as it regards each other, independent departments prevent this result… as each and all the departments—and, of course, the entire government—would be under the control of the numerical majority, it is too clear to require explanation that a mere distribution of its powers among its agents or representatives could do little or nothing to counteract its tendency to oppression and abuse of power.

The weakness of limits on governmental power guarantee that the State will grow in power and reach until it becomes a dystopian nightmare.