Death of a Rat

You and I, we are that rat.

That cheese is sin.

That trap is death, the reward for sin.

Our cunning and intelligence, even our patience, will not save our lives if we persist in sin.

“Thus endeth the lesson.”

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Social Security and Crony Capitalism

Or, “How a corporate hack became a socialist idol.”

Brown was not only backed by a powerful Rockefeller outfit, he was also influenced by hand-picked advisors to the CES, many of which were heads of big businesses. Within this context, as Rothbard notes, Brown “was particularly adamant that no employers escape the taxes of the old-age pension scheme.”

Big businesses were upset that their smaller competitors were not providing retiree pensions, and wanted to use the federal government “to force their small-business competitors into paying for similar, costly, programs.”

At the time Social Security was being developed, about 15 percent of workers were covered by a company pension plan, with a little more than 300 – mostly large – businesses offering such plans.

In his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee in 1935, Brown declared that government compulsion of universal employer “contributions” to old-age pensions would make “uniform throughout industry a minimum cost of providing old-age security and protect(s) the more liberal employer now providing pensions from the competition of the employer who otherwise fires the old person without a pension.”

Put more simply, in Rothbard’s words, “the legislation deliberately penalizes the lower cost, ‘unprogressive’ employer and cripples him by artificially raising his costs compared by the larger employer.”

It should come as no surprise, as Rothbard wrote, “the bigger businesses almost all backed the Social Security Scheme to the hilt, while it was attacked by such associations of small businesses as the National Metal Trades Association, the Illinois Manufacturing Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers.”

The Cronyist Origins of Social Security, by Brian Balfour

Social Security will finally die in a few decades: but it will be Medicare/Medicaid that will push the government over the edge first.

In any case, I merely want to point out that this bit of the welfare state – like all the other bits – were not created by some leftist Fighter for the People, but created by the corp, for the corp.





Plastic Straws, and the Lust for Control

…at the heart of every government law, rule, and regulation is the fact that violence must ultimately be employed to enforce those laws. Indeed, Santa Barbara, California has announced a new ban on plastic straws that brings sizable punishments, if violated:

Violating Santa Barbara’s plastic straw ban could land you in jail for up to 6 months and a fine up to $1,000 per violation.

However, the City says it won’t actually punish anyone that severely if they break the rule.

And how do we know the state won’t punish people accordingly? Well, we have nothing but the promise of its spokesperson. After all,

municipal code does state a violation could land the provider in jail for up to 6 months and lead to a fine up to $1,000; however, there are no plans to actually enforce that penalty. Instead, the city will do education and outreach in order to get providers to comply.

In other words, the actual statute makes it clear that any violators are subject to large fines and jail time for each infraction. That means passing out 5 straws could lead to years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

In the future, will judges and city prosecutors refrain from applying these penalties because some city employee said they won’t back in a 2018 news story? Don’t bet your livelihood on it.

The city maintains it is free to begin handing out fines and jail terms whenever it wishes. After all, if the city was committed to not using these punishments, why not write the ordinance in such a way that it’s legally impossible to do so?

More likely, these rather draconian punishments will stay in the law books, and whenever it pleases the city to attack any political enemies or eccentric who hand out a few straws, then victims ought to prepare to be ruined financially, or worse.

[…]

When politicians and activists support new regulations, however, they always downplay the reality that some day, people are likely to end up in court or prison, having their lives ruined for nothing more than wanting to purchase a certain type of milk or plant, or wanting to engage in some other sort of commerce without the proper government paperwork.

Often, the people who are subject to prosecution don’t even know they’re in violation of any law. Most normal people don’t keep up with every government regulation which governs peaceful activities. Normal people know that theft, fraud, and assault are illegal. This is built into the human experience. The illegality of everything else, though, rests primarily on the arbitrary whims of lawmakers. Who can keep track? Often, the first thing the victims of state regulation hear about their “lawbreaking” is a bureaucrat’s demand for payments of sizable fines.

Supporting Government Regulation = Supporting Violence

In the end, though, support of any government law is the same as supporting the violence necessary to enforce those laws. Support of the Drug War, after all, is equivalent to locking fathers, husbands, wives, and mothers in jail for possessing certain substances. Supporting laws against raw milk is equivalent to supporting SWAT-style raids on people who sell milk, and subsequently ruining them with huge fines. Supporting laws against buying or selling certain foreign goods is the same thing as supporting imprisonment and six figure fines for the “crime” of buying and selling.

To hide this violent reality, however, interventionists have invented a wide variety of fictions. In some cases, we ought not complain because of “democracy.” In other cases, we’re told the “social contract” justifies it all.

As Jeff Deist has noted:

Progressives hate hearing that taxation is theft, that government is force, and that every rule and regulation implies violence for noncompliance. It offends them on a visceral level, because their entire worldview hangs on the myth of social contract.

Supporters of the Santa Barbara straw ban are likely to react the same way. “Why, we’ll just ‘educate’ people,” they’ll say. And if people refuse to be properly re-educated? Well, then it’s off to a jail cell, of course, with the state all the while chanting the refrain of an abusive husband: “you see what you made me do?”

The Plastic Straw Ban: Enforced With Violence” by Ryan McMaken

If you weary of tyranny, you will need to drastically reduce the scope and power of the State, and drastically reduce the number of laws, and strongly limit the amount of possible damage, and it to the restitution of damages that the victim actually suffered.

Many Christians refuse to get involved in politics for any number of reasons. Here are some of them:

* Jesus didn’t get involved in politics.
* God’s kingdom is not of this world.
* We’re to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.
* We’re living in the last days.
* We’re just to preach the gospel.
* Politics is not mentioned in the Great Commission.
* The Christian’s citizenship is in heaven.
* There’s a separation between Church and State.
* Politics is dirty.
* We’re not called on to seek political power.

I answer these and other objections in my book Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths. . . .

Are Christians ‘Confusing the Gospel with Christian Nationalism?’” by Gary DeMar

Lots  and lots of reasons why liberty-loving Christians should shut up and obey anti-God slavers, and only tyrannical monsters should speak and lead.

I wonder if these people would quote Romans 13, while leading their people into the cattle cars.




The Aristocracy of Ignorance

Of course, Peter is not at St. Paul’s because his parents went to Harvard; as he makes clear to Khan, he is there because of his hard work and academic achievement. Here we have the meritocratic delusion most in need of smashing: the notion that the people who make up our elite are especially smart. They are not—and I do not mean that in the feel-good democratic sense that we are all smart in our own ways, the homely-wise farmer no less than the scholar. I mean that the majority of meritocrats are, on their own chosen scale of intelligence, pretty dumb. Grade inflation first hit the Ivies in the late 1960s for a reason. Yale professor David Gelernter has noticed it in his students: “My students today are…so ignorant that it’s hard to accept how ignorant they are.… [I]t’s very hard to grasp that the person you’re talking to, who is bright, articulate, advisable, interested, and doesn’t know who Beethoven is. Had no view looking back at the history of the twentieth century—just sees a fog. A blank.”42 Camille Paglia once assigned the spiritual “Go Down, Moses” to an English seminar, only to discover to her horror that “of a class of twenty-five students, only two seemed to recognize the name ‘Moses’.… They did not know who he was.”43

Once again, Khan uncovers the clue to this phenomenon by letting his St. Paul’s students speak for themselves:

“I don’t actually know much,” an alumnus told me after he finished his freshman year at Harvard. “I mean, well, I don’t know how to put it. When I’m in classes all these kids next to me know a lot more than I do. Like about what actually happened in the Civil War. Or what France did in World War II. I don’t know any of that stuff. But I know something they don’t. It’s not facts or anything. It’s how to think. That’s what I learned in humanities.”

“What do you mean, ‘how to think’?” I asked.

“I mean, I learned how to think bigger. Like, everyone else at Harvard knew about the Civil War. I didn’t. But I knew how to make sense of what they knew about the Civil War and apply it. So they knew a lot about particular things. I knew how to think about everything.”44

“How to think bigger” is indeed a fine quality for a governing class to have, but this young man was cheated if his teachers tried to cultivate it as a skill in isolation and not via the discipline of learning “particular things.” It was the meritocratic ideology that paved this road to ignorance. Being open to all comers, with intelligence the only criterion, meant that no particular body of knowledge could be made mandatory at an institution like St. Paul’s, lest it arbitrarily exclude students conversant only with their own traditions. This has predictably yielded a generation of students who have no body of knowledge at all—not even “like about what actually happened in the Civil War.”

The New Ruling Class, by Helen Andrews

For their fear and hate of Christian culture, Our Masters have chosen to raise up a set of governing ignoramuses.

And it is these arrogant, self-righteous ignoramuses that Christians are supposed to cringe in fear before.

Oh, please.

Interesting, isn’t it, that Atheism and Islam both end up endorsing obscurantism in their quest for power.

Something to reflect on.





Evolution is a Fact!

Unsurprising discoveries, from Evolution News

How many times have you heard the phrase “evolution is a fact”? Even some very smart people, who you might think would know better, have been gulled by the constant repetition of variations on this assertion. Sure, you’ve heard it on Friends. You’ve heard it on Cosmos. You’ve heard it so many times from so many evolution advocates that it’s almost pointless to document the ubiquity of this way of talking.

When speaking to the public, why are Darwin advocates so emphatic that “evolution is a scientific fact”? Finally, an article in a mainstream sociology journal has tackled this question. In “Evolution as a fact? A discourse analysis,” authors Jason Jean and Yixi Lu confirm what we knew all along: evolution advocates call evolution a “fact” in order to make evolution appear more certain to the public.

What We Knew All Along

You don’t have to take our word for it. Here is what the paper says:

The primary goal of those who advocate for this discourse has always been to counter antievolutionism by associating the term ‘fact’ with evolution, thereby making evolution appear more certain to the public. … [A]dvocates clearly show how the discourse is driven by concerns external to the scientific vernacular and the practice of science, namely a perceived need to make evolution appear more certain to the public.
(Jason Jean and Yixi Lu, “Evolution as a fact? A discourse analysis,” Social Studies of Science, Vol. 48(4) 615-632 (2018))

In employing this rhetoric, Darwin activists also have a secondary goal — it’s to assert their “intellectual authority” and to achieve “denial of…resources,” specifically “intellectual authority and career opportunities,” to Darwin-skeptics. What, you’re not surprised to hear that either?

From Sociology Journal: Why Lobbyists So Persistently Call Evolution a “Fact”

SO much academia is just politics, social gaming and fund fights.

Sadly, you’ll have to wait till the Great Default for the money to run out, the current scientific priesthood to kindly dry up and blow away, and something new – and hopefully better – to rise up in its place.

Until then? Build the basics of the future today, as best you can. The more you focus and the harder you work, the better the tools the future will have.