Turkey Day 2003

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 27 Nov 2003 13:00:00 GMT
From kaba:
"If you think it's wrong to kill someone who is about to kill you, you are too stupid to be allowed to vote." -- Michael James

Kevin Tuma - Thankful - cartoon commentary on things we have to be thankful for. Hehe.

Claire Wolfe - Things to be thankful for - and I'll add one more to the list: [claire]

  • Claire Wolfe!!!

Kim Weissman - The Plymouth Experiment - some little-known facts about the first Thanksgiving.

But the harvests were not as abundant as they might have been, and Governor Bradford and the leading citizens were troubled. They still depended on trade and supply ships for a significant portion of their provisions, and given the nature of seaborne travel in those days, the arrival of those ships was erratic. They barely produced enough food to sustain themselves, and much of their labor went into hunting and fishing, so as to supplement their own needs and to be able to send some furs and salted fish back to pay the debts owed to their financiers in Europe. So the leaders of the colony gathered together, and after much debate they decided to make a fundamental change in the way their colony was organized. They had found the system of communism to be terribly harmful, and so they replaced it with a system of private property.

Claire Wolfe - Bovard on Terrorism and Tyranny - Claire met Jim Bovard at a debate on the Patriot Act. You can read about his new book, Terrorism and Tyranny: : Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil in her article, and at jimbovard.com. [claire]

I've known Jim via phone and e-mail for a couple of years, but this was the first time I met him in reality. He always struck me as extraordinarily kind, generous, and good humored. I'm delighted to say he's even better in person. Here's the sort of guy he is: After the debate, every time anyone would come up to him to tell him how fabulous he was, he'd immediately introduce me and start singing the praises of my writing, rather than accept praise for himself. I finally had to gulp, "Hey, Jim. This is your book tour. You're here to promote your books, not mine."

Angel Shamaya at KeepAndBearArms.com - Gun Banner Wishes My Family to Be Murdered and Die Slowly - a gun banner, Jon Bellamy, sent a hate-filled email to Mr. Shamaya, wishing that Angel's his family would be gunned down in the street. Mr. Shamaya wrote back a reasonable letter, wishing Mr. Belamy a nice Thanksgiving and hoping that if his family ever comes under attack that there is someone with a firearm there to protect them. [claire]

Nicki Fellenzer at Publicola - There are some really scary people among the enemies of freedom - a response to Mr. Bellamy. [publicola]

Kim du Toit - Thanksgiving With The Troops - two communist senators are spending Thanksgiving in Iraq. Kim has a few ideas about this, including: [kimdutoit]

I see that two of my favorite senators, Hillary Bitch Clinton (Soc., NY) and "Red" Jack Reed (Soc., RI) are going to be spending Thanksgiving in Iraq with our troops.

Now I know what you are all thinking, but I'm not going to walk down that path.

From a strategic perspective, it would make no sense for Al-Qa'eda to shoot down HRC's chopper, because they'd be depriving themselves of two of their staunchest allies in the U.S. Congress.

Jeff Snyder at LewRockwell.com - Responsible Only for Our Good Intentions - imagining a world where legislators & those who voted for them and regulators are responsible for their actions. Bill of Rights Enforcement! Now! [lew]

My intention, instead, is to draw attention to the two systemic conditions that make this conduct possible, rational, and inevitable. First, legislators are not responsible for the laws that they pass or for the consequences of those laws. As Lysander Spooner pointed out in No Treason -- The Constitution of No Authority, the Constitution itself grants this immunity to federal lawmakers. Article I, Section 6 provides that the members of Congress "shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place." Thus, legislators cannot be held accountable for any law they pass or for the consequences of their laws. The sole remedy of the electorate is to vote them out of office.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to think of any other situation in which a man is given so extensive a power over the lives, liberty and fortunes of others where, no matter how great the harm he commits, the worst and only thing that can happen to him is that he loses his job


It is instructive to consider what a government constructed on the legal principles of agency would look like, that is, a world in which men who exercised power over others assumed responsibility for the consequences of their governance, where voters identified themselves as the principals of representatives and assumed responsibility for their representatives' actions.

For one thing, it would quickly become clear the extent to which "government" consisted of one group plundering another. For example, supposing the enactment of laws providing farm subsidies or steel tariffs, the consumers who pay the resulting higher food or steel prices and who did not vote for the representatives who approved the legislation could then bring a rather large class action suit for damages against all those who voted for the representatives who approved the law. Assuming they made the case that their food and steel prices were increased as a result of those laws, the voters who elected the approving legislators would be charged their aliquot portion of the damages, to be paid over to the damaged parties, unless the legislators and their constituents could mount some defense. Outside of government, however, where men are accountable under principles of tort law for the harm they inflict on others, the party committing harm may not escape liability by pleading that, while certain parties are injured by his actions, he is not liable to them because their injuries are "offset" in some cosmic balance sheet by the good conferred by his actions upon some other persons, or by some collective overall good to "society as a whole."

As for regulators in agencies, since no one elects them and they don't even claim to be acting as "representatives," it would probably be more just to simply hold them personally responsible for the consequences of their regulations. So, for example, the parents whose children were decapitated or otherwise killed after the introduction of air bags could bring wrongful death suits against the men and women in the Department of Transportation who penned the regulations requiring their installation in automobiles for failing to have foreseen what any "reasonable man" exercising "ordinary care" would easily have foreseen. In other words, subjecting them to the same legal standard regarding negligence to which the men who design and manufacture automobiles are subject.


As there are absolutely no consequences to be paid for using legal force against others, such a system is an open invitation to predation, to the use of law as a means of securing unearned benefits. Far from ending the Hobbesian "war of all against all," government is an institutionalization of it; it makes it a veritable business.


In the 19th century Lysander Spooner pointed out that irresponsibility and unaccountability were the essence of government, in the form of the state. Not too many pause to consider the implications and consequences of this, or will hold them fast once they do. Everyone instead wants "reform" to correct this or that problem, but none of the reforms go to the fundamental systemic conditions that make the state what it is. How, then, can they change the nature of the thing? As Edmund Burke once said, "In vain you tell me that artificial government is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing! The thing itself is the abuse!" There are other means of government than states, and other forms of law besides fiat. It is high time we again started thinking them.

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