April 9, 2016

"For Americans, and perhaps Anglo-Saxons generally, law is a lowest common denominator of civic morality."

"It’s what we expect everyone to do all the time, and if a law is being widely disobeyed, for us that’s a crisis – we either want to repeal the law or launch a crackdown, but we can’t have people making exceptions on the fly. For Mediterranean cultures, which still shape the thought-world of the Vatican to a significant degree, law is instead more akin to an ideal. It describes a moral aspiration, but realistically it’s understood that many people much of the time will fall short. (If you don’t believe it, come to Italy sometime and watch how the locals approach traffic laws!)"

Writes John L. Allen Jr. — the editor of Crux, which covers the Vatican — explaining how to think about "Amoris Laetitia," the Pope's new exhortation. The Pope didn't change any law, but he encouraged more flexibility applying it.

By the way, I don't agree with Allen that Americans are hot to strictly enforce all the law on the books. And I wish there were more pressure to repeal (and to avoid enacting) the laws we're not willing to enforce, but it seems that a lot of us like aspirational junk cluttering the statute books and making us skittish people uneasy and tempting corrupt officials to selectively prosecute. Just look at Colorado's open commerce in marijuana and the federal Controlled Substances Act. Why isn't that bothering people more? And look at the uproar among pro-lifers when Donald Trump said that if abortions were criminalized the women that have them should encounter some kind of punishment.

54 comments:

tim maguire said...

It's dangerous to look at laws as aspirational or flexible. A law that is widely ignored encourages disrespect for law as a concept, encourages people to look for other laws to ignore, and encourages the government to act capriciously. No one in their right mind would look at Italian conceptions of government as something to emulate.

hoyden said...

Human law is a crude reflection of spiritual law. Spiritual law is the Big Dog of law. It's a good thing that evil contains the seeds of its own destruction. If it were otherwise evil would have overrun the planet thousands of years ago.

Spiritual law is not sentimental. As America and the world in general strays farther from spiritual law we're going to be in for a bumpy ride. The good news is each of us has a choice and no one can force us to break the law.

Ann Althouse said...

@tim

As I read the Gospels, Jesus called us to such a high standard that the point seems to be that it's impossible to do that well. All fall short and all are therefore in need of forgiveness.

Look at what he said about divorce in Matthew 19:

"Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”...“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”"

So the Old Testament level of the law was too lenient. The real standard, revealed here, is even higher. And all those of us who have divorced and remarried are committing adultery.

Now, does that breed disrespect for the law? One could say it breeds respect for the Moses level of law. At least follow that, but there's a higher, aspirational standard that has some effect. It's something to think about when you contemplate divorce, but if you are divorced and trying to live a good life going forward, should the idea be never to remarry?

David Begley said...

Better yet is to selectively enforce laws based upon Obama's whim. Let CO do its thing on pot and let the entire world immigrate into this country. Waive ACA compliance for friends. GM BK favors the unions and right dealers. On the other hand, drive coal, oil and nat gas companies out of business. Enact Dodd - Frank so that every bank spends a fortune on compliance. Have State AG's investigate CAGW opponents.

The destruction of the Rule of Law in America is Obama's greatest legacy.

virgil xenophon said...

What Begley said!!!

The Drill SGT said...

"It’s what we expect everyone to do all the time, and if a law is being widely disobeyed, for us that’s a crisis

Anglo-Saxon's get that respect for the law from Germans. Every German, and I mean every actual genetic German expects and demands that all other drivers will absolutely obey every traffic law. A German motors down a primary road knowing with certainty that every car on a secondary will yield. All.The.Time.

It gets very interesting in the Sud Tirol (Bolzano) where Germans (well Austrians) meet Italians...

tim maguire said...

Prof, thank you for the reply. When I talk about law, I'm talking about government laws. When I talk about biblical law, I qualify it as such because it is something fundamentally different. The inability to obey biblical law is key to the whole operation--we all fall short; therefore, we can find grace only through Christ's foregiveness.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Tim.

This is the thing about religious law and it shows the great value of the separation of government and religion.

David Begley said...

I should amend my comment. Destruction of the Rule of Law is Obama's greatest domestic legacy. Making Iran great again is his top foreign policy achievement.

Pass it on. Obama made Iran great again.

clint said...

We're already well on our way.

We have an (almost) national drinking age that a supermajority of young adults violate on a regular basis.

We have speed limits on the interstates which typically fall ten mph below the average traffic flow, outside of rush hour.

Neither is even aspirational -- they are just ignored.

aritai said...

Strange your world doesn't make more use of 2-corinth where some of you observed that many things are best left to individual choice rather than coercion. Else you deny a soul the opportunity to save themselves by their own decision to do good or ill. This denial or affirmation of adulthood being the most important decisions you will make as a society,given these decisions do the inverse, they’ll either doom you or save you as a people. “vice the (Spanish) inquisition, we’ll save you in spite of, or despite yourselves.” The question in this case is “why is xyz the government’s business? "why does, why should the government’s have any role in abortions? Must it be involved, even with the best of intentions? Can anyone else conceivably deal with it? Etc.

Why should individuals not be free to feed the hungry, heal the sick, save the child born and unborn by providing alternatives, or even mutilate themselves or end their own life or their unborn child’s even if they are arguably not sane, because who can actually know this?. Does this belief in a smaller less intrusive government make your ptb the most moral of all the candidates? Granted, only a few, arguably the most moral of the evangelicals believe the best vector is ever increasing free will, as Paul says his god inspired him to believe, but at least a few of the leading evangelicals will publicly affirm this as necessary for personal salvation. Your pTb is either very knowledgeable or asks good questions of his people. “What is the most fundamental thing that this voluntary association of people value?” And then he commits to do his best in trying to deliver it in return for their support, even if he doesn’t believe it in himself. Amusing that he believes in Peak government, and likely not Peak oil, trusting instead in your own ingenuity and free will which is a synonym for morality to solve both. Good luck.

Ambrose said...

Not to make light of the seriousness of the sex scandals, but this same attitude does explain in part the Church's woeful reaction. "Oh well, we are all sinners. Father Dan has confessed his sins and says he is sorry. Let's just move to a new parish so he can have a fresh start."

David Begley said...

Clint:

One of my biggest concerns. A teenager can join the Marines and get killed in Iraq but can't legally buy a beer.

It breeds disrespect for the law and encourages law breaking.

Guildofcannonballs said...

What is American? Does it include the values and opinions of illegal aliens on U.S. soil?

Who is "we" in the context "It’s what we expect everyone to do all the time"?

Is expecting laws to be enforced equally as written the same as wanting a "crackdown?" What does it mean that writing laws and expecting them to be enforced equally, versus openly demanded written Executive branch top-down directives that the law as written is racist and cannot be applied anyway nohows because there ain't no money for it, is seen as taking "severe measures" according to the definition of crackdown?

Blacks in America have long known the Law is a ass as did Sammy Johnson. It is an all-too-often violent tool of repression and revenue generation by creating the problem of needing more jails with more financing and construction and utilities and maintenance personnel. And more social workers. And more bureaucracy to handle all the needed people, to keep us safe. And law school guilds with their very special reasons for limiting the speech inside a courtroom to the guilded in good and sometimes even heroic standing, like Bobby Kardasian or Johnny Edwards or Billy Kunstler or Freddy Riedenschneider or Hillary Clinton.

Whites are starting to get it, a little, especially with April 15th looming. How many oxes gored before some real change in the justice "game" as Dylan sang?

Conrad Black. Gov. Rick Perry. Scott Walker. Mark Steyn. James O'Keefe. And on and on.

Levi Starks said...

I'd like to discuss with regard to emigration generally, and illegal emigration in particular. It appears that when people find themselves in either financial, or physical danger, and seek asylum, they tend to move from countries, or areas where there is little respect for the rule of law to nations where rule of law is the expectation. When Hispanics travel illegally from south of the border to live and work in the USA they are causing a diminishment of the very nature of the legal system from which they wish to benefit.
They are in effect saying "we don't respect your emigration laws, but now that we're here, we expect to benifit from equal protection under the law"
You can spout hate for old white Christian men all day long, but when deciding where to live you'll most likely decide you want to live under the protection that 100s of years of their laws have brought.

traditionalguy said...

Anglo-Saxons discovered their Common Laws were often a harsh thing that did more injustice in practice, so they King seeking another source of revenue from his Court System ( Not the Barons Manorial Courts) started an appeal to the King's conscience that evolved into Chamcery and today's Equity Jurisdiction giving Judges more flexibility.
But will they enforce that? They probably will because how else can Rome qualify as head of the UN mandated New World Religion. This Jesuit has already co-opted the UN's Global Warming Hoax enforcement ideology position.

Bay Area Guy said...

Social mores are much more important than laws. Everyday you have to interact with many strangers, but rarely do breaches of the law come into play.

Sebastian said...

"I don't agree with Allen that Americans are hot to strictly enforce all the law on the books" Correct. How many courses at UW examine selective non-enforcement?

Dilemma for us law & order types: any law is liable to abuse by power-hungry prosecutors, crony capitalists, cluelessly-nullifying juries, and Prog SJWs. No thou-shalt-enforce-consistently meta-law will help.

The Drill SGT said...

In the Army there is a theory of Command and Management that says:

"Never give an order you know won't be obeyed"

It is bad for discipline and demonstrates you are a fool.

Birkel said...

Althouse: "And all those of us who have divorced and remarried are committing adultery."

WRONG!

There is a clause referring to sexual infidelity that you missed.

pm317 said...

By the way, I don't agree with Allen that Americans are hot to strictly enforce all the law on the books.

I actually agree with the man having seen the other extreme growing up in India. Your examples of laws not being enforced are weak in the context of what goes on in other countries.

chuck said...

Like the EU, eh? I've always thought it unfair for the French to push policies and laws on the Germans because the Germans will feel compelled to obey the laws while the French will feel free to ignore them. The freedom to ignore laws is what allows France to function.

DKWalser said...

With regard to abortion: Before Roe, in virtually all states where abortion was illegal it was illegal to perform an abortion; it was not illegal to receive an abortion. Was that a logical distinction? No, but it was the bargain that had been struck by society. Women could seek to have an abortion, but doctors could not perform them.

In part, this reflected the reality that a woman in a state that outlawed abortion could travel to another state that permitted them. Why should such a woman be punished for asking her doctor to perform the operation when she would not be punished if the same conversation took place with another doctor across the sate line?

Michael K said...

"You can spout hate for old white Christian men all day long, but when deciding where to live you'll most likely decide you want to live under the protection that 100s of years of their laws have brought."

White Christian Anglo-Saxon men.

To consider what enforcement versus ignoring law accomplishes, it is important to recognize culture. Read Theodore Dalrymple's essay on The Uses of Corruption.

Where administration is light and bureaucracy small, bureaucratic honesty is an incomparable virtue; but where these are heavy and large, as in all modern European states, Britain and Italy not least among them, they burden and obstruct the inventive and energetic. Where bureaucrats are honest, no one can cut through their Laocoönian coils: their procedures, no matter how onerous, antiquated, or bloody-minded, must be endured patiently. Such bureaucrats can

neither be hurried in their deliberations nor made to see common sense. Indeed, the very absurdity or pedantry of these deliberations is for them the guarantee of their own fair-mindedness, impartiality, and disinterest. To treat all people with equal contempt and indifference is the bureaucrat’s idea of equity.


It explains a lot and makes the point that an incorruptible bureaucracy is valuable as long as laws make sense.

DKWalser said...

... I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

I've always thought that there was a time element in this teaching that would be more clear if it were worded as follows: "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife to marry another woman commits adultery." If a divorce occurs for reasons having nothing to do with the desire to be with another person, I don't believe the Savior would have considered a second marriage akin to adultery.

DKWalser said...

..."Oh well, we are all sinners. Father Dan has confessed his sins and says he is sorry. Let's just move to a new parish so he can have a fresh start."

At the time these decisions were made, society had adopted a therapy model for dealing with these sexual predators. We were told that all involved -- the abuser and his victims -- would be better off if this wasn't treated as a crime an punishment problem. It was an illness that required treatment. We were told child molesters could be cured and their victims would suffer no long-term problems if they received proper counseling. The Catholic Church was acting in a manner that was consistent with the best advice at the time. Yes, the Church was also acting in its own self-interest -- which probably made it a whole lot easier to follow the experts' advice.

Of course, the experts were wrong. The therapy model did not work and lots of people suffered as a result. Don't worry. These same experts are telling us there's no problems with uni-sex bathrooms. It's all good.

Anglelyne said...

pm317: I actually agree with the man having seen the other extreme growing up in India. Your examples of laws not being enforced are weak in the context of what goes on in other countries.

OT aside here, but expect to see more and more of this sort of "but we're no different" sophistry, as the progs go into high gear to explain away the U.S.'s ongoing transformation from a high-functioning rule-of-law society to a dysfunctional banana republic.

Bruce Hayden said...

My problem is that this all gives prosecutors and law enforcement huge power, through their, necessarily, discretionary application of the law. And, as a result, we lose respect for both the law and those enforcing it. We are watching the FBI investigating Hillary, but few expect her to spend the rest of her life in prison, even if she did, indeed, commit several thousand felonies in her handling of national defense secrets. Mishandling one or two documents could potentially result in most anyone else going to jail, but she appears to have mishandled upwards of 2,000 classified documents. Maybe a lot more, with her people using keywords to determine what was work related and what wasn't (meaning that there are very likely numerous work related documents that got deleted, instead of released through FOIA). Or, another example - Dinesh D'Souza spent better than half a year in a halfway house in San Diego, after being convicted of two minor campaign finance crimes after making an anti-Obama film. Obama, of course, was elected after his campaign probably illegally took in thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands campaign contributions. Part of it was when they turned credit card verification off, and, thus, no one has any idea where or from whom much of his campaign contributions come from. So, you have an Administration that was probably elected using millions, and maybe tens of millions, in illegal campaign contributions prosecuting someone who made less than maybe $5k in such. Last I knew, the filmmaker who was arrested to justify the Administrations screw-ups in Libya and Benghazi (culminating in the 4 Americans killed there), was still in jail. All so that Hillary and her people could pretend that they hadn't fucked up royally that night (and the run up to it). The law is for the little people, with the important people being exempted due to their importance.

Things have gotten worse under Obama. Fast and Furious was all about selective non-enforcement of laws. We have department and agency heads acting like nobility, in their disregard for the law, esp. when it comes to enforcing it against them and their minions. The President is playing golf and fund raising, and the government is running itself. Badly. What did the VA do with the extra money that they got to clean up their mess? Gave the head bureaucrats who were most involved raises. Didn't fire them though, as our disabled vets die from lack of care. And, maybe the worst one long term - there was a fire recently at the IRS that destroyed more hard drives that might have been useful in determining how deep the targeting of Tea Party organizations went. Meanwhile, instead of being prosecuted, Lois Lerner got her full retirement, despite pleading the 5th Amdt. before Congress. The problem there is that we have essentially a voluntary tax system, and the IRS is now apparently highly politicized against probably a majority of the taxpayers, or at least a significant percentage of such. They don't have the resources (and aren't going to get them, as long as they are so politicized) to really enforce the tax laws (only able to audit a couple percent of individuals a year), and there is little keeping many/most Americans from cheating, except for their history of compliance. I suspect that the more money that is siphoned off to political cronies (esp. bad under Obama), and the more that the federal govt. arbitrarily enforces laws, the greater the noncompliance is going to be.

Marc Puckett said...

John Allen is a respectable commentator but he is in 'defending the innovations of Amoris laetitia' mode here. That first sentence you cite is logically incoherent.

virgil xenophon said...

@Michel K/

Awhile back circa '85 we were vacationing in the UK just after a famous riot in the European Cup finals in Brussels between fans of an Italian football club Juventus and Liverpool from the UK. The London Sunday times had a big write-up featuring the differences in the civic culture of the two nations as an explanation for the fact the Italian economy and lifestyle was at that time more advanced than that of the UK. The explanation given was that the very incorruptibility of the English Civil Service and a culture which abhorred "jumping the que" to gain advantage meant that Britons suffered in quiet despair because of their sense of "fair play" while their cynical Italian counterparts were under no such illusions about "honest government" and routinely "gamed" a corrupt system via bribes, etc. to grease the wheels of commerce and daily life in general. The upshot? Life was seen to be far more pleasant and economically advanced in corrupt Italy than in an un-corruptible England where life was stifled by iron-clad red-tape administered by incorruptible civil servants much as Dalrymple relates..

Bruce Hayden said...

It explains a lot and makes the point that an incorruptible bureaucracy is valuable as long as laws make sense.

Of course, that is the problem these days - the bureaucracy is far from incorruptible. Esp. now under Obama, who runs his Administration through blind neglect (playing golf while Rome burns), allowing fiefdoms within it to act more and more outside the law. I am sure that there have been some, but I am unaware of any mid to high level bureaucrat actually being held accountable for their corrupt and/or illegal acts under Obama. As far as I know, none of the VA bureaucrats whose people were fudging wait lists, thereby killing disabled vets, didn't get fired, and some got raises. Despite new laws making it easier to fire them. And, yes, none of those behind Fast and Furious got fired, and several, at least, got promoted. And, yes, Hillary is probably not going to spend the rest of her life in prison.

pm317 said...

@ Anglelyne

I think the Europeans who settled here took the best from there and made their own best effort to come up with something new but that is all eroding now. I do fear that the original charm of this country is getting tainted by people (not immigrants because most immigrants do understand that) who didn't understand it in the first place. I do think the religion (Christianity) has a lot to do with the way this country shaped up and the aspiration to do it right. Even my mom back home in her infinite wisdom used to simply say it is their religion when I would go back in the 90s to visit her and tell her about my experiences here. Incidentally, we had Christian maid/helper/assistant back home -- she was like family. She was poor but clean in appearance and mind unlike others of her occupation. Now, being an atheist, I am not going to subscribe to any religion but if we must have religions in a society, let us have the right kind.

On a side note, when I hear the promo material for "Tiny Houses" on HGTV, with those young people saying 'we are redefining what success is', 'we want to work less, live more' things like that, I feel so irritated -- I generally yell, 'you fucking lazy bums' and that is who most of these progs and Bernie supporters are.

ken in tx said...

Americans got used to ignoring speed limits during the 55 MPH federal mandate. Some states met the mandate by imposing very low fines for exceeding the limit. Once a population has learned that people who break the law are not necessarily bad, evil people, but just ordinary folks trying to get along with their lives, the concept bleeds over into many areas. It will take generations, if ever, to reverse that process.

Michael said...

The term "law maker" should be banned and members of the legislature should be compensated as follows. Awarded one million dollars for voting successfully to repeal a law, any law, and fined one half million for each law they vote for which passes.

We would save fortunes using this comp system.

Mark said...

What Allen denigrates as "law," with all of its harsh and mean implications, is in reality truth. A truth that is knowable through right reason or has otherwise been revealed to us by God, not to oppress us, but precisely in order to set us free.

glenn said...

"Just look at Colorado's open commerce in marijuana and the federal Controlled Substances Act. Why isn't that bothering people more?"

Because the Baby Boomers and their progeny like getting high. As long as I don't have to subsidize them I don't care. While they are zoned out They aren't competing with me and my kids.

Phunctor said...

Were I God-Emperor, or President if you like the old term, I should take care that all the laws were enforced without exception. And smile as they were hastily repealed.

cubanbob said...

When one considers who makes the law, interprets the law and enforces the law and most of all exempts themselves from the law its hard to respect the law. Respect is earned. So far, it hasn't been. The one thing Obama and the Democrats have boldly and openly done is removed any pretense of the respect and legitimacy the law had.

Perhaps one way to help restore the respect, the inherit legitimacy of the law is to first make them apply to all with no exceptions followed by every law and regulation expiring twenty years from enactment unless renewed individually within two years of expiration.

That should prune most of the current laws and regulations on the books and keep the departments, agencies and legislatures busy enough to avoid further mischief.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Just look at Colorado's open commerce in marijuana and the federal Controlled Substances Act. Why isn't that bothering people more?

Probably because those people have brains.

The real question is why it bothers you so damn much? Are you really that ignorant about the non-dangers of one of the safest analgesic alternatives in an era where tens of thousands of Americans are killed each year by prescription opioids? It is an offensive travesty to the evolution of the human mind to worry about the abominably delusional idiocy of retaining the subject of "Reefer Madness" in Schedule I when it's one of the few drugs to have never caused a recorded lethal overdose. They might as well put bread yeast and sage in Schedule I. Some things are just plainly too damn ridiculous to uphold.

If there's ever been an enforcement absurdity it's cannabis in Schedule I.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Next thing we will ban should be poker chips.

And then Monopoly board game pieces.

It's just impossible to do things this irrational unless living in a police state. Alehouse's complete remove from the irrational unfeasibility of a Schedule I category for cannabis show's just how paranoid the Reefer Madness mass delusion has made her own mind and authoritarian prejudices.

For fuck's sake, the U.S. Federal Government itself has itself provided marijuana to patients, grown at the University of Mississippi, for decades. Under a compassionate use protocol. How does it have any business pretending that it can get away with telling people that it has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision?"

Just preposterous. Impossible to take seriously, as Scalia would say.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do believe that pot has dangers. We know a number of friends and family who started pot young, and 3-4 decades later are close to dysfunctional. Every week or so I get an email from one of them who is obviously blasted on pot. It is hard to read, jumping from Biblical quotes to politics to whatever else. He was fine at dinner earlier that night, but almost incoherent by midnight. The commonality seems to be that all of these dysfunctional potheads seem to have started in high school or earlier - I know a large number of people who started in college, and have been fine, mostly giving it up not long after graduation.

That said, I did vote for CO legalized marijuana, and would do so again.

n.n said...

It is impractical to enact and enforce consumer-side social changes that prohibit reactive parenthood when nearly half of the population solicit for premeditated murder of their unwanted or inconvenient children, and a majority are members of the State-established pro-choice (i.e. selective or variable) cult or are "good Germans" that tolerate the resumption of abortion rites and planned parenthood (e.g. clinical cannibalism) as a "final solution".

That said, "separation of church and state" is a logical fallacy. "Freedom from religion" is a similar logical fallacy. A religion is a moral or legal philosophy that regulates behavior. The church is an organization of people with a common religion or moral philosophy (e.g. Christianity, pro-choice).

n.n said...

Unlike reactive (e.g. elective abortion) and planned (e.g. cannibalism, harvesting) parenthood that are violations of human and natural rights, respectively, purely self-indulgent orientations may be tolerated until they are expressed as behaviors, and until those dysfunctional behaviors pose a threat to other human lives or societal standards.

cubanbob said...

R & B has in his own inimitable (and not overly well thought out) style has a point regarding MJ. Notwithstanding that the difference between a drug and a poison is the dosage and that MJ is hardly as benign as he makes it out to be it seems to me after decades of trying to eliminate MJ use by decriminalization has failed. Let the stoners like the drunks suffer the consequences of their drug use-DUI punishments among others.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Jesus Christ. Say your point, bob. "Hardly as benign" says nothing. It doesn't kill your liver, like alcohol does. It doesn't kill you outright, like anything else can. (Even Tylenol). If you're against people using substances to play with their consciousness, then be an abstinent straight-edge and conduct rock climbing trips in parks. Clean livin'! Ain't it wonderful! Now don't forget how much lead we can pollute the water with so that a Republican can save the money he's using to avoid paying for his buddies' tax cuts.

The government provides marijuana to patients. The federal government. The same government who says they have "no medical use and a lack of safety", whatever that means. Here is a picture of federal government-approved marijuana, FOR ostensibly safe, "medically approved" uses. The same marijuana it says has NO safe, medical use.

So why would the federal government keep (barely) hewing to a law that they themselves "break", and with all the rationale that you and other concern-trolls seem to identify with? Because they're liars.

So you're basically a dupe that the government can rely on for support when it pretends that a concern it claims to have is specific, that it's acting out of any concern other than paranoia and conformity. A compliant public that fears disorder or free inquiry is a despotic government's best friend, as Hillary shows us every day. Which reminds me... Gee, I wonder what her stance on marijuana is.

No one says that intoxicated driving shouldn't be illegal and punishable. That's a complete red herring.

The DEA is a more transparent bunch of jackbooted jackasses and fools than we've got in just about any bureaucracy, and as destructive as these goons come.... shooting puppies that bark to break down doors and gain entry. There's no sense in stripping away the overreach of federal agencies in general unless you include these obnoxious vegetables as well.

Look at these exchanges. Which of these participants do you think sounds more intoxicated?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj-n082LsI4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFC2IZe04EY

Ignorance is a form of intoxication.

Bruce Hayden said...

Michael K above suggested: The Uses of Corruption. It is interesting because it contrasts Britain and Italy. The Brits have a history of honest government bureaucrats, while the Italian ones are notoriously corrupt. Yet, in the last several decades, the Italians have done much better in terms of growth than have the Brits. One difference pointed out is that in a world where there is bureaucratic incompetence and inefficiency, honest bureaucrats keep things from getting done. But, corrupt ones allow the use of money and the like to grease the wheels, which maybe why it is apparently easier these days to get things done in Italy, than in Britain.

I remember back in college in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where we had a bunch of guys in my fraternity from the Chicago area, and they called it the City That Worked. But, it was just accepted that if you wanted to, for example, pass your driving exam to get a license, a twenty on the seat would grease the skids. That was just how things were done there. It always struck me as somehow immoral, likely due to my more British outlook. And, I would (and have) pointed out to my friends from there, that the city that worked back then, doesn't any more. The corruption has overcome any residual benefits that that sort of corrupt government. As those of a less liberal persuasion up in WI will attest, many of the Chicago cops are corrupt bullies (after so many of them came up to disrupt Walker events, etc). If it isn't already, it is aiming to be the Murder Capital of the country. Services are failing, schools are horrendous, taxes are rapidly rising, and pensions for the government employees who have benefitted so handily in that environment are rapidly bankrupting the city. Detroit, here we come.

It is bad enough that a number of our larger cities (as well as smaller ones) are collapsing, often as at least partially as a result of the overhead of Chicago style corruption. But, we are seeing it play out at the national level, where it is even more unaccountable. There is more and more, esp. under Obama, a pay-to-play attitude in DC. Google is spending tens, if not hundreds, of million dollars to buy favorable legislation (including comprehensive immigration reform, plus patent "reform"). And, the Clintons managed to trade access to them and favorable policy decisions for probably better than a half a billion dollars (to them and their family foundation). Moreover, she has the inside track at being the next President, which may mean their family may control over a billion dollars by the time they are done selling themselves. While money is sloshing around DC, making it one of the fastest growing, and highest cost places to live in this country, our military doesn't have enough money to pay for their continuing operations around the world, and, in particular in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria. It appears easier these days to get funding for another bogus solar company, or pro-AGW research than for spare parts for Marine planes. Which, BTW, why 3 of the 4 top Presidential candidates are anti-establishment (and, the fourth is the one mentioned above who has made so much money selling influence). It just isn't working any more.

Michael K said...

"at least partially as a result of the overhead of Chicago style corruption. "

Dalrymple has made the point that, in a small government society like Victorian England, an honest Civil Service is desirable. Alex Comfort a British social critic and writer, once said the British Civil Service is honest and efficient while the American Civil Service was "A rogue Form of Private Enterprise."

Dalrymple, however, says that once the government is being run by lunatics and Social Justice Warriors, corruption is a better option since efficiency in creating destruction is not very helpful.

Michael K said...

"We know a number of friends and family who started pot young, and 3-4 decades later are close to dysfunctional. "

There is an important point made repeatedly that the adolescent brain is still developing and making connections. This is probably where schizophrenia comes from. Kids are normal until puberty and boys who become schizophrenic do so about age 15 while girls seem to develop it at 25 or so. I was reading a New England Journal article about addiction that makes that point.

Here is the article, which is a review arctic;e and pretty readable.

The findings from neurobiologic research show that addiction is a disease that emerges gradually and that has its onset predominantly during a particular risk period: adolescence. Adolescence is a time when the still-developing brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of drugs, a factor that contributes to adolescents’ greater vulnerability to drug experimentation and addiction. Adolescence is also a period of enhanced neuroplasticity during which the underdeveloped neural networks necessary for adult-level judgment (the prefrontal cortical regions) cannot yet properly regulate emotion. Studies have also shown that children and adolescents with evidence of structural or functional changes in frontal cortical regions or with traits of novelty seeking or impulsivity are at greater risk for substance-use disorders.

The use of MJ by children and adolescents is dangerous. I don't care about adults although I think it makes you stupid. Stupidity is not against the law. If it were Bernie would be in trouble.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"I think it makes you stupid" makes a lot of sense considering Obama, Bush, and Clinton (Bill inhaled of course).

It was either pot or the Ivy league is my theory.

Damn pot/ivy gets 'em every single time.

Not Trump though. He saw what happened to "people" and enforces strict adherence to a no drug and very, very little alcohol lifestyle for himself and family, and I wouldn't doubt for those close to him.

The secret service has never been as frightened as when cogitating idea of dealing with a sober POTUS demanding sobriety. No more coke/whores/violence.

No sir.

Bruce Hayden said...

The use of MJ by children and adolescents is dangerous. I don't care about adults although I think it makes you stupid. Stupidity is not against the law. If it were Bernie would be in trouble.

That is pretty much my view too. At least in regards to children, adolescents, and stupidity. I do know some high functioning people though who started pot later in life, and seem to safely use it to take the edge off in their (rare) down time.

Not sure though that I can agree that voting for Bernie is worse than voting for Hillary. But, you seem to be less worried about her level of corruption. And, you aren't the only one - I was talking to a long term Republican the other day who was actually considering voting for her, because, in his view, the Clintons had already absconded with enough loot that she would probably be relatively honest, if elected. I don't see it, and told him that there is much more to her level of corruption than just the money - in particular, I expected that, if elected, she would push the federal government even further into partisan implementation of the law than has been the case under Obama (which is already pretty bad).

Guildofcannonballs said...

Ted Nugent has only consumed a few servings of alcohol his entire life and no illegal drugs, should we all aspire to being more like him?

Count me outer, doubter.

And the elk sleep safe this October in Colorado, thirty odd six in any given field relaxing.

I know how, but hate hunting. I won't starve come The Correction (aka Conflagration, The) but don't want any more of that type of hiking and carving and hauling/hauling/haulinghaulinghauling ever again if I can help it. I don't have the resources for a Dick Cheney heart attack schedule agewise.

Or horses. If I win Lotto and can buy some people to drive horses (with me riding on the back) and they do all the dressing fieldwise then okay, we can do it all over again then, but different (OH SO DIFFERENT WITHOUT THE HAULING) this time.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"We review findings on the desensitization of reward circuits, which dampens the ability to feel pleasure and the motivation to pursue everyday activities; the increasing strength of conditioned responses and stress reactivity, which results in increased cravings for alcohol and other drugs and negative emotions when these cravings are not sated; and the weakening of the brain regions involved in executive functions such as decision making, inhibitory control, and self-regulation that leads to repeated relapse."

Considering lawyers are the biggest drinkers of the collar-displayed-as-white crowd, this is indeed troubling medical research.

It confirms the delusional thinking rampant among the law ilk in many ways.

Michael K said...

"the Clintons had already absconded with enough loot that she would probably be relatively honest, if elected."

If an indication of my opinion of Hillary would help, I am reading "The New Case for Gold, which is explaining how we are on the edge of a new shit storm greater than 2007. Hillary may be bought and paid for but the people doing so are about to take us all down.

I am more and more convinced that Trump. for all his warts, is the only chance to avoid it.

One section I just read points out that banks are far too big and systemic risk is worse since Dodd-Frank.

I'm buying gold no matter who wins the election.

Bruce Hayden said...

One section I just read points out that banks are far too big and systemic risk is worse since Dodd-Frank.

Of course it is worse. Both Dodd and Frank were bought and paid for by the big banks and financial institutions that they were supposed to rein in. And why were they so bought? They had both been chairs of their respective committees for too long, and, as a result, were the ones at the top of the bribery lists. Dodd apparently had one of those preferential Countryside loans. Not the kinda guy you want writing this sort of legislation. And, Barnie Frank was one of the people most responsible for the subprime lending bubble, and, ultimately crash. Again, not the type of person you want writing this sort of legislation. But, because they were both up to their eyeballs in the corruption, and the Democrats controlled Congress, they were the ones in charge, so no surprise that the biggest effect of that legislation was probably to make competing with those megabanks much more expensive.