Massachusetts fisherman Carlos Rafael pulled in what should have been a life-changing fish this week, but before he could unload it for a huge payday, his local chapter of ridiculous-rule-enforcers, A.K.A., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) enforcement division, took him down. (Whew! That was close.) You see, although Rafeal had filed all the appropriate paperwork to catch tuna, the behemoth in question was caught in his boat’s nets and not via rod and reel, as is specified, well, someplace. As a result, the authorities had no choice but to pinch the fish when Rafael’s boat returned to port. The expected $400,000 payday that could come from the sale of fish will very likely go into NOAA’s asset forfeiture fund. Nice racket. (Or, should that be, nice rod and reel?)
H/T: James Nellis
…cross-posted at LRCBlog.
So….the Republicans have put out their Pledge to America. Is it any good?
Jeffrey Tucker sums it up pithily by juxtaposing short quotes from it and the Declaration of Independence:
Declaration of Independence (1776): “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”
A Pledge to America (GOP, 2010): “Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.”
If this goes on, related fellow TLS blogger Daniel Coleman to me, in another 100 years it will be “Whenever a subpoint of policy within a government agenda becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to organize a committee to change those subpoints of policy and replace them with better subpoints.”
Liberty Central, the Establishment’s attempt to co-opt the Tea Party, has a poll asking us to grade the Pledge. Head on over there and tell them what you think of it. Fellow TLS blogger Jacob Huebert has a couple of good posts on LewRockwell.com about Liberty Central, the Tea Party, the Pledge, and Glenn Beck.
The Liberty Central poll only lets you grade the Pledge as a whole. Here is a quick graded breakdown of important aspects of the Pledge, with short reactions by me in parentheses:
Last week, Lew Rockwell posted an item about officers “subduing” and arresting two people who had the audacity to stand where President Obama’s motorcade wanted to go.
I recalled this yesterday as I read an October 1900 newspaper article, which reported an indignity that VP candidate Theodore Roosevelt suffered when newsboys threw mud at him “and greeted him with insulting language . . . as he departed from the church at which he had attended.” The story was a small item several pages into the paper and there is no indication that the boys were “subdued” or arrested, or that they got into any trouble at all. Instead, the mud-spattered TR just huffed off on his way.
The story included no quotes from experts on how terrible it is that our youth would show such disrespect for a great political leader and no editorializing.
Today, of course, this would be the top news story for a week, Chris Matthews would rend his garments over the blasphemy against our civic religion, and the kids would likely be tazed or killed, and, if they lived, charged with felonies.
Another newspaper article from the same month mentioned that trick-or-treaters stopped by the White House and were greeted by President and Mrs. McKinley. The kids weren’t participating in a photo op, but were just knocking on the front door as they would at any other house. Because you could do that, because the president was not a god.
For more details of the good old days when people treated presidents like the ordinary jerks they are (and how far we’ve fallen), I highly recommend Gene Healy’s The Cult of the Presidency.
(Cross-posted at The LRC Blog.)
UPDATE: Norman Horn points out that The Cult of the Presidency is now available online for free in PDF, Kindle, and ebook formats.
Yesterday on LewRockwell.com, Jeff Riggenbach posted a short essay entitled “Was Robert A. Heinlein a Libertarian?” It reminded me of how much I enjoyed Heinlein’s incredible novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, for its witty characters and thought-provoking political dialogue.
Besides the inimitable Mike (who is actually a computer), my favorite character was definitely Professor Bernardo de la Paz, affectionately called “Prof” throughout the book. He identifies himself a rational anarchist and always has something interesting to add to whatever is going on at the time.
I have taken the liberty to type out my favorite quotes from the book for your reading pleasure. Maybe it will inspire you to read the novel in full…
“Under what circumstances may the State justly place its welfare above that of a citizen?”
“Prof, as I see, [there] are no circumstances under which [the] State is justified in placing its welfare ahead of mine.”
“Good, we have a starting point.”
~ Professor de la Paz and Manuel O’Kelly-Davis