C.S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism

I have never been a big fan of C.S. Lewis in general. When I received the following email I very nearly responded back with a negative response:

Dear Joe,

Could I interest you in please posting a notice on your blog of the following new YouTube video from the C.S. Lewis Society of California of my keynote talk at the first annual conference of Christians for Liberty, that was held at St. Edwards University in San Antonio, TX, August 2, 2014?

Thank you for your kind consideration!

Best regards,

David J. Theroux
Founder and President
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621
(510) 632-1366 Phone
(510) 568-6040 Fax

I decided that I should at least watch a minute or two of video before rejecting it.

This quote at about 2:25 in the video made me decide to post it:

Could one start a Stagnation Party—which at General Elections would boast that during its term of office no event of the least importance had taken place?

C.S. Lewis


I came across a great new word today at ESR’s blog. “Kafkatrapping

The term Kafkatrapping is based on the story “The Trial” by Kafka. (whole story here)

The definition: a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…} confirms that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…}.”

There are several variants of it explicitly discussed and described in the blog post. Well worth reading. We run into it a lot from the left, and among anti-rights activists generally.

Today is The One Day…

…we are told, by someone (?) to celebrate the life’s work of one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – gun owner, second amendment supporter and NRA member.

OK, but if I approve of his message and his efforts, then surely every day is MLK Day, no? Just as, if you’re a Christian every day is Christmas.

Anyway; I wonder what MLK Jr. would say today, more than 50 years later, of race relations and the moral state of Americans. I don’t recall him having said;

“I have a dream…of a day when a little black child and a little white child will sit down together, and the little black child will accuse the little white child of exercising “White Privilege” and blaming him for his problems. I have a dream of a time when over ninety percent of all black people will sell their votes to the political party of the KKK in exchange for largess, indoctrination into the authoritarian system, lies and broken promises. I have a dream of a time when black people are corralled into dysfunctional, government-union-controlled schools, discouraged from using the schools of their choice, and taught hopelessness and anger instead of hope and love, and I have a dream today, People, of a time when government will have replaced the father in the majority of black families…”

No, I don’t recall him saying any of that, but that is apparently what some people are celebrating today, while calling for more of the same.

Quote of the day—Matthew Foss


Matthew Foss
From here.
[I don’t know the date or which of the many Matthew Foss’s in the world wrote this. I don’t know if it was a parody or sincere. If you find out let me know so I can update this post.

Assuming it was sincere…

Just so you know what they think of you and what they want done to you.

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Needing clarity

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over what to do with the “terrorism done in the name of Islam” problem in the wake of the recent events in France, just as there is after each such event. Many talking heads say many things, but mostly their words shed darkness rather than light. The first step in finding a solution is properly defining the problem. Without clarity, there can be no visibility.

I have a simple proposal:

The next time there is such an event in a western nation and we can positively identify and surround the perpetrators before they are dead, we offer them this deal: Drop their guns/bombs and hold up their hands and surrender with the remaining hostages unharmed, and they can be tried in the Sharia court of their choice, with the following caveats: the trial must be started within one year, the verdict delivered within two years, and the court must be formally recognized and approved of by at least two leading national Islamic leaders in the Islamic world (such as the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and the Ayatollah of Iran, or similar) who acknowledge in public, in the nation’s native language, to the people of their respective nations, the court’s legitimacy.

Either they find the perps not guilty and we can have an official Islamic court ruling that Sharia is utterly incompatible with western culture, laws, and values; or they are found guilty and executed, and we have an official Islamic finding that terrorism and murder is forbidden under Islam. If no leading scholars will recognize the court publicly it will be a tacit admission they want it both ways – be legal in Islam, but not have the west see that.

Either way, the clarity such a decision would provide would allow the appropriate battle-lines to  be drawn, so the proper war could commence with sides more clearly delineated.

Quote of the day—AM

When someone pulls out multiple master suppression techniques in their writings, odds are they plan on suppressing a group. Joe is fundamentally correct that these people would torture and murder us if they had the chance, or they would stand by as others did so for them.

December 24, 2014
Humor as a master suppression technique
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Nightshade

Tyranny is never forced. It is an act of deliberate and mutual consent between ruler and subject. Refuse. Simple as that.

December 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM
Comment to Refusal as a weapon. There is NO unconstitutional law that Mike Bloomberg can buy that we cannot nullify with armed civil disobedience.
[It’s not quite as simple as that. There are contingencies to plan for. And there may be consequences to deal with. But refusal is a powerful weapon. I do agree that in order for tyranny to succeed there must be a great deal of cooperation between the ruler and the subject.

And that means that every tiny refusal helps. Every tiny cooperation hurts.—Joe]

Achtung, Juden! Das ist Verboten!

In processing a customer order today, we got a “Service Not Allowed” message from our credit card merchant services bank. They’re the ones who handle all of our credit and debit card transactions. We called them to find out what this message means, because we’d not seen it before. Well, they were by this time quite familiar with the “problem”. The problem is MBNA, in this case, who issued the card to our customer, DOES NOT ALLOW TRANSACTIONS WITH GUN RELATED BUSINESSES.

If you’re doing any business with MBNA, you’d best give them a jingle, and DO NOT FORGET this. This sort of thing seems to be on the rise, and it will get worse unless we push back, soon.

Update, Jan. 7, 2015; The customer called his bank, assuming the “Service Not Allowed” was due to a late payment on his part. As I explained to him several times; we were told by our Merchant Services bank that it was due to MBNA policy, and that our Merchant Services people were quite familiar with said policy as they’d had to deal with such denials many times previous. The customer only repeated what he’d said about a possible late payment. In any case, the transaction, on the same card, was approved today. All I can make of it, given what we were told by Merchant Services, is that MBNA will cave without comment or discussion once they’re called on it. From what commenters are saying, the practice of denying transactions may be random, or it may be targeted toward individual customers or vendors. Without more information I have no way of knowing. This would all seem quite unbelievable, except for what we already know about the recent IRS targeting, Fast & Furious, the attempted intimidation of Sharyl Attkisson and others, and other insidious pranks aimed at the perceived enemies of Progressivism.

Quote of the day—Guest

You … keep yourself armed to the teeth and have committed yourself to death, mayhem, and destruction. You are thoroughly corrupted and your ilk has caused the deaths of these poor young kids at Sandy Hook that you call “so called dead children.” You are depraved, paranoid, and heartless. Wrap yourself in your warped misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment as you polish your weapons waiting for more innocent blood to be spilled because of your irrationality and murderous ideology.

December 16, 2014
Comment to Why Sandy Hook Victims Won’t Win Their Suit Against Bushmaster
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.

When people think this of gun owners taking your guns away will only be a “good first step”. People like this will claim they are being merciful when they send you to the extermination camps.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Me

The good-intentioned think that they are being a sort of saint, when really they are just arrogant meddlers.

December 24, 2014
Perils of the well-intentioned
[No, not Joe Me, but another blogger.

This is my model of many, perhaps even most, anti-gun people. Particularly the casual supporter of restrictions upon our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. They have good intentions but they are unwittingly attempting to enable evil. They think they know best when really they don’t even begin to understand the subject material.

This reminds me of many other quotes of a similar nature. Such as perhaps the most famous:

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

Henry David Thoreau
(1817-62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
Walden, “Economy” (1854).

Or Daniel Webster:

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.   It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

One could claim this one is older and better known:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And superficially they would be correct. But the original meaning is quite different than what we have in the current context.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bill Hooper

A Nation Practically Owned and Run by the N.R.A. and Walmart,which has countenanced the Fascist W regime ,and where Jeb Bush is a likely Presidential Candidate DESERVES Gun-toting Dogs on a Rampage.

Bill Hooper
December 18, 2014
Comment to Dog shoots man: Accidental shooting injures man
[H/T to Paul Koning.

Disregard the factual errors and hypocrisy of claiming President Bush was Fascist with no mention of President Obama. This is what they think of us. You and I DESERVE to be shot.

Why are progressives so violent? Oh, Now I remember. It’s in their nature.—Joe]

Quote of the day—kglnyc

You NRA scum are pure evil — PURE EVIL.

December 18, 2014
Comment to Why Sandy Hook Victims Won’t Win Their Suit Against Bushmaster
[And what do most people believe should be done with “pure evil”? Do you think people who believe “NRA scum” are pure evil don’t want to take your guns? Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance of people like this. Failure to pay this price will result in servitude and death for millions of innocent people.—Joe]

Quote of the day—AM

The only way this isn’t blatant hypocrisy is if the Left has denied even basic humanity to the Right. So that conservatives aren’t human, and thus not deserving of human rights. Which makes sense considering how many, “we’ll have the police round you all up and kill you” comments have been thrown at “gun nuts” over the years.

Progressives, still looking to blame someone else and implement their final solution.

December 24, 2014
Comment to Their humor is very telling
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Merry Christmas

And if we’re going to acknowledge the reason for the season (or is it the season for the reason?), well;

“It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn'”

That’s from an old song of course. I found it had a certain ring to it.

Quote of the day—kglnyc

Our society is at fault for allowing people like you and the NRA for creating a national epidemic of gun violence, and one day we will be able to take reasonable legislative actions to control you murderous, greedy, insensitive elements and live freer and more safely.

December 16, 2014
Comment to Why Sandy Hook Victims Won’t Win Their Suit Against Bushmaster
[I’m going to ignore all the factual and logical errors and focus on the really important issue here…

And just what “legislative actions” would normally be taken to control those who are “murderous”?

As I have said before, one might even be able to make the case that the Second Amendment isn’t only not about hunting–it’s about protecting us from people like him.—Joe]

Cruise ship security

Barb and I really enjoyed going on a cruise last February and have been talking to various people about where our next cruise should be. I’m not very happy about the government regulating transportation security even more than they already do:

The Coast Guard is considering new airport-like security procedures on cruise ships, the agency said Tuesday.

After consulting with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Coast Guard is proposing new pre-boarding screening requirements for passengers, crew members, and their luggage.

The pre-boarding requirements could resemble those seen at airports and would include a list of prohibited items.

The individual cruise lines and ships should be making these decisions. Not the government. What exactly does the government think it is going to prevent? Passengers have access to sharp knives, matches, lighters, and with a little bit of effort probably even fire axes and liquid fuels.

From reading part of the proposed rulemaking  it appears they want to standardize the procedures and the list of prohibited items. But “one size fits all” security procedures works as well as “one size fits all” clothes.

It’s clear these people view the lessons of the USSR Central Committee as a how-to manual rather than a dystopia.

Which is better?

This is a slight refinement from something son James and I discussed a few days ago.

When debating which is a better political system we can point to many instances where anti-freedom systems (communists/socialists/progressives/fascists/theocracies/kingdoms/dictatorships/etc.) have been implemented and review the outcomes of those experiments. A significant proportion of those experiments have resulted in a tragedies of epic proportions. A short list from the last 100 years includes USSR, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Nazi Germany, and Romania.

So what are the worst examples of a freedom based political system and how do those compare to the worst of the anti-freedom? I don’t know what my political opponents would give for examples. Would it be the United States? If so, then that little debate would be settled in two minutes or less. Why risk those tragedies when the worst you can do with a freedom based system is so much better?

Taking that tactic a little further we can also ask the question, “What are the best outcomes of a particular type of political system?” For a freedom advocate the United States surely would be near the top of the list with the probable additions of Canada, and many of the countries of Western Europe. I suspect the anti-freedom advocate will include many of the socialist leaning, but generally free countries, of Western Europe.

Rate each of the various countries on some scale from good to bad. This can be used to create a chart with upper and lower bounds of the outcomes. It might look something like this:


So, which system is the better choice? The answer is obvious.

This technique can be use to compare just about anything. In general compare the upper and lower bounds of the two (or more) proposals being debated.

Comparing gun control utopias to gun owner utopias will be left as an exercise for the reader.

Black lives matter

That is one of the communists’ protest lines. But of course they don’t mean it, and Glenn Beck proves it.

They did a great job this morning.

By their lack of response to, or even discussion of, the high crime and violence rates in some of our Democrat-controlled cities, Obama and Company, Van Jones and other mayors, and the left in general, reveal their true intentions. They don’t give a DAMN about black lives. In fact, they continue to push harder for more of the same garbage that helped to create the problem, and they will not stop. They can not stop, for to stop making things worse would require the abandonment of their entire narrative AND trillions of dollars in confiscation and re-distribution schemes.

They’re trapped, in a sense. Everything they’ve striven for in the last 100+ years is going to come crashing in on them. Some of them actually want that. Not one of them understands the implications.

Quote of the day—evilwhitemalempire

I personally wish the blue states (but only blue states) would legalize all the drugs.

Reason: You can’t straighten any of them out but you MIGHT be able to screw them up badly enough to render them useless as a voting bloc.

November 26, 2014
Comment to The Children’s Wing of the Libertarian Party
[I understand the desire to screw up the voting of the blue states but I don’t think drug legalization would have that effect any more than freely accessible alcohol and tobacco does now.

Yes, many of the drugs are much more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco but I think that in general the people who currently avoid them because of their danger would continue to do so. And the people that don’t recognize the danger will, as they currently do, run those risks.

Yes, I believe there will be some people that will use the drugs that wouldn’t have if they were illegal. But I also believe that some people will be more likely to get help and recover from the consequences of recreational drug abuse.

And more importantly, where do you or the government, with a limited set of powers that you posses, get the authority to make decisions about what sort of recreation others partake in? Society has a legitimate concern about driving while intoxicated, or even carrying a gun in public while intoxicated. But aside from a few cases like that it really should be a matter of freedom of choice.—Joe]