“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”   ~Edmund Burke


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November 27th, 2014

"If you are ticked off trash your neighbor's property." (?)
Pat Buchanan examines the befuddlement in Ferguson.

   "The problem in Ferguson is not the 53-man police department. The problem is the hoodlum element those Ferguson cops have to police, who, Monday night, burned and pillaged the stores on the main streets of their own community.

   "The police were portraits in restraint as they were cursed and showered with rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails. If the police were at fault at all, it was in their refusal to use the necessary force to stop a rampaging mob that destroyed the lives and livelihoods of honest businessmen and women of Ferguson."  Moral Befuddlement

        The once a week message of Sunday School seems not to have penetrated youthful minds, so why not require public schools to spend a little time promoting a basic truth that's widely ignored:  ONE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY THE PROPERTY OF OTHERS.  Thanks to perpetual violence in movies and television - not to mention the influence of other media - we have given permission to young to people to "act out" if they are angry, even if it comes to tipping over automobiles and setting fire to buildings.  

        In our own youth there was a general respect for authority.  Actually, it was fear in the hearts of most kids.  We knew if we threw rocks and bottles of urine at police we would wind up in reform school.  For the majority of young people that was an unappetizing idea.  


  Comment on riots from economist Gary North:

   "The rioters set fires, as they always do. Loot and burn for justice! I remember the rioters’ cries in Watts in 1965: 'Burn, baby, burn!' The law-abiding citizens were at the mercy of rioters.

   "In his great book, From Dawn to Decadence (2000), Jacques Barzun wrote that the Western state is entering a phase of contraction. Politicians have promised welfare benefits that cannot possibly be paid for. At the same time, the state can no longer protect the nation from crime. A loss of legitimacy will undermine the state."

< Unbelievable!  Sitting in the relative safety of one's home scenes on a TV screen show mobs smashing and burning private property in Ferguson, Missouri, to demonstrate what the news media call their anger at the failure of the justice system to prosecute a police officer for killing an "unarmed teenager".  

     We listened in vain for a reporter to point out that massive destruction of private property of people (who had nothing to do with the Wilson/Brown incide) was violent criminal conduct.  It surely would have been worse had the weather been balmy.  

      Authorities must have seen this coming, and they were almost powerless to prevent the wonton destruction.  

  Michael Goodwin puts it this way in the New York Post: "It is impossible to give up on America at Thanksgiving, that unique and most wonderful holiday. Yet it is also difficult to gaze across our troubled land and conclude we are on the right path, or that we’d even know it if we stumbled on it. Events in Ferguson, Mo., are disturbing because they take the nation backward. For those of us who came of age in the real civil-rights era, it is painful to watch the remarkable progress be torched like so much trash. Split-screen televisions captured a confused country at a dangerous crossroads." Looter-day Saints

And this nonsense from a TIME magazine editorial written by journalist Darlena Cunha:  

Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting
 “Peaceful protesting is a luxury only available to those safely in mainstream culture.” (subhead)

     "Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets.”  IN DEFENSE OF RIOTING

        Darlena Cunha and TIME are wrong in their understanding of people's "right to riot" being an important part of the evolution of society.  History clearly shows that civilization has never advanced when mobs took to the streets to destroy their own and other's property.  It's also a common mistaken liberal ideal that any human, by accident of birth arrives in our midst, "deserve" basic human rights.  The fundamental law of nature is - - one survives either by applying his ability to produce some necessary product or service, - or, living out of the pockets of people capable of caring for themselves. This basic truth has been obfuscated to such an extent bright writers like Ms. Cunha actually believe that there is a right of financial subsidy just because an individual exists and whether or not he or she is able to lift a finger in self help.  Moreover, if that person is unhappy he or she may demonstrate anger by trashing anyone's private property.  

       This may be a popular notion, but as Lady Mary Montagu said in the 18th century, "General notions are generally wrong."

        TIME got it wrong.

"When the world hears of the Obama amnesty, millions more from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East will be coming. And if they cannot get in legally, they will walk in, or fly in, and overstay their visas.

   "Why not? It works."  Rogue President

People love to argue about issues too big for them to individually do anything about.  Collectively they have clout, but political opinion is generally split right down the middle which maintains a national confusion.  As far as we can tell the United States has evolved into a welfare/warfare state spending far beyond its means.  Garrison Keillor calls liberal welfarism governmental "kindness."  Conservatives, on the other hand, appear to want to play down the welfarism but maintain a robust military presence around the globe.  The economy cannot stand too much of either....welfarism or warfare, particularly with a high rate of infrastructure decay in the U.S. begging for attention.  (See CBS's "Sixty Minutes" Sunday.) 

Something's gonna give.  Just what...and when...is anybody's guess.

Heavy debt can be deadly.
Or, at least, terribly inconvenient.

    "The most cynical (but not necessarily inaccurate) view of debt . . .  is that banks loan out imaginary money they don’t really have, which money is 'collateralized' by capital they do not really have, which is, in turn, based upon central bank printing presses which create money out of thin air which the central banks don’t really have. But then when debtors have trouble repaying onerous loans, the bankers seize real assets."  

    Being in debt is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you are wallowing under a debt load you cannot pay off. The U.S. federal govewrnment is in just such a position.  As of Tuesday the official public debt, as published by the Department of the Treasury, was  $17,965,853,482,963.66!  This is just shy of $18 trillion, a dollar figure most Americans cannot begin to fathom - - so they don't worry about it very much.  

     Economists amuse themselves with notions that a public debt is no particular burden as long as it doesn't exceed a certain level of the Gross Domestic Product.  But a minority school of economists warn that the public debt is a time bomb poised to explode with enormous impact upon the living standards of modern civilization.  

     Some observers are suggesting that a "Jubilee" be declared and the debt just be written off.  Bondholders and other creditors would be devastated - but it would certainly ease the pain upon future taxpayers. 

     There is not room in present political conversation for talk of dealing with debt, but there will be in early 2015 when Congress returns to the subject of either raising the public debt ceiling or doing away with the ceiling altogether.  

`and don't necessarily