“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.” — Frederic Bastiat

If you anticipate blogging about issue in Venezuela, you may want to add the report “Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela” (Dec. 2009) from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to your reference library.  About this report, a Washington Post editorial notes,

In meticulous detail, the 300-page report documents how Mr. Chávez’s regime has done away with judicial independence, intimidated or eliminated opposition media, stripped elected opposition leaders of their powers, and used bogus criminal charges to silence human rights groups…Particularly shocking is the commission’s account of the role that violence and murder have played in Mr. Chávez’s concentration of power…’Impunity,’ says the report, ‘is a common characteristic that equally affects cases of reprisal against dissent, attacks on human rights defenders and on journalists, excessive use of force in response to peaceful protests, abuses of state force, common and organized crime, violence in prisons, violence against women, and other serious human rights violations.’

In the past, when talking about Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism, I have cited statements from U.S. Central Command, Venezuelan air support during a FARC attack, and reports by Colombian officials amongst other things.  Via Counterterrorism Blog, Douglas Farah adds another references to Venezuela’s link to terrorism:  Eloy Velasco (a Spanish investigating magistrate) has found that ties between ETA and FARC run through Venezuela’s government.

Thomas Sowell laments that reporting and advocacy related to the health care “reform” debate fails to learn the lessons from existing government health care programs and those overseas; but he does not identify why.  To make such a comparison would require conceptual thinking and objective principles; however, such tools have been denied our political discourse by Pragmatism.  Successive generations of Progressive public education, based upon the perspective of Pragmatism, has lobotomized not only our politicians, but more importantly the electorate.  Without conceptual thinking and objective principles, we are reduced to whim and opinions, and blind action for action’s sake.

Chicago community organizer Joshua Hoyt criticizes his former colleague turned President for failing to keep his campaign promise to make immigration reform a first year priority for his Administration, while at the same time the Obama Administration has increased deportations.  In contrast President Bush, from the time he was a candidate through the end of his administration, pushed earnestly for immigration reform even against the opposition of his own party.  Personally, I agree with Harry Binswagner on transforming into an open immigration system for the U.S.

Little Green Footballs reports that the Pentagon Metro Station shooter appears to be an anti-government extremist.  In his chapter “Terrorism in democracies: Its social and political bases” (Origins of Terrorism:  Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind), Ted Robert Gurr made a distinction that explains the recent (post-election) increased concern about and instances of right-wing political violence:

There are two main routes by which (some of the members of) such groups come to accept extreme means:  radicalization and reaction.  Radicalization refers to a process in which the group has been mobilized in pursuit of a social and political objective but has failed to make enough progress toward the objective to satisfy all the activists…Reaction is an analytically distinct process in which members of a regional, communal, or political group resort to terrorism in response to threatening social change, or intervention by authorities.  Whereas radicalization characterizes groups with future-oriented objectives, reaction occurs in defense of a group’s threatened rights or status. [pp. 87,89]

Whereas Gurr would recommend public policies of backlash against violence, deterrence against criminals, and political reform, I see that the Dems agenda is the opposite of political reform, which must be focused upon increasing Justice by using law to protect individual rights.

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand wrote, “When trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need permission from men who produce nothing, when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you, when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.”  [HT:  Free Enterprise]

The Competitive Enterprise Institute reports that so far this year more than 10,000 pages have been published in the Federal Register (contains new rules and notices), and it is on pace to exceed 60,000 new pages this year.  This prorated estimate does not account for Congress passing a major piece of legislation like health care reform.  At this rate, how can a reasonable person know what is and is not legal?

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