There is no law – this is war 216

Mark Levin roars for millions of us:

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 9, 2023

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The martyrdom of Donald Trump 0

President Trump has been indicted on federal charges – all of them absurd – in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Read the indictment here.

It happened on the same day that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives announced they have incontrovertible  proof that when “President” Biden was Obama’s vice president he accepted a $5million bribe from Ukraine. A single instance of his many treasonous crimes.

But innocent Trump is indicted, not corrupt, crooked, evil Biden – or his deeply guilty son Hunter.

Robert Spencer writes at FrontPage:

Donald Trump is the principal opponent of the Biden regime, and the individual who at this point is most likely to be elected president in 2024.

And that is why –

He has  been indicted on federal criminal charges related to the mishandling of classified documents, and is scheduled to be arrested on Tuesday. Not too long ago, when Trump was arrested by the Manhattan DA on bogus felony charges, critics of the Biden regime began to say that America had become a banana republic. We’re racing past that stage now. America is heading toward becoming a new Stalinist regime in which critics of those in power are arrested by the regime itself, tried on false and fabricated charges, and executed. The Left may not plan to murder Trump, but they’re certainly trying to execute him politically.

They might “suicide” him. The “Democrat” panjandrums are adept at that. 

[Attorney General] Merrick Garland and his henchmen [at the “Department of Justice” and FBI] think they’ve found something they can use to destroy the principal foe of the regime, and so fairness, decency, common sense and impartial justice are out the window. Biden’s handlers are treating Trump the way Stalin treated the Old Bolsheviks whom he saw as rivals: he had them falsely accused, imprisoned, and executed. But Garland and the rest should take careful note: Bolshevik pioneers such as Nikolai Bukharin, Gregory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev had never actually been opponents of Stalin the way Trump is Biden’s opponent. They had been his friends, whom he turned against in his paranoia and destroyed in his quest for absolute power. They had helped install the authoritarian Communist regime in the Soviet Union, only to find themselves becoming its victims. It likely never occurred to them that someone could subject them to the same treatment they had meted out to so many others.

But it could happen here, just as everything else we used to think couldn’t happen here is happening now. Now that the Justice Department has become a weapon of political vengeance, it could turn one day against the very people who are using it so ruthlessly today against Donald Trump. But right now, firmly ensconced in power, they can’t even envision a day when someone might displace them. This gang of criminals aims to be in power forever.

And so this is yet another dark day for the United States. Once again we see how few people with integrity there really are among today’s political movers and shakers. A notable exception was Ron DeSantis, who tweeted Thursday: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation. Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter?

And what of all the perpetrators – including Hillary Clinton – of the “Russia collusion” hoax which was aimed at destroying Trump’s presidency, whose guilt in the conspiracy is authoritatively confirmed by the Durham report? They  are all free and gloating over the martyrdom of Donald Trump.

Powerful “Democrats” are above the law.

The free constitutional Republic of the United States is lost.

We are living in one of the most tragic eras of history. The Enlightenment is being undone.

Another Dark Age is descending on the world. 

Posted under tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 9, 2023

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Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, and the system of natural liberty 386

Adam Smith theorized that cultural morals moved just like free markets.

Today, June 5, 2023, is the 300th birthday of Adam Smith.

He is one of the greatest figures of the Enlightenment. As the founder of free-market capitalism he did more for the prosperity of humankind than anyone else in history.

In 1776 he published his famous book, An Enquiry into the Nature  and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. It taught that when people are free to pursue their own ends (under the rule of law), they and their society will prosper.

His name stands forever for Liberty and Prosperity, the two greatest aids to the pursuit of happiness.

What a year 1776 was for Liberty! Adam Smith’s book taught the benefits of it for the thriving of nations and individuals, and the American Declaration of Independence  established it as the political condition of a new nation coming into being – a nation that was to prove him right. 

Economics professor Mark Skousen writes at the New York Post:

Adam Smith (1723-1790) put together the classical model of economics, consisting of free trade, limited government, the virtue of thrift, balanced budgets and sound money.

Smith called it “the system of natural liberty”.

He made an outlandish prediction in his famous book The Wealth of Nations, declaring in 1776 that his model would result in “universal opulence which extends to the lowest ranks of the people”.

It was a tall order.

Indeed, at that time life was “nasty, brutish and short” for most people, to quote Thomas Hobbes. There was very little progress.

But as the world gradually adopted Adam Smith’s model of free trade, low taxes, deregulation, patent law and sound money (supply-side economics), we witnessed the Industrial Revolution in the West, then in the East, and a 100-fold increase in our standard of living.

Adam Smith’s incredible forecast had come true.

The outcome was a hat trick: maximum liberty, individual improvement and public benefit, all at the same time.

So, how much of the Adam Smith model still exists today?

At the top of the list, free trade and globalization have been a big success. The Soviet central-planning model has been abandoned.

Capitalism delivers the quantity, quality and variety of goods and services that the centrally planned economy never could.

The Economic Freedom Index — based on the Smithian measures of laissez faire, balanced budgets, sound money, free trade and rule of law — shows a marked increase from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s.

However, for most of the new century, the Adam Smith model has come under attack by Keynesians, Marxists and interventionists who want a return to top-down policies of authoritarian government, deficit spending, tax hikes, fair trade and over-regulation, all in the name of fairness, equity and saving the planet.

If Adam Smith were alive today, he’d be appalled by the never-ending federal deficits and out-of-control national debt.

He would not approve the overgrown welfare state and military-industrial complex.

He’d be shocked to see the US tax code at over 7,000 pages, and the federal tax regulations exceeding 75,000 pages.

The bloated bureaucracy would be a reminder of the mercantilist policies of his age.

Perhaps there’s a white knight out there coming to put America back on a sound fiscal and monetary basis, but I fear Humpty Dumpty has fallen and can’t be put together again.

I don’t see America becoming another Venezuela, but neither do I see it as another Singapore.

It’s easy to become pessimistic. But perhaps we can learn something from Smith, the ultimate optimist.

Nearly 250 years ago, he wrote, “The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition . . . is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite both of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration.”

This well-known and much quoted passage from The Wealth of Nations is a beautifully phrased  explanation and defense of a free market economy:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Enlightened self-interest, not philanthropy, not altruism, not the impossible agenda of trying to love our neighbors as ourselves, is the key not only to each our own benefit, but inevitably also to the benefit of our society, our nation, and potentially our world.

Provide something – goods or services – that others want and will pay for, and the result is personal and general prosperity.

An “invisible hand” – as Adam Smith wrote –  works the trick.

The day of his birth was a great day for mankind.

We celebrate it.

Posted under Economics, liberty by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 5, 2023

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Omar Kayyam, the great Persian poet and atheist 304

May 18, 2023 was the 975th anniversary of the birth of one of our favorite atheists, the Persian poet, mathematician and scientist, Omar Kayyam (born May 18, 1048).

We are convinced that he was an atheist, though some scholars have found reason in his writings to doubt it.

Simon Maass has examined the arguments for and against Omar Kayyam’s atheism.

He writes at our Forum:

Some of the Islamically dominated world’s greatest cultural and intellectual achievements have been completely unconnected to religion.

Think of Omar Khayyam, the twelfth-century poet and polymath who did so much to advance algebra and conducted an “outstandingly accurate” measurement of the length of a year. Having lived in Khorasan, Bukhara, Samarkand and Isfahan, he was practically an Eastern Erasmus, a historical figure shared by Persia, Turkey and Central Asia.

He was also, as many have speculated based on his poetry, likely an atheist or agnostic. This would only have been appropriate, as Khayyam hailed from Iran, one of the clearest examples of a country that had been, to recycle Atatürk’s phrase, “a great nation even before [it] accepted the religion of Islam.” One analysis that leans relatively heavily towards deeming Khayyam to have been a believer is the entry on him in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The authors cite the great Persian scholar’s philosophical treatises, in which he defends certain religious ideas, and interpret those verses he wrote which suggest an attitude of scepticism or agnosticism as reflecting merely his emotional experiences of the world around him, rather than what he believed on an intellectual level. This interpretation seems highly dubious, as the same article quotes the following lines from Khayyam’s pen:

“The secrets which my book of love has bred,
Cannot be told for fear of loss of head;
Since none is fit to learn, or cares to know,
‘Tis better all my thoughts remain unsaid.”

Against this backdrop, given the conflict between what Khayyam explicitly wrote on religious matters in his treatises and what he subtly implied in his poems, it seems much likelier that the latter reflects his true convictions, whereas the former was written to protect himself, or simply as an intellectual exercise. Even if Khayyam truly believed all he wrote in the treatises, there is little, if anything, the authors attribute to him which implies a religious belief beyond deism. Meanwhile, the article acknowledges that “Khayyam challenged religious doctrines, alluded to the hypocrisy of the clergy, [and] cast doubt on almost every facet of religious belief.”

Moreover, even these commentators see fit to observe:

“It is noteworthy that Khayyam’s philosophical treatises were written in the Peripatetic tradition at a time when philosophy in general and rationalism in particular were under attack by orthodox Muslim jurists—so much that Khayyam had to defend himself against the charge of ‘being a philosopher.’”

More broadly, the main effect that Mohammad’s creed had on Khayyam was to trip him up and hold him back. The polymath’s powerful patron, Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk, was assassinated by a member of a rival Islamic sect, whereupon the mathematical maestro fell out of favor with the royal court. J. J. O’Connor and E. F. Robertson write:

“Funding to run the Observatory [where he worked] ceased and Khayyam’s calendar reform was put on hold. Khayyam also came under attack from the orthodox Muslims who felt that Khayyam’s questioning mind did not conform to the faith. He wrote in […] the Rubaiyat [the collection of his quatrains] :

‘Indeed, the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men’s Eye much wrong:
Have drowned my Honour in a shallow cup,
And sold my reputation for a Song.’”

According to various online sources, though I have been unable to locate the source of this claim, Friedrich Nietzsche once remarked “that he would never forgive Christianity for taking [Blaise] Pascal.” The great iconoclast, it seems, was not a little distraught to see such a brilliant mathematician waste his exceptional brainpower on Christian apologetics. To speak similarly of what Islam appears to have done to Khayyam, forcing him to veil his true thoughts and squander time and energy fending off religious attacks, would be entirely justified.

Posted under Atheism, Iran, Islam, Science by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 2, 2023

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