Obama, lord of the flies 9

THE LAW is the roof and the walls and the floor of the House in which we live.

Americans were given freedom under the law by the Constitution.

Without the law we would be unsheltered and our lives would become, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, “poor, nasty, brutish and short”. (He also said that such a savage life would be “solitary”, but solitariness in a lawless world would be an improbable luxury.)

The worst thing that President Obama is doing to America, the very worst thing of all the bad things he is doing, is taking the law away from the people by disregarding it himself – he who swore to preserve it for all of us when he took his oath of office: 

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

He has broken his oath. He has set himself above the law.

As a result, first, it is applied arbitrarily by his complicit Department of Justice.

Second, he has given license to millions of Americans to break it.

Third and therefore, we cannot expect justice. We will have to fall back on our own defenses.

Victor Davis Hanson writes about this at PJ Media:

In the Ferguson disaster, the law was the greatest casualty. Civilization cannot long work if youths strong-arm shop owners and take what they want. Or walk down the middle of highways high on illicit drugs. Or attack police officers and seek to grab their weapons. Or fail to obey an officer’s command to halt. Or deliberately give false testimonies to authorities. Or riot, burn, and loot. Or, in the more abstract sense, simply ignore the legal findings of a grand jury; or, in critical legal theory fashion, seek to dismiss the authority of the law because it is not deemed useful to some preconceived theory of social justice. Do that and society crumbles.

In our cynicism we accept, to avoid further unrest, that no government agency will in six months prosecute the looters and burners, or charge with perjury those who brazenly lied in their depositions to authorities, or charge the companion of Michael Brown with an accessory role in strong-arm robbery, or charge the stepfather of Michael Brown for using a bullhorn to incite a crowd to riot and loot and burn. We accept that because legality is becoming an abstraction, as it is in most parts of the world outside the U.S. where politics makes the law fluid and transient.

Nor can a government maintain legitimacy when it presides over lawlessness.

The president of the United States on over 20 occasions insisted that it would be illegal, dictatorial, and unconstitutional to contravene federal immigration law — at least when to do so was politically inexpedient. When it was not, he did just that. Now we enter the Orwellian world of a videotaped president repeatedly warning that what he would soon do would be in fact illegal. Has a U.S. president ever so frequently and fervently warned the country about the likes of himself?

What is forgotten about amnesty is that entering the U.S. illegally is not the end, but often the beginning of lawlessness. Out here in rural central California we accept a world where thousands drive without insurance, licenses, and registration. Fleeing the scenes of traffic accidents earns snoozes. There is no such thing as the felony of providing false information on government affidavits or creating made-up Social Security numbers. Selling things without paying taxes and working off the books while on assistance are no longer illegal. The normative culture is lawlessness.

Amnesty, granted through a lawless presidential act, will not stop but only encourage further lawlessness. If someone has become used to ignoring a multitude of laws without consequences, there is no reason why he should suddenly cease, given that punishment for breaking the law is still considered a politically-incorrect rather than a legal act — and that even with amnesties it will still be far easier and cheaper to break than obey the law. Who will deport an illegal alien beneficiary of amnesty when he again breaks the law? Amnesty will be seen as both reactive and prophylactic, a waiver for both past and future behavior.

More disturbingly, we have engendered a strange culture of justifiable lawlessness: those who are deemed exploited in some ways are exempt from following the law; those without such victim status are subject even more to it. Executive authorities compensate for their impotence in not enforcing statutes for some by excessively enforcing them on others.

I accept that if I burn a single old grape stake that has been treated with a copper-based preservative, I will be facing huge fines by environmental protection agencies, whose zeal will not extend to nearby residents who have created illegal compounds of rental Winnebagos with jerry-rigged wiring and stop-gap sewage or who dump wet garbage along the side of the road. In the old days the dumpers at least used to sift out incriminating documents with names on them; now they leave them in, without worry over the consequences.

Our bureaucrats thirst for the single infraction by the law-biding citizen who can pay — to compensate for their impotence amid endless crimes by the law-breaking who are deemed unable to pay. That idea of redistributive enforcement permeates the entire federal government. …

Instead of being able to look to law enforcement to protect us, we now have to fear it as one of the unpredictable dangers that can assail us at any moment. 

The problem with the Obama administration is that the government’s own bureaucracies — the IRS, VA, Secret Service, GSA, EPA, Justice and State Departments — have so serially broken their own statutes and lied about their misconduct, that it is now almost impossible to reassure Americans that they, too, cannot do what their own government sees as some sort of birthright.

The fuel of lawlessness is untruth. What amazes about President Obama is not that he occasionally misstates facts — every president has done that — but that he so serially says things that are untrue and yet he must know are so easily exposed as untrue. When the president on over 20 occasions swears he cannot legally grant amnesty and then does so, or when he swears he cannot comment on an ongoing criminal case when he habitually has done just that, or when he insists that Obamacare will not result in higher premiums and deductibles or loss of doctors and health plans when it does precisely that, or when he asserts to the world that a mere demonstration over a video caused an attack on our consulate in Benghazi when he knew that it did not, or when he utters iron-clad red lines, deadlines, and step-over-lines that he knows are mythical or denies he has done just that — when he does all this, then almost everything he asserts must be doubted.

We now live in an era when we expect a federal bureaucrat — whether the attorney general or the secretary of Defense or the secretary of Labor — to illegally jet on family or political business at the public expense, or the president of the United States to pick and choose which elements of the law he finds useable and therefore are to be enforced and which bothersome and therefore ignored.

For this administration, the law is a drag.

What separated the United States from a Peru or Nigeria or Mexico or Laos or Russia was the sanctity of the law, or the idea that from the highest elected officials to the least influential citizen, all were obligated to follow, according to their stations, the law. Under Obama, that sacred idea has been eroded. We live in a world of illegal immigration and amnesties, Ferguson mythologies, and alphabet government scandals, presided over by a president who not only does not tell the truth, but also seems to be saying to the public, “I say whatever I want, so get over it.”

And “do whatever I want”.

Let him streak his face with mud, beat on a primitive drum and dance naked round the fire. He is the lord of the flies.

Nations without borders 0

Millions of people are moving from tyrannical, corrupt, and (consequently) poor countries into others that are still relatively prosperous –  because they are still relatively free: the open societies, most of which are welfare states.

The majority of these immigrants do not assimilate. They remain in enclaves where the customs and in some cases the laws of their native societies continue to bind them. They do not learn the language of the host country and are not educated, so they cannot find employment. They depend on welfare handouts provided by the host country.

To meet the additional expense of immigrants’ entitlements, governments of the host countries raise taxes. The combination of rising taxation and increasing welfare-demand weakens the economy. Private enterprise is handicapped, unemployment spreads, freedom is diminished, prosperity declines. Neither the host nation nor the newcomers benefit in the long term.

Finding themselves less contented than they had hoped, immigrant groups go from disobedience to violent insurgency. (Muslim riots in France are an example.) Civil unrest threatens the general order. But for all the augmented power of such governments, they find themselves unable to enforce their laws on the immigrant settlements. It was their policy to invite the immigrants in and sustain them on welfare: it is their policy neither to repress them when they riot, terrorize, and kill, nor to repatriate them; but instead to propitiate them, granting them ever more autonomy.

Such states are under existential threat, first from the “anti-nativist” (or “anti-discriminatory”, “anti-racist”, or “pro-diversity”) ideologues who attained political power and let the immigrants in, and then from the reality on the ground when the immigrants try to establish their own culture or nationalism on the host nation’s territory. Not just their integrity but their status as nation states is slipping away.

This is most clearly seen if the immigrants come in vast numbers from a neighboring country, as do Mexicans into the United States. The borders between the countries can become so porous that they effectively dissolve. Whether as a result or a cause or both,  the very idea of borders is under attack as an ideological anachronism and a “racist”, “imperialist” offense.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has recently published a booklet titled Arizona’s Fight, America’s Fight. It consists of two essays, by Victor Davis  Hanson and Ralph Peters respectively, that discuss the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States.

Victor Hanson Davis, in his essay Why the Arizona Law – And Why Now?, gives examples of active efforts to abolish the southern border of the US:

[Mexican] consulates now advocate the inclusion of  Mexican textbooks in predominantly Hispanic American schools, as part of Mexico City’s vow to recognize that “the Mexican nation extends beyond its borders”. (page 18)

[T]oday a Mexican  national can live in America nearly as if he were in Mexico.  The host has lost confidence in its own values. The old notion of the desirability of the melting pot has long passed. (page 26)

And Ralph Peters, in Arizona’s Neighbor From Narco-insurgency To Narco-state?, observes the same disastrous trend. He writes:

Our southern border is no longer a fixed frontier, but merely a zone of transition. Border violations carry no serious penalties, while left-wing activists and the establishment media prefer indicting our border agents over enforcing our laws.  (page 34)

How will it be to live in a world where there are no frontiers, a world without nation states?

We’re thinking about it.