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 Post subject: The News, May 9, 2022
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2022 2:14 pm 
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The May 9, 2022 Lost Horizons Newsletter
...where real knowledge-- and actual solutions-- intersect with real Americans!

A Few Words About Executive Department Latitude
Spoiler alert: there is none.

NEITHER EXECUTIVE ORDERS nor executive agency latitude can authorize executive department behavior which is not pursuant to either a direct Constitutional authorization or to properly-enacted Congressional legislation. Congressional legislation, in turn, cannot lack or exceed a Constitutional delegation of authority, nor violate or conflict with any Constitutional prescription or proscription.

These limitations are without exception. They apply even regarding executive orders or department policies which are nominally confined solely to the internal activities of executive department personnel but which could or will have the effect (whether overtly intended or not) of influencing, or interacting in any way with, anyone else (as all will do, or be utterly and manifestly pointless).

This brings us to the subject of this discussion-- the "Disinformation Governance Board" put in place in the Department of Homeland Security some months ago and just recently announced to the rest of us, the obvious purpose of which is to create a means or an atmosphere by which expressions disfavored by the state can and will be discouraged, suppressed, censored and/or stigmatized. This "board" and its purposes are illegal.

TO BEGIN WITH, there is no Constitutional authorization for a "Disinformation Governance Board". Nor is there any Constitutional provision from which such an authority can be derived, even under the pretense of a presidential "national security" responsibility.

The only Constitutional provision relating to the president and the subject of security is that the president be commander-in-chief of the armed forces and active duty militias when called into the actual service of the United States (per the first clause of the second section of Article II). That's it.

SINCE THE CONSTITUTION lacks authorization for a "Disinformation Governance Board" (or the latitude to create one), that authority could only be found in a congressional enactment. And any congressional enactment must conform to the provisions of, for instance, the First Amendment...

Continued...

*****

Bring 'Em Out Alive
Now, more than ever, this argument needs to be widely aired.

SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO I first published a thoughtful and important analysis of the moral and legal issues involved in the subject of abortion. The analysis includes a practical solution to the political conundrum posed by the competing desires of some women to be spared bearing an unwelcome burden (albeit a burden arising, in the overwhelming majority of cases, from choices freely made by that woman) and the compelling, indeed, imperative interest of society to prohibit the taking of innocent life.

In all those seventeen years, during which I have pointed to the analysis whenever given a pretext, such as on each anniversary of Roe v. Wade, or when the issue of abortion has been in the news, there has been, to my knowledge, not a single comment shared, nor any links or discussion of the piece anywhere. This has been very frustrating for me, needless to say.

Nonetheless, I'm going to open myself up for more painful disregard and again urge everyone to read this argument now that the abortion issue is so thoroughly highlighted in the public discourse by the leak of what we will hope is indeed the impending decision of the Supreme Court on the issue. Please, everyone, read the argument.

I know that because it takes a nuanced, libertarian position in which heed is taken of the legal and moral interests of both mother and child, the argument will strike some as being confusing. Or, it will seem to some to be too complicated, or insufficiently aggressive in favor of one side or the other.

But as the current fulminations by pro-abortion activists in response to the leaked Supreme Court ruling demonstrate-- underscored by the fact that those currently infesting Washington are fully supportive of those fulminations and will do everything possible to encourage more of the same and worse, notwithstanding (and perhaps even welcoming) the resultant erosion of the rule of law-- a simple reversal by the Supreme Court of Roe is not going to settle the matter.

Battles are certain to erupt in many states (and some already have, in anticipation of the reversal). A truly comprehensive solution like mine is needed, now more than ever. Please study it, think about it, let it percolate. Please share it with others.

And please, comment on it! Do social media posts presenting it and discussing it, and share your comments with me as much as possible. I will be grateful for any and all efforts in this regard.

Continued...

*****

Potpourri
Brief comments on selected subjects of interest.

EVERY COMMENTATOR needs to stop using the expression "the Biden administration" to label the author of the current basketful of bad policies afflicting America over the last two years+. If Joe Biden has been designated the author of everything against which opponents of the policies stand, then when he is gone (as he doubtless soon will be), those opposing the lunatic, destructive policies fastened upon us during his time will be disarmed, even though the policies will be unchanged.

Those bad policies are not Joe Biden's policies (however much he may approve them and be party to their imposition). The policies are those of all the people who have taken offices over the last two years (and more-- frankly, Donald Trump was abysmal at weeding out dangerous nominees, and appointed many, some of whom remain in office, and all of whom appointed subordinates of like bent mind who remain in their positions still).

***

A GOOD SUMMARY of the backstory on the Russian military operation in Ukraine can be found here (and should be supplemented by a review of the material here, here and here). A useful report on the actual events in Ukraine during the course of the last couple of months by a journalist on the ground there (and recently taken prisoner by Ukrainian neo-Nazi forces but subsequently-- and surprisingly-- released) can be found here.

Another worthwhile post concerning the events in Ukraine can be found here.

***

MAO ZEDONG RIGHTLY OBSERVED that political power flows out of the barrel of a gun. Conservative Americans have forgotten this, and are now being victimized as a result.

Continued...

*****

Other Voices (followed by an important afterword)

Is There Any Chance Of Restoring Our Lost Freedoms?
by George Leef

Sometimes I think about what America was like when my grandfather was young. In 1908, when he was 22, he started a business that, I’m happy to say, thrives to this day. He was the son of Swedish immigrants and started with nothing but some mechanical know-how and a good entrepreneurial idea.

Stories like his were very common in the America of a century ago. Millions of ambitious immigrants flooded into the US because its governmental system and culture were conducive to productivity and innovation. The people overwhelmingly expected to succeed or fail on their own efforts. Almost nobody thought he had a right to live at the expense of others, or had any right to dictate how others must act or what they must believe.

Moreover, the legal system protected Americans’ rights to life, liberty, and property. Theft was illegal. Acts of coercion were illegal. If someone wanted your money, he could only ask for it and had to take “no” for an answer. If someone wanted you to join a labor union, he could ask, but you were perfectly free to decline.

In those days, there were no officious bureaucrats dictating what people could and couldn’t do in their businesses. Taxes were low. At all levels, government consumed less than ten percent of the GDP. Therefore, nearly all of America’s resources of labor and materials were under the direction of the market’s profit and loss system. Profits signaled where more investment would pay off; losses quickly put an end to ill-conceived ventures.

And – crucially – government had almost no power to reward special interest groups. It did interfere with international trade to benefit domestic producers, but aside from that, government stuck closely to the precepts of laissez-faire.

The result was tremendous output of goods and services, along with innovation that propelled economic expansion at an accelerating pace. America was all about work, a point that Alexis de Tocqueville commented on in his book Democracy in America. Compared with his native France, where guilds and regulations and the high cost of government acted as a brake on the economy, in America he saw boundless energy.

Continued...

*****

Plus,
Illuminating Anniversaries For This Week!

*****

"I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves...too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: 'Our country, right or wrong!' They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: 'Our country--when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.'"
-Senator Carl Schurz, October 17, 1899


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