Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Does America even want freedom anymore?

Everybody cried about the hit to free speech — and rightly so. But the Coulter-Berkeley fiasco, and the ding to free speech, is not the problem, in and of itself. It’s only a symptom of a much larger problem — a symptom of a deeper, darker spirit that’s infected America, spreading far and wide as it seeks to destroy the nation’s greatest asset. The fact that in America, our individual rights come from God, not government.

A moral citizenry would not — could not — riot over rhetoric.

Storm-trooping for free speech — what have we become, America?

But it’s not just speech that’s being stifled around the nation.

The welfare of the collective is replacing the rights of the individual.

It’s not Coulter. It’s not free speech. It’s not even snowflakes and the adults who cater to their whines. It’s the loss of God from governance, opening the door to a lawless society and chaotic structure — that’s what really ails us. And that’s what must be addressed, if we really want to be a nation of free people once again.

For example, see Jazz Shaw on Baltimore warns prosecutors to “think twice” before charging illegal immigrants – “There’s a fairly clear line between “defiant resistance to Trump” and going completely around the bend.”

It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with ICE in matters of detainers, sharing information and all the rest. It’s an entirely different ball game to decide that you can avoid attracting the attention of federal immigration officers by deciding not to prosecute criminals, no matter how “serious” the crimes may be.

Let’s think about that for a moment. In other words, for some of these comparatively low level crimes, the city wants prosecutors to go after and punish actual citizens of the country who may have run afoul of the law, but those who compound the issue by knowingly being in the country illegally to begin with are given a pass. Are the actual citizens in Baltimore who pay the taxes which fund these officials listening to this?

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this. But if you keep electing these same people who pull these sorts of stunts over and over again I have zero sympathy for you at this point.

Or consider Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation about Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice – “On the matter of the 2016 election, why is there an investigation into Russian meddling but no investigation of Justice Department meddling? The latter effort was more extensive. And it sure looks like it would be a lot easier to prove.”

Russia’s apparent preference for one presidential candidate over the other is routinely described as a sinister scheme to “interfere with the election.” Fair enough. But how shall we describe the Department of Justice’s patent preference for one presidential candidate over the other?

Instapundit weighs in on the NYT Stephens brouhaha and reminisces about “the famous moment when the late Julian Simon debated an earlier iteration of hard left religious zealots.”

Simon, the economist who was legendarily skeptical about environmental doom, once posed a question at an environmental forum: “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Almost every hand shot up. He then said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” There was no response, so he asked again, “Is there any evidence I could give you—anything at all—that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Again, no response. Simon concluded, “Well, excuse me. I’m not dressed for church.”

See neo-neocon on AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion… – “then those with an opposing view become apostates.”

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findings. That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications. But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times. It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue

Then consider Marc Morano with an Exclusive Video: People’s Climate March hostile to skeptics – Attempts to take down signs, deny access – “The banner, reading “The Science is NOT Settled.” was under constant assault with marchers who refused to allow the message of climate skepticism to be seen.”

James G. Wiles Machiavelli’s Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us – “have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?” The citation is to Machiavelli’s most extended work Discourses on Livy.

Machiavelli offers us ways to think about how to answer these questions. He does it by reviewing Roman history with an eye to contemporary political problems of his own time.

In Chapter 16 of the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli remarks that “a people that is corrupted through and through cannot live in liberty for even a short period…” When a state become free, “all those who fed off” the state become “hostile factions.” However, when the Romans overthrew the Tarquin kings in 510 B.C., they were able to establish and maintain a republic which lasted until the time of Julius Caesar.

This was possible, says Machiavelli, because, while the Tarquin kings were corrupt, the Roman people were not. “Had the Roman populace been corrupted, there would have been no effective way for them to keep their liberty.”

“This means that new laws are not enough, because the institutions that remain unchanged will corrupt them.”

It should not have been surprising, therefore, that the Democrats, the MSM, academia, and many corporate and other leaders united with the leftist street to launch the “resistance.” Or that, so far, not one Democrat in Congress has broken party ranks to support Trumpian reforms. This weekend, they will be touting their success in stalling and, sometimes, defeating specific measures taken by the president.

Then there’s David Henderson on Pope Francis’s Distorted Vision – Ideological fantasy is reaching very high levels of desctruction as the Devil plays his games.

I think the Pope and I are perceiving the world very differently. I don’t mean our values are different, although that’s probably true too. I mean that what we think is factually true is different.

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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