25 October 2009

Emergency Government

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” -H. L. Mencken (from Ralph Benko, from an addendum to a Mark Tapscott story at the Washington Examiner, found via Instapundit)

Yes we have yet another emergency, this the Swine Flu which was predicted months ago and the President promised that there would be enough vaccine for everyone, and from the folks who brought you:

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - Rahm Emanuel

That was when the entire economy was going to go poof overnight and we needed, desperately needed, the stimulus package to do something!  Or perhaps it was the big, bad banks who were following federal regulations on lending and putting money out to borrowers who couldn't pay it back in housing and other areas that needed, oh, so needed, the TARP and rescue package because they were too big to fail! The auto companies were going down and they would be forced to go bankrupt and re-organize which would be awful because that would mean massive job loss and we just had to do something! And we have to have more lending in the housing market because that will collapse and the entire Nation will go to wrack and ruin , so we have to do something!  And the stimulus has pushed unemployment far above the expectations of doing nothing that we now need, desperately need, a second stimulus package, because we just can't sit by and do nothing!

Meanwhile, those Nations that didn't go on a spending binge are out of their recessions, worried that the US will pull down the rest of the world market as we flush our economy down the drain with emergency spending, and wondering just why the hell we can't stop doing things and let the recovery take over.  But those are the so very wise European governments that we are supposed to take our wisdom from... say, just why can't we follow their leads and let the economy recover and not try to tax and spend ourselves to oblivion and take much of the rest of the world economy with us?  For all the grousing, moaning and complaining about how much of the world's resources the US uses, it is also a fact that we are a quarter of the world's economy, produce much more per capita than anyone else around, and the world depends on us to be sober in our spending habits.

Instead we have gotten a massive hit to our economy, massive job loss, a disorganized private sector because government now sees fit to invalidate contracts on whim, and tax money flowing out in a tidal wave that will cause massive structural debt, increased inflation, devalue the dollar, and bring instability to all those countries holding securities in the US who are seeing their investment in our way of life go poof!

Now here's the question on structural debt via Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).

I've heard the US is heading north on NPLs, which are loans 90 days past due and unlikely to ever be paid off.  A large part of that is due to the new home market, which ripples through the economy to durable goods and consumer sectors.  We brought that on ourselves by encouraging those who are economically marginal to actually get federally pushed loans via lenders and the FHA then packaged those up (along with Freddie and Fannie) and put the 'US Govt Safe' seal of approval on them, when the loans, themselves, were anything but safe.  Now I'm going to start stealing some data from one of my previous articles to look at the NPL problems that have happened elsewhere:

NPL are Loans that are in default or close to being in default. And this International Journalists' Network article by Anya Schiffrin on the large role of NPLs in banking crises, points out that once a Nation gets over 9% NPL on all outstanding loans, it is starting to look at real trouble.

The role of NPLs in a Nation's economic structure cannot be over stated.  At the time of writing that article, the US NPL was less than 2% with the majority of that being in consumer debt, not institutional or business debt, and the majority of that consumer debt in the NPL status was in credit cards.

Now a note of update on my article via a Business Insider 23 OCT 2009 article by Joe Weisenthal who references this Financial Times article by Arthur Kroeber on 06 OCT 2009:

So just how big is China’s NPL time-bomb? That is largely a function of economic growth rates.

Average annual nominal GDP growth of 11 per cent, 9 per cent and 7 per cent over the next decade would generate net fiscal NPL costs of 6 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 8.7 per cent of GDP respectively in 2019 – substantial, but not catastrophic.

There is no necessary reason why existing NPLs, even including bad loans arising from the 2009-2010 monetary stimulus, should threaten the viability of the system. In short, the calculated bet of letting NPLs shrivel through time and growth can safely be placed one more time.

But this bet absolutely cannot be placed a third time.

The above scenarios only work if the financial system generates no net new NPLs in 2011-2019 beyond the banks’ own ability to provision and write down.

China has been playing games with its debt by shuffling it around to different vehicles, and has done so since the 1990's.  Twice China has shuffled its debt to different vehicles, and now the money is expecting to be paid out.  China has a major problem: there is a global recession and many of its hardest cash holdings are in the US real estate market, via investing in Freddie and Fannie.  The crony capitalist system, a form of national socialism, has allowed those in favor with the regime to build businesses, default on those loans when the businesses collapse and have that passed into debt vehicles approved of by the government.  Any similarity to the passing on of bad housing debt via federally approved vehicles is purely intentional.

Plus for all the phenomenal growth rate China reports, the conservative estimate of having 30% of their economy underwritten by these loan vehicles, in other words 60% of their GDP depending on NPL loan swaps to different vehicles, is conservative because China under-reports the NPLs and over-estimates its growth.  Market based estimates go up to 50% of the economy underwritten by NPL loan vehicles picking up the temporary tab for the bills of past failures.  Those bills are coming due, US housing investments are tanking and China is in a bind.

So how are things going here?  Well the FDIC Select Peer Group and Report Date for 30 JUN 2009 sees some disturbing trends on 06 and 06A:

Real Estate Loans in the non-accrual and 90+ days past due is up to 2.31% from 1.29% in 2008.

Commercial real estate is up to 0.11% in the same category, up from 0.01% in 2008.

Construction and land development up to 5.23% from 2.16% in 2008.

1-4 family homes 4.10% up from 1.89% in 2008.

Other construction and land development 5.45% up from 1.95% in 2008.

The longer trends on these are going from EOY to mid-Year cycle so that there is only 6 months between 2007 and 2008, but still interesting to note them (06/30/2009, 06/30/2008, 12/31/2007, 12/31/2006), again all for the NPL (non-accrual plus 90+ days past due):

Real Estate  2.31%  1.29%  1.76%  0.90%  0.57%

Commercial 0.11%  0.01%  0.03%  0.00%  N/A

Const.         5.23%  2.16%  3.57%  1.05%  0.24%

1-4 Family    4.10%  1.89%  3.05%  1.34%  N/A

Other           5.45%  1.95%  3.44%  1.18%  N/A

We are just now getting the repercussions of the tanking of the real estate market in the NPL arena for housing.  Construction can be seen as a leading indicator as it feels the pinch first when housing starts are put on hold or canceled, thus causing a rippling into that part of the industry.  The last two interesting, indicating a cyclic market, but one that is increasing in its NPL area.  All of this while the mortgage market is only slowly seeing its rates go up for the same category:

Non-Farm Mort/Residential  1.66%  0.81%  1.20%  0.61%

The category I'm not showing is the 30-89 days past due, which shows that some of the influence is from those loans, no doubt, slipping into the other categories or just having a delinquent set of payees who can get payments in but late on a continual basis.  On 06A we get the final Gross line item for all loans and leases for the 06 section, and below that, in the totals, we get the full percent of all loans and leases past due including non-accrual for the entire banking industry that is overseen by the FDIC:

%Total P/D LN/LS    3.78%  2.45%  3.30%  2.20%  1.17%

This is a pretty good proxy stand-in for National NPL status, and the trendline from EOY 2006 to MID 2009 is up in all categories thus reflected in the total which is up by over double.  Of particular note is that the 'housing crisis' starting by EOY 2007 had lessened, somewhat, by MID-2008, and this was reflected in all P/D loans in all categories.  Thus the MID 2008 to MID 2009 jump is due to the intervening months as the market had been digesting the problems by EOY 2007.  The multiple 'crises' times between those two reporting periods changed what had been an up and down, choppy trendline (in other words still increasing but with rapid market changes) to one that now flattens out to increasing at a much higher rate.  If all the 'necessary' things to 'stabilize' the market had, indeed, actually stabilized the market, each of these trends would have flattened with minimal increase from the previous year.  Even with the undigested loans in the market, those were being addressed by changing in lending practices and crunching those loans out of the system.  This did cause some massive losses in big banks and all the money poured into those should have stabilized the market, but didn't do that.

So we are left at MID 2009 with NPLs going up towards 4%.

This is before all the 'stimulus' money gets into the pipeline, which is causing headaches on loans and lending as the projects that are being done do not address the structural problems of the market.

Additionally the Community Re-investment Act is getting re-upped, which is a major cause of the increasing home prices over time, due to easy money lending practices to those who can't afford such loans.  That is causing structural debt problems in the market that need more than just cash infusion in them, and need a change in the regulations to allow normal repayment expectations to hold sway and get the federal 'help' in lending out of the system.  Additionally the banks should be the ones to judge the ability of those credit vehicles that gather up such losses and put them on the market.  As both Democrats and Republicans have voted to approve past revisions of the CRA to achieve these policies, there is no 'party' to whine about as being at fault: they are both idiots in this area.

Finally some of the instability is reflected in TARP, itself, with funds going unaccounted for and the market not knowing how the public will react to that.  As the Federal Reserve pushed that vehicle forward, and Timothy Geithner was a prime mover at the end of the Bush Administration and continues on in the Obama Administration, his role in this is not to be underestimated, particularly in the lead-up to the 'necessary' bailouts.

So, if you really and truly believe that all the spending will actually make the government solvent AND help out the entire market for NPLs, then you need to address the structural components leading up to this problem, which has been in large part from the federal side, with crony lending institutions (FHA, Freddie and Fannie) plus willing (or coerced) banks facilitating these policies which date back to the Carter Administration and were puffed up during the Clinton Administration and Bush Administration.  That is a bi-partisan problem and pissing about it being 'Bush's Fault' ignores the long standing structural problems both parties have willingly introduced into the lending arena.  All of those extra regulations to 'help' people have now changed the path of the entire economy, and throwing good money after bad is putting us into a nasty position of not being able to have all that lovely outgo be covered by tax income.  That then gets you inflation, as the Federal Reserve puts money into the system to cover those debts, thus reducing the value of the dollars currently held.  And supporters must then address the economic growth problem in the US, as small businesses are not hiring people due to the instability in the market introduced by the federal government and more regulations and not letting the rule of law put companies into bankruptcy for restructuring, and those external holders of our debt that have a huge insolvent debt load that needs some hard cash income to try and keep their economy afloat.

Which is China.

If you cry, bitch and moan about Halliburton and its evility, then where is the crying, bitching and moaning about AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, GM, Chrysler, etc. that are holding this country hostage with federal help?  If you complain about the petty overcharges by Halliburton, then why are you not complaining about the huge rip-off that is going on with these companies and the billions in TARP that are not being accounted for?  Would it not be better to have these large companies go through bankruptcy restructuring, which they would all do, have their debt and valuation properly assessed and then get on with life as smaller, leaner companies that would then open up the market to new entrants?  Or do you really like the idea that companies deemed 'too big to fail' can hold our Nation hostage via willing politicians willing to put these huge corporations on the dole and then run them as efficiently as the federal government can, which is at the post office level of things?

I am more than willing to let the rule of law run its course with these companies.

'Cash for Clunkers' was a nice one month sugar rush, but now the auto market is seeing less in the way of purchases as people decided to buy early and not try to get the best possible deal on a car later.  Thus you are not getting a long term upturn in the market, but a short to mid length down turn that is happening during a recession.  Thus making the recession worse.  It is that same sort of 'do something for the sake of doing something without a plan' that is causing this problem.  Extending loans to those who can't pay them back means more failed loans, not increased prosperity.  Increased prosperity means more and better paying jobs and a competitive job market, not one with artificial price supports in it at the low end which places a barrier to entry for first time job holders in place because of the cost of hiring them.  This is not getting people to work, allowing them to make a living for themselves, no matter how marginal, and making the entire cost of business much, much higher and encouraging businesses to lay off people at the low end.  Which we now have during a recession with the latest minimum wage jump.

This economy is being run into the ground by politicians who think that we can regulate our way to nirvana, and willing followers who believe that everything in life should be regulated.

That is not a description of freedom, but one of tyranny.

15 October 2009

The problems of federal 'help' in housing

Looking at Steve Chapman's article at Reason on Mortgage Madness (Via Insty) there are a few interesting things that come to light.

First is that in this housing downturn the FHA often requires only 3.5% down on a mortgage, which means the lender is on hook for the rest.  This in a market where commercial lenders are now wanting 20% down due to the number of foreclosures and people who default on their repayments.

Second is that the FHA now makes four times as many loans as it did during the height of the stock market bubble.  And their foreclosure rate is climbing... meaning that they are going to 'need' another bailout right quick.

Third is that this lending by FHA is being done on their cash reserve of $30 billion in a bet that housing prices will not fall.

Fourth, as pointed out in the comments, the government now has an $8,000  first time buyer bonus tax credit which means you get to write off $8,000 in the purchase of a new home.

The net result?

Well, think of that $8,000 as the 3.5%, although it is actually less due to fees, etc. consider it a 'ball park estimate'.

That makes the 100% that you can get in the way of a home in the $228,000 range.

Turn and sell that home for anything almost immediately and you stand a good chance of making money on the deal as your first $8,000 is repaid via taxes and even a small amount of yield can pay for the paperwork of the original purchase and the resale, leaving a good sized net yield.

Free money!

If you can get it, that is.

Now we had all better hope it doesn't actually work that way.

Because the bet is that people will actually be able to get MORE for their homes, while the last three years has seen the market decline due to previous easy lending from the FHA and rules and regulations from the Community Reinvestment Act that pushed private lenders to accept more 'local' loans from people with poor ability to pay them back.  What you would expect is that no one will pay for even the cost of those homes and that these first time buyers will take their tax credit and then default if they can't pay for their mortgage and would be unwilling to throw good money after bad by having paid more for a home in a declining home value market.

Which is what we have now.

Thus the reason people unable to get 20% down flock to the FHA.

Which is drawing on its reserves.

Which is seeing its default rate climb (these are Non-Performing Loans of the over 90 days past due type that are indicative of a shaky market).

Which means it will want another bailout.

To lend more to those unable to get a commercial loan.

And that starts the process all over again.

Then the amount we have to pay out on bonds will go up as people see the US as a bad place to invest since we will be inflating our currency to try and pay off this debt at a lower cost.

Mind you, the swell folks Upon The Hill are going to re-authorize the CRA to pressure more commercial banks to follow this routine.

The regulations have not worked as intended.  The regulators are not exercising good fiscal judgment based on politically backed laws that require these things.  And the commercial sector is trying its hardest to keep bad loans from getting into the market to stabilize it, but those lovely laws and regulations will increase the pressure to do otherwise.

I'm sure that will help us no end as the government seeks to inflate the housing bubble with tax dollars and debt at the National level.

All for that lovely government 'help'.

Not from Wall Street does this corruption come but DC.

'By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.'

- William Shakespear, Macbeth.

A Dangerous Enemy

The following is a cross-post from The Jacksonian Party.

This is a personal outlook paper of The Jacksonian Party.

An interesting question cropped up when I was reading commentary at Hot Air looking at the difference between what President Obama said as a candidate and what he has done since taking office. Part of the outcome is looking at the concept that every promise by President Obama 'has an expiration date': it will have a time when he will come out and say and do the exact opposite of the promise. The Gay community has felt this in his promises on what he would do and his inactivity on those promises, but that is a smaller part of the overall set of promises on Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Terrorism, and the Economy that have all been put forward one way, while campaigning, and then done another way while in office to date. Problems which look 'simple' to the candidate become 'complex' to the office holder, which is a normal part of human affairs, but how one approaches those complexities reveals much about the individual in question. Without exception President Obama has sought for more power and control to be vested in the federal government, the least accountable government in the Nation, and not trusted individuals to find their own use of liberty to sustain the Nation by using that liberty to create prosperity and freedom.

The reprisal of 'helping the poor' puts forward that only the federal government can do this, but the reason to being poor is so various, from a string of absolute bad luck to poor decision making to mental illness, that no one, single, unitary way to approach poverty can be performed. If it were 'just' money, then the hundreds of billions spent on anti-poverty programs would have ridded the Nation of poverty decades ago. Instead it has put individuals into situations where not working, not using your liberty and being rewarded for that has endangered the overall economy to actually sustain productivity so that there is a source of wealth to help the poor. Government does not create wealth, but currency: it is not the maker of things, but puts in place an established exchange unit that is worked with to create wealth. It is this simple understanding, that government is only the backer of society for creation of wealth and not the engine of wealth, that has, apparently, driven much of the policy of the federal government for nearly 80 years. Herbert Hoover was a Progressive Republican and FDR continued on many of the exact, same Progressive policies and then added his own into the mix, and none of them addressed that government taxing money, printing money, and distributing money for make-work jobs was not helping the overall economy but making it worse. By 1937 the actual recovery had been established, but the increased taxes put in from 1934-36, especially Social Security, would take a major bite out of that recovery, create the recession of 1938-39 and then stall out the overall recovery at a lower employment plateau. Double digit unemployment would not end until WWII was utilized as a means to move unemployed young men out of America, give them money they couldn't spend, and put the remaining population to work, thus utilizing the underutilized work of women and those who were too old to find jobs in the previous economy. Unless you were getting SSN, then you had to be offered a federally subsidized stable of 'goodies' in the way of health care that would outlive the war and haunt us to our current times.

One of the prime culprits of making the Great Depression possible was the fiscal policies of the Federal Reserve, the institution put in by President Wilson to centralize banking and finance under federal 'regulation'. And yet that 'regulation' called for fiscally unsound lending practices that led to the Great Depression and made it worse under Hoover and FDR. This is the manifestation of political power into the regulatory system, so as to reflect ideology and not sound fiscal practices, and it has spread to the SEC, FHA, Fannie and Freddie and numerous other 'helpful' government systems. By coupling political influence with garnering such positions in the regulatory system, regulators have become part of the political process, as particularly seen by Freddie and Fannie, both lobbying Congress directly with taxpayer backed funds at their beck and call. The appointment process to those two organizations has been one of politically well connected individuals getting appointment positions and then using those positions to further their political and ideological goals. The overall system described is one that the United States had discarded in another form after closing down the National Bank system that was, itself, not fiscally sound, having political appointees setting policy with little oversight, and allowing for outside influence to sway decisions that helped the well connected but did little for the common man. The elements brought up in the Bank Veto Message of 10 JUL 1832 sound as clear today as they did then and the second paragraph is clear on that score on what the dangers are:

A bank of the United States is in many respects convenient for the Government and useful to the people. Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the belief that some of the powers and privileges possessed by the existing bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive of the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, I felt it my duty at an early period of my Administration to call the attention of Congress to the practicability of organizing an institution combining all its advantages and obviating these objections. I sincerely regret that in the act before me I can perceive none of those modifications of the bank charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country.

A National Bank or Federal Reserve system is, indeed, useful to the Government and the people, but the powers, privileges and capabilities given to get that utility are not only unauthorized by the Constitution, but a deep source of corruption, influence peddling and cronyism, far beyond unsound fiscal policy. This Veto Message stands not just on Constitutional grounds, but practical and reasonable grounds as well, that examine the entire economic activity of the Nation, as a Nation, and then looks to how the corruption of the power is toxic to the States and the people, and ultimately to the Union. It is one of the foremost documents on National Fiscal Policy ever delivered by any President of any era, and yet remains largely unknown due to modern political 'sensibilities' not wanting to examine the deep questions of liberty associated with fiscal policy. Progressive era schooling, thusly, does not allow you to forget such works as it will not teach them to you: you are kept ignorant to meet a social agenda.

This problem was not unknown in the Founding era, and the Drafters of the Constitution had numerous and various problems addressing their critics, the so-called 'Anti-Federalists', many of whom were 'Federalists' as they saw it and criticized the Constitution on Federalist grounds. Even those who were not 'Federalists' and who just wanted a stronger Confederacy are not 'Anti-Federalist' in their insights, many of them based on human nature and the outcomes of past, historical systems of government that were well known in the era. Thus there is a question, or truly a series of questions, at the site Truth and Common Sense, revolving around a 'how would you bring down a democratic republic?' To do that requires little more than delving into the 'Anti-Federalist' archives at Teaching American History and reading as the objections, while diverse, continue to haunt us to this present day. Not all are salient, of course, and there are more than a few 'Anti-Federalist' hot heads who expounded conspiracy theories, just like our modern 'Truthers', those seeking the 'real assassin' of JFK, or how we got velcro which normally involves UFO cover-ups. Conspiracy theories go far back in history beyond the Knights Templar and into the plots and counter-plots of Kings, Emperors and Potentates very close to the beginning of actual recorded documents on clay tablets.

The need to explain the mundane, how a disturbed Communist sympathizer can assassinate a US President and then, in turn, be killed by a man who is not playing with a full deck but clearly was a patriot and did not want the President's death and widow to be un-avenged, puts two disturbed men influencing the course of the Nation and to many people there is no balance in that scale and, thusly, needs something 'deeper' to be playing out. Arch-Duke Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian who wanted Serbia to gain some freedom for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and yet we get World War I as the result, thus putting a disturbing balance between those in power, those out of power and the mechanisms of government via a direct juxtaposition. Yet we accept that set of happenings and the millions dead that followed as they are, while not accepting the far lesser assassination of a President as somehow being 'proof' of a conspiracy. The first changed the course of world history, for the worse, and the second was a brutal assassination done by a committed ideologue who sought personal infamy and recognition. Of the two the first had dire consequences for the modern world, the second some ripples in the United States, yet it is the second that gains the conspiracy theory while the first is seen as a tragic happening normal in global affairs.

How normal? Presidents McKinley and Garfield were assassinated, and yet no real conspiracies grew up around their deaths. We remember President Lincoln because of the Civil War and see that assassination as its tragic capstone and the man a martyr to the cause of the Union. That actually did have a set of conspiratorial actors attempting multiple assassinations that night, but we downplay that conspiracy and play up one where there is no evidence of it. Negative proofs, by eliminating all other possibilities and then demonstrating something is or is not present by the lack of those things, are hard sells in mathematics, and the positive proof, the evidentiary proof far easier to piece together, even if it does not create an emotional sense of well-being in doing so. By trying to not accept the actual proof and testimonies of those involve, those pushing conspiracy theories want a negative proof as the standard so that anything that isn't directly recorded, but that can be accounted for, is proof of a 'conspiracy' covering up 'evidence'.

What this all too human need points to is trying to impress upon reality our emotional sensations. When done to a set of ideologies that have few connections to the real world, we get a fantasy ideology forming in which all the 'positive' evidence is retained and the 'negative' evidence discarded. Often we find forgery or fraudulent manipulation of the historical record both to make 'positives' appear and to make 'negatives' disappear. An old photograph of dinosaur tracks in a creek bed show later manipulation by 'creationists' trying to 'prove' that man walked with dinosaurs and the photography shows the differences decades apart: a simple field photo to show a representative sample of tracks against a modern photo of the same tracks shows manipulation of the tracks, themselves. Stalin had people removed or added to historical photos based on their current position in the hierarchy in an attempt to manufacture a 'perfect' history. That goes to the modern United States where you are not taught about the Bank Veto message or, indeed, given the actual words of Presidents beyond a few kept as 'samples' but often taken out of context. Thus something like The American Presidency Project that brings forth the actual documents of the Presidents allows us to see the actual office holders as they said they were and we need no longer resort to a bit here and a bit there chosen by those compiling books for selling to schools.

Much have I heard those on the Left on one such happening, that of the 'Trail of Tears' and they point to President Jackson with accusations of racism, and yet his First Annual Message on the State of the Union deals with the problem as seen then:

Your particular attention is requested to that part of the report of the Secretary of War which relates to the money held in trust for the Seneca tribe of Indians. It will be perceived that without legislative aid the Executive can not obviate the embarrassments occasioned by the diminution of the dividends on that fund, which originally amounted to $100,000, and has recently been invested in United States 3% stock.

The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian tribes within the limits of some of our States have become objects of much interest and importance. It has long been the policy of Government to introduce among them the arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaiming them from a wandering life. This policy has, however, been coupled with another wholly incompatible with its success. Professing a desire to civilize and settle them, we have at the same time lost no opportunity to purchase their lands and thrust them farther into the wilderness. By this means they have not only been kept in a wandering state, but been led to look upon us as unjust and indifferent to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its expenditures upon the subject, Government has constantly defeated its own policy, and the Indians in general, receding farther and farther to the west, have retained their savage habits. A portion, however, of the Southern tribes, having mingled much with the whites and made some progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately attempted to erect an independent government within the limits of Georgia and Alabama. These States, claiming to be the only sovereigns within their territories, extended their laws over the Indians, which induced the latter to call upon the United States for protection.

Under these circumstances the question presented was whether the General Government had a right to sustain those people in their pretensions. The Constitution declares that "no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State" without the consent of its legislature. If the General Government is not permitted to tolerate the erection of a confederate State within the territory of one of the members of this Union against her consent, much less could it allow a foreign and independent government to establish itself there.


There is no constitutional, conventional, or legal provision which allows them less power over the Indians within their borders than is possessed by Maine or New York. Would the people of Maine permit the Penobscot tribe to erect an independent government within their State? And unless they did would it not be the duty of the General Government to support them in resisting such a measure? Would the people of New York permit each remnant of the six Nations within her borders to declare itself an independent people under the protection of the United States? Could the Indians establish a separate republic on each of their reservations in Ohio? And if they were so disposed would it be the duty of this Government to protect them in the attempt? If the principle involved in the obvious answer to these questions be abandoned, it will follow that the objects of this Government are reversed, and that it has become a part of its duty to aid in destroying the States which it was established to protect.

Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to establish an independent government would not be countenanced by the Executive of the United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi or submit to the laws of those States.

Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character. Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for a while their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast over-taking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the States does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity. It is too late to inquire whether it was just in the United States to include them and their territory within the bounds of new States, whose limits they could control. That step can not be retraced. A State can not be dismembered by Congress or restricted in the exercise of her constitutional power. But the people of those States and of every State, actuated by feelings of justice and a regard for our national honor, submit to you the interesting question whether something can not be done, consistently with the rights of the States, to preserve this much- injured race.

As a means of effecting this end I suggest for your consideration the propriety of setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of any State or Territory now formed, to be guaranteed to the Indian tribes as long as they shall occupy it, each tribe having a distinct control over the portion designated for its use. There they may be secured in the enjoyment of governments of their own choice, subject to no other control from the United States than such as may be necessary to preserve peace on the frontier and between the several tribes. There the benevolent may endeavor to teach them the arts of civilization, and, by promoting union and harmony among them, to raise up an interesting commonwealth, destined to perpetuate the race and to attest the humanity and justice of this Government.

This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to suppose that in this state of things claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain or passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons and property, they will ere long become merged in the mass of our population.

It is plain that he is addressing a complex problem and pointing out the obligations of the United States from the start of this section on Indian Affairs. If he was 'racist' then why would he care that any Indians gaining funds promised to them had a shortfall in such funds? That is an embarrassment to the Union not to meet its obligations to the Sencas, and yet I have never heard this passage mentioned by those pointing at the 'Trail of Tears'. Right after that he points to the injustice of the Government's policy towards the Indian tribal lands and that the policy has driven Indians into a wandering state of affairs that helps no one and makes things more costly to the Union.

Yes, the great one who started the 'Trail of Tears' is railing against the injustice of the policy that will bring that 'Trail of Tears' about! Amazing, no?

And pointing out that it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to demand that the States cede portions of their territory, and that the States are sovereign in determining their territory and that no one else can force them to give up any of the territory, he then does what he can to inform the Indians wanting a carve-out that they are out of luck unless they can convince the States to otherwise recognize and hand over territory to them. He is begging with the States to do just that as the federal government doesn't have that power. He does what he can and offers territory that is, as yet, unsettled and unclaimed by the Union. He asks for a voluntary emigration and setting up of a regular set of governments in that territory. He does not want to see force used, and says so, clearly. He wanted an Indian Commonwealth beyond the Mississippi - a recognized government and Nation to deal with. The injustices had already been done by his time and he could not right those wrongs if the States did not help to do so.

If you have only learned the 'President Jackson was bad' meme, then you are being confronted with something that totally crosses that up. How you react depends on how you view the world.

A person with a fantasy ideology will find excuses, criticisms, and do anything to NOT deal with the historical facts present. These are facts by that President years before the 'Trail of Tears', and he is saying that he doesn't like the course of affairs, that it is unjust, that it is long standing, and that there is damned little he can do about it. Later Congressional actions will drive the course of affairs to a large degree as it is Congress that will have to pass and support the military means necessary to star the ball rolling. That inconvenient fact is also overlooked in the meme. Jackson has basically said he will carry out his Constitutional duties, and continues to do so in all other policy areas during his time in office: from working on Treaties (some with other Indians!) to getting the National Bank removed to ensuring that military veterans of the Revolution get a proper pension and forgiving current soldiers who have been out AWOL and otherwise disorderly, then discharging them. By resorting to a modern view of what 'racism' is, and attempting to put those views on the past, one overlooks that they were not the views then and that the ones given were the actual ones cited not just by President Jackson but by the States and Congress.

A person who finds themselves presented with actual facts that contradict what they have been taught who is willing to re-examine the record and not revert to easy, fantastical and ahistorical reasons for past actions will then re-examine the issue and start to ask some serious questions about what they were taught. Clear and contradictory evidence to what one is taught indicates something lacking in the teacher and the teaching establishment. One cannot say if it is because the instructor was ignorant, or the texts and teaching curriculum slanted and biased, or both, but one can say that it did not properly represent the era, the activities and the reasons given at the time by those involved. One cannot mind read into the actions of the dead and when their own, stated reasons that are then followed through on are brought to light there is a high coincidence of correlation between what is said and what is done. Imputing motives not given is an act of not believing what has been said in support of those actions and can only be done with contradictory evidence. In this case President Jackson is telling everyone that this will not end well along the current course of affairs and that he had limitations on what he could do as President.

Fantasy ideologies that become embedded in individuals are hard things to remove as they offer a comforting, non-reality based way of viewing the world that offers a form of reassurance that actually dealing with the world doesn't afford. Religion, itself, is trying to understand one's world and their place in it, but when it becomes an obsession that puts one out of touch with the world, as the Millerites did in the 19th century, the consequences can be troublesome. With a Jim Jones they become lethal to the believers and to a group like al Qaeda it becomes lethal or potentially so for everyone who does not see the world their way. There is a difference in believing in UFOs and believing a Mothership is trailing a comet and that all one has to do to get to it is kill yourself: one is an observation that there is unknown phenomena that cannot be easily explained and is unidentified, the other is believing that such things are a path to heaven via suicide. To those with a fantasy ideology no amount of actual, real world and demonstrable proof or evidence that goes against the world view of the fantasy will change their minds. Indeed alternative ways to explain such things, that are themselves fanciful and go beyond normal causality to look for a 'deeper truth' is what is sought. Anything that allows the fantasy to exist by twisting actual factual data to indicate something other than they do indicate is the goal of any believer in a fantasy ideology.

Looking at one of my previous works in regards to Socialism, my second critique goes to the actual Scientific Socialist view of Marx's works, and they are individuals who have most tried to apply some scientific principles to Marx, and yet find that when their analysis leads them out of real world human nature, that Marx is to be preferred over accounting for reality. This is part of the Theory and Practice Conundrum:

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.

In practice there is.

Thus, accepting Marx's end-state analysis of how Socialism comes about as the final social order of humanity, one can then examine those end conditions and ask 'what satisfies these conditions?' In doing that one finds a wealth of problems in Socialism that requires not just technological achievement, but deep and profound changes in human nature that have been evidence at no time in human history on any scale. Even better is that Marx, himself, followed up on his beliefs and did things that modern Marxists/Socialists wouldn't understand, like support the North in the US Civil War as it was a power for advancing mankind and industry. The Scientific Socialists kept up with that, however, and the stories given me as I was growing up of Socialists who would resolutely stay at their jobs during the World Wars so as to support the betterment of mankind through the expanse of capitalism, so that capitalism can do its necessary work and then be supplanted, is one that does shock the modern Socialist Left and even the Socialist Right, come to think of it. Schismatic Socialist movements splintered from the main of Socialism, so that everything from Communism to Fascism to the 'feel good' NannyState have become its hallmarks. And yet each and every venue that is Socialist depends on the solid foundations laid out by Marx, and if one examines the foundations, they are less than sturdy and less than stable. And that was done in regards to my first article on Socialism.

That list of premises that must make the foundation of Socialism possible, the actual things that must come about, I will extract from my second document:

Premise 1: All working hours are equal, no matter the time investment into gaining the skills to do them.

Premise 2: One man shall *not* gain over another's work on an hour by hour valuation.

Premise 3: Workers know how best to do their work.

Premise 4: The amount of labor to complete a given task is static over time.

Premise 5: Work is its own reward in keeping society running.

If we recognize Liberty as self-evident in the nature of mankind, then utilizing Liberty means that each person prospers in accordance to their ability to apply their skills and receive recognition for those skills in the way of actual payment above and beyond the normal. A skilled craftsman is recognized as being above and beyond the norm and their works are appreciated as such. While one can argue that a cinematographer like Vertov, say, would not have appeared under Czarist rule, it is more than possible he would have appeared under capitalism with a generally liberal representative democracy in place that gave freedom of the marketplace to value some works more highly than others. Dziga Vertov demonstrates just the opposite of spreading skills under a non-rewards based system: no one in later years would ever accomplish such grand works in film as he did as the system did not reward invention, innovation or even good taste. It was in capitalist countries that his work would be influential, not in the USSR.

At this point many of the Scientific Socialists would point out that the USSR had not met the industrial pre-conditions put forth by Marx as necessary for Socialism and that the USSR was not 'socialist'. That is true, so far as it goes, but the shift from a form of serfdom to a society that did try to get an equalized end-state is ignored and the status of the USSR as a demonstration point on the feasibility, or lack thereof, of getting to that lovely end-state is tossed away in that analysis. The question is: would satisfying the industrial precondition change the result of the outcome of the Soviet experiment? Was it a matter of not having enough capitalism, not enough technology that makes the difference? Or is it in the nature of man, himself, outside of the preconditions that made achievement of such an end-state impossible or even desirable? Each of those premises has backing in a viewpoint of what human nature is and how human nature makes those end-states come about. Yet if the actual human nature is at variance with what is expected, then trying to change human nature, to shift it out of the nature of man as mortal, fallible, and prone to his own weakness, is folly and lethal simultaneously.

Our modern Transnational Progressivist Left and Right, like their antecedents in the various Socialist movements, likewise put forth broad and disturbing generalities of mankind in an attempt to undermine the Nation State system on an international scale. John Fonte has detailed the outlines of the goals of Transnational Progressivism which are little different on the Left or Right of that movement, save for emphasis on societal or industrial means:

Groups are what matter, not people. You are "Black" or "Christian" or "Mexican" or "Afghan" or "Sunni", you are not yourself. You also don't get to choose your group; it's inherent in what you were when you were born. Someone else will categorize you into your group, and you will become a number, a body to count to decide how important that group is. And your group won't change during your lifetime.

The goal of fairness is equality of result, not equality of opportunity. It isn't important to let individuals fulfill their potential and express their dreams, what's important is to make groups have power and representation in all things proportional to their numbers in the population. Fairness is for groups, not for individuals. The ideally fair system is based on quotas, not on merit, because that permits proper precise allocation of results.

Being a victim is politically significant. It's not merely a plea for help or something to be pitied; it's actually a status that grants extra political power. "Victimhood" isn't a cult, it's a valid political evaluation. Groups which are victims should be granted disproportionately more influence and representation, at the expense of the historic "dominant" culture.

Assimilation is evil. Immigrants must remain what they were before they arrived here, and should be treated that way. Our system must adapt to them, rather than expecting them to adapt to us (even if they want to). The migration of people across national borders is a way to ultimately erase the significance of those borders by diluting national identity in the destination country.

An ideal democracy is a coalition where political power is allocated among groups in proportion to their numbers. It has nothing to do with voting or with individual citizens expressing opinions, and in fact it doesn't require elections at all. A "winner take all" system, or one ruled by a majority, is profoundly repugnant because it disenfranchise minority groups of all kinds and deprives them of their proper share of power.

National identity is evil. We should try to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, not as citizens of the nations in which we live, and we should try to minimize the effects of national interests, especially our own if we live in powerful nations.

Fonte's descriptive analysis serves as a handy test to see if a political position put forth is bound by this ideology. There is no handbook of the Transnational Progressivist just as there was no ready handbook of Progressivism: the days of actually having to state what you believe in as a coherent view of society and man's place in creating it are no longer the goal of Progressivism, save to put both society and individuals under the rule of a self-described elite. This system is not just Transnational, but anti-Nation State at its core. Yet the Nation State is the creation of mankind across the globe, and wherever man has created culture of any sort, man has created States and Nation States. While there are technological gulfs between the Incan Empire and the Roman Empire, or between the Iriquois Nations and Swiss Confederation, the actual utilization of Nation State diplomacy, many of its features and ways to address other powers was highly similar. As was examined in the 17th to 19th century, this is due to the similarity of the nature of man and how he derives culture, self-governance, States and then Nations to deal with other States. The Nation State is the creation of mankind to protect cultures that are different, and yet recognize that other cultures are valid and recognizes other Nation States as equals in those terms, if not economic, social or military terms. Indeed it is talked about from ancient times through the 12th century in England all the way up to the 19th century and the forms and formulas of embassies, treaties, Nation to Nation agreements, pomp and circumstance is all guided by those understandings that we now accept as common.

Progressivism wanted to co-opt the power of the State and such social organs as Labor Unions as a means to break up the 'dominant' culture in the United States and elsewhere. Yet there was a major setback in that agenda that still exists to this day, as described by Walter Russell Mead in The Jacksonian Tradition (archive of that article here):

Most progressive, right thinking intellectuals in mid-century America believed that the future of American populism lay in a social democratic movement based on urban immigrants. Social activists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger consciously sought to use cultural forms like folk songs to ease the transition from the old individualistic folk world to the collective new one that they believed was the wave of the future; they celebrated unions and other strange, European ideas in down home country twangs so that, in the bitter words of Hiram Evans, "There is a steady flood of alien ideas being spread over the country, always carefully disguised as American."

What came next surprised almost everyone. The tables turned, and Evans’ Americans "americanized" the immigrants rather than the other way around. In what is still a largely unheralded triumph of the melting pot, Northern immigrants gradually assimilated the values of Jacksonian individualism. Each generation of new Americans was less "social" and more individualistic than the preceding one. American Catholics, once among the world’s most orthodox, remained Catholic in religious allegiance but were increasingly individualistic in terms of psychology and behavior ("I respect the Pope, but I have to follow my own conscience"). Ties to the countries of emigration steadily weakened, and the tendency to marry outside the group strengthened.

By the late 20th century this force was actively being opposed by the cultural elite who were adhering to a fantasy ideology of there being some societal equivalence at the society level between all societies, and that it was politically correct not to refer to the differences and problems in other societies and, instead, vilify your own society's problems and equalize them with those of other societies. Thus workplace discrimination in America is equated with discrimination in totalitarian regimes, such as China, that have even worse records of humanitarian discrimination and xenophobia behind them. The lack of gays having 'equal rights' in America to government recognition of things like marriage, are directly equated to the lofty elevation of gays in places like Iran who consign them to the grave. 'Enlightened' European Nations have socialized medicine that is costly to their Nations, bankrupting them, and often hard to get or have governments unwilling to even find out the quality of health care received, and that is directly equated to America where there are no dead on the streets and willingness to not purchase 'health insurance' is an exercise of liberty and a personal assessment of risk and benefits. At all points State control and telling the individual what to do is elevated over individual liberty and freedom to decide one's life for oneself.

Yet that is the role of government: to restrict, to punish. It is not a provider of 'good things' save in what it doesn't do, which is to straightjacket society with regulations in an attempt to force people to become 'good' and 'socially aware' by punishing them when they are not. Socialism had, at least, the belief that man saw work as its own reward, regardless of station in life, and that one got according to one's needs. When those needs are dictated to you, then you are no longer a citizen but a subject of the State. That is Transnational Progressivism's ideal: to make all individuals subjects to their States, beholden to their government and to force elitist views on what is and is not good upon all people.

Save the Elites, of course, they are above any rules, any laws, and any accountability.

That is the end of forcing people to 'do good' and punishing them if they do so in ways that are not acceptable to the State. It is a fantasy ideology that we can all think alike and 'be different' at the same time, and that human nature can, indeed, be overturned by government fiat. And yet those that come to power are no less human, no less susceptible to the temptations of mortal life than those they seek to rule, and often their excesses are made the worst because they feel that any 'good end' justifies their activities. That is not a description of freedom but of tyranny.

It is strange that so many want that tyranny because they believe it really will turn out 'all right' and 'better' for all concerned.

Don't mind the governments, States, Nations and Empires that have all ruled this way to the non-benefit of their people.

Only good intentions matter, even as the blood to get those intentions put in place run under the boots of those bringing it about and stain their hands, spatter their faces to put a red tinged haze around those 'good intentions' as that is the end of Elite rule wherever it is tried.

08 October 2009

Sights I wonder about

Just a quickie gripe...

Ruger has this fun idea that they won't actually screw their sight leaf screw down properly on the Mark III's.  Amazing, really, that you end up wondering about just why you have problems hitting what you aim at until you properly set the thing.  The rest of the gun is a precision mechanism.  The sight is left to wander around.  Strange, that.

Kahr/Auto-Ordnance needs to address this with the four screws they use on their leaf sights for the Thompson as mine worked loose damned near simultaneously, and two screws went flying off into the wild blue yonder due to that.  The other two came off with the sight.  I hope that other people don't have similar experiences as it is a bit disconcerting.  More than a bit, really.

Haven't these guys heard of Loctite?  You don't need the super-duper, needs heat treatment to loosen it sort... just the small screw sort.  I'm sure that extra tenth of a cent that it would cost to do that wouldn't break any company or raise the end cost all that much.  And as it is the lower strength stuff, so it would let mere mortals actually take the screws out if you wanted to actually swap sights.

I like everything else about the equipment, but for any new firearms I guess the very first thing to do is to see if the companies actually bothered to secure their sights.

07 October 2009

Moore is less

As some may have noticed I have moved more to a bit of commentary here and there and less to blog posts, but as I had done before and put down over-long comments, I continue to do.  So to capture some of that blather, I will hand you what I put down at Hot Air which had an article about Michael Moore being interviewed by Sean Hannity and the question of forgiving of al Qaeda in respect to WWJD was brought up by Moore.  Most of the interview was spent on such things as Moore's recent movie and how those NINJAs that took loans were, to Moore, equivalent of rape victims... because they entered into contracts as adults and couldn't meet their obligations.

Little does anyone suspect that these two things, forgiveness of al Qaeda and loans from contracts, are intimately entwined.

I just have to go back a bit to show why.

What follows is as posted in the commentary, and as I am pretty busy I probably won't be able to respond there as being a little bit better doesn't mean I'm at all physically well.

* * *

al Qaeda is not just a foe nor even normal enemy. Such is the view of Law of Nations as seen by de Vattel in Book III:

§ 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war.

Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different.

By engaging in Private War, illegitimate to all of mankind, al Qaeda breaks with civilization entirely. They have declared themselves beyond the bounds of all laws and set themselves up as the only ones fit to judge their actions. Each and every member does this and, in joining with al Qaeda, steps away from the protection of the civil law prefering, instead, God’s Law of Nature which red in tooth and claw.

Nor is this isolated to just this venue, as de Vattel worked with Blackstone who wrote commentaries on the Common Law of England. Before the Revolution this is how Private War in the realm of Piracy, which is no different from any other sort of illegitimate war, was seen:

LASTLY, the crime of piracy, or robbery and depredation upon the high seas, is an offense against the universal law of society; a pirate being, according to Sir Edward Coke,10 hostis humani generis [enemy to mankind]. As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war against him: so that every community has a right, by the rule of self-defense, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property.

BY the ancient common law, piracy, if committed by a subject, was held to be a species of treason, being contrary to his natural allegiance; and by an alien to be felony only: but now, since the statute of treasons, 25 Edw. III. c. 2. it is held to be only felony in a subject.11 Formerly it was only cognizable by the admiralty courts, which proceed by the rule of the civil law.12 But, it being inconsistent with the liberties of the nation, that any man’s life should be taken away, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the common law of the land, the statute 28 Hen. VIII. c. 15. established a new jurisdiction for this purpose; which proceeds according to the course of the common law, and of which we shall say more hereafter.

Thus Piracy is a two-fold act in the Common Law. First and foremost it is a violation of the Law of Nations, which is that area of law that we create in our associations with others. The Law of Nations is NOT part of the civil law as noted by Bracton centuries before Blackstone when he wrote his commentaries on the Laws of England. It is one of the strongest views of how we create society via those associations:

What the jus gentium is.

[017] 33The jus gentium is the law which men of all nations use, which falls short of
[018] natural law since that is common to all animate things born on the earth in the
[019] sea or in the air. From it comes the union of man and woman, entered into by the
[020] mutual consent of both, which is called marriage. Mere physical union is [in the
[021] realm] of fact and cannot properly be called jus since it is corporeal and may be
[022] seen;34 all jura are incorporeal and cannot be seen. From that same law there
[023] also35 comes the procreation and rearing of children. The jus gentium is common
[024] to men alone, as religion observed toward God, the duty of submission to parents
[025] and country, or the right to repel violence and injuria. For it is by virtue of this
[026] law that whatever a man does in defence of his own person he is held to do lawfully;
[027] since nature makes us all in a sense akin to one another it follows that for one to
[028] attack another is forbidden.36

In creating families the basis for all other forms of human community are formed: without that basic understanding of the necessity to give up a portion of our liberty to sustain our children, we cannot create civilization. The civil law comes long after that basic association, which makes the law of nations, jus gentium, primary law even when it is unwritten. The writing of de Vattel was to help codify that unwritten law, to have a basis of common understanding solidified so that we could understand this thing we create called ‘nations’. Bracton continues on, and really Mr. Moore, by asking the question, raises the exact law that crosses from al Qaeda to loan holders, but he does not realize it:

What manumission is.

[030] 37Manumissions also come from the jus gentium. Manumission is the giving of
[031] liberty, that is, the revelation of liberty, according to some, for liberty, which
[032] proceeds from the law of

[001] nature, cannot be taken away by the jus gentium but only obscured by it,38 for
[002] natural rights are immutable. But say that he who manumits does properly give
[003] liberty, though he does not give his own but another’s, for one may give what he
[004] does not have, as is apparent in the case of a creditor, who [may alienate a pledge
[005] though the thing is not his,39 and in that of one who] constitutes a usufruct in his
[006] property.40 For natural rights are said to be immutable because they cannot be
[007] abrogated or taken away completely, though they may be restricted or diminished
[008] in kind41 or in part. 42It was by virtue of this jus gentium that wars were introduced
[009] (that is, when declared43 by the prince for the defence of his country44 or to repel
[010] an attack) and nations separated, kingdoms established and rights of ownership
[011] distinguished. Individual ownership was not effected de novo by the jus gentium but
[012] existed of old, for in the Old Testament things were already mine and thine, theft
[013] was prohibited45 and it was decreed that one not retain his servant’s wages.46 By
[014] the jus gentium boundaries were set to holdings, buildings erected next to one
[015] another, from which cities, boroughs and vills were formed.47 And generally, the
[016] jus gentium is the source of all contracts48 and of many other things. What long
[017] custom is will be explained below.49

Civil contract law comes from that basic law that we create amongst ourselves, the private law of jus gentium. Beyond families, when we build and create and live near to others, we have an understanding of property as the creative act is the exercise of liberty on our own behalf. It is with liberty that we create, that we do associate and that we create the very laws we live by. Liberty goes beyond property and to the very heart of all our rights: without liberty we have no rights. We yield a portion of our natural liberty, which is our negative liberty, to our associated creation which is society, the state and the Nation. In resuming these rights, those in any organization or, indeed, alone, who practice Private War are no longer bound to our loving grace. It is not we who absent them from civil society, but their actions which do so. Those who remain in the civil realm, who have exercised liberty and then are unable to sustain their contracts are bound by the jus gentium for civil penalties if such have been established and private ones if they have not. Still, via Bracton, those private ones are established by area and venue in the Common Law, and not created out of thin air but by common agreement in the local society.

The second venue is the civil law, of course, as that is part of the fruits of jus gentium. Here differing Nations decide venues for prosecution differently. Up to the time of Henry VIII the violations were those of either War or Admiralty, depending on venue for land and sea. The sea based portion, as it deals with the problems of contracts, was moved to the civil law save for those portions dealing with National Letters of Marque and Reprisal so as to harm those who have reverted to Nature and recognize no civil discourse. We withhold love and forgiveness until those who have become such enemies to all that is civilized realize their error and submit themselves to the civil law. As we are not God, not Divine and cannot hold all forgiveness in our hearts and are only mortal, we recognize that the boundaries of our very mortality guide us in creating jus gentium. We add penalties to both the civil and military realms for those who break that basis of civilization. Final forgiveness is for that which has it within them to hand out and we would presume too much and forget that we are mortal if we are expected to hand out forgiveness without seeing repentance and submission to the civil law so as to win back to the jus gentium.

In God we trust.

All others pay cash.

* * *

I'll say this much: Michael Moore doesn't realize the two topics are part of the same venue.

But then the modern Left has been trying to have us forget just how and why we do come together to each other.  And why the Law of Nations is not a description of 'international law'.