Bills of Immunity — New Tool Against the EPA?

October 27, 2012

While ideally we would work foremost in establishing the Rule of Law by building more permanency and less arbitrariness into the framework or constitution of laws, in reality such rule may be long in coming so long as an army of bureaucrats rage the land with mandates and codes.  We may indeed need some merry men (e.g. freedom fighters) from Robin Hood against King John (tyranny) until King Richard (i.e. the Rule of Law) returns.  To this end I propose fighting ad hoc and arbitrary rules with exemptions to such.  While exemptions might appear incongruous to the principle of the Rule of Law, i.e. that law should equally apply to everyone, it must be noted that arbitrary and ad hoc rules by their very nature aren’t establishing a Rule of Law in the first place.  Such mandates are all too often established by unconstitutional bodies with no real direct accountability to the people at large. e.g. the EPA.  Their technocrats are constantly tweaking a fugacious web of rules and regulations that few can predict with certainty.  Against such a web of oppressive government I propose Bills of Immunity which I will describe after first describing the evils that such Bills would mitigate.

Such technocrats all too often harbor zealous convictions that can rarely be tempered with economic caution or prudence.  Such priests of the temples of technology often practice the creed that if something can be done, then it must be done, regardless of the cost. All too often the costs are very real, as can be seen in the recent economic recession with around half of recent college graduates unable to find work, many underemployed, and even more struggling under inflation and stagflation as costs rise and government stimulus plans of the past have eroded our currency even further.  The zealous pursuit of stemming CO2 emissions at all costs has cost us far too much in lost opportunities and lost generations of unemployed youth to warrant second thoughts on whether a more measured and economically tempered course ought to be considered in order to save humanity first and the planet second.  Tax money that could have gone to real humanitarian needs such as lowering the deficit and protecting freedom has been poured into green technologies not even half way to breaking even.  While government subsidies may have promoted some technological development, the lack of market discipline that such “free” money entails too often promotes waste and bad investment.  And moral objections to subsidies aside, some investments have been poured into technology that is still quite far from cusping on breakthroughs in self-sustainability.  Just this year, the Economist magazine published an article (see showing how far electric cars have still to come before they are even economically viable.  The price of the battery per kWh needs to come down from $600 to $200 to become viable according to that article.  The battery itself in its present makeup could pose an environmental impact in itself unless properly disposed.  It’s current lifetime average of seven years must also be improved in order to increase the marketability and less the environmental impact.

Even if their actions were wiser, the mere idea of their actions being consciously made and promoting a general social engineering that by necessity must constantly be tweaked towards greater perfection leads to greater uncertainty by its ad hoc and discretionary powers.  The individual citizen or business is all too often ignored as ill affording such regulations’ discretionary unpredictability.  No man or women can truly predict, plan or fulfill their individual dreams under such an entangled web of rules.  They simply wriggle and often helplessly avoid the impending doom that often awaits them as the spiders of government eventually suck their blood out and leave them empty shells.

Against such doom I propose Bills of Immunity that provide a period of protection from frivolous lawsuits or creeping changes in regulation by limiting the culpability of a business or entity to laws existing at the snapshot in time at which such a Bill of Immunity was issued.  Such bills would offer reassurance that investments in time and money would be protected for the period of the Bill from unpredictable changes in regulation or law that couldn’t be anticipated at the time of such investments.  Such bills could potentially limit the arbitrary power of the EPA by countering it’s discretionary powers with government provided guarantees of protection against such authority when such authority wielded powers in violation of the contracts provided under such Bills of Immunity.

Some might protest against freezing liability standards on the argument that future data might reveal unforeseen dangers that pose a threat to society.  However such arguments could be countered twofold.  First and foremost we ought not to base the law strictly on providing contingencies for unforeseen dangers if such contingencies lead to greater uncertainty with respect to the law and power of authorities.  Secondly such arguments tend to be based on the fear that corporations will neglect the public safety in their pursuit of profit.  Such arguments neglect the inherent goodwill of individuals and the companies they work for as well as the role of public and social pressures to be more responsible and minimize the impact on one’s surroundings.


Musings on the Costs of Social Insurance

September 19, 2012

Phrasing all behavior as potentially imposing costs on society is the methodology of some to justify imposing their comprehensive and oppressive social programs ad infinitum in order to create a network of social insurances against all potential risks.  

While establishing this framework of comprehensive risk management for society as a whole might initially sound good and beneficial, its key fault is the fact that it imposes an overall cost to society far greater than the sum of the individual costs it sought to mitigate.  It wrongly assumes that the impact of individuals defaulting on the responsibilities for their own welfare will somehow be mitigated by creating a comprehensive  insurance policy for all citizens whereby any and all potential costs persons may impose on society are helped against by a premium paid in liberty and taxes.  Yet it is ultimately doomed to failure precisely for the same reason that all things aren’t reasonably insurable unless one is willing to assume exorbitant costs for the perfect policy.  

This incessant quest for the perfect insurance policy for society as a whole inevitably devolves into a tilting at windmills as its promoters and promulgators in government create a litany of administerial mandates and ad hoc laws establishing ever new crimes against humanity.  Former law abiding citizens suddenly face modern day versions of legal “Lion’s Dens”.  Criminalizing formerly acceptable behaviors from tanning to delicacies in geese, from cell-phone usage to selling soft drinks of uncertain volumes, there are few aspects of life these perfectionists won’t refrain from micro-managing.  For the victims of such tyranny, only the ghost of King Darius stands to fast and pray their lives aren’t rent apart by these modern day lions.

Such lions feed on the notion of fostering anticipatory and preemptive law rather than reactive law.  Such debased forms of law are not amenable to becoming set in stone and are often constantly in flux precisely because they cannot anticipate everything.  Laws constructed in such an environment antithetical to the principle of the Rule of Law tend to be ad hoc and experimental.

It is also ironic that social insurance measures can  have the same side effect as some other overt safety measures in encouraging riskier behavior since it is now assumed to be “covered”.

President Obama’s Egregious Disregard of the Law

January 18, 2012

Recent Appointments by the President without consent and approval of Senate is further evidence of yet another egregious disregard for the law and the Rule of Law.

Here are some great links to videos that explain just how egregious and abusive of power this man has become:

Henry Ross discusses how Obama’s latest appointments continues the abuse of the Rule of Law:
Henry Ross on Obama’s Unconstitutional Appointments

‎”…form and process are the glue that holds together our republic…If our chief executive doesn’t have respect for the law then what does that say about the respect for other executives, other branches of government in terms of abiding by the Constitution…so there’s real Constitutional uproar here; short term political gain for the Presidency…over the long term what does it do to the Constitution…could there be a lawsuit? Yeah there could be a lawsuit here…” quoting Peter Johnson Jr. on Fox News interview:
Peter Johnson Jr. discusses Constitutional Crisis of Obama’s recent non-recess appointments without Senate approval

“…This goes far beyond what previous presidents have done. The president is in a sense telling the Congress that they aren’t actually in session. That’s a huge violation of the principle of the separation of powers. The senate should be in a position to determine it’s own rules, to determine when it’s in session and when it’s not, it’s a coequal branch of government…”
President Obama Takes the Law Into His Own Hands and Makes “Recess” Appointments

Members of Congress React to Obama’s Abuse of Power

Heartless Uncertainty

December 23, 2011

When it comes to people, “heartless” implies not the absence of heart, but the existence of a heart that is cold towards others.  In contrast things such as formal laws, markets and frameworks cannot be “heartless” for the simple reason that they can’t have hearts to begin with, i.e. such things don’t have feelings.  And yet it has ever been the vain practice of misguided individuals to attribute the term “heartless” to such systems and institutions as if they were purposefully antagonistic towards some individuals.  Such preconceptions lead some to impose ad hoc perturbations to the established order of things in their attempts to right these imagined wrongs.  As more perturbations are introduced for more special interests, the less objective and more arbitrary the whole existing framework becomes.  Exceptions to the rule inevitably beget more exceptions and the whole process snowballs away from anything resembling certainty and order.  Individuals find themselves less able to plan their futures with a greater frequency of change in the order of things, i.e. the rules by which they might fulfill their goals unimpeded.  In the end, the more men try to assign “heart” and subjective fairness to frameworks and laws, the more they work against the inherent nature of such things to operate blindly and justly with no respect to persons.  Such men cannot allow such mechanisms and frameworks of law to simply follow general principles  ignorant of particular individual circumstances.  Such efforts to impair impartiality by ad hoc adjustments to benefit specific individuals inevitably kick against the pricks of natural laws upon which frameworks of law are ultimately founded upon.  This frustrates the efforts of their fellow man struggling to find some certainty under the Rule of Law as opposed to the capriciousness of the Rule of Men.  It is this rude imposition of uncertainty which makes such efforts to inject heart and soul into soulless, heart free, unfeeling and intangible objects such as the Law which makes such attempts and their promulgators truly “heartless” when it comes to the aftermath of real, lasting devastation to the Rule of Law which they create for society in general.

Two Great Quotes on the Rule of Law

December 18, 2011

If you’ve ever heard the term “the Rule of Law”, you may never fully appreciate it without having read F.A. Hayek’s seminal work “The Road to Serfdom”. His analysis of what the Rule of Law truly means in the conservative sense opens one’s eyes to the full sense of this phrase and its impact on individual freedom and self-determination.  One might otherwise go through life thinking one is free and liberated, when in fact one might well be on the way to becoming ever more enslaved by the growing uncertainty forced upon the masses by the arbitrary decisions of elite power brokers and unelected czars.  Here are two excellent quotes from chapter 6 of this book, entitled “Planning and the Rule of Law”:

‎formal rules…do not aim at the wants and needs of particular people. They are intended to be merely instrumental in the pursuit of people’s various individual ends. And they are, or ought to be, intended for such long periods that it is impossible to know whether they will assist particular people more than others…Formal rules are thus merely instrumental in the sense that they are expected to be useful to yet unknown people, for purposes for which these people will decide to use them, and in circumstances which cannot be foreseen in detail. In fact, that we do not know their concrete effect, that we do not know what particular ends these rules will further, or which particular people they will assist, that they are merely given the form most likely on the whole to benefit all the people affected by them, is the most important criterion of formal rules in the sense in which we here use this term.

If the individuals are to be able to use their knowledge effectively in making plans, they must be able to predict actions of the state which may affect these plans. But if the actions of the state are to be predictable, they must be determined by rules fixed independently of the concrete circumstances which can be neither foreseen nor taken into account beforehand: and the particular effects of such actions will be unpredictable. If, on the other hand, the state were to direct the individual’s actions so as to achieve particular ends, its action would have to be decided on the basis of the full circumstances of the moment and would therefore be unpredictable. Hence the familiar fact that the more the state “plans,” the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.

An Enlightened View on the Immorality of Illegal Immigration

December 9, 2011

Just finished reading this article on the National Review.  Very well thought out and compelling arguments on how illegal immigration, like any crime can have far-reaching and damaging results on the very fabric of society and the Rule of Law.  Victor Davis provides very logical and reasonable arguments of how the inconsiderateness of a few illegal immigrants has needlessly created much suffering for all, especially other immigrants wanting to become real citizens…

Mother May I Posit Some Arms Bearing Liberties

November 8, 2011

Mother May I defend myself from violent assault or deter it by carrying a handgun?  Mother May I presume myself some sane, innocent and mentally capable unless criminal behavior on my part proves otherwise?  Mother May I exercise my constitutional rights without the intervention of the state?  Mother May I exercise those rights without the hassles of licensing and processing fees which while inexpensive to some are more prohibitive and costly to those on already tight budgets?  Mother May I have the audacity to suggest that law enforcement can’t be everywhere at once and have even claimed that they aren’t necessarily responsible for defending the average citizen?  Mother May I even have the boldness to declare that we have the right to carry anything we want handgun or otherwise unless or until we choose to harm others by such means outside of our legal right to self defense?  Mother May I suggest that criminals aren’t deterred by tougher regulations on weapons, but rather tougher punishment for crime?  May I suggest that tougher regulations on weapons only serve to disarm law abiding citizens?  Mother May I reject the notion that my property and my being serve the needs of the collective society rather than my own self-interest?  May I reject the notion that self-interest doesn’t equate with self-centeredness?


Please support efforts such as Carl Wimmer’s recent efforts to eliminate the requirement for a state concealed weapons permit in Utah.  Let’s also stop asking the government “Mother May I?”  and become more independent, self-determining and responsible individuals.

The Rule of Divine Law

October 21, 2011

The following words of the Savior have weighed upon my mind (Matthew 5:17-20):

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Even though they had corrupted the simple truths of such law into an over prescribed set of guidelines, Jesus attributes some righteousness unto the Pharisees for their love of eternal law . How can we grow beyond superficial righteousness?

My heart is lifted upon reading James 1:25 –

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Earnestly striving to live God’s laws today will bless us with the strength to obey His law more fully tommorrow. Christ has said “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30).

Obedience to God helps us understand His eternal government which is based upon adherence to eternal truth and the Rule of Law.

God is no respecter of persons as declared in the New Testament (Acts 10:34-35). He does not exempt a bishop from paying tithing nor does He excuse a movie star for committing adultery. We are all equal with respect to His eternal laws.

“Man is declared to have been in the beginning with the Father, possessed of an uncreated intelligence. Man’s agency and his ultimate acountability are based upon that fact.” (Eternal Principles of Government: A Theological Approach – Ensign June 1976)

God’s laws are invariable and timeless. To think otherwise is to be mistaken about the application of such laws and the eternal truths upon which they are based.

The Rule of Law is simple to define. It is not an ad hoc Rule.
Freedom advocate, F.A. Hayek wrote: “the Rule of Law… means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand – rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.” In contrast he mentions “If the law says that an authority may do what it pleases, anything that authority does is legal – but its actions are not subject to the Rule of Law.” (F.A. Hayek “The Road to Serfdom”)

The story of Daniel illustrates the Rule of Law. King Darius loved Daniel, but was tricked into passing a law forbidding anyone to petition any God or man other than himself for 30 days. The punishment set for disobedience was a night in a den of lions. When Daniel was caught praying, his enemies reminded King Darius that he was bound by the law to deliver Daniel to the lions’ den (Daniel 6:15):

“…Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree or statute which the king establisheth may be changed.”

God honors those obedient to His laws. He solemnly declares(D&C 82:10):

10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

The tragic story of Samson is evidence of why we should trust in God. “How patient and true was God with Samson! Not until Samson had broken every Nazarite vow did God withdraw his strength.” (No Other Gods before Me, S. Michael Wilcox, Jan. 1994 Ensign)

Divine Law stands in stark contrast to a world of corruption and uncertainty. Uncertainty reigns when we depart from truth. Elder James E. Faust stated the following: (Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil, Sept. 1995 Ensign):

We live in a day when many things are measured against the standard of social or political correctness. I challenge that false doctrine of human behavior… Today many of us are trying to serve two masters‚ the Lord and our own selfish interests‚ without offending the devil. The influence of God, our Eternal Father, urges us, pleads us, and inspires us to follow him. In contrast the power of Satan urges us to disbelieve and disregard God’s commandments…Abortion is one evil practice that has become socially accepted in the United States. Mother Theresa has said ‘If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other?’… the Lord recorded in Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” All my life I have heard the argument that the earth is overpopulated. At the center of the debate …[is] the socially acceptable phrase “sustainable growth”. Few voices in the developed nations cry out in the wilderness against this coined phrase, “sustainable growth.” In Forbes magazine a thoughtful editorial asserts that people are an asset, not a liability….People who argue for sustainable growth lack vision and faith. The Lord said, “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.”

The gospel message is clear to all the prodigal sons languishing in the world: come home to the heritage of your fathers!

In our day men seek to destroy the law and the prophets. When they cannot bend the law to their evil purposes, they promote anarchy and unrest. Various interests continue laying traps against the god fearing man by inventing new crimes against humanity. Faith and integrity can overcome these modern lions’ dens. Though we may never find peace in the world of men, we will find peace in obeying God’s law. As the hymn states: “Keep the Commandments…in this there is safety and peace”. This peace comes from knowing we are in harmony with God’s eternal laws.

Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Has the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance Become This?

July 8, 2011

Is this what we’re really saying when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, given our modern condition as a nation stripped of states’ rights, individual and state sovereignty?:

I pledge allegiance to the flag

Of the Consolidated States of America,

And to the Nation-State for which it stands,

One Nanny State under God,

An involuntary compact,

With political correctness and  activism for all…

The Imminent Dangers of Ethics Commissions

March 22, 2011

Sovereignty is a term often used to denote jurisdiction of law.  As I hope to illustrate, it can mean so much more, especially when used to reaffirm the dignity, worth and power of the individual, especially the individual voter.  At least some and hopefully many still realize that sovereignty implies autonomy and freedom to act.  Autonomy implies protection from encroachment of such freedom to act.  Such protection is afforded through limited delegation of enumerated powers to higher levels of government.  Each level of government from individual self-government on up to local, state and federal governments should be jealous of its sovereignty in limiting how much power it delegates to other bodies and levels of government.

As of late, there is a grave threat to our sovereignty as individual voters and ultimately to all levels of government.  It is the fanatical drive to surrender voter choice and the Rule of Law to those tauting Ethics Reform.  How would you like to vote someone into office only to have them deemed unworthy and therefore ineligible by a supposedly independent ethics commission?  Such notions stink of political correctness.  Even if such a commission were non-partisan it certainly wouldn’t be unbiased, especially with so much power at stake.  Just look at the state school board — nonpartisan perhaps, but unbiased?  There is also the danger of local ethics commissions being influenced or becoming members of national ethics commissions.

Holding government officials to high standards is worthwhile, but let’s do this the right way!  When codified under the Rule of Law, expectations of ethical behavior allow individuals to plan and act, confident in the impartiality of justice.  Ethics commissions in contrast remind me too much of the eerie cold war soviets or councils that arbitrarily decided the fate of their citizenry.  Ethics?  Whose ethics?  The answer to this question is ultimately what matters.  When ethics are codified into law then they become our ethics and not some independent commission’s.  Let’s rely on The Law enacted by our elected representatives of “We the People.”  If our elected representatives betray our trust, but still live within the law, let’s retain our right to boot them out next election!  If our elected representatives disobey the law, then let the law prosecute them!  If instead elected representatives are effectively silenced or influenced to only do the politically correct things because of potential threats of ethics charges, then political correctness rules rather than the people.