He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stretching The Consitutional Privilege

Searching for relevance and an competitive advantage among consumers aged 18 to 44, the United States Postal Service is taking requests for celebrity stamps and rolling out postal fashions.

The Post Office has outlived its usefulness and should be shuttered. A view on the unconstitutionality of the Service is found here:

In his pamphlet, ;The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress Prohibiting Private Mails,' [Lysander] Spooner highlighted the inefficiency guaranteed by the act of banning competition in postal service. Once there was an enforced monopoly, he stated, postal officials would 'feel few quickening impulses to labor' or 'to move at the speed that commercial interests require.' The consequence would be 'a cumbrous, clumsy, expensive and dilatory government system' that would be 'nearly impossible to modify or materially improve' except by opening it up once more to 'rivalry and free competition.'

But Spooner objected to a postal monopoly not merely or primarily because it cheated the public by requiring an extravagant fee for an inadequate service. His main objection lay in the argument that the monopoly violated individual and constitutional rights in at least three ways. First, Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution authorized Congress 'to establish post offices and post roads,' but it didn’t bar others from doing so as well. The power to create was not a power to prohibit. The Ninth Amendment states, 'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.'

Second, freedom of the press included—and, indeed, required—the right to privately distribute material to whoever wished to read it. A government postal monopoly would be able to ban periodicals from using virtually the only legal channels of distribution. This control constituted a direct affront to the First Amendment.

Third, a monopoly post office that can control the flow of information inevitably would be used to political advantage by those in authority. In 'Private Mails,' Spooner argued, 'Its immense patronage and power, used, as they always will be, corruptly, make it [the monopoly post office] also a very great political evil.'

Ecrasez l'infame!

"Fire Two Blasts Outside The House"

Joe Biden becomes even more bizarre in his love affair with double-barreled shotguns:

Biden, the owner of two shotguns, has often used his firearm ownership in debates of the practicality of assault weapons. In a particularly offbeat moment today, he explained an imaginary scenario where trouble would come to his Delaware home:

'I said, "Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house."'

Continuing the trope, Biden stated a shotgun would be easier to fend off an intruder than the civilian variant of an M-16 assault rifle.

'You don't need an AR-15,' he said. 'It's harder to aim, it's harder to use, and in fact you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself,' he said.

'Buy a shotgun,' he concluded.

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