Lessons from the new century: What government must not have the power to do

Ponder, or perish.

It will be my endeavor to keep this brief and focused, because my main purpose is to introduce a way of thinking that is antithetical to what many people now assume government must be and do.  This is necessary because those assumptions fatally hinder us in all our attempts to throw off the juggernaut of the administrative state.

The central reason for proposing this way of thinking is to construct a framework for a new constitutional convention.  I have zero interest in using anyone’s current buzzwords or specific definitions for this process: I mean by it that a convention like the one that began in 1787 occurs again, and modifications are made to the existing U.S. Constitution.  The purpose of such modifications would be to impose restraints on government that have been gutted since 1789, or whose necessity was not foreseen when the Constitution was first written.

I don’t have specifically-crafted amendments to propose.  That would be putting the cart before the horse. Continue reading “Lessons from the new century: What government must not have the power to do”


TOC Ready Room 30 March 2023: Trump; Saving Twitter; Missing piece from J6

What’s wrong and right with the world; Trump indictment edition.

Ham sandwich on the Manhattan court docket

The indictment for Donald Trump, which came down on Thursday 30 March, interrupts our regularly scheduled programming.

At the moment we’re hearing the number “34 counts,” Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 30 March 2023: Trump; Saving Twitter; Missing piece from J6”

Three mindsets that need a reset if we want a return to constitutional governance

Eyes forward.

Fear not: this will be brief. I’ve actually written at considerable length on these topics before, but all I want to accomplish here is to lay down a few markers, as a season of what promises to be incredible silliness bears down on us.

We’ll need touchstones with which to think about what’s going off the rails.  The basic problem is always more fundamental than the details by which we tend to navigate.  We come up with shallow hypotheses and explanations, but they’re situational and ultimately unsatisfactory.  I don’t propose to dictate what people conclude about causes and effects here, so much as suggest ways to think about our problem that are more fruitful than what we usually do.

One of the good effects of this is to adjust our thinking to a level as profound as the one the American Founders operated on, Continue reading “Three mindsets that need a reset if we want a return to constitutional governance”

Veterans Day 2022: The torch of freedom

Why we honor those who fight.

Last year, I posted for the second time a recurring Veterans Day article, long a tradition at TOC and Liberty Unyielding 1.0.  In 2022, it appears for the third time.

In the preface for last year (2021), I felt that much had changed since the current article first appeared in 2020.  (An earlier article was published annually from 2009 to 2018.)

Oddly, though, in 2022 my sense is that the sentiments of 2020 are being reaffirmed.  The problem of threats to freedom continues:  more intensely, and in the same patterns.

The creed of American veterans, the yeoman warriors who have taken up arms for our nation’s purposes, has not changed, Continue reading “Veterans Day 2022: The torch of freedom”

Independence Day 2022

Happy Independence Day.

At such a time as this, brevity feels advisable.

I just reread the 4 July post from 2018, and was struck by its continued resonance.  Though I think the Democrats of 2022 have progressed even beyond their more perfect resonance with the Democrats lamented in the 1860 op-ed at the New York Times, this passage from that old piece still rings (nor should we kid ourselves that it’s not a fit for at least some portion of the GOP): Continue reading “Independence Day 2022”