tz's tower

Where I try for an overview of religion (mainly Christian and Catholic), liberty, economics, politics, and life.
Favorite Links - The latest news and commentary about leviathan and his fodder
Vox's Blog
Peter Kreeft - lectures
GrokLaw (SCO v. IBM analysis and opensource
And Universalis - the online source for the divine office, liturgy of the hours, and mass readings as well as calendar:
Universalis (USA, Advent on Sunday)

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Will the windows be unbroken, by and by Lord...

Haloscan is down at the moment, but Vox has a post on his blog titled "Evangelical Libertarianism" which warrants comment:

I would not call prostitution a "victimless" crime, at least if the prostitute does not check and honor existing marriage contracts. And there are public health concerns here and if there was a contagious bioweapon we wouldn't be thinking about the nicities of freedom of movement - indeed, we usually require TB cases to be isolated, not tell everyone in society to wear masks. But the problem with prostitution is a fundamental one if one believe in "law", at least deriving from the Natural Law. If we have rights from God, our bodies are gifts of God (as is our liberty). If we don't consider people selling themselves into slavery an enforcable contract (think husband whose wife needs expensive medical treatment but they are broke), why should we consider prostitution of the body illegitimate. Or as another example, if I am a juror, why don't I simply ask who will be the highest bidder for my vote? We've established what that is, we simply have a disagreement about the forum.

Drugs ought not be illegal, however if people become insane (the legal term for not having or being able to exercise ones mental faculties), they ought to be treated as such, and if they commit lesser crimes (e.g. reckless driving or other endangerment) they should be tried for those crimes. There is no dichotomy between legal and illegal drugs (consider drunks), but between criminal and noncriminal (even if shameful, stupid, or otherwise not in one's self interest) behavior.

What it seems both liberals and conservatives lose is a sense of shame, or more specifically that it could be different than crime. Liberals want to force people to accept shameful things (homogamy), and Conservatives want to criminalize it. "If such liberty is granted free reign". But it ought not. There ought to be a heavy social cost. But not a criminal one.

Vagrancy may get to the "broken window" problem. There are two. A homeless person will starve without help - he might move on or do something else. However "helping" by leaving a person in his homelessness is false compassion. But we pass laws that demolish affordable SRO hotels, and rebuild "luxury" apartments that are barrier free, have special non-scald plumbing, vents, insulation, etc. that end up being too expensive for anyone to afford even if they were otherwise spartan. If they can't afford bread, let them eat cake today becomes (and yes, from the liberals) if they can't afford tin shacks, let them live in a palace. A bathroom down the hall and a room with just a cot, desk, and dresser might be all they want or need. If they improve they won't stay there. But the current theory parallels a health care if we forced very sick patients from hospitals into gymnasiums they would do better. The SRO hotel and soup with box lunches are the economic IV and bedrest. And it used to not be shameful to admit there were poor and help them.

The ultimate argument against the naive "broken window" problem is Divorce, Abortion and the Culture of death being fed our teenagers. Give me a neighborhood where windows are broken but families and their values are intact - the windows will soon be repaired. Give me a neighborhood with broken families and the windows must follow.

The song would not change meaning with the substitution:

Will the windows, be unbroken, by and by Lord, by and by.

We prefer external causes because we can remain in our evil while trying with great futility to fix every other tertiary possibility and problem - and that is because we prefer our evil.

And we prefer to hypocritically point to others - people with the contraceptive and divorce mentality can't seem to stand homosexuals nor vagrants - they can't see Christ in them, but might see a reflection of themselves and their own weakness.


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