Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Decline of the American Republic

May 26th, 2016 by Patrick Henry

Peter Thiel’s takedown of Gawker, along with Gawker itself, are troubling indicators of the growing weaponization of American civil life.

Towards the end of the Republic, the Roman courts were also struggles for existence, where politics was carried on by other means and to the hilt.

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May 26th, 2016 10:20:22

The Last Days of the Republic, Filibuster Edition

November 21st, 2013 by Patrick Henry

Roman Senate


So Senator Reid and the Democratic majority in the Senate has decided to use a sketchy political maneuver to end the 60-vote tradition for confirming judges.  The purpose is to pack the DC Circuit, which reviews and constrains executive branch action, and to distract from Obamacare.  Taken in itself, it isn’t that weighty.  The filibuster is just a political custom, after all, and not the most fundamental one.

The last days of the Roman Republic were also marked by an escalating series of  abuses of political traditions.  The censor used his old-timey power to perform sacrifices and suspend public business while he determined if the omens were right as a tool to block votes that were going to go against his faction.  Tribunes used their tribunate veto, which had before only been used to block the Senate, to veto other tribunes activities in the assembly of the people.  Men started to seek office for the criminal immunity it allowed.  Politically-motivated prosecutions became common.  Offices were extended beyond their normal term of years.  Constitutional reforms were proposed and even enacted because they helped the agenda of some party boss, only to be overturned when his power faded.

All this was bad enough.  Eventually other Roman customs went by the wayside too.  Faction leaders had wars declared to replenish their purse and burnish their popularity.  Sulla and Marius marched on Rome.  Caesar crossed the Rubicon.


The Roman Republic fell.  It took about a century. (more…)

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November 21st, 2013 12:07:15

The Law-Abiding Are Bullied, the Wicked Let Free.

November 13th, 2013 by G.

Dalrymple reports on the modern phenomenon that the police and the bureacracy ignore hoodlums while cracking down hard on ordinary law-abiding people.

In my own rural town the code enforcers are ferocious.  You must have a permit to build a shed.  If you don’t get one, you will be hauled before an administrative body.  You must have a permit to burn weeds.  If you don’t, you will get someone show up within half and hour to serve you a fine.

But when my wife was followed by a man on the ditchbank, who exposed himself to her, the police would do nothing.  We figured out where the guy probably lived, but they didn’t even drop by the location.  “Stay off the ditchbanks,” was their advice.  Later the town hired the guy.

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November 13th, 2013 14:32:54

America’s Coming 4th Republic

April 21st, 2009 by G.

A nice argument, but what really comes after Republic is Empire. You can fight it–you ought to fight it–but can you stop it?

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April 21st, 2009 12:30:00