The Corner

The Pledge

No, I won’t weigh in late on the substance (though I understand that Boehner personally vetoed a proposal to include an E-Verify mandate). Instead, while listening on my iPod to the section on Roman jurisprudence in Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, I came across a very conservative approach to limiting legislative mischief. He wrote that the Romans “were overwhelmed by the weight and variety of new laws, which, at the end of five centuries, became a grievance more intolerable than the vices of the city” because they hadn’t adopted the practice of one of the ancient Greek communities:

A Locrian, who proposed any new law, stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled.

Now that’s conservative.

By the way, pretty much any book of note that’s in the public domain is in audio form at librivox.org (also at iTunes). They’re read by volunteers, so quality varies, but it’s free. Free. So you can catch up on things you should have read 25 years ago while at the gym.

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