Archive for the ‘Mark Levin’ Category

The Nullification Movement: Pursuit of a Phantasmal Constitutional Doctrine

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Ghosts of Confederates Past

There has long been a legal theory that the states have the right under our constitution to nullify such federal laws as they may unilaterally determine to be unconstitutional.  One of its earliest proponents was Vice President John C. Calhoun, who had hoped to employ the strategy in a dispute over tariffs.  His modern-day adherents wish to pursue this strategy anew.  The problem is that the idea has been roundly rejected by the federal judiciary, and one would have a difficult time demonstrating a successful historical precedent.  Most recently, in the 1950s, and 1960s, states in the South attempted to nullify federal law on the matter of desegregation.  In 1958, in Cooper v. Aaron, the state of Arkansas attempted to nullify the US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  In another attempt at the related concept of interposition, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision to reject Louisiana’s attempt to maintain segregation of the schools.  Repeatedly, the US courts have rejected attempts at nullification or interposition, and in that case, effectively derided such attempts as “no more than a protest, an escape valve through which legislators blew off steam to relieve their tensions…”  In short, while the proponents of these two strategies will continuously argue that theirs is the proper approach to our growing constitutional crisis, there is very little in the way of case-law or constitutional law to support their assertions.  Bluntly, the constitution says what it says, and we can no more imagine into it a nullification doctrine than we may assert any other ghostly doctrine into its text.  No apparitional legal doctrine is necessary while the constitution provides a solution within its text.

Some would claim that the states of Colorado and Washington, among others, are engaged in an act of nullification with respect to their legalization of marijuana.  The problem with this is that neither of these states have claimed to have the authority to indemnify citizens involved in the marijuana trade against federal law.  If federal law enforcement agencies decide to crack down in either of these states, or any other, you will quickly see that there is no nullification of any sort, and neither of the states have claimed a right to interpose between residents and the federal establishment.

With all of this in mind, it begs the question: Why do proponents of this particular, historically ineffectual legal doctrine continue to press forward?  The answer may lie in a sort of juvenile disregard for established authority and case-law.    Their claims rest on John C. Calhoun’s basic assertion of a state’s right to nullify federal law, and to interpose between the federal government and its residents.  As we have seen, such claims have never been upheld in any substantive manner by the federal judiciary, and Calhoun also asserted the right of secession.  In 1832, the theory of nullification had its first significant trial, in what would come to be termed the Nullification Crisis.  In this case, South Carolina’s legistlature declared the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 to be unconstitutional.  The state claimed a sovereign authority to ignore the federal statute, and began military preparations to resist federal enforcement.  A compromise Tariff was enacted in 1833, and South Carolina repealed its nullification ordinance.  Both sides claimed victory, but the federal establishment had been preparing to enforce the 1832 Tariff by force if need be, and had enacted a statute for those purposes.

Naturally, the Civil War was in part about the authority of states to nullify, ignore, or otherwise refuse to comply with federal law, or to interpose between the federal government and states’ residents.  The entire Southern strategy during the 1950s and 1960s was to attempt various forms of nullification or interposition.  All such attempts failed in the face of federal use of force or the threat thereof.  One can scarcely imagine why it would be that contemporary proponents of these approaches would continue to advocate the unworkable.  It is as much a senseless, juvenile approach to the serious problems of federal overreach as any sort of serious movement.  The end of the nullification movement will come on the day the federal establishment decides it is time to dispense with it, and begins to strictly impose its will on those who would actually attempt it.  It begins to take on the character of a ranting, stomping toddler, who when deprived of his pacifier, throws a tantrum that has no force and no standing.

It is important to understand that what is in the constitution is in the constitution, and what isn’t there simply isn’t.  While one can point to this statement or that of some framers of the US Constitution for authority for nullification or interposition, where one cannot point with any credibility is the US Constitution itself.  More, one cannot show any successful case history upholding this approach.  It simply doesn’t exist, contrary to the bleating of the sheep who have been roped into this thinking.  They speak often of natural rights, and as a proponent of natural law, I am always willing to listen to such arguments, but I am also a realist in the sense that setting all of the flowery speech about natural rights aside, the problem always lies in the legal recognition of said rights.  Like some of nullification’s proponents, I long for the day when the full scope of natural rights of man are recognized and enforced at all levels of government, but I also understand that in order to see such a formal recognition, it will take explicit changes to our constitution to enforce the claims we might make to them. Rights must exist in the text of our laws, or risk doing without them.  As we have seen in administration after administration, and Congress after Congress, there exists no shortage of those who will extend federal law to every conceivable extent because there is no explicit warrant against it in the US Constitution.  The ninth and tenth amendments notwithstanding, it has ever been that an existing federal law seems in nearly all cases to trump a claimed right not explicitly guaranteed.

With all of this in mind, I wish the nullifiers well, and I hope when they’ve blown off some of the steam, they’ll come ’round to a more rational, proven approach.  We can amend our constitution, and we can do so by two explicit methods laid forth by Article V.  One need not search for the political writings of John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, or even James Madison or Thomas Jefferson to affect change under our constitutional system.  Instead, one need observe only its text, applying the counsel provided by history to embark on a course already established.

Some of the “nullifiers” deride Mark Levin’s efforts toward an Article V amending convention of the states, writing in ominous tones about the potential for a “runaway convention.”  This sort of scare tactic is the sort of thing one might expect from people bent on their own agenda, and while caution is always merited when fiddling around with our supreme law, I think it’s also fair to suggest that we can do so without substantial danger.  Do I endorse all of Levin’s proposed amendments?  No.  Do I think many of them have merit?  Absolutely!  Do I believe we can afford to further obfuscate the matter by pursuing phantasms of nullification that have never availed a peaceable, workable solution?  No. I do not wish to pour energy and resources into the pursuit of a doctrine held to be little more than a temper-tantrum.  Let us admit that to restore our constitutional system, we must first resolve to live within its bounds as a matter of faithfulness to its principles.  That’s the whole point, after all, so that if Article V was good enough for our framers, then it shall likewise be good enough for me.

 

Three Courses Among Which None Wish to Choose

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Easier not to choose?

I’ve remained still these last weeks waiting to see the outcome of things in my own world.  My wife suffered a heart attack in early December, and while she survived and is on the mend, it put me into a pensive mood during which I’ve said little while simply absorbing what’s going on in the world around us.  I don’t have all of the answers, but what I do know is that we have a choice to make.  It struck me with a certain clarity when I realized that for all the efforts of good and conscientious conservatives, we’re barely making a dent.  The American people are thoroughly dispirited in a way not seen since Carter, and maybe even the pre-war era of FDR’s long and loathsome administration.  Nothing is improving.  Jobs are scarce.  The printed currency is piling up, and with it a stack of IOUs that would reach from Earth to the no-longer-planet Pluto.  What strikes me most is the unwillingness to choose, perhaps because all of the options seem so depressingly bad.  We are now at a stage in our civilization’s collapse that we must fight, reform, or surrender.  Make no mistake about it, as while we defer the choice, the available options only become more severe in their fullest meanings.  In time, the choice will be taken from us, and surrender will be replaced by slavery, whether we’d choose it or not. Even now, the embrace of the police state is transforming from a gentle, confidence-instilling hug into a death-grip from which it seems there may be no escape.

Maybe it’s time you had that blunt bit of talk with loved-ones who may not realize what’s afoot.    I know I’ve tried.  Some never listen because it’s too painful.  More often, because it is a complicated problem with implications that will reach into every life, most refuse to consider it.  Our nation is well on its way to becoming Rome.  We witness now the harbingers of our moral collapse, with an unconscionable display of motherly pride in a son who literally prostituted himself to homosexual pornography to support her household.  Lot’s wife had at least the advantage of a husband who would tell her to avert her eyes.  This scandalous decline in our cultural moral standards has left us with a nation that is rudderless not only in Washington DC, but in Everytown, USA, where plain, ordinary citizens no longer seem to muster much moral indignation about anything of consequence, while others rush to uphold the vile, the obnoxious, and the nonsensical.

Don’t misunderstand me: There are still many Americans who feel as I do, and you may well be among them, yet we are a declining proportion of a population overwhelmingly beset with endless distractions that will mean nothing when they find themselves at some future date languishing in the gutter.  I don’t believe it must end this way, but if we don’t choose another course, and soon, it will end this way.  As one friend constantly reminds me, “nothing ends well or it would never end.”  There’s a certain pragmatism to that view against which I would like to rebel, but like most of my readers, I feel the crushing weight of history pressing down upon us.

Will we fight?  Will a beleaguered people take up arms?  Many an American has made oaths, not all of them idle, about the nature of how they will go down, but I wonder if when faced with it, how many will simply fold.  More, one could wonder if this is not precisely what certain statist elements are attempting to provoke.  Against the combined forces of the modern government, who could long endure?  Who would desire this sort of outcome?  Who would want a fractured nation consumed by civil war?  Still, if it became the only viable option for our survival, I wonder how many would stand and fight, and for what they’d be fighting.

Will we surrender?  Will we yield to the historic march of statism, giving up first the last measures of our personal sovereignty; our property, such slim wealth as we may have managed to preserve, and all personal discretion to a police state that will command our every action, and make our every choice?   The evidence today would suggest that this shall be our path.  Despite its clear predatory aims against our liberties, observe the fact that at least one-third of Americans still believe the failed roll-out of the monstrous “Obama-care” should continue.  Such people do not deserve freedom, and will not long cling to it, precisely because such measures of freedom they tend to demand are merely vestiges of the concept.

Will we reform?  Here lies the last option for salvaging the nation, yet it is also the historically slimmest probability. The singular advantage we may possess when compared to all the collapsing civilizations that have before us descended into ash is that our basic law has been so difficult to amend that it has succeeded only twenty-seven times in more than two-hundred years.  What this means is that some vital portions have been left intact, leaving to us an escape-clause of sorts, and a method by which to reach from the grave’s brink at the last moment to reform our dying civilization.  This makes us undeniably unique with respect to opportunity, but the question remains as to whether we can summon the character in sufficient numbers to reach for that constitutional kill-switch.

I have become convinced that while we may tinker around with this office or that, and while we may occasionally elect a competent, sincere conservative, the federal authorities in Washington rule almost without respect to our laws, never mind our wishes.  Mark Levin has stated often and with growing impatience that we will almost certainly fail to reform by focusing on the federal government and its elected office-holders.  We must reach into the constitutional tool-kit and utilize its most powerful weapon against the centralization of power in Washington DC: Article V. holds the entire mechanism for reforms we seek.  It is not an easy road, and there will be no instant gratification, but if we are to overcome the gaping maw of the all-powerful government now consuming us, it is upon the authority of Article V that our salvation may rest. If you’ve not yet read The Liberty Amendments, I would urge you to consider picking up a copy soon.

Even now, we can observe the Obama administration’s predatory, despotic intentions.  While a review board declared that the NSA’s spying on US citizens should cease, the Obama administration rejected the board’s conclusions.  While we watch, the Obama administration makes it plain that they are checking their enemies list and checking it twice, and the only way to escape it is to be perpetually nice to the administration and its aims.  No dissent of any sort will be tolerated, whether you’re Dinesh D’Souza or a Tea Party activist.  Worse, the Republicans on Capitol Hill are joining in, with Mitch McConnell saying the Tea Party needs a punch in the nose.  There is really no longer any question about it: The war on the American people, their culture, their traditions, and their dreams is in full force, never mind the complete destruction of any prosperity they had once known.  There is no accident in it, and it’s all going according to plan.  My question for you remains: Will we submit to this historic script, with our part as helpless victims played to the hilt?

It’s time for us to consider whether we will be led down that same old path.  We’re barely more than nine months from the mid-terms, and the evidence is that we are yielding momentum as the Republicans in Washington DC continue to throttle our efforts. One might wonder how this can be, but I understand it: We are exhausted, our morale has taken a beating, and more and more of us find we’re under an economic strain that makes other efforts seem too tiring.  Some of us have noticed the expanding police state, deciding it best to lie low and to refrain from open activism.  Myself, I feel as though I must now get all of my personal effects in order, in the manner of a soldier preparing for a deployment to war.  Sometimes, I wonder if that’s merely my perception, but something tells me I’m not alone.

Like any other movement, it’s time to assess our position, our options, and our next move.  Waiting for the “Republicans” to save us clearly won’t yield any fruit, so we must ask whether we now huddle in darkness waiting for the end, or instead rise in some fashion. I credit Mark Levin for reminding us of the one way out of all of this that remains, but now the challenge is before us:  We have a choice, and we’d best make it before it’s made for us.

The End of the United States of America

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Preparing to Take Over

Unsure as I am as to how much longer I will be able to maintain this blog, it is my intention to cover a few topics of significant gravity, whatever else may come next.  There are certain things a man must be willing to discuss, whatever the cost, because the cost of silence is infinitely higher. What I will address hereunder is one such subject, dire though its context may be, simply because you should be made aware of it. As you already perceive at an almost instinctual level, we are losing the United States. As many of us have feared for at least the last five years, this will be due neither to an outside attack, nor even to the creeping, rotting decay now consuming our culture. Instead, we may now lose the country to the direct predations of an attack from within, launched by those entrusted with defending it.  This attack is likely to come in the form of the final, functional abolition of our constitution.  The precedents will have been set, and the last of the remaining constitutional checks and balances will have been removed by fiat.  Barack Obama intends to seize vast unconstitutional powers, and we shall see the rise of a dictator in the full blossom of his tyrannical authority.

The final assault on the fabric of our constitution will be launched by constitutional law professors working in concert with an aggressive executive who will with crisis-born pretense impose his dicta upon this nation.  The script is already written.  The pieces are nearly in place.  “Go-time” is drawing near, because this will be his last great opportunity to finally, fundamentally transform this nation into a cesspool of totalitarianism.   Conservatives will call for his impeachment, to no avail, as the US Senate is controlled by his philosophical cohorts.  There will be no undoing this peaceably, whatever some, even those near and dear to us may claim.  I believe the probability is unusually high that we will now witness the final days of the Republic you had known, and this historic human tragedy will be visited upon the people of the United States by Barack Hussein Obama, a criminal now ensconced in the office of the United States Commander-in-Chief, who has previously hinted at his dictatorial inclinations.

Mark Levin has discussed this, even on Thursday, explaining how Barack Obama will make a claim of constitutional authority for which there is no reasonable or valid claim anywhere in its text.  Levin still clings to a thread of hope that somehow, we will at some future date reverse this disastrous, wretched attack on our Republic by restoring it through constitutional process without reference to Washington DC.  If he will have been correct, at some future date, we would find ourselves able to reverse this attack by virtue of constitutional amendments instigated by the states, but such will not be plausible, or even possible, if Barack Obama makes this lethal claim of authority.  For years, leftists have been making the claim that there lies within the fourteenth amendment the authority for a President to ignore the debt ceiling in satisfying the debts of the United States.  While such claims have no rational basis, the amendment itself stating nothing of the sort, and with a Congress composed of sufficient statesmen of both parties in both houses who would oppose it, there might be a chance.  Sadly, we no longer have such a Congress.  The President need not worry about opposition even from the House, where Republican leaders continue to plot the undermining of the country in concert with Barack Obama.

Here’s the segment of Levin’s show in which he discusses the threat posed by Obama’s anti-constitutional plot:
 

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While many of us may have been surprised pleasantly to see Boehner and Cantor standing somewhat more firmly than in recent budget impasses, they are merely playing their assigned roles now.  If Levin’s warning is correct, they will scarcely be relevant to what is about to happen to our Republic.  Barack Obama has been talking-down the stock market, and he’s brought the captains of finance into his offices for discussions.  Wall Street wants the borrowing and printing to continue unabated.  They’re making out like bandits, robbing us blind by paying paltry sums of interest on money being dumped by the wagon-load into the markets.  They want the gravy-train to continue, and the President is willing to let them for now.   You see, like all such men of finance, they have accepted a well-worn lie about the power of capital and the efficacy of money.   They believe money is the source of all power, and that as the cliche goes, it “makes the world go ’round.”   They have certainly adopted happily the notion of the bastardized form of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”  The problem is that their thesis is wrong, and in the end, they’re going to learn it.  Money is not a cause, but merely an effect. You see, Barack Obama studied under a different philosophy, one that references directly the most ruthless of his philosophical antecedents, Mao Zedong, who in brevity offered:

“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

The Wall Street types don’t understand this.  Obama understands this too well, having been mentored by radicals Ayers and Davis, who taught him the value of force, and who understood that only violence and its threat actually enforce political power.   The men of high finance are those who have learned that money can buy anything, but their lessons were corrupt.  They believe politicians are always open to bribes, and why wouldn’t they?  What they do not understand is that there exists a class of true believers, some good but many evil, who are not subject to this sort of temptation because of the strength of their beliefs.  I now believe Barack Obama may well be one such man, because his vision for America trumps any number of dollars you might offer him.  Bother now to ask yourselves what sort of historical monsters could not have been tempted from their pursuit of naked power for any amount of wealth, knowing that on their path, they will have access to all the wealth they could ever need.  Attempt to understand by asking of yourself: “How does an unarmed man in the proverbial dark alley bribe a pistol-waving mugger to take only some of his cash?”  This is the question these captains of finance and wizards of stock markets have blinded themselves from seeing.  They still think there’s something to negotiate.  Suffice it to say that by the time Obama is done with them, they will have asked themselves that question, even if much too late to matter.

Ask the Swiss bankers who folded like cheap napkins when Obama’s IRS went demanding account information on Americans.  How many potential opponents were then neutered forevermore?  What do you think that was about, anyway? What do you think Dodd-Frank is about?  Those who couldn’t wait to heap more regulations on the financial industry will soon learn the full impact of that law.  So will the average American when he learns his deposits are subject to be frozen or seized by whim of the chief executive and the Secretary of the Treasury acting at his behest.

All Obama now needs is an excuse, and the Republicans in Congress will give it to him, and he will be justified by all the lunatics who call themselves “constitutional scholars” he has brought along with him.  These will be people who do not need the arm-twisting that was used on John Roberts in order to see things the President’s way on Obama-care.  These are other true-believers.  They see their arguments as being full of the same holes you and I see, but that doesn’t matter so much as the fact that they will make them, insistently, irrespective of all facts, all standards of language, and all legal precedents.  Their only job is to buy Obama the time he will need for the controversy over his intended act(s) to die down, and for Mr. and Mrs. America to return to their football, their NASCAR, their baseball games, their “reality TV,” and the myriad other distractions that will seem more pressing and much less boring than an argument over the President’s constitutional authority or evident lack thereof.  In that moment, the Republic’s death will be imminent.

If the President can concoct any old excuse to ignore his constitutional limitations, no matter how perfectly absurd or patently unreasonable the justification, the constitution will be dead.  Absent the constitution, the Republic will no longer exist, and what you had known as the United States of America might still linger a while, even years, but its fundamental core, and its beating heart will have been stilled even if there is still a dimming signal for a while emitted by its expiring brain.  What will he do?  Clearly, all the evidence exists that he intends at some point to initiate a maneuver by which he will claim an extraordinary authority in the face of a real or concocted emergency from which he will promise to save us all, while driving the final nails in the casket of the Republic.  Worst of all, he is now and has been conspiring to create that crisis.  The time has now arrived for this nestling to take wing.

He has been talking a good deal about how Congress must pay the debts it has previously incurred, but this too is tortured language because Congress hasn’t incurred a debt until it’s borrowed the money.  What he intends is that by the “full faith and credit” clause of the fourteenth amendment, he will simply issue an executive order seizing control of the treasury.  There is some precedent for this, having been done in lesser measure by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933,  claiming the aegis of a vast emergency “almost as great as that of war,” and using the “Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917″ as subsequently amended.  Obama will make the same tyrannical claim, but he is much more self-assured than even Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he intends to carry it to its logical conclusion this time.  He will ignore the legal debt ceiling, claiming the fourteenth amendment compels him to act.  Close attention to the amendment reveals that only Congress is mentioned in that amendment, and there is no mention of additional executive authority.  This is the moment of the trick.  This is where he will step across all constitutional boundaries and forevermore become a dictator, and since he will be largely unopposed, who will object?  Harry Reid?  John Boehner?

What the last week has taught the President is that he is running out of time.  The mood of the country is such that he now rightly expects that on our present course, he will not re-take the House in 2014, and he will be lucky to hold the Senate.  If he loses the Senate, his chances to take such actions will have elapsed, because Congress and the Republicans would be in a position to at least theoretically impeach and remove him from office if he threatened the Republic.  His time is dwindling, and his opportunities to take these steps are expiring as well.  Now may be his last, best hope to finally and irreversibly transform the United States to its fundamental core by wrecking the constitution that had been its beating heart, however bruised and damaged, for these last two-hundred years.  He and those who have helped him obtain office and maintain it are too close, having come too far to let it all slip away now.  Their goal is within reach.  All they need now is to grab it.

As I have explained before, the fourteenth amendment does not authorize the sorts of action Obama is now contemplating, but that some in academia are now exhorting him to exercise.   Today, Mark Levin discussed this article from the leftist Brookings Institute, arguing that the fourteenth amendment is the vehicle by which Obama can traverse all constitutional barriers.  As I wrote last year, citing the fourteenth amendment:

“As to the proposition that the 14th Amendment provides some authority for the President to circumvent Congress, this is a preposterous claim.  The relevant sections of the Fourteenth Amendment states:”

“Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

“Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article”

“Notice that section 4 was intended to deal specifically with war debt accrued by the Union in fighting against the Confederacy during the civil war.  The leftists who advocate on behalf of section 4 as a proscription against a debt ceiling are lunatics.  It not only requires the setting aside of the context of the amendment, but also ignoring the subsequent section, that specifically empowers Congress to enact legislation pursuant to this amendment.”

We need  not wonder any longer as to whether this amendment provides an actual constitutional basis for the actions Obama now contemplates.  Flatly, it does not, and only the sort of tortured mind that labors in the basement of the Brookings Institute in devoted service to all things statist could imagine otherwise.

I relate this information not to frighten readers, but in order to arm them with the facts.  The media will launch endless arguments if Obama should attempt this, and they will, along with academia, conspire to provide him the needed delay.  Mark Levin still expresses the opinion that his prescription, using Article V of the US Constitution to amend it without the cooperation of Congress, and one must certainly give him all due credit for bringing that strategy to life, and we must try it, but I fear that Dr. Levin is grasping at straws in light of this development.  What evidence exist to suggest that this or any Congress would act to obey Article V of the US Constitution. (By some counts, Congress has already received sufficient petitions from states to recognize a convention of the states.) If Obama attempts this, and Congress and the courts permit him to get away with it, the constitution will be dead.  At that point, Article V is most probably moot, along with the rest of our founding document, and the supreme law of the land will have shifted indefinitely (and probably permanently) from that noble piece of aged parchment to the whim and will of Barack Hussein Obama. Game over.

You may wonder how he will justify all of this, but you need only let your imagination expand to the limits of what this malignant narcissist sees as his mandate and his authority.  He is conspiring even now to collapse the US economy, which is why he now speaks specifically of “economic collapse.” This is why he’s going out of his way to scare the fire out of Wall Street.  He and his friend Ben Bernanke have built the biggest bubble in the history of man, and he intends to burst it.  Even before Labor Day this year,  the price of gasoline had begun to fall.  It’s still falling, and in the main, this is because general demand is low as the economy remains barely above water.  To the degree the economy remains afloat at all, it is riding on an over-inflated life-preserver made up of borrowed money, leveraged assets, and consumer credit stretched to the breaking-point.  College student loans now represent trillions of dollars of debt, since the government took over the administration of Federally-Guaranteed student loans.  How hard do you really think Obama will need to work in order to explode the entire US economy by the 17th of October, when we reach the legal debt ceiling(which we’ve already actually surpassed, illegally?) That good old debt clock to which only a few Americans pay even scant attention has been frozen in place for more than four months.  Do you really believe they haven’t exceeded it?

Obama was never going to negotiate with the Republicans.  If they had passed a “clean” continuing resolution, he’d have concocted some reason to reject it with Harry Reid’s help in the Senate.  Of course, at this late date, the Republicans would be foolish to do anything but stand fast, or risk losing such credibility as circumstances have afforded them.  At this point, all they can do is press for maximum advantage, while trying to arouse popular sentiment against the President so long as they are able.  Once before in our history, the financiers conspired with a president to set us on a similar course in justification of all he would thereafter do, but now we have a president who has set them up, and he’ll be using them for his purposes in a manner that the likes of Chairman Mao would approve.

By undertaking this approach, Barack Obama is signaling that he is ready to go for it all.  In this moment of national turmoil, we will emerge either as a dictatorship with a smiley-face concealing big government’s scowl like a putrid death-mask, or we will find we had somehow prevailed and the President will become the longest serving lame duck in our nation’s history.  This will be for all the marbles.  It is at this point that we must reconsider that great intellectual benefactor of the Republic who urges us to follow the path laid down in Article V to reforge our Republic.  Dr. Levin educates as much as any in the public eye, and his breadth and depth of knowledge on the subject of constitutional law knows few bounds.  Still, in light of Obama’s presumed aggressive strategy against the Republic, one wonders if an Article V undertaking would gain any traction so long as we suffer under an Executive that willingly denies, ignores, and tramples the constitution.  What good would it be if the United States government would refuse to recognize amendments instigated by a convention of the states and subsequently ratified by them?

At long-winded last comes the danger:  If Obama undertakes this strategy as some now urge, and others now dread, our President will be in open insurrection against the Republic.  He will be acting in clear opposition to the plain language of the supreme law of the land.  At stake will be the question: “What is the supreme law of the land? The constitution, or the contrived edicts of Obama?”  If the latter is permitted to stand, the United States of America will have perished.  I have no hope that a popular majority of Americans now possess and will maintain sufficient outrage to compel a presidential retrenchment, else Obama-care would never have become law, much less seen its first days of implementation.  This begs the question I would not now ask you to answer aloud: “What are you prepared to do?”  Civil disobedience?  What?  Don’t answer this in words, but instead ponder the question, and decide for yourselves now what your answer will be when it comes to the real asking.

If Barack Obama is permitted to abscond with our constitution and its checks on his power, we might just as well bulldoze that memorial our aged heroes have visited, for its very meaning – their meaning – will have been lost along with the proposition that ours is a nation of laws but not men.  This is what Barack Obama seeks most to overturn, and with it, to bear forth that most fundamental transformation with which he’s been threatening a nation and her people.  At present, the best the American people can hope is to dissuade him from that course by open chastisement and vocal disapproval.  The time may be drawing near when we will be compelled by events to answer that most dangerous question, and with its answer, to decide in finality whether we will remain a free people or submit to a brutal despotism of historic proportions.  The choice remains yours.

For now…

Mark Levin Issues Warning to DC Thugs

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

In an explosive moment on his Wednesday evening show, radio talk-show host Mark Levin warned the people behind the government shutdown not to mess with the World War II vets at their memorial on the mall in Washington DC.  He’s right: Obama’s thugs are doing his bidding.  There was no reason to put up “Barrycades” around the memorial.  It was funded privately, and there’s generally no security there anyway.  It’s an outdoor site, so one might just as well put up fences around the Capitol steps.  This is simply an attempt to inflict pain on the American people and her veterans who risked all so that moral midgets like the President and his cohorts in Congress could claim some sort of political victory.  Levin warned that he’d bring a half-million people to the memorial if one veteran was harmed or man-handled or arrested.  Levin is right, and we should not permit our public officials to behave like bullies.  Barack Obama is despicable.  We are coming to a time of mass civil disobedience to this would-be emperor, and it’s overdue.  We are Americans, and there’s no reason to accept this from any politician. Here’s the audio, courtesy DailyCaller:

 

Levin is right. There’s no justification for this treatment of men who served their country with honor and distinction. There’s no possible reason to hurt them, or deny them what might be their last opportunity to come to this memorial, except as a shameless political maneuver. This is what has become of the United States of America under Barack Obama. The President should be ashamed.

Levin’s Proposal May Be Our Last Hope

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Given the direction of our republic into complete cultural, economic, and political collapse, it may be that drastic circumstances must call for equally drastic measures.  On Friday night, Hannity aired a one-hour special with a studio audience on Fox News Channel that featured Mark Levin and his latest book: The Liberty Amendments -Restoring the American Republic.  Hannity put up Levin’s proposed constitutional amendments for review by the esteemed studio audience, but the first matter to be examined was Levin’s proposed method of amending the constitution: Rather than wait for Congress to repair itself, a hope based entirely in futile notions about the ability of the American people to somehow force the change, he instead argues that Article V of the constitution already provides the means by which to amend it without the approval or consent of Congress or any other branch of the federal government.  He is proposing an amending convention, convened by two-thirds of the states, with any produced amendments requiring ratification by three-fourths of the states.

For those who are somewhat confused about all of this, I would refer you to Article V of the US Constitution that provides for the two legitimate procedures by which to amend the constitution:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”(emphasis added.)

Bluntly, two-thirds of the legislatures of the states can initiate this process.  Three-fourths have the ability to ratify them, just as if the Congress had proposed them.  The difficulty of this process alone makes it entirely unlikely that the process might become a so-called “runaway convention.”  As Levin responded on this point when asked during the course of the Hannity show, the simple fact is that there is nothing revolutionary about this process except that we, the people, have never initiated it, and it could be initiated at any time.  Perhaps it is time we start.

Some of the comments on my last article on this subject seemed to raise the same objections, and while I understand the reservations, the simple truth of the matter is that if the statists existed in sufficient numbers that they could hijack this process, they would have initiated it themselves some time ago.  There are clear dangers, but I think what Levin has here accomplished is marvelous for one particular reason, as became clear in a question from Breitbart’s Joel Pollak during the course of the show: The eleven amendments Levin proposes do not confront any political issue in particular, apart from perhaps taxation.  Instead, they are all structural and procedural issues with respect to the federal government.  Rather than attack a particular issue where the federal government can be shown to be out of control, they each confront defects in the original document, or in one case, reverse a defect imposed by previous amendments.

In focusing so tightly on the constructs of our federal government, Levin avoids the pitfalls of specific divisive political issues, leaving them to be resolved by virtue of a political process amended and restored to the framers’ intentions.  In this sense, the proposal is at once elegant and simple.  It is elegant inasmuch as it addresses the central failings of our national political process and the aggregation of power in the federal bureaucracy, and it inserts new forms of protections against a runaway federal establishment that imposes law and regulation with no effective check by those it purports to serve.  The reversals born of such a slate of amendments would be slow but intractable, as power would necessarily begin to shift from the central government to the states.  His proposal is simple because it relies on a process that is already part of our constitutional system, and need not be invented, nor rely on the approval of the federal establishment that would naturally resist it.

One of the criticisms that was raised had been about the repeal of the seventeenth amendment.  Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com asked if returning the selection of Senators to the states’ legislatures wouldn’t hurt the civil engagement of the populace.  My answer would be somewhat different than Dr. Levin’s, because I would tend to consider it this way: Which elections need the most bolstering in terms of civic participation?  National or state and local?  I would suspect that if electing one’s state representatives and senators would be crucial in electing members of the US Senate, interest in state legislative elections would be certain to grow.  I might also point out that in many respects, this might well serve conservatives most of all, since it is we who tend to show up reliably in off-year and state/local elections. The so-called “low information voter” does not.  To the degree this would draw more to the process, it may also help reduce the total number of such uninformed voters by engaging them in their state governments, thereby lifting the veil of ignorance behind which they may now suffer.

Indeed, one could argue that the seventeenth amendment had been contrary to the framers’ intent, not merely because it repealed their process, but because of its net result in muting the states as voices in the federal government. It is fitting then that even in Article V, the point is demonstrated by its closing clause:

“…no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”(emphasis mine.)

It could be said hereby that the seventeenth amendment deprived all the States of any form of suffrage in the US Senate.  After the seventeenth amendment, States effectively have no direct suffrage of any form, thus rendering them voiceless in the federal government that had been their creation.

Naturally, there were ten amendments more than the repeal of the seventeenth discussed, including an interesting proposal that would permit the overturn of federal regulations by the states.  There were also term limits for Congress, and there were term limits for the federal judiciary.  There was even a method by which the states could overturn Supreme Court decisions.  What all of these proposed amendments share is a singular focus on the construction and process of the federal government.  That is a brilliant approach to reform that would have the effect of more slowly and carefully reversing our course.

I’ve given a great deal of thought to Levin’s proposal, as I have proposed some of these same ideas in some form in the past. As Levin points out, the Congress and the Courts, never mind a runaway executive have no reason whatever to reform themselves.  If they are to be reformed, we will need to be the instigators. This then ought to be our mission, the effort of our time.  If we are to be blunt about our nation’s prospects on its current course, it must be admitted that the future looks bleak. None should think this is a project that will be done in a year or in an election cycle.  The fact is that this process begins with local and state politics. It means getting our state legislatures in shape so that the delegates they would send must be of a mind to author the kinds of amendments that Levin proposes here.

I realize there are risks implicit in any move to convene delegates for the purpose of amending the constitution, but the simple fact is that the constitution has been amended in a de facto methodology by the results of extra-constitutional rulings of the court, outrageous legislative initiatives in Congress, and the tyrannical fiat of executive whimsy that threaten every right of the American people.  We are already nearing the precipice from which there will be no return, where plummeting into the abyss will be merely a matter of inertia.  If George Mason insisted on this second procedure as the last effective rampart against federal tyranny, then I say we must exercise it.  The only alternative is almost too terrible to imagine, and violence will be the only feasible outcome.  There are many who make bold oaths, explaining that they would be happy with that occasion, but I wonder how much of that is bravado.  Perhaps it is easier for some to make idle pronouncements than to stand forth and make serious efforts aimed at avoiding that sort of catastrophe.

When I consider even the simple repeal of the seventeenth amendment, I realize Levin is right.  Such an amendment could never pass a Senate now subservient only to the Washington DC establishment, so that to restore the voice of the states, it will require their insistence and instigation.  If you missed this episode of Hannity, I hope FNC will make more of it available. Here is the opening clip:

 


Have We Become Too Lazy to Save Ourselves?

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Too Tired to Try?

When I think about Mark Levin’s forthcoming book entitled The Liberty Amendments (sure to be a bestseller,) I become a bit frustrated.  Among conservatives, what I hear most often in thoughts expressed about the book is either that his proposal is simply too hard, or that it’s too dangerous a prospect to seek to amend the constitution through the convention process detailed in Article V of the constitution.  What I perceive among conservatives is a collective sigh and shrug, in admission of slinking retreat from the battlefield.  I understand that frustration, and I know too well why so many conservatives feel like surrendering, so thoroughly exhausted from fighting what seems a losing battle. On the other hand, I must ask my brethren if it’s wise to relent so easily.  After all, if we’re serious about saving the country, it’s going to have a cost in dollars, sweat, and sadly, perhaps some blood.  If you have any illusions about it, you’re not really in this fight.  What conservatives should recognize is that Levin’s approach may be all that can avoid civil conflict, and that avoidance will lead to subjugation or civil war. Some may think it is impossible or even suicidal to amend the constitution by the convention process, but we mustn’t let fatigue, fear or sloth stop us.

Although the book has not yet been released, Levin has discussed the broad concepts involved on his daily radio talk-show.  He’s even made the first chapter available for download on his website.  Some callers seem enthusiastic, but there is another group of callers who seem somewhat confused, or even to be overwhelmed with misinformation with respect to “opening up the constitution” either to gross re-write or outright replacement.  While amendments that are broad are certainly possible, what must be understood is that under Article V, any such amendments would need to be ratified by thirty-eight of fifty states before being adopted as part of our constitution.  With that sort of broad-based approval being required, it’s hard to imagine something tyrannical or fundamentally anti-American gaining traction.  Impossible?  Strictly, no, but with millions upon millions of watchful Americans, it’s hard to conceive of the process being hijacked in such a manner.  While it is easy to understand such fears, it’s not very likely that due cause for them would materialize.

Instead, most fears I’ve heard expressed on the subject are born of a general fatigue and frustration, inasmuch as most Americans so-concerned do not believe anything fruitful would be obtained from such a process, or that such a process would ever be permitted to come to pass by the political powers running Washington DC.  My fellow conservatives point to the basic sloth and lack of political study or engagement of most of their fellow citizens as evidence for the cause of a presumed failure-to-launch for such a movement.  It’s hard to disagree with this pessimistic view of the efficacy of any such effort given the obvious problem we have in this country when one considers even voting turn-out in national elections: Most people don’t want to be troubled with politics, and will simply obey whatever laws are passed by whichever politicians manage to pass them, irrespective of their effects.

One of the reasons for doubt among so many conservatives is an intense understanding of how hard it has become to penetrate the veil of pop-culture distractions behind which most Americans live their daily lives.  It has been a lament of my own for years past counting that too many Americans are more concerned about trivial, inconsequential matters like television shows or sporting events.  Many Americans reorganize their lives around such things, but despite having the intellectual capacity to comprehend all the statistics of sports, or to track the endless permutations of reality television, most Americans simply can’t be bothered with the work of self-government.   How often do I read such laments in the comments on this site?

The trouble then may be us.  We are obviously too interested in the direction of our country, if judged by the standards of so many of our countrymen.  What we must ask is if there is any way to capture and hold their attention for such a monumental task.  Such an undertaking would not be likely accomplished in a span less than a decade, because we would first be required to put in place state legislators in sufficient numbers who would carry this forward.  The simple truth is that for any of this to happen, we must put it into action.  We, who have continued to struggle as the country’s economic beasts of burden, dragging the nation along despite more outrageous loads being heaped upon us must finally decide whether we will be crushed under this cargo or instead unload it by a conscious effort to do away with it.

I no longer argue with leftists.  I find that they are as intransigent in their opinions as any brick wall, but what I have discovered is that there exists a vast swath of America’s population that simply doesn’t care.  For now.  As the country begins to devolve and ultimately dissolve, the statists will become increasingly desperate to hold it together, and this will lead them to inflict more and more outrageous measures.  As they do, the American people will begin to wake up, and we will need to be there, ready to welcome them into the fold.  Nothing drives political involvement like self-interest.  Why do the Democrats concoct phony wars on women, wars on minorities, and wars on the environment?  It is all aimed at capturing votes through a perceived self-interest.  Knowing this, we must be prepared to gather such of our people as we can in order to gather steam as the opportunity presents.

As Levin has explained, there is no need to fear the Article V amendment convention he proposes.  George Mason insisted upon it as the last peaceful recourse against a despotic Congress.  When the two parties now openly collude, Mason’s gift to us may yet be the salvation of our nation if we have the requisite diligence to pursue it. It would be simple to walk away and await our doom, accepting what may come with grim resolve, but I must ask my fellow conservatives if that is the fate we will accept.  If it is true as seems to be the case that the Republicans now collude in the growing despotism of an ever-larger, entrenched surveillance and welfare state, commanding and controlling our lives, Levin’s approach may be our sole remaining peaceful opportunity.  I don’t know if the sloth born of complacency will stop us from saving the country, but it shouldn’t stop conservatives from trying.  It may be all that remains in the kit.  We can take the country back, and the wisdom of our founders provided us one last method. I’d urge readers to consider Levin’s book with the diligence it deserves, equal at least to his supreme diligence in writing it.

Mark Levin Explains Forthcoming Book

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Constitutional Prescription

Mark Levin introduced his audience to the conceptual aim of his forthcoming book on Wednesday evening.  Titled The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, the book is set to be released on August 13th, although it can be pre-ordered on Amazon now.  His basic premise is this: In all the history of the United States, governed under the constitution arising from the convention begun in 1787, and completed in 1791, there have been twenty-seven amendments successfully ratified, all arising through the Article V. process  that permits two-thirds of both the House and Senate to propose an amendment, leaving it to three-fourths of the states to ratify and enact it.  Dr. Levin rightly points out that the second course offered by Article V has never been exercised, and it is this recourse by which we must seek our national restoration.  The second alternative is to seek a convention to amend the constitution, without interference or obstruction by the Federal Congress.  In suggesting this alternative, Levin explains why this process was created, and how we might now use it to bring the Federal government to heel.  It’s admittedly a long shot, but it may be the only course now remaining.

For those not familiar with Article V, here is the entire text, with the relevant clauses emphasized:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”-US CONST ART V

Many fear that such an amending convention would result in a chaotic process that would effectively rewrite and thereby overthrow the existing constitution, but as Levin explained Wednesday, there need be no such effect because any amendments proposed would still require the approval of three-fourths of states(thirty-eight of fifty,) in order to be ratified.  In his coming book, he is introducing eleven “Liberty Amendments” as a means to put in place much-need restraints on our increasingly out-of-control government.

I sincerely hope that among them, he will call for the repeal of the seventeenth amendment, a blight on our system of checks and balances from which this country now suffers mightily.  Over the course of this blog, I have introduced other ideas for amendments, and as a matter of curiosity, but also as a matter of interest as an activist in pursuit of liberty.  We desperately need to think about this, and to bring this to the attention of our fellow Americans, who may not understand it, may not recognize its value, and may not otherwise be exposed to the reasoning for taking this approach.

Levin’s explanation is simple in broad terms: The Federal government has grown to an extent that it can no longer be relied upon as the instrument by which it will be disciplined.  Even if the task seems impossible, both as an educational and preparatory exercise, it is important to pursue this course.  As Levin explained it, if the Federal government’s current course causes the catastrophic results we can reasonably expect, it would be best if the American people already had freshly in mind the manner by which to force reform down the Federal government’s throat without resorting to violence and upheaval.

We conservatives know where our government’s current path will lead, and we’re also informed as to the unambiguous intransigence of the current Federal leviathan.   We cannot rely on Washington DC, or any of the branches of our Federal government to restrain or discipline themselves in any way.  Even in such a states-based effort, the Federal establishment in Washington would do everything it is able to impede, obstruct, and ultimately blunt the effects of any such effort.  As Levin further contended, if the Federal government, specifically the Congress, endeavored to break with the rules of the process as outlined in Article V, this would indeed act as a probably trigger for the last resort to which a free people may turn in the face of tyranny.  After all, if the Federal government itself became so lawless that it would ignore specific constitutional processes, that government is itself in anarchy and may no longer lay legitimate claim to the authority to govern.

Government needs a good spanking, and we cannot rely on this pack of spoiled children and their enablers to deliver it.  We will need to rise up, to educate, and to use the processes already available under the constitution to impose our will on the government, whether it can be accomplished by efforts in time of peace and relative prosperity, or will be delayed until exigency demands it, and dramatic reform may no longer be denied.  As has been oft-quoted by government officials, particularly in the judiciary, the US Constitution is not a “suicide pact,” but this works in both directions.  It is not a suicide pact most of all for we the people, and it is time we reassert it supremacy as the foundation of our law, and the basis for our nation’s long-enjoyed prosperity and liberty.

This makes all the more important the efforts of grass-roots groups, such as the Tea Party and any sort of “Freedom Faction” that might arise to challenge the existing establishment, because this approach will require the broadest demands of the people working in every state in the union.  None should be deluded into thinking such an undertaking will occur in one election cycle, or any number of them, without a persistent and unrelenting dedication of purpose.  Once again, let history record that we had been the people equal to the task of self-governance.  Let it be said of us that we gave it our fullest measure of devotion, for the country and the constitution we still love and revere, that our children and grandchildren might yet inherit its fullest blessings.

Note: Site modifications and updates are still being brought online in phases. Some of the largest chores are yet to be done, and I intend to carry them out Friday night or in one case, Saturday night.  Visitors in the wee hours of the morning are likely to experience sporadic outages.  Thank you for your continued patience.

The Freedom Party? Hell Yes! (Video and Poll)

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Freedom Party?

As readers of this blog know well, many conservatives are fuming over the GOP’s sell-out on immigration, but the truth is that the betrayals have been far more numerous than this single issue.  Since taking back the House in 2011, mostly powered by Tea Party vigor, the Republican Party has been unresponsive to the concerns and legislative priorities of conservatives generally.  There’s no need to recite the litany of betrayals here, but with immigration and the budget as well as debt ceiling surrenders, the GOP hasn’t been carrying out its mandate to obstruct Barack Obama’s agenda to fundamentally transform the United States.  On FoxNews, near the close of a segment on America’s News Headquarters, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin answered a Twitter question from Josh Painter about the possibility of breaking away from the Republican Party along with Mark Levin to form something he called provisionally the “Freedom Party:”

As a matter of full disclosure, while I haven’t met fellow Texan Josh Painter, he is indeed a friend of this blog and many of you will be familiar with his web site.  His question was not surprising, because his tweets over time indicate his own heightened disgust with the GOP establishment and the betrayals they have heaped upon the conservative base.  Governor Palin answered the question, making plain her own dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Republican Party has been ignoring the will of common sense conservatives.  Here is that response(H/T Daily Caller):

It’s clear from her response that she too is feeling betrayed by the GOP in Washington DC, and in truth, Gov. Palin has had to fight against corruption in the Republican Party through much of her political career.  It’s no coincidence that she finds favor among the conservative base that so dutifully supports the GOP often times for a lack of better options.  Should the moment arrive that conservatives finally decide to abandon the GOP, I suspect Gov. Palin would be among the first to break ranks simply because like so many of us, she does possess that independent, slightly libertarian streak that courses through most real conservatives.  A party named for its primary object makes sense to me, and apparently, to Gov. Palin too.  Whether a break-away party materializes, we must be prepared to move to support it because quite bluntly, the GOP has been unwilling to move in our direction despite the fact that when conservatives run as conservatives, they win.  Combining the intransigence of the Republican Party with its long string of abuses and betrayals of its conservative base, abandoning it may be the only rational choice conservatives may now make.

Painter’s idea of a “Freedom Party” is right up my own alley.  I have discussed this sort of thing, and the idea of a political party seeking to re-establish liberty in America is more than a little attractive to me.  For too long, we have suffered at the hands of two political parties that seem too often to be extensions of one another rather than actual opponents on an ideological or cultural field of battle.  As is clear from the title of this posting, you know my feelings on the matter, but I’d like to gauge yours with a brief poll:

 

 

 

The Dishonesty of the Gang of Eight

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Water Carrier?

Breitbart is carrying informative stories on the bogus “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill that is being pushed by the “Gang of Eight” senators.  I would urge readers to pay close attention to Breitbart.com for more news on the issue.  Byron York of the Examiner is also doing fantastic work exposing the gaping holes in this bill.  Breitbart’s William Bigelow has revealed another fatal flaw in the supposed reforms offered by the Rubio-Schumer/Gang-of-Eight bill that will leave a giant opening for the administration to do absolutely nothing in enforcing the allegedly strict measures contained in the new law.  As reported by the Byron York, via the Examiner.com, the feature of the bill described by Marco Rubio on Mark Levin’s show last week that would create a commission including the four border-state governors is nothing less than a sham.  There are no teeth to the provision, and no means by which to guarantee that provided there are recommendations by a commission of four governors, but also six bureaucrats selected by the President, any of these recommendations would see the light of day.  York explains:

“It sounded tough, intended to convince skeptical conservatives that reform would be based on stringent border security.  But as it turns out, the structure Gang sources described is simply not in the bill.”

York continues:

“In the legislation, the Commission would be formed if the Secretary of Homeland Security “certifies that the Department has not achieved effective control in all high-risk border sectors during any fiscal year beginning from the date that is five years after the enactment of this Act.” The Commission’s “primary responsibility,” according to the bill, “shall be making recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress on policies to achieve and maintain the border security goal” of 100 percent surveillance and 90 percent apprehension.  The Commission will have six months to write a report “setting forth specific recommendations for policies for achieving and maintaining the border security goals [specified in the bill].”  That report shall contain, according to the bill, “recommendations for the personnel, infrastructure, technology, and other resources required to achieve and maintain [those goals].””

As if this isn’t bad enough, York then delivers what should be the final nail in the coffin of this horrible legislation:

“The bill requires that the head of the Government Accountability Office then review the report to determine whether the Commission’s recommendations are likely to work and what they will cost.  And then — the process stops.  “The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the date on which the report is submitted,” says the bill.

“There is nothing about the Commission going from “being an advisory panel to a policy-making one.”  The strict trigger that Gang sources advertised as being in the bill just isn’t there.

“As far as the “money set aside in escrow” for the Commission and its enforcement plan, the bill specifies that $2 billion “shall be made available” to the Secretary of Homeland Security “to carry out programs, projects, and activities recommended by the Commission.”  It is not clear whether there is any directive for the Secretary to actually do anything.”(emphasis added)

What this all means is that when Marco Rubio appeared on Mark Levin’s show on Wednesday of last week to explain the bill, he misled the audience and presumably the host. Levin asked tough questions despite being friendly with the Senator, but it seems that Senator Rubio “dissembled” a bit on some of the details.  The Daily Caller quotes Rubio from his appearance on Dr. Levin’s show:

“If, in five years, the plan has not reached 100 percent awareness and 90 percent apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security … will lose control of the issue and it will be turned over to the border governors to finish the job …. which is not a Washington commission, made up of congressmen or bureaucrats.  It’s largely led by the border state governors, who have a vested local interest in ensuring that that border is secure … and there’s money set aside in the bill for them to do it.” [Emphasis added]

You can listen to the audio of the segment here, from Mark Levin’s Audio Rewind:

Alternative content

Unfortunately, as the Daily Caller goes on to detail, this is a bit less than fully honest:

“True, the bill does create a $2B pot of money for the DHS to use to carry out the commission’s recommendations–but there’s nothing that compels the DHS to actually spend it on all of them, or any of them, let alone to actually achieve the “90 percent apprehension” goal.

“Nor, if the goal isn’t reached, does the bill delay the issuance of green cards to the already-legalized former illegals (as Rubio at one point seems to suggest to Levin).

“Oh, and the commission isn’t “made up of the governors” of the border states–they only control four of the 10 commission seats. The other six are “Washington” appointments (see pages 14-15)

“Aside from those things, everything Rubio said about the commission was true.”

Whether the statements of Senator Rubio were intentionally misleading, or whether he is simply being led around by the nose by staff or other senators on the plain language of the bill, what is deeply troubling is that by appearing on the Mark Levin Show, repeating falsehoods(whether or not he knew them to be falsehoods,) Senator Rubio has done much to contribute to the lack of ill will and distrust over this legislation.  Whatever other supposed virtues this legislation may have, it’s wrecked by the propaganda being spread in this instance by Senator Rubio.

As this goes on, Rubio’s own spokesman, Alex Conant, is on Twitter comparing immigrants, legal and illegal, to slaves, H/T Twitchy:

Alex Conant @AlexConant

@conncarroll We haven’t had a cohort of people living permanently in US without full rights of citizenship since slavery.

If this is the attitude of Rubio’s spokesman, one must wonder about the strategy being employed by Rubio. The claim that immigrant are akin to slaves is a ridiculous notion, and frankly, Rubio should fire Conant.  It leaves open the question as to whether Senator Rubio might endorse such notions, and while I doubt that to be the case, it won’t help the Senator’s cause. Likewise, it isn’t helpful when one sees a conservative senator going around arm-in-arm with Charles “Chuck-U” Schumer(D-NY,) one has every reason to believe that Rubio may have relied on the characterization of the bill provided by the likes of Schumer.  I wonder if Rubio isn’t being made a patsy, but then again, I’m not sure it matters because there is something disturbing about a purportedly “conservative” senator relying on the explanations of the legislation of anybody.  Why isn’t he reading the language?

Schumer has taken a slightly different approach, going on the offense and claiming that some would use the occasion of the Boston Marathon Bombing to stall or obstruct the Immigration Reform legislation.  I must say that given the disclosures about the actual provisions of the bill revealed over the last week, I sincerely hope some conservative senators will do precisely that.  It makes no sense to pretend that this ridiculous immigration bill will accomplish anything but to make our nation less secure, and the Boston bombing clearly exposes that for the average citizen. The dishonesty being employed by proponents of this legislation is very much like an Obama campaign, and that’s all the more despicable when you think that a rising star in the Republican party may have diminished himself into nothing more than a flash in the pan.  That’s a sad prospect, one that could be headed-off if these politicians would simply read the legislation they’re advocating.  Senator Rubio owes us an explanation for the incomprehensibly misleading statements made on Levin’s show, but one probably won’t be forthcoming.  Draw your own conclusions as to the reason(s).


Conservatives Concerned About Wrong Threat

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Leader?

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when the national audience that is conservatism gets distracted by stories that seem outrageous while ignoring stories that need their immediate attention, and a goodly dose of their activism.  Yes, if it’s true that some unnamed White House official told Bob Woodward that he would regret telling a truth about Barack Obama’s negotiator as the source of the “sequestration” rather than Congress, it is an awful abuse of power and it bodes ill for the future of the freedom of the press.  Horrible!  Unbelievable!  Now that we have this out of our system, remembering that Woodward is a leftist, which means in the long run, he’s apt to recant or later minimize the impact of the story anyway, let me offer that conservatives are paying attention to the wrong damned threat.  Woodward will have no problem finding defenders, but you may, and you’re probably going to need them.  Why?  Unable to push gun control through directly, the Obama administration and the GOP leadership in the House are setting you up to lose your guns by a much more indirect route.  As NRO’s Katrina Trinko reports, Eric Cantor is now threatening conservatives with civil war in the GOP caucus.

As Mark Levin explained, under federal law, those convicted of domestic violence lose their right to keep and bear arms.  You may be thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, but I would urge you to reconsider.  If the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act(S.47) passes the House, as Eric Cantor is currently twisting Republican arms to do, “unpleasant speech” will be considered a federal crime qualifying as domestic violence.  Are you still more concerned about the alleged threat against Bob Woodward?  You see, the Senate version of the bill now includes a number of chilling provisions that would turn mundane arguments among couples into the grounds for the loss of one’s second Amendment rights.  If you think this is a joke, or that I’m going over-the-top, I would ask you to consider what sort of jurisdiction the Federal government has in domestic violence anyway.  Isn’t this an issue for states and local governments?  Federalism?  Tenth Amendment?  Conservatives?  Anybody?  The only reason to make this sort of law on the federal level is to use it as a vehicle for its legislative side-effects.  You are going to be disarmed, and this will be the vehicle.

One might wonder why Republicans like Eric Cantor would go along with such monstrous, probably extra-constitutional legislation, but the answer remains what it has been since Boehner and Cantor took over leadership: They’re not on our side.  They would be only too happy to ban weapons, but they know they’ll get clobbered in 2014 if they go that direction, so instead, they’re looking for the back door to registration and eventual confiscation.  The Violence Against Women Act is the path to taking everybody’s guns, because it even changes the burden of proof effectively from the accuser to the accused.  That’s right, under this act, if you are accused, it will be nearly impossible to avoid being found guilty because almost anything remotely unpleasant can be considered as “abuse” or “violence.”  So much for “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

Perhaps as insidiously, it adds more classes of people to the legislation, including homosexuals, transgendered, and men too, begging the question as to why it is labeled “Violence Against Women Act.”  The answer is clear, however, considering this bill constitutes a continuation of the Obama strategy of denouncing Republicans’ “War Against Women.”  As RedState’s Daniel Horowitz observes, it’s impossible to see where this is anything but a social engineering package. With the added implications for gun ownership, it becomes an even darker tool.  Again, as Horowitz concludes:

“Yes, they should vote against this ridiculous rule, which is politically motivated.  There is no reason they should be considering this bill anyway.  Why is a GOP-controlled House taking up leftist legislation instead of bills to block grant Medicaid, repeal ethanol mandates, or reform the Fed?  Even if they choose to bring up bad legislation, they should do so under an open amendment process.”

Ladies and gentlemen, such legislation is an abomination to our constitution, and while we may be upset about threats against Bob Woodward emanating from this despicable White House, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the threat against Woodward is just one more small token of Obama’s lack of esteem.  The Violence Against Women Act should be called the Violence Against the Constitution Act, because it offers to set aside the whole notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” as well as expanding the meaning of “violence” to include “unpleasant words.” If you value your liberty, you must act to stop this bill by calling your House members, and calling Eric Cantor’s office, though I’d suggest the former will do more good.  Nevertheless, make those calls.  It’s such a despicable situation that Mark Levin announced a “Levin Surge,” and to the degree I am able, let me add my outcry to his:  We must stop this act, because it will be used to further destroy the constitution while setting you up for easy removal of your Second Amendment rights.  The worst threat this day isn’t the one aimed at Bob Woodward, or even by Cantor against conservatives in the House Republican caucus, but instead the one aimed most squarely at you.

Note: Eric Cantor can be contacted here:

Eric Cantor
303 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2815
Fax: (202) 225-0011

Establishment GOP Abusers and Their Willing Victims

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Will We Take Another Beating?

We ought to become acquainted with how we conservatives must appear to GOP establishment politicians, analysts and strategists. At every instance of their serial abuses of the grass-roots, conservatives “go wobbly” and buckle, ultimately returning to the fold. They know how to pull at our heartstrings and seize on our desperation in order to get us to back down from our outraged, uppity high horses. They play the loyalty card, the race card, the poverty card, and anything else they can contrive in order to convince us to return their waiting arms in order to comply with their wishes, but it’s the whip they hold to which we ought pay more attention.  They don’t see us as equals, but as a herd of inferiors to be managed, and in order to do so, sometimes they recognize the need to grovel a little.  It should sound familiar to conservatives any time they listen to the latest establishment attempts at re-framing their disgusting behavior into something born of the “best intentions.” Just like serial domestic abusers, the establishment always make a rationalized, dishonest appeal in order to avoid charges of abuse, and just like the real victims of domestic abuse, we conservatives keep going back when they offer their excuses:

“I didn’t mean any offense. I didn’t want to hurt you.  It was all just one big confused misunderstanding.  I’m sorry you took my actions as a sign that I meant you harm.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Can’t we just get along and make it all better?  We can seek counseling.  I’ll enroll in AA!  You know I really love you, and I only do these things because I love and need you so much. I didn’t want you to make the choices you did because I only wanted to protect you[from yourself.] Baby, this will never, ever happen again.”

Of course, that’s what they say, but it’s not what they mean. For example, Karl Rove is trying to undermine Iowa Congressman Steve King in any attempt to run for Senate in the next election cycle, and  he’s happy to point to dishonest statistics about King’s re-election campaign in 2012.  What Rove won’t tell you is that King’s re-election bid was as narrow as it had been because Democrats made his district a priority, dumping millions of dollars of anti-King advertising into the district.  As Mark Levin pointed out during the second hour of his Friday show, Rove wasn’t satisfied with mere distortion when availing himself of the podium of Sean Hannity’s radio show.  Instead, he resorted to outright lies. Here’s audio from Dr. Levin’s show:

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This process by which the establishment wing of the GOP attacks grass roots targets should seem familiar to readers. It should also sound familiar to anybody who has ever worked in law enforcement, social services, or even listened to a few tapes of 9-1-1 calls.  Millions of women and not a few men have lived through the self-imposed nightmare of returning again and again to an abusive spouse(or significant other) in order to retain some semblance of normalcy and predictability in their lives.  They just want the beatings to stop.  They just want it to end, but so desperate to hold onto some part of their lives, they frequently return for another dose, often ending in tragedy.  After all, haven’t we conservatives behaved with freakish precision like sufferers of what had been known formerly as “battered wife syndrome?” Do you doubt me? Imagine Karl Rove in a plain-white sleeveless undershirt.  You get the picture.

Many people ask the obvious question about battered spouses: “Why do they keep going back?”  If you’re a member of the Republican party, but also a conservative in principle and philosophy who has become annoyed or offended by the direction of the GOP,  it’s time for you to ask that same question of yourself.  Some will say I have been too crass in posing such an analogy, but I think it’s fitting because it seems to me that when it comes down to the point at which rational people would flee for the sake of self-preservation, too often, we stop and return to the scene of the abuse, knowing what must be coming eventually, despite all the promises of reformation. We’ve heard the rationalizations:

“It’s better now.  Fault has been admitted, and we’re seeking counseling, and I’m treated much better now.”

All of these are preludes to the real confession of helplessness that follows:

“Besides, what else was I going to do? Leave? Where would I go? What would I do?  Better to stay put.”

With respect to the Republican Party and its miserable, corrupt establishment, who among conservatives hasn’t contemplated some version of these notions in order to trick themselves into holding the nose and walking back in to the booth to pull the lever for the GOP’s preferred candidates?  Right.  Me. You. Virtually all conservatives have gone through this one or more or even dozens of times, and each time, we knew with virtual certainty what would be coming: Another attack by the establishment on the grass-roots, or another surrender by party leadership to the leftist agenda would soon be in the offing.  Once the electoral objectives are met for the cycle, we and our issues are discarded and off we go with the next Republican-led effort at big government statism, and further support of a purely leftist agenda.  It happens so often that we cringe now when a Republican hand is raised, expecting it to smash down on us as it has done so many times before.

Many were outraged by the actions of the GOP establishment in 2011-12, but in the end, how many of us did their bidding anyway?  We keep coming back.  Even a dog learns that if you recall him, only to bash his nose with a rolled-up paper, approaching you is something to be done at his peril.  Eventually, the dog won’t come back at all, and no amount of false praise or treats will make him return when called because he has learned recall is the prelude to another beating.  Are we conservatives not more able to recognize our antagonists than are dogs? Do we not possess the requisite self-esteem to leave?

What we have done is to reinforce the behavior of our batterers. It’s gotten so bad that fleeing for a night or a week to the political battering victims’ shelter of the blogosphere or talk radio to voice our displeasure will no longer be enough.  It’s time finally to press charges and stand up for ourselves and go, never to return.  Yes, there will be hard times as a result, but the long-run dangers of staying are worse, and at some point, for people who claim to be concerned with the welfare of their children, shouldn’t we correct the environment in which they will be growing?

I say “we must go.”  Otherwise, how many black eyes will we endure?  How many betrayals?  How much infidelity must we accept?  We might claim that we had no choice but to stay, or to return, but after the tenth 9-1-1 call to Rush Limbaugh, our whining begins to lose its impact.  Do you think the GOP establishment hasn’t noticed our regular return to the fold, irrespective of what they do to us next?  We fall for their sweetened tone because we want to, and because it’s harder to strike out on our own than to come back and live in terror of our next beating at their hands. It’s time to recognize that it is our fear of the uncertainty that fuels our repeated returns, but also that in so doing, what we are guaranteeing instead is a certain result that will only grow worse. We must ask instead how much we value such predictability, if it amounts only to the certainty of our next beating. It’s time for conservatives to reject the continued abuse at the hands of their tormentors in the Republican establishment. It’s time to break the cycle.

Note: It’s not my intention to minimize domestic abuse, but instead to demonstrate how conservatives have responded to their abusers in the same way many victims of real domestic abuse react to their plights. I don’t intend to compare the horrors inflicted on such victims with the political victimization that goes on the Republican party, except as an illustration of how dependent conservatives have become on their abusers.  The immediate results of the political context I’m discussing in no way measure up to the terror under which victims of domestic violence live, but I will point out that in terms of the country and its future, the dire consequences of permitting the abuse of the GOP establishment to continue will be no less severe on a national basis.

Mark Levin Demolishes Rove’s Claims

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The Great One!

It was inevitable that given the shellacking Karl Rove has taken over the last few days that he would use any opportunity to advance the idea that he is a conservative. As I posted earlier on Friday evening, Rove made claims to conservative credentials on O’Reilly that were later debunked.  Mark Levin took the debunking to a new level in the second hour of his show, making it plain that Rove was being disingenuous, to say the least. Here’s the audio:

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As Dr. Levin explains later in the same hour, he’s now attacking conservatives with blatant lies. You can listen to the entire show here.

Rove’s Record With “the Most Conservative Candidate Who Could Win”

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Who Me?

On Friday, Karl Rove was further exposed as misleading and disingenuous.  In an email response to his appearance on Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor, in which Rove claimed to have been the Director of Reagan’s 1980 Campaign in Texas, Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley responded via Daily Caller, explaining that Rove was no such thing.  In point of fact, Karl Rove ran Governor Clements’ effort for Reagan, but only after George W. Bush was defeated in the primary.  Do you understand?  Rove was a George H.W. Bush supporter, as was Texas Governor Bill Clements, for whom Rove worked at the time.  You see, Clements was a strong Bush supporter throughout the primaries, but there’s more to consider in this story.  First, watch Rove plead his case on Bill O’Reilly’s softball show:

You might wonder, watching Rove misrepresent his role in the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan, whether it’s such a big deal that he first supported George H.W. Bush.  After all, it’s not that unusual for a candidate’s supporters to move over to the nominee’s campaign in some role after the primaries.  That said, there’s something very important I want you to consider, and it’s obvious as the spin flowing from Karl Rove’s lips:

In 1980, Rove chose Bush. Consider his dubious argument about supporting “the most conservative candidate who can win.”  It seems the most conservative candidate did win, but it wasn’t Rove’s choice in the primary in 1980.  Instead, Ronald Reagan won, and he was far more conservative than Rove’s choice. Of course, that’s not all you need to know.  In 1976, Ronald Reagan was fighting with Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination, and Karl Rove chose a horse to ride in that race too.  Ronald Reagan?  No, ladies and gentlemen,  Karl Rove was all aboard for Gerald Ford.  Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, and so it was true that once again, Rove apparently picked “the most conservative candidate who could win,” though neither did.

That’s the truth about Karl Rove.  In 1978, Karl Rove ran the losing George W. Bush campaign for congress. In 2000, his candidate nearly lost, and did lose the popular vote.  In 2004, his candidate barely squeaked by a very weak John Kerry.  In 2006, his strategies lost the House and Senate.  In 2012, he backed Romney early and often, and Mitt Romney lost. Karl Rove’s record of picking winners is abysmal. He clearly doesn’t know a conservative from a turnip, never mind a winner.  You must stop falling for his strategies, and as Mark Levin pointed out on Friday evening, Rove is attacking Steve King(R-IA) incessantly and dishonestly.  I repeat my sentiment to those who hope to reclaim leadership in the GOP: If you want any hope of winning, Karl Rove must go.

 

Karl Rove Still Trying to Decide for Conservatives

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Shrugging-Off Levin

Karl Rove appeared on Hannity on Tuesday night to deflect criticism that he’s an agent of the establishment at war with the Tea Party.  I don’t buy it, and I believe his own professions in this clip should give you a sense of how he views the rank-and-file conservatives in the country.  You see, he explains that it’s the goal of his “Conservative Victory Project” to support “the most conservative candidate who can win.” You may well notice that there exists a mile of wiggle-room in that statement, and it’s made from a deeply held sense of arrogance that is simply undeniable.  If you watch carefully, at roughly 3:43 into the clip from Hannity’s show, as Sean asks him a question about the reaction to the Time article, you will see what “Tokyo Rove” thinks of Mark Levin, shrugging him off in derisive dismissal(screen-capture at left.)  Watch the segment:

Rove attacked the motives of a wide range of people in the Tea Party movement, both in the blogosphere and in activist endeavors, as seeking some financial end.  The irony of such a claim is galling.  Mr. Rove insists that his new group exists to support “the most conservative candidate who can win.”  This prompts a few questions in my mind, and I’d like to see them answered by Mr. Rove or any of his numerous establishment apologists:

  1. Who decides what constitutes the “most conservative?”  According to whose standard?  Karl Rove’s?
  2. Who decides who is able to win?  According to whose calculations? Karl Rove’s?
  3. What do we know about Mr. Rove’s success rate in his selections of candidates?

You see, when I answer these questions, I come to several conclusions, and none of them support Mr. Rove’s fanciful explanation on Hannity’s show.  Karl Rove has shown no understanding of conservatism.  His relentless appeal for immigration reform, his attacks on other conservative causes, candidates or efforts, and his involvement in the Bush administration with the passage of very liberal programs suggest to me quite strongly that Karl Rove is not an appropriate or even qualified judge of conservatism in any respect.

Since when is Mr. Rove the final arbiter on who is able to win?  He told us throughout the primary season that only Romney could win, and through the general campaign that Romney would win, and that it might be a big win(though he did not quite go down the fantastic rabbit-hole with Dick Morris who predicted a Romney landslide.)  Still, if 2012 is the measure of Mr. Rove’s ability to pick winners and losers, I’d say he did pretty poorly, and on his performance in 2012 measured against his own predictions and his own direction of funds, I would suggest that a blind-folded ape flipping  coins could have done as well, and probably much better.  For somebody who now indicates he supported Steelman in Missouri, it’s funny that he twice refers to her as “Deb,” though her name is Sarah.  I can’t say it adds much to his credibility.

Hannity’s apologetic interview with Karl Rove does nothing to convince me that Rove intends anything but that which has already been said.  His history of efforts against the grass-roots of the Republican Party are evidence enough for me that what he’s after is not conservatism, and certainly not victory.  Translated, “the most conservative candidate who can win” means: “Vote for the people we recommend, or we’re going to destroy your candidate, depriving your candidate of just enough votes to make them lose.” It’s clear to me that Rove and his bunch would just as soon lose as have an actual conservative win office, and I’m not inclined to believe a word Mr. Whiteboard has to say in his own defense.  Sure, the article at the beginning of this latest flap appeared in the New York Times, and I’m certain there’s a bias there, but it hardly excuses Rove’s past actions, and doesn’t explain away his current ones either.  One of these days, conservatives will begin to catch on that an “R” following somebody’s name doesn’t necessarily imply the first damned thing about their philosophical leanings.

 

Class in Session: Mark Levin Declares RINO-ism Dead

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

RINOism Dead!

There should be no mistake about what Mark Levin believes, or even the vast reach of his influence over the debate about government.  Many left-wingers and not a few establishment Republicans accuse Dr. Levin of being a yelling mad-man, but that ignores the extent to which he influences the public debate.  At an event last year in support of Ted Cruz, in the run-off that made him the Republican candidate, one attendee asked quite simply:  How can we stop the construction of Ameritopia?  What was stunning wasn’t the fact that the Senate Candidate knew full well what the questioner meant, being a friend with Dr. Levin and a campaign season guest on his show, but that all around the room, heads nodded up and down, because they knew the meaning of the question too.  When the Senator answered, he demonstrated an understanding of the implications with respect to the US constitution, but unlike your typical rally of Democrats, the audience understood his points in part because some of them are lifetime students of our civil society, but also because among them were many listeners of Mark Levin’s show.

On Tuesday evening, frustrated with the talking points and narratives of establishment Republicans who wish to blame conservatives for last November’s losses, Levin launched:

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Dr. Levin holds a special contempt for so-called RINOs, or as I have recently dubbed them, “Mini-Dems.” They don’t believe in conservatism, or near as one can tell, much of anything.  Instead, theirs is the worship of a brand of vague pragmatism that ends in Republican defeats.  Of course, Dr. Levin realizes the RINOs aren’t going away, but here I think the larger point is that the underlying strategies and arguments that comprise RINOism are dead, as demonstrated by their repeated failures in election after election.

Levin’s reach into the blogosphere is deep and wide, as almost daily, some blogger somewhere, much as I’m doing now, is posting a vital clip from his show, and this acts as a spark for debate, not merely between left and right, but more importantly in the wake of last November’s election defeats, between and among Republicans and conservatives.  This is because Levin spares no feelings, or at least not many, in making the essential and incisive points that establish the conditions of the debate.  This may explain more than anything else why Levin’s show has grown while others have remained fairly static.  He engages one’s mind, and he demands you follow the logic.  He makes no apologies for supporting the Tea Party, or the conservative wing of the party, as Levin came up in politics in the watershed year of 1976, campaigning for Ronald Reagan.  Though Reagan lost that election, it set the stage for his nomination and election in 1980, and Levin was there to learn the critical lessons.

Most listeners to Levin’s show comprise a group of studious, committed pupils, attending a a constitutional classroom in which the principles behind the founding of the country and the framing of its constitution are the daily lesson plan.  What’s more, while it’s relatively early to draw this conclusion, as conservatives are searching for answers to their current political morass, it seems as though more are turning to Levin for the answers.  It’s not as though Levin claims to be an all-knowing font of wisdom on what ought to be conservatives’ course, but his determination to fight and keep moving is enough because what becomes plain to his listeners is his unfailing commitment to see the battle through, whatever form it takes.  Part of this may owe to the fact that in the wake of the 2012 election, conservatives are looking for a strong, articulate leader to make their best case for liberty, but I believe it’s a good deal more substantive than that.  Levin seems almost instinctively to understand what the left will try next, which may explain why the stories he reads on one day so often become the topic of discussion throughout the blogosphere on the next day.

It’s been true on this site, almost from its inception, and on many occasions, I have brought readers audio from Dr. Levin’s show.  My readers will have no idea on how many occasions Dr. Levin had stolen my thunder by covering a stories that I had in draft form as Levin’s show began, only to later discard them because on topics of substance, he generally leaves so little to be explained.  That’s fine by me, but it highlights another important point about Levin: He’s plugged-in, and he works tirelessly outside the confines of his show, not merely to prepare for his daily three-hour lesson in liberty, but because in other efforts, he’s at the tip of the spear.  The Landmark Legal Foundation is his other instrument of our republic’s defense, taking up cases of constitutional import on behalf of a grateful people.  This level of involvement means that unlike so many other talkers, he’s in the trenches with us, and often as the point-man out ahead of us, spotting danger and directing the initial engagements.

Given all this, you’d think more Republican politicians would heed his advice, but where Dr. Levin is fearless, all too often, elected officials won’t follow his lead, out of a fear frequently masquerading as an overabundance of prudence.  Levin understands this, and he often asks politicians questions that he then suggests they not answer, instead completing the thought on his own, knowing the precarious state of any official’s office.  Levin’s show is probably also the largest network of plugged-in conservative activists in the general right-wing sphere, and his audience is unashamed to lean on politicians and to begin with the phrase: “I heard on Mark Levin’s show that you were going to vote for…”  It is for this reason that so many of the DC Republican establishment tunes into his show, and while most won’t admit it, the fact is that they are well aware of Levin, and they feel his electoral influence. Politicians on the receiving end of his support love to hear the phrase “Levin surge” pronounced on their behalf, just as they cringe when they pop up on Levin’s radar for the sake of a well-deserved critique.  They know they’re about to find their email and voice-mail full, and they’re going to get it both from Levin on the radio as well as from their constituents.

What may make Levin the most compelling and influential of the talkers and political media figures is that he expresses his contempt for the malfeasance of politicians and parties in the context of legal concepts on which he daily refreshes his audience.  Apart from this blog, and rare few like it, you will not often witness a discussion of the principles underlying our supreme law.  Law can be a minefield as any layperson will know, but there’s something precious about the ability to breath life into the collection of words, explaining their meaning and the context in which they were formulated in a manner that both educates and engages listeners.  Very often, listeners to Dr. Levin’s show evince a reverence for our republic’s charter that is both touching and sincere, but also ironic in light of how easily their alleged “betters” dispense with both its words and spirit inside the beltway.

This kind of reformation movement isn’t religious, but its most ardent supporters would contend that while they may cling to their guns and their bibles, they haven’t turned-loose of their constitution either.  Listening Tuesday evening, as Levin mentioned the effect he suspected his show might have on the national dialogue, I wondered aloud in response to my deaf computer screen as to just how many of the people I know are now loyal Levin listeners, and the truth is something staggering.  I may live in rural Texas, where we tend to value liberty more than the average, but even friends from the distant large cities, in this state and out, all seem quite familiar with Levin’s show, his daily “lesson plans” frequently filling my morning inbox:   “Did you hear what Mark [Levin] said last night?”  There’s no denying he’s a bold and entertaining talk radio phenomenon, but more than this, he’s also the commander of constitutional defense headquarters on a national scale.  When people seek the low-down on the latest Obama executive usurpation, they tune to one show on the dial and in streams across the Internet, because for better or worse, they know they’ll find the answers.

Dr. Levin can be heard Monday-Friday, 6-9pm Eastern, both on terrestrial radio and streaming from his site, as well as  affiliates.  If you miss the live show, he also offers free downloads of his podcasts here.

One-Half of One-Third of the People Screwing Us [Again]

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Boehner and the Boys

There must be something in the water in Washington DC, and I think it’s about 80 proof.  Speaker John Boehner has led the abandonment of principle once again, and I can’t believe these are allegedly our guys.  This evening, the rotten Republican leadership sent down the word that Republicans ought to support a bill that eliminates Senate confirmation for an additional 169 Executive branch positions, meaning that they just let Barack Obama have his way with 169 more positions he can fill, unchecked by Congress, and able to appoint the most maniacal leftists he can dig up.  Thankfully, it was a roll-call vote, and you can look to see how your Representative voted.  My own Representative voted “Aye” on this hogwash, and before this evening is over, his office is going to hear about it, and tomorrow, his offices both in the district and in DC are going to hear about it.  The purpose of confirmations is that there should be Congressional oversight on these appointments so no President can become too powerful.  Boehner and the boys just voted to reduce their own power but according to Mark Levin’s sources, there’s a reason they did so:  Mitt Romney told them to do it on the basis that he would like it if he were to become President.  What?!?

The purpose of this collection of elected jack-wagons is not to dispense with the Constitution, or to weaken the legislative branch on the basis that somebody from their party might become President at some date in the future.  It is their job to protect and defend the constitution, and that means to uphold its intent, which includes the Congressional responsibility of oversight over Presidential appointments.  Who in the world do these people think they are?  It’s not their job to “remove obstructions” to the process.  For the love of Pete, why don’t Boehner and McConnell just get together with Obama and give him all power of Congress, since Mitt Romney might want to be dictator someday?  This is preposterous.  It truly is disheartening, but more than that, it’s a bit more evidence that we cannot salvage the Republican party.  It’s broken.  It doesn’t represent us in many cases, and it certainly doesn’t represent our interests when our elected Republican majority throws we and our constitution under the bus in the name of expedience.

Others may take a somewhat less terse approach, but I no longer give a damn about holding back “for the sake of party unity.”    When they sell us out, I am going to scream it.  What party unity?  The only “unity” I see in this matter is that between John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Hussein Obama: They’re united against us!  I heard part of Mark Levin’s commentary on this, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

Clips 1 & 2:

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know what’s wrong with the Republican party, look nowhere beyond this instance of dire stupidity.  Or is it something else?  Barack Obama is a dangerous thug wearing the office of President like the robes of a king, and yet the Republican leadership in the House just gave him a pass on 169 appointments.  Their excuse is that Romney wanted it?  What if Romney doesn’t win???

Even if Romney does, do we want him filling those jobs without Congressional oversight, or the ability of the American people to call their Senators to object to appointments?  What happens when Romney begins filling these jobs with RINOs?  What happens when he fills them with more of his friends, in payment for their support?  What are we to do then?  I’ll tell you:  We should thank John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and all the other all-star losers in the Republican party who voted for this garbage.

Your voice as a check on the power of the Presidency is being stolen from you, but the they’re not finished.  They intend to bypass the confirmation process for up to an additional 270 positions.  That’s 440 total possible instances in which some President will have no need to worry that he’s appointing a louse, whether it’s the current jerk, or some future occupant of that office.  Do you not see what they are doing to us?  Do you not realize it?  They are systematically converting the courts and the Congress into a mechanical auto-pen for the office of the President.  In short, they’re building a dictatorship, and I don’t much care whether the dictator has a “D” or an “R” behind the name.  It matters not one whit to our liberty what party a tyrant might claim.

The Republican establishment is a part of the disease in Washington DC, and with incidents like this, it’s becoming apparent that they’re the larger part.  Obama and the Democrats can only get away with this because guys like Romney, Boehner, and McConnell let them, and this sell-out is a prime example.

We pay the price, every time.

This isn’t about Mitt Romney.  This is about the separation of powers under our constitution, and the role of the Senate in confirming Presidential appointees.  It doesn’t matter that Mitt Romney may become President.  It doesn’t matter if Ronald Reagan were to rise and somehow become President again.  This is a bad idea, no matter who the President is, and the fact is that at present, the occupant of that office is Barack Obama, and it may just be him again.  Defending the separation of powers is something our Congress ought to do, and on Tuesday evening, the Republican “leadership” in Washington DC failed us again.

 

 

 

Ted Cruz Wins Texas Run-Off!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

On to the General Election!

Ted Cruz won Tuesday’s Senate run-off against Lt.Governor David Dewhurst in convincing fashion, defeating the Austin moderate by a margin of nearly ten points.  That’s a stunning win given how his campaign was outspent by Dewhurst, and it speaks to the commitment of activists all across the state, and a few notable conservatives who showed up to campaign for Cruz, including Sarah Palin, and Jim DeMint, but also that big voice on the evening airwaves, Mark Levin.  Tea Party Express worked tirelessly to get out the vote, and Amy Kremer must be ecstatic and exhausted.  Nevertheless, Cruz must still win the general election in November, but it’s a refreshing change to see that Austin insider David Dewhurst didn’t walk away with the nomination.  Texas conservatives and Tea Party patriots won a huge victory Tuesday over the Austin establishment!

Twitter was awash in comments all evening, and when various media outlets began to call the race, it was quickly a party of sorts as faithful re-Tweeters spread the word and celebrated.

Meanwhile, at 9pm central, Governor Palin took to the airwaves on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” on FoxNews, and just before going on, she posted a note of congratulation to Ted Cruz on her Facebook page:

“Congratulations to Ted Cruz! This is a victory both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement. This primary race has always been about the kind of leadership we need in D.C. Our goal is not just about changing the majority in the Senate. It is about the kind of leadership we want. Ted Cruz represents the kind of strong conservative leadership we want in D.C. Go-along to get-along career politicians who hew the path of least resistance are no longer acceptable at a time when our country is drowning in debt and our children’s futures are at stake. The message of this race couldn’t be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it’s on to November!”

For his part, Ted Cruz thanked Governor Palin, Senator DeMint, and all of his supporters and endorsers via Twitter immediately after the race was called, and Texas conservatives were able to bask for the remainder of the evening in the warm glow of victory!  Saturday, in attendance at a small, hastily assembled Cruz campaign stop in Waco, he noticed my Texas4Palin t-shirt, plastered with Cruz buttons, and he said: “Governor Palin really energizes a crowd, doesn’t she? She’s really terrific!” It was easy to see that he was thankful for her support, and appreciative of all the Texans who turned out for him at his stops around the state.

For my part, thanks to all of those who have re-tweeted my messages on Twitter in support of Ted Cruz, and thanks on behalf of a grateful state to Governor Palin, Senator DeMint, Mark Levin, Amy Kremer, and all of the others who so tirelessly labored to get our candidate the win.  It’s grass-roots activism at its finest, and I have had the great privilege of helping in a cause in which we dared not fail.  Thanks to the candidate himself, who ran a clean campaign in the face of withering, fraudulent attacks and dirty tricks from his opponent.  Congratulations to all!

Way to go Texas!  Now let’s help conservatives in other states as well!

 

Why Support Cruz? Watch THIS Video!

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

On Tuesday in Texas, we are having our run-off between Ted Cruz and moderate Republican David Dewhurst.  This video was created in support of Ted Cruz by Roderic Deane, and rather than offering all the reasons to support Cruz, I’ll let the video speak:

Already, the dirty tricks are in full swing, as Dewhurst continues to court Democrats to vote in the Republican primary and vote for him in order to sabotage Ted Cruz. Texas conservatives need to show up and vote. The polls will close at 7:00pm. Get it done!

Ted Cruz has been endorsed by leading constitutional conservatives from around the country, including Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Jim Demint, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and a host of others.

 

Sarah Palin Is Right: We Shouldn’t Surrender “Blue” States

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Every Reason to Fight

At the Ted Cruz rally at The Woodlands on Friday, Governor Palin made mention of a candidate who hasn’t been getting  a great deal of national attention, but who deserves the support of conservatives and Tea Party folk everywhere.  One of the things her remarks made clear is that too often, we surrender supposed “blue” states on the basis that we should not waste our precious resources campaigning in places that have been written-off as simply too far gone.  Governor Palin is right about this, and going back even to 2008, when she wanted to spend some time in Michigan, but the McCain Campaign had decided it was not worth the effort, Governor Palin has never been one to cede anything to the left, leaving them a victory by default. In fact, this is what has made her so precious to many on our side, because it is this unrelenting fighting spirit that we have often lacked.  It’s been the habit of the GOP establishment to write-off such places, but she’s right:  We must fight for every one.  In her speech on Friday, she mentioned a candidate for Senate in the State of Maryland, a deep, deep blue state in which mathematically, no victory should ever be possible for a Republican, never mind a conservative, but maybe that’s our problem.  Perhaps we abandon the men and women like Dan  Bongino too easily, and maybe that’s why we seem to be perpetually on the defensive.

We fight over our “Red” states, and some “battleground” states, and we walk away from “blue” states because it just seems so impossible, but we must ask at some point: Is it?  Is it really impossible to deliver a message of freedom and liberty and the vast potential that is the America we love to all her people?  More, aren’t we committing a grave moral error when we abandon the people of those states as veritable Don Quixotes, damned forever to tilt at the windmills of a hopeless political imbalance in their states?  Yes, I am fortunate enough to live in a “red” state, but then again, I am actually a transplant from a “blue” state via a “battleground” state and my service in the Army.  The reason I decided together with my wife to remain in Texas two decades ago is because I looked at the increasingly hopeless prospects of the states in which I had spent my youth, and decided there could be no way I would willingly damn my young family by dragging us back there.

The problem is what Mark Levin likes to point out, likening the left to a swarm of locusts: Once they strip a place and make of it an economically barren and politically devastated wasteland, they move on to more promising areas, turning them each in their turn to the sort of disaster they had created on their previous stops.  I often meet folk who have come to Texas from other places around the country, and some of them ask me how I have adapted to Texas.  My response is always the same: “Don’t try to make Texas into the same sort of place you had left behind, but instead make yourself into a Texan.”  Many of them are taken aback at the notion, and they ask me what I mean, and I explain to them that so many come here from deep blue or battleground states, arriving here to set about the business of turning Texas into what they fled, never stopping to consider the insanity of the notion.  Why would one try to recreate here the very things one has so recently escaped?

Another problem we face is that in leaving these “blue” states to the left, not only are we abandoning some of our most stubborn brethren, who refuse to be run-off from their homes, and who fight tooth and nail for every inch of political ground, but we are also rejecting our own thesis with respect to warfare, whether real or political.  You see, one of the things we conservatives have acknowledged vis-à-vis the war on terror is that for the sake of our country’s safety, it is far better to fight the thugs and terrorists and tyrannical despots on their ground, rather than waiting for them to arrive here, on ours, because naturally, given the time, they will attack us at home. By our failure to contest ‘blue’ states, they needn’t spend any time or effort defending their own ground, because we don’t press our attack there any longer, leaving them free to go on the offensive in every red precinct in the country.

As I have explained before, our political strife in this country is a war, in fact, restrained for the moment to the sphere of politics, but the strategies employed are no different.  Governor Palin mocked Barack Obama for suggesting that Texas would be a blue state, and for the time being, that’s true, but as her words also warned, the only thing preventing that from coming true over the longer run is us.  If we permit the GOP establishment and all the Austin cronies to turn Texas to their purposes, and if we don’t begin to fight the radical left, not only in Texas, but in places like Maryland too, we are going to slowly lose.

It is stunning to think that only a generation ago, California voted for Ronald Reagan, the most conservative president of my lifetime, and perhaps the lifetimes of most Americans still living.  Conservatives don’t seem able to win in California any longer, and it is the locust-like nature of the left, combined with our own unwillingness to battle them that explains the problem.  We ceded that ground, as we have ceded New York, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts and a number of others.  We’ve simply walked away.  We’ve effectively said “tough luck, we’re saving our own skins” to our conservative brethren in those states, leaving them to grasp at the last straws of their political and economic freedoms, yet we wonder why we see the left infiltrating those places that had been our great strongholds.  There had been a time not so long ago when places like Virginia or North Carolina would never have been in question.  Now?

Ladies and gentlemen, as I write this post, I am re-watching at the video of Dan Bongino, linked by Governor Palin on her Facebook page, and I want you to see this too. Here is the video, and at its end, he makes the same point:

Here is a man who is fighting like Hell for the last bit of logic and the last bit of sanity remaining in his state, and when you hear his passion, and when you see the fire in his belly, I want to ask all of you, my conservative brethren, most of us ensconced in deep red territory, how is it that we walk away from fighters like this man, abandoning them to a hopeless battle in which we had surrendered the flanks:  Is he not championing precisely the things in which we believe?   Like many of my readers, and like Gov. Palin, I’m not much inclined to give anything to the left, and I’m certainly not of a mind to leave such a man standing alone, speaking the truth in a state in which, without our help, he will never be heard over the din of the locusts.  It’s time we do something about that, and being conservatives, our country and our culture under attack on all fronts, there is no time like the present.  We shouldn’t wait for somebody else to rescue us, because if we don’t do it, none will.  If you’re in Maryland, go help get this guy elected, and if you’re not in Maryland, contribute to that effort any way you can.  Start here.  Then, let’s fight the left everywhere.  All we’re doing at present is “holding onto our positions,” but we’re not advancing the war by pressing our assault on their leviathan.  It’s time to change the formula.  It’s time to make the case.  It’s time for us to reinforce our flanks, but surge and break through at the front.  This is total war, waged for now in words and votes, but if we fail to engage on all fronts, we will lose the country.

 

Palin to Rally for Cruz in Texas; Dewhurst’s Desperation Showing

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Desperation

I hate that this is the case, but I must say that the antics of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst are despicable.  Dewhurst began running a new ad this week on the Internet featuring a woman crying about her son who killed himself, implying that Ted Cruz was somehow to blame is a scandal.  I find it offensive that any politician seeking to be the Republican Senate candidate would run such an ad, but I cannot believe any even vaguely conservative Texan would knowingly vote for this man.  The internal polls must not be looking all that spiffy for Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.  It’s time we go to the polls and give him a taste of how bad it can get.

On Wednesday evening’s show, Mark Levin also addressed this latest attack ad by Dewhurst.  Here’s audio:

 

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Dewhurst is an amoral politician who seeks only power.  The worst part may be that a large number of Democrats may be voting in this run-off as Republicans in order to skew the vote in Dewhurst’s favor, and he’s quietly courting their support.  Democrats clearly realize Dewhurst is a guy who will frequently go their way in tough votes in the Senate like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, or Lindsey Graham.  They expect he will be a reliable aisle-crosser.

What this means is that you had better turn out for Ted Cruz, or the liberal Republicans and the Democrats will combine to elect another squish.

To the polls, Texas Conservatives!

In related news, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Carolina’s Senator Jim Demint will be rallying in support of Ted Cruz on Friday at the Woodlands, near Houston, and I will be there to join in the support!

Texans, get out there and show your support!  Show David Dewhurst he can’t get away with skewing reality this way, and vote for Ted Cruz!

 

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

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Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

Are You Kidding Me? “Silver Linings” Again?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Is This a Joke?

I watched the Huckabee Show on Fox News this Sunday, and while Scott Pruitt, and Ken Cuccunelli(Attorneys General for Oklahoma and Virginia respectively,) both acquitted themselves reasonably well, Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, and Huckabee himself, looked foolish. In truth, however, Cuccinelli said some troubling things, both in this appearance and earlier on Fox and Friends. I can even permit that Huckabee was playing dumb for the sake of dragging out answers to questions to which he really knew the answers, but if I was a Floridian, I would know that my state had been cursed with the dumbest Attorney General to appear regularly on TV. After discussing with the panel the absurd logic implicit in Roberts’ decision, and after positing the notion that Roberts had bent to pressure in switching his vote, Bondi went on to state that she believed Justice Roberts was of the highest integrity. What?

I don’t understand how one can be both the sort of noodle who wilts under pressure and simultaneously maintain one’s alleged integrity. The two notions simply don’t fit in the same conceptual soup. If one is true, the other is almost certainly false. She explained that Roberts was seeking to maintain the integrity of the court, but she didn’t explain how voting in what he knew to be exactly the wrong way accomplishes that end. I believe Pam Bondi is confused about the meaning of the word “integrity.” Being on Mitt Romney’s Health-care task force, this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in that candidate’s promises.

(Fox News hasn’t made this segment of the Huckabee show available on-line – if they do, I will post it here.)

Pam Bondi is, after all, the same AG who bent to political pressure along with her governor, appointing a special prosecutor for the Trayvon Martin case, going after George Zimmerman for murder when all the evidence in-hand really suggests a murder charge is not warranted. In truth, Bondi’s appearance on Huckabee was riddled with similar incongruities in her apparent thinking, and one wonders if she’s qualified to be Attorney General in a State the size of Florida simply on the question of her mental capacity. Being charitable, she spoke like an empty-suited politician, full of hot air, most of it without any discernible meaning, and all of it intended to serve some aim other than to discuss the outcome of this case. Does she have other cases pending she expects to be elevated to the Supreme Court, hoping to win “nice points” with the wayward Chief Justice? Your guess is as good as mine, but after listening to her spewing gobbledygook, I really wanted to turn the channel, though I wound up suffering through the segment until the bitter end.

Another disappointment in the discussion, that I think would apply across the board to all the participants is how they all claimed this had not been foreseen, and that nobody had briefed on the issue of taxes, instead focusing on the commerce clause arguments. This is simply not true, because Landmark Legal Foundation, spearheaded by the brilliant Mark Levin, spent many pages in the Landmark amicus briefs (Here and here) discussing this very matter, taking great care to show how the penalty could not fit into the definition of any of the constitutionally allowable forms of taxation Congress has the power to impose. I like Ken Cuccinelli, and I think he’s a good Attorney General, but I wonder if in this case, he wasn’t a bit asleep at the switch. The same is true of Scott Pruitt. Wake up, fellas!

As for Huckabee, for a guy who has been “working tirelessly” to kill Obama-care, I would have expected he would know the issues a good deal more thoroughly than he did. After all, he did serve as governor of Arkansas, so one would tend to expect he’d have a little more sophisticated understanding of the legal matters, but I suppose it is possible that he was playing dumb to draw out answers, but honestly, that’s not the impression I got from his statements. It made the segment all the more baffling, and doubly disappointing. I kept waiting for him to break out the guitar and sing the Obama-care Blues.

I suspect our troubles with this law are worse than we may have imagined. The more I watch, the more I notice the tendency of some to shrug their shoulders and to tell us to “get used to it.” I have noticed that there is also a tendency to to paint this as though there is some positive, and I was surprised at Ken Cuccinelli’s attempt to tell us about “silver linings” to this decision. Watch this schlock from Fox and Friends:

 

What? There is no limit in this decision. The commerce clause was not restrained. There is no majority decision in restraining the commerce clause. It’s astonishing to see this, and while I know Mark Levin holds Cuccinelli in high regard in most instances, Levin has completely debunked these alleged “silver linings,” as has been discussed here already. Here is the first few minutes of Levin’s show of Friday, 29 June, 2012, to explain why Cuccinelli is absolutely wrong about his “silver linings” thesis:

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The evidence of what Levin is saying is plainly evident in these two amicus briefs filed with the court going all the way back to 2011, both in the Florida suit, and the Virginia suit. No two states’ Attorney Generals should have been more prepared for the tax argument than AG Bondi and Cuccinelli, but they’re pretending that this material hadn’t been covered, and was completely unforeseen. Why? What’s the coverup? This is an embarrassment. Surely, somebody bothered to point this out to these Attorneys General before they embarrassed themselves all over Fox News on Sunday.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t pretend to have any special insight into this case, but I can read, and I can listen. What I’m reading and hearing these days from our ostensible leaders is that we ought to just suck it up, “accentuate the positives”(while pretending there are some,) and prepare to live with it. “But be sure to vote for us in November if you’re really, really mad!” There’s no excuse for these Attorneys General not knowing the briefs in this case, inside and out, and the fact that they don’t means they’re spending too much time in front of a camera and too little time practicing law. I realize they have clerks and associates, and junior attorneys to handle some of this, but let’s not ignore that while Mark Levin has been providing them the answers right along, they’ve been oblivious to the details. Mark Levin is a hero in this, and his Landmark Legal Foundation is doing great work, despite the fact that neither the court nor the states’ AGs seem to be paying enough attention, and if you want to know the difference between the leaders we have, and the leaders we ought to have, you need look no further. Dr. Levin would decline such a role, but that merely means we need to listen to his counsel all the more closely. I suspect he would be much more generous to these Attorneys General than I have been in this posting, but only because he is much more gracious than I.

I have maintained that in all such cases, we can discern who is with us, and who is against us, or at least those who may be ambivalent to the outcome. It’s becoming clearer in the wake of this ruling, and I think we conservatives should begin to recognize that when it comes to guarding our constitution against the statist hordes, we are all alone. It’s we conservatives against them all.

Some Republicans Secretly Gleeful Over SCOTUS Decision

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Benedict Roberts

There, I’ve said it, though I will be damned for it.  The problem we have had in the Republican party comes to surface at times like this, and I’m not going to participate in the reckless concealment.  There are those of political motives, who care not for the disaster that is the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act(a.k.a “Obama-care”) because it serves their political ends. Within some circles of the elite Republican establishment – that thing George Will assures us does not exist while telling us this ruling is really a ‘victory’ – there are those who are absolutely giddy with anticipation in the wake of this ruling, though they must presently conceal it.  It comes down to two things: Some of them are purely fifth-column statists, who actually want this law, and others are motivated solely by the opportunity they see in the political sphere.  After all, what better way to unite wayward Republicans and conservatives then to hit them with a true disaster?  If you’re a Republican party hack driven by purely political considerations and motives, this ruling is a gift from on high that will help drive the vote.

Sure, it does horrendous damage to the body of case-law.  Yes, it does gut the constitutional limits on Congressional power.  Absolutely, it permits Congress to tax in any way it likes so long as some moron in a black robe can dismiss its unconstitutional aspects as irrelevant or insignificant.  True, it really has no manner of a silver lining if you’re an actual conservative, but so what?  At least it will help Mitt Romney get elected by driving the herd!  It will permit the Republican establishment to foist their own version of it upon us, tinkered-with and massaged as it will be, but still the heart of the bill will remain intact, and the Beltway crowd can be ecstatic that they will have finally killed the meaning of the constitution, the rule of law, and the entire notion of American self-reliance and self-determination.  Nevertheless, it also offers the chance to the GOP establishment to round up the herd, and get them all running in the same direction.  That it had been an establishment Republican who sabotaged this ruling should be the dead giveaway.

I would ask my conservative brethren to consider the evidence.  Even a flimsy, often obtuse Anthony Kennedy ruled our way, so absurd is this law.  A man who is able to imagine that Arizona has not the authority to protect its own citizens from foreign invaders, as in Arizona v. United States was not able to imagine the Affordable Care Act as constitutionally permissible.  Think of that!  This law is so preposterous, and the arguments of the administration so bizarre and absurd that Anthony Kennedy could not sustain them, but John Roberts, Bush appointee, did.  Do we think John Roberts is truly the idiot that his ruling implies?  Do we believe John Roberts is so intellectually vacuous that he could not see the absurdity of his ruling?  If we believe this, why are we not demanding Boehner and the beltway boys impeach this man as an incompetent?  Why? I’ll tell you why: Because Boehner and his toadies would never do it anyway.

We are being herded.  We are being driven.  We are being run through the political squeeze-chutes of the GOP establishment.  These people are worse than our open enemy, the leftists.  They are using subterfuge and stealth to reorganize our society into their global vision of statism, a nanny-state version in which you have little freedom to choose, and even less money or property with which to exercise that choice.  We are descending into a death of one-thousand cuts, and we have Republican party bosses who are gleeful that we are angry, because they intend to use that as the fuel to recapture power, not for conservatism or freedom, but for the aggrandizement of their own statist vision, complete with open borders and vast social programs to which we are all enslaved, but as a bonus, with our votes, too!

How else does one explain the servile pronouncements by some conservative commentators that the ACA ruling had been a victory?  How else does one discount the accurate assessments of stalwarts like Mark Levin, who sees this monstrosity clearly?  How in the name of most unholy Hell does one derive the notion that this is anything but a national tragedy?  In some respects,  I place this ruling above Pearl Harbor Day.  In terms of the long-term damage it will do to America, I place it above 9/11.  I place it as the greatest attack on the United States and her people since before its current constitution had been adopted.  It will certainly lead to the death of more Americans.  It was certainly a plot hatched against us.  The delivery of the fatal blow was no less a shock.   I must go all the way back to General Benedict Arnold to find an apt analog for the sort of sabotage this infamy represents, and all brought to you by a bi-partisan Washington DC establishment that seeks to rule over you.

Remember, when some conservatives reflexively screamed at the notion of the appointment of Harriet Miers, many felt relief when George Bush put up John Roberts, who was seen as more reliably conservative and eminently more qualified, as was my pet goat.  That was the sham in all of this.  Roberts is no conservative, and his ruling in this case makes that plain, lest there be any confusion.  Harriet Miers was a throw-away nomination, and Roberts was the goal all along.  This is how politics is done.  I was astonished at the speed at which the reaction to the Miers controversy was brought to a head, and more astonished still at how quickly they dropped the ostensibly reliable Roberts on us.  Do you remember who screamed first and loudest at the Miers nomination?  I do. Odd how that critic is now a rabid Romney-bot these days, isn’t it? I hate conspiracy theories, but I always thought it odd how that whole situation turned out, with Rehnquist retiring just in time to re-nominate Roberts for the Chief Justice position.

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that the GOP establishment exists to keep us in check, to keep us to a dull roar as the statists reorganize our nation into their vision of global, social, welfare-statism.  The GOP establishment advances the ball(never spiking it, of course,) and we permit them to manage us like puppets.  If you accept their talking points these last three days, you’re playing directly into their hands, and you had better believe that they see this as a victory, because for their agenda, it is.  They will be immune to Obama-care.  They won’t worry about death panels.  They won’t worry about government-enforced rationing.  They won’t be waiting in the endless lines.  They won’t have any need to concern themselves with the entirety of the system they’re building, because they are above it, after all.

The same people who tried at every turn(and often succeeded) to blunt the conservative Reagan revolution are once again making political hay over this decision, as they now know you have no alternative.  They engineered it that way.  Feel free to believe what you want, of course, but for me, the matter is clear.  I have seen suppositions that somehow, Obama bullied Roberts into this decision, but I find that unlikely.  Roberts was placed in this position to uphold Obama-care.  There are those who will become apoplectic at the mere suggestion, but for me, the matter is now painfully obvious: If we do anything short of replacing the Republican Party, this nation will be damned.  I’ll not be kept in line any longer.  The Republican Party must rip this law out from the roots, or we must make a new party.

Some are still convinced that there exists a win in all of this.  They offer as evidence that we are still free, this moment, and that this affords to us a chance, somehow.  This is akin to saying that as the last breath escapes your lips, the hooligans choking the last of your life from you, there is still some chance.  Technically? Sure.  Practically? No.  Violence is being done to us, and the best we get from most Republicans indicate that many of them don’t mind, in fact, although there are a few notable exceptions.  On the 11th of July, we will have a pointless exercise of repeal in the House of Representatives, a tale told and believed only by idiots, that for all its sound and fury, will signify nothing.  The GOP establishment loves a charade, and too many of us likewise adore one.

 

 

 

The Dangerous Self-Delusion of Some Conservatives

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Et Tu, Brute?

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in which some conservative commentators seem to be so desperate to find a silver lining to the ruling that they have abandoned all logic.  Consider George Will, who wrote a column in the aftermath of the ruling that actually puts forward the argument that we conservatives should take the fact that Roberts didn’t rely upon the commerce clause as evidence that there might be some constitutional limitation on the federal government after all.  That would be a wonderful aspect of this ruling, if they had overturned the law!  Instead, what we have is a monstrous precedent set in which the court re-writes a law in order to make it constitutional by imputing into the act a tax that had not existed in fact.  This is an unmitigated disaster.  I have heard a few who have noted hopefully that this ruling will energize the conservative base, and while that’s probably the case, I’m not certain I am so concerned about the political fall-out as I am about the long-run constitutional implications.  You see, the political situation may permit us to repair the law, but it doesn’t permit us to immediately repair the damage done to the body of case law  upon which future courts will rely as precedents in their own rulings.

The other thing I have read is the bizarre notion put forward by the National Review that what Roberts did was more conservative because he exercised judicial restraint in not striking down the law.  Balderdash!  Once you realize the legal contortions through which Roberts arrived at this ruling, it makes no sense whatever to claim he hadn’t acted as an activist.  The convoluted logic by which he found a tax in a law that plainly states it does not contain one is an onerous breech of any notion of strict construction.  I cannot conceive of any intellectually rigorous examination of this ruling by which this can be seen as a positive by anybody who is in favor of strict construction.  When it came to the Anti-Injunction section of the ruling, it was held not to have been a tax, but just a few pages later, as Roberts performed mental gymnastics, he declared it was a tax after all.

On Thursday evening, Mark Levin summarized the matter better than anybody I’ve heard speak to this matter, in part because he understands the legalities in question, his Landmark Legal Foundation having been a participant in this case, but also because he knew Justice Roberts years ago when they both worked in the Reagan administration.  Levin’s critique of the decision mirrors most of my own, and indeed, there was one aspect I hadn’t considered until Levin led me to it.  That premise led me to yet another that I don’t believe Levin has yet realized in full.  What one must understand is that this ruling is an unmitigated disaster, and no search for some alleged silver lining can repair it.

What justice Roberets actually did was to expand the definition of what constitutes a permissible tax .  Congress is permitted to levy only certain forms of tax, and this one doesn’t fit the definition of any of them.  In dispensing with that issue, Roberts held that it didn’t matter, and that words don’t matter, and that plain-written legislative language doesn’t matter.  He also ignored the context of the law, and the intent of Congress.  One version of this bill had an actual tax, but Congress could not pass it in that form, so Congress altered it to contain no tax.  What John Roberts did was to ignore the actual text of the legislation, and to say that the labels didn’t matter:  If it looks like a tax, it is one.  The problem with this is that it does nothing to restrain Congress from levying new taxes, and ignores the definitions of what sort of taxes Congress may enact.  This is a wholesale extension of Congressional taxing authority because what Roberts ruled with respect to the particular form of the tax, insofar as the question of whether Congress had met the constitutional limits on whether it could impose it was effectively: “Close enough.”

That is offered to us as evidence of John Roberts’ alleged strict construction?  Close enough?  What this means, effectively, is that if Congress enacts some tax that it has questionable constitutional authority to levy, smiling John will be there to tell us it’s “close enough,” with every leftist monster on the court standing behind him to uphold it.

Ladies and gentlemen, there exists no silver lining to this ruling.   All of the crackpot, delusional happy-talk from some conservatives in media is designed to make you feel better.  You’ve just lost both arms and legs in a brutal assault, but they tell you, you should consider this a happy opportunity to enjoy the comforts of a new wheelchair and mouth-controlled joystick.  You’ve just lost your family to a violent home-invasion, but, they tell you, you should view this as a chance to start over.  The intention here is to keep you calm.  The intention now is to serve a political end, while your country is dying around you.  Your most sacred law, the US Constitution, has been crumpled and tossed into the ash-bin of history, and you are told you should do a happy-dance to the calming sounds of “Oh Happy Days.”

I’d like you to inventory the whole of the conservatives to whom you listen, or whose columns and opinions you read, and I want you to take care to note which of them are imploring you to consider some silver lining.  They are lying.  They have good intentions, many of them, and they have contorted themselves into a formless spaghetti of reasoning in order to find some good in this awful plate of refuse you’ve been handed.  Don’t surrender your minds by sprinkling Parmesan on it and wolfing it down.  Are there some limited political opportunities as a result of this decision? Yes, but they require the fulfillment of a whole laundry-list of “if-then” statements.

IF Mitt Romney is elected, and IF he doesn’t sell us out, and IF we hold the House, and IF we recapture the Senate(and at least 60 votes) and IF the moderates in either house don’t screw us, and IF Boehner and McConnell have the guts to do in repealing what the villains Reid and Pelosi did in passing the ACA, and IF they can deliver a bill to President Romney’s desk, and IF John Roberts and the other liberals on the court can be replaced, and IF Mitt Romney can replace them with actual strict constructionists, THEN you might have a chance to undo this damage.  IF any of these don’t happen, your constitution is effectively dead as a restraint on government.

The danger of self-imposed delusions is that you come to believe them, like a pathological liar.  It is by this form of self-delusion that we’ve permitted our country to lose its roots in reverence for the Constitution.  We cannot defeat the statists by pretending this isn’t the disaster that it is, if we can defeat them at all.  I believe some talking heads know this, but do not want to yield to what will come in the wake of such a monstrosity.  They’re hanging on, stubbornly telling us that the stench of smoke reaching our nostrils is merely an air freshener of a novel scent.  Rather than screaming “Fire,” and warning conservative Americans that the house is ablaze, the barn is wiped out, the surviving farm animals running loose in a frantic bid to stay ahead of the flames licking at their heels, many are now telling you that it’s all okay.  It will be fine.

No, it won’t.