Archive for the ‘Mark Levin’ Category

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.

Is It Inevitable?

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

 

or This?

Rightscoop.com picked up on a fascinating call Mark Levin took on his show on Friday evening, and what made the call interesting on its surface was the subject matter, and the identity of the caller, Nicholas from Paris, France, and why he thought the world was in trouble given his country’s swing to the hard left in the recent election.  The caller was concerned for the US, and the notion that we are turning into France.  While that’s very important, and certainly bears examination, there’s something else in this call that I found revealing.  I want you to pay attention to what Mark Levin says in response, and what it portends for our future, here in the US. It’s not that it wasn’t clear, but that the context of the call actually serves to hide the worst, most frightening aspect of what was said in the exchange, and if you’re like me, you heard it too:

Levin responds by re-stating the caller’s root question:

“Your question though is “how do you get out of this?”

He then warns the caller that the answer isn’t pleasant:

“I’m going to tell you and you’re not going to like it.”

“The system will have to collapse before it can be rebuilt.”

Think about the context of this remark.  I don’t believe Levin intended it to be taken this way, but everything he tells the caller about France applies to our domestic political situation, including the way we “get out of this.”

I offer this to you because in my few spare moments lately, I’ve been giving some thought to the apparent futility of many of our efforts.  We hear from this caller that in his country, there is only the socialist answer for everything, and I wonder how familiar that this has become to us.  Whether it’s the leftist front and the Democrat Party, or the Republican establishment with their so-called “compassionate conservatism,” all of the answers are big-government, and all are oriented toward socialistic ideas and ideals.

This may come as a shock to a few, but I have long thought that what Levin here admits is true, and that in logic, this system cannot be sustained indefinitely is clear, but the fact that we will likely go through an excruciating collapse is less clear to many people.  The reason is simple, and Levin makes the argument correctly: There are too many people who depend upon this socialist welfare state.  There are too many interests invested in continuing as-is, and virtually none interested in stepping back from it.  The idea behind “austerity” is to try to get back to a sustainable basis, but as you can see from Europe’s results over the last few weeks, austerity simply won’t hold up over the longer run because people are too consumed with short-run comforts, particularly those obtained without effort through the welfare state.

If you believe that same mindset isn’t prevalent here in the US, you’re mistaken.  We are not immune to this thinking, and there is every evidence that we are on the same course, though perhaps a half-step or so behind.  This causes me dread, because what I am coming to believe is that until this country collapses, we will never rebuild it, and I am terrified that those who rebuild it will not be of the same character and temperament as those who established this nation in the first place.   More, I think we may see horrifying conditions erupt along that path, with violence unlike any we have seen or known since the Civil War, and perhaps much worse. In short, collapse seems inevitable, but what that collapse may bring could be even worse, and there is no guarantee that we will emerge as anything even roughly approximating the nation we had known.

or even This?

It is true to say that Obama and his acolytes will have a hand in driving us over the precipice, and indeed, they already have, but let us be circumspect in our evaluation of our situation:  The establishment wing of the GOP has been right there, guiding us in that same direction, albeit somewhat more slowly, but no less indefatigably leftward.  Mitt Romney might be our next President, but if so, what of it?  He, who established Romneycare in Massachusetts will be no more likely to lead us away from socialism than, for instance, Nikolas Sarkozy in France.  In fact, it’s fair to say that Sarkozy is probably a fair analog to the sort of “conservative” leadership Mitt Romney offers, which is to say: It’s not conservative, and it will not change our general direction, or the long-range result.  It will serve as merely one more delay or postponement.

It’s not my intention to cause you undue worry, but it is important that we remain somewhat clear-headed in our view of what it is we’re out to accomplish.  We may see a complete collapse of our country, and it may get as ugly as ugly gets, but I also believe, like Levin admits here, that it is probably inevitable.  What it means to the greater body of the American people is that if you ever wish to return to a free society, you had better start agitating and educating on behalf of such a society now.  Historically, few of the societal makeovers through which nations proceed are bloodless, never mind painless.  More importantly, however, only one came out as well as our adopted Constitution, but what it has demonstrated is that statism, given any loophole, either in the law, or in the culture, will multiply, magnify, and overpower all the restraints thought to have been place upon it.

Our founders attempted to give us a Constitution that would withstand such turmoil, but in the main, avoid it.  It was an imperfect document, but it offered the best shot at a nation built on the basis of individual liberty the world has yet known.  It’s  restraints upon the aggregation and growth of power in the Federal government were not strong enough, and while they may have been plain in the language of our founders, still the language was not plain enough to prohibit the power hungry from perverting the meaning, not merely of the text, but of the very words that are used throughout.  The academics have taken “the people” to mean a collective body, rather than “all individual citizens,” and in this way, we are slowly having our liberties stripped away and delivered to collective notions of “rights,” all to the detriment of individuals.

Ladies and gentlemen, Levin may indeed be right about this, whether he intended it or not, and it’s another warning you should take care to heed.   We are in desperate trouble, and much of it arises from the very contradictions that are slowly consuming us.  Many Americans claim to be “constitutional conservatives,” but I wonder what commitment there is to that idea in practice. Are you willing to undo all the statism that this characterization should imply?  I am, but for my part, I recognize that I am of some tiny minority that would be considered “extreme” both in France, and in the United States, in “polite” political circles.  I read the US Constitution plainly,  and I am versed in the context and meaning in which our founders wrote it.  I neither wear the rose-colored spectacles by which one might imagine into existence rights that cannot exist in logic, nor do I wear the dark masks of those who wish to conceal their grasp for more power.

Our nation cannot survive on its current course.  Cannot.  Will not.  Whether the election in November provides us another four years of the aggressive, lurching tyranny that is Obama, or the more careful, plodding nanny-statism of the Sarkozy-like Romney, the direction is the same, with only the speed along our course varied by the result.  The fundamental issue that confronts us in our time is the same as that which confronts the French or the Greeks, and what would be required to see the salvation of our nation is that which people across Europe now seem to refuse: Austerity.   Austerity is merely the willingness to tell oneself “no” in the short-run, at pains on behalf of a better long-run, and to date, I have yet to see any evidence that a majority of voters (never mind legislators)anywhere are inclined to such self-imposed discipline.  Knowing this, the end of the story may indeed rest in the sentence uttered by Mark Levin:

“The system will have to collapse before it can be rebuilt.”

If it’s true of France, and one could suppose that it is, one might ask whether it isn’t also true of the United States.  What will we be, as a nation, and as a people, when we have been reduced to a sort of atavistic tribalism in which volitional production is replaced with legalized looting of one’s neighbors?  What will the context of that culture impose on the sort of law and governance that emerges?  Do we dare to hope it might in any way resemble  the masterpiece of 1792, much less exceed it?  My pessimism on the subject may reflect my own recent experiences, but history’s judgment is no less worrisome.  If we are to become again a free people, we must change our course entirely. We must identify our malady, and cure it.  Instead, what we now seem to do is to pretend it away.  Until we learn to say “no” and to mean it, we are merely bringing a birthday cake ablaze in candles and gaiety to a what is instead a terrible funeral, with a dirge as our melody.  For those who have mistakenly thought “it could never happen here,” however one might define “it,” the simple truth may be that we’re already well on our way.

It may well be inevitable.

 

 

College Loans and Who Should Pay For Them

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

The Choices We Make

If you’re a college student, you may want to pay attention.  With the nationalization of student loans under Obama, you’re going to be slaves to the system if you use their loans.  It’s the ultimate racket.  You pay interest to the government at a higher rate than you would have in the previous system where private banks made loans, and the government guaranteed them, and of course, the government has the IRS to strip your future earnings from you.  I listened to a caller named “Jonathan” on Mark Levin’s show Friday evening, and I was astonished at his sniveling over the interest rates.  He insisted that it is “for the greater good” that he took out a total of $220,000 in student loans.  He’s not upset, he says, about the principal amount, but at an interest rate of more than seven percent, he’s having trouble making ends meet.

Let me save all of you aspiring college students some time and trouble:  Most universities don’t teach you much anyway.  You’ll learn more on your own if you want to do so than any college will ever teach you, and it will be more valuable.  I know, I know… The field into which you’re going requires a college education, maybe an advanced degree, perhaps medicine, or the law.  That’s fine.  Go to a cheap school.  Seriously.  All they’re giving you is a piece of paper.  The rest, you get on your own, and it’s the height of foolishness to go into debt to the tune of more than two-hundred-thousand dollars in order to fatten the higher education establishment.  It’s absurd, and our kids should be steered away from this nonsense.

I went to college.  I was thirty-one years old when I enrolled.  I was thirty-five when I graduated.  My ‘student loan officer’ was a nice gentleman with a crew-cut I met in the recruiting office of the United States Army when I was seventeen.  I loaned the government my backside for seven years, and in exchange, they matched my own contributions to a college fund.  Along the way, they taught me to be a hard-charging ass-kicker, and also some practical skills that I would one day convert to civilian use for the purposes of feeding my family.  It was likely the best deal I ever made.  The truth of the matter is that I learned a good deal more in those seven years than any college could teach you in twenty.   Nevertheless, once I was out of the Army, I used the aforementioned skills to make a living, and before long, only six years later, I was on my way to college.

Now I can almost hear caller Jonathan’s retort to such a proposition: “But, but, but,” he might stammer, “I wanted to go to a top twenty-five law-school.  It’s the only way to get work at some places.”  That sound you may be hearing in the background is the sound of the world’s smallest violin, playing just for Jonathan.   My answer: “Then shut up, and pay the interest you promised to pay when you took out the loan!”  You see, the problem is that Jonathan is finding it hard to make ends meet while paying his obligations, and he’s finding that paying for his debt is causing him to delay some gratification as a young attorney.  Boy-o, that’s what happens when you aren’t “born with a silver spoon in your mouth.”  Get over it.

Honest to goodness, $220,000 is a fantastic sum of money to me even now.  When I was that age, if somebody had lent me that kind of money, I’d either be a billionaire, or be locked away in debtor’s prison by now.  Or not.  The point is that to take out loans totaling $220K and then complain about having to pay the interest is a farce. Sure, it will probably take poor Jonathan a decade or more to pay off those loans, but what of it?  Was he making an investment in his future or not? No, you see, that’s not enough for young Jonathan: “For the greater good,” we should all be investors in his future.  Sorry, but I’m not interested in that sort of ‘investment.’

Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure young Jonathan is a fine man, and he’ll probably make a great slip-and-fall lawyer one day, but in the mean time, he’d better pay up with a big fat smile on his face.  You see, I actually had this very conversation with a young person recently, who was looking at the costs of attending the school from which he hopes one day to receive a degree, and I offered the other options open to him, and even offered my story about my own ‘loan officer.’  He replied in a matter-of-fact tone that “Well, you made your choices, and you took the path you did.”  His intent had been to dismiss my story, and yet as I the grin widened on my face, he looked confused at first, and then it hit him: “Okay, yes, I guess I see your point.”

It was somewhat amusing to hear his laments about how he’s now “over a barrel.” He can either continue his education, accruing more debt along the way, or he can quit, and begin repaying the loans immediately.  As I explained to him, “life has us all over a barrel.”  Of course, I understand how the government is going to financially wreck so many of these youngsters.  Now that the government is the sole source for guaranteed student loans, the government is going to wreck as many youngsters as they can hook into this system.  Naturally, the education establishment is only too happy to continue to increase tuition, because I can guarantee you that the faculty lounge won’t suffer.  This is the inevitable result of letting government intrude where the private sector should exist.  They created the government-guaranteed student loan program in order to entice lenders into loaning money to students for college, since they had been such an historically awful risk.  Once the government guaranteed the loans, it was inevitable that some Marxist would nationalize the program.

I am fairly certain that was the intention from the beginning.  After all, you can’t walk away from federally guaranteed(and now issued) student loans through bankruptcy, much like income tax debt, and everybody beyond the age of thirty understands that socialists love captive markets.  If we did that with healthcare, we wouldn’t have the insurance problems we do, but that also wouldn’t enable government to grow larger and reach into another market, ultimately nationalizing it, as they intend with seemingly everything.  At some point, this country is going to be faced with a choice about whether we wish to fix all of these things permanently, or simply implode and become a full-bore communist state.  I’ve seen the latter up close, and I’m afraid that’s where we’ve been heading, but young Jonathan doesn’t know that, and his professors aren’t likely to have told him.  Instead, they’ve probably filled his head with notions of how “the greater good” is the sole consideration, but what they’ve never told him is who will be determining what constitutes the greater good, or the public interest.  He believes he will have some say in the matter.

At every level now, the Federal government reaches into everything, but the simple truth of the matter is that this can generally happen only because people invite it in.  Too many people suffer under the delusion that the government is able to fix anything and everything, and that since there’s no immediate and obvious cost to them, they are quite happy to have the “help.”  All of this ignores the tendency of government to resemble a mob loan-shark, or a gang of mobsters in general.  Once you accept the help, there’s no ridding yourselves of them.  More, it’s a bit like the drug pusher, who gets people hooked on “free samples” but once addicted, the new junkie would kill his family to obtain another fix.  In other words, it’s about us.  Just as the pusher can gain no ground so long as you tell him “no,” so too is it the case that if we begin to tell the government “no,” it will lose its power.  That means doing something most people are tested to do:  Say no to themselves.  Young attorney and Levin caller Jonathan could have told himself “no.” That would have been difficult, with a degree from a “top 25 law-school” dangled before his ambitious eyes.  Now that it turns out his eyes may have been a little larger than his belly, he’s not happy about it, but I’m sure there was no dissuading him at the time.  Somebody needs to tell him “no.”  Waive the interest?  No.  Delay payments?  No.  Forgive the debt?  Hell no!

“No” is the most effective word on Earth against socialism, but it’s the word too many in this country are now afraid to utter, to their children, their neighbors, fellow citizens, but most particularly, themselves.  Until we learn to say it and mean it, poor kids like Jonathan will never understand its power.  Government bureaucrats will never understand their limits.  Politicians will never cease in their abuses.  We will never be happy.  Learn to say “No” and stand by it.  Refusing your consent is the one thing that cannot be taken from you.  Jonathan could have said “No” to the interest he’ll now pay, simply by refusing the loans.  Having taken them, he has found that he now has no right to refuse.  Do I feel sorry for Jonathan? Do you?

No…

The Questions Romney Doesn’t Want to Be Asked

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Some Questions Too Tough?

I’m a talk radio junkie, and like so many, I listen with great interest when the various candidates for public office appear on the various talk-shows.  Some talk-show hosts won’t ask very hard-hitting questions, while others will ask the tough questions even of friends.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make an educated guess about which sort of host gets many more requests for air-time, and which do not.  Still, the thing that I use as a gauge of the worthiness of a candidate is their relative courage in facing hard questions.  Many of you will have noted that I hold Mark Levin in high esteem, because his passion and his intellect combine to make for one tremendously good show. He’s funny, outspoken, and most of all well-reasoned, and he’s always polite to guests though he has been firm.  During this campaign season, he’s mentioned his preferences for Bachmann and then Santorum when the Minnesota Representative bowed out.  He was always gracious to them, but that didn’t stop him from asking some tough questions.

He also talked to Gingrich, of whom he had been fairly critical, and he was tough but fair to Gingrich, and even defended him against the blatant hit-piece by Elliot Abrams.  He talked to Cain, and to Perry, and has had a standing invitation for Huntsman, Paul and Romney since the beginning of the campaign season.  Huntsman quit the race, but Paul and Romney haven’t done the show, and he’s been particularly critical of Ron Paul at times, so I understand he might have burnt that bridge a little, but he’s said repeatedly that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, he would support him, and yet Romney is always too busy to be on, and Levin doesn’t talk to campaign staffers in lieu of candidates.  I realize Levin has been tough on Romney, but no more than on Gingrich, and this distinction was telling for me.  If a candidate won’t face Mark Levin on-air, how is he to be expected to compete in a national debate against Barack Obama and the moderator(s) who will almost assuredly be predisposed to Obama’s side?

I was actually impressed by Newt Gingrich when he went on Mark Levin’s show, not merely for his answers to Levin’s probing questions, but mainly because he had the courage to go on, despite the fact that Levin had been fairly critical of Gingrich.  Mitt Romney has exhibited no such courage to date, and it’s interesting to me because if you want to “audition” before an audience of conservative and Tea Party types for the job of President, stepping up to the plate on Mark Levin’s show is a good way to demonstrate that you’re willing to stand in the batter’s box even when a few fastballs are high and inside.  Romney continues to show no such inclination, and that’s troubling to me and to millions of other conservatives who’d like to hear him answer a few questions from “the Great One.”  The problem is that Romney isn’t interested in an appearance with Levin just now.  I’m sure if he’s nominated, he’ll appear thereafter when it’s “safer,” because Levin will be on the team at that point.

For a listener and a conservative, this is troubling to me, because it hints at Romney’s strategy of winning the nomination with only sparse conservative support.  His calculus is clear:  If he wins the nomination, you’ll be faced with the choice to support him, Obama, or simply stay home, and he’s hoping you’ll do the former in preference over the other two alternatives, and it’s his operative assumption that you will.  For my part, I’d prefer a candidate to work a good bit harder for my support, because he believes I might well exercise one of the alternatives.  After all, the vote is the only real leverage we have with any of these candidates.  Let’s call that the “conservative nuclear option.”  What a candidate like Romney gambles is that you will see that the fall-out will land on your own head, thus giving you just enough motivation to forgo that messy option.

It’s for this very reason that I always keep my voting options open.  I want candidates to understand that having an “R” next to their name doesn’t make anything “automatic.”  It’s the only tool an average voter like me has to use as leverage, and if I give that up, I’ve got nothing else, and they know it.  You might suggest that this is “extreme,” but I’d ask you what I have otherwise.  What keeps any politician even vaguely in line if they don’t have fear of losing our voting support?  When you’re talking about a Gingrich or Santorum, without a crowd of deep-pocket contributors, it’s important, but when you’re talking about a deep-pocketed Mitt Romney, it’s really all we have.  Rick and Newt need our fives, tens, twenties, and fifties.  Romney can live without them. As an example, he’s presently outspending Santorum in Wisconsin by a ratio of 50:1.  With this in mind, what Romney wants and needs from us is the only thing we have with which to influence his course: Our votes.

For those of us who can’t contribute thousands of dollars, or millions,  what it should make plain is the value of our votes, not in terms of dollars, but in the serious impact they have on the future of the country.  You would think with all of that at stake, Mitt Romney would find the time to appear on Mark Levin’s show, but so far, he hasn’t and conservatives like me are beginning to wonder why.  We know Levin has taken him to task, but no more than Newt Gingrich, and Gingrich had the fortitude to appear, leaving conservatives to fill in the blanks on their own:  Is it that Romney is afraid of that interview now, or is it that he simply doesn’t care about the opinion or the votes of an audience he assumes will come back to him for lack of options later?

I tend to think it’s more of the latter than the former, because while Levin asks some tough questions, he doesn’t overplay his hand or go off the deep end with GOP candidates in that fashion, so other than the possibility of a slip-up, I don’t think Romney has anything to fear.  I think he’s simply playing it safe.  I believe he assumes that 98% of that audience will have no choice but to vote for him in the general election, so why risk it?  I don’t think candidates should be permitted to make such assumptions, but for obvious reasons, it’s easy for them to get away with it. I don’t know what Mark Levin might ask Mitt Romney if given the opportunity, but I have my own short list:

  • Governor Romney, if you did not win the nomination, could the Republican party still count on your active support in the November election?
  • If you are nominated and elected President, you’ve said you would repeal Obamacare.  Is that still the plan, and if you succeeded in overseeing its repeal, would you seek to replace it with something else, and if so, what?

I believe he’d answer the first appropriately, although if it came to pass, I have my doubts about how active his support would be based on 2008.  I think the second question would be the one to trip him up, because it’s the one nobody in media is really asking.  They ask him if he’d repeal, and he says yes, but what is never discussed is what he would then do on the issue.  Would he simply return things to their pre-Obamacare state, and walk away, or would he seek to replace it with something similar albeit not much less egregious?  Would he tinker with it around the edges instead?

These are the questions conservatives would love to hear answered, because I suspect that he plans the latter option, if he’d move on the legislation at all.  I think if he were pinned down by this question, he’d be forced to either reveal his plans or tell a whopper.  Of course, I’d love to hear the answer to one question I suspect Levin would ask:

  • Governor Romney, you’ve said you would issue waivers to every state immediately.  Could you tell me which section of the statute permits such waivers?

This is one of the bits of Romney’s repeal pledge that has been suspect in my mind for some time, and Levin was really the only person in media I’m aware of who picked up on the significance. I have looked, and I can’t find where there is authority for any waivers in the statute, and any such “waivers” would likely result in immediate legal challenges launched from the left.  Sure, they won’t say anything about it now, because it’s their guy issuing phony waivers, but those waivers won’t be permanent in any case, and you can expect that if a Republican president issued such a waiver to states, the left would mobilize to the courtrooms to argue there is no such statutory authority.

I believe this last issue is certainly one reason Mitt Romney won’t get within a country mile of a phone line upon the other end of which is the Mark Levin show.  It would be a fiasco if Levin asked him this and he was unable to satisfy the question with an answer.   As you can see, there’s every reason for Romney to play it safe and avoid Mark Levin like the plague during the primary season, but it’s also the reason I can’t get behind Romney.  By avoiding Mark Levin, he’s really avoiding all of us who want to hear his answers to these questions.  It would have been great to get an answer to these in a debate, but for all the smoke and mirrors, these were never raised in full.  If Mitt Romney wants the support of conservatives, he’s going to need to answer these at some point, or risk going into the general election unsure of whether conservatives will give him their unqualified support. He’ll need every vote to defeat Barack Obama.

 

 

 

Mark Levin Searches for a Word

Friday, March 16th, 2012

The Word The Left Already Knows

Listening to Mark Levin on the radio on Thursday, he was discussing the Obama administration’s predations upon our country, and all of the policies Obama has established that intentionally undermine the United States.  He wanted a new word to describe what Obama is doing, but he settled on an old one, and it’s close, but it isn’t quite right:  De-Industrialization.  Far be it from me to quibble over terminology with the brilliant and accomplished  Mark Levin, who has an audience that spans the nation, and with the Internet, really the entire English-speaking world.  He’s so frequently right, and so unfailingly prescient that I hesitate to offer him a ‘correction,’ but in this case, it’s so important that I believe I must, because as Sarah Palin pointed out Thursday in a Facebook note, Dr. Levin has done more to enlighten more people on the roots of our national disorder than any other person in our culture at present.

I feel it is important enough to risk his ire, and those of his many fans, and followers, some of whom also read this blog.  What Barack Obama is doing is much more fundamental to our national survival than  “de-Industrialization” might indicate.  If it were that, we could recover in a generation, but what Obama is doing threatens to undermine our nation for all times, and as Dr. Levin suspected, the word he seeks already exists, and it’s much more dire than you might imagine: Barack Obama is De-Capitalizing the United States.  It’s been the solitary goal of the left for a long time, and it’s Barack Obama’s method of culturally, financially, and materially destroying America.

How important is capital to a capitalist country?   It is everything we need, not merely to recover our economy, but to fuel it for generations, perhaps in perpetuity.  Capital helps establish even our moral basis, and undermining that basis leaves us to lie in supine servitude to whatever demagogue happens along.  Stealing America’s capital will crush the country, and remove from it the ability to recover, not only in the next decade or generation, but possibly ever.  Most people think of capital as money, and money is capital, but it’s not the only form, and not all money is capital in the most important sense.  Depending on how money is used, it can be capital, and that is surely an important part of the story you must understand to see not only why my term is the correct one, but also in order to see why Barack Obama is far worse, and far more dangerous than any of you may have imagined.

While others have been focused almost solely on the Republican horse-race, I have been covering the twists and turns of our dire national financial circumstances, and I have done so for a reason:  You must know what is being done, and how, if you’re to understand the threat we now face.  Our capital is being strip-mined from this nation in systematic fashion, and that which remains is being systematically devalued.  Let me explain how this is being done, starting with how our cash is being devalued.

First, you must understand our monetary system, and you must know that in order to devalue our money, all you need to do is create more of it than growth in our Gross Domestic Product(GDP) justifies.  Ben Bernanke has been complying with that plan, by creating more money out of nothing in order to lend it to many institutions, including primarily the US Treasury, but also to all of those banks that were “too big to fail” as well as Europe’s ailing financial sector in order to temporarily prop them up.  Governor Palin warned us about this in late 2010, as the Federal Reserve instituted QE2(Quantitative Easing round 2) that is really just a fancy title for more old-fashioned money-printing, now carried out primarily in digital form.

The more the Federal Reserve lends out of thin air, the less all previous dollars are worth, provided there’s no corresponding growth in production and wealth in the total system.  If production and wealth grows by some minor amount, but the printing(or digitizing) of money exceeds that amount, each additional dollar devalues all the rest.  Put another way, if you imagine the wealth of the nation as a giant pie, each time we print more money without growing the pie, what happens is the same as re-dividing the pie by the additional number of dollars.  What this means is that each slice shrinks, but since we’re talking about money, the medium by which we exchange goods and services, what it means is that each slice – each dollar – falls in value versus those goods and services.  You can buy less with the same number of dollars, or put another way, it takes more of your dollars to buy the same goods.  As Sarah Palin predicted nearly eighteen months ago, we have seen the prices of energy and food skyrocket.

You might say that this is all well and good, but Ben Bernanke – not Barack Obama – runs the Federal Reserve.  I agree, but let me tell you that Obama’s fiscal policies are the impetus for much of the money-printing.  Put another way, Barack Obama’s outrageous spending has accounted for four trillion dollars or more of all this money-printing madness.  This is because money isn’t printed and set on a shelf.  Instead, it is loaned into existence.  Once you realize this, you understand that without corresponding economic growth, this is merely funny money that is tantamount to counterfeiting.  Each time they devalue our currency by this procedure, your existing wealth is being stolen by some incremental amount.  That’s the real picture, but sadly, it doesn’t stop there.

Are you paying more for fuel?  To quote my favorite politician, “You betcha!”  Food? “Ditto!”  In fact, prices of almost everything is creeping  slowly upward.  Part of this is due to the re-division of the pie, as described above, but it’s also a result of something else:  The United States Federal government is spending more on redistributive programs than ever in history, and it now spends monies equivalent to 25% of the GDP.  Those dollars, poured into these redistributive programs, are now competing with your hard-earned dollars in the marketplace for goods and services.  When more people arrive in the market with dollars with which to demand more of a thing, but you’re not producing substantially more of it, either the prices will rise in response to the quantity demanded, or somebody else will need to supply the goods from some other place.

This results in an out-flow of cash.  It’s devalued cash, but it’s still landing in China and India, and anywhere else with which we do substantial commerce.  Some of that cash comes back in trade, but some of it does not.  While in ordinary times, I am not so concerned about the balance of trade, under this system at present, we are bleeding wealth and redistributing it globally.  For what?  The latest cellphone?  Produced where?  The latest television?  Produced where?  The simple fact is that while I support free trade, what I don’t support is free trade augmented by redistributive domestic programs.  What this means is that when you go to work, you’re going to produce wealth, some of which will be stolen in the next round of money-printing, and redistributed to some who do not work, to be spent on merchandise you would not buy, and without which the purchasers could easily live, all while pouring your wealth in a chain from your pocket to government to your government-supported neighbor to some state venture in the Republic of China, mostly for transient, non-durable merchandise that only detracts from available capital.

At the same time all of this goes on, productive enterprises have less money from which to draw.  Are you thinking of putting an addition on your home?  First, you might have to borrow the money, and if you do, you’ll find you’re in tougher competition for those dollars, and since fewer contractors are now in existence, you’ll pay a premium for any work you hire out.  Your money won’t go as far, because in construction, fuel is an important component from the production and transportation of raw materials, to the paychecks of workers who will now need more cash to make it to the job-site.  As all of this happens, you may have found that you needed a home equity loan to pay for the new construction, but alas, this too will be more difficult, since the value of your home and property has likely fallen.

Add to this the insane policy of permitting JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, among others, to move risky European derivatives into coverage by the FDIC.  When the Euro-zone goes belly up, and don’t kid yourself, it will, you will be stuck with that bill too, and it may even collapse your currency altogether.  You might have heard that Wall Street is doing well, but that’s an illusion too.  Much of the growth on Wall Street has been financed with more loans from the Federal Reserve.  Meanwhile, you’re struggling to fill your fuel-tank, and while you do, the foreign powers who control much of the globe’s oil supply are getting wealthy while Barack Obama denies pipelines and drilling all over the United States.  He’s closing down coal-fired plants.  He’s using the EPA to regulate energy producers out of existence.  Slowly, we are being starved of the capital equipment with which we might hope to someday extract ourselves from this condition.   When he closed down Gulf drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident, and refused to reopen it despite a federal court ruling, those drilling rigs and platforms left American waters on their way to places they can drill, like Brazil, where he sent billions of dollars to fund their oil industry, including Petrobras, in which his pal George Soros was a big investor.  Those platforms and rigs won’t be back.  You’ll need to raise the capital to build new ones.

Is your paycheck growing? A few may be, but most are not.  In fact, with skyrocketing costs as your money is devalued, even those who’ve managed to scratch out minimal raises are finding their increases are in no way covering their expenses.  With all this newly digitized and printed money, you’re not seeing anything but diminished value in your purchasing power.   You have little money to save or invest, because it’s all going up in smoke to support your basic energy and food expenses.  Any margin of error you may have had is now gone, and to do anything constructive, you’re having to borrow in some form.  You might sooth yourself with the idea that at least you’re contributing to a 401K, or other retirement program at work, but how much of the value of those investments is based on the bubble-building all on the back of these borrowed bucks.  They have the use of your slim capital at present, all on the promise that it’s a shelter.  It could also be a trap.

What all of this does, taken together as a vast picture of our national despair, is to deprive the country of capital from the most fundamental level to the top of the financial food-chain.  When, I repeat, when the Euro crashes, your dollar will follow along behind in short order.  Your financial institutions will be wrecked, and you will find out that there is no such thing as “too big to fail.”  When we are naked, starving, and unable to raise enough capital to fund the production of a pack of bubble-gum, you will see why this is more than mere de-industrialization.  Barack Obama is hard about the chore of de-capitalizing America, undercutting its wealth, and its ability to produce more wealth, on which our lives all depend.  The old saying is that “it takes money to make money,” and Barack Obama and his band of anti-capitalists know that this is true.  To destroy America, and to destroy the capitalism that has powered it through generations of ever-growing government, one must take away that seed that lays its foundations anew in each successive generation: Capital.

Of course, not all capital is about money.  Some economists count “human capital,” and here too, Obama is squandering a generation.  Our schools have become mosh-pits of leftist indoctrination, and our colleges and universities are populated by students many of whom believe it is proper to lobby for free contraception.  You see, capitalism requires a respect for what capital is in its naked essence:  It is the motive power of all new wealth, but what they now teach the nation’s children is that “stuff” is just material that is owned as a matter of legalized oppression of those with less money.  This undercuts the moral basis too, so that your human capital, your financial capital, and your moral capital are all being destroyed.

Barack Obama is literally an anti-capitalist, all the way to his core, and what he and his friends like George Soros do and have done in previous instances is to de-capitalize nations, and reduce them to stagnant, increasingly destitute corpses.  America had been the greatest and freest nation on the planet, because for a long time, it came closest to the capitalist ideal.  Slowly, for a century or more, we have been bleeding it dry.  Republicans and Democrats have participated, and all of them under the label of  “progressivism.”  Mitt Romney would do little different, except perhaps to better manage the collapse.  That won’t save us, and it can’t restore our country to its exceptional promise of years past.  We now stand on a societal precipice and Barack Obama has arrived at just the right time in our history to oversee the commencement of the final de-capitalization of America, shoving us over into an abyss from which the nation may not emerge.

Dr. Levin, respectfully, that is the word you were seeking.  The Left has known it and is practicing it with ardent fervor.

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There’s Good Reason He’s “The Great One” – Levin Takes On Romney

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The Great One

Mark Levin, in his usual well-stated, and very direct style, has laid out a case for why Character Matters, and why Mitt Romney’s worries Levin. I do believe this essay is worth reading, and if you’re undecided or otherwise on the fence in this GOP primary season, I think Levin points out the important facts quite clearly. Give it a read, and like his newest book, Ameritopia, you’ll understand why he is called “The Great One.”  The things Levin is willing to say frankly make the GOP  establishment nervous, because he is willing to take them on at the nuts and bolts level in a way few in the media do. This article is well worth your time, and I consider it essential as Florida prepares to have its primary.