Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Governor Palin: “Stop Electing Republicans who Act Like Democrats”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

We must break up the GOP establishment

Governor Palin is right, and I’m inclined to act on the principle that there is nothing to be gained by compromise with the GOP establishment.  I am to the point where I’d rather have an open leftist elected to office than to see one more of these despicable, snake-in-the-grass RINOs who act like Democrats when they get to Washington DC anyway.  Here’s Governor Palin from Hannity on FNC last night:

While Boycotting A&E, You Might Consider this Intolerant Yahoo Too

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

It takes a real moron to top the idiocy of Drew Magary’s original GQ piece on the subject of Phil Robertson, but leave it to Yahoo News (a contradiction in terms if ever there’s been one) to dig up a writer who’s even more maniacally stupid than his peer at GQ.  Yahoo News posted a piece by Josh Barro, an editor at Business Insider,  proclaiming: “When you’re defending Phil Robertson, Here’s What You’re Really Defending.”  It takes approximately two minutes to read, but let me cut to the quick: It’s nonsense, like all that’s gone before, and only people detached enough from reality to get their information from Yahoo News are apt to be dumb enough to fall for his foolish premises.

He asserts the following, based on quotes from Mr. Robertson:

  1. Robertson thinks black Americans were treated just fine in the Jim Crow-era South, and that they were happy there. ” I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
  2. Robertson thinks the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because they didn’t believe in Jesus. “A ll you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”
  3. Robertson hates gay people. Robertson in 2010: ” Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions.  They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”

“This last one is key. My inbox is full of “love the sinner, hate the sin” defenses of Robertson’s 2013 remarks. But Robertson doesn’t love gay people. He thinks they’re, well, “full of murder.” His views on gays are hateful , inasmuch as they are full of hate.”

Let us tackle these assertions one by one.  In the first instance, Mr. Robertson’s view of the pre-civil rights era of the South is his own.  He’s clearly speaking from the experiences of his own life.  Perhaps Barro could consider, even momentarily, that in Robertson’s personal experience, maybe it wasn’t quite so bad as is widely believed particularly by people like Barro (or me) who hadn’t been born as yet. For a man born in 1984 (when I was a young private in the Army) to pontificate about the implications of Mr. Robertson’s statements about the South is approximately on par with my commentary on the social benefits of prohibition.  I know only what history records, but my knowledge is hardly exhaustive.  Neither is Barro’s. Nothing about Robertson’s remark on this topic suggest he’s a racist, but that is precisely what this Harvard-grad goof-ball wants you to believe.

His second assertion is that Robertson believes Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because they didn’t believe in Jesus.  That’s not what Robertson said, and while it stretches credulity to think he was saying that, what Barro tries to do here is to state the obvious: Japan wasn’t going to believe in Jesus in 1941, and one couldn’t imagine they would.  I think Robertson’s point was a bit more sophisticated than Barro’s tautology implies.  Robertson was merely showing that the mindset of Christians(believers in Jesus) has been rather non-violent in the last century.  The ethos of communists, Nazis, and so on have been rather less tolerant, and seemingly more inclined to violence.  Hitler’s gangs did all they could to discourage Christianity, as Barro is undoubtedly aware, and communism basically outlawed all religions.  In Islamic countries today, Christians and other non-Muslims are routinely persecuted and murdered.  This is not generally the case in modern-day countries where Christianity dominates.

He claims Robertson “hates gay people.”  He then goes on to list a litany of things Robertson said about unrepentant sinners, but present them in a way that implies he had said these things about homosexuals specifically.  Being as adulterers are in Robertson’s list of sinners, taking Barro’s view, one would suppose Robertson hates himself, having confessed to adultery in his own life.  No, this is a pathetic attempt to do what others have tried over the last several days: When Robertson is asked what are sins by Magary, he went on to list a bunch of sins, a list that looks remarkably familiar to anybody who has read 1 Corintheans.  He did not qualify them.  He listed them.

I realize I am not the most sophisticated fellow, but I am able to grasp the concept of lists.  If you ask me to list fruits, I might say “bananas, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, apples, and grapefruit.”  This doesn’t say the first thing about which I like most or least, or which I consider the worst or the best.  It’s merely a list.  If you ask me to list vegetables, it will be much the same: “Corn, carrots, peas, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and radishes.” From this list, you will not be able to discern much about my preference for vegetables. You won’t even know if the one I like most or least actually made the list. All you have is a list that may or may not be exhaustive or exclusive.

As if to underscore his lunacy and lack of context, Barro goes on…and on:

“As a side note, it’s remarkable how often these things come as a package. Robertson’s sincere doctrinal view about the sinfulness of homosexuality comes packaged with animus toward gays and retrograde views about blacks and non-Christians. It’s almost as though social conservatism is primarily fueled by a desire to protect the privileges of what was once a straight, white Christian in-group, rather than by sincere religious convictions.”

In any other political context, it might seem odd how this writer seems to ignore the “sincere doctrinal view” Robertson apparently holds about Communists and Nazis. Perhaps what Barro is really confessing is his personal alignment with those ideologies.  After all, Nazis all but invented the sort of propoganda Barro is spouting here, and no place more than Stalinist Russia exhibited his flair for the desire to silence dissent and create guilt by association.

“You might recall that conservatives are currently trying to figure out what to do about the fact that the Republican Party performs quite poorly with the growing share of voters who are not white, straight Christians. They think some of it has to do with economic issues. But then  they’re scratching their heads, trying to figure out how Mitt Romney lost the Asian American vote 3-to-1 even though, by Republican “maker-vs.-taker” metrics, Asian Americans are disproportionately likely to be “makers.”

I don’t believe actual conservatives have any problem figuring out what to do, although Republicans may. What Barro leaves unstated is that the Democrats have carried the Asian-American vote for generations.  Conservatism doesn’t have a problem with non-white, non-straight voters, so much as they have a problem with statist buffoons of the sort defined by Mr. Barro. He concludes with this bit of nonsense, in case you lost interest:

“Non-whites and non-Christians and gays keep getting the sense that, even setting aside policy, conservatives and Republicans just don’t care for them. The “Duck Dynasty” episode, with Ted Cruz and others rushing out to defend Robertson’s honor, is just another example of why.”

Mr. Barro, isn’t Ted Cruz non-white?  Isn’t Bobby Jindal non-white?  Isn’t Sarah Palin non-male?  Isn’t Tammy Bruce non-straight?  Haven’t all of these defended in some fashion the free speech and free religious thought of one Phil Robertson?  This asinine attack on conservatives because they defend a man for stating his sincere religious beliefs has been extended now into the preposterous scenario of a Harvard-grad, establishment-bound numb-skull professing to us what non-whites, non-males, and non-straights may think, even as they step forward to tell us that Robertson has every right to believe sins are what may be found listed in the Bible.

Any writer who so thoroughly debunks his own argument in the span of two sentences ought to be ignored, and truth be told, so should any “news outlet” that publishes his drivel.  Barro’s article drips with venom and hate, and yet he is able to imagine hatred into the heart of Phil Robertson, who actually expressed the contrary premise that he loves all people, even sinners like himself. Who’s the real hater, Mr. Barro? Apparently, I’m not the only blogger to take a dim view of Barro. That Yahoo News posts such bilge is evidence enough to click away from that site too.

Sarah Palin on Phil Robertson Suspension (Video)

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Governor Palin appeared on Hannity on Thursday night to discuss the Duck Dynasty situation on A&E. Clip courtesy of Sarahnettoo on Youtube:

Lesson Christians, Conservatives Can Learn from A&E Network’s Intolerance

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Dynastic Decline?

I’m not among the millions who regularly watch Duck Dynasty on A&E network, but I am among the many millions who will avoid the network in my future viewing choices.  The network’s #1 smash hit is headed by patriarch Phil Robertson.  Robertson was asked during an interview for GQ magazine about morality.  He cited the Bible, and when asked to explain or expound upon his stance on homosexuality, he explained in graphic, somewhat crude language why he couldn’t understand the desires of homosexuals.  The network then suspended him.  What’s now clear is that A&E has managed to incite a backlash against the network, and it’s obvious that the network is responding to political rather than market-based concerns.  In the free market, a network wouldn’t suspend the star of its top-rated show for simply stating his religious beliefs.  No, this case isn’t about the intolerance of Phil Robertson, but the intractable, unflinching orthodoxy of the rabid left.  The intolerance is all theirs, but there exists a dirty little secret: They’re only willing to shut down conservatives, Christians, and capitalists, while they cringe in fear of Muslims, feminists, leftist groups, and the homosexual lobby.  There’s an important lesson in all of this for conservatives generally, but Christians particularly: They don’t fear you, and you’ve given them no reason to think otherwise.

Consider the lead-in to Drew Magary’s GQ article:

“How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?”

Could a news outlet or magazine make such a remark about any group if they happened to be other than Christian?  This lead-in typifies the mindset not merely of those in leadership at A&E, but of the entire media establishment.  “Bible-thumping?”  Who does Magary think he is? Bill O’Reilly?  This should set the tone for you quite aptly. With a lead-in like that, you can guess that it won’t be long before the GQ writer seeks to create a controversy.  The term “Bible-Thumper” has become so widely used in the media that Christians are now adopting it to describe themselves as a way of scorning the elites who look down their noses at Christians generally.

Before pointing this out, Magary mocks Robertson this way:

“Even though he’s in the far corner of the room, Phil dominates the house. There are times when he doesn’t look you in the eye while he’s speaking—he looks just off to the side of you, as if Jesus were standing nearby, holding a stack of cue cards. Everyone else in the room just stares at his phone, or at the TV, or holds side conversations as Phil preaches.”

As disgusted as Christians, conservatives, and Duck Dynasty fans may be with A&E’s treatment of Robertson, let’s consider this jewel of mockery by Magary on behalf of GQ magazine. This isn’t merely an attack on Robertson, but on every Christian who is guided by faith.  Magary’s scornful, scowling article shows Robertson in the very light that his magazine’s readers have come to expect.  Later in the article, however, Magary provides the Robertson quote that will rile the left endlessly:

“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” Phil tells me. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

All of this was far too much for the leftists at A&E.  They’re a politically correct outlet, and Robertson’s off-show remarks are far too insensitive in their view, and attacked their general philosophical slant. If only he were a Muslim…

Fans aren’t happy with this suspension either, and the backlash is growing, as a new Facebook page that has already garnered nearly seven-hundred-thousand likes, and there are other pages on the social networking site having similar results.  While there can be no expectation of “free speech” on a network one doesn’t own, this sort of cultural brow-beating is standard fare in leftist circles.  In his contract, there may be language prohibiting him from making such statements publicly, in which case he is bound by the terms of the contract, but here’s the real problem for A&E: While they are free to suspend him if his contract allows it, they are also bound to bear the consequences in the marketplace.  If the market recoils against them, and if they find even more people joining the fray of public discourse against them, it’s all their problem.  If the move gains the network market-share, then it’s all their benefit.

With that said, let’s consider what had been Robertson’s “infraction,” according to A&E.  Robertson dared to state publicly in an interview that he held as sins those things set forth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Indeed, he then explained his own orientation. From the Chicago Tribune:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he told reporter Drew Magary. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Now that the homosexual lobby is descending upon Robertson, one might wonder why leftist groups and others sympathetic to the homosexual lobby have all the courage in the world to take on Christians at every turn, but never seem to muster the same courage when dealing with Muslims.  If, rather than a show titled “Duck Dynasty,” and being a Christian man named Phil Robertson, this had instead been a show named “Kamel Kingdom,” centered around a Wahhabist family headed by a man named Muhammed Atta on the Arabian peninsula, the whining cowards at the A&E network wouldn’t have dared to suspend the patriarch.  Not a chance.  Christians are easy targets, after all.  They’ve become accustomed to being culturally attacked, and desensitized to being harangued publicly for their views. They do not fight back, generally speaking.  Muslims are another story.  In fact, A&E may have actually blocked the mention of Jesus on Duck Dynasty in order to avoid offending Muslims. Watch this video with Phil Robertson:

There’s a lesson in all of this for those who happen to pay attention: Christians may temporarily blow up your phone lines, but they won’t blow up your building, and executives at the A&E network know that too well.  They can stand to tolerate a few days of melted phone lines, but once the issue fades in prominence, they’ll go on as before.  The leftist media culture is rife with bullies who are willing to pick on faithful Christians, but won’t say the first word in opposition to radical Islam, or even acknowledge its existence, lest they find themselves the target of a fatwa. I’m not suggesting that Christians should strap suicide vests on their bodies and run into the A&E Network’s headquarters, but I think this helps to demonstrate that Christians, who mistakenly turn the other cheek until they’re beaten into submission.  Christians don’t fight back.  They have been taught that only the “meek” shall inherit the Earth, not understanding the real meaning of Matthew 5:5.  It was an admonition to submit to God.  It was not a demand to lay supinely in acceptance of any torment in the offing from all comers.

Christians and conservatives must begin to understand the affliction that they too readily bear. Consisting in part of the radical left’s tireless war against American culture, this is a real campaign being fought daily.  The left,  radical Islam, the associated and cohort groups all bear ill will against traditional Christian values, and American ideals and traditions in general, either to subvert them or erase them from our nation.  A&E’s fault in all of this lies in the fact that they are more afraid of people who do not regularly watch their network than of those who routinely tune to see Phil Robertson and his family.  A&E is more interested in portraying the Robertson clan as backwoods bayou bumpkins than in showing a God-fearing family that accepts the teachings of their Bible.  They don’t want to offend  Muslims, homosexuals, or anyone else in the process, unless they happen to be capitalists, Christians, and/or conservatives, in which case it is not merely acceptable but entirely intentional. Christians and conservatives must begin to make their voices heard in unison, because it’s their culture that is under fire. The time for cheek-turning should have passed, and it’s high time conservative leaders step forward to say as much.

Thankfully, some already have. (Sarah Palin here, Ted Cruz here, and Bobby Jindal here.) Now it’s your turn. As the rabid left seeks to turn the GQ Robertson interview into the 2013 version of Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke remarks, conveniently taking the focus away from Obama-care, it’s time for conservatives, particularly Christians, to understand all of these things as a coordinated attack against them.  While A&E is a shameless trollop acting on behalf of the general leftist ideology, they are performing a service to Barack Obama that money could scarcely buy. Obama-care’s massive failures are sliding from the headlines, and this changing of the subject over a TV show will permit them to carry on.  The truth for conservatives in general and Christians in particular is that the left doesn’t fear you.  They see you as having been de-fanged by your own ethos, and they use your most generous virtues against you.  It’s time to see them for the monsters they are, speak out at will, and make all of your purchasing decisions accordingly.  It’s time for them to fear your market power if they will fear nothing else.  It’s time for them to fear you at the polls if they will see no other threat from your number.  It’s long past the time for all real Americans to roar and I don’t care if the statist left sneers at that description.  The time for silence on all fronts is over. They need to fear the continuance of their Jihad against us.

Editors Note: The truth about A&E and its show is that it was never intended to capture the audience it now enjoys, but was instead meant as a vehicle by which to mock Christians and conservatives.  Once it backfired and became a wildly successful show, they had to find a way to bury it culturally. For what other possible reason would they place beeps and bleeps in the audio track to cover profanity that never occurred, as per Robertson’s testimony in the video above?  They wanted to reinforce a stereotype.

Update: As of this hour, the boycott A&E page on Facebook now has over 1.1 Million likes.

Debunking Stupid Ideas in Mainstream Media

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Bloviating Zone

Seldom is there a shortage of stupid, insipid, vapid ideas in the mainstream media, but lately, it’s coming from every direction.  I was watching the idiot at 8pm(Eastern) on the diminishing network that is Fox News, when he promoted an upcoming segment featuring Michele Bachmann(R-MN.)  The segment has not yet played, and I’m not really interested in anything this perpetual TV dipstick has to say, so I was not surprised at the vacuous formulation of his segment, based on a recent McClatchy-Marist poll: “Why are the American people still more dis-satisfied with Republicans than Democrats?”  Let me suggest an answer that refuses to evade the obvious, irrespective of what Bachmann may or may not say in response, and howsoever the bloviating 8pm-er may otherwise characterize it.  It’s really a simple math problem, and it’s time we ask goof-balls like O’Reilly to understand mathematics. There is one reason Republicans are doing more poorly in Congressional approval polls, and it is not because they’re not moderate enough.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Various surveys tell us that roughly 20-25 percent of the populace considers itself liberal.  As much as 42 percent consider themselves conservative.  The rest  consider themselves mushy moderates and independents.  Let me suggest that we break this up into a simpler math question: If 33 percent of respondents approve of Democrats in Congress, that is roughly equivalent to the number of avowed liberals and a portion of the “moderates” who are simply embarrassed liberals hoping to maintain some semblance of non-partisan cover.  The rest of the country hates the Democrats, including some actual moderates.  Meanwhile, the same 33 percent can be counted on to hate the Republicans. One might then think that since 40-45 percent of the populace considers themselves conservative, Republicans would gain the benefit.  Actually, it’s not like this at all.  You see, since Republicans register around 25 percent approval, let us then admit that the group most likely to be adding to disapproval of Republicans isn’t the moderates, but instead, the conservatives.  42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent.  While I am confident there will be some instances in which this isn’t precisely true, the obvious answer is that the Democrats are disapproved less because their own core constituents support them relentlessly.  In contrast, conservatives who constitute the core of the Republican constituency are as unhappy with Republicans as liberals are. Only squishy moderates like O’Reilly support Republicans.

This is not difficult math, so simple in fact, that even a mindless dolt like O’Reilly should be able to figure it out. The problem is, however, that it’s only easy to see if one is willing to see it.  O’Reilly isn’t willing to see anything that contradicts the DC orthodoxy. When O’Reilly implies that it’s all because Republicans are too immoderate, he’s evading the truth, because it’s not a truth he wants to purvey.  If the Republicans in Congress were interested in getting a better approval rating, they wouldn’t push ridiculous “bi-partisan” budget deals like the one now being offered by Paul Ryan(R-WI) and his Senate counterpart, the estimable Patty Murray(D-WA.) Conservatives are rightly disgusted with this and other deals, and the explicit unwillingness of Congressional Republicans to fight. 42 percent plus 33 percent equals 75 percent. Mathematical wizardry is not required.  All one needs is a commitment to the simple truth, and that’s something Bill O’Reilly plainly lacks.

(Editor’s Note: Apparently, the math escaped Bachmann too, because her explanation turned out to be that the media is against Republicans, which while true, doesn’t answer the heart of the question.)

Mr. L Sums Up Barack Obama in One Word

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

On Tuesday, Mr. L had more than a few choice words for Barack “Mugabe” Obama. The nation is becoming understandably angry with Obama, and he’s more than tired  of the dirt-bag politicians who are interested in compromising with Obama and the rest of the statist left.  There’s no point to offering compromise only to be rebuffed by Obama and his henchmen.  Frankly, Rand Paul should know better.  Mr. L gets it right: No more compromise. Another excellent presentation from Mr. L:

You can check out Mr.L’s Tavern here.

Closing Oceans, Furloughing the Almighty – How to Beat the Bully

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

He’s Winning?

One of the lessons most of us managed to learn in confronting bullies early in life is that few things can overcome the power of mockery and ridicule.  The biggest, baddest schoolyard bullies are often overwhelmed when their victims band together and belittle them.  The same rule holds true in politics, and indeed, it’s a standard political approach. Catching politicians eating corn-dogs, or making a mockery of their off-the-cuff comments has been the stuff of political mockery for centuries.  It’s effective because most people like to laugh, particularly at the expense of the high and mighty.  Who on Earth is higher and mightier than a US president?  Who is more open to ridicule than the man who occupies the Oval office?  We conservatives often worry that we’re not “winning” the public opinion because we’re painted as dour or heartless or humorless.  Laugh a little.  This President is affording us every opportunity to prevail as he undertakes every extreme action to enhance the pain of the shutdown for Americans.  Yes, some of it is enraging, but it also speaks to the self-aggrandized view this man holds of himself.  If you want to defeat a despot, mock him.  Ridicule him.  Make him the joke around town.  None are more eligible for this treatment than Barack Hussein Obama.

It’s not as though we don’t have the evidence.  After five days of the government shutdown, during which conservatives have taken to the airwaves to mock and ridicule this preposterous man, questioning his every action in light of his constitutional limits, his daily tracking-poll numbers are falling like a stone.  Conventional wisdom had held that he could not be beaten, and that Republicans would take all the blame, but that hasn’t been demonstrated by the tracking polls.  With every day this goes on, and with every joke that is told, Obama is seeing his approval numbers dip to all-time lows.  If you want to know how to make a lame-duck of this President, it really comes down to credibility.  After Putin humiliated him, and after a month of haughty lectures and accusations leveled at Republicans, he’s beginning to sound like an excuse factory.  Whatever else may be true, the American people are catching on to this.  It’s having an effect on his ability to carry out his threats.  Think of the imagery of 90-year-old veterans at the WWII memorial being greeted with “Barrycades” erected by order of a president that desperate to make his political points.  It’s an open invitation to ridicule.

On Saturday comes the news that Obama has “shut down the oceans,” and people are laughing about it.  On Friday, it was made public that he’s ordered the Pentagon to shut down religious services in military chapels, and Americans emboldened by the zeitgeist begin to proclaim: “Obama is Furloughing G-d.” Now they mock his closure of Mt. Rushmore, asking if he will throw a curtain over it.  Jay Leno asked his audience if they were more scared of the shutdown, or more afraid of it opening back up to uproarious laughter.  The Obama-Reid shutdown is having precisely the opposite effect of what had been intended, and the more ludicrous the President’s actions, the more his approval drops.  He tries to inflict more pain, and Americans are disgusted by it but then go on to laugh in the face of it all.  At every turn, Americans are looking for new and more humorous ways to dismiss this president as the bullying lout he has become.

In social media, particularly on Twitter, the mockery goes on continuously.  It’s having an effect, as each time some shrill leftist makes some idiotic claim on behalf of the administration, they are met with derision and mockery.  The more this happens, the more it becomes difficult for Obama to have the impact he had hoped this shutdown opportunity would present.  Early in the shutdown, the White House insiders whispered that they thought they were winning, and now, even that comment is mocked.  Most of the Republicans in Washington don’t know how to handle this. Their heads are stuck in DC media coverage, and they don’t understand the mixed signals.  From their districts, and in social media, support when they stand firm, while the establishment press insists that they are losing.

Naturally, a few of the smarter ones have instigated or joined in the mockery.  Senator Ted Cruz has tweeted his share of appraisals of the Obama-care roll-out and the Obama-Reid shutdown, and it’s beginning to take a toll.  Republicans questioned Cruz over his strategy during a caucus lunch this week, and the weak-kneed Republicans were bothered and accusatory, suggesting Cruz had “led them into a cul-de-sac” to borrow the phrase.  What their shortsightedness reveals is how out-of-touch they are with the American people.  If they understood the dynamics of our modern culture, they would recognize as has Senator Cruz that the American people are just beginning to engage fully and that they will demand that DC listen to their complaints.  The tide has turned and the momentum is now gathering against the President, and if the surrender-set on Capitol hill would merely join the “Cruzade,” not even the establishment media would be able to rescue the Obama presidency from lame-duck status.

Given what we know about Obama’s designs and intentions, this may be the best way in which to stop him in his tracks. It may be the only way in which Obama-care is finally ejected into the ditch.  What we conservatives can do is to join in the mockery and the ridicule of the bully.  Obama wants to push old men around at the WWII memorial, and at Normandy, and anywhere else he can inflict pain.  He wants to shut down religious services on military bases, and he wants to make the shutdown as painful as possible.  We’re Americans, and we have always known throughout our history how to deal with pain.  We laugh at it when we can muster the humor.  Let us laugh in the face of this dictator-in-waiting, and show him we still know how to overcome bullies.  This man won’t build a wall on our Southern border to keep out illegals, but he’ll throw up “Barrycades” around our treasured memorials?  Such a man deserves all the contempt and ridicule we can muster.

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.

Barack Obama’s Government Shutdown: He Wants It, He Owns It

Monday, September 30th, 2013

His way or highway…

The media won’t tell you the truth about this, so I’m going to tell you because the American people really ought to know.  Barack Obama is gambling that he will come out of any government shutdown smelling like a rose, but this is not 1995, and the same old playbook will not work.  The media is trying to pull it in that direction, but the simple fact is that Obama isn’t doing so well in opinion polls lately.  The obvious truth is that while Barack Obama is willing to talk with the Iranians, the Syrians, and any number of the world’s dictators, but he will not negotiate with Republicans.  Bill Clinton is encouraging Obama in that direction too, but there’s something different now: In 1995, the US economy was in full recovery from a recession, whereas now, the economy is still barely struggling along.  This time, the American people can sense that something is dreadfully wrong with the direction of the country, and according to a CNN Poll, at least forty-seven percent now believe Obama is acting like a petulant brat.

Naturally, part of this owes to the economy, but part of the problem for Obama and the Democrats is that the American people overwhelmingly dislike his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obama-care.  American workers are seeing their hours cut, hiring has slowed to a Carter-era rate, and job creation is simply bottoming out.  The young, now told they can remain on their parents’ healthcare until 26 years of age, are finding it impossible to find a job.  “Let’s be clear:” Harry Reid is doing Barack Obama’s bidding, and this entire thing is their contrivance.

The American people do not want government shut down, but neither do the Republicans.  The American people also don’t want Obama-care, and for the most part, neither do Republicans.  For the first time since 2010, the American people have begun to see through the dominant, statist media portrayal of events, and as Bob Woodward observed today, if the economy tanks in part due to a government shutdown or due to Obamacare, nobody will remember Senator Harry Reid or Speaker John Boehner some fifty years on. They will remember Barack Obama and his role, much as nobody remembers the Congress that was around when we fell into the great depression of the 1930s, but everybody remembers Hoover.

I believe that if Republicans find the courage to stand tough, they may get a minor black eye, but they won’t get a broken nose, bruised ribs, and cauliflower ears.  Those will belong to President Obama, and by association the Democrats. If they’re not careful, the American people may discover what is really behind Obama’s thinking.

 

David Gregory Bites Off More Than He Can Chew With Ted Cruz

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Cruzing

On Sunday Morning, David Gregory interviewed Senator Ted Cruz on NBC’s Meet the Press. Gregory questioned Cruz for several minutes, and what became clear from the outset was that it was Gregory’s aim to somehow trap the Texas Senator.  Every question was formulated from the viewpoint of a Democrat.  Every contention of Gregory was constructed to obscure the trainwreck that is Obama-care, or to shield Democrats from blame.  At no point did Gregory attempt to understand the Senator, so that Cruz was obliged to make his case clearly despite Gregory.  What Gregory tried to conceal most of all is who has been inflexible, and absolutist, and who has been unwilling to compromise.  As usual, the Democrats, led by Harry Reid in the Senate and Barack Obama generally haven’t been willing to listen to any complaints from the American people, while they’ve been willing to do the bidding of big corporations, granting waivers, delays, and carve-outs under Obama-care.  This interview is a study in how to go over the heads of a hostile press directly to the American people.

Senator Cruz is absolutely correct: If government shuts down, it will be because Democrats, particularly Senator Reid and President Obama, have been unwilling to listen to the American people.

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.

Sarah Palin’s “Redneck Whiteboard”(Video)

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Redneck Whiteboard

I take some knocks from a few of the haughty sorts of Republican who believe the conservative base of the GOP mustn’t be trusted with leadership. In their view, riffraff like me are simply “too extreme” (read: consistent) to be taken seriously.  Their shills head out onto to television to offer the best thinking of the establishment’s intelligentsia, but despite their theorizing, and their whiteboards, they simply don’t understand why the average conservative can’t see things their way.  One of the things that causes some eye-rolling amongst the “elites” in my own locality is to mention my ongoing, unwavering support of Sarah Palin.  In their view, she epitomizes the sort of conservatism they abhor: Honest, plain-spoken, and trustworthy fighters who tend not to bite their tongues.  In this context, as the eyes roll, I hear in response: “Oh, that makes perfect sense.”  On Greta’s show on FoxNews last night, Governor Palin displayed these simple virtues that make GOP establishment hacks roll their eyes.  On full display was a white envelope,  covered in the names of scandals surrounding Barack Obama.  In open mockery of Karl “Tokyo” Rove, she called it her “redneck whiteboard.” Here’s the video:

One can only imagine how this went over within the confines of the Republican establishment’s inner circle.  Gov. Palin’s plain-spoken truth on the matter is why despite the eye-rolling of the Republican elite, the conservative base of the party supports the former Alaska governor.  Her message is much too rare in GOP circles, and while the establishment in Washington DC helps to delay and obfuscate on Barack Obama’s behalf, the truth out in fly-over country is that the American people want the answers on all those issues listed on Palin’s “redneck whiteboard,” and despite the assistance of certain Republicans in helping to cover them, eventually, we’re going to have at the truth.  One might run out the clock on this administration, but one cannot run out the clock on the truth.  Governor Palin rightly points out that the 2008 McCain campaign failed to make an issue of any of the negative material swirling around Barack Obama, ultimately forbidding her from raising questions about his personal history on the campaign trail.  How can anybody be expected to win when they’re fighting with one hand tied?  Governor Palin is right: It’s time to deal with these scandals, and Barack Obama should be ashamed for pretending they are all phony, when it’s clear there is so much more to these matters.

President Obama’s Absurd Distraction

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Pay Attention to ME!

On Friday, President Obama provided an outlandish distraction intended to restart the media circus over the verdict in the Zimmerman trial.  It was contrived, planned, and perfectly concocted to capture the nation’s attention.  Obama plays the narcissist when he needs controversy, so it’s not particularly surprising to see him step into this role, don the virtual hoodie, and proclaim that he is Trayvon, or that Trayvon is him, or whatever crass proclamation he was attempting to make.  It succeeded to the extent that from the moment he made this infantile, ludicrous statement, few in media have talked about anything else.  The Zimmerman trial story had been losing ground as the lead story all week, so that the nation had begun to return its attention to more pressing matters like the IRS scandal, and immigration, all of which had begun to resurface as the furor over Zimmerman was subsiding.  With this fatuous remark, Obama again succeeded.  It was Friday.  By now, it’s well-known that this administration always puts out any bad news on Friday.  Which bad news was this constructed to hide?  Which government action was this intended to conceal? When Obama pulls a stunt like this, we should be reading  the back pages and sections of our newspapers, or scanning deep down the columns on Drudge, because this was purely a stunt, and so far, it’s working.

Like most of you, I am a busy person.  This week has seen me work an insane number of hours, so that any thoughts about blogging died in exhaustion as my head finally met the pillow at the ends of my days.  That is the nature of my work, and the chief reason for my absences from this blog.  In that environment, I have occasions to hear news while I work, but not watch it, or read it, so that it comes in snatches as snatch can.  At the top and bottom of each hour, there is a small segment of news on radio, so that when I hear that the President’s remark is consuming almost all the available time but for a traffic report, I know he’s succeeding in grabbing all the attention of the nation.  In this sense, since most conservatives work, and since that means that most of them listen to the radio for some portion of their news, what Obama accomplished on Friday was to squeeze out all the room for any other news.  He “sucked out all the oxygen,” as some would prefer to say.  Let me now take the time to offer you a little more, now that you have breathing room to discover a sample of what the President may be hiding with this distraction.

Consider the embarrassing spectacle the President doesn’t want you to consider, as the city of Detroit files bankruptcy only 8 months after he took campaign trail credit for having saved it.  It’s gotten so bad in the Detroit area that suburbs are now talking about building a wall to keep people from the crime-ridden city from easily invading their own communities.   State officials in Michigan are now arguing over whether it is even constitutional for the city to file for bankruptcy protection.  While this may not be enough by itself to justify the President’s unseemly distraction circus, it certainly adds to the picture.  There are worse things he seeks to hide.

Maybe Obama wants to give a little cover to his golfing partner, John Boehner, who is now pushing the House version of the bill to include the “Dream Act” so as to legalize the children of illegal immigrants who brought their whole family into the US “in the shadows.”  After all, that’s the apparent purpose of Beohner and establishment Republicans in Congress: To act as a fifth column for the Democrats.  While we’re watching Obama make an ass of himself on television, they’re still trying to figure out how to shove immigration reform down our throat.  “Watch this hand…ignore the other…”  Also in the House, the Republicans are fighting among themselves about the Agriculture bill and therefore, the food-stamps budget. Once again, establishment Republicans don’t want to cut very deeply, while conservatives want to make substantial cuts to the overgrown program.

It is also possible that Obama wanted to draw your attention away from the colossal disaster that is Obama-care.  On Friday, lost in the coverage of his remarks is the injunction issued by a federal court against the enforcement of the contraception mandate against Hobby Lobby.

On immigration, it’s clear that Republican members of the Gang-of-Tr8ors didn’t know that their bill permits people to forge up to two passports without legal jeopardy.  First Rubio.  Then Juan McRino. These two RINO hacks should be embarrassed, but they’re not.  After all, the whole nation’s attention has shifted to the foolish remarks of a carnival barker of a President.

Of course, maybe the President wants you to ignore this story of an embarrassing voter registration in Washington DC, not because it is his, but because it’s a valid voter registration in the District of Columbia, using the name with which he registered for school in Indonesia as a child, with the address of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the registrant’s address. It’s not so much that this registration has all that much to do with the President himself, but that it’s one further indication of why we need voter ID.  It exposes the degree to which vote fraud is prevalent in our major cities, and throughout the country.  Being the beneficiary of such fraud in most cases, I doubt he wants to talk about this.

With all the scandals over the IRS, Benghazi, and one-hundred lesser issues, and with the looming embarrassment of the crisis that will be Obama-care’s implementation, never mind the attempt by Obama and the Democrat’s fifth column in the Congress to put “immigration reform” over on the American people, there is little doubt that President Obama wants to talk about something… anything… else. One could look at market and economic news for more reasons to change the subject.  One analyst is predicting “Dow 5000,” and as frightening as that may seem, consider that the rate of jobs growth has continued to slow.

With all of this and more going on in domestic news, it’s clear that the President has ever reason to want to change the subject, or keep us focused on highly emotional, divisive topics.  It’s part of his governing philosophy to keep us running in circles while he pulls the virtual hoodie over his head.  It’s what he does, and all the scoundrels in government around the country, but particularly in Washington DC love it, because while we’re watching his circus act, we’re not looking at them.

Fearless Conservative Addresses Minority Outreach

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Show-me State Visit

Some of you will be familiar with this speaker, Adrienne Ross, who writes at MotivationTruth, as well as a contributing to C4P, and this speech to Cape County(MO) Republican Women’s Club, is a great candid approach to expanding the appeal of conservatism to a wider audience. She makes plain here the importance of expanding the reach of the conservative message, and in so doing, debunks a body of lies that is accepted in the media culture and political establishment as fact. One of the things that has confounded many conservatives is how they can extend their message into a community that so often shares social ideas with conservatism, but who have become estranged by sixty years of identity politics.  Is there a way to bridge the gap?  Ross has her own ideas on the subject.  Here’s the video:

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.

Mama Grizzly Adds Roar of Leadership to Immigration Debate

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Still the One…

Writing a Breitbart-exclusive op-ed, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin sounded-off on Sunday evening over the ridiculous “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill pending in the US Senate, and in so doing, she stepped out to join other rare leaders on the conservative side of the debate.  Just a few big-name conservatives have been vocal in their opposition to this bill, but this piece by Governor Palin seems to lay down a marker for others in the GOP to consider.  The conservatives who have been doggedly fighting against this immigration bill for all its mortal failings have been heartened to see the freshman Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, stepping up to fight against a terribly abusive and nonsensical bill.  With this most direct entry into the fray, Gov. Palin has made clear her continuing ability to lead from the outside, and it is most invigorating to grass roots conservatives that she has chosen this dark moment to speak up and do battle with the DC-Beltway, permanent political class that is trying to foist this bill upon the American people.

As is her habit, she wasted no time with pleasantries and minced no words:

“Just like they did with Obamacare, some in Congress intend to “Pelosi” the amnesty bill. They’ll pass it in order to find out what’s in it. And just like the unpopular, unaffordable Obamacare disaster, this pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interests-ridden, 24-lb disaster of a bill is not supported by informed Americans.”

This opening salvo sets the tone for the entire piece, because while like so many of us, Gov. Palin believes in legal immigration because she understands that we are a nation built by immigrants who faced tremendous challenges to conquer a continent, she also reveres the rule of law and understands quite well what happens when government becomes an agent of anarchy. In that vein, she wrote:

“I am an ardent supporter of legal immigration. I’m proud that our country is so desirable that it has been a melting pot making a diverse people united as the most exceptional nation on earth for over two centuries. But I join every American with an ounce of common sense insisting that any discussion about immigration must center on a secure border. The amnesty bill before the Senate is completely toothless on border security. “

Lamenting the many holes in the legislation now pending, including the amendments offered thus far, she took the time to single-out one of the bill’s key proponents, Senator Marco Rubio(R-FL).  Earlier Sunday, she posted on Facebook and via Twitter an article revealing Rubio’s hypocrisy on the subject, and it is here that one gets a sense that the “Mama Grizzly” is just getting warmed-up:

“It’s beyond disingenuous for anyone to claim that a vote for this bill is a vote for security. Look no further than the fact that Senator Rubio and amnesty supporters nixed Senator Thune’s amendment that required the feds to finally build part of a needed security fence before moving forward on the status of illegal immigrants who’ve already broken the law to be here. And if shooting down the border fence wasn’t proof enough, they blew another chance by killing Senator Paul’s “Trust But Verify” amendment which required the completion of a fence in five years and required Congress to vote on whether the border is actually secure before furthering any immigration measures. And then they blew it yet again, nixing Senator Cornyn’s “Results” amendment, which also required border enforcement standards. Now the Senate’s pro-amnesty crowd is offering a fig leaf to security via the Corker-Hoeven Amendment, but this is really nothing more than empty promises. It’s amnesty right now and border security… eh, well, someday.”

This is more than fair in the sense of a well-deserved rebuke, and it also illustrates some of the games being played by the DC crowd.  There really wasn’t any reason for Republicans to vote for cloture, permitting this bill to come to the floor for debate in the first place, but now that we’re stuck with this process, we ought to know who is doing what. She takes careful measure of the bill, stating simply:

“There are plenty of other commonsense solutions, but this bill isn’t about fixing problems; it’s about amnesty at all costs.”

In this allegation, there can be no doubt. So intent are these Senators to pass amnesty “at all costs” that they are willing to wheel and deal, but you should know as I have reported and she has identified again, part of this bill is nothing but a load of pork to be fed to the permanent political class who will trade their votes for goodies, including the bipartisan cabal of Senators from her own state:

“Just like they did for Obamacare, the permanent political class is sugaring this bill with one goody after another to entice certain senators to vote for it. Look no further than page 983 of the bill, which contains a special visa exemption for foreign seafood workers in the 49th state despite huge unemployment numbers in the American workforce. This is obviously a hidden favor designed to buy the votes of Alaska Senators Murkowski and Begich.”

One thing among many to be admired about Sarah Palin is her insistence on pointing out the con-artists in her own party.  Few politicians will do such a thing, but she’s been doing so since she was the mayor of Wasilla, AK.  It’s heartening to see her continue this fight, even as one realizes with sadness the fact that when it comes to corruption, there’s no end in sight, but Gov. Palin offers us many reasons for hope, and she implores the grass-roots to rise up against this horrible bill:

“It’s time for concerned Americans to flood our legislators’ phone lines with the input they need to hear from We the People. Join the mama grizzlies who are rearing up tirelessly to swat away false claims that amnesty is a good thing. Michelle Malkin rightly said the issue is not secure the border first, it’s “secure the border. Period.””

Amen.  In the end, she reminds politicians of that which we must not forget, win, lose or draw on this particular issue:

“And 2014 is just around the corner.”

So it is, and we’ll be there too.  You betcha!

When Libertarians Abandon Reason

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Libertarian Poo

I readily admit that what makes me less-inclined to be a part of the Republican Party is that all too often, I believe that institution abandons reason for the sake of politics.  Too often, I find that these avenues of departure occur on issues in which it seems to me that the party is more interested in getting votes by superficial causes than by doing the harder worker of reasoning with would-be supporters.  I tend to have some very libertarian ideas in such fields as economics, in which I believe the best answer is remove government as an influence, for better or worse(as it’s almost always the latter,) from every economic consideration.   In this context, it’s easy to understand why I have some significant sympathies with libertarians, because I believe the freedom to choose in a market, rightly or wrongly, and the opportunity from those choices to profit or lose, is as fundamental to human progress as any virtue that has ever existed in human history.  Some libertarians over-extend this argument  and the best example of this over-extended idea is the fixation some libertarians seem to have with easy immigration and open borders, ignoring all the problems accompanying such ideas, to the extent that the contradictions explicit in their proposals seem to be invisible to them.

I believe in rational self-interest, a notion perhaps best explained by author and philosopher Ayn Rand, and I am hardly alone in my favorable impression of her ideas on that subject.  Many libertarians and advocates of reason will reference her works on the subject because of the power of her logic to persuade.  The problem arises, however, when some advocates of a free market go so far afield in their wide-eyed insistence that markets and people be perfectly free that they abandon reason in its material implementations. Immigration is one such issue, and to shed some light on where I think the disconnect occurs or how the problems become invisible to advocates, I’d prefer to address this in the sense of a study in the rational self-interest with which libertarians are generally concerned.  I noted today that one writer who I read from time to time had decided to attack Sarah Palin, and specifically, among all the more laughable claims, he seemed most displeased with her stance on the immigration reform bill. Wrote Reason Editor Nick Gillespie over at TheDailyBeast:

Palin herself has sneered at immigration reform, dismissing pending Senate legislation as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.”

Far be it from me to let Mr. Gillespie in on a guarded state secret, but “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill” is the most precisely accurate description of the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” or “Gang-of-Eight” bill I’ve yet read.  This legislation is being pushed as the way to save the Republican Party, by ostensibly enticing more Hispanics to vote for GOP candidates, therefore meeting the precise definition of pandering.  The bill ultimately lets people cut in line, despite having broken our laws.  It fails to secure the borders as has been promised since 1986.  It was created in a devil’s brew of deal-making between the unions and the Chamber of Commerce, for Heaven’s sake.  In all respects, it is precisely as Gov. Palin described it.  In today’s article, Gillespie goes on to take numerous cheap-shots at Palin, but given the issues of the day, and Gillespie’s distinctly libertarian views, particularly on immigration, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to address this issue.  Gillespie is a forceful advocate for libertarian positions, and is particularly adamant in his views on open borders and liberal immigration policies.  His article today seemed as though it needed an FEC disclaimer because it read like a campaign advertisement for Rand Paul and also Justin Amash, two Republicans with decidedly libertarian viewpoints.

Nick Gillespie would tell you that he is an opponent of collectivism.  I too am an opponent of collectivism, but as Rand properly noted, I recognize that there are certain facets of human interaction for which government is the only rational answer.  We know governments simply cannot allocate wealth as efficiently or as honestly as a free market, so that government’s sole role in the field ought to be reduced to that of a referee.  That’s why we have a court system complete with all the possible avenues of civil redress and relief. We know also that the notion of a collectivized defense is probably the only rational way in which to protect one’s nation against foreign attackers, since we likewise recognize that while we may mean no harm to others, we can’t count on that as a driving motive behind the policies of other nations.  In short, we know that there are legitimate roles for government, but that much as our founders would have explained it, those roles are definite and limited.

After all, a nation is but a collection of persons, bound by the geographic description of a region, and each of those persons is entitled to a natural right of self-defense, and property, along with a general pursuit of happiness.  Together, they have an aggregated right to those same ends, so that it is only natural that they should decide the boundaries of their nation, and how they will be enforced.  A nation-state is exclusionary by design, the very object of its creation as an institution being the limiting of who may enter, and under what conditions.  National boundaries exist to create a delineation, so that a person may know that as he moves from one nation to the next, one is bound by the laws of the jurisdiction to which one has entered.

Libertarians will scream at me here, arguing that every person on the planet ought to be as free(or more so) than had been the residents of the United States.  While I agree in principle, what I know about the world tells me this can never be the case.  There are no Utopias to be found here.  Not even Rand’s Galt’s Gulch can be made on Earth, because there will always and forever be people who choose the shortcuts, the paths of least resistance, and the desire to dominate their fellow man. We may not like it, and we may wish we could create some sort of Heaven on Earth, but it will never be, whether proposed by the statists or the libertarians.

This being the case, any organization of people uniting to build a country and creating its laws to guarantee the rights of its residents ought to carefully guard that nation.  It must be guarded against invasion and attack, and its quality of life must be guarded to the benefit of those paying for all of this protection.  The libertarian mindset is that we must extend our liberties to all humanity through a permissive immigration policy while improving free trade across borders.  In this way, they surmise, it is possible to elevate many people’s lives, both immigrant and native-born, simply permitting them to come and partake of the same liberty current residents enjoy.  Lovely though it may sound, however, this is at odds with all human experience on the subject, and offers no real hope to those actually deserving to enter.

The object of any nation’s immigration policy ought to be simple, and it’s a construct much like the justification for a national defense: How does a given immigrant’s entry comport with the collectivized interests of the nation at large?   If this is the standard, and it should be, then we would permit many more immigrants from Asia and Europe, and many fewer from Central and South America.  You see, it is right to ask of immigrants: “What do you bring to the party?”  The sort of indiscriminate open-borders notions held by many libertarians would destroy the very thing they had hoped to extend to millions more humans.  It is this central contradiction, this hole in their reasoning, that damns their ideas on the subject as the child-like tantrums of a dream made of rainbows and unicorns interrupted by the intercession of reality.  There’s nothing wrong with such dreams, but once one wakes up to confront reality, it’s time to reconsider.

How much evidence does one need to demonstrate that not every person entering the United States shares in those visions of Utopia?  If a nation does not control its borders, how is it to discern among the many entrees, or who among them will contribute to or detract from the quality and standard of living in the country?  I live in Texas, a border state that has seen its share of tragedies born of those who made it into this country without proper vetting.  Scarcely a day goes by without a story in the press about some illegal immigrant who has inflicted untold suffering on our residents.  The clear point in all of this is that we have every manner of rational self-interest as individuals, but also aggregated as a nation, to ensure to the degree possible that those who come to our shores will be contributors rather than burdens.

I well understand the trials and tribulations of legal immigrants, inasmuch as my own spouse is an immigrant to this nation.  She has worked continuously for twenty-two of the twenty-three years she has resided in the US, making her a net taxpayer by a wide margin and providing little in the way of burdens upon the public, by way of her use of the roads and bridges of our state for which she is also taxed.  She creates economic activity by virtue of the expenditures of her earnings, and in point of fact, has worked two jobs for most of the last decade.  In addition, she works the farm, and has raised a child who is well on her way to likewise becoming a productive American.  I understand immigration, because particularly, my mother’s family was one of poor, hard-working immigrants who toiled endlessly to scratch their way to something approximating economic stability.  Some immigrants come here precisely for the economic opportunities, with a firmly-held work ethic and a love for their adoptive country, but this does not nearly describe all of them.

Sadly, in too many cases, immigrants who come to the United States not to partake of our liberty and our relative prosperity by contributing to it, but instead by finding ways to skim and scam from it.  How many now come expressly for welfare benefits?  How many come to engage in drug or human trafficking?  How many come solely for the attractions of a society ripe for the pillaging?  Surely, the latter do not wish to “come out of the shadows” in any event.  When my wife filed all of her immigration paperwork, one of the things I had to file was a statement of financial responsibility, stating that I would not permit her to become a burden on the government.  I always wondered how it could be that so many recent immigrants could apply for and gain access to welfare-state benefits with laws on the books that would seem, on the surface, to make that illegal.  The answer should have been obvious to me: Children.

The children born to immigrants are citizens under current US law.  This citizenship entitles them to all the benefits available as part of our welfare systems.  Health-care, food-stamps, and all the other provisions of the welfare-state are available to the American-born children of recent immigrants.  Are we going to provide Section 8 housing for the children but force Ma and Pa to live on the streets?  Are we going to provide food assistance to the kids while insisting that Mom and Dad do without? Simply put, if the benefits sufficient to feed a number of children are dispensed on the basis of their needs alone, it will be sufficient food to also care for the parents if they’re smart shoppers. In this way, the alleged barrier to welfare benefits for immigrants is bypassed or mooted.

I don’t blame immigrants for seeking out and taking advantage of benefits we offer.  I simply believe we should not offer them, but I wouldn’t limit that proscription only to immigrants.  Our vast welfare state is an enormous magnet, and one that permits some very unsavory characters to make their way to the US both illegally, and legally, as we have seen in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston.  The truth is that a liberal welfare state is wholly incompatible with a liberal immigration policy, as the experience of post-war Europe has demonstrated.  This is because those immigrants will tend to change the culture and the polity of their new country at a rate faster than the subject culture can tolerate, particularly when drawn in all the faster by liberal welfare-state offerings.

I also note that for all their wistful pondering over the benefits of an open border, such advocates seem to be all one-way in their thinking.  Why is it that this spreading of liberty must occur solely through immigration to this country?  Why aren’t the libertarians emigrating, so zealously desirous to see all men free, that they must be willing to take their message to countries like Venezuela and Mexico?  Surely, if only they can convince the governments of these third-world nation-states, they could prevail upon the leaders in those stricken countries to simply make their residents free.  No?  No takers?  I suspect not many libertarians are ready to pack their bags for that journey, and with good reason:  They wouldn’t stand a chance in Hell.

What gave the United States its edge in development and prosperity was not immigration, as Jeb Bush would have you believe.  Instead, it was a set of ideals and beliefs taken nearly to their logical conclusion that had set the stage for the American explosion.  It was not the immigrants alone, because the industrial revolution had commenced well before the great waves of immigrants at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.  The growth of American prosperity had progressed with the extension of freedom.  Those early 20th century immigrants were indoctrinated rapidly in American history and culture, and they quickly blended into the great melting pot, further driving the growth of prosperity.  Still, they brought with them some bad things too, including pieces of a polity that preferred collectivism, and it was out of this forge that the progressive era was born.

Most of the ideas of the progressive era were really European ideas.  Margaret Sanger’s eugenics were well-received in Europe, and one wonders if with his fixation on the fertility of immigrants, Jeb Bush may be a fan.  He certainly is in the progressive mold, after all.  The point to understand, however, is that when the waves of European immigrants came to the United States, they had an immediate effect on the politics of the nation, both by force of their numbers, and by virtue of their political beliefs, then imported with them to their new home.  This will be true of any immigrants in any age, but now, we face a threat of socialism.  Some form of statism is dominant in virtually every nation from which we receive immigrants, and yet we do not hesitate even long enough to ask what cultural norms, beliefs, practices, and politics they will bring with them.  This is a tragic error.

If the United States is or had been the greatest and freest nation on the planet, then it had owed to the foundation laid by our earliest immigrants, our founders and framers.   To the degree its polity has changed, it owes in some large measure to the influx of immigrants.  My question to libertarians is whether they believe it is possible to import so many souls born to tyranny and despotism without changing the nation for the worse.  The one hopeful sign is that immigrants are, after all, the people who fled, whether for political or economic reasons, but if the greater number is for the latter, we cannot say with any surety how well they will reinforce the ideals that had built this country.  Some years, perhaps decades hence, when some dozens of millions of new immigrants will have converted this country to just another third-world Republic, will the libertarians who insist now on open borders and liberal immigration policies likewise insist that native-born Americans be permitted to flee?  If so, to where?

The United States of America has grown and prospered because for the most part, until the last half century, we had taken great care most of the time as to who could come and claim their bona fides as Americans, and under which conditions they could do so.  The immigration bill now in process takes no such care, in fact discarding many provisions that might have helped in preventing our eventual collapse under the weight of an immigrant-heavy welfare-state.  It’s time for libertarians to wake up, shake off the unicorns and rainbows of their perfect dreams, and realize that there is more at stake than some tortured notion of ideological consistency, of which I am generally myself a big fan.  Sometimes, the plane on which one must remain consistent is a good deal more obvious, and this case is one of those:  The United States, in order to remain a country into which any would willingly immigrate must remain a country of freedom and opportunity, but if we don’t first protect the culture that had created that freedom and opportunity, those virtues will rapidly diminish and die.  Two decades hence, living in a Venezuela-like paradigm, lost in the wild places between totalitarianism and anarchy, it will be of slim consolation to the libertarian, open-borders advocate when he sees finally his dreams going up in flames around him.

Time to wake up, Nick.

Hey Jeb: Chirp This!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Fresh off a speech in which he basically complained that Americans aren’t fertile enough to keep pace with his desire to grow the welfare state, Jeb Bush told CBN’s David Brody (H/T Weaselzippers):

“If I decide to run for office again, it will be based on what I believe, and it will be based on my record. And that record was one of solving problems completely from a conservative perspective.”

He went on:

“I will be able to, I think, manage my way through all the chirpers out there,” he said.

Chirpers?

I think I deserve a promotion to “Squawker”

Hey Jeb, psssst, Jeb, you want a bird?  I’ve got one right here for you, pal…

At least I kept it in the family…

You’re no conservative.

Fertilize that...

Where Have You Been?

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Bits in the Wind

Being a less than enthusiastic fan of popular culture, I sometimes get dragged into conversations on subjects about which I know roughly nothing, and they frequently resemble something like this:  “Did you see [TV-Show] last night?”  Me: “No, I’ve never heard of it.”  Questioner: “Where have you been?”  The implication is that I’m some kind of a dolt because I don’t watch much of the pop-culture garbage being spewed out of television networks and movie studios.  It’s true, but only if your standard of reckoning is measured against knowing what had been on television last night.  In light of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, there has been a good deal of shock and a widespread sense of contempt for a government that is able and willing to spy on the intimate details of the daily lives of Americans.  Stories have been cranking out about the degree to which government is able to record all the daily activities of citizens, and the extent to which large corporations have climbed into bed with government to provide information on their own customers.  Perhaps it is because I have a little of the Devil in me, or perhaps it’s because I have this innate compulsion to say “I told you so,” but either way, to all those Americans who are breathlessly gobsmacked over the spying our government does on its own people, I can ask only: “Where have you been?”

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that in some form or fashion, this has been going on for years.  I fully expected that government would be in bed with every cellular provider and you should have expected it too.  After all, those companies have broadcasting facilities dotting the countryside, and just as you asked the government to do, these companies are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.  Is it really so incomprehensible that with a little twisting of licensees’ corporate arms, government would be given access to this data?  Every networking device in the country bears an FCC label, from the Network Interface Card in your computer to the routers and switches through which your Internet traffic passes.  These devices and anything like them are all subject to some form of regulation by the FCC.  Did you think that would never come back to bite you?  You didn’t know?  Where have you been?

From the moment government first put its claws into the regulation of communications, it was inevitable that the government would begin the process of controlling, managing, monitoring, and even shaping communications to its own ends.  It was a temptation too great to avoid, because those who seek power seek it for a reason: Control.  This is the nature of government, but it is the key element in building the sort of command-and-control structures that even now have become too large to be concealed in the shadows.  The sad, sickening reality is that in one form or another, you’ve asked for this, and in many cases, you’ve been driven into demanding it.

If you’re alive in 2013, for the span of your entire life, you have been told (and you have mostly accepted) that the government has a natural interest in regulating everything that goes over the air, or through public spaces.  You’ve accepted the notion that the Federal Communications Commission should have the unlimited authority to exert control on radio and television programming, and aghast at some of the content you’ve seen on the Internet in the past two decades, you’ve even asked the government to intervene in that medium as well.  Seldom does anybody question the primary premise on which all this regulation is based:  The government, acting on behalf of the public, must have effective ownership of all means of transmission through the public spaces with users, whether individual or corporate, are merely licensees in some form or fashion.  It needn’t have been true, and the fact is that this assumption has caused the aggregation of vast wealth into a few hands when it need not have been.  Just as we had “land rushes” sponsored by government to populate our Western landscape, we might just as easily have done something similar with frequencies in well-described locales, conferring ownership of airwaves rather than licensing of them.

Unfortunately, there will be no going back.  Every website you’ve ever visited has been recorded.  Every phone call you’ve placed or text message you’ve sent has been open to monitoring and recording, and it has grown to such an extent that now your electric meter may well record spikes in usage that denote a pattern of when you are home, when you’re awake, when you’re watching the TV, and when you’re microwaving your supper.  In some places, water metering devices can now reliably discern between a quick washing of the hands or a flushing of a toilet, and all of this information being gathered is said to improve the ability to serve customers.  Meanwhile, the US government builds alliances with corporations, mostly coercive in nature despite any carrots offered to sooth the blow, and those enticements to businesses include the sharing of government data that will be helpful in marketing to customers.  It’s very cozy, but it’s nothing new, and it’s been done this way since the advent of mass mobile communications and Internet access, and in truth, for many years before.

The disclosures provided by Edward Snowden should only really shock you if you’ve been doing as I’ve been accused when I can’t identify a movie actor: “Living under a rock.”  For decades now, it has been supposed that anybody who believed all this monitoring is possible was some sort of “conspiracy kook,” but the problem is that those of us in the technology fields have understood that this was a growing reality from which there could be no escape, in part because we have helped to build it. Others imagine that the bulk of information being captured is just so large that it is unmanageable, and that there is no possible way in which any sense can be made of it in a thoroughly threatening way, but if they believe that, I think they’ve significantly underestimated the ability of government to aggregate and correlate data.  Vast government server farms exist that are devoted to nothing but the accumulation and storage of this data, for eventual analysis and correlation.

One young woman recently asked me what good it would do the government to have all of this data on all Americans, and how it would constitute a threat to their privacy, since in her view, she doesn’t do anything unusual or threatening.  Frankly, knowing all I do about how government collects data, and how corporations are the continual source for so much of that information, I could not fathom how she did not see and understand the threats to her privacy.  In order to impress upon her how thoroughly oppressive this could become, I asked her to detail her day, and at each step along her daily course, I explained how that information could be used to build a picture not only of how she lived on a particular day, but would also provide a very good set of red flags that she had an atypical day.  How much information do you think is necessary when collected at the level of granularity now available to build a complete picture of your average day?  Once your “normal” daily routine is established, spotting anything out of the ordinary is not difficult.

What this means to the average citizen of the United States is that there are few ways to escape the “grid.” Do you work? Do you have a bank account? Credit cards? Cell phone?  Smart meter on your electric service?  Ditto for water?  Cable television?  Satellite?  Is your car recording driving data that can and will be used against you if there’s a mishap?  Now, add to this your medical records that will soon come to be under wall-to-wall Federal management, and then consider retailers able to link your purchases to all of these, and the picture that results should be shocking to every person:  There is virtually nothing that you may now do alone, and without company of some spying eye, whether direct governmental watching, or through a third party like your cell-phone company.  You can scarcely go to the bathroom without somebody knowing it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will not pretend to you that I know much about popular culture, but I am intensely aware of technology and its use in tracking human activity.  There is virtually nothing we do in this modern frame that isn’t being collected as an event, analyzed, and categorized for later recall.  The reason this is possible is because for the most part, when you hear of the details, you shrug and go on, feeling helpless to do anything about it.  The truth is, however, that to a larger degree, it is born of our intellectual sloth.  To the degree we’re unaware, it’s only because we don’t want to know.

It’s 6am, and a light turns on.  It’s 6:05, and a toilet flushes and moments later, there are the connections necessary to check email on some distant server. The email is downloaded and read while a cup of coffee is consumed, the brewing machine having activated at 5:45am sharp in anticipation of your impending alarm, and then the television comes on, and a news channel is selected.  There is the running of more water, consistent with a shower, and then a burst of electric demand, indicating something being heated in a standard microwave.  There is some flipping of channels, and then there’s the first phone call of the day, and the first three text messages too, the first to the office, the other three in a hurried, playful exchange with a lover.  Then there’s another flush, because the spouse has arisen.  Another television pops on and another smart phone comes to life, as the earlier riser rushes out the door.  The central air kicks in because a door has opened and closed, the exchange of the warmer air outside triggering the thermostat, and thus recording the power spike as the compressor motor turns on.

An engine comes to life. Down the road it goes. Triangulation from the cellular towers in the vicinity record the strength of the signal from the driver’s phone, recording distance.  One tower knows only your distance from it.  Two towers with overlapping range fix your position to one of two possible points at the intersections of their coverage, and a third tower now finalizes location, permitting your speed and direction of travel to be recorded.  Overlaid on a map, this information can tell us if you were speeding, since on that stretch of roadway, the speed is set to 60mph, but you were moving much too quickly for that.  More texts come in, again from the lover, to whose home you’re speeding for a quick stop on the way to your job.  The conversation is noted, and the exact location of each device is recorded, and as the monitors watch, one device converges on the other.

The spouse calls to say “Don’t forget, we have a PTA meeting tonight.”  This too is recorded, and so is the sound of the driver saying, “Okay, talk to you later… Love you too… Bye…”  Another text comes in… “How long?”  The response: “5.”  The driver turns off the highway, and down a side-street, pulls into a gas station, using the ATM. Location for the transaction is recorded, along with the face of the banking customer.  No time for gas, have enough until later.  Just a minute away now.  A warm embrace, cellular networks respectively recording the correlation of locations on distinct devices complete with timestamps.  A few painfully short minutes later, back in the car, down the road, now running late for work because the driver tried to steal more minutes from the day than should be possible. The logging device in the car records a near-stop, as the driver artfully rolls a stop-sign.  A watching police officer falls in behind, the lights turns on, and a traffic stop is born. 

“In a hurry?” asks the officer.  “License, insurance, registration, please.” In a dispatch center miles away, the radio traffic between dispatchers and the officer buzzes with information.  License, license plate. Warrants?  Clean? Okay.  The officer compares the picture on his screen to the one on the license to the driver he’s just stopped.  Checks out okay – same person. “I’m letting you go with a warning, but watch those stops, okay?”  In a records management system, the completed event now registers time, date, location, make, model, driver, infraction, and links to the dash-cam video that would be used in defense against a civil suit if you had been unhappy about your treatment by the officer.  As it is, the driver is late, but in the hurry to get to work, a drivers’ license is dropped.

 The officer is understanding.  People are in a hurry in this economy.  When he gets a moment, he sends a terminal message to dispatch to look up the driver again, and see if there’s a listed number.  There is, a home phone number, and three seconds later, that phone rings.  A person answers, and in the background, the dispatcher can hear the sounds of children getting ready for school, and a breathless parent saying: “Dropped the license where?”  Meanwhile, a driver arrives at the office.  The missing license is finally noticed, but it’s too late to turn back.  It’s probably fallen between the seat and the door anyway.  One minute later, after explaining to the boss that except for an unfortunate traffic stop, the driver would have been on time, a cell phone rings.  It’s the spouse.  “Lose something?”  Having dropped the children at school, the spouse’s location is noted by a cellular network, as the car converges with another point on the map: A private investigator’s office.

So it goes. In barely more than two hours, a family is in danger of disintegration, a cheat is revealed, and all of it is recorded somewhere, waiting for somebody to notice the links. If you think this is impossible, think again.  If you think that the government hasn’t the capacity to sort and correlate all such data, you don’t understand the technology.  Any one of these tiny electronic transactions would be meaningless in most contexts, but in the aggregate, they can be used to build a fairly complete picture of a given subject.  Does the government need your cooperation?  How can they twist your arm if they do?  How can the institutions of government control you?  How can they manage you?  How much will you take?  What will cause you to bend? What can be exchanged for your silence or compliance?  This form of unlimited control of a populace has always been a subject of much speculation and fear, but now, we are on the cusp of its birth as a real, ordinary process of daily life.  We empower it.  We permit it.  We feed it, and we give our silent assent to all of it.  Mostly, we’ve permitted them to build it in utter contempt of our wishes to the contrary.  We’ve listened to the promises of safety and security, and we’ve permitted the governing class to use social programs as a facade behind which to build this vast network of command-and-control structure, with nothing so secret as to avoid detection.

After a brief stop at the PI’s office, it’s time to get on to the doctor.  That appointment has been nagging since it was scheduled.  Ten years and three children into the marriage, that same feeling is back, and while it’s not certain, somehow, chemistry being what it is, she knows.  The doctor beams at her. He’s delivered her three children, and the news is now noted that there is a fourth growing inside her, but the tears into which she bursts are not those of joy.  The children at school are going blissfully about their day, but she has a mortal decision to make. She knew her husband was stepping out.  That’s why she hadn’t let him touch her in months.  The cellphone chimes with a text as her best friend asks: “Well?”  She sobs uncontrollably, and rushes from the doctor’s office.  She calls him, his number concealed in her phone under “Pool Service,” he answers, not sure who she is, at first.  How could he?  It was just that once for her, and now she’s faced with what to tell him, whether to tell him anything, or what to do.  The phone signal tapers away.  He asks her “Well, what do you want to do?  I don’t want to be a father…”  A few minutes later, her cellular service records her arrival on the seedier side of town.  There’s a clinic there, and for an hour, she sits there looking at the clinic, but trying to see her future.  She does Internet searches, looking up terms like “abortion, adoption, divorce lawyer, marriage counseling, and Plan B.”

If you think the government can’t learn a great deal about you, even from much less dramatic information, remember that there are only really three things they need to know:  Name, time, location.  Associating those three attributes with any given event, also fixed in location and time, gives them all they need to know to build the most complete picture.  It’s a puzzle made up of multidimensional pixels, where time and location define four, but the color of the pixel reveals one more bit of the overall picture of you.  If you’re not frightened, you’re a fool.  If you think that you live a perfect, upstanding life, and that you are beyond reproach and much beyond the aims of any extortion or coercion, remember that all of this information is recorded, but there is nothing that says it cannot be modified to invent times, places, and events associated with you for which there had been no factual record.  Who would a court or a jury believe?  You, or the machine?  After all, what possible interest could government have in framing you?  What possible interest could any people prone towards freakishly controlling behavior have in managing you in a direction they find more appropriate to their own ends?

This is the searing question raised by Edward Snowden’s disclosures, but I it mystifying that it’s taken this long for the discussion to gain attention in the popular culture.  In our popular culture, it’s always the dark and sinister CEO of some corporation driving these monstrous “conspiracies” that now appear uncomfortably too much like the reality we are coming to know.  The question we never ask is: “If they’re pulling our strings, who is pulling theirs?”  If you’re the head of a multinational corporate entity, why would you cooperate with government?  A quid pro quo?  This for that?  What are these people buying with their cooperation with government?  Silence?  Coordination?  Profit?  Whatever your inclination, you can rest assured it will be all of these and more.  Do you need to eliminate or hamper a competitor?  Do you need to quash a earnings report?  Do you wish to preserve your reputation in front of the world?  What is your price?  How can you help us?

Naturally, such global-scale thinking needn’t be the sole function or motive of such systems as PRISM or those like it.  Sometimes, it’s about a broader, more general compliance among the populace, and if you don’t believe you’re the target of that, I can only repeat my earlier question: “Where have you been?”

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Leadership in All the Wrong Places?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Dr. Benjamin Carson

Last week, I brought you a video from the National Prayer Breakfast speech of Dr. Benjamin Carson.  His words were heartening in many respects, and many in conservative media leaped at the notion of his political potential as a candidate.  I thought at the time that it was a bit of a fad, and I was therefore surprised to see Hannity run a full hour-long show on FoxNews devoted to talking with Dr. Carson.  (You can see the full video, here in parts 1 and 2.) I am glad Hannity had him on because my own caution seemed justified by something Dr. Carson said.  As I listened to him address the question of health insurance, it struck me as odd that he sees an inherent conflict of interests between an insurance company seeking to make a profit and its customers seeking health coverage.  When I hear such things said, I often dismiss them as the vapid utterances of mindless politicians, but since Dr. Carson has been receiving so much press, including on this site, it’s time to address the matter.  What Dr. Carson the practitioner of health-care seems to think about insurance is a common misconception, and it offers one more reason why conservatives must be cautious in their choices of leaders.

Dr. Carson said on Hannity’s show that there exists an inherent conflict of interests between health insurance companies and their insured clients.  This is not true.  The actual conflict begins a good deal sooner in the process, and as I think you will see, exposes a wider misunderstanding of the problem.  Ask yourself this:  Who are the majority of purchasers of health insurance?  If you said “individuals,” you’re wrong by a mile.  The truth is that the largest purchasers of health insurance are institutions, including the Federal and states’ governments, and corporations.  The problem here is that the people who consume the service are not the people directly paying for it.  Any time you break the connection between the end user and the provider of goods and services, you effectively destroy likewise the natural market signaling that provides feedback in both directions.

As an example, imagine you are a smoker looking for health insurance.  If you were approaching insurance companies directly, they would undoubtedly quote you a price many times higher than the one they propose to a non-smoker.  Obese?  Same thing.  This would mean that as a matter of natural market forces, you would either amend your behaviors and condition, or you would bear the burden of higher prices.  Insurers would naturally consider everything about you in determining what they would charge for a policy, but perhaps more importantly, you would be free to shop for insurance among many providers.  This would act as a restraint upon overcharging, and would also cause them to offer special discounts if you lived an exceedingly healthy lifestyle.  In short, personal responsibility would have a good deal to do with how much you pay for health insurance, as it should in a free market.  At the same time, a particular company’s profitability would hinge on making consumers happy with their coverages.

What many people ignore is that if one had to pay cash for the whole bill each time one became ill, or injured, most of us would go untreated indefinitely, because few of us have the resources to pay cash for extensive or invasive health-care procedures.  Dr. Carson talks a good deal about Health Savings Accounts, but such plans are more useful for mundane purposes of a less critical nature than their utility in life-threatening circumstances.  While I support Health Savings Accounts, I believe insurance is a necessary hedge against calamities.  If we change our focus from health-care insurance for ongoing maintenance, to a paradigm in which what we insure against are catastrophic circumstances, while letting things like HSAs pick up the slack for ordinary health maintenance, in a market environment, one would see the market begin to perform in a natural fashion.  Unfortunately, this means that people would need  to shop for insurance like they do any other commodity, and seek out the best deals on their ordinary health maintenance and preventative care, and most Americans have become far too complacent about such matters, expecting it all to be automatic.

The truth of the  matter is that if Americans want health-care to improve markedly in the United States, while restraining the growth in costs, without resorting to some sort of death-panel or other government-mandated rationing mechanism, there is a mechanism, however imperfect: The free market.  Unfortunately, since the advent of Medicaid and Medicare, and even widespread employer-purchased health benefits(prompted by government wage and price controls,)  we haven’t had a free market for health-care in the United States, never mind health insurance.  The government is now the largest consumer of health-care services in the country as a direct payer, by many times over, and yet there is still an illusion held by many who receive health-care services paid for or otherwise subsidized through government payments that they are in control of their health-care.  They’re not.

If Dr. Carson’s criticism of corporate health insurance providers were true, then it must be even more thoroughly the case that no institution more than government would wish to avoid costs by denying care.  Do you need evidence? Consider Paul Krugman, longtime leftist economic propagandist and one-note statist, quoted as follows in a piece at Western Journalism:

“We’re going to need more revenue…it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well…And we’re also going to…have to make decisions about health care, not pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits…death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”  -Paul Krugman

What Krugman is saying is entirely true, but only if government becomes the source and payer for health-care, because otherwise, the free market would regulate prices in the same manner it does for virtually everything else.  Some will object, insisting that “health-care is different,” just as they have insisted that every other human need is different, from food to housing to education to Internet service to cellular phones.  All of these claims are equally wrong, and equally immoral.  These claims all begin by demanding that some basic human needs be met, and all of them end with a gun to tax-payers’ heads.  All of them.

I admire a number of positions taken by Dr. Carson, and I have no objections whatever about his participation in the public policy debate, but at some point, if he wishes to keep my attention, he will be required to offer more than platitudes and generalities about Health Savings Accounts.  He devoted several lines of rhetoric to the attack of ideologues, but I am always cautious when people attack broad sets of philosophically bound principles in vague terms. I am curious to hear more from Dr. Carson, but I hope there will be a good deal more specificity. Talk of presidential runs and other such notions are fanciful and premature at best, and while I’ve heard a number of truncated statements about various topics from Dr. Carson, what I’ve not heard is a guiding philosophy that informs his opinions. Absent that, I have no grounds upon which to base any opinion of his suitability to any office, much less his qualifications to be President of the United States, and I find it unseemly that Hannity and others would talk of Dr. Carson in presidential terms given that we know so little about his positions.  It may turn out that Dr. Carson is wonderful in all respects, but we already have a President who sailed into office through the propagation of vague, nice-sounding generalities, and I do not believe we can afford another.

Enough said about that.

Note: Mr. L also had some words to say on this subject.

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.

 

History Repeats as GOP Establishment Seeks Unity With Democrats…Again

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

22nd House Speaker

There’s no denying the fact that as we watch the behavior of the Republican insiders, every action and proposal is aimed at shifting the party toward the left.  More and more, Republicans have ceded the ground on so-called “social issues,” where questions of right vs. wrong take precedence over matters of right vs. left.  On such issues, they would rather not engage, preferring instead to avoid the ugly potential fall-out with moderate and leftist voters if some candidates uses the clumsy or foolish language to describe their views.  They support old bulls of the Senate like Dick Lugar(R-IN) over upstarts like Richard Mourdock(R-IN,) but when Lugar could not win the primary, like saboteurs, the establishment wing arrives on the scene to campaign for the Democrat.  It’s not accidental that the establishment Republicans seem to agree so frequently with the statist left.  After all, they know who butters their bread, and it’s obvious that they’re gaining more than their congressional retirement benefits.  They claim leadership over a party largely composed of people they detest as “purists,” and you might wonder about the character of those who openly mock purity. You might ask yourself what kind of Republicans these are, and as Jeffery Lord writes in the American Spectator, history holds the answer:  Rove and his ilk are modern-day “Cotton Whigs.”

As Lord reminds us, the “Cotton Whigs” had been that branch of the powerful Massachusetts Whig Party that acted in most respects like today’s Republican establishment.  Their opponents, the “Conscience Whigs,” opposed slavery and were uncompromising in that pursuit.  In issue after issue, and election after election, the Cotton Whigs did all they could to undermine Conscience Whigs, often siding with the pro-slavery Democrats out of a desire to forestall addressing the slave trade.  Like our contemporary Republican establishment, they claimed to sympathize with Conscience Whigs, but underlying that sentiment, they wanted to hold the country together and continue making money indirectly through the continued use of slaves.  It was this divide that ultimately led to the building of the Republican party, and the abandonment of the Whigs.  Lord’s conclusion is that modern-day Cotton-Whigs are making a similar error, and that Karl Rove and his fellows in that group may soon find themselves kicked by history against the political curb.

It is also fitting that one of the so-called Cotton Whigs had been Robert Winthrop, who served as speaker of the House, whose close ties to the textile industry in Massachusetts made him a less than enthusiastic supporter of abolition. You see, much like modern day Republican establishment types, he couldn’t or wouldn’t take a firm stand against slavery, not because he agreed with it in principle, but because in practice, he profited from it.  Fast-forward to John Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment, and you find the same sort of principles of convenience that cannot be tolerated if they interfere with profits.  I warned my readers in 2011 that there were any number of Republican establishment types who were fine with Obama-care, because a.) they wouldn’t be affected personally, and b.) they had figured out a way to profit from it.  These are your putative leaders, and they bear an eerily resemblance to the Cotton Whigs of Massachusetts.

I agree with Mr. Lord’s appraisals of the modern-day Cotton Whigs, because much like their political forerunners in pragmatism, establishment Republicans are not interested in conservative approaches to social issues because they threaten to undermine the status quo.  Let us be blunt in admitting that the GOP establishment is comprised of people who have figured out how to make substantial fortunes from the growth of big government, and that they have no concern for underlying issues of morality so long as the cash continues to run freely from the treasury into their accounts through various devices of public expenditure.  They have sold their souls in exchange for ill-gotten loot, and they are willing to destroy “conscience conservatives” in order to continue on their way.  They side with Democrats in every issue in which their money or power comes up against doing what is right.

There are some who will interpret this as an attack against wealthy Republicans, but such is not the case.  It is a matter of examining who is enriching themselves not by entrepreneurial endeavors, but instead by graft and rampant cronyism.  In most respects, the modern day Cotton Whigs are the frequent beneficiaries of government expenditures.  What do they care if tax rates go up if their take from the treasury increases many times over?  Just as the Cotton Whigs were happy to profit from slavery, thus turning away from consideration of the moral aspects of the issue, so too are today’s “Cotton Republicans” willing to ignore the bondage into which you and your children are being cast. The Democrats play roughly the same part they played a century-and-one-half ago, happy to take such assistance as Cotton Republicans will offer while dividing and destroying Republican strength in opposition to their pro-bondage agenda.

Jeffrey Lord must be credited here with seeing an accurate analog to our current political troubles, reaching back to the founding of the Republican party to make it plain how rank-and-file conservatives, concerned as much with the long-term social and moral aspects of our country are again being overwhelmed by well-heeled interests who continue to profit from the bondage we must in good conscience oppose.  Whether the particular issue is abortion, crony capitalism, immigration, or an outrageous health-care mandate, the “Cotton Republicans” live on the wrong side of every issue, not wanting to stop the gravy train to which they’ve hitched their caboose.  What these charlatans offer is that one can gain the whole world, and to devil with one’s soul. There is one other person who deserves a hat-tip in all of this, because it had been Sarah Palin warning the GOP establishment that they might well end up going the way of the Whigs. Who better than the Alaskan crusader against crony capitalism and corruption to have pointed out the similarities between our modern Republican establishment and the Whigs? The time may have arrived in which her unheeded warning will be made fact by the intransigence of the Beltway political class.

There’s no sense pretending that the GOP establishment is on our side.  In fact, it’s so bad that we ought to stop considering them as Republicans at all, or abandon the party to them, as had been the ultimate result with their philosophical forbears, the “Cotton Whigs.”  One thing about which we must be careful is that some of them don’t manage to infiltrate our movement in order to co-opt it.  Given the opportunity, they will quickly set up shop and begin all over again, leaving us right where we started.  If you don’t think they’re willing to stoop to that tactic, I’d urge you to think again.  Wise conservatives will observe the actions of some of our newer brethren, judging their actions rather than merely listening to their words. If Mr. Lord is right, and I must admit that he has struck a chord with me, a single defeat or a string of them will not banish these Cotton Republicans from our party, whether in six weeks or six years.  We will be required to practice resolve and vigilance to keep them at arms length, because I believe that if one can keep them at bay for long enough, they will shed their masks and simply join up with Democrats who are their natural allies. If the GOP establishment wants to find unity with the Democrats, I strenuously suggest we let them.  Put another way, as Jeffrey Lord aptly reminds us, from the historical precedent he offers:

Briskly remarked a young Charles Sumner, another Conscience Whig (whose defiant anti-Cotton Whig leadership would eventually make him a Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts) of the differences with Cotton Whigs: “Let the lines be drawn. The sooner the better.” Said Sumner: “Thank God! The Constitution of the United States does not recognize men as property,” adding at another point “I am willing to be in a minority in support of our principles.”(emphasis added)

We should heed Lord’s analogy, but we should be willing also embrace Sumner’s advice.  In order to clean out the Cotton Republicans from our midst, we may need to be willing to briefly remain a minority party.  That will be the immediate cost of ejecting or abandoning the GOP establishment, but it is a cost we can’t afford to avoid for much longer.  They are unifying with the Democrats, adopting their arguments and their tactics, and isolating conservatives while claiming the mantle of conservatism.  It’s time we give up our fixation on winning at any cost.  If we stick to the fundamentals of our principles, rejecting statist arguments outright, victory will come in due course.  If we stand on principle, the American people will ultimately notice, and when the Republic begins to collapse, they will remember who refused to yield. If we don’t believe that much at least, for what are we fighting anyway? I am calling on all of my conservative brethren to reject the GOP establishment no matter the short-run cost, so that we may go on about the business of saving the country. We must be a people of no lesser a character than our predecessors, the “Conscience Whigs.”

 

 

A Sandy Hook Parent Whose Testimony Didn’t Make the Evening News

Monday, February 4th, 2013

One of the things I have grown to detest is the absolutely biased media coverage in the wake of tragic events such as the Sandy Hook shooting.  The event was awful enough, but must news coverage also be biased with such regularity in favor of the leftists’ agenda?  Naturally, the invariable answer is “yes,” and as we were treated to the sad testimony of parents who have just been through heart-rending disaster being exploited by politicians and media who are reliably intent on pushing their agenda, it is clear the media will never give coverage to the whole story.  Here is Newtown Connecticut resident Bill Stevens giving testimony regarding the ongoing attack on the right to keep and bear arms in the wake of the tragedy at the school his own daughter attends, a clip I am fairly certain you did not and will not see on your evening news.