Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Obama Claims “Healthcare Is a Right”

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

What Rights?

Barack Obama is nothing if not audacious.  It takes a bold liar to assert a falsehood with such vigorous certitude before such a large audience.  It may be that he gets away with it because most of his audiences are hand-picked and vetted to eliminate rational people, relying instead on mobs of ignoramuses wherever he goes.  One could hope that so many Americans would not be so chillingly vapid in their thinking, but then again, they have elected and re-elected a man who has lied to them repeatedly and fearlessly.  Such a spectacle is only possible because so many people refuse to bother themselves with logic, and instead operate entirely on the basis of their wishes, projected into the political sphere.  Ayn Rand [at least] once characterized such primitive atavism by comparing these politicians to cavemen.  It’s true.  In order to believe health-care is a right, never mind “affordable” health-care, one must arrive at the presupposition that the lives of other men and women exist at the disposal of any taker.  It is to regard one’s fellow persons as slaves, so while Obama prattles on in contrived, dismissive sarcasm over the question, berating the Obama-care’s critics for calling the program the most dangerous law ever passed,  somebody somewhere should take the time to explain to Americans why this law is worse even than the fugitive slave act, over the din of the chuckling drones.  Health-care cannot be a right while men and women are free.

The first question we must ask is: “What is a right?” Some time ago, I answered that question when prompted by a font of Obamtastic ignorance on the subject of Internet access.  Here was my answer:

“A right is a natural entitlement of liberty that requires the consent of no others for its exercise, and imposes no positive obligation upon any other.  If what you propose requires the actions, property, or consent of others, it cannot be a “right.”

Let us consider some rights as contemplated by our founders and the philosophical understanding of the enlightened age, arising from such men as John Locke, among others.  Our founders codified several such rights, and those rights are under assault by government.  Free speech.  Free exercise of religion. The right to keep and bear arms.  The right to one’s life and liberty. The right to self-determination.  The right to be secure in one’s property, papers and effects from unreasonable search and seizure.  The right to obtain legal representation.  The right to a speedy trial.  The right to equal protection under law, that is, equitable treatment by government.  One has a right to one’s income, one’s life and all the things one’s labor(physical or intellectual) produce.

Let us now consider the President’s oafish, dictatorial claim:  That others must be held to provide medical services to any who may come to want or need them.  After all, as Mark Levin pointed out recently, if Health-care is truly a right, then government must not be permitted to create any death panels, or limit any sort of care you might want or need.  Of course, Obama hadn’t meant it when he said it, but he wanted those poor befuddled and bedazzled wishers in his audience to believe it. Instead, what Obama-care creates is dependency,  misery, and slavery.

If Obama and the Democrats(and not a few dastardly Republicans) have their way, they will take over health-care in the United States in its entirety.  Doctors will be fewer, and government will control them. Since no honest or competent practitioner will long subsist in such an environment, only the incompetent and the dangerously sloppy will remain.  No decent person will choose to remain a slave to a government system if they have other options, and the caliber of people who comprise the average medical school student historically suggests that these are capable people who have nearly unlimited career choices before them.  There will be a few great doctors who hang on until retirement, or until they can take it no longer, committed and devoted to their patients, but within a generation, most of the competent doctors will be gone, replaced by incompetents who one wouldn’t voluntarily permit to lance a boil on one’s buttock.  They will be inept and sloppy.  They will be attitudinally-corrupted.  Having chosen to live as a slave, wouldn’t you be resentful after a time?

How can it be a right for one man to dictate the life of another?  How can it be the right of some claimant to reach into the pocket or purse of another and extract cash at will, or make demands of another person’s time and labor? Only in a system in which slavery or indentured servitude is permissible can one find such a circumstance, and yet this is precisely what the President laughs-off as less than dangerous.  Of course, it’s far worse than this implies, because if he has his way, the government will become the sole source(single-payer) and possess a monopoly over the entire medical field.  Only then will the chuckling morons discover how little like a right health-care really is, as they are denied life-saving surgeries and treatments, and they are compelled to pay whatever price the government demands.  They will discover that theirs is a claim without standing, and they will find no recourse anywhere within the borders of the United States.  Since this country is among the few into which you can travel to obtain services on the open market(at present,) once it becomes another victim of the global socialization of health-care, one will find one’s options have run out, excepting perhaps only the super-rich, who will always be able to get their care somewhere, at some price.

This president is a shoddy creature, with a narrow ideological focus and an even narrower mind.  To claim as a right that which others must provide is an infamous attack on the lives and rights of people everywhere.  To do so laughingly expresses a contempt for human life and liberty so thoroughly inculcated as to be dangerously maniacal.  Such master-minds always begin by making such claims, but in the end, they finish by leaving a trail of destruction in their wakes.  Obama is no worse (so far) than his philosophical predecessors, but such a man bears watching, because at any given moment, he may decide to unleash himself from semi-civil, quasi-rational conduct.  Proof of this thesis exists each time one tunes a television to see the latest rant of Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews or Lawrence O’Donnell.  These men offer an insight into the sheer insanity that exists behind the relatively calm demeanor of Barack Obama, and it is precisely that sort of vile creature who can imagine his fellow-man as involuntary servants by claiming a right to their labor, their time, and indeed, their lives.  What may be worse is that for all their pretense and feigned opposition, at least twenty-five Republican senators do not see fit to object.

One cannot have a right to the lives, labors or properties of others, but with a stunted intellect, too many of our countrymen now suppose that because laws may be enacted that would claim otherwise, they are immune from its reach, and therefore safe from its grasp.  Only a people with nothing to offer, fulfilling the exact definition of worthlessness, could imagine their own safety in such a paradigm. This is what we must fight, and it is in the name of life, liberty and the pursuit of our own happiness that we must fight it.  So long as men like Barack Obama imagine other men as their slaves, and servants to their personal whims, there can be no safety in any place or condition on Earth.  It is time for conservatives to demand of their alleged leaders such behavior as would signify their awareness of this mortal threat.  There can be no peace with this, so long as men and women claim to be free.

 

The Art of Context-Dropping

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

NASA Vacuum Chamber

Wednesday morning, my article focused specifically on the logical problems arising from the libertarian viewpoints on immigration.  As I explained, there cannot be a method by which to maintain a free nation if that nation’s people decide to throw open its borders to all comers without first setting the conditions under which newcomers may enter.  This is a common problem with many of the libertarian ideas, and it explains why although I have many sympathies with their views, particularly in the field of economics, in other areas of human interest, I have clear disagreements.  Those disagreements always stem from what I see as the singularity of unreasonable assumptions into which their born-in-a-vacuum notions most frequently fall.  Their ideas are frequently only valid in a volume devoid of any other facts, and it is this lack of contextual consideration that leaves me flat.  I love the libertarians, and on many issues, it is fair to say I am among their number, but often, I find their arguments to be an attempt to defend the logically indefensible through a process best described as “context-dropping.”

Consider the libertarian view on legalization of drugs.  Absent any other considerations, if you wish to pollute your brain with drugs of varying description and effect, it is no business of mine. While I might pity you based on my own views of the value of my life and my own mind, it is perfectly reasonable for you to be able to exercise the freedom to use drugs.  In a vacuum.  The problem with this idea, however, is that none of us live in a vacuum, and our actions may well have consequences for others.  The school bus driver who smokes marijuana before beginning his route has taken into his hands more than his own life.  The police officer who uses anabolic steroids to build his muscle mass, but then addresses members of the public as though he were a raging bull presents a clear danger.  The drunk, making his way home from the bar who claims the lives of a family of eight in a head-on collision has negated a good deal more than his own future by his actions.  It is in this context that I always insist to my libertarian friends that precisely so soon as they come out in support of absolute liability laws that leave drug users’ lives, properties, and all they value in full exposure to the law should they enact such a thing on others, I will be satisfied.  The moment we have capital punishment for drug-impaired driving that results in vehicular homicide, I will get behind the move for legalization.  The problem with many libertarians is that they want all the freedoms, but they’re not nearly so interested in taking responsibility for the choices, so that they avoid this problem by ignoring the context of the freedoms they seek.

A close examination of many libertarian ideas reveals that rather than viewing the task of civilization as the cooperation of billions of individuals, they seem instead to view mankind as an assembly of 6.5 billion dictators, each permissively directing his own course without regard to others.  The question at which they never seem to arrive is what happens when any two(or more) of those personal dictatorships happen to collide.   It is this context-dropping that harms their arguments.  The problem with this is that to enjoy a right, it must be something one can perform on one’s own without the intervention, assistance, or consent of another.  Consider “assisted suicide.”  The moment one claims a right to assisted suicide, what one is claiming is really the right to obligate another as part of their own self-destruction.

I might claim a right to kill myself, but I cannot impose on another an obligation to help me accomplish that end.  It’s a preposterous misconstruction of logic to say on the one hand “all mankind must be free,” but then claim on the other that “some other(s) must be compelled to help me obtain my wishes.” If you wish to kill yourself, I might consider it a loss or a waste, but it’s your life, and it’s your choice, however, claiming the right to have assistance in that endeavor by medical practitioners(or anybody else) is a preposterous encroachment on the liberties of others.  What if you can find no person who will willingly assist you?  How then do you exercise a “right” to assisted suicide?  In this context, you cannot, thus the claim of such as a right is negated. In a vacuum, I might well have a right to end my own existence, but there can be no right to impose such an obligation to act on others.

On the issue of abortion, most libertarians are enthusiastically pro-choice. Their vacuous assumption is that the only party with an interest in the matter is the would-be mother. As a matter of logical consistency, however, this is hardly the case.  There is a father, somewhere, and there is that growing life inside the mother.  Libertarians claim an a priori right to life, a right not created but only guaranteed by government.  I share that sentiment, but if one’s right to life is a precondition to life as man qua man, there can be no authority by any person to interfere with its development.  Human beings fully vested with the natural rights of man do not simply pop into existence.  In fact, even carried to term and successfully delivered, a person is not vested with the full rights of a person until obtaining 21 years of age.  This being the case, in logically consistent constructs, libertarians should be fine not only with abortion, but also retro-active abortion. One could only imagine how in this culture, some parents my get two or three years into the job and decide “Never mind, let’s start from scratch.” One might blanch in horror at that suggestion, but it has been proposed by any number of scholars, most infamously, Peter Singer.

If a person is to have a right to life, that right must have originated at some moment in time. Which moment? When one obtained the legal right to drink? The right to vote? The 6th grade? When? At birth?  That is where it seems we have temporarily drawn the line, but since under our laws, one may only arrive intact at birth with the gracious consent of one’s mother, is it the argument of the context-droppers that a mother establishes one’s right to life?  This too is a preposterous argument, but the matter becomes even more clear when we consider laws aimed at punishing those who commit homicides that result in the death of children in utero.  According to the pro-choice crowd, that isn’t a human life, thus no homicide is committed, but this too evinces a preposterous standard of reason.  If the right to life exists at all, it must commence in its earliest moments, and that moment is defined by that event in which ova meets sperm, a genetic blueprint is established, and a new human life actually begins. Losing all of this context, one can imagine almost any conceivable but patently absurd standard for when a human life begins, and with it, the right to life.

Let us admit that libertarians have many good ideas, and they’re right on many more things than many conservatives may be willing to admit, but let us likewise remember that the context-dropping they practice in some issues creates a vast hole in the ideological consistency they claim to practice.  It’s important for we conservatives to understand that like libertarians, we ought to seek more individual liberty, but as we do, we must insist also on the personal responsibility that makes liberty workable on Earth.  One absent the other is every bit as impossible as the statist desire to eliminate both.

 

 

Hating “Extremism”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

When Extremism Is No Vice...

One of the terms that has gained favor in popular culture, particularly on the left, but increasingly in the broader political arena in America is the word “extremist.” I find this word to be a shallow, empty word, used as a bludgeon, but carrying no factual, logical impact while delivering an entirely emotionalized blow.  I’ve been called an “extremist” depending on the issue at hand, and after a while, the term loses its meaning precisely because “extremist” merely refers to a person who had been “extreme” in some facet of their actions, character, or pronouncements.  In this context, the word “extremist” tells us precisely nothing about the matter at hand, but since it’s an ugly-sounding word, it is used by leftists for its emotional impact rather than as the basis for any rational discussion.  When I see the term “extreme” or “extremist” hurled around in this fashion, it has generally been a leftist hurling it, but increasingly, I have seen conservatives begin to wield this same weapon, and what this signifies is how intellectually slothful some on the conservative side of the aisle have become in making an argument, or at the very least how thoroughly they disrespect the intellect of their audiences.  When some commentator, pundit, or writer uses the term “extremist” or “extremism,” whether from right or left, we ought to demand a fuller explanation than that which had been provided by such an empty taunt.

Rather than pulling out Merriam Webster’s dictionary in demonstration of the misuse of the term, I’d prefer that we restrain ourselves to contextual examples. Knowing that I’ve been labeled an “extremist” myself on a few occasions, it might be instructive to view the context in which such a charge has been leveled.  After all, in our culture, the term “extremist” has such negative connotations that one is immediately painted with an easel of colors that suggests a wild-eyed maniac, lurching zealously in pursuit of some particular end.  Of course, therein arises the problem, because the term tells us little or nothing about the nature of the “extremism.”  Instead, due to the negative connotations associated with this word, the presumptive impact delivered is negative, and yet there is nothing inherent in the meaning of the word to suggest a deleterious implication.

For instance, I have been told I am an “extremist” because I refuse to abandon the logically consistent position that life begins at conception, and that if men are endowed by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God with certain unalienable rights, they must begin to arise at that moment, such that any excuse for ending that life must still ignore the rights of that individual, no matter how new and as yet, undeveloped it may be.  The assertion leveled in my direction is that by remaining inflexible to any other contextual concerns, I have become an “extremist.”  The only thing truly “extreme” about my position is that I refuse to concede the argument on the basis of situational ethics, or relativism.  My support of a right to life for all human beings is therefore branded as “extreme,” and the connotation attending that label is foisted upon me in the same manner that Timothy McVeigh was called an “extremist” without reference to what it had been about which he was extreme, or to what extremes he was willing to go in furtherance of his twisted world-view.  That’s the object being pursued in many instances in which the word “extreme” is so frequently misused: The desire to paint one’s political opponents as being raving lunatics.

I have been called a “Second Amendment Extremist,” because I can read the plain language of that amendment, and because I can see in the construction of the sentence that comprises it everything I need to know about the intentions of its authors.  I note that in that amendment, there is a dependent and independent clause, and that if I identify the two, what is plain is exactly opposite of what leftist, statist legal scholars contend.  They suggest that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is dependent on their proximity to a “well-regulated militia,” but knowing the construction and grammar of the English language, I know they are lying.  The full sentence states:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

There are two clauses in this sentence, and you can decide for yourself which is the dependent and the independent.  One definition of the distinction would lead you to test them each as sentences.  “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State…”  Complete sentence, or fragment?  Now try the other: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Clearly, the second clause is independent, while the first clause is dependent on the latter.  You could, in point of fact, place any clause whatever in place of the first, and not change the meaning or impact of the second.  “Ham and cheese on rye being necessary to the fullness of one’s stomach, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Yes, this seems a preposterous remark, but notice that substituting my dependent clause about ham sandwiches does exactly nothing to the meaning or impact of the independent clause.  What we must therefore learn from this is that the author of this Amendment, and those who subsequently adopted and ratified it intended to say “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Why put the other clause there? The intention was to demonstrate one cause relative to governance for which the government must sustain that right, but it was not intended to be the exclusive or sole reason for the amendment.  Instead, it was simply to explain one interest the federal government should recognize so that it does not infringe upon that right.

Naturally, the fact that I would rely on the actual words of the amendment, and the rules of English to recognize its essential meaning simply implies (according to leftists) that I am some sort of “extremist.”  Note, however, that I am only an “extremist” about this subject in the eyes of those who at least contemplate depriving the American people of this right. I might just as easily state that those who would consider such a disparagement of our rights as an “extremist,” and I would contend to you that they are, but I will at least offer you the respect of telling you the nature of their “extremism,” rather than relying upon that word to carry the emotional water I wish to convey.

Of course, this can be applied to many things, well away from the realm of politics.  How about human relationships?  I am certain that my wife would prefer that I remain an “extremist” with respect to my observance of my wedding vows.  I am certain that my friends and neighbors would prefer that I remain an “extremist” when it comes to my honesty in my dealings with them.  I am likewise certain that my co-workers would prefer that I maintain my extreme diligence and thoughtfulness with respect to the work I do.  Of course, if you prefer to remain in the political realm, you could take it from Barry Goldwater who famously asserted:

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” (Sen. Barry Goldwater(R-AZ), 1964 RNC Convention)

Here’s the video, for those who weren’t yet around to witness it:

The Republican Party has been running away from that statement with few exceptions since Senator Goldwater uttered it, and yet it reminds us of a central truth about the nature of our political discourse and the infamy of misusing the language in such a way.  What Goldwater said as he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for the office of President was a thing we ought to recognize, because at the time, the Johnson Campaign was painting him with the awful and generic brush of “extremism.”  Quite obviously, the most controversial thing about Goldwater’s views at the time lied in the fact that they were perceived as controversial at all. The GOP establishment, even in those days, quickly abandoned Goldwater and left him to fight with an underfunded campaign.

My point in bringing up Goldwater, and the notion of “extremism” as a label of infamy cast about by commentators, reporters, journalists, and even ordinary people like me is that we should question its use, or more properly, its overuse.  I have become accustomed, as have most of you, to being smeared with this label of “extremism” in such repetitive fashion by leftists that is very nearly a badge of honor among actual conservatives.  I am proud to be what the press might call an “extreme conservative,” or what Mitt Romney might call “severely conservative,” or what John Boehner would simply characterize as a “knuckle-dragger.” The term “extremist” conveys no actual meaning of its own, and left in isolation, it’s impossible to judge with certainty whether the “extreme” under discussion is a bad thing or a good thing.  It’s a shoddy method by which to launch an attack with no specificity for its basis, and that should get your attention.

What I am astonished to see in this campaign season is when bloggers,  columnists, commentators, journalists, and writers ostensibly on our side resort to this sort of lazy language to attack not only our opponents, but also some of our own. “Extreme” and its derivatives are words we who cover politics should refrain from using without contextualization and definition.  It’s a dastardly attack because of its presumptively negative connotations, but absent any context, it loses its meaning. I might posit the notion that “Voters don’t like extremists,” but what information have I conveyed if I provide no context or meaning to the term?  What sort of extremists do voters not like?  Is there a sort of extremist they might like?   Having permitted the reader to define the term for his or her self, I haven’t said anything substantial, and in that case, perhaps I’m better off had I instead refrained from saying anything at all.

Politics Is the Continuation of War Through Words

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Hold Onto Our Position?

War is a state of conflict existing between persons, parties, nations, or the alliances made up of any of these.  The object of war is to dominate one’s enemy, and to impose one’s will over them, even if one’s will is nothing more complicated than naked destruction.  Carl von Clausewitz observed that “war is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse carried on with other means. What remains peculiar to war is simply the peculiar nature of its means.”  That being the case, it must also be true to say that politics is the means by which the hostilities of open war are concealed behind words.  If all is fair in love and war, it is likewise fair in politics, and considering the radical left, at war with America for more than a century, we conservatives ought to expect that there is no scheme or connivance that exceeds their capacity for ruthlessness.  In stark contrast, while they know they’re at war, many of  us have innocently believed it was “just politics,”  as though the object of politics had been something less destructive. History has shown us that politics is merely the extension of war, a pretty face painted on Death, and we ought to recognize its true nature.

Some won’t understand how “mere politics” can be the other side of the same philosophical coin as war.  Let us refrain from the mincing of words:  Politics is the means by which some people are coerced to obey the will of others.  Slavery was a legal institution, created in politics, and backed-up by force.  You might find that Obama-care is immoral, as do I, but in order to enforce it upon us, the government has claimed the authority to compel us to participation.  When I say “compel,” I mean quite literally “force.”  If you refuse, they will use the legal system to pursue you, and if you refuse to submit and surrender, they will ultimately kill you.  Yes, I said “kill.” Have you any illusions about it?  Do you not see that this is ultimately all government has in order to impose its dicta?

The more virulently oppressive government becomes, the more commonplace the use of coercion and force becomes.  In a civilized state, the use of force is limited only to use against those who have committed wrongs, or crimes against other individuals.  It is not used as an aggressive tool by which to compel others to servitude.  This had been the essence of America in its earliest decades, and in those times, the left did not exist as such, and certainly did not have access to the reins of power, and yet their forerunners set up loopholes through which they would later slither.  Make no mistake: The force of government is no longer an instrument of defense of the American people, but is instead the weapon of brutal invaders who use laws written against us, and for their protection.  The statists of the left have captured the law, and it is the great continuation of their war against us.

People have been stunned at the rapidity with which the left and its media mouthpieces began to blame Rush Limbaugh, or the Tea Party for the shooting overnight in a theater in Aurora, Colorado.  We have seen this before: It is the immediate reaction of every leftist on the planet who has access to the media in the aftermath of any human tragedy.  This is another form their war takes.  Their hope is to create an impression as a matter of propagandizing the audience.  Brian Ross likely knew there had been a low probability of a connection between the 24-year-old shooter and the Tea Party, and he knew he would be forced to issue some form of apology, but he also knew the apology would be swept onto some obscure page on ABC’s website, long after the people who heard his earlier remarks had long gone. “Mission Accomplished!”  The object of his “reporting” was the smear aimed at the Tea Party, so when a fifty-something man from Aurora Colorado heard himself being identified as the shooter, he understandably responded by disconnecting his phone to protect his own life and family.  Let us hope that he retains a legal shark who will eat ABC News and Brian Ross for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but even if he does, he will face a law that will offer Brian Ross et al protection, while obstructing his pursuit of justice.

You might think that Ross had merely been anxious to scoop the story on the gunman’s identity, but while I am certain there was some element of journalistic competitiveness driving the erroneous and premature identification, the truth is that his methodology was to immediately begin surfing the Internet looking for a James or Jim Holmes related to Tea Party groups in Aurora Colorado.  He found one, and when he did, he ran with it, because he saw it not only as an opportunity to get the “scoop,” but also as an opportunity to score a propaganda coup against his political opponents.  What Brian Ross did was to make the innocent Jim Holmes the victim of political profiling and media malpractice.  Since the left is at war with America, however, the innocent fifty-eight year-old man will be considered by Brian Ross, George Stephanopolous, and ABC News as mere collateral damage.  Besides, he is a Tea Party guy, so to Hell with him.  Whether there is a lawsuit, it is irrelevant to the media personalities involved: They’re at war, and in war, sometimes there will be mistaken targets, but if those mistaken targets are aligned with one’s enemies, so much the better.

This is how the left functions at all times, and they are shamelessly convinced that they must carry out the war against America without mercy.  For the moment, that war is mostly one of political rhetoric and subterfuge, but conservatives should understand that their objective is no different than that of actual combat.  They exist to compel and coerce you to their ends, and ultimately, if they cannot convince you to voluntarily submit, they will revert to open warfare.  This is the meaning of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  The Occupiers comprises one part of the intended army of dupes to carry out the violence if need be, even as a justification for governmental force.

Statists are not without values, although they vary dramatically from yours.  Their  love complies with their values quite consistently, and it is this continual devotion to purpose that drives them forward and has allowed them to win, more or less, throughout most of the last century.  Even when we have won the occasional temporary victory over them, they still managed to advance the ball somewhere, somehow, in some issue upon which we had surrendered.  The conservative movement has been winning a lot of battles, but it’s been losing the wider war. The institutional left has been at war with America since the late 1800s, whether or not Americans at large recognized it as such. While we’ve been trying to maintain some sort of polite debating society, the left has been planning how to undermine our constitution, the republic it had established, and the culture of independence that had made it possible.

I am going to convey something that will likely be rewarded with scorn from some quarters, but I believe that out of respect for simple, plain-spoken truth, it must be said:  Due to their shocking similarities, as a result of the basic, underlying roots of their system of morality, the institutional left has become the ostensibly secular equivalent of the Muslim Brotherhood, or al Qaeda.  You might think I’ve gone a bit daft, but I assure you that the comparison is valid in all ways.  You might insist that they’re  not strapping bombs to their chests, and running into crowds of infidels to their cause, but I assure you, this is only because at present, they are winning, slowly, but steadily.  When Brian Ross presented the preliminary results of his “investigation” into James or Jim Holmes, he did so knowing that his information was weak, and he knew it could be damaging and destructive, but so intent upon “scoring” a victory against his political foes was he, that he strapped on the story and charged onto your television screen in order to detonate his propaganda bomb.  Would he face sanctions?  Probably not, but even if so, he’d be picked up by MSNBC or some other leftist outlet that is more concerned with his commitment to the cause than with his journalistic integrity.

This is the form of the war at present, but I am warning you to pay attention because it may not always be restrained to our current political warfare, and if the coin flips, you will quickly learn how committed this cabal of leftist true believers is to dominate you, and how willing to rule you by naked force they are once you scrape away the veneer of their words.  Do not be deceived:  We already have all the evidence necessary to convict this group of radicals as charged, only they own the courts, the law, and the power to enforce it.

The left loves power, and specifically, the power over life and death of others, but since they cannot create life, and instead can only steal it, they are consumed by the instrumentalities of death.  War is death’s greatest implement, and what you had ought to recognize is that there can be no middle ground in this war.  Bystanders and fence-sitters are every bit as apt to be destroyed as the participants.  They pursue their objective relentlessly, and it is this consistency of effort that affords them long-term victories.

Consider it in another way, if you please:  As conservatives, by and large, we are a people satisfied to live our lives by our own efforts and on our own merits, come what may.  Ours is not the philosophy of coercing the innocent – people who had done no wrong – but instead the philosophy of rejecting coercion as the basis for human relations in a civilized society.  Conservatives expect that amongst honest men, there may be competition without conflict in its basest form.  Ours is a philosophy that generally avoids imposing coercion on others as a tool of exchange.  We believe in volitional exchange from mutual strengths to mutual advantage.  This is why capitalism can succeed at all, and what conservatives generally expect is that one should be left alone to his own devices so long as he is not outwardly harming others.  Not quite libertarian, but close cousins to be sure, conservatives are generally willing to prohibit some actions they believe destructive of the civil society. In the main, conservatives wish to be left alone, unimpeded by the capricious desires of others, whether directly or through governments.  Conservatives do not seek, in principle, to make gains by force that they could not make by the voluntary exchange with others.

The left does not admit of any restraint upon their claim to coerce others.  In their view, coercion and force are merely tools used to get their way, and they use them aggressively.  Leftists must always attack, because they seek to make gains from their coercion.  The reason for this dramatic difference is implicit in the nature of the sort of person who is conservative, or “liberal.”  Conservatives are willing to rely upon volitional exchange, because in point of fact, they most frequently have plenty to offer, and are willing to create the material value necessary for said commerce.  In stark contrast, the left is not satisfied to rely upon volitional exchange, because with respect to their fellow man, they create nothing of value. If one has nothing to offer in exchange for things of value rightfully possessed by others, one has but a single alternative:  Expropriation, and naked theft, with coercion as one’s means of exchange.

Leftists believe no weapon is superior to the possession of the largest and/or most ruthless mob.  They are willing to substitute a club or a gun for a syllogism at the first evidence that logic and reason will fail them, and there is no rationale that exceeds in quality their estimation of the primitive consideration that condenses at long last to: “I want it.”  They are takers by profession, and they will take with a gun in one hand, a smile firmly affixed to their faces, all on the basis of the premise that “might makes right.”  These are the modern cavemen who would club their mates into submission, dragging them to the cave, not interested in wooing but merely in dominating others to achieve their ends.

Those who fail to recognize this deadly basis for the century-long war the left has waged on America do so at the predictable expense of their own values.  The left struggled one-hundred years at least to seize control of the law, knowing that you would obey each new dictum without much resistance, because you innocently believed that this would be enough.  Now, fully a century after the attack was first launched, you’ve begun to notice that their demands never end, and that there is no compromise you may make that will finally satisfy their claims.  It is the perpetual motion machine of goal-lines: No matter what you surrender, and irrespective to what degree you may have already folded, they have not had their fill, because, as they predict on the basis of your past retreats, you can be prodded into yet another.

In 1994, when Hillary-care went bust with the American people, they did not cease.  Before a decade would elapse, they had an allegedly conservative President enacting their programs in small segments.  By the time Barack Obama signed his Affordable Care Act into law, much of the worst of socialized medicine already existed in fact.  This was merely the act in completion of a strategy stretched across a century of warfare.  They do no yield, and they will not surrender.  There is no time in which you can expect them to simply give up as defeated and go away with their horrid ideas, no matter how many times you may tell them “no.”

What they have succeeded most of all in doing is to convince you that you will always ultimately lose, because over the long march of time, you have innocently moved from battlefield to battlefield, never noticing that these are not isolated attacks, but the full collaboration of a war waged against you on all front.  You may rush to the defense of one battlement, or to the strengthening of another flank, but they continue their war always and relentlessly.  At the rank-and-file level, they don’t know or care that they’re each part of a coordinated attack.  Some of them even believe foolishly that they are in defense of the citadel of liberty, on all fronts but perhaps some one exceptional issue they care not to defend, and against which they may even join in the attack.

The war is real, and victory will go only to those who had recognized it as such.  With the 1993 WTC bombings, we should have known.  With the embassy bombings in 1998, and the attack on the USS Cole, we should have realized this was a wider war.  It shouldn’t have taken the attacks of 9/11 to wake us to this reality.  In the same way, we should have known when the 16th Amendment was ratified, that this would be the opening salvo.  When the New Deal came along, we should have noticed that it was a war against us all, and by the time the Great Society was proposed, the American people should have rejected it all, but we did not.  Instead, we have come to accept those programs as a baseline of our existence, when we should have battled to cast them off, but weary from each engagement, defeated and demoralized, we instead took up a position in an attempt to hold the line.  We have never succeeded because we have never recognized it as a war.  We never charged the enemy, but always clung instead to a wilting defense.

If we are to win this war, we must recognize it as such, first and foremost, but rather than try to defend walls that have been breached already, it is time that we must consider a bold counter-offensive.  The enemy(I do not use this term lightly) is already rallying for another attempt against our Second Amendment in the wake of the Aurora Colorado shooting.  They take no days off, and no days at ease, and have begun already to advance legislation and regulation they’ve kept in their arsenal for decades.  Rather than trying to stave off another attack on the 2nd Amendment by claiming your right to bear arms, about which they do not care, and that will not slow them, we must launch a counteroffensive.  We must push for the wider extension of gun rights.  Now. We must claim the moral high ground by championing the self-efficacy of arms possessed by the law-abiding in their self-defense. Rather than letting them seize the moment, as they will, we must seize it first.

Another great warrior admonished us:

“I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything, we’ll let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re going to kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose.” – George S Patton

If you wish to win the war against the statist left, you must know it as such. You must rise to fight it as such. You may not recognize it as a war, but your enemy does, and while you exchange thoughtful pleasantries, the enemy is scouting your flanks. It’s time to realize that their words are weapons of war, and we are under attack.

” All right now, you sons of bitches, you know how I feel. I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That’s all.” – George S Patton

Why Is Paul Gosar in Congress?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

 

Paul Gosar(R-AZ)

WesternJournalism.com ran this story, with accompanying video, in which Representative Paul Gosar(R-AZ) participates in a panel discussion over the question of adherence to the US Constitution.  The Congressman said that we can’t adhere to it, since fifty percent(or more) of the American people don’t wish to live within its confines.  This admission by a US Representative, allegedly a conservative from a relatively conservative district, demonstrates the serious trouble we’re in, and also why the Republican party simply cannot be relied upon as the vehicle conservatives would use to restore a healthy respect for the Constitution, and a restoration of our republic.  This congressman seems to be one of Boehner’s boot-lickers, undoubtedly sold on the notion that after all, Republicans control only one-half of one-third of the government.  My question for a congressman who exhibits this pathetic attitude, and all the surrender-monkeys like him in the Republican party in Washington DC, and elsewhere around the country is simply this: If you will not stand for the constitution, why in Hell do we need you?  We don’t need excuses for your inaction.  We don’t need more sad stories.  We need people who are willing to lead, and to fight if need be.  Is Congressman Gosar one upon whom we can rely?

Here’s the video:

Somebody please offer the Congressman a tissue, and a pair of…  Look, I realize that I have been rather surly about all of this lately, but the fact of the matter is that somebody in his district needs to get in touch with this moral coward and let him know that while the party’s establishment may be following in the mold he and other squeamish Republicans are wont to do, there are plenty of Americans who are becoming convinced by such displays as his that the Republican party needs to die a sudden death.  We all know the realities, but I have a question for Congressman Lie-Down-and-Be-Depressed:  If he is not willing to make a stand when he has the opportunity, truly, what sort of fraud must he be?  This is the nature of much of the Republican party in Congress.  They come home to rally the ‘troops’ but all they’re really doing is to let us vent a little of our frustration in the hope that we will stay in line through yet another election, since they see it all as futile anyway.  They all swear an oath to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and too many of them either join or simply yield to the latter.

I’ve got a proposition for Congressman The Undescended:  If you believe you can’t win while adhering to the constitution, then why don’t you have the guts to go home and tell your voters that?  Why don’t you have the guts to go home and tell them that in order to restore their sacred constitution, which ought to be your touchstone too, they(and – fat chance – you) may well need to resort to actions rather than words?   You see, with this wilting tendency that has overtaken the Republican Impotency in the House, the sad truth is that we don’t even have one-half of one-third of the government.  It’s bad enough that the Republican nominee has all the fight of this morning’s oatmeal, that their majority leader in the Senate seems to need a dose of starch in order to stand erect behind a podium and make another display of impotent finger-waggling,  and that the Speaker of the House cries ceaselessly about the obstacles and “realities” in Washington, but when rank-and-file members find they cannot serve and uphold their oaths, what they should do is resign their offices, tell their constituents the ugly truth about the state of the Republic, and then lead them into battle, but I don’t mean politics.

What I hope readers will note is that if it is as bad as this Congressman claims, there can be only one course remaining.  If  that is so, why will this Congressman not say so?  The dear ladies in the video are precisely correct, particularly the latter, Stephani Scruggs, so permit me to say a word in her defense, since so few in this emasculated culture will do so with the requisite vigor:  When she says we are slaves, she is in all ways correct.  When she alleges that our constitutionally guaranteed liberties have been stripped from us, she in no way exaggerates the matter.  If anything, to save time, she understated the list by some number, but she did not underestimate the gravity, and to her credit, that much was unmistakable: In order to save liberty, we may be called upon to risk every bit as much as our founders before us. In fact, it seems certain.  If the Congressman’s assertion is correct, and it is not out of line with my own analysis of the futility of the tax argument, then our question to him and all those like him must be: “So what are you going to do about it, now that you’ve noticed?”

All the “moderates” who tell me I’m “too extreme” should instead offer my readers a solution that is workable, but does not consist of more pie-in-the-sky, “silver-linings” rhetoric.  Tell us, bluntly if you dare:  How do we reverse this now that we’ve created the beast?  All along the way, the “extreme” conservatives warned that this would be the result of an uninterrupted string of surrenders dressed up as “tactical retreats.”  If this Congressman is right, you might defend him on the basis that he’s merely being pragmatic.  As I would point out to him, pragmatism of that sort leads to chains, and in fact, it has.  We wear them now, you and I, each working, productive American.  If this can be turned around with something short of violence, let the Congressman explain the methodology, because what he seems to propose is more of the same: Slinking, slithering retreat from battle, all in order to live to fight another day that never arrives.  How does that restore our Constitution?  How does that repair our republic?  How does that loosen the bonds that increasingly weigh us down and must ultimately crush us?  Will any Republican be honest enough to say what may be necessary?  If our founders had been men like these, we would still kneel before the crown, irrespective of our current President’s penchant for bowing.  If we continue to elect representatives who will offer no more vigorous an opposition than this, it’s clear we still do, though the throne may have changed addresses.

 

 

 

Talk Is Always Cheaper

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Oath or Bravado?

I have heard and read a good deal about a UN Convention on Small Arms Trade, a Treaty that some allege could ultimately result in the banning of firearms held by private citizens in the United States.  While I’m not certain that such a treaty could affect domestic gun rights, the idea is that such a treaty, ratified by the Senate, effectively becomes Constitutional law.  This argument is based on the notion that when the US enters into a treaty, it’s binding upon the government just like a constitutional amendment, although there are existing precedents in opposition to that view, including Reid v. Covert.  Imagining that such a treaty would disparage our 2nd Amendment rights, were such a thing to eventuate, who doubts but that some leftist in charge would enforce it as such, or that a Supreme Court led by the likes of John Roberts would uphold it as superseding our 2nd Amendment?  Who doubts that a Congress led by such cowards as now occupy those positions would subserviently enact all the funding mechanisms to support enforcement?  Rep. Benjamin Quayle(R-AZ,) and co-sponsor Todd Akin(R-MO) have introduced the Second Amendment Sovereignty Act of 2012, (H.R. 5846,) in response to this threat. It’s going nowhere.

The Treaty in question is being written as we speak, and while we don’t know its content, anything that would impinge upon our domestic rights would be a real attack on the Second Amendment the likes of which would be unprecedented in American history. Then again, Obama-care was an attack on individual liberties unprecedented in history.  Clearly, that there exists no precedent does not preclude a thing from being done, does it?  All my life, I have heard a fair number of oaths including the phrase “my cold, dead hands,” that being the condition in which the persons professing said sentiment would enter before their guns would be taken from them.  I’m not a betting man, but I personally believe most would turn in their guns without much more than a whimper.  I think a diabolical leader of ill intent would know that too, and I believe he’d be willing to test the thesis.  My question for you is simply: “Would Americans actually fight?”

This has always been my question, in fact, because I’ve been around long enough to know that many will say things that sound awfully tough, in terribly solemn tones in the first instance, but that most won’t live up to the billing in the second.  Most mature people are relatively risk-averse, and when they consider handing over their guns to maintain a nervous peace versus the idea of actually beginning a second war for Independence against an[other] aggressive government, I think most so-called “fearless Patriots” might just chicken out.  After all, by a slow process of incrementalism, the American people have let many of their liberties go without much more than a protest march or two, and not much more than a temporary backlash at the polls.  I believe a rabid Marxist holding the reins of power would realize this too, as would  his committed communist pals, and I think such a leader would be more than willing to go all the way and call some bluffs.  In fact, I think such a villain would see it as a win-win: If he calls the bluffs of the American people on this and they should happen to fold, he would have rid the country of guns, and made the American people defenseless in their own homes.  If he calls the bluffs, but they turn out not to be a bluff, he would have a good excuse to declare martial law, perhaps cancel elections, and wipe out a few hard-core conservatives along the way, if there is anything less than a perfectly united stance by American conservatives.

You might wonder why I am raising this issue now, and it surely arises in part from the recent talk over the treaty in question, but I am also asking the question because I’ve seen signs that we have no small number of surrender monkeys who call themselves “conservative.”  If the day should ever arrive when gun confiscations actually begin, and there is a resistance, it will fail if conservatives don’t act – not talk – in lockstep.  That would be a big play by by such a tyrant, for all the marbles, but it would also be a big play by Americans.  It would be truly a matter of pledging their “lives and their sacred honor,” because any such battle would commence a counter-counter-revolution.  What you learn from a lifetime of observation is that he who is more consistently committed wins every battle, every war, and every fight of any sort.  This is why I have cause to worry: I think many people make many professions by which may not abide when push comes to shove.

After all, if such a resistance were to break out, you would scarcely receive news of it.  Such a leader would use that new Internet shut-down switch to cut off that means of news dissemination.  He would order the FCC to shut down all cell phones, and shortly, all wired calls, broadcast, cable and satellite, along with radio, and the only thing you might be able to dial would be 9-1-1, or if you had a shortwave radio, begin to exchange information before the jamming commenced in earnest .  It’s what emergency exercises are intended to test.  Remember?  Neither would be trusted all law enforcement, nor all military.  Too many are Oath-Keepers(though not nearly enough for my comfort.)  What would result after a day or two is that the brain-addled multitudes would demand the restoration of their cable, their Internet, their phones, and their blessed text messages, so they would join the chorus from the left to put down any rebellion.  Think about it.  Fools all, yes, but fools who would provide a runaway government with every excuse it might ever need.

Every person must establish his or her own bright line across which government must not tread, or admit from the outset that he or she is a willing slave, but in the main, they do not admit it, and they make their lines dimly, and cover them over in hasty retreat when pressed.  The singularly most pressing reason to raise this at this time is that I believe too few have actually considered all those oaths about “cold dead hands,” and what they would actually demand.  After all, what that phrase implies is a willingness to literally enter a state of war against a runaway government that would claim legitimacy by virtue of some black-robed moron’s  judgment, or some heat-of-the-moment command from a would-be tyrant.  Any who take such things too lightly wouldn’t be the sort to be counted on in any case, because anybody who conceives of such things without deep prior contemplation of consequences isn’t very serious about it.  Australia was a nifty experiment for the global gun-grabbers, and they saw how the cold-dead-handers reacted there.   In a virtual flash, Australia was disarmed. Has Australia undergone a violent revolution? Have they repealed such measures?  If so, I’ve not read about it.

If you wonder what the radical communist left would count on, considering the hundreds of millions of guns and the eighty-million or more firearm owners as an obstacle to their plotting, you might wish to give a thought or two to this.  While alleged patriots who may or may not adhere to all of those oaths continue to make them, the radical left is surely plotting for the day in which they will make this a reality.  Larry Grathwohl’s story of three decades ago hasn’t changed, and some of the very people about whom he had been concerned are now members of government.  The question is whether they’ve thought this through, and I believe you can assume they have, and that’s something upon which I’m willing to bet.  Our founders must have been much more extraordinarily brave than we credit them with having been. Now go consider all those oaths anew.  Did you really mean them?  Time may tell. Something to ponder.

 

Searching For America

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

...If You Can Find Her

On this Fourth day of July, the nation marks its Independence Day, but I fear that for all the remembrances of glory now passed out of mind by most Americans, and for all the lovely, somber assemblies that will today gather in order to consider the truly beautiful words of the brilliant minds who once established this country, who risked literally all in order to put aside a tyrant, there are pitifully few among us who have the courage to repeat their bold actions, or even realize the true marvel that had been the American founding.  I have always believed that America was more than a place defined by some lines drawn on a map, and its meaning was more than even the stunning assembly of the stars and stripes of Old Glory could represent.  No, America had been synonymous with “Liberty,” and “Freedom,” and other rare concepts of human refinement that have not been duplicated anywhere.  To all of my patriotic friends, who look glumly about at the depressing caricature we’ve been watching our nation become, I urge you to take heart:  America lives!

It is true that the statists have developed and implemented a plan for our national diminution.  It is true even that some among our number seem to happily go along with the slide.  The worst of it for many will have been how the July 4th observances this year will seem more like a eulogy than a celebration.  We now give our beloved America the big send-off, with fireworks to punctuate the wake.  A funeral need not be a glum affair, and with all the flag-waving set to commence, it seems appropriate that rather than play an encore of Stars and Stripes Forever, we instead yield the music of the day to a funeral march.  Yet this is only appropriate if we view America as nothing more than a political partition.  True, it is clear that the Republic lies at Death’s door, but the idea that stands behind the Republic remains alive in each of us who will merely bear its memory forth.

The gun-grabbers will attempt to take our rights to keep and bear, but still we must resist them, whatever the laws they may make.  That’s what an American would do.  The taxers and dispensers-of-penalties (just in case Mitt Romney still doesn’t know which he had been as Governor of that once-free commonwealth) can work their worst, but at the end of the day, if you are willing to live without comforts, you can resist this too.  This I am certain, every real American would do.  Were I closer to New York, for example, I would be inclined to raid a grocery warehouse, buying up all the little Morton’s salt shakers, and dispense one on every table in every restaurant in sight, and a pox on Michael Bloomberg for his wretched regulating, and I would probably start in any cafeteria owned by the city.  This is what the bold, but not the timid, would do.  Americans think to do such things.  Docile slaves never do.

I’d give a cop a hug, since they don’t pass the laws, and there may come a day when I’d like very much for them to ignore some mindless rule that I had decided I would no longer observe.  Americans, the real ones, know that laws are only as powerful as they permit them to be.  Americans aren’t frightened about the possibility of another Obama term, because even he is only so powerful as we decide he should be.  You might offer me one-thousand scenarios in which he might seize more power, but I insist that it’s still only as good as the will of the people he appoints to carry it out, in the face of all of those who dare to say “no.”

America isn’t defined by Washington DC.  It is only the United States of America that is shaped and molded there.  One-million Obamas with one-billion executive orders backed-up by nine-thousand robe-clad morons cannot make a nation of three hundred million people do anything, not even a fraction of them, if they choose not to do it.  In America, the people know this, and while they may lament the existence of such brigands in public office, they likewise remember that the founders of America had declared that a government exists at the pleasure of all its people.  Does a government headed by Barack Obama exist at your pleasure?  Do you think only Mitt Romney can save us, or do you understand that in America, the least among us is still completely capable of saying “no,” and meaning it?

People have asked me in times passed how such an America could function, and I tell you that there are more ways than one to eat that dog.  Let your own conscience be your guide, but I have resolved that I will become an avid practitioner of “Not Guilty,” when the only victim alleged is some public policy.  “John Q Public stands charged with failing to pay his Obama-care mandate noncompliance penalty/tax. What say you, the jury?”

“Not guilty.”

Jury nullification is not a new idea, but most of the time, we get tricked into a.)admitting that’s what we’re doing, thus putting ourselves in legal jeopardy, or b.)fooled into believing it’s not permissible, somehow dishonest, or lawless.  Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a country where Supreme Court Chief justices are lawless as a matter of the routine.  In America, we know that law has only the force we give it, and if the law is wrong, it mustn’t be enforced.  Let us not give such laws any force, any longer. Am I calling you to anarchy? Never. I am asking you to consider correcting an anarchy already in progress, wherein the law is no restraint upon an aggressive government, irrespective of the party in power.

I vote “no” on every bond issue, every tax, and any expansion of government power, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time, because experience has taught me that it will not remain that way.  Only in America do citizens routinely tell public officials to kiss off.  We should all do so more frequently when justified, and these days, it’s justified plenty.    In America, the people know that government isn’t their boss, but that the master-servant relationship puts the people a the top, and the people there have no compunction whatever about reminding the public servants of just exactly who is whom on that particular totem pole.

We can look for America in all sorts of places.  The first place I always think to look for it is in the minds, the words, and particularly, in the deeds of the people around me.  I know how to spot America every time.  If you’re the sort of person inclined to read this blog, chances are, so do you, but the first place each should seek it is right there, inside you.  I know it’s in there.  You might keep it hidden in an office or a school full of leftists.  It’s yearning to get out, you know.  I realize that the polite society of Republican politics urges you to suppress it, and keep it hidden at all times, and that among Democrats, it’s tucked firmly away lest it escape embarrassingly from the closet. I’ve heard that in Congress, they do their best to isolate it like a leper colony.

America is not a Utopia, and does not seek that status, since in America, they yield to the natural fact that there can be no perfection among men.  America’s constitution was established to create a “more perfect union,” but it did not promise Heaven on Earth, the authors having known such was impossible.  Those men did not say they were seeking a “more perfect lifestyle,” a “more perfect country,” a “less costly health-care system,” or a “more perfect distribution of wealth,”  but instead a “more perfect union” not among individual men, but among the several states.  In short, they knew they could not make more perfect all the affairs of men, but only that among the institutions of man, they could improve the function, and for a time, they succeeded until some forgot what it was all intended to do.

I seek America because I know it’s “out there,” but it’s “in here,” too. I know there are others seeking her too, and I believe I’ve met some decent number of them through this blog.  I would urge my friends to spend the Fourth of July seeking America wherever they can find it, but not to waste an inordinate amount of time looking for it in a country called the United States.  America has to sneak in an out of there for visits these days, and there’s no sense looking for something where it plainly is not. My friends, I wish you all a happy Independence Day in search of it, and may you find it quickly.  I hear she’s worth the trouble.

 

Seeing Red: You’re Damned Right – I’m Mad

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Afraid to Know?

I’ve received a few emails asking me if I’m so angry as it seems on the surface.  I’ve politely responded that I’m actually much angrier than the printed word permits me to express.  I’ve made mention of something else on that score, and in so doing, you’d think I’d crossed the Rubicon.  Maybe I should.  I’ve admitted openly that I am not only angry at the Congress, the President and the Court over this Obama-care monstrosity, but that I’m likewise furious at my fellow Americans who aren’t equally furious!  I’ve been asked what I expect the anger to get for me, and the truth is that I don’t know.  I’ve never been quite this angry before, and I’ve never muttered so many oaths under my breath, and within the confines of my own head as I have these last few days.  I’ve asked this question in other forms before, but few have seemed willing to take it up.  One of the reasons the statists continue to do things like this to us is because we’re peaceful, law-abiding people on the whole, but just as in the case of the contraception mandate in Obama-care, I am beginning to conclude that perhaps we are the problem.  They seem to poke at us like a moron prodding a grizzly with a stick, safely from beyond the bars of a cage at the zoo.  We never seem to grab the stick, pull them close, and rip their faces from their thick skulls, and it is this that makes them all the more smug each time they poke at us:  We hold the key to the cage.

I’ve been asked too how it is that we can express this anger.  I suppose we could resort to pitchforks and torches, but I expect that’s precisely what the statists want.  In the mean time, we’ll wait peaceably for them to ban pitchforks and torches.  They’ve already made incandescent light-bulbs illegal.  How long can it be before torches are banned both as a matter of public safety and as a matter of environmental concern?  Pitchforks may require a better excuse, but I’m sure they’ll do something like limiting their length.  No, the way to express our anger comes down to something simpler, but even this, I’m afraid most people are too timid to attempt:  We can simply say “no,” and mean it.  Ayn Rand put forward the solution in Atlas Shrugged, but since few can be bothered to read a book of that epic length any longer, I suppose I had better give a brief summary: Those who work, and earn and build are convinced to simply stop, leaving nothing to the statists from which to subsist.  All the little moochers, and all the crony capitalists find they cannot survive without those who produce, and they quickly move to a post-Apocalyptic society where anarchy reigns for a time, until the looters ultimately reduce themselves to insignificance.

The basic idea is this:  All of this is done by our consent.  The ghastly welfare-state, the crony-capitalism, the corruption, all of it, every piece, because in part, some of us are corrupted by it, and in part because we are too fearful to simply say “no” and thereby undergo the temporary misery of a rapidly collapsing society.   Only our productive endeavors keep this monster alive.  Each time we go to work, invest our money, or shove some of it into a savings account, we’re feeding the beast.  We’re keeping it alive.  It is by behaving as a parasite on our life-blood, our productive enterprises, our labor, and our jobs that this is all kept going.  Without our daily/weekly/monthly/annual ‘contributions’ to their system, their system would quickly starve and die.  The idea of leaving this all behind has come to be termed “going Galt,” a hat-tip to the book’s hero, John Galt.   In Rand’s novel, he was the first to abandon the society to its own devices, determined that he would no longer to provide it any form of support, material, or otherwise.  He then set about the task of convincing others to join him.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am on the cusp of “going Galt.” Being as this site is named “Mark America,” perhaps the act would come to  be known as “going America,” and that would be fitting, indeed.  Our country has fallen into the depths of a sickness from which the only recovery will be when we decide to impose it.  We have the power to treat this disease.  We have the ability to starve it of nourishment.  Do we have the courage?  Somehow, while I would love to credit Americans with the courage of the ages, still, I get the nagging impression that too many among us would be comfortable as slaves so long as the bellies are full, the roofs don’t leak, and the rivers don’t rise.  It’s a depressing state of affairs.

Are there any willing to starve the beast, even at the cost of their own temporary, although probably somewhat protracted discomfort?  None can say.  None dare say.  Meanwhile, let’s be angry.  Without corresponding action, it doesn’t fix much, but it sure feels good.

 

Barack Obama: Replacing the Church With State

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Obama Won't Accept Competition

I have long held the position that statists wish to supplant the church and its influence in the lives of people with its own authority, and to do so, the institutional left seeks to displace religion from the lives of Americans because this will enable them to pour government into the vacuum.  The latest controversy over the Obamacare mandates on religious institutions to provide contraception coverage in their health care insurance policies was thought to be just another ill-considered political decision from which the Obama administration would ultimately retreat.  That retreat has been only rhetorical as Obama’s dictatorial policy remains in place.  This isn’t political ineptitude, but statists’ calculations:  The Obama administration knows that this attack on the Catholic church and Christianity generally will result in the wholesale elimination of religiously-oriented institutions.  That’s what they’re after, and that’s what they’ll get, as the seek to push people even further from religion in order to make more room for the growth of an aggressive and overpowering state.

Hot Air posted an article on this, and I think it should give us pause, because it speaks to the motivations of those who are forcing these policies upon religious institutions, and what their real goal might be.  They aren’t worried that the Catholic charities, hospitals, and schools(including universities) will perhaps cease to operate, due to matters of conscience because they fully expect them to do so.  Francis Cardinal George of the archdiocese of Chicago sent a message to parishioners and its contents demonstrate the point:

“Two Lents from now,” Cardinal George warned, “unless something changes, the page [listing Catholic organizations] will be blank.”

The Cardinal didn’t stop there.  He went on to describe the choices with which the church will be confronted:

  1. Secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life.
  2. Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable.
  3. Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government.
  4. Close down.

This is telling, and you can already see the hand-writing on the wall.  The Catholic church will not be able to take steps 1 or 2, so they will instead be compelled to follow steps 3 or 4.  What will that accomplish?  Simply put, it will demolish their employees, their institutions, and will further serve to separate Catholics from their church.  This is not accidental, but instead a long-sought goal of the institutional left that has been seeking to drive all religion out of our society.  This move will force a retreat of the church into the physical buildings that bear the same description.

The truth is that the church, any church, is not a matter of buildings.  It is as large and widespread as its adherents, and this is the secret to what the Obama administration and his thugs of the left are really after:  They will confine the church to church grounds, but force the church out of the public sphere altogether.  Whether you’re a Catholic, or a member of any other faith, you’ve just been served notice that your church is no longer welcome in the public square except on conditions to be established, enforced, and dictated by government.

Of course, Cardinal George is well aware of this fact, and it’s with sadness I report to you his conclusion from his letter to his parishioners, and if you are a person of faith, you had better pay attention, because whether you are a Catholic or not, he’s speaking to you.  All of you:

“The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

“The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.”(emphasis added)

When you consider what the Cardinal is saying, its importance must not be ignored.  He’s issuing you a warning, but he’s also telling you the resolution.  The government is doing this.  Who runs the government?  You do.  You have it in your power to stop this.  You can stop this in November.  You can stop this by refusing.  You can.  You can stop this with a vote.  If you’re not Catholic, you’re not exempt from any of this, or the effect it will have on your church, mosque, synagogue or temple.  There are no exemptions, because if the Obama administration can successfully drive the Catholic church out, by the far the single largest religious institution in the country, with as many as one in six hospital beds in the country under its umbrella, what will your relatively less influential institution of faith do in response?  How will you hold back the government?

Here in the Bible belt of Texas, there are relatively fewer Catholics, but there is a vast diversity of small churches with tiny congregations that are all under threat by this move against religion.  As people of faith, you had better understand that this isn’t a war on the Catholic church isn’t due to an anti-Catholic bias, but instead a war on all religion as an obstacle to the supremacy of the state.  The institutional left isn’t out to slap the Catholic church in a political move for the sake of some radical, loud-mouthed supporters as has been supposed.  They are taking steps to chase churches out of the public square, the private sphere, and eventually out of existence.   This is the purpose, and if you blind yourself with the faulty notion that this is about Catholics, or about contraception, you’re setting yourself up for slavery, because whereas churches must solicit donations from you to support their various social causes, the government will instead only demand payment at gunpoint.  There will be no choice, and there will be no conscience but that which they dictate it to be.

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The Influence of Cultural Conservatives in 2012

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Bully Puplit?

One of the more annoying themes to begin in earnest during the rise of Rick Santorum has been the idea that cultural or religious conservatives should shut up and go hide in the big tent’s closet.  For those of who think of themselves as moderates, and may look with disdain on cultural conservatives, I have a message from the back, and moderates just might want to pay attention:  The Republicans did not win in 2008 without cultural conservatives, and if you want to know who stayed home, making it more critical than ever that McCain capture more moderates and independents, let me give you just a hint:   It was the cultural conservatives who moderates don’t like, but without them, Republicans cannot win the Presidency.  More than just pat them on their heads, and placating them before banishing them to the periphery of the so-called “big tent,” moderates had better learn to speak to their issues, and show that they mean it. These cultural conservatives won’t always know the nuances of every piece of regulation ever written, but they know who’s who when it comes to their issues, so before dismissing them, moderates might wish to think again, because cultural conservatives are losing patience.

It’s not that they’re what moderates tell themselves are a bunch of back-woods Bible-thumpers, but then again, the centrist wing of the party doesn’t understand them mostly because they refuse to engage them.  Some moderates may be suffering from a problem of narrow-mindedness that is almost as severe as some liberals.  You see, cultural conservatives are people who believe that one’s actions, and one’s life should be consistent with one’s beliefs.  This does not mean they’re holier-than-thou, but it does mean that by conscious choice, they try very hard to be devout.  They are not infallible, and they know none are, but at the same time, they recognize that one cannot lead a virtuous life without choosing to follow through on their ideas about what is virtue.  In short, they work very hard at living their lives in a manner consistent with their firmly-held beliefs.

I’d like to put this in context for some moderates who don’t quite see it this way, and who don’t understand how anybody can get so anxious over cultural issues like abortion.  The best way to do this is to create an analog that permits one to see it as through their eyes, and to do this will necessarily require that we propose something as shockingly depraved to moderates as the issue of legalized abortion is to cultural conservatives.  Let us imagine that a movement arose to repeal the prohibition on slavery, now enshrined in the Thirteenth Amendment.  You wouldn’t stand by for that, and you’d rightly raise Hell over it.

For many cultural conservatives, each day that abortion is permitted under law is a day of life in Hell on Earth, writ large by the silence in which it takes place.  When they see a woman walking toward that clinic, they see a crime against humanity every bit as severe and morally depraved.  Understand that I’m not trying to change your mind about the issue, but instead, I’m merely suggesting that you consider the impact. How would you feel as you watched your country return to slavery?  To people of faith, who believe each human life has unique, inherent value, what legal abortion permits is every bit as obnoxious to liberty and justice, and the rights of people.

It has been stated that strong cultural conservatives cannot win the election, but let me state to the knowing of the world:  This is a dastardly lie.  Ronald Reagan was unabashedly pro-life.  Both George the elder and the younger claimed to be pro-life.  It is fair to say that without this position, there is a fair chance that the younger would have lost in Florida, and thus the election of 2000.  Moderates can pretend to themselves that the cause for a significant vote against Republicans originate with cultural issues, but none of the available evidence really supports that.  Yes, there are a few at the margins of the moderate middle who can be swayed a little either way, but in most elections, this is not the driving issue, and you must understand that for any competent candidate, this will not be the most important set of issues in 2012.

Cultural conservatives don’t expect moderates to lead with cultural issues as their standard, but they do expect that when a Republican president arrives in office, at each opportunity to replace a federal judge, it will be one who views such matters in the context of a strict constructionist.   As I see it, it’s not too much to ask, and if you happen to be a particular fan of that ludicrous ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade, you have other issues, because even if you believe abortion should be legal, Roe v. Wade was the most convoluted, concocted and moronic ruling to issue forth from the court in the 20th century, with only the Kelo decision challenging its blatant idiocy in the 21st.

Moderates who favor abortion have another choice, but they’re playing a game.  The game is that they support it, but are unwilling to go through the constitutional amendment process.  Why?  For the same reason people fear to ever run the New Deal and Great Society programs through a similar constitutional process:  They wouldn’t pass.  The feminists know it, based on the Equal Rights Amendment, that was eventually doomed by its failure to pass muster before its expiration.

My intention here was not to get into the weeds on any particular issue, and I have discussed abortion particularly since that is the cultural issue most reference.  What it is my intention to point out is that moderates who are so consistently uncomfortable with cultural conservatives had better get over it, because the conservatives have been putting up with the moderates patiently in election after election, for the most part, but if the moderates hope to overcome the voters who now begin to outnumber them as beneficiaries of the welfare state, they had better grasp that now more than ever, they need a working coalition with cultural conservatives, and the same old pat on the head may well not be enough any longer.

Knowing the Difference Between “Can” and “Should”

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

“What can one do?”  Clearly, that list is far more extensive than the more important one: “What should one do?” I can this moment walk into my kitchen, find a fork, and jam it into my forehead.  I can do all sorts or self-destructive things, but the question isn’t a matter of what I can do, but instead what I should do.  Knowing this difference is something we hope to teach to our children with enough clarity and just enough severity that they understand the distinction.  It is a lesson far too many seem to forgo on their passage from childhood into adulthood.  More often than not, those who do so become annoyed when you point it out.  They say in childishly obstinate petulance that “it’s my life(or my body) and I can do what I want.”  My question for those who hold this view of life is ever:  If nobody doubts that you can do a thing, why do you hold no doubts about whether you should do it?  This question is at the root of a deep cultural divide, and it thoroughly explains the collapse of our country.

Governments can do almost anything at all, particularly with the popular support of their people.  Does this mean a government should do anything at all?  It is not inconceivable that one could form a majority coalition that would demand that we eat the rich.  Literally.  We can do that, but the question remains: Should we?  We could create any number of similar political majorities that would propose equally obnoxious ideas, and seek to implement them in law.  Should we?  Great disasters in human death tolls made by other men have been carried out on the basis of the idea that since a thing can be accomplished, that it necessarily should be done, but the truth is that ‘should’ doesn’t necessarily follow ‘can.’

Our constitution laid out fairly well-defined parameters for what government can do, but more importantly, our framers laid out well-debated conclusions about what our government should do.  Their example was seen in the first few administrations, during which time government did do very little.  Over time, this tendency to forget “should” and begin implementing “can” eventually gave us a government that is doing almost all it conceivably can, but does very poorly at the few things it should.  Defense? Obama is slashing that, including our critical nuclear deterrence capacity.  Law enforcement?  That’s not something on which he spends a great deal of effort, although regulatory enforcement is now off the hook, with federal inspectors actually looking through pre-schoolers’ lunch bags.

The litany of things government can do is exhausting, and in fact, virtually infinite.  Governments can compel people to buy health insurance, or pay for their neighbors’ lunches, or almost anything you can imagine.  The things governments will do is supposed to be restrained, however, by the notions of what it should do, because in deciding what it should do, you’re also defining what it should not.  That was the point of the founders, and the limited government they designed told us what government should do, and in so framing it, they also made clear what government shouldn’t do.  Yes, they took the time to include a few things that government mustn’t do, but under the auspices of expanding what it can do, they’re now ignoring these limits too.  The proposition that government can require insurers to provide free contraceptive solutions comes at the expense of a thing government mustn’t do, which is to interfere in the matters of exercise of religion.

This is what you ultimately find when you consider only the question of what government can do, because it no longer pays respects to the limitations formerly provided by the things it should not do, or must not do.  “Should” is a matter of some debate, but it is one leftists seek to avoid. If you want simple proof of concept, I ask you only to think back to 2008, when Barack Obama was seeking the office of President, promising hope and change.  He spoke at length about the things that he would do as President, and in rallying his mind-numbed disciples, he exhorted them with cries of “Yes, we can!”

What Senator Obama did not say was: “Yes, we should.”