Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Trump Hammers Cruz as “Maniac” But Looks The Part Himself

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Angry or Manic?

Angry or Manic?

Donald Trump had one heck of a weekend. First, he questioned Ted Cruz’s “evangelical” credentials, and went to great lengths to attack him on ethanol subsidies, pandering to Iowa voters.  As if this wasn’t enough, he actually asserted that Cruz was a maniac in the Senate, firmly ceding his own “outsider” credentials. Is this attack by Trump going to succeed, or is it, as Mark Levin said on the air Monday evening, a foolish move?  FoxNews is eating it up, because they hate both men.  To them, Trump is a maniac, but so is Ted Cruz.  They are considered “maniacs” by the FoxNews establishment crowd for different specific reasons, and I think it’s instructive to understand why this difference matters.  He even went on to join in a leftist attack on Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the few justices fighting to uphold the constitution.

When Trump goes to great lengths to say “Cuba isn’t known for its evangelicals,” he’s taking a rather bigoted view of Cuba. Many Cuban exiles resumed their faith in full fervor after successfully leaving Cuba, and in fact, it was their faith, at least in part, that caused them to flee.  More, Trump has never been a friend to evangelicals, so what’s with the petty attack on Cruz on this basis?  Score one for Trump’s religious and ethnic bigotry.  Not only did he make [faulty] assumptions about Cubans and evangelicals, but he also made an assumption that this would play to Iowans.

Trump went on to point out to Iowans that Cruz opposed the ethanol subsidy.  I have news for you: Virtually everybody outside the corn-growing states oppose the ethanol subsidies, because frankly, it’s driving up the cost of food and fuel, as well as making a wreck of gasoline-burning power equipment, from automobiles to lawn-mowers to outboard motors. Even many within corn-growing states oppose the subsidies, because they have to pour this diluted gasoline in their cars and shop at grocery stores where every item that has corn as an input, from corn chips to corn-fed beef is inflating in price due to the use of corn in the production of ethanol.  This was a purely cynical attack intended to take advantage of Iowans by pandering to something peculiarly interesting to them.

What’s most disconcerting about Trump’s little rampage this past weekend is that the attacks he launched on Cruz were launched squarely from a leftward point of view.  I even observed Brit Hume, a notorious establishment shill, going on to attack Cruz on this basis, intimating that Iowans have a short time to discover the reason so many in the Senate don’t like Ted Cruz.  I don’t need Brit Hume to tell me, because I already know. It’s the same reason I supported Cruz in his Senate run against Texas RINO David Dewhurst, and also why people like Senators Lindsey Graham(R-NC) and John McCain(R-AZ) can’t stand Cruz: He’s willing to fight. They’re not.

The odd thing is that this may well backfire on Donald Trump, because up until now, he’s been running as an “outsider.” This series of attacks plays directly into the hands of the GOP establishment. Cruz has been no friend to the GOP establishment, and Iowans know it.  I’m not sure that Trump hasn’t sabotaged himself here, because his attacks on Cruz sound suspiciously similar to the attacks launch against Cruz by the DC insiders.  In so doing, Trump is eating into one of his few distinct virtues: He’s been the quintessential outsider,  at least until now, but with the latest series of attacks on Cruz from the left, he may be unintentionally ceding that ground to Cruz.  If so, Trump may come to lament this last weekend.  His attack on Antonin Scalia is perhaps the worst outlier of the weekend, because while one might rationalize his attacks on Cruz as just part of the political fight, but the attack on Scalia by going along with Jake Tapper was pure folly.  Scalia has been a leading light for constitutional conservatives for years, and this scurrilous attack on him by Trump is perhaps a bridge too far.  This speaks more to Trump’s own maniacal nature than to anything one might say about either Antonin Scalia or Ted Cruz.

As a purely political matter, Cruz ought to avoid being drawn into a knock-down, drag-out with Trump, because that’s where Trump excels.  Cruz is best in well-reasoned, well-controlled discourses when the tempo of the exchange supports close examination.  If Trump has any inkling of the misstep he may have taken over the weekend, he’ll reverse course on some of this as quick as he can.  Discerning conservatives and independents will notice that Trump really yielded some of his claim to being an outsider this weekend, and this may well cost Trump mightily.  If one considers that among the ‘outsiders,’ (Trump, Cruz, Carson, Fiorina) constitute nearly seventy percent of the support from Republican primary voters, Trump ought to think and think hard about yielding his position as outsider so easily.   The notion that Cruz is looked upon in a negative light by most of his Senate colleagues is not a bad thing, particularly in the vast expanse of the electorate between the coasts.  From the point of view of most Americans, most of the Senate is comprised of detestable Washington DC insiders who hold the American people in contempt.

The Republican candidates are scheduled to debate Tuesday night in Las Vegas.  It will be interesting to see whether Trump squanders his lead by continuing this line of attack, or whether he thinks better of it and resorts to more rational arguments that might appeal to conservatives.  To date, his one peculiar virtue had been his take-no-prisoners style of assault on the GOP establishment, but if he isn’t careful, he may well blow it.  The GOP establishment is only too happy to see Trump going after Cruz, and this could well be his undoing with the Republican base.

 

 

 

Why I Like Donald Trump

Saturday, December 12th, 2015
Hamming it up

Hamming it up

I like the mockery Donald Trump has been making of a goodly portion of the establishment of the Republican Party.  They deserve it.  I love the fact that he’s driving the media berserk.  After ten minutes of watching almost any news network on TV, one is left with the impression that Donald Trump is somewhere between evil genius and outright loon.  Trump is a shrewd media manipulator, but I still don’t know anything concrete about what he believes.  I can’t identify a consistent ideology much beyond “what will get me the most press right now.”  Still, despite all his philosophical and ideological shortcomings, one can’t help but love to watch the way he drives the Washington DC, insider cartel absolutely crazy. Despite the gnashing of teeth from within the Beltway, the American people are eating it up, with each episode gaining him ground.  I understand it.  America is looking for a leader like George C. Scott’s portrayal of General George S. Patton: No nonsense, a bit of bravado, and an unambiguous statement of the goal, without worrying about who may be offended.  How many times have conservatives lamented the lack of bluntness?  Still, this cannot be the sole criteria by which we choose our president, any more than a sunny disposition can be the sole criteria for choosing one’s doctor.  We need much more.

Trump’s entire campaign seems to hang on the catch-phrase “making America great again.” That’s all well and good, and I very much enjoy that process, like most conservatives, but I’m not sure I understand what Donald Trump thinks made America great in the first place.  Listening to him, there’s no evidence that he’s for any reduction in the size and cost of government, yet I believe part of what made America great was economic freedom, and it has been only in the progressive, statist era that America’s true greatness reached its apogee and began again to wane.   I’m not sure Mr. Trump sees it quite that way.  The problem is that by reducing everything to a slogan about “making America great again,” I’ve not heard too many specific details, and the few I’ve heard thus far are less than inspiring.  For instance, Mr. Trump is for a single-payer healthcare system!  If there is anything that has helped America to begin losing its standing and financial stability in the world, it is the increasing socialization of our medical care and insurance schemes since the late 1960s.  More the dependency-creating welfare-state of which a single-payer system would be an integral part is part of what is destroying America’s greatness, so I don’t understand Trump’s logical [in]consistency.

In point of fact, Trump is not conservative, but then most Republicans claiming that label don’t really deserve to wear it.  Jeb Bush said famously “I used to be a conservative,” but Rubio, Christie, Kasich and a lengthy list of the others are not conservatives either.  In fact, I think the closest things to genuine conservatives we have in this race for the nomination are senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  Huckaby and Santorum might make legitimate claims to a fair piece of social conservatism, but in terms of economics and finance, I don’t believe either of them is overwhelmingly conservative by accounting of their actual political records.  Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant, amiable man, who I like very much, but who also probably isn’t ready to be President of the United States.  The point is that we can’t throw out Trump for his lack of conservatism unless we’re also willing to discard Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Huckaby, Santorum, Lindsey Graham(who I would not support for dog catcher in Tumbleweed, Arizona,)  or Carly Fiorina, none of whom are particularly conservative, or worse, are simply establishment hacks. For my part, I’m willing to discard them, and indeed, I’m will also to discard Trump because what I’ve discovered is that Mr. Trump simply hasn’t formulated what I would consider to be a self-consistent plan that exhibits any detailed understanding of how to “make America great again.”  Of course, that doesn’t make him any worse than the laundry-list of folks noted above, but it should give pause to those who are rushing off to support him.

I like Trump’s energy.  I wish it were more focused.  I like his general notion about “making America great again,” because I believe it’s something that could be accomplished, but I haven’t seen any evidence that he has a plan to accomplish it in any plausible manner.  I like that he comes up with short-run, topical slogans, because that’s always easy for voters to digest and understand, but I detest the fact that he seems to stop at the slogan-formulation stage, and never brings any substantive plans along by which these slogans are to be realized.  In short, he’s a lot of huff and puff, but no stuff.  There’s no there there.

On the other hand, Trump has staked out a number of positions I consider to be abominable.  The single-payer healthcare business he supported through the 90s is among them, but I’ve also noted with chagrin that Trump supports the Supreme Court decision in Kelo, in which eminent domain was used to condemn homes and property for use in commercial developments.  His general disrespect for private property rights and his use of government to take what he wants ought to serve as a cautionary note to anyone who considers supporting him for President. Remember this:

These are just two highlights among a lengthy list of deficiencies.  Still, it is entertaining to watch the Republican establishment and its slate of candidates from Jeb to Marco lose their minds over Trump.  Trump may entertain me, and I truly enjoy watching the likes of Jeb Bush lose his cool, and to watch the entire Democrat Party membership go crazy, calling him “Hitler” and so on.  Perhaps they should call him “FDR” instead. Franklin Roosevelt interred Japanese for the duration of the war, most of them US citizens!  Watching the media, especially FoxNews, obsessing over Trump makes me laugh.  Megyn Kelly’s semi-pseudo-exasperation over the media’s obsession(and eye-rolling, on-air confessions of the same at her own network) tickle me pink.  Her assault on Trump:

Megyn asks Donald about his Republican credentials:

The GOP establishment’s media harpy is hilarious when she loses her mind over Trump.  Trump apparently agrees:

Of course, FoxNews acts as a megaphone for the establishment wing of the GOP:

My point, lost in the haze of Donald Trump’s bombast, is that while he is highly entertaining to watch, and while I heartily enjoy seeing the DC beltway cartel lose their minds over his politically-incorrect remarks and comments, I don’t believe he has the philosophical consistency for which I’m looking in a President, and I also don’t believe his overall record on areas of significance are in any way in accord with conservative thought. His views on eminent domain are in accord with the Supreme Court, but in the current context, that means they’re anathema to traditional Americans principles and values.

Still, a conservative must take a certain amount of pleasure in the GOP establishment having been driven to plotting over measures to stave off a Trump nomination by setting aside any Trump electoral success through the use of a brokered convention.  That anybody drives the party “blue-bloods” to this level of terror is absolutely a fascinating occasion I wholly endorse…but I still can’t vote for him.

JEB Suggests Trump-Clinton Conspiracy; Did Trump Give Clinton a Medal?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Aid and Comfort, JEB?

Aid and Comfort, JEB?

On Wednesday, NewsMax reported that JEB Bush tweeted about an alleged conspiracy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While I’m certainly no Trump fan, and I wouldn’t doubt any conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton, I have a question for Mr. Bush: If past entanglements and relationships between Clinton and Trump are the basis for this argument, ought I not consider JEB’s own entanglements and relationship with Clinton as the basis for a possible Bush-Clinton conspiracy?  Readers might wonder what I’m talking about.  I could point to the great and fast friends George HW Bush appeared to become with the Clintons after his defeat in 1992, but no, I needn’t reach that far back in time, or even go to Bush relatives.  Instead, we need only ask the following: While serving as the Chairman of the Board of the dubiously named “National Constitution Center,” JEB stood forth on a public stage to hand out the Center’s Liberty Medal.  It just so happens that on the 10th of September, 2013, almost exactly one year after the Benghazi terror attack that killed our Ambassador, the woman who asked “…what difference does it make?” in congressional testimony on the matter stood forth on the stage with none other than JEB to receive the Center’s Liberty Medal.  Hillary received the Liberty Medal from JEB!

Per Mr. Bush:

“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,”

and:

“These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”

Now it’s all well and good if Mr. Bush wants to assert, along with his lapdogs in the media(Bill Kristol et al) that there is a deep, dark conspiracy between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and considering the characters involved, I would not doubt it, but I wonder whether JEB understands just how foolish the facts make him look. After all, Donald Trump never stood on a stage on behalf of an organization named “The National Constitution Center,” handing out a medal to Mrs. Clinton.  Frankly, at the time, I thought it an unforgivable, disqualifying misadventure on JEB’s part, but in light of his suggestion of a Hillary-Trump cabal, it now seems all the more ludicrous.  Conspiring with the enemy, JEB? That’s what he’s implying Trump is doing. How about giving aid and comfort, JEB? Isn’t that to which hanging a medal on Mrs. Clinton amounts? (The so-called “Liberty Medal,” of all things!!!)

While I trust Donald and Hillary roughly as far as I can throw their combined weight, I don’t trust JEB either.

Note to Obama, Media: Americans Are NOT Afraid of ISIS

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Defiantly Indifferent

President Obama gave an address from the Oval Office on Sunday night in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack. In the course of his speech, an address riddled with a wholly self-serving defense of his abysmal record on national security, and also during the media coverage thereafter, it became plain that neither the President nor the Washington beltway media “get it.” The American people aren’t cowering in fear of ISIS.  They’re not lashing out in hatred of American Muslims.  They’re not afraid of al-Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL, or any other terror group or “radicalized” elements living and operating in the United States. Instead, what the American people are is angry.  The American people are enraged.  They’re good and damned well pissed-off, and not just with the terrorists, but particularly with our political leadership and the DC beltway media.  President Obama didn’t improve things for himself on Sunday evening, indeed one could argue he worsened things.  The American people don’t trust the DC cartel to defend our nation, and it’s downright galling to average Americans.

Obama didn’t waste any time in listing a litany of actions he’s taken to fight terrorism.  What he did not do was to acknowledge the failures of his administration.  Instead, he started talking about new restrictions on gun ownership.  A ban on purchasing firearms among those who are on the terror watch-list or no-fly list will not stop such things.  The people who carried out the San Bernardino attack were not on the no-fly list.  He went on to say we need to limit the sales of so-called “assault weapons.” The fact is that no ban on such weapons would be of any value.  In France, such weapons are illegal.  In California, the laws are more restrictive than anywhere in the US. Bans don’t stop criminal from getting guns. They merely stop innocents from self-defense.

In talking about the threat we’re facing, the President couldn’t manage to link clearly, and in the same sentence, the notion of radical, militant Islamic terrorism.  He threw “radicalization” into one sentence, and “Islam” into another.  Nobody takes this seriously.  When the President can’t square-up to an enemy and name him without equivocation, there’s no way the American people will respect the President.  His tiresome, tortured excuse-making for Islamists and apologetics for Islam are no longer tolerated by the American people.

In the coverage after the speech, Senator Rubio, a lagging candidate for the GOP nomination, talked about how Americans are afraid to travel, and afraid to fly.  I’m sure there are a few hands-full of such people, but everybody I know is simply infuriated.  They don’t believe the government, either party, or the media generally. Why should they?  More, Rubio went on to insist that we needed to collect more data, but as Rand Paul pointed out, the French gather more information than the US ever has, but it did not stop the attacks in Paris.

The simple fact is that as I’ve recounted to you before, President Obama Is NOT incompetent.  He’s malevolent.  He isn’t interested in what’s good for the country or its people.  In point of fact, he’s remained steadfastly committed to punishing the American people since his first inaugural.  Obama can’t wait to tell us about how we should not push Muslims away with distrust and suspicion, but this is the same President who did everything in his power to alienate people who attended Tea Party rallies.  In the instance of Tea Party folks, or conservatives generally, he couldn’t wait to alienate, and his friends in the media couldn’t wait to paint the the Colorado theater shooter as a Tea Party guy, which of course was debunked within an hour or so of the claim first being made in the media.  No, this President has too many sympathies with the Jihadis, and more in common with them than with the bulk of his countrymen.  Barack Obama is despicable, and this address simply confirms that view of him.  Rather than supporting and defending the citizens of the United States, defending their liberties while simultaneously defending the country, Obama is more interested in protecting the feelings of Muslims while simultaneously preying upon the First and Second amendment liberties of citizens.  He’s not interested in defeating ISIS or al-Qaeda, but in defeating conservatives by any means necessary.

Punishing the Victim: Obama to Create Nationwide “Gun Free Zone”

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet_sm

 

 

This morning, in promoting the day’s broadcasting schedule, CBS News tweeted out the following:

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet

 

 

 

If you had any doubts about the diabolical nature of Barack Obama’s ideology, it should now be clear.  Here we have the man entrusted with safeguarding the nation, and upon the circumstance of a terrorist attack within our own borders, an attack possible only due to the faulty vetting of his immigration enforcement policies that have created a virtual open border, Obama does not seek to close the door, or go after the terrorists, those who inspired, funded, and/or trained them, or any logical course of action at all.  Instead, Barack Obama seems poised to turn the entire country into a “Gun Free Zone” wherein only the bad guys have guns.

We know conclusively that gun violence is down almost everywhere in America, except for one class of location: Gun Free Zones.  Therefore, President Obama is going to do the most destructive thing possible in response: He’s going to broaden Gun Free Zones to encompass the entire nation.  That way, we’re ALL TARGETS, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.  (Unless we’re surrounded by men and women with guns because we’re under Secret Service protection.)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the White House is not a “Gun Free Zone.” President Obama doesn’t live in a “Gun Free Zone.” In fact, wherever he goes, he’s in a bubble of protection that is filled with guns aimed at protecting him.  Oh, sure, he’s not wielding any himself, but the men and women of the Secret Service who surround him are armed to the teeth. Yes, the President exists in a “Gun-Enhanced Zone.”

Once again, what’s good for Emperor Obama is not good enough for Americans.  It’s good to be king.

I suspect that before this evening’s address is over, as he goes on to announce new Executive Orders clamping down on your right to protect yourself, your family, and your home and property, from the length and breadth of America, minus the statist havens on both shores, we will hear a loud refrain of these most famous words:

*** Caution: Strong Language ***

It’s time to say what needs to be said: Barack Obama, stop blaming and punishing the victims of your intransigent maladministration of our immigration laws, and your senseless policies on defense of the nation.   It’s time for you to understand that you don’t run anything that the American people don’t want you to run.

 

 

The New Communists at FoxNews

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

cargile_fnc_smSaturday afternoon, I took a little bit of time to watch some news. I flipped over to FoxNews, and there I witnessed Mickey Cargile explaining to openly supportive host Eric Shawn and his audience that drug prices are a moral issue, and a quality of life issue, more than economic issue. I couldn’t agree more.  His conclusion, however, was based on the moral system of collectivism. I realize that the anchors and stories on FoxNews on weekends tend to be the “B-Team” or even the “C-Team,” but this is despicable. Watch for yourself:

Apparently, Cargile believes this is a moral issue, but unfortunately, his moral standard is collectivism. He ignores entirely the morality of a civilized country inasmuch as he openly attacks private property rights, private wealth, and the freedom to choose. Reading between the lines, he’s advocating some sort of government-enforced price control at the very least, and perhaps even complete expropriation at the worst. This implies violence. In order to enforce such a thing, what one is saying is that one is ready to kill people in order to take their things if they do not otherwise consent.

The host, for his part, is no better. He smears the owners of the rights to the Hepatitis C treatment under discussion as people who are merely out to profit, first, as if profit is somehow an evil, and second in that they might use that profit to “buy a new Ferrari.” This shameful broadcast merely confirms my contention that FoxNews is all about co-opting conservatism. There’s nothing remotely conservative in this, Cargile’s protests about his continuing devotion to the free market notwithstanding.

For those who don’t understand the principles involved, let us be clear: If you invent a thing, and I purchase the rights to that thing from you, my moral claim to the thing in question is every bit as legitimate as yours when you had invented the thing. More, since it’s now my thing, I have the absolute right to buy it and sell it as I see fit, and the only moral method by which to obtain it is to pay the price at which we arrive by mutual consent. Any government interference in that exchange, either to my benefit or to a purchaser’s, is tyranny.

What Cargile advocates in this clip is tyranny. What the hapless Mr. Shawn approvingly supports is no different from what Hugo Chavez had imposed in that poor, enslaved, collapsing communist state that is Venezuela: Communism. The closer we get to complete collapse, and the more people begin to shrug their shoulders over the concepts and moral standing of individual rights, the more rapidly our collapse will accelerate.

One might argue, as the communists at FoxNews seem to insist, that there is some maximum amount that ought to be charged for some life-saving, or quality-of-life-preserving drug or treatment. My question for you is: Had I Hepatitis C, how much of my earnings would I forego for how long a period to finance a cure? Is there any amount of money I would not pay? One might argue, as the dolts on FoxNews have done here, that such a burden is unaffordable, and use this as a justification to steal. Theft via government action is still theft, even though done under color of law. The fact that the government was placed in office by vote does not reduce the significance of the crime, but merely multiplies the number of criminals and broadens the expanse of the guilt(though its concentration is not diluted.)

With this sort of thing becoming the norm on FoxNews, as further evidence of the spread of collectivist ethics throughout the culture, we cannot and will not last.

It’s Islamic Terrorism, Stupid

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Over the last two days, I’ve watched in utter amazement as our media and government go out of their collective way to avoid talking about the nature of the incident in San Bernadino, CA, on Wednesday.  To listen to most public officials in the Obama administration, including the Jihadi-in-Chief himself, one might draw the conclusion that there is something wrong with mentioning Islam and Terrorism in the same sentence.  In fact, one might just as well never use the word “Terrorism” ever again.  We’ll call it “work-place violence,” or we’ll call it “street violence,” and we’ll pretend it had all been just a random occurrence with no ideological or religious linkage of any kind.  Our culture is breaking down, in part because so few seem interested in identifying plainly, and without apology, the nature(s) of our affliction(s.)  You cannot beat an enemy you will not name.  You cannot vanquish and evil you refuse to admit exists.   One cannot overcome a social ill when one will not name it, never mind naming its cause.  We rational folk must lead the way.  We mustn’t let some contrivance of political correctness impede our statement of the absolute, unvarnished truth.  Our President, most of our political leaders (appointed and elected,)  and average citizens refuse to state the plainly obvious, but I will not: The shooting in San Bernadino was an act of terrorism motivated in part or in whole by adherence to political Islam.

I have heard it at least ten-thousand times: “Islam is a religion of peace.” If that’s all Islam is, we’d have no problem with Islam, but Islam is much, much more.  Islam is also a cultural and political doctrine.  It is a legal doctrine.  It is a system of beliefs that countenances no breach among the facets of adherents’ lives.  Even non-adherents are liable for their conduct according to Islam.  Even those who are ignorant of Islam’s existence are required to give their fealty to it.  Practiced consistently, every Muslim would a Jihadi become.  Islam does not accept or tolerate substitution.  It does not permit free will.  Like pro-abortionists in our political sphere, it loves choice, so long as the choice made is in concert with their beliefs.  In other words, no actual choice is to be permitted.   In fact, this is why I argue that the rabid left in our own political sphere are the “Jihadis” in our midst.  Political Islam is statism, as thoroughly and as fundamentally as any other flavor.  It favors the interests of the state over the rights of the individual, and it relies upon anointed guardians to determine what are those interests. If you wonder how it could be that the left is as fundamentally fanatical as militant political Islam, this is the answer.

In San Bernadino, what we have seen is another expression of the extension of political Islam into American culture.  Just as American culture is fundamentally at odds with secular flavors of statism, so also is it incompatible with religious flavors.  Rand liked to describe these two seemingly opposing brands of statism as the mystics of muscle and spirit.  The left’s dogmatic mysticism is based entirely on the secular humanistic concerns of the body.  The religiously motivated mysticism of militant Islam is concerned only with one’s spirit in the great beyond.  The first seeks to own and dominate all on Earth, while the latter seeks to dominate on Earth for the alleged sake of the hereafter.  Both are frauds, and both are intrinsically evil.  Our American system had been founded to be effectively Laissez Faire both in terms of the body (economics and ethics) and the spirit (religion and ethics) since it was understood by our founders and the framers of our constitution that no collectivized version of either could be countenanced in freedom.

The terrorist attack in San Bernadino was the act of a conspiracy by radicalized adherents of political Islam.  Any other notion is mere foolishness propagated by those who would just as soon see you unarmed in a battle they will deny exists.  The French poet Charles Baudelaire observed that “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Whether this is so, it is certainly true that the radical militants of political Islam would just as soon have you doubt their existence, and the full evil of their intentions.  The same can be said of the rabid-dog left, and it is this that should clue us in to their fundamental similarity.   As the terrorist act in San Bernadino was underway, female shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook. (CNN)   CNN’s site goes on to say that it seems the shooting may have been inspired by ISIS.  This weak wording is exemplary of our cultural collapse.  “Seems?”  “Inspired by?”  This rhetorical disarming merely accentuates the actual disarming, when one discovers that deaths by guns is on the decrease all over the country except in one narrow class of locations: Gun free zones.

If that’s not bad enough, we have a US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, vowing to prosecute those who use “anti-Muslim” speech that “edges toward violence.”(DailyWire)  This sort of absurdity is precisely what’s destroying our nation, and it’s an excellent parallel to so-called “moderate Republicans” (a.k.a. “liberal Republicans”) who will not fight the left. Do you know why Donald Trump is leading?  It’s because he’ll say what many are thinking but are too damned frightened to say.   Of course, Trump is a stalking-horse who will eventually self-destruct conveniently ceding the lead at some future date, or perhaps even after the nomination is his, but either way, his current popularity signifies something important:  America is crowded with the cowed, silent majority who have been collectively beaten into submissive silence by the popular media culture.   None will speak it plainly until it’s staring them in the face, and lopping their head off for their trouble. It’s time to speak up, Loretta Lynch be damned, and we need to name this evil, denounce it, and commence the fight against it.  Until then, you can expect the collapse to continue apace.  Americans are dying because we will not name it, never mind fight it.  Its name is political Islam, and while our leaders fiddle us into the ashes, it’s advancing, it’s gaining ground, and we don’t dare speak its name.

 

 

Liberty’s Last Gasps

Monday, May 25th, 2015

We live in the time of a desperate struggle no politician seems willing to name.  Our nation is sinking back into the swamp from which it emerged, in a world still dominated by primitive, tribalism from which we seem unable or unwilling to escape.    We do not examine our philosophy any longer, and we do not consider the meaning of our abandonment of principles, much less the result of such evasions.  A culture is only as good as its underlying philosophy, but ours is damaged seemingly beyond repair.  America had always suffered from contradictions, but now they are not exceptional “one-offs” but the the norm.  Those of us who have bothered to understand these dire problems have grown weary, and I am among those who no longer wish to repeat the same things, because the intended audience seems unmoved.  We are giving away our liberty, and for all of the missteps of the last two-hundred years, America survived despite them, but this situation will not persist indefinitely.  If the America our founders had envisioned is to be reborn, rejuvenated, and revived, we must do the work.  We must explain it.  We must be its advocates.  We must be willing to have the arguments.  Whether America will survive or perish, it is up to us to make its case, but to do so, we must first understand what had made America.

To understand what had been unique about America, let us consider that feature, the underlying notion, which had been at the heart of its founding, its growth, and its success.  Let us be careful to carve out only that which had made this country substantially different from all the others, lest we fall into the trap of misidentifying its greatest virtues.  Among all the things one might say about America, it’s most fundamental principle had been that “man is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights.”  Whether you took that endowment to be a product of “Nature or Nature’s God,” the simplicity of this idea is that which had set America apart.  For the first time in all of human history, a government was formed that declared that it was not the ultimate arbiter and owner of all men under the sphere of its control.  In all other systems before it, and all the systems arising since, men were chattel of the state in some form or fashion. In short, they were still property of the tribe.   This was true whether you were subject to the “Divine Right of Kings,” or property of the collective as in the Soviet Union.  This has remained true in all the welfare states of Europe, and with a sickening degree of rapidity, has been increasingly adopted here in the United States over the last century.  These are the definitions of statism.  America had been the first system to reject statism.

There are those who will immediately critique the American experiment because it permitted slavery for most of its first one-hundred years.  Despicable though that institution had been, what they hope you will not notice about the former American institution of slavery, now dead more than one-and-one-half centuries, is that which it had not been: Ownership of men by the state.  This distinction, while superficial and meaningless to the objects of slavery, was the only reason the practice could be ended.  Once ended, America was a country without men as chattel.  In fact, it was the only period in all of human history in which such a society ever existed.  It was the period of the greatest unrivaled growth and economic prosperity generated by man.  All the prosperity that has followed was born of this era.  We linger as a modern society now, our vestiges of civilization now only a facade, because of the achievements of that industrial age, the age of capitalism.  It is only recently that the bequeath of that generation is finally running out of steam, because we have destroyed its underpinnings in degrees and steps ever since.  We have permitted the destruction of liberty, and slowly, in bits and pieces, returned mankind to the ownership of the state.  What we face today is only the last act of a play set in motion more than a century ago, by men whose motives were short-run and political.  It was the birth of national “pragmatism.”

The principle that man is an end in and of himself, without reference to another soul, had been the bedrock of America.  That principle has been polluted, deprecated, denounced, and demolished.  Now we see the abysmal spectacle of man the slave to man via the commands of the state.  We have escaped only to permit ourselves to again become captive to the same old treachery.  In what other manner can you explain the idea that a person subject to the laws of the United States must now be held to pay support for every artifact of modern convenience for every other soul?  How else can one explain Obamacare, SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, AFDC, WIC, Section 8 Housing, “Obama-phones,” “Free” Internet, and all the myriad other “benefits” or “entitlements” of our allegedly civilized age?  We have no need to complain of a military-industrial complex, or of foreign aid, for all the evils they may impose, because these represent a pittance of the national expenditure when compared with all the rest.   No, what we have permitted, at first in small pieces and by small enumerations, is the enslavement of all men to all men via the artifices of the state.

We love to speak of our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion and the press, and our right to keep and bear arms, but these too are now taking a beating under the enslavement of all to all.  You have the right to free speech lest you offend somebody.  You have the right of free exercise of religion lest it offend somebody.  You have the right of a free press, but no press anywhere, except perhaps in small ways in the blogosphere is free any longer.  You have the right to bear arms in your own defense, but only in such fashion as it doesn’t offend or frighten anybody, or permit you the ability to actually repel somebody who might attack you.  You have the right to pursue happiness, but no right to hold onto the material implementations of happiness that your own exertions may have afforded to you otherwise.  These liberties were all born of the notion that no man is owned by the state, and yet slowly and seemingly irretrievably, these “rights” have been yielded back to the state.  Still, these are mere symptoms of the greater disease that is rotting away the core and health of the American political environment.  The root of this disease is philosophical, but it will not be cured by political slogans.

Men must not be owned, either directly by other men, or through a surrogate called “the state” or “society.”  So long as we permit this idea to fester and grow, it is a cancer slowly metastasizing to all parts of the body of American culture and politics.  It has destroyed our philosophy.  It has permitted egregious inconsistencies and contradictions in our laws.  It has enabled the would-be slave-masters to re-establish a foothold in a wider fashion than nineteenth century slavery ever could.  What we have permitted to be lost is the philosophical core of our argument, and every retreat or defeat in politics of the last century has been merely a symptom of the surrender of this principle: Man is endowed with unalienable rights, and it is governments’ sole legitimate purpose to defend them.  Instead, we now see that government has become the worst offender, and we wonder why we can make no ground on subsidiary concretes.

If you wish to salvage America, if it is to be done at all, the only answer is to restore in law and in fact the philosophy that holds man as his own rightful property, and his life and his liberties as the material implementation of that fact.  Please do not bother about statist notions of “obligations” or “responsibilities” of free men.  The only actual, logical “obligation” of a free man is to respect those same rights among other men, and his only collectivized “responsibility” is to pay for the upholding of those rights among all men.  This is the sole justification of governments, and it is the sole reason that any form of taxation is logically (and morally) permissible.  This means a court system, to resolve disputes among men; a policing mechanism, to apprehend those who violate the rights of men; a national defense to protect against massive attacks on the rights of men.  Deprived of the ability to use the power of the state as a gun aimed at the heads of other men in the name of their own peculiar interests, with the threat of a watchful state waiting to punish such aggressors, men must deal with one another by volitional means, i.e., “free trade” or “commerce.”

This had been our founders’ vision.  To the degree they failed to “perfect” it, they nevertheless left us the means by which to do so.  Instead, we have tarnished their ideals, and rejected their core philosophy in favor of the “pragmatic” expediencies of the moment.  We have failed to educate our young, and we have failed to remind ourselves why it is that America had been different, and why there was so much to be gained here for all men, everywhere.  It was not the material wealth of America’s resources that permitted her growth, but the idea at the heart of its laws and traditions that each person is an end in themselves, and that no person or collection of persons had the authority to disparage those rights.  Today, rights are being disparaged and deprecated at a mind-numbing pace, and we have none to blame but ourselves.  If we are to resurrect liberty from its dying gasps, we must know and publicly identify the cause of its impending death, and we must not shrink from standing in the breech in liberty’s waning moments.  Stand there, and others will accompany you, bolstered by your courage.  If not, we’ve already lost.

Obamacare Profiteer Seeks Republican Nomination – And You May Give It to Him

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Just a Little Profit?

It should come as no surprise to readers of this site that there are Republicans who sought to use Obama-care as a personal profit center. It’s fair to say that some of them, in and out of office, were only too happy to see the new business opportunity the scandalous program represents, and now at least one of them seems poised to run for President. Jeb Bush, son of former President George HW Bush, and brother to former President George W. Bush, just divested himself of Tenet Healthcare in order to conceal this fact or at least make it “old news.”  I’ve cautioned readers in the past that the reason Obama-care would be difficult to repeal is that too many Republicans are making too much money from it.  Here, a darling son of the DC Republican establishment demonstrates the point: Why on Earth would they repeal a profit center? All that is important to this sort is power, but neither liberty nor any virtue associated with it moves them. What Republicans like Bush should get from us is only our contempt, but given the recent history of Republican primary politics, there’s a fair chance that we’ll instead reward him with our support. If we wonder why it’s so hard to elect a conservative, we needn’t look beyond our collective conservative mirror.

Friday, I received a phone call from the RNCC soliciting a donation. In simplest terms, I told the man “Not no, but Hell no!” I took a moment to explain to him that this was because the Republicans had abandoned us on Obama-care and immigration immediately after their victory in November. He offered that it hadn’t been the time to expend the “political capital.”  That’s a sorry excuse, and I told him it was because both issues were causes of personal profits for too many inside-the-beltway Republicans who were bought and paid-for by lobbyists on these issues.  I asked him why it was that Republicans were saving all this “political capital,” suggesting that this was an excuse to cover their profiteering on Obama-care and immigration.  He scoffed, so I abruptly told him to tell the RNCC to get bent, and hung up.  The last thing I like to do is be rude to somebody the day after Christmas, but this guy earned it.

That it would be less than a few hours later when I would learn that, predictably, Jeb Bush had been among the Obama-care profiteers is perfectly fitting for our current political environment.  Frankly, I’m waiting for Karl Rove to affix a crown of thorns to this guy and nail him to a cross if that’s what will be needed to sell him to unwitting conservatives. The Bush family is at full tilt, and I knew when Jeb’s son ran(and won) office in Texas, 2015 was going to be the year Jeb chose to further pollute the American body-politic and try to resurrect the Bush name among conservatives.

The Bush family has spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to weasel Jeb into office.  Even before his second term had expired, George Bush’s mastermind Karl Rove went to work on the problem: How to recover the Bush name?  In order to do so, they needed a patsy, one so dismal that before it was done, people would be begging to have the Bush clan retake power.  They found one in Barack Hussein Obama.  I have known, and I suspect you have known conservatives who have declared they would vote for the devil if it meant wresting control of the White House from Democrats after two terms of Obama.  What do you think had been the point of the “Miss me yet?” campaign designed to compare George W. Bush favorably with Barack Obama? It’s all about rehabilitating the Bush family name.

Conservatives had ought to wise up. The Republican establishment is about to pull its usual divide-and-conquer maneuver so that it can saddle the party and America with another “lesser-of-two-evils” choice. The Bush family is gambling that you’ve become so desperate that you won’t care about Jeb’s profiteering on Obama-care. They hope you won’t notice, or even having noticed, won’t care about his continual drumbeat for open borders, or his insane “Common Core” education plans. No, the Bush family is hoping you will let them continue to re-invent America in their communitarian, Utopian vision. Welcome to the New World Order, a regime in which Americans are poorer, and less educated, while uniformly chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

It’s already begun, of course, as CNN reports that Bush is now the early front-runner among GOP hopefuls. All of this leads me to a question: When did Americans decide that a monarchy was fine? On the left, we have the Clinton clan, and also on the left we have the Bush clan, both parading as “moderates” with respect to their chosen parties, and both being much more statist than their respective marketing would have you believe. Jeb Bush once [in]famously stated that he “used to be a conservative,” while responding to critics of his moderate-to-left policy preferences, but the fact is that nobody named Bush has ever been a conservative, instead having been at war with the conservative grass-roots of the party since the 1970s.  If Jeb evinces any confusion by that statement, it is that he hasn’t known what conservatism looks like, and had been permitted to wear that label as though it had ever actually applied to him. It doesn’t.

If conservatives don’t pull their heads out of the sand, and fast, deciding to skip over the pointless candidates who are entirely media creations at this point, settling instead on an actual conservative, get ready for another miserable primary year in which Republicans feed conservatives to the wolves. I’d ask you to consider how many of the currently polling individuals are really just creations of FoxNews, but who are neither conservatives nor crowd-drawing candidates with any hope of victory in 2016. Dr. Ben Carson?  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee? The New Jersey Blowhard? Can any of these defeat Jeb Bush? Plainly, no. Are any of these anything much beyond stalking-horse creations of FoxNews? No. There are a number of conservatives who still pine for Rick Santorum.  Can he beat Jeb Bush? Not a chance.  In all the Republican Party, there exists only a handful of people who have the kind of muscle it will take to derail the Bush train, but if they don’t step up to bat, we’ll never know for sure. Instead, we’ll be shafted with another 4-8 years of diminishing liberties and declining culture under yet another center-left Bush.

I understand that when conservatives get desperate, they will gladly accept another Bush over the leftist bogey-man of the moment, and left with no other choice, they’ll board that train, but for Heaven’s sake, it is time for conservatives to outsmart these people for a change.  If conservatives begging queuing-up behind the litany of second-tier candidates now under consideration, they will be divided-and-conquered just as in 2012.  Mitt Romney was effectively a test run for the Jeb Bush strategy, and Karl Rove knows it. If you will recall, Romney stayed around 25% support for the entirety of the 2011 silly season, knocking off conservative after conservative as they rose and fell.  Michelle Bachman. Rick Perry. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney bested them all because conservatives were so desperate that they hopped from bandwagon to bandwagon at the first sign of weakness.  This strategy kept conservatives chasing their tails, while Romney basically survived with his base of support sticking with him through the process.  In the entirety of 2011, Romney never rose above 25-30$ support, and never fell below 20%.  More conservative candidates, along with relative unknowns, rose and fell like sine waves on an oscilloscope as conservatives rushed from one to the next in order to find a conservative champion who would not falter.  By design, I think, there were none.

If conservatives are to have a chance in 2016, they must identify a candidate soon, and must stick with that candidate until victory.  At present, I can only think of two or three conservatives with the chops to beat Bush, and as yet, none of them have made any firm indication that they might run.  Rather than pursue pipe-dreams, however, settling for the laundry-list of unknowns and also-rans FoxNews is serving-up, conservatives ought to spend some time talking about the kind of presidency they want to see in January 2017, and how to go about getting it. If you’re willing to settle for another Bush, or have one thrust upon you, fear not because Karl Rove is busy working on that, and has been since 2007.  Even if Jeb fails in 2016, you know they’ll try to derail any other Republican candidate who gets the nomination, because they’ve got another George[P. Bush] warming-up in the bullpen right now in Texas, who they will trot-out in 2024 or 2028.

If electing an Obama-care profiteer is an idea that seems to you too ghastly to consider, understand that if the Bush family has its way, you will soon endorse that action out of desperation.  The Bush family doesn’t mind providing the presidents America just barely elects, so long as they’re in charge.  Their continual quest to drag conservatives to the left in abandonment of our principles, one at a time, should be all the reason you need to oppose them and put an end to this seemingly unending American decline under their leadership.  It’s time for something different.  It’s time for a conservative. Obama-care profiteers need not apply.

 

 

2016: What’s the Point?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I hear and read endless speculation about this one and that one, and who’s in and who’s out, always superseded by the next day’s news, and always bereft of any measurable facts.  All of this can be both entertaining and frustrating.  All of it may be altogether pointless.  You see, the country is dying now.  By the time a new president is inaugurated in January of 2017, on our present course, it may not make any difference.  The country may be closing in on that tipping point, if we haven’t passed it already, at which nothing will be done to save us, irrespective of party, principles, or propaganda.  Our nation is deathly ill, if not terminal, and yet the politicians continue to chatter on as though there’s no end in sight.  Ignoring the stock market, which is many thousands of points over-valued due to cheap money practices at the Federal Reserve, this economy is a wreck.  As always, I urge my readers exercise care in what they believe or are willing to consider plausible.  In this post, I intend to revisit a topic I haven’t covered in a long while, because I think you ought to consider it.  The subject is the very real possibility of a hyperinflationary great depression that will make the 1930s look like a day at the beach.

As a reference to what hyperinflation looks like, here’s a graph of the infamous hyperinflation in the German Weimar Republic:

German Hyperinflation 1918-1924 (Wikipedia)

Long-time readers will remember I have used John Williams’ ShadowStats website as a reference in the past.  The nature of Mr. Williams’ warning hasn’t change, except to become substantially more strident inasmuch as such a calamity now seems to be possible at any moment.  For those of you who don’t remember, here was his Hyperinflation forecast of 2012:

2012 Hyperinflation Special Report(pdf format)

In 2014, Mr. Williams has updated his report, once in January, with a second installment in April. Here are links to these two in PDF format as well:

Hyperinflation 2014 – The End Game Begins

2014 Hyperinflation Special Report, Second Installment

 In these reports, Mr. Williams goes to extraordinary lengths to describe to you what I’ve told you right along, since the birth of this website:  Any alleged “economic recovery” was a fraud, and the nation is in deepening financial and economic trouble. Naturally, it’s not as though you hadn’t suspected it on your own, the obvious signs being what they are, but with the drumbeat of media, many people are soothed into complacency over a long enough time such that they begin to doubt what their own eyes and wallets are telling them.  In these most recent installments, Williams goes into great detail, putting numbers to the assumptions, providing actual data to support his conclusions.  In this sense, it is time for another reality check, because while the bulk of the people you know may well be ignoring hard reporting, in favor of popular media garbage, somebody ought to be warning them.   Chances are that being the good citizens most readers here tend to be, and being the sort of people who are trying to save their nation from disaster, you’ve been warning them right along.  Now, when they dismiss your warnings, you can dare them to read these reports.

If you’re among that number of people who are desirous of dismissing all of this as “Chicken Little” talk, I’d dare you directly.  Read these reports and if you aren’t at least a bit concerned, concerned enough to learn more, there’s no reaching you anyway.  In 2011, Sarah Palin and others were sounding the alarm.  She was ridiculed and mocked,  but the hard data supported her warnings.  All along, I’ve been warning you of the dangers of the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, and the grotesque expenditures of the Federal Government.  In the years since 2008, when this latest crisis began, the Fed has borrowed into existence a sum approaching(if not exceeding) fifty trillion dollars.

All of this money-printing or “digitizing” will necessarily lead to a calamity of unprecedented scale.  There can be no escape from the laws of economics, any more than there can be an escape from the law of gravity.  The only question is: When? As Mr. Williams points out in his report, the conditions are already in place.  It’s simply a matter of triggers.  With that in mind, I’d ask my readers to prepare to the extent they are able.

Some will argue that all of this is tantamount to alarmist fear-mongering.  but Williams does offer this, in his second installment for 2014:

“Conceivably, immediate massive and fiscally painful action by the federal government to restore and maintain long-range U.S. government solvency still could avoid the looming dollar collapse, but the related political issues appear now to have been pushed off until after the 2014 midterm election, again, as those controlling the government continue to push politically-difficult choices and actions as far into the future as possible. That has been explicitly demonstrated in actions by both the White House and Congress in the last several years. Nonetheless, despite political efforts to dodge the issues, the U.S. dollar and the deficit do matter, and the looming financial storm likely will break before the election.”

In other words, getting our financial and fiscal house in order could still serve to avoid this calamity, but as he notes, and as we are all too aware, the probability of that being done is low. The question isn’t “Will there be pain?” The real question is whether it will be pain we choose while we maintain the ability to moderate it, or an uncontrolled and apocalyptic pain from which there will be no recovery.  We’re very much like a stage four cancer patient in that only the most radical treatments have any chance of saving us, and the chemotherapy and radiation will be so severe and thorough as to inflict more pain than we might want to endure, but failing to choose this, the results are known and unavoidable.

I have significant doubts as to whether there exists the political will to induce pain via the radical treatments necessary.  The politicians in Washington DC are hoping to stave-off this calamity through the current election cycle.  I believe this is folly, but I also know they’re banking on the notion that they will be able to deal with this after the election, but you and I know the truth: There’s always another election.  The dust will still be settling from the 2014 election when the first real moves for 2016 begin.  They will already begin to make the political calculi about how to survive through the next election, or how to save the next election for their respective parties, but none of them will be thinking about any of this. The truth is that saving the nation will be furthest from their minds.

We have a president who is a functional economic illiterate, driven by dogma of a failed ideology.  We have a Congress driven by short-run notions of self-preservation of their power.  We have a people who possess a low tolerance for bad news in good times, and a complete intolerance for self-imposed discipline particularly where it implies any sort of pain.  It’s time to consider what all of this will combine to create in the coming years, if you haven’t done the math already. People are talking about 2016 like that represents some sort of panacea, but ladies and gentlemen, our nation may not make it until 2016.

 Editor’s note: I realize that the linked reports from John Williams’ site constitute a fair bit of reading, but like most issues, the devils lie in the details. Understanding the roots of our impending calamity, and the historical precedents as well as the actual manipulations of statistics by the current regime are critical in understanding what is afoot. While it’s a lot of reading, it’s entirely worthwhile.

Note 2: There was an error in the links to the two 2014 reports. These have been fixed.

President Ebola: The Pandemic Administration?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014


News is now spreading faster than the disease: A patient has been diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, Texas.  In a recent speech on the Ebola crisis in Africa, President Obama urged Americans not to panic.  If we should have learned anything from nearly six years of presidential malfeasance, it is that whatever he says, the opposite is likely true.  Where was our Commander-in-Chief when people were flying from Ebola-stricken African nations either directly or more often indirectly into ours?  How does that open border look now?  It’s not only Ebola, but also Tuberculosis, among others, about which Americans must now begin to worry.  President Ebola is an irresponsible political hack, pursuing his political agenda at the expense of live of the American people.  Where is the opposition party?  Seemingly, they are in hiding, trying to run out the clock hoping to take over in the US Senate.  They have responsibility in this matter, too.  Where are the committee hearings to place a spotlight on the ineptitude or malfeasance of President Ebola?  If Americans begin to die due to an outbreak of Ebola on this continent, to which this virus is a stranger, the blood will be on Obama’s hands, but also on the hands of all the open-borders advocates in both parties who carry his water on this issue. This is despicable.

The United States has the capability to shut down its borders, its airports, and its seaports at will.  All of this nonsense about not being able to control our borders is insufferable bilge.  With this sort of threat brewing in Africa, the President could have instituted a virtual quarantine preventing persons traveling from those countries to this, and if US citizens and legal residents, quarantined them at any of our numerous offshore bases and facilities, to be sure they weren’t bringing home anything more lethal than a sun-tan. Instead, this farce of an “administration” took no substantial steps, although the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) today issued guidelines to mortuaries and funeral homes on the handling of the remains of those who die of Ebola. Yes, we just had our first domestic diagnosis, but the CDC is getting out in front on this issue.

If Barack Obama had wanted a legacy to call his own, it appears he will have it.  Not only is the US economy in shambles, but it may be that we have a brewing pandemic on our hands.  At the time of this story, it is unknown how many others may already be infected, or how many people with whom the infected individual in Dallas may have had contact, but it is certain that the infected individual arrived state-side less than one week ago.  Had people arriving from Africa been quarantined pending a negative diagnosis, none of this would be an issue, except for the fact that our Southern border remains wide open and we’re reliant on the Mexican government to close down traffic from Africa.

This may seem a bit shrill in tone, but frankly, it bears consideration: The United States really only sees the worst communicable diseases these days by importation.  Tuberculosis was all but eradicated in this nation until successive Presidents and Congresses failed to do anything substantive to secure our borders.  National security is more than guns and bombers.  It’s about protecting the nation at large from a wide variety of threats.  It’s the rational basis for the existence of the Centers for Disease Control.   This president is a walking calamity, and his presidency has been a slow-motion train-wreck from which it seems only the well-connected can escape.  President Ebola and the Ebola Administration: The true plague upon America.

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:

GOP Mafia Produces Cochran Win in Mississippi

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Haley’s Helot

There really is something deeply wrong with the GOP establishment, and as nearly all conservatives have always suspected, it’s this: Despite all of the GOP establishment’s haughty talk about moderation, they are willing to do anything, no matter how repulsive, to achieve their political ends in order to maintain power.  In Mississippi, Thad Cochran held onto his seat by the slimmest of margins over conservative Chris McDaniels.  Had there not been a laundry list of out-of-state, center-left interests pouring money in on Cochran’s behalf, this race would have come out differently, but what I want dispirited conservatives to know is that despite the loss, you won.  It might be hard to see at the moment, but there’s really something to be said for your accomplishments in this race.  The truth is now plain to see, and for those who doubted it before, the veil should now be thoroughly lifted:  The GOP establishment is comprised of a mafia-like element that will use any tactic necessary to keep its scumbags in office, and in this election, it was revealed in full, but this was only possible because conservatives pushed them to the brink.

Thad Cochran has been in political office nearly all of my life.  Now he faces an election for a seventh term, and if he succeeds, he will have served in the US Senate for forty-two years by the time the new term expires.  This is despicable.  What makes it all the more disgusting is the manner of his primary victory.  He did not win on the strength of his record, which is sorely lacking.  He did not win on the merits of his legislative proposals.  He did not win because Republicans in his state favor him.  He did not win even because Republican voters though McDaniels was an inferior candidate.  No, he won on the strength of contributions from his center-left connections, shady endorsements, and because his campaign’s proxies illegally urged Democrats to cross over and vote for him in the Republican primary.  They gave “walking-around money” to would-be Democrat voters, and they basically called McDaniels and the TEA Party “racists” who were out to get Barack Obama. Take a look at this flier, circulated prior to the primary run-off(H/T John Fund at NRO):

Despicable Cochran flier that circulated days before the run-off

Let me say this clearly.  Thad Cochran is a scumbag, and that he would employ such an outrageous tactic merely speaks to his unfitness for office.  Were I a Mississippi conservative, there is no way I would vote to re-elect this dirtball.  Instead, I would vote for the Democrat.  You might ask: “But Mark, if the Democrat is elected, we might not retake the Senate,” to which I must respond with a question: “We?”  Who comprises any “we” in any of this?  It is not Republicans and conservatives.  It is not TEA Party and constitutionalists.  The only “we” who will run the Senate, even if the Republicans win a majority in 2014 is the GOP establishment mafia.  I’d like Mississippi conservatives to think about that.

Haley Barbour and his extended gang, including Michael Bloomberg, Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, a Facebook executive, and a legion of GOP establishment thugs were willing to use ginned-up Democrat support to steal this seat away from Mississippi conservatives.  Mississippi conservatives and TEA Party activists should know that there can be no restoration of the constitutional government they hope to promote so long as a gang of criminal cronies own their Senator.  The worst of it may have been the last-minute use of a sickening tactic of soliciting Democrats to support Cochran even if they would not vote for him in the Fall.

Listen to the following recording for a sample of what establishment Republicans(!) did to secure victory:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpp6cYZrrcs]

This call went out to black Democrats to get them to vote in the Republican primary.

This is the establishment of the Republican Party.  They’re every bit the statist, mafia-like dirtbags the Democrats are, and as you can see, they will work with Democrats whenever necessary to maintain their grip on power.   What is my suggestion to the conservatives and TEA Party folk in Mississippi?  Either run McDaniels as an independent in November, or simply go out to support the Democrat.  Yes, I actually suggest supporting the Democrat, because since Cochran is willing to invite Democrats into the primary campaign, Mississippi conservatives should turn the table on him and give him a dose of his own medicine.  Yes, this means the Democrat will sit in office for six years, but to quote Hillary Clinton, “what difference does it make?”  You now have a six-term RINO running for a seventh term who is firmly in Haley Barbour’s and Karl Rove’s pocket.  This November, for much the same reasons, I am voting for anybody but the RINO liar John Cornyn(R-TX.)  If we’re going to take our country back, we’ll first need to surrender a few things, and in this case, it means giving up the illusion of a Republican-led Senate that wouldn’t be the least bit conservative anyway.

IRS Scandal Follow-up: The Show Must Go On

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

…But nobody actually asked Koskinen about the Sonasoft contract. Wonder why?

On Saturday, it was revealed that the IRS has been contracting with Sonasoft for the back-up of emails since 2005, and indeed, looking at Sonasoft’s clients list, listed there is the Internal Revenue Service.  Adding to my list of things about which the Republicans should seek testimony (if they’re serious,) the specific details of the performance requirements of this contract must now be considered.  Undoubtedly, in soliciting bids for back-ups, there must have been a policy for back-ups the bidder must have been prepared to fulfill.  These details would have been dominated by a records retention schedule that would have been designed to comply with statutory minimums. In any event, such a contract would have been carefully vetted for specific performance requirements, the methodology by which performance could be verified, and the chain of responsibility for those on the government side of the contract to make sure performance was fulfilled, or to seek remediation if the requirements were not met.  There would be a schedule of audits of the performance, and there should be no excuse for pretending somebody hadn’t known their specific duties, on either side of the contract. Here’s the point: We very likely have an organized criminal conspiracy, and if the Republicans don’t begin to immediately turn over rocks to find the culprits, the evidence will be destroyed, but that may be precisely what the GOP leadership wants.

People continue to question whether I’ve entered the realm of “tinfoil-hat-wearing” conspiracy kooks, because I doubt the seriousness of the intent of the House Republican leadership in pursuing this scandal.  After all, they ask, why would the Republicans seek to cover the scandal?  Let’s be blunt, shall we?  As long as this scandal has been going on without serious investigation, how much evidence has been destroyed in the interim?  It is true that if there is a cover-up, there will always be some evidence of that, because it’s impossible to completely cover the tracks of what has been done.  Permitting a delay of the investigation would allow the culprits to destroy the evidence so that any crimes perpetrated in the original scandal would be hard to substantiate to the satisfaction of a jury, or an impeachment proceeding, even if the evidence of a cover-up would be harder to conceal.  In the end, however, let us imagine that there had been a few Republicans who had wanted to hammer the TEA Party, like John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell.  They’ve said as much in open contempt for the TEA Party.  By permitting the administration and its lackeys to destroy evidence, the evidence of their own complicity would be hidden too, and all that would remain are the allegations and evidence of a cover-up of something, in which the Republican leadership would not be implicated.  After all, they’ve been conducting an investigation, right?

If this sounds too conspiratorial to you, consider that these are the same people who invented voting for a thing before voting against it.  John Cornyn had no problem voting for cloture on the Senate Amnesty bill last year before coming home to Texas to tell voters he had voted against the final bill, which he had.  He repeated the procedure at the time of the government shutdown last October, again voting to bring the bill for a vote, so that he could vote against it thereby claiming “conservative credentials” all the while have enabled the bill to see the light of day in the first place.  They bank on we voters remaining largely ignorant of their scandalous manipulations, so that a less-than-vigorous investigation wouldn’t provide much of a surprise. By the way, and by way of evidence of the establishment’s thesis in operation, John Cornyn won his primary by pretending to be a conservative while relying on the longterm detachment and ignorance of voters.  Still, roughly forty percent of the Republican electorate in Texas was able to see through his nonsense, but not enough to replace him as our Senator.

My point to you is this: It may be too late to salvage the data, because this has been left withering on the vine for much too long.  The list of particulars I provided yesterday should have been exercised more than two years ago, and it should have been done with vigor.  If there is no active complicity by Republican leadership, there is at least gross incompetence verging on the criminally negligent.  Are we to believe that none of the people in leadership had any idea, and that none of their staff had any idea how to approach such a scandal?  Are we to believe they had no access to any person with sufficient technical understanding who would have apprised them of the sort of things that would need to have been done to “disappear” such data?  Are we to believe that those who were conducting the preliminary investigations on behalf of House committees could not imagine to immediately contact people specializing in data recovery?  Why has it taken until yesterday to discover that the IRS had contracted with Sonasoft?  What were these investigators investigating?  Didn’t they look at the IT expenditures and contracts of the IRS for clues?  You see, once you consider all of this, it’s easier to understand how an observer could reasonably conclude that the Republicans didn’t want to investigate, and having been forced into it by public pressure, have done a half-hearted job of it.

How can we be nearly three years into this investigation, and we’re only now finding there had been a back-up company contracted?  I will not be surprised to learn that the IRS contract with Sonasoft required them to hold emails for a period of only three years, so that by now, Lois Lerner’s emails have fallen off the archive due to age.  A serious investigation would have immediately discovered the existence of a contract with Sonasoft, and those records could have been pulled three years ago.  What will we get as a result?  At best, some underlings who were a part of the cover-up will be burned, but the chain of command to the top will be obfuscated, and then we will get some dog-and-pony IRS Reform bill that will require the agency from this date forward to maintain all emails for ten years, or some such thing.  Then it will all go away, and the original participants in the scandal of targeting TEA Party groups and their members will be forgotten, and life will go on in Washington DC, with we being the only victims, now poorer and less free, and deprived of justice.

The questions I’ve posed over the last thirty-six hours are the sort I would expect of a serious investigation.  To date, we’ve had a lot of finger-waggling by Republicans asking questions of witnesses, but we’ve gotten no meat from these bones.  Certainly, it does not help that we have a Department of Justice that is led by a crook and crony, and it does not help that the media covers everything up on behalf of this administration, but if the Republicans had been serious about getting to the bottom of this scandal, they would have taken significantly more exhaustive steps by now, but to date, all they’ve done is generate ominous soundbites that tend to feed the red-meat aspects of politics, yet have resulted in no arrests, no indictments, and no justice.  In three years?  This scandal is well on its way to becoming a cold case, and that’s just how Washington DC likes it.

Update: The Daily Caller reports that the IRS cancelled its Sonasoft contract only weeks after Lois Lerner’s hard-drive “crash.”

John Boehner’s Dog and Pony Show

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

On Friday, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives continued its wholly political, and ultimately theatrical investigation of the IRS Tea Party-targeting scandal.  Chairman Dave Camp’s(R-MI) committee brought current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen before the committee to testify as to the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails, among other misdeeds.  You may argue that Paul Ryan(R-WI) was very aggressive in his examination of the witness, but that entire exchange was mere political theater that will evince nothing at the end of the investigation.  Had the Republicans in Congress the first inclination to get to the bottom of this scandal, they would begin by taking the following series of steps:

  1.  Bring before the committee the entire IT staff that supports the IRS, particularly its executives.
  2. Audit the purchase records and replacement schedule of equipment used to support Lois Lerner’s computer usage. Congress should want to know how old her computer had been when the hard disk “died.”
  3. Require IT staff managers to testify as to the method of email archiving, email storage, email backups, and the entire email system used by the IRS.
  4. Seek a federal court order requiring the production of all existing equipment that is currently, or has ever been in use by the IRS in storing email,over the period of the last six years, including particularly SAN devices and servers.
  5. Seek a federal court order requiring the immediate production of all backup media on which IRS files and email may have been copied.
  6. Form a select committee with broad investigatory powers to pursue the entirety of this affair, particularly with an eye toward fraud, destruction of government records and data, as well as political influences brought to bear on the IRS from any branch of government or outside interest groups.
  7. Bring in experts to audit access records for servers and storage devices to discover when anybody interacted with the equipment in question. These devices and servers maintain extensive logs of the commands issued from administrators. Knowing who did what will be a key to cracking this case. The government may well have logging servers to which all events are reported.

For those of you who are less than technically inclined, I will be glad to explain to you why this whole “lost hard drive” claim is a dodge, and for those who may have less than a strong understanding of the politics, I’ll be glad to explain to you how I know the Republicans are playing a game for show, but do not want the truth to come out.

As an information systems professional, who works with storage systems, backup systems, networks, servers, and workstations every day, and who works with the applications and databases which is the purpose of all of that lovely, grotesquely expensive equipment, let me tell you a few things you won’t read in the media.  You might even take a moment to learn a bit more about your own computer.

First, the email system the IRS uses is almost certainly an IMAP or MAPI variant.  This means that on the most basic level, emails are not stored on the client, except as a temporarily cached copy.  Deleting it may cause the email to appear deleted for that user, but the mail archiving functionality will maintain a copy for a period as prescribed by policy, usually determined in applicable statutes and regulations. Most corporate and government environments will not even permit users to store mail in local folders(email folders solely on your local computer) unless they are first archived in the email archiving system, which is generally part of the same overall system. Nevertheless, examining the event viewer in Windows will offer some insight into what may or may not have been done on a given workstation or server. Linux and other operating systems have similar logging facilities.  (If you have Windows, you can get an idea by going to your Control Panel, then to Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. You will be surprised what you can learn about your computer’s routine operations.)

In the second place, the number of servers used for an email system to support an organization the size of the IRS must be quite large.  It undoubtedly consists of multiple servers, at multiple server farms, in a redundant scheme of some sort intended to prevent the loss of data.  You, the taxpayer, has spent billions upon billions since the advent of email to provide these facilities for our federal bureaucracy.

Third, since email storage in such an environment is bound to be monumental in scale, there are undoubtedly many storage blades of some form, probably Storage Area Networks(SANs) to handle the storage needs of the mail system servers.  These are also geographically dispersed for reasons of data security, and what you should know about these technologies is that if your Storage Administrators are doing their jobs, there is virtually no credible fashion in which data of this sort could be lost simply because somebody’s office computer’s hard disk died.

To put it in context, consider one of the leading manufacturer’s systems.  Called an ISE2, it’s made by X-IO and it can contain two datapacs that contain what are essentially a stack of hard disks that are effectively “self-healing,” and in common usage, contain more than fourteen terabytes of data in each datapac.  By design, such a device already creates a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks(RAID) by virtue of its design, permitting the administrator to choose either RAID 1(mirroring) or RAID 5(a form of quasi-mirroring).  The way these devices are used is to create storage volumes in the datapacs and attach those volumes to servers.  They can be swapped in and out, and they can be mirrored as individual entities across other devices.  The servers in question see these volumes as hard-drives, and in effect, they function in precisely that manner.    I would be stunned to find that the US Federal government is not using such an arrangement, whomever the vendor, and there are many.  Chances are high that wherever the server farm is that operates the IRS email system, there are likely to be many SAN units, or other storage containers that have similar functionality.

Putting of all of this into simplest terms, the series of failures that would be required to disappear Lois Lerner’s emails, along with those of six other IRS executives, is an astonishing string of virtual impossibilities and displays of incompetence and malfeasance that should result in the ouster of every IT manager supporting the IRS.  It’s not that I don’t believe there are incompetents working in government, or that I don’t believe there are some slothful folk administering systems for the IRS, but that the totality of this loss of data represents a complete failure at virtually every level and every step of the organization.  Even in a clunky, bureaucratic, top-heavy organization like the IRS, there are still some competent people who keep it working despite all the obstacles placed in their way. The manner in which their storage systems and server farms are designed tends to preclude the chance that something so seemingly innocuous as the loss of one person’s email(or seven) is even a remote possibility.

Knowing how such systems work, and knowing that the government spends more money on the core computing technology than any entity on the planet, their claim to have lost the email due to a hard drive failure on a client machine is an absolute farce.  To claim even that no data was recoverable on that hard drive is pretty hard to believe too, since I’ve seen data recovered from hard disks that have been in computers essentially destroyed by fires.  In fact, given the nature of the data I have handled over the course of my computing career, it is common that when a computer reaches the end of its service life, organizations resell the computers but strip the hard drives out of them for mechanical destruction so that no data may be recovered from them. (In many cases, this involves drilling holes through the platters, using a cutting torch, or other methodology designed to destroy the actual storage media in the drive, which is generally very hard metal platters.)

All of that doesn’t matter in the least, however, as the servers and archive servers and storage devices in the systems are apt to have contained one or more(probably many more) copies of the target emails. Then there are backup tapes or other backup devices. No, ladies and gentlemen, if the administration’s hacks like Mr. Koskinen come forward to tell you in smug tones that the data was irretrievably lost, they are lying.  It may have been irretrievably destroyed, but that would require a conspiracy because no one computer technician could possibly have access to all the relevant systems in an organization so large.

The technician who was responsible for maintaining and repairing Lois Lerner’s computer is not the same technician who administers the email system.  That administrator is not the same person who operates and maintains the bulk data storage containers, nor is that the same person who operates all backups and certainly not the same person who maintains and administers the network on which all of this computing takes place.  It’s not plausible in an organization the size of the IRS.  In many cases, data is duplicated and moved off-site for disaster recovery purposes.  No, if this data is unrecoverable, it is because it was ordered to be placed in that state.  Knowing this, and knowing what would be entailed in literally destroying any trace of these emails, I can only conclude that this administration is lying, and is an active participant in a criminal conspiracy and cover-up of crimes that would tend to place Lerner and her superiors in jeopardy of long jail terms, and this president in the direct path of impeachment proceedings.

At the beginning of this article, I explained to you that I believed that the claim about the emails being “lost” is nonsense, and a lie.  I hope I’ve managed to illuminate a few of the reasons why you should not believe such claims, but I also contended that you should not believe that the Republicans are very serious about uncovering the truth, despite their harrumphing to the contrary.   You see, if the Republicans in Congress were serious about all of this, they would issue subpoenas to the entire IT staff.  They would drag them in, one at a time, starting at the top, and working their way down to the lowest technician.  They would have questions, specific technical questions, prepared for them by people like me, or actually those rare birds who designed such systems, and they would begin the grilling.  Under oath.  Somebody would crack.  A lie of this sort cannot be hidden if there is a consistent and tireless effort to uncover it.

The problem may be that to uncover Lois Lerner’s email would reveal something no Representative in that committee hearing room wants you to know:  Lerner may have been receiving emails from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill urging audits and investigations into Tea Party groups.  The IRS was used in this instance to quell a peaceful, political uprising by making the formation of a group so painful and problematic as to frustrate into capitulation all but the most insistent and persistent persons.  The Republicans tried first to co-opt the Tea Party phenomenon, making it their own, but when they found they were unable to control the myriad of organizations springing to life around the country, their next motive was to destroy it because they posed a serious challenge to the orthodoxy of establishment power in Washington DC.  Most Republicans in Washington DC want the Tea Party buried, some of them more fervently even than the Democrats.

If the Republicans in the House cannot muster a select committee to look into this and other matters of extreme government corruption, it is only because they do no want the truth discovered.  If they will not bring an endless string of witnesses to testify as to their role in the email “losses” and the system design of the email and data facilities of the IRS, then they don’t want an answer.  Paul Ryan and others can put on one Hell of a show in the committee room, but the truth is that saying “I don’t believe you” in an exchange with an IRS commissioner isn’t going to turn over many stones.  If you want the truth, you bring in the subject matter experts and responsible parties, and you grill them and continue to remind them of their oaths.  At some point, some junior flunky intern who was told to ditch a hard disk in the Potomac is going to squeal, because he doesn’t want to go to prison.  Then you bring back the person who gave him that order, and then the person who issued that order from higher on the food chain.   Work your way down to get them on the record, until somebody cracks, and then work your way back up, exposing lies until the scheme is revealed in full.

If the Congress won’t do this, they’re not serious about the matter.  It suggests strongly that they don’t want the truth revealed any more than the administration.  There are plenty of smart people on Capitol Hill, and they have plenty of contacts who understand such systems and could provide technical advice both in the formation of questions and in the manner by which to challenge the credibility of the answers.  Those behind this atrocious abuse of government power must be held accountable and jailed for their crimes.  Make no mistake about it: Grievous crimes were committed both as a part of the targeting, as well as during this extended cover-up.  If the Republicans now fail to uncover those crimes and see this investigatory process through to a just ending, you can be sure that they hadn’t wanted the truth to be discovered, because their fingerprints are all over this too.

 

 

 

House Leadership Plotting GOP Defeat

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Welcome Aboard!

They intend to shove an immigration bill through the House this summer.  They’re aiming for August, with the intention of pushing this through while the nation is busy with summer vacations and the return of  its children to school. It’s diabolical to the degree that I now believe John Boehner and Eric Cantor are simply wolves wearing wool. Years ago, I asked my readers to consider whether Obama was merely incompetent, or instead a malevolent actor who was following a script of purposeful destruction.  Now I ask you to consider: Can this be coincidental?  Can the efforts of House Republican leadership to shove amnesty down our throats be the result of simple incompetence, or is it the result of a malevolent takeover of the Republican Party in Washington DC by people who are effectively in league with the Democrats and their nonstop neo-socio-fascist push?  Now, even a Washington Post article questions the foolishness of an immigration bill from a Republican perspective, so that we must ask ourselves: How do we defeat the Republican leadership without removing the majority conservative caucus from power?

According to the article, precisely what I have suspected is likely to come true: With a vast number of new citizens who will mostly be Democrats, Texas (and several others) may well turn from “red states” to “blue states. From the article:

“If many of the Hispanic non-citizens across the country became voting eligible citizens through immigration reform, some of those states become much more interesting politically. Take Texas, where only 22 percent of voters were Hispanic, but they make up 37 percent of the total population of the state. The pattern is similar in Arizona, where 17 percent of voters were Hispanic but they accounted for 29 percent of the total population. “

This shouldn’t be difficult to translate into political ramifications: Republicans won’t be able to win in Texas, Arizona, and any number of border states, no longer being Republican strongholds, and instead at best becoming slightly purple-tinted blue states.

Under that regime, it will be impossible to elect a Republican, never mind a conservative, to the presidency, and it will become increasingly impossible to elect a conservative House, much less a Senate.  This will be the end of any and all hope to stop the growth of the Federal Government, and it will mean diminishing liberty and prosperity for all Americans.

We’re taught by polite society not to question peoples’ motives, and to avoid guessing at them, but one can scarcely look at the current Republican leadership without asking this question repeatedly: “Why?”

It would be easy enough to believe that they’re merely incompetent simpletons, reacting precipitously to what they see as a demographic inevitability, but as the Washington Post article reveals, they will simply speed up the process, making no ground against the actual problem.  Indeed, they will almost certainly seal their own fate.  One thing we must acknowledge from the outset is that they are not conservatives.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor; McCarthy nor McMorris Rodgers; McConnell nor Cornyn; none of these Republicans in leadership in Congress are conservatives in any measurable sense.  They are all party hacks, and they are all leading actual conservatives to utter disaster.  I do not believe it is possible to conclude that they are accidental actors who simply don’t know any better.  Indeed, the coordination of their efforts on other matters, like the debt ceiling, and like the budget negotiations suggests to me that rather than being a “loyal opposition,” they are indeed colluding with Democrats to advance the neo-socio-fascist agenda.

After all, when Democrats in the house in 2010 “deemed the bill passed,” enacting Obama-care, a law with vast new taxing authority, who among the “Republican leadership” protested the fact that all bills levying taxes must originate in the House?  Where were they?  Boehner put on a show of choked-up, crying  but resolute resistance, yet that “resistance” has turned out to be all howl but no fangs, expressed in pointless show-votes of repeal, but never implemented in an actual showdown with the Senate and White House.  Is this leadership committed to turning aside rampant statism?

No, ladies and gentlemen, this leadership is worse than any Neville Chamberlain.  These are Quislings, all of them, and the singular question that falls to us is how to defeat them without yielding the republic.  How can we topple these sell-outs without discharging the actual conservatives from a functioning majority in the House?  We are at a crossroads, when we can neither suffer the treacherous leadership of this bunch any longer, nor can we permit ourselves to lose the House.  Both circumstances are disasters, and yet we know that left in charge, these people(and several others, including Ryan in the House and McCain in the Senate) will happily march the Republican Party off an electoral cliff, while simultaneously wrecking the country at large.

I do not hold with others who believe we can make a difference by quietly going about the job of voting.  I think the time is coming when we will need to be in their faces, all day, every day.  Whether it is driven by old-fashioned corruption, or instead by actual ideological concordance with the left, we can no longer tolerate a leadership that is clearly marching us over a cliff.  We can ask why it is that House chairmen, all Republicans, will not demand a select committee to investigate Benghazi, or the IRS scandal, or any other corrupt and criminal action of this administration, but I think the answer is clear: Those now in leadership in the House are captured-by-extortion, bought-and-paid, or deep-cover operatives for the progressive left. If we do not throw off the yoke they’re placing across our shoulders, and soon, we will be forced to bear it until the death of our once-thriving civilization.

Obama’s SOTU: Blah Blah Blah – Here’s the Truth

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Do Any Believe?

There’s nothing more annoying than the dishonest spectacle that has become of our traditional State of the Union address.  President Obama will address Congress, and with it, the nation, and he will lie unconditionally and remorselessly.  He will tell us how we’re creating jobs, but that we can do more.  He will talk about the gap increasing between the rich and the poor, never telling you that it is his policies that are expanding the gap, while adding many more people to the poverty category. He will almost certainly discuss green energy, but he will not mention how he has used crony capitalism in that field to rob the American people.  What he probably will not mention is “Obama-care,” at least by that name. He may reference the Affordable Care Act and promise that things will get better for the disastrous program.  Whatever he says, it is likely to be a lie, in part or in whole, because he can’t very well go before the Congress and the American people and speak the truth about either his aims or the true State of the Union. Let us speak the truth.

As we have witnessed, there are now fewer Americans working than at any time since the Carter administration, and there are more people receiving government subsidies than ever before.  To the degree Wall Street has been doing well, it is only because the Federal Reserve has been pumping funny-money into the economy through Wall Street.  Government debt is growing at a phenomenal rate, unsustainable by any rational measure, and none of his so-called “stimulus” has born any fruit for the general economy, no matter how much his cronies on Wall Street and K Street may have benefited.

Our defenses haven’t been in such sorry shape since Carter, and our foreign policy is a mess.  Iran will have nuclear weapons, because Obama won’t do a thing to intervene.  At virtually every opportunity, this president can be seen to support the enemies of the United States while often snubbing long-time allies.  On the home-front, he continues to use the intelligence apparatus of the US against the American people.  Indeed, he is turning the entirety of the Federal Government into his own political police force even as his purge of senior military officers continues unabated.

He is stripping us of our defenses in a violent world, while advancing the cause of despotism at home. If you happen to publish anything even vaguely disagreeable, you can expect some arm of the Federal Government to pay you a visit, or otherwise persecute and prosecute you on any trumped-up charge.  Obama is converting the United States into a police-state, in which government has unlimited discretion but individuals have none.

“Vengeance is mine!” sayeth Obama.  He is pursuing revenge against the free market, political enemies, the rights of citizens and anybody else he believes must be punished.  Most of all, this means America as we have known it is under constant attack; the virtues that had begotten its prosperity are being stripped away.  The larger body of the American people feel set-upon, and they are under the gun.  Every virtue they had practiced in pursuit of their happiness is being punished.

Expect the President to tell us again that if Congress will not act, he has a phone and a pen, with which he will bring down further terror against the American people.  Will you have health insurance within the span of another year?  Wonder. Worry.  Watch and see.  Will you be able to keep any of your earnings by the time he is through?  What will they be worth once he finishes inflating the money supply?  Will you be permitted to speak your mind?  Will you be permitted to keep (never mind ‘bear’) arms in your own defense?  Will you be secure in your person against unreasonable searches and seizures?  Will you be immune from indefinite imprisonment? What measure of your liberties will he leave unmolested?

Now we prepare to listen to the dictator lay down the law, as if that had been his constitutional function all along. His stooges and henchmen go out into the press and broadcast that now is the time for “action” and “direct action” and “real action.”  When you hear or read this, what you’re really witnessing is leftist code for mob violence. Obama is losing his grip on the hearts of Americans charitable enough to have given him a chance.  He has capitalized on this tendency of Americans, but their patience has worn thin in most quarters.  His enchanting sing-song of 2008 no longer “plays in Peoria.”  As things stand, he certainly won’t gain control of the House and could still lose the Senate in November, but he does not wish to be obstructed.  Obama is carrying out a coup d’etat and the media won’t tell you much about it, because they’re largely complicit, if not directly assisting in bringing it to fruition.

Now is the time when the left will act to consolidate its power, and to cement the “fundamental transformation” of America they had promised, and this means making certain it can never be undone.  Prepare yourselves, Americans, for the tyrant-king has set the stage, but up until now it’s been a warm-up act.  He knew he couldn’t complete his mission in four years, but with a second term and three years remaining, now he can afford to take more dramatic steps.  Do not be astonished by what you hear tonight, if watch this spectacle you must, but instead watch for the unspoken words behind the sentiments that will herald the beginning of the end of the republic.

 

The Nullification Movement: Pursuit of a Phantasmal Constitutional Doctrine

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Ghosts of Confederates Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Three Courses Among Which None Wish to Choose

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Easier not to choose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independence Party Makes Inroads in UK

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Same thing, only different…

It’s been nearly two decades since it was established, but the U.K.’s Independence Party(UKIP) isn’t going away, and indeed, it has begun to make inroads, particularly at the local level.  The larger reason for this opportunity may be that the establishment Tory party, long considered the UK’s “conservatives,” have abandoned conservative policies in favor of progressive ideas.  If that sounds familiar to you, it should, because in many respects, our own Republican party, long-portrayed in media as virtually synonymous with “conservative” has been behaving like liberals.  Of course, the Tories in the UK have always been more slanted to the left than had been our Republicans, but lately, they’ve all but abandoned any pretense to conservative thought.  As this has happened, it has had a curious effect on the Independence Party, swelling its ranks lately and giving it a real foothold in local elections.  UKIP seems to understand this is a fight over the long run, and not a battle to be won in an election cycle or two.  Their leader, Nigel Farage, made clear in an interview with Foxnews what is the UKIP’s aim:

“We want to take back our country, we want to take back our government, and we want to take back our birthright,”

If this sounds familiar to Tea Party activists, it should.  Just like the Republicans here, the Tories have begun to fully embrace National Healthcare, and all sorts of left-wing ideals, including liberal immigration policies, and the whole slate of liberal policy preferences advocated and advanced by their Labor Party. the U.K.’s equivalent to our own Democrats.  The largest strategic difference between the Tea Party and the UKIP is that rather than seeking to influence the Tories, the Independence Party is in direct competition with them.  They are not trying to work on the party from within, but instead making a full frontal assault on the establishment “Conservatives.” While not precisely like the Tea Party in all respects, in terms of a movement, it is quite similar in its grass-roots orientation.

Naturally, they are dismissed as “racists” and “kooks” and all sorts of demeaning labels by both the traditional parties, but that isn’t stopping them from moving ahead.  Dishonest labels only work so long, as does the attempt to define the whole of the party by the bombastic or outrageous statements of a few individuals within it. More, the UKIP has focused on an issue that seems to a majority of voters across party lines: Membership in the EU.  UKIP opposes it while both Labor and the Tories favor it, despite the fact that a clear majority of the populace stands in favor of withdrawing from the EU.  With this on the table in 2014, UKIP stands to make further inroads as the only party pushing in the same direction as the populace.

This is in many respects like the arguments on two issues we face domestically. The first is Obama-care, and the second is immigration.  In both cases, the US population is opposed by strong majorities to any sort of amnesty and continuance of the health-care law.  While there are still some Republicans who are opposed to amnesty, and a few more in favor of repeal of Obama-care, the fact remains that a large number of Republicans in both houses of Congress are in favor of an amnesty deal, and distinguishing by their votes, have been only too willing to fund and thereby continue Obama-care.

If UKIP manages to pull off some electoral victories, it may offer a hint to Tea Party activists in the US: It may be time to put up its own slate of candidates, completely independent of the Republicans, and it may be time to formally register as a political party.  The sorts of clear issues in which the American people are at odds with both major political parties may be reaching a climax, at which one party or the other must disappear.  This is what happened to the Whigs one and one-half centuries ago, and it may be the end in store for the Republicans if Tea Party activists can get their act together.  Like more and more voters in Britain, Americans may discover that they have no need of both a conservative party and a fake conservative party. If this comes to be the case in the U.K., it  may evince hope for a resurgence of the Tea Party, perhaps under a new banner independent in all respects of the Republican Party.

It may be time for the Tea Party to take that leap.

Global Warming Voodoo on Ice

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Slow Boil or Hot Air?

As the nation stands in the path of record cold temperatures, the media is doing its very finest to ignore the implications for “climate change” proponents. In Antarctica, an Australian team aboard a Russian research vessel became entrapped in ice, and now the Chinese icebreaker that provided helicopter rescue to the passengers of the Russian ship also needs to be rescued, itself having become trapped in the expanding ice sheet.  The media reports the entrapment, and the rescue, and now the second ship’s plight, but there are two words they have avoided in coverage of this entire debacle: “Global Warming.” The truth of the matter is that they’ve spent so much time and energy propagandizing on the issue that they dare not tell you the facts: Any measurable global warming halted more than one and one half decades ago.  Telling you this would not comport with their earlier reporting, since in all these years, global CO2(carbon dioxide) levels have continued to rise, but temperatures haven’t followed. According to their theory, global warming should come fast on the heels of any rise in CO2, but that hasn’t been the case.  All of it is predicated on their desire to control human activity, and human use of energy resources is the key.  Why?  Simply put, the global warming/climate change crowd are statists who wish to control everything, everywhere, in every case.  Accusing mankind of wrecking the climate is their sledgehammer, but the global temperatures haven’t been supporting their attack.

They won’t tell you that the very expedition the researchers had been wanting to replicate never experienced the ice levels that this new voyage has experienced.  They won’t now tell you that the purpose of the expedition had been to document shrinking Antarctic ice.  Therefore, team leader Professor Chris Turney dare not tell you that their ship became entrapped some forty miles short of the bay into which Douglas Mawson steamed in open, ice-free waters of Commonwealth Bay in 1912. Here’s video from original footage of that arrival more than a century ago:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-9yJ6-6aEs]

These are the sort of inconvenient truths on which hucksters like Algore should spend a good deal of their time, but it doesn’t fit their tax-justifying agenda, so they refuse to acknowledge all contrary information.  When asked about this, Professor Turney concocted an excuse about the ice that blamed it all on global warming!  There’s more ice than in recorded history on and around Antarctica, but this fool wishes to blame “global warming” or “climate change.”  It’s as though a cosmologist would blame the accelerating expansion of the universe on the long-debunked “steady state” theory.

Sadly, most Americans don’t see the big deal with the current Antarctic ice sheet, because so many Americans don’t realize it’s not Winter, but Summer in the Southern hemisphere.  Mawson’s 1912 expedition was timed to make arrival after the Summer solstice precisely because ice ought to have been at its minimum extent.  What the “warmists” refuse to acknowledge is that there is currently more ice in Antarctica than has existed for 100,000 years.  At present, the combination of Arctic and Antarctic ice is at an all time record.  If this is the case, the global warming hypothesis looks pretty weak, and plainly wrong, but the mainstream media will not tell you this.  Instead, you are faced with having to trawl through site like climatedepot.com, which one could consider like the Drudge Report of climate science, or climatedebatedaily.com, another such site, and there are fantastic blogs like WattsUpWithThat by Anthony Watts.  The problem is that to get any contradictory information, one must venture outside the mainstream media, or risk falling into the mire of group-think that pervades the popular media culture.

I realize that among my readers, there are those who have their doubts, and who worry that perhaps humanity is indeed negatively affecting the environment, but I would suggest to them that humanity’s impact tends to be localized, but not global.  What now becomes clear is that despite all the claims of warming disasters, humanity has little if any effect upon ice in the polar regions. Despite the evidence, we have the preposterous spectacle of the ill-fated expedition’s media director, Alvin Stone, claiming that the ice in which his ship is still lodged is the direct result of global warming. You simply could not make this up.  The truth is that despite all their rationalizations, the facts of nature do not support the foolish, apocalyptic claims of climate doomsayers.

Here are some facts you ought to consider: The life of our sun is roughly nearing the half-way mark.  There is no source in our solar system that can affect climate on Earth like our sun.  As the sun consumes its hydrogen through the process of nuclear fusion, it will expand and grow hotter.  This is inevitable.  The sun will make life increasingly difficult on the Earth until life here becomes impossible.  While this outcome is millions of years away in the future, it is nevertheless an absolute fact.  The truth is that on the largest time-scale, the Earth should be warming, and the sun ought to be delivering the added heat.  When the sun begins to expand dramatically some three billion years hence, life on Earth will be at an end.  Global warming is factually inevitable, but it will have nothing to do with your SUV, or mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

If that is too distant a timescale to contemplate, consider that in a mere one and one-half million years, the star Gliese 710 will pass very close to our solar system.  Having roughly sixty percent of the mass of our sun, it will almost certainly cause gravitational perturbations in the outer regions of our solar system that may send many comets and asteroids heading toward Earth.  Should that happen, unless we’ve concocted a practical method of deflecting or destroying these massive natural missiles, life on Earth could perish.

Still too distant? In the next several decades, there are at least two known asteroids that pose a substantial risk of collision with Earth.  Should that occur, we may go the way of the dinosaur, and it will be an epic calamity that could wipe out the entire human population, and all larger species, though some microbes and slightly larger species may endure.

Is this still too far off in the future to consider? Consider then Wolf-Rayet star 104(WR-104.) This massive star is very near the end of its life. It could explode as a supernova at any moment.  In fact, it may have exploded already, but at a distance of an estimated eight-thousand light-years, the light would need to have traveled that distance (and that many years) for us to learn of it.  If WR-104 had exploded as agriculture began to spread into Europe, and the human population of Earth was around five million, we would learn of the supernova only now.  Worse, we would have no warning whatever, as the arrival of its probable gamma-ray burst would punctuate its end, but also perhaps our own.  There are many stars capable of delivering deadly gamma-ray bursts, but the proximity and orientation of WR-104 makes it more likely to have significant effects on Earth than all the others.  Supernovae that emit a gamma-ray burst do so in blasts from their poles, so that much of the energy is focused in two narrow and opposing beams racing away from the dead star at nearly the speed of light.  If Earth happens to fall within one of these relatively focused beams, and within a few thousand light-years, life might well be wiped out by the radiation.  Though there are now some questions as to WR-104’s precise orientation, such a star’s death could simply poison those exposed to the radiation, or it could strip off the atmosphere and roast us alive.  Some claim it could even vaporize the entire planet. The most energetic events in the universe are not a circumstance with which to trifle, and from our perspective, they could occur at any time.

The point of all this is to recognize the fact that life on Earth will end. There exists almost an infinite range of possibilities for how it will end, but it’s mostly a question of what gets us first, and not whether we’ll be gotten.  The climate change acolytes know this every bit as well as their skeptics, but only the discussion of anthropogenic global warming or climate change gives them an opportunity to command human behavior.  In order to control your lives, they must create some justification, and it’s nearly always couched in terms of some exigency.  I submit to you that the hypothesis of “anthropogenic global warming,” or “climate change,” is precisely that sort of ploy.  When I was a child, they spoke in dramatic terms of a coming ice age.  Then as a young adult, I was bombarded by the global warming hysteria.   In fact, the Earth goes through periodic cycles, as does our sun, and some of those cycles span many human lifetimes.  In that context, it is foolish to pretend that what mankind has done or is doing must be the cause of every fluctuation in the thermometer, never mind to attempt to control all mankind on the basis of these fluctuations. Pretending that mankind is the greatest threat to the planet permits them an excuse to regulate all humans.

When politicians spout dire warnings about global warming, or anything else of dubious human origination, we ought to take the time to politely listen, but then examine their supporting evidence, or the lack thereof.  Now we witness the ignominy of an activist professor, Chris Turney, looking for some way to explain away the fact that his ship got stuck in ice nearly fifty miles from where was once open water at this same time of year, and he absurdly claimed it is because the planet has been warming.  I cannot say with certainty that mankind is having exactly zero effects upon global temperatures, but I can say with certainty that pseudoscience won’t help us, never mind save us. We don’t need modern witch doctors propagating their voodoo to a vast but sadly, too often ignorant audience, and the best way to combat it is to lift the veil of ignorance that has descended over the eyes of our popular media culture. Our lives and our liberties, and indeed the future of mankind depends upon it.

 

 

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.

Poll: Which of these Harmed You?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Texas Liberty: Lost to History?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

As readers will remember, I’ve covered the case of Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was arrested, tried, re-tried, and finally convicted of a misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a public servant,” in Bell County, Texas.  The case arose out of a ridiculous case of officer over-reaction in a rural area of Temple, Texas, where Grisham and his son were on a hike for a merit badge for the boy’s scouting pursuits.  What bothers me most about this case is a circumstance that should cause every American to recoil in anger: Here was a man committing no crime, threatening no person, but an officer showed up and made a criminal of him by acting in outrageous fashion.  I’m not going to re-argue the case, as it is currently under appeal, but there is a subtext to this story that makes me ill.  Persons in the community claiming to be conservative, yet taking the side of the law enforcement officer in this case are cowardly fools.  There should have been no case.  There should have been no arrest.  There should have been no initial call from a passerby who observed the “armed subject.”  We live in a nation of cowards, and some of them claim to be “conservatives.” This wretched, skulking view of liberty sickens me. We have now supposed “conservatives” who pose as advocates of liberties they would rather you not exercise, and of all places, in Texas.

Let me assert from the outset that an armed person hiking along the rural roadways of Texas really ought not be a matter for law enforcement.  There is no law in Texas against openly carrying a long gun, whether rifle or shotgun, and Grisham was not threatening any person.  He wasn’t brandishing the firearm, or waving it around, or otherwise doing anything that would indicate any aggressive action.  Sadly, the mere presence of the firearm suggests to some very dim-witted persons a threat that does not exist.  These same nit-wits do not flinch at the presence of firearms on the persons of law enforcement officers, but slung from the neck of a citizen, it’s another matter.  It is either cowardice or malice that leads to such calls to law enforcement.

On the side of malice, there are those in every community who hate firearms, largely because they live in fear.  They are participants in a nonsensical agenda aimed at disarming the country, believing that some Utopia is possible absent guns.  These are the same dolts who supported the enactment of Obama-care, or who are happy to vote for every statist that promises them a paradise on Earth, free of want and fear.  These are the overt enemies of liberty, and Texans, of all the people in America, should shun them as reprobates.  They fear liberty as they fear life itself.  They are not fit to live among civilized people, and therefore seek to reduce civilization to a world of mandates and dicta from on high.

As bad as the open enemies of liberty may be, there is another group I estimate to be perhaps worse.  There are those who proclaim themselves “conservative,” but who are no less fearful or debauched in their thinking.  Actual conservatives do not live in fear of bogey-men.  They do not live in fear of inanimate objects or tools. They do not pretend to themselves that a society in which guns are forbidden from public view, or forbidden altogether will be somehow safe from harm.  All the evidence gathered about crime and guns over the last half-century demonstrates convincingly that the more citizens are armed, the safer their communities will be.  In stark contrast, the fewer citizens who are armed, the more common it will be for people to fall prey to monsters and madmen.  Those claiming “conservatism” as their general ideology should know better, and reason should be their guide, but what we really have is a number of people who don’t really believe anything except that “liberals are bad.”  They don’t adhere to principles, and they don’t really know why they’re “conservatives.”

One of the arguments you hear from this crowd is that “Grisham was only carrying to prove a point.” This bizarre logic would have you believe that somehow, if only for the sake of doing what the law permits, Grisham would be guilty of some crime.  What they are too cowardly to understand is that to retain our freedoms, we ought to exercise them openly and in full light of day as the means by which to reinforce their validity.  What they mistakenly believe is that we ought to have rights, but never to exercise them.  This bastardized view of liberty has led nation after nation, and civilizations from time immemorial to utter collapse and tyranny.  A right not exercised out of a fear of persecution is no right at all.  What one can learn from the Grisham case is that while many politicians and persons in Bell County Texas may claim to support liberty and gun rights, the truth is that they don’t support their exercise. In much the same fashion, Phil Robertson is being persecuted for his beliefs. None will dare say that he isn’t entitled to them, but too many will shrink from his right to state them.  So goes “free speech” or “free exercise of religion” in modern America.

There exists also some abiding but misplaced sense of fealty to local law enforcement.  I love the people who earnestly take up the defense of our lives and liberties, but I strenuously oppose any who would abuse citizens under color of law.  More, those who speak out about this subject are often ostracized for what boils down to simple boat-rocking.  Speaking out in a Texas community against the actions of law enforcement officers in some particular cases is tantamount to becoming a leper in the community.  It is the preposterous proclamation of the idea that “we have rights, but we ought never exercise them” that emboldens those with tyrannical mindsets to such actions.  Why did the officer in this case seek to disarm Grisham, who was doing nothing illegal, threatening no one, and harming not a soul?  Why did he do so without warning?  Why did he take on the power of the state as an aggressor?  The reason is simple: He believed he would be safe in so doing.  He believed he would get away with it, and thus far, the legal farce in Bell County courtrooms stage-managed by visiting judge Neal Richardson have borne out his belief.

What we really have here is a simpler question, truth be told: Was Grisham out to “interfere with a public servant,” or was a public servant out to interfere with a citizen’s free exercise of liberty?  I would conclude in this case that it had been the latter, but so many of my fellow citizens seem to fear such a “revolutionary” idea. Each year, Texans celebrate their own independence, and remember the Alamo, but then quietly and meekly ignore the meaning of those things they claim to hold dear.  Each and every time they participate in one of these sham trials against a citizen who had really done nothing but exercise the liberties they claim to support, they mark themselves as frauds and pretenders. “Don’t mess with Texas,” they’ll say in imitation of the state’s anti-littering campaign, but “go ahead and mess with Texans,” they’ll meekly admit.

When I decided with my family to remain in Texas after my military service, it was based on the idea that we would become Texans.  We wouldn’t try to re-shape the state or its people into the form or image of what we had escaped, but instead adopt to ourselves the history and culture of a freedom-loving place.  I believed that meant something special, which is to say that I believed at the time that Texans were fiercely protective of their freedoms.  Nowadays, seeing what passes for “conservatism” in so much of the Lone Star State, I’m no longer certain my assessment had been correct.  Texans may like the imagery of prideful independence, but slowly and surely, they are joining many of their fellow Americans in the slide into servitude.  I know there are still a number of Texans of the sort I had hoped to become, but their number is dwindling fast, much too fast, as it becomes increasingly fashionable to spout about liberty but never to exercise it.  It is this sort of cowardice that is uncharacteristically un-Texan, and yet it seems to grow like a cancer, metastasizing through the entire body of the state, undermining the appearance of independence still claimed by its residents.

Supposed “conservatives” in Texas who enable this decline are the more objectionable to me.  On the federal level, we have one conservative Senator, Ted Cruz, and one cowardly Senator, John Cornyn.  Cruz actually fights to the limits of his ability. Cornyn pretends to fight for us, but all too often fights against conservatism, joining with the left in their various plots and plans.  At the state level, it’s much the same. We have a number of crony capitalists who claim conservatism, but only a few hands-full of actual conservatives.  You might wonder how this could be the case in Texas, of all places, but the answer is clear: Too many supposed conservatives among the voting populace are similarly opposed to boat-rocking because too few really want freedom complete with its ups and downs; its rewards and risks.  We’re losing our culture, and it’s sad that having discovered the freedoms of Texas at twenty-five years of age, and having the courage to make of it our new home, I now find that the courage that had attracted me to the people and places of Texas is slowly bleeding away.  When I see shoddy argumentation demanding a surrender of rights while claiming to possess them, I know that this is not the Texas with which I had become so enamored in my youth.

Texas needs new leaders, and it needs them soon, but to get the sort of men and women who can save the state, we will need citizens with the courage and will to do so.  Texans invest a lot of time proclaiming their pride in this state, and what it purports to be, but the truth is that nowadays, that’s more boast than fact.  From the statehouse to the local governments, Texans are yielding liberty at an astonishing pace, as our “independent school districts” run wild, spending outrageous sums on unnecessary things, our local governments grow and become more reliant on the state, that in its turn becomes merely a localized, branch establishment of the federal leviathan.  CJ Grisham’s case is just one among many, as the cowardice of too many alleged conservatives comes to dominate our polity.   Everywhere, government entities are clamping down on liberties long-enjoyed but less and less frequently exercised.  We’re told by our neighbors and friends that we should not exercise them, for fear of retribution or rocking the boat, but one must ask what sort of sinking ship of freedom we’re aboard, that we no longer dare evince these rights by carrying them into execution.  Don’t speak out, or you will be ostracized.  Don’t walk in public with a firearm lest you be arrested for contrived causes.  Don’t be a Texan, whatever you may claim, because real Texans are going extinct, like the dinosaurs, and good riddance, it seems.

All hope is not lost, but it’s time to re-evaluate our position.  Christians now hide their faith lest they be publicly pilloried for it.  Conservatives refuse to be conservative, lest their noncommittal acquaintances think the less of them.  Men and women are now chastised for speaking of freedom, never mind exercising it.  Over the last several years, there has been talk of “the wussification of America,” but no place in the country has it become more evident of late than in Texas, perhaps precisely because of the contrast provided by its peoples’ former strengths. Where once dwelt a vast majority of rugged individuals among the blue-bonnets, we now find a population increasingly composed of shrinking violets who dare not stand for the right.  Any right.  We must endeavor to fight this slide, and we must do so in the city council meetings, the counties’ commissioners courts, and in the legislature.  Time for a resurgence of liberty in Texas is growing short.  The most important places in which we must make a stand are among our friends, families, and neighbors, among whom the number of gone-wobbly seems to increase daily.  It’s time for the voices of freeborn men and women to be heard, and if not in Texas, one must wonder where those voices will resound again.  It’s a damnable shame that as Texas begins the approach to its bicentennial, we may find ourselves in a state where our claims to liberty are all hat but no cattle.  Stand up Texans!  You have a famous heritage based on the bold and courageous, but so must your children and their progeny beyond.  We must exercise our rights, or yield them, surrendering them forever more.  One new Texan’s final diary entry must be our guide:

“No time for memorandums now. Go ahead! Liberty and Independence forever. “– David Crockett, March 5th, 1836