Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Passing Strange Media

The nation's major metropolitan newspapers and broadcast networks certainly were quick to disparage the Tea Parties as ugly, racist, stupid, and (at least potentially) dangerous and violent. And this litany is a continuing one. All without a bit of supporting evidence and a complete absence of any outbreak of violence.

Nonetheless the same "news outlets" find endearing and praise the vile, mindlessly irrational, rock throwing, garbage strewing,  flag burning mobs protesting Arizona's legally enacted legislative effort to control the flow of illegal immigrants that have been transforming the state into a dangerous battleground in Mexico's violent drug wars.

. . . and they wonder why they are losing their audiences.

The War Over the Constitution

Only mostly obscure initial skirmishes have taken place thus far and consequently most Americans are unaware that a major war over the Constitution is getting underway. The Tea Parties are doing a good job of confronting the battle's superficial surface symptoms but far more is needed to deal with the much broader underlying issues.  Unless ordinary citizens become and remain vigorously involved, the contest will remain a clandestine one, waged and decided largely by the nation's legal, academic, media, and political elites . . . and, with a limited number of exceptions, the habitues of those institutions have scant interest in the liberties of ordinary people that are at stake.

It therefore behooves freedom loving citizens to become and continue to be aware and knowledgeable active participants in the debates that will determine the meaning and force that our Constitution will have going forward in the 21st Century.

The issues and the battle lines that are taking shape are outlined in this essay. It's a good starting point.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Longer Operative?

Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.

. . . Thomas Jefferson
Letter to William Johnson

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Repeating History

Two Arabic hunters from Dearborn hired a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt moose. They bagged four.

As they started loading the plane for the return trip home, the pilot tells them the plane can take only two moose.

The two Arabs objected strongly, stating, "Last year we shot four moose, and the pilot let us put them all on board, and he had the same plane as yours."

Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all four were loaded.

Unfortunately, even at full power, the little plane couldn't handle the load and crashed a few minutes after takeoff.

Climbing out of the wreck, Mohammed asked Ahmed, "Any idea where we are?"

Ahmed replied, "I think we're pretty close to where we crashed last year."

Again Irrationally Hip Deep in Hysteria

The hyperventilating left again has its collective knickers in a bunch. This time over the enactment of legislation in Arizona to have its law enforcement officers enforce the law. The legislation makes it illegal (a crime) for someone to be in Arizona who, by entering the country in violation of federal law, is illegally in the United States. 

Notwithstanding contrary claims of the state law's critics, the statute does not promote, provide for, or permit racial profiling. In fact it specifically prohibits that practice. What it does say is that police who are suspicious about the immigration status of someone with whom they are dealing for another proper reason can and should ask about and look into the suspect's status. This will not lead to officers stopping people on the street willy nilly, without any basis other than an individual's appearance.

The law may in fact have a disproportionate impact on those who are in the country illegally . . . for reasons that critics of the legislation want everyone to ignore. The illegals -- and Arizona has a very high number of them relative to its population -- are responsible for a hugely disproportionate number of the state's homicides and other violent crimes. Arizona certainly has a legitimate interest in protecting its citizens from the crime wave it is experiencing and this would be true even if the federal government had taken or was taking any action to curb the influx of criminals.

Finally, those who would grant amnesty -- a.k.a. a path to citizenship -- to the illegals should be required to explain how and why citizenship would transform criminals, often violent ones, into good and desirable neighbors.

Inconsistent & Hypocritical Critics of Arizona Law

Observations and Comments from Dan Gifford:

That law is racist, un-American, un-constitutional and all the rest goes the politically correct litany. Amid all the verbiage, I have yet to hear or see any mention of the fact that Mexican police are required to check the immigration status of those they arrest and suspect of being there sans proper papers. Nor have I seen any mention of the fact that every other country in the world that I've heard of empowers or requires its police to check the legal status of those they encounter.

Three examples:

My two Korean house guests tell me all citizens there must carry a national identification card, that police check immigration status andthat the receipt of public money by foreigners is illegal. The one exception is for North Koreans who have defected.

A Swiss friend tells me that immigration status is monitored closely there by police and that the many who want citizenship run into a catch 22. One cannot become a Swiss citizen unless they have lived at the same address for 5 years, but it is illegal to live at the same address for more than 5 years unless one is a citizen.

At Heathrow, a sign in customs says that non British citizens have no right to public money. The same sort of announcement is also in every other European airport I've been in.

So why are these sorts of goodies not being written-up and blown back at those attacking the Arizona law during talking head sessions?

Most of you on this list work in politics from the conservative/libertarian side for a living. It would behoove you to do whatever is necessary to shove some facts about what the rest of the world does regarding immigration back into the faces of those who claim the Arizona law is beyond the pale.

One irony about this cannot go unmentioned: The most vocal slams are coming from the same side of the political fence that routinely argues that America is out of step with what the rest of the "civilized" world does. Well, at least one state has taken a step towards bridging that gap and they don't like it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lament From Chicago

News from the Windy City:

"It is mildly amusing that many in Chicago are now publicly crying for National Guard assistance in light of our recent spate of violence.

"Local pundits and political gas-bags alike are predictably blaming everything in the world, except the obvious problem:

"Chicago's discredited gun-ban.

"When guns are banned in a 'free society,' criminal violence always thrives.  We see the phenomenon repeated in NYC and in Washington DC.

"But, today most pundits, along with most politicians, are little more than sleazy thugs and criminals themselves, a long and dreary tradition in Chicago.  And, like thugs everywhere, they simultaneously hate and fear  good and decent people, because they themselves are neither.

"They thrive only on dependancy and victimhood, and they never want that  'tradition' to change!"

Comment:  "So long as free citizens do not exercise freedom, [those] who lust to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and devote themselves, in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to  placing chains on sleeping men."

. . . Voltaire Franois Marie Arouet

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nature Bats Last II

If you harbor any doubts about it, or are interested the subject, take a look at this review of the record.

A Perseptive and Succinct Rejoinder

A follower of this blog responded to the preceding post with an astute observation that warrants greater prominence than it is likely to get solely as a comment. She wrote that the key difference between Muslims and politicians is that "Not all Muslims are criminals and/or dangerous."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mulims & Politicians

Unlike politicians, neither all nor most Muslims threaten anyone. Until I get to know them, I view every adherent of the Islamic religion the same way I view all human and other creatures inhabiting the planet with whom I am not acquainted  --  as potentially, but not necessarily, dangerous and hostile.

On the other hand, politicians, virtually universally, are recognized as having proven to be actual threats, especially once elected to any office in which they can exercise any authority or power. They continually pose real dangers to everyone. As the sayings accurately states, "nobody's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

Reflexive Defense Mechanisms

Click on Image For Better View

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Reminder From Iceland

Words to Live By:

Keep in Mind That Nature 
Always Bats Last

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Behind the Campaign Against the Tea Parties

The statists -- the elitists who seek acceptance by calling themselves progressives -- view the Tea Parties and their participants with fear and loathing.

The very idea of ordinary people presuming to have a voice in the way the nation is governed fills those with a stake in the status quo with terror.  This is a threat to the overlords' lifetime sinecures at the public trough, which they compel the rest of us to keep perpetually filled to overflowing.

That's  why the Tea Partiers are derided as racists, birthers, dangerous people, astro turfers, whatever., in ongoing efforts to vilify the protesters in any way that might possibly discredit them.

However, it doesn't seem to be working. Polls suggest the public has caught on. More than two-thirds of the population now has a very healthy distrust of the elite overlords and the institutions they control.

Defilers of the Constitution Deserve Demonization

Former President Bill Clinton is out there decrying popular incivility toward government which is, and officials who are increasingly recognized as untrustworthy and corrupt.

Billy Jeff,  formerly a.k.a. the nation's draft dodging perjurer-in- chief, says it's okay to criticize and disagree with those in public office but that we must do so politely, while making nice with them. Demonizing them is too dangerous, according to the glib and superficially charming former president whose agents 17 years ago gassed and incinerated more than 75 men, women, and children near Waco, Texas.

Bull Bleep ! ! ! !

The hard truth is that almost all of our elected officials and their academic, media,  legal and financial institution and corporate supporters are irretrievably corrupt. The corrosive effects of that dishonesty and corruption is destroying the country. For this, they deserve to be despised, demonized, and driven from public life. 

The fault however is not theirs alone. We, the people, have until now been complicit in the betrayal of the dream of limited government and individual responsibilities and rights that the founders of the country sought to enshrine in the Constitution.

We have stood by without taking any action, happily enjoying the illusions of prosperity, as our overlords lied from the get go -- from their campaign promises to their uttering oaths of office, falsely swearing to defend, protect, and uphold the Constitution without ever intending to do so. And we remained supine while they stripped away our liberties and frittered away and dissipated our wealth and strength.

There was a time, not that long ago, when the Constitution was celebrated throughout the land. Government was limited and did little. The little that the government did it did exceedingly well. The nation was the freest in the history of the world and its free people created and enjoyed the greatest and wealthiest nation that ever existed. It was not, and never was intended to be a democracy -- the founders recognized the dangers of mob rule. As Benjamin Franklin famously stated, "we [the framers of the Constitution] have given you a republic . . . if you can keep it." We failed to do so

Wealth or the appearance thereof is enervating. It feminizes society, and creates illusions of omnipotence. While we basked in those dreams and illusions, the most craven and politically ambitious among us begin appealing to the mob, bestowing power and distributing the blessings of liberty on those envious of, and a great hunger for material wealth, but little or no interest in the preservation of freedom. The process transformed election campaigns into pandering competitions.

To feed the insatiable hunger, the unchecked lifelong feeders at the public trough increasingly evaded the strictures of the Constitution. Because sizable segments of the citizenry continued to harbor vestiges of reverence for the Constitution, the time serving public officials did this surreptitiously, in small increments, a little bit at a time, instead of openly and honestly attempting to amend it in accordance with the terms it sets forth for doing so. They ultimately transformed the Constitution into the dead letter that it largely is today. We currently have a virtually unlimited federal government . . . a government of men, largely unbound by any laws other than those our professional overlords deem to be desirable at any particular moment in time. The commerce clause has been misshapen, tortured beyond recognition, into a grotesque joke that today permits the government to intrudes into every aspect of our lives. The federal government now does a great deal but almost everything it does it does very poorly and at enormous expense.

The question currently in play is whether a sufficient segment of the population has the will to shake off its lethargy to rein in and confine the government to the limits prescribed by the Constitution. If so, the task will require demonizing those committed to and spending their lives living large off the status quo.

Applying Reverse Engineering to Politics

A company losing out to a competitor supplying a superior product frequently engages in reverse engineering -- taking apart and analyzing the better product in order to explain and understand how and why it beats its own stuff.

A similar process can be used to determine the reasons behind apparently inexplicable political decisions, assuming that the decisions actually have a rational basis.

For example, this not so humble blogger has long believed, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that the first President Bush actually may have had a good reason for selecting Dan Quayle as his vice president. What could explain that decision? Well, let's assume that Mr. Bush was concerned that irrefutable evidence existed and might come to light of his having been involved in Iran Contra or some other event then generally considered to be unsavory or scandalous. Were that so, he might well have concluded that having Mr. Quayle as his vice president guaranteed that he never would have to fear being impeached. No prior transgressions by him would have motivated Congress to replace him with Mr. Quayle as president.

Evidence supporting another long held personal hypothesis about an apparently irrational political decision now is emerging -- the decision of President Bill Clinton to retain Janet Reno as his attorney general during Clinton's second term as president. Why did he keep her on when there clearly was no love lost between the two of them. I have long speculated that Ms. Reno was retained as head of the Department of Justice because she had and could make public evidence that Billy Jeff or Ms. Hillary had issued the orders that led federal agents to gas and incinerate more than 75 men, women, and children near Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. Dick Morris, who was working with President Clinton during Clinton's campaign for reelection, now has reported that Mr. Clinton told him, in effect, that this blogger's hypothesis -- which was reached solely through the above-described reverse engineering process and previously unsupported by any real evidence -- actually was and is correct. According to Morris, Clinton told him that he had to retain Ms. Reno as attorney general,  because she had threatened to expose Clinton's responsibility for the atrocity if he did not do so.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our New Foreign Policy

The Obama administration has taken Jimmy Carter's foreign policy of rewarding our enemies and punishing our friends to a new level, as is pointed out in this analysis. This is real change and it is shameful as well as counterproductive.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can Our Civilization Survive?

The question of whether the West still can awaken, shrug off its lethargy, and rid itself of its multicultural dreams and delusions in time to resuscitate western civilization is examined in this thoughtful essay, which is adapted from the author's posthumously published book on the subject.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Cap and Trade Foretaste

The politicians in Los Angeles must have gotten a really good warm feeling from imposing politically cool environmental rules on their city to combat global warming. Now though, according to this report, it's the city's finances that are melting down.  As for all the "green jobs" that supposedly will be created, it looks like they probably will be going to bankruptcy attorneys. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Muslims Among Us

All the expressions of angst notwithstanding, Muslims in the U.S. according to this analytical report, are not suffering from any widespread backlash as a result of the repeated murderous assaults their radical coreligionists have mounted against us. However, a Danish  psychologist, seriously argues, in this politically incorrect column, that Muslims, with a limited number of exceptions, cannot be integrated into western societies.

Breathtaking Arrogance and Disdain

Anyone harboring any illusions about the contempt with which ordinary Americans are viewed by our overlords -- public office holders, their academic and media supporters, and those running our major financial institutions and corporations -- should read this piece by Peggy Noonan. They cheat, steal, lie, and obfuscate shamelessly . . . picking our pockets and winking at one another while doing so.

Why do they do this and how do they get away with it?

Because we allow them to do so with impunity . . . without fear of suffering any consequences or retribution.

If we want our country back, we have to strike fear into the hearts and souls of those in high places.  We have to make them feel our wrath and fear us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Indefensible Defense Policy

Fellow codgers will recall how President Reagan expressly declined to rule out any measures that the U.S. might take were it or any of its allies or interests attacked. We suffered few attacks because our adversaries had to take into account the possibility of a devastating and ruinous reaction by the U.S. The ambiguity about how we might retaliate for any hostile acts served the country well.

The nation's current president now is spelling out for both friends and enemies what actions can be taken against America, its allies, and its interests without fear that we might retaliate with the most powerful weapons in our arsenals. 

Eventually -- sooner or later -- we will learn, and pay in blood, the cost of such groveling advance appeasement.

P.S. Since the foregoing was posted, the always clear headed Charles Krauthammer has made the same point more elaborately and in greater detail in the column that can be reached by clicking here.

Racial Politics

In this excellent analysis the eminent Thomas Sowell lays out how the Obama administration dangerously uses and fosters racial divisions for political purposes.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Racial Questions, Even If Politically Incorrect and Offensive, Require Exploration

Beneath the surface of our national discourse are a collection of important race based facts that almost everyone recognizes but few are willing to discuss. Emblematic of these is the extraordinarily high percentage of black public officials who have been and continue to be engaged in illegal activities. 

The problem is a significant one both nationally and in many of our communities. Nonetheless, nothing is being done to deal with it, and it cannot be dealt with so long as open recognition of it is avoided.

No problem can be resolved if it is too politically incorrect,  sensitive, or offensive to be recognized and openly discussed.

The unpleasant fact is that in the more than half century that has passed since the nation decisively repudiated and turned away from legal racial discrimination, the  so called black community has failed to develop any significant responsible leadership. Instead, we have charlatans and race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, successive mayors of Detroit and other declining big cities, that cold cash Louisiana congressman, the tax avoiding guy in charge of writing our tax laws . . . the list goes on and on . . . and at some point somebody has to ask why and what can and should be done about it.

The purpose of this post is not to attempt to answer those questions, but, instead, to (i) suggest some possible reasons for the failure, and (ii) contribute to the beginning of an honest and open discussion and consideration of the problem.

There is one major difference other than skin color between most of the nation's black citizens and their non black counterparts. Unlike those counterparts, few black citizens or their ancestors chose to come here. Other Americans or their ancestors emigrated to the United States for the opportunity to build better lives for themselves and their progeny. Such immigrants are a self selecting group . . . an elite if you like . . . with the courage and initiative to leave a settled existence for something unknown that might be better. That daring spirit lives on in the genes of most Americans.

The ancestors of most black citizens were brought here as slaves, unwilling immigrants. They too were selected . . . but they were selected by others as being too slow, too stupid, or just too unfortunate to avoid being captured and kept as slaves by other blacks who sold those who were unable to escape to the slave traders who transported them to our shores.

Neither group had a monopoly on privation, grueling labor, or discrimination. All but forgotten today is the bias that every wave of new immigrants to our shores suffered -- the Scandinavians who were shunted out to the old northwest territories swamplands, where they were expected to perish but instead survived and ultimately prospered, and in the process built a thriving agricultural and manufacturing society, the despised Irish who fled their homeland's potato famine and overcame rejection here to build many of our great cities and much of the country's infrastructure -- to mention but a few examples that also included eastern and southern Europeans and Jews, Asians, and many others. All chafed, struggled, and fought against the prejudices and discrimination against the newcomers, ultimately winning full membership and participation in American society through their own efforts . . . . The struggles by successive waves of newcomers to overcome the challenges they faced here has, in my opinion, given our society a vitality absent in the societies from which the immigrants came.

The black experience was different. Imported blacks certainly suffered from their status as slaves and many were over worked and treated inhumanely and unjustly. But they by and large were kept and had no need or incentive to strive to improve their lot as improvement generally was unattainable. On the other hand, every slave represented an investment by the slaveholder and therefore the slaveholder had an interest in keeping the slave in good enough condition to keep working, to bring a return on the investment -- a marked contrast to the Irish or Chinese laborers who could be worked to death and replaced without cost.

This is not to condone or excuse the immorality of slavery that was recognized too slowly and then allowed to continue far too long and then replaced with equally reprehensible discriminatory practices.

That series of sins by our society, when we ultimately and belatedly ended them, led to an equally serious mistake -- because of a collective sense of guilt, instead of really ending discrimination against blacks and freeing them to strive to earn a place in society, we tried to atone for our transgressions by continuing to keep them, giving them preferences -- a leg up, which was called affirmative action. This, it was felt, was owed to the group for what its members previously had suffered.  And the result of that was the creation of a sense of entitlement, a sense of victimhood, that appears to have become permanent.

Thus it is no wonder that so much of the so called black community responds to those who exploit, and live large by exploiting white guilt and the corresponding black sense of entitlement and victimhood. The exploiters naturally seek to make both permanent features of our society.  Does anyone truly believe that either of the two above-mentioned reverends would lift a finger if he was able, with wave of his hand, to wipe out every vestige of black inequality?

Meanwhile new Asian immigrants progress toward full participation as equal  citizens of the nation through their own efforts.  So too do many newly arrived Hispanics despite attempts by many of their would be leaders to adopt the black model. All one needs to do to identify where any purported minority group leader stands is to see who decries as racist any criticism of, or disagreement with their divisive efforts or reprehensible conduct.

Media Bias Begat the Birthers

The birthers -- Americans who claim Obama is not eligible to serve as president because he was not born in the United States -- may be, and are more likely than not, wrong but they are not devoid of plausible arguments. Furthermore the questions that they raise about things such as where Obama was born, the source of the funds that paid for his very expensive education, whether he applied for and received a college scholarship as a foreign student, the passport that he used for his youthful travel to Pakistan certainly are legitimate.

That these questions exist at all,  and persist and remain unanswered, is due to the enchantment that the countries mainstream media -- the major metropolitan newspapers and broadcast networks -- have had with Obama and his candidacy from the outset. That enchantment deflected them from any serious vetting of Obama, and that failure provided, and continues to provide the opening to the birthers and their allies. Had the media performed their traditional role and vetted candidate Obama, those questions would have been laid to rest before receiving any significant notice.

Why then does this not so humble blogger believe the birthers probably are wrong? One and only one simple reason. If candidate Obama was constitutionally ineligible for election to the presidency, that in all likelihood would have been discovered and disseminated by the Clinton opposition research and attack machine.

However, linked to the birthers' arguments are certain indisputable facts: Obama, as a youth, was mentored by, and closely and continuously associated with radical critics of America and its traditions,  There is in his record no clear break with that background. In fact, there instead are his appointments of czars who hold sway over huge swathes of our national life. They were not subject to confirmation by the Senate and are answerable to no authority other than Obama. These czars -- commiczars actually would be a more descriptive appellation -- are unsavory characters from Obama's radical past and they likewise have received little if any vetting by the nation's big media. 

Given all of this, is it any wonder that the nation's major newspapers and broadcast networks lack credibility, are mistrusted, and, as a result, are losing their audience and failing economically?