Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bibi to Barry: Stop Iran, or we will

Blunt words from the new prime minister of Israel, and it's high time it came out. Barry just wants to make nice with Iran, give them concessions so that we can all play nice. The problem is Iran doesn't want to do that, and they're laughing themselves silly at the new president:

In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

History teaches Jews that threats against their collective existence should be taken seriously, and, if possible, preempted, he suggested. In recent years, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has regularly called for Israel to be “
wiped off the map,” and the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, this month called Israel a “cancerous tumor.”

But Netanyahu also said that Iran threatens many other countries apart from Israel, and so his mission over the next several months is to convince the world of the broad danger posed by Iran. One of his chief security advisers, Moshe Ya’alon, told me that a nuclear Iran could mean the end of American influence in the Middle East. “This is an existential threat for Israel, but it will be a blow for American interests, especially on the energy front. Who will dominate the oil in the region—Washington or Tehran?”

Netanyahu said he would support President Obama’s decision to engage Iran, so long as negotiations brought about a quick end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “How you achieve this goal is less important than achieving it,” he said, but he added that he was skeptical that Iran would respond positively to Obama’s appeals. In an hour-long conversation, held in the Knesset, Netanyahu tempered his aggressive rhetoric with an acknowledgement that nonmilitary pressure could yet work. “I think the Iranian economy is very weak, which makes Iran susceptible to sanctions that can be ratcheted up by a variety of means.” When I suggested that this statement contradicted his assertion that Iran, by its fanatic nature, is immune to pressure, Netanyahu smiled thinly and said, “Iran is a composite leadership, but in that composite leadership there are elements of wide-eyed fanaticism that do not exist right now in any other would-be nuclear power in the world. That’s what makes them so dangerous.”

He went on, “Since the dawn of the nuclear age, we have not had a fanatic regime that might put its zealotry above its self-interest. People say that they’ll behave like any other nuclear power. Can you take the risk? Can you assume that?”

Netanyahu offered Iran’s behavior during its eight-year war with Iraq as proof of Tehran’s penchant for irrational behavior. Iran “wasted over a million lives without batting an eyelash … It didn’t sear a terrible wound into the Iranian consciousness. It wasn’t Britain after World War I, lapsing into pacifism because of the great tragedy of a loss of a generation. You see nothing of the kind.”

He continued: “You see a country that glorifies blood and death, including its own self-immolation.” I asked Netanyahu if he believed Iran would risk its own nuclear annihilation at the hands of Israel or America. “I’m not going to get into that,” he said.

Neither Netanyahu nor his principal military advisers would suggest a deadline for American progress on the Iran nuclear program, though one aide said pointedly that Israeli time lines are now drawn in months, “not years.” These same military advisers told me that they believe Iran’s defenses remain penetrable, and that Israel would not necessarily need American approval to launch an attack. “The problem is not military capability, the problem is whether you have the stomach, the political will, to take action,” one of his advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me.

Iran has enjoyed virtually unfettered command of the region as they interfere with our efforts in Iraq, collude with the Chinese and Russians for more advanced missile technology, and uses it's surrogates -- like Syria -- to get better nuclear technology. this is not for peaceful purposes. It's to get a nuclear weapon. and while some may argue that the nuclear age is over, and there's no need to worry about the Iranians obtaining such a weapon, others, like myself and Marcie, are concerned about them getting such a weapon.

Let's say they don't use a nuke on Israel. Let's say they sit on their minuscule arsenal, and continue to build it up. Has it occurred to anyone how Iran could use such weapons against the region? Has the term "nuclear blackmail" entered their minds? And what if it extends beyond the region itself, and they obtain missile technology to threaten Europe, or even us? And what if their desires extend beyond nuclear weapons? What if it goes to chemical and biological weapons? Will the world fiddle as Rome burns yet again?

The idea of Israel striking Iran isn't an easy one to grasp. The mission itself, even with external drop tanks, wouldn't be easy, to say the least. More than a few Israeli military experts claim that they may lose a few pilots, and not just to the Russian air defenses that were sold to Iran. They could lose those pilots and planes in the flight there or back, easily. But if they do what they feel they must do, then we shouldn't complain about this.

Of Barry won't back such an operation. He doesn't want to. In his mind he thinks we can make nice with a regime like the one in Tehran. You can't make nice with a pitbull willing to rip your throat out. The best way to deal with such a threat is to eliminate it.

Publius II

The march of the big government Statists

After the idiotic AIG kerfuffle, we asked ourselves, "How long before the overreaching federal government tells businesses how much they can pay ALL of their employees?" Today, we got our answer:

It was nearly two weeks ago that the House of Representatives, acting in a near-frenzy after the disclosure of bonuses paid to executives of AIG, passed a bill that would impose a 90 percent retroactive tax on those bonuses. Despite the overwhelming 328-93 vote, support for the measure began to collapse almost immediately. Within days, the Obama White House backed away from it, as did the Senate Democratic leadership. The bill stalled, and the populist storm that spawned it seemed to pass.

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the "Pay for Performance Act of 2009," would impose government controls on the pay of all employees -- not just top executives -- of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

The purpose of the legislation is to "prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards," according to the bill's language. That includes regular pay, bonuses -- everything -- paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.

In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is "unreasonable" or "excessive." And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate "the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates."

The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)

The legislation is expected to come before the full House for a vote this week, and, just like the AIG bill, its scope and retroactivity trouble a number of Republicans. "It's just a bad reaction to what has been going on with AIG," Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, a committee member, told me. Garrett is particularly concerned with the new powers that would be given to the Treasury Secretary, who just last week proposed giving the government extensive new regulatory authority. "This is a growing concern, that the powers of the Treasury in this area, along with what Geithner was looking for last week, are mind boggling," Garrett said.

Rep. Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who wrote the bill, told me its basic message is "you should not get rich off public money, and you should not get rich off of abject failure." Grayson expects the bill to pass the House, and as we talked, he framed the issue in a way to suggest that virtuous lawmakers will vote for it, while corrupt lawmakers will vote against it.

"This bill will show which Republicans are so much on the take from the financial services industry that they're willing to actually bless compensation that has no bearing on performance and is excessive and unreasonable," Grayson said. "We'll find out who are the people who understand that the public's money needs to be protected, and who are the people who simply want to suck up to their patrons on Wall Street."

After the AIG bonus tax bill was passed, some members of the House privately expressed regret for having supported it and were quietly relieved when the White House and Senate leadership sent it to an unceremonious death. But populist rage did not die with it, and now the House is preparing to do it all again.

That sound you here are the boots of the Statist in the background, on the march for money they have no claim to. This bill is so unconstitutional, and illegal, it's not funny. Where is it in the Constitution that the Treasury Secretary has the power to tell a company what their employees can and can't make? Yes, we know it's companies that have received TARP funds, but still what this bill is designed to do is literally illegal.

A contract is a binding agreement between two parties. One side agrees to pay or compensate the other for a delivery of goods and/or services. The only ways that a contract can be broken is either through a court, where the judge can break it. Or, in the case of a company having a contract with an employee they may file Chapter 11 to break a contract.

Byron York, above, states that this will be applied retroactively, and that it would trump any contracts existing right now. The Congress, despite the fact they have lent the money to the companies, has no authority to alter any existing contract. But take a look at the rhetoric the Democrats are using in defending this measure. They're trying to gin up anger and resentment, just like they did with the AIG bonuses.

Don't buy into this, folks. Don't get mad at the people who work for these companies. Get mad at the federal government and it's hard Left overreach. Ever since the Congress reconvened in January, and the president was inaugurated the Democrats have engaged in the largest expansion of the federal government that anyone -- even if you are someone who lived through the Great Depression -- has ever seen. The Democrats are doing what they do best -- taking power away from the private sector or the people -- for themselves.

Also, I'd like to close on the constitutional grounds argument I'm making. This is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Let's take a look at what the amendment says:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The laws passed must be equal and equitable to all that they affect. The government can't arbitrarily target one group or another because they disagree with what those people are doing, or how much money they make. Additionally, the government can't deny the freedoms enumerated above (life, liberty, or property) without due process. Liberty, in essence is exactly what the government is denying those employees. The government is telling them that they don't care what contract you have. If you're a janitor, and you make $35,000 a year working for a company that has accepted TARP funds, the Treasury can say that is considered "excessive" and alter your contract.

Memo to the Supreme Court: You are the guardians of the US Constitution. Care to wake up and start slapping down some of this garbage coming out of the Congress? The high court did it to FDR and many of his New Deal ideas. I think it's time Chief Justice John Roberts step up and start getting his colleagues to do their job, which is to protect the people -- to protect the nation -- from this illegal and unconstitutional power grab.

Publius II

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On Liberty and Tyranny Part III

It's still the number one book sold on Amazon. That's quite impressive seeing as how the last time I saw a book like this with such a following was when Bill Bennett released his "America: The Last Best Hope" two volume set which also climbed up the charts. I only note that because, much like Mark's newest work, people were clamoring for that sort of writing. Not just conservative, in origin, but a primer on the way things used to be, and how they have changed.

I write this tonight because I have spent the last five days listening to Mark Levin's show, and each night he has discussed his book. No surprise that people called in with favorable reviews of the book, or congratulations to him. In his discussion with Mr. Levin on Wednesday, Rush noted that this is the book people have been waiting for. Well, at least conservatives have been waiting for. As I stated in my review of it here (which generated quite a bit of buzz in the comments and e-mails; I'll have to address the e-mails later this week) the book lays out the fundamental and inarguable differences between us, and those that we commonly refer to as liberals. Mark makes the distinction even clearer. No longer should they be called liberals. They are Statists.

But back to his show. People are gushing over his work, and many are stating they can't find it in their local bookstores. Have no fear because they have begun another printing of the book, and they will be arriving on book store shelves sometime this week. If you want it, and I know a lot of people do, put you name on a list so you can be called when it arrives, or go to Amazon. They'll ship it, if you order it, as soon as they get a restock.

As readers know, I regularly plop my butt down in a political chat room at night. The days have been long, and I tend to want to relax amongst friends. One of my close associates asked me "What's the big deal with his book?" Well, first off, you have to read it to understand it. Secondly, couple that book, and it's message, to the recent string of Tea Parties popping up across the nation, and you can clearly see a connection.

We, the people, are just plain fed up with the Statists trying to tear down our nation. They do so with respect to the laws, to our liberties, and to the Constitution which we defend regularly. THIS is why his book is so prescient right now. It is a call to arms, if you will. Not in the sense that most would claim that phrase means. By no means is Mr. Levin calling for an armed uprising. But what he is calling for is for conservatives to wage an ideological fight against the Statists and their goals.

In short, the time to act is now before we have no recourse left. But we must be armed, and his book is just one of the books we should all have. Not only should we have it, but we had better read it, often, and commit to memory what it means to be a conservative, and what the Founders expected from future generations.

Below is a list of books I recommend for every conservative to read. They're not easy reads, to say the least, but they're ones we should read. To fight back the Statist tyranny we face, we need to be armed. So, I give you my library that I have read, repeatedly, and I urge conservatives to read them if they haven't already.

America: The Last Best Hope
The Debate on the Constitution
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalist Papers (One must know the other side of the argument.)
de Tocqueville's Democracy in America
Justice Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution
The Heritage Guide to the Constitution

These are the key books in our library we refer to when it comes to conservative principles, and originalist jurisprudence. They are our "bibles" (forgive the term, but we have no master above that of God and the Constitution). To know the Constitution, and to know our liberties is to know these works. Read them. Learn them. Understand them. The ideological fight continues, and we need every able bodied man and woman to be armed with the finest refutations to the Statist's overall goals.

Publius II

Friday, March 27, 2009

About those detainees down at Gitmo

Let me reiterate our direct and open opposition to closing down the detention facility at Gitmo. This is an astoundingly inept mistake, even for Barry. He is obviously not listening to his military advisers on this issue, but he is content to listen to the extreme fringe fever-swamp of his party. However I was rather taken aback by this from Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard's blog. It appears that not only will we be freeing them into the United States, but we're going to be giving them welfare of sorts when they get here:

During his news conference, Blair also said the Obama administration is still wrestling with what to do with the remaining 240 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which the president has ordered closed.

Some of the detainees, deemed non-threatening, may be released into the United States as free men, Blair confirmed.

That would happen when they can't be returned to their home countries, because the governments either won't take them or the U.S. fears they will be abused or tortured. That is the case with 17 Uighurs (WEE'-gurz), Chinese Muslim separatists who were cleared for release from the jail long ago. The U.S. can't find a country willing to take them, and it will not turn them over to China.

Blair said the former prisoners would have [to] get some sort of assistance to start their new lives in the United States.

“We can't put them out on the street,” he said.

We find the idea not only appalling but dangerous as well. We know there are sleeper cells in the United States that had been under surveillance for eight years, and we're pretty sure they still are. The last thing we need to be doing is allowing these so-called non-threatening detainees reach our shore, and hook up with some like-minded cronies. But Mr. Joscelyn explains this much better:

(1) Does this mean that the Obama administration is planning on giving some freed Guantanamo detainees a stipend? It sure appears that way. So, not only is the Obama administration planning on freeing some detainees on U.S. soil, it is also going to pay them to live here. Amazing. Who would have thought that we would see the day when detainees who were once labeled enemy combatants would be receiving welfare?

(2) The Uighur detainees are cited, over and over again, as the types of detainees who can be safely released into the U.S. This conclusion has been reached through a combination of specious reasoning and ignorance.

None of the 17 Uighurs are master terrorists on par with the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They were mostly new recruits at the time of their capture. However, as I have argued before, they are all affiliated with and/or members of a designated terrorist organization, received training at a training camp in the al Qaeda/Taliban stronghold of Tora Bora, and have admitted that they were trained by two known terrorists. And, on top of that, the group that trained them threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China last year.

Even if you don’t think that we should lock them up and throw away the key, do we really want to pay them to live on U.S. soil?

(3) The AP says the United States can’t find a country to take the Uighurs, other than China, which may treat them harshly. But that really remains to be seen. Ireland, for example, has apparently offered to take some Guantanamo detainees. Other European nations have been somewhat more reticent.

(4) Is the Obama administration considering paying other Guantanamo detainees to live in the U.S. as well?

This move by Barry is both stupid and foolish. And frankly we could care less what their home countries do to them. Ship them back to their countries, and be done with it. Let them determine guilt or innocence seeing as how the current administration is doing it's best to hamstring the tribunals. It's clear to us that this administration cares more about treating these animals nicely than protecting this nation.

We've already seen that this administration cares little about wanting to keep us safe. The recent dispatch of 21,000 troops to Afghanistan, with no clear-cut orders, will guarantee more bodies coming home from that hellhole. He is closing down Gitmo, and there are those in Congress who want to prosecute the former administration of war crimes DESPITE the fact that many in congress knew what we being done, and didn't believe the Bush administration was harsh enough on the detainees.

But we have a new sheriff in town, and he happens to be the shakiest gun in the west.

Publius II

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Long Knives for Governor Palin

This is beginning to get ridiculous. Ever since the end of the election, and even during the election, Governor Sarah Palin has been repeatedly attacked by critics. When I say attacked, I do mean attacked. Andrew Sullivan maintained, from the moment she was named as John McCain's running mate, that she was not the person who gave birth to her newest child, Trig, but rather it was her daughter Bristol. Yes, Mr. Sullivan is an a**hole, pardon the language.

But Jim Geraghty @ National Review's Campaign Spot points out that it is not just members of the media that are going after her:

Since Alaska governor Sarah Palin was named John McCain's running mate, her foes and various Alaskan liberals have begun a new exercise, attempting to bankrupt the Palin family through legal fees, by filing endless ethics complaints against her.

In her term, ten ethics complaints and 150 FOIA requests have been filed. (One of the complaints, about improperly firing her state public-safety commissioner, predates her national prominence.)

While holding elected officials accountable is laudable, most of the matters are beyond trivial. One of the complaints against her was for talking to reporters about the presidential campaign while she was in the governor's office. Another objected to her office press secretary offering a statement to clarify a statement put out by her political action committee. The latest complaint is that Palin wore snow-machine gear advertising her husband Todd's sponsor, Arctic Cat Inc, while "in her official duties as governor" when she served as the "official starter" of the race.

Palin owes $500,000 in legal fees, almost four times her annual salary. She says she may be forced to create a
legal defense fund.

We would recommend she does start one, and we will gladly contribute to it. Many may scratch their heads and ask why she is falling under a seemingly-constant stream of attacks. The answer is quite simple, as Mr. Geraghty points out above, they are trying to bankrupt her and her family. But while the money may hurt the family, they are trying to bankrupt her on a political front, as well.

Whether Republicans understand this or not, it is the truth that she is a rising star in the party. The way she was treated during the campaign by the press was absolutely appalling. And I dare anyone to offer up a contradictory opinion. Compare and contrast how she was treated by the media compared to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or even her own running mate. She was portrayed by the press as some hick from the sticks that got by on her looks more than her intelligence. They sneered at the success of her negotiations with the oil companies; efforts that nets the citizens of Alaska a "profit-sharing" check of sorts every year, and it is by no means chump change.

But they want her destroyed. And they want to destroy Governor Bobby Jindal, as well. He, too, is a rising star in the party, and after defeating the feckless and incompetent Governor Kathleen Blanco he turned things around in Louisiana. He launched a pro-business model to attract businesses to Louisiana. He cut taxes. He is doing an effective job of cleaning up the corruption that was rampant in the state. The media panned and slammed Governor Jindal on his response to President Obama's address to Congress. To be fair, it was weak on delivery, but if you listen to what he says rather than how he says it, it was a good speech. This one was delivered last night at the NRCC's annual dinner, and did he ever rock the house.

The point is that the liberals (or as Thomas has taken to calling them, "Statists") are afraid of the up-and-comers we have in the party. You can include Mitt Romney in that vein, as well, but he has not been attacked nearly as bad as he was during the Republican primaries. But they are afraid of these people so they are doing everything they can to tear them down, and shatter their strength. This is how they work. We can get riled up when things like this happen to someone, for no reason whatsoever, that threatens their livelihood and their reputation, and we should get angry. We should also draw attention to it, as well otherwise we will give in and be cowed by the vultures that are perpetuating this behavior.

If she sets up a legal defense fund, we will contribute to it, and we hope like-minded readers will also. This is a pathetic attempt to smear and besmirch the name and record of a good governor, and still one of the most popular governors in the United States.


President Thin-Skin

Neither of us watched the presser last night, but we did listen to it. I do have a complaint about his ideas regarding restructuring contracts (part of the answer to the very first question). The Executive branch has no authority in restructuring any contracts. That is for a court to determine, or if the company in question declares bankruptcy.

But I digress. Hugh Hewitt declared it to be a "snooze-fest" which it was. There were a total of thirteen questions in fifty-seven minutes, and the more pointed questions did not come until the end of the presser.

But, Mr. Hewitt took note of an observation Andrew McCarthy made after the press conference, and we believe he hit the nail on the head:

Instead, I want to address the very beginning of the President's answer: "Okay. No, I — I think it’s a — I think it’s a legitimate question."

Obama does this a lot — instinctively, and in response to questions or comments directed to him that contain any hint of criticism. He has been so immune from media scrutiny, and his supporters have been so thuggish in shouting down critics (recall, for example, the
efforts to stop Stanley Kurtz's appearance on Milt Rosenberg's radio show in Chicago), that a disturbing presumption has taken hold — at least in Obama's own mind. Namely, questions that imply even mild dissent from or disfavor of Obama are not legitimate unless he personally decides they are within the ambit of proper inquiry. The questioner has to get over the legitimacy hurdle before he or she gets an answer — so better be careful about your topic and your tone.

This is of a piece with his ACORN days, when the community-organizer was not above resort to what those extortionists glibly call "
direct action." Obama can appear civil, gracious and, as he insists, "pragmatic," but the prospect of intimidation is always in the air. This is not a pretty picture after only two months, and it doesn't get better from here.

That observation is quite keen. We have seen him get flustered with questions in the past. Remember when he visited the White House press corps after the inauguration?

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a deputy defense secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

He was clearly attempting to intimidate the Politico reporter. But that was not the first time he became irritated with the press. Remember the campaign trail?

As Sen. Hillary Clinton was preparing to campaign here today, Sen. Barack Obama was meeting with voters at a diner and apparently pretty hungry.

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?" he said, when asked a foreign policy question by a reporter at the Glider Diner.

He dislikes criticism. He enjoys the tingling press people who do nothing but fawn over him. This is not the behavior of a grown man and the leader of the free world. This is the attitude and behavior of a narcissistic, petulant child. Mr. McCarthy is quite correct: this is not a pretty picture. It begs a simple question, and one that is thoroughly merited given how the presser started last night. Remember that?

All right. With that, let me take some questions. And I've got a list here.

So here is the question: How long before his list of reporters that he will take questions from has only those absolutely loyal to him, and will not utter one word of criticism? To some that might seem presumptive. Others might find me to be incredulous, even haughty. But given how he reacts to any bit of critique that is not positive towards him, I believe the question is more than warranted.


Barney Frank: Idiocy at it's Apex

Representative Barney Frank has said some pretty idiotic things in the past. Most recently he has done nothing more than engage in the demagogic attacks the Left is noted for over the economic problems we are facing. He is a man, but do not ask him to stand up and accept his responsibility for his part in it. But I do not write of that. I would rather take issue with his attack on Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in calling him a homophobe:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe” Friday for opposing gay rights.

“I do think that this argument that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to pick and choose which marriages it will recognize is a good one,” Frank said Friday in an interview with a gay news website, 365gay.com.

“At some point it’s going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court,” he continued. “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this court.”

Gay marriage, and the debate surrounding this issue is a policy matter, not a legal one. In fact, until he and other homosexuals can cite where marriage is within the Constitution, or even that it is a right, they have no case to bring before a court. Proposition 8 opponents have even taken their grievance to California courts claiming that the amendment (formerly Proposition 8) passed is unconstitutional when in fact it has no constitutional legs.

If Representative Frank would like to extend the institution of marriage to homosexuals, then let him introduce a bill in the House. It would not pass, of course despite the Democrat numbers, for the sheer fact that tradition in this country is that marriage is between a man and a woman. His colleagues would not support such a measure much in the same vein that Representative Rangel's nutty idea of reinstituting the draft was not supported by his party.

The shot was low and uncalled for, and quite frankly I feel it was slanderous. Justice Scalia, to our knowledge, has never said anything about this issue, and even if he did, those are his opinions, and his personal preference does not figure into his judicial philosophy. Justice Scalia is a textualist; an originalist, of sorts, who abides by the Constitution, and the Framer's intents.

One would think that is where this ends, but on the contrary he doubled down on it today in the Boston Globe:

"What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people," Frank told WBZ radio, arguing that Scalia's judicial writing "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."

In particular, Frank cited Scalia's opinion in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws barring consensual acts of sodomy. In his dissent, Scalia wrote that the 6-3 vote served to ratify an "agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."

"If you read his opinion, he thinks it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people," Frank said yesterday.

That shows Representative Frank's utter stupidity on this matter. Nowhere in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas did he say he wanted to see homosexuals locked up. He did not even allude to that idea. Here is what he wrote about the law itself:

Texas Penal Code Ann. §21.06(a) (2003) undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty. So do laws prohibiting prostitution, recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours per week in a bakery. But there is no right to “liberty” under the Due Process Clause, though today’s opinion repeatedly makes that claim. Ante, at 6 (“The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice”); ante, at 13 (“ ‘ These matters … are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’ ”); ante, at 17 (“Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government”). The Fourteenth Amendment expressly allows States to deprive their citizens of “liberty,” so long as “due process of law” is provided ...

And how the high court overstepped it's constitutional boundaries:

Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one’s fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one’s views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts–or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them–than I would forbid it to do so. What Texas has chosen to do is well within the range of traditional democratic action, and its hand should not be stayed through the invention of a brand-new “constitutional right” by a Court that is impatient of democratic change. It is indeed true that “later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,” ante, at 18; and when that happens, later generations can repeal those laws. But it is the premise of our system that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best.

In other words, it was not the Supreme Court's right or duty to step in on this particular case. That was something both of us dealt with when the decision was handed down. This case never should have made it to the high court. The proper recourse would have been to urge the state to strike down the sodomy law, not demand the Supreme Court overreach, and trample a state's Tenth Amendment right to make laws for their citizens. By doing what it did, the Supreme Court further eroded a right that is literally hanging by a thread. The Tenth Amendment is one amendment that has been trampled, repeatedly and often, by the federal courts for decades.

We would be willing to place a wager on whether or not Representative Frank has actually read the dissents or the majority opinion of the high court. We sincerely doubt it because this cheap shot hardly shows any intelligence whatsoever of Representative Frank. He received a BA in Government in 1962 from Harvard, and received his JD in 1977 from Harvard Law. He sits on the House Financial committee. It is quite clear that despite his education the man knows nothing of what he speaks. He should do the country a favor and be silent before he makes an ass of himself again.

A tip of the hat to Captain Ed @ Hot Air and DrewM. @ Ace of Spades.


On Liberty and Tyranny, Part II

Yes, I know I covered the book yesterday, and I thank Professor Reynolds again for the link. However, I seemed to have generated a bit of a buzz in the comments yesterday and I'd like to address them. Their points were more than valid, and deserve a response.

But the rebellion I see isn't one using guns. I see us using what we use best, which is our minds, our intellect, and our general intelligence. The old conservative axiom that we win the war of ideas is true. All the Statist has to offer are the same failed ideas that history is replete with.

The problem is, the intended audience doesn't know the Statist's ideas are failures, because the Statists who control the educational system have spent years telling them that the Statist's ideas are the only way to success.

I see no peaceful way for the truth to win when it's faced by such a Brobdignagian wall of lies.

Truth is it's own defense. Breaking through the web of lies I would equate to breaking down someone who has been programmed, if you will, to believe a set of lies. The problem is getting them to listen. In fact. Mark Levin touches, sort of, on that particular subject in his book. So long as academia has an iron grip on teaching future generations, indoctrination, even to the smallest extent, is inevitable. The point being is that we must be armed to fight back. Remember, we win in the arena of ideas. Whereas the Statist has his mantra, his talking points, his shrill rhetoric, we have answers, and solutions, and ideas. We are the thinkers. They are the emotional hacks. As for being peaceful, recall, if you will, that almost 233 years ago the Founders had to take up arms to break free of the tyranny they faced. Someday, possibly, we might have to do the same thing. Given what has been done by the Statist up to this point, and given the gigantic steps being taken now, as the government grows our liberties shrink.


You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement

and that's the problem. We already agree with each other.

We already agree with each other and with John McCain representing us we got our clocks cleaned.

It's not enough to be correct or to be clever about making correct arguments. What has to happen is that people who do not think like we do and people who just don't think very much have to swing themselves around such that they instinctively come from where we come.

I have no idea how that is accomplished but it certainly is not by our reading Levin's book and agreeing with it.

And on top of that, I give you Senator Richard Shelby, one of the Republicans responsible for 40% of the earmarks in Obama's budget of terror. I give you Congressman Cantor who voted in favor of a bill of attainder to tax at a 90% punitive rate the bonuses of AIG executives. I give you President GWB who signed McCain-Feingold and the great Medicare drug benefit.

Do you reckon that the folks who need to vote with us got a tingle up their leg when they witness these folks? Or do you think they see "us" and "them" as the same weak, unprincipled group of government thugs?

It's true that McCain was a weak candidate. Hell, he's a weak senator, and one which we wish would simply go away. His days are done. His service, though honorable, has been appalling over the years. It's time Johnny exited the stage. We have nothing but disdain for him. Yes we supported him in the election, but given the other choice (we lend no credence to third parties) we were left with no choice. It'll be a cold day in Hell before we vote, outright, for a Statist.

As for those who do not think, no offense, they're sheeple. They're happy to sit in sh*t their entire lives so long as they have their habits to embrace (drugs, booze, Oprah, etc.) a "domestic animal" to fornicate with, and a meal to eat. They're the lowest of the low in society. I'm not being snobbish here. I'm telling the truth. they're the entitlement crowd with a heart full of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged. They will never think so long as the Statist gives them their "Two Minute Hate" and their entitlements.

We will accomplish the goals of the book -- his manifesto at the conclusion, or at least the overview of it -- by following the principles laid out. Those principles are the same ones we've believed in for years. When the general populace is presented conservatism, they accept it over the Statist's goals. The problem is that since Reagan left office we haven't had a true conservative get elected. Neither Bush was a conservative. They had Statist ideas mixed with some conservative principles. (Bush 41 had the national security credentials, as did Bush 43. Bush 43 seemed to have the fiscal credentials until he swallowed his veto pen for five years.) But this goes beyond what we espouse as conservatism. Conservatism is more than just a platform. It's a way of thinking. We can't simply prattle off talking points. we have to be able to show people that the Founder's principles are what drives us, and that those principles are what made this nation great, not reliance on the state.

Citing the failures in our party does no good if an alternative isn't presented. (I might add that Cantor voted for an ex post facto law, not a bill of attainder. The House didn't delineate guilt or innocence. It simply passed a law trumping a previous one.) Remember that our elections have basically been reduced to a version of American Idiot (a show we absolutely despise); a celebrity contest. Worse, most voters who vote for people like Shelby, or Specter, or Collins, or McCain do so out of name recognition. They are too lazy to even take the time to research the candidates and see where they stand on the issues, or what their voting record is. And honestly, that's how I see the general electorate voting. It has nothing to do with tingles, or "us" and "them." They simply don't care one way or another. Now, that's not to say that everyone who goes and votes is a sheep, but about 67 million of us were that way last year in voting for Barry. Entranced by rhetoric, filled with empty promises, those fools gladly voted him in, and the death of liberty began to accelerate.


The only effective way to oppose the Statists is by political means. Unfortunately, there IS NO LOYAL OPPOSITION party. Fercryin out loud, 80-odd Republicans (Pun intended) voted for the 90% tax increase on the AIG bonuses.

We spend too much time bitchin' about the statists, and not enough time cleaning up our side of the aisle. Talk radio personalities, God bless em, can't do this without help. The GOP is foundering. Hell, Cantor voted to screw over the AIG people, and even the squish George Will has finally figured out the Yahoo's are ruining Congress.

Don't have tea parties. Let's bring pitchforks, tar, feathers and rope to DC.

Eighty-five, to be exact on the first point, and that bill was highly unconstitutional. That's the reason Kyl stopped the bloody thing in the Senate. As for the Tea Parties, they're the beginning, but what they lack is true organization. Sure, they show our frustration with the government, but what does that prove, really? My grandfather used to have a saying: "If you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention." Well it's apparent we're pretty ticked at the monkeys in Congress, and the joker running the show out of the White House, but where does that get us, exactly? Nowhere without the work behind the scenes. Eighty-five Republicans voted for an ex post facto law punishing workers for receiving retention bonuses under a duly-enacted contract.

As for what do we do with the elected ones? Here's an idea. Unless that elected Representative or Senator has done a phenomenal job, don't vote for them again. Vote out the incumbents. Sure, it's a risk, but it's one we've been willing to take for the last three election cycles. Vote out the old, and vote in some new blood. And while it may look exceedingly risky, it can't be any worse than the monkeys we have right now.


During our own Revolutionary War of 1776-1783, to throw off the tyranny of the King, our country was quite divided. There were many Tories who sided with the King. There were many who didn't side with either, but just wanted to be left alone---to intellectually lazy to become advocates for a cause.

No difference in these times.

The Righteousness of Liberty and Justice prevail because they are the true Rights of Man, inalienable and enduring. But Liberty and Justice must always (forever) fight against the clutches of Collectivism and State Tyranny which arise when people organize in nation-states that also rests in the heart of Man. The wisdom of our Founders who understood these competing forces resulted in the brilliance of our Constitution. And that is why our government officials and military take an oath to preserve, protect and defend it, and not to any political party or individual.

We must fight, as Loyalists to the Constitution, to keep our freedoms and turn back the rising tide of statism.

People like to chuckle when I tell them I have no master save God and the Constitution. I am a loyal follower of the Constitution because it is, in fact, the highest law of the land. Do I follow it as it was written, or as it's interpreted? Both, actually. We can choose to disagree with how the high court interprets the document, but their word is law (pun intended) and carries a great deal more weight than mine, or my wife's, thinking. But I still live by the founding ideals within it. (Example: The Fourth Amendment doesn't give us a right to privacy. It stakes out our rights against unlawful search and seizure. The high court believes in the former, not the latter.)

Your point about the oaths I address in the original post.

The Pledge of Allegiance -- "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands ..."

The Oath of Office -- "I do solemnly swear that I will ... to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Military oath -- "I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same ..."

What do the above have in common? None of those oaths are taken to one man, or even the government. They are taken to the Constitution and the republic itself. The Founder's reasoning behind this was we weren't a monarchy. No oath should be given to one man because the nation is more than just one man. (Though Barry is having a difficult time with that concept.) Tyranny always comes to nations, no matter their form of government because there are those out there who think they can make things better.

No offense intended to them, but they're idiots, by comparison. The Founders and Framers were geniuses to have put together a perfect document in the Constitution. And yes, I do say it's perfect. It sets the limits for a strong, central government at the same time it enumerates our unalienable, God-given, human rights. Furthermore, it can be amended, which shows their brilliance further in that they saw that times would change, and with that change should be our inherent ability to address issues they couldn't foresee. They made two ways to change the Constitution (both amending it directly, or calling for a constitutional convention) and they made both difficult to do so that we wouldn't be prone to whims or flights of fancy to change the document (such as with prohibition).

We see that today the Statist is busy tearing down the Constitution because it knows that the document is a threat, and those of us who know it very well (granted, I'm hardly Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Hugh Hewitt, or Glenn Reynolds int he realm of Constitutional jurisprudence, but I'm hardly a sod on the topic) are threats to the state. Ever wonder why academia doesn't teach the Constitution the way they used to? It's because, as Mr. Levin points out, they're in bed with the Statists because they are granted a job for as long as they so choose. They have as much at stake as the Statist does. Why? Because if there ever is another revolution in this country, those people will be dealt with the same way the politicos in DC will be, and it won't be pretty.


Bear in mind that I don't advocate a revolution. We are far from going that direction, and I still have faith that we can work within the system established by the Framers. If I didn't believe that, I could hardly be called a conservative. I do not make comments lightly on this site (or in any other writings that are attributed to me; the same goes for Marcie). There is thoughtful deliberation in what we say. Sure, we can be joking and light-hearted about some things (and yes, I realize some people are irked that I refer to the president as "Barry" but he doesn't gain our respect because he hasn't earned it) but we use humor to convey points.

What WE do advocate is what Mr. Levin wrote in his book. We are conservatives, and we can identify ourselves as such because of the ideals we hold true to. Those ideals are 180 degrees contrary to what the Statist believes (and believe me when I say we have a lot of Statists in this nation and within our own government). We believe in the ideological fight we are going through right now with them, and we firmly believe that in the end, when push comes to shove, we will win. If we didn't believe in this, and in our ideals, we'd be sitting on the sidelines right now with our jaws slack, and the dumb cow look on our faces. But we're anything but sheeple; uninterested or too lazy to care about what's going on around us.

The point of my review yesterday was two-fold: To inform readers of what I thought of the book, and to remind people that it is as informative as much as it's a call for action. Mr. Levin closes his book out with this:

President Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Conservatives need to get busy.

He's right. We do need to get busy, but we're going about things the wrong way right now. Everyone talks about the need to "re-brand" the party. No, we don't. We need to return to the principles that brought the intellectual and ideological revolution to our party back in the 1980s. A return to Reagan's roots, if you will. There will never be another Reagan, but his wisdom and reason live on in people like myself and my wife, and a host of other pundits out there. But it's not just us pundits. There are hundreds of thousands of other people -- average, everyday people we talk to and interact with daily -- that think along these same lines. For all those people out there, it's time to get active, and take back the country from the slippery slope of tyranny it's teetering on right now. That was the point of his book. It was a rallying cry, and one that should be noted and heeded.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: For those that are still commenting on my review of Mark Levin's new book "Liberty and Tyranny" if there are any other comments that catch my eye, I'll answer them right here on this post. It appears as though my opinion of the book has caused me more than just an Insta-lanche. It seems that there are those out there who feel as strongly about the book, and the ideals within it, as we are. Good show because this is exactly what we need right now.

Publius II

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On Liberty and Tyranny

I wrote yesterday that I had a couple errands to go run, which is why the first post of the day was short, sweet, and to the point. Unfortunately it became the only post of the day, and that was due to the fact that I went out and picked up Mark Levin's new book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto." (For those that getting through a political book a daunting task, this one is a snap. It's 205 pages long, and I had it finished in about three hours yesterday. I'm rereading it today, this time with a highlighter.) In his book, in the chapter entitled "On Prudence and Progress" Mr. Levin wrote the following, and it's worth noting and sharing with readers of this site. Why? Because you'll understand where we come from, and why we dislike, distrust, and condemn liberals so much. Of Course, Mr. Levin has a much better descriptor of them than merely "liberal":

It is observed that the Statist is dissatisfied with the condition of his own existence. He condemns his fellow man, surroundings, and society itself for denying him the fulfillment, success, and adulation he believes he deserves. He is angry, resentful, petulant, and jealous. He is incapable of honest self-assessment and rejects the honest assessment by others of himself, thereby evading responsibility for his own miserable condition, The Statist searches for significance and even glory in a utopian fiction of his mind's making, the earthly attainment of which, he believes, is frustrated by those who do not share it. Therefore he must destroy the civil society, piece by piece.

For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. The individual must be dehumanized and his nature delegitimized. Through persuasion, deception, and coercion, the individual must be subordinated to the state. He must abandon his own ambitions for the ambitions of the state. He must become reliant on and fearful of the state. His first duty must be to the state -- not family, community, and faith, all of which have the potential of threatening the state. Once dispirited, the individual can be molded by the state.

The Statist's Utopia can take many forms, and has throughout human history, including monarchism, feudalism, militarism, fascism, communism, national socialism, and economic socialism. They are all of the same species -- tyranny. The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word -- equality.

Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law. Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect. Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics. Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes. He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual's property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man's natural state and man's perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia. The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal and that which is imperfect perfect. This is the only hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state. Only then can the impossible be made possible. ...

For the Statist, the international community and international organizations serve as useful sources for importing disaffection with the civil society. The Statist urges Americans to view themselves through the lenses of those who resent and even hate them. He needs Americans to become less confident, to doubt their institutions, and to accept the status assigned to them by outsiders -- as isolationists, invaders, occupiers, oppressors, and exploiters. The Statist wants Americans to see themselves as backward, foolishly holding to their quaint notions of individual liberty, private property, family, and faith, long diminished or jettisoned in other countries. They need to listen to the voices of condemnation from world capitals, and self-appointing global watchdogs hostile to America's superior standard of living. America is said to be out of step and regressive, justifying the surrendering of his sovereignty through treaties and other arrangements that benefit the greater "humanity." And it would not hurt if America admitted it's past transgressions, made reparations, and accepted its fate as just another aging nation -- one among many.

The Statist must also rely on legions of academics to serve as his missionaries. After a short period of training and observation, academics receive a sinecure -- a personal stake in the state via lifetime employment through a system of tenure. The classroom is to shape the beliefs and attitudes of successive generations of malcontents and incubate the quiet revolution against the civil society. Academics help identify the enemies of the state, whom their students learn to distrust or even detest through distortion and repetition -- corporations as polluters, the Founding Fathers as slave owners, the military as imperialists, etc.

As Glenn Reynolds says "Read the whole thing." Hell, it's been out one day and already number one on Amazon, and Dan Riehl and Thomas Lifson have both written their reviews of the book. Consider this a third review.

I chose the above to cite from his book for two reasons. First, as someone who debates the Left regularly, this is exactly what I see from them; this is their mindset when it comes to dealing with conservatives. They wants us cowed and broken -- literally just another cog in the great Statist machine. Second, this is exactly the sort of plans put in place by the degenerates from the 60's cultural revolution, and those kids are now running the show. Look at what they have done in a short amount of time.

The 111th Congress came into session in January, and immediately started crafting legislation to seize not only more money from the individual and private industry (we WILL be paying this off for generations, if we survive it) but to create the greatest, largest expanse of federal power unseen since the days of FDR's New Deal.

"The bigger a state becomes the more liberty diminishes." -- Jean Jacques Rousseau

Remember that because it's true. We don't think of it because we don't really see it, but the truth is that as the government grows in the hands of the Statist the less we will see of our own liberties. And recall, if you will, that it was Ben Franklin who said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." For decades the Statists have worked themselves into the government in an attempt to destroy the republic that was created almost 233 years ago. They are tearing it down because it is a threat to the very Utopian vision they have. And this shows their own imperfection for a Utopia can never be achieved so long as man has free will; the ability to decide what he will and won't do.

Mr. Levin's book is a fine work, and one that the reader can tell he put a great deal of effort into. This is not a slipshod work. This is carefully researched, properly footnoted, and above all it is a treatise on what it means to be a conservative. He does an excellent job of taking a conservative and a Statist, and wiping away the grey areas that the Statist uses constantly to blur the lines and confuse the individual. Reread that last paragraph I cite above, and ask yourself about what kids are taught today in school. Better yet, ask yourself what kids AREN'T being taught in school today. The answer to the latter is quite simple: They are not taught about true American history, and they are not taught about the Constitution. Why? Because both are a threat to the state.

True American history, not the revised BS they teach in schools today, threatens to tear down the Statist's overall goals because the history of the United States is one of freedom, liberty, rugged individualism, and entrepreneurship. This is how the nation was founded, and that's how it grew to be the greatest, freest nation on the face of the planet. The constitution threatens the Utopian vision of the Statist by informing people of their God-given liberties that so much precious blood has been spilled in it's defense.

When you take away the moral relativism and grey areas in ideology, the differences between conservatives and Statists are quite clear. One believes in the individual, while the other believes in a totalitarian state -- peace and security under the boot-heel of an all-encompassing, all-too-invasive government that treats it's citizens like children rather than free men. And they will tarnish, crush, or destroy anything that threatens their vision. this is why our history is under assault, why our religions are under constant attack, and why our liberties are disdained as some outmoded, outdated idea which time has come and gone. Imagine the Constitution today if it were written the way it has been interpreted over the last fifty years.

"The Court must be living in another world. Day by day, case by case, it is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize." -- Justice Antonin Scalia, (Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr, 1996)

The quote is prescient because that is what we have. Mr. Levin brings this up in a later chapter entitled "On the Constitution":

The Statist is not interested in what the Framers said or intended. He is interested only in what he says and he intends. Consider the judiciary, which has seized for itself the most dominant role in interpreting the Constitution. When asked by a law clerk to explain his judicial philosophy, the late Associate Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall responded, "You do what you think is right and let the law catch up." The late Associate justice Arthur Goldberg's answer was no better. A law clerk recounts Goldberg telling him that his approach was to determine "what is the just result." Still others are persuaded by the Statist's semantic distortions, arguing that the judge's job is to spread democracy or liberty.

The Statist is a formidable, ideological foe, and won't be easily defeated. This fight has been going on for decades, and at this point in history it seems as though all is lost. Mr. Levin's lesson is a simple one -- don't get dispirited, and don't lose faith. The moment we lose either, the Statist knows he has an in; he knows you are on the ropes, and he knows that all it takes is a little push to knock you over the edge. Thomas Jefferson once said "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" and he was right. We are witnessing the soft tyranny of the current government. But the rebellion I see isn't one using guns. I see us using what we use best, which is our minds, our intellect, and our general intelligence. The old conservative axiom that we win the war of ideas is true. All the Statist has to offer are the same failed ideas that history is replete with.

That's the point of Mr. Levin's book, and it's one he repeats often. Conservatives, this is the book you need to read if for nothing else than to remind yourselves what your responsibility to the nation, your family, and yourselves is. We have no responsibility to the government. We pledge allegiance to the United States, not to the federal government. Look at the oaths taken by those in the military, or those serving federal office. the oath is not to the government. It is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We owe no loyalty to the state, especially when that state, and it's willing and able minions, demand absolute loyalty; security in exchange for liberty.

To them I say I think not. I bow to know one, save God. I adhere to no man, save the Founders and Framers who created this nation, and enshrined our liberties in the most brilliant document ever produced by man. Marcie and I side with Mr. Levin. We are conservatives, and by God we will resist the Statist's overreaching goals of destroying this nation.

I encourage conservatives to get Mark Levin's book. You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement, not only on his observations about what conservatism is, but also what the Statist is, and his misguided -- dare I see nefarious -- ideals. As a matter of fact, buy a couple copies, and give them to friends, especially those that seem dispirited at the direction this country is going. I can guarantee you that when they read it, they will rediscover their ideals, and toss aside the funk they're in. This is not over yet. We aren't beaten. The ideological battle continues, and we sure as Hell need as many minds in the fight as we can muster.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Welcome Instapundit readers. Feel free to look around and comment. (I'll answer comments tomorrow.)

Publius II

ADDENDUM II: HT to SubManDave in the comments for pointing out I got the Franklin quote reversed. Fixed now, Thanks!

Publius II

Hill GOP to Cheney -- go away already

OK, enough of this crap from our side. We've spent the better part of four months ripping into each other over who's fault it was we got shellacked in the '08 elections. Like it or not, it's all of our faults, and to a point, none of our fault. Like it or not, the GOP brought this on themselves, and when I say that I'm referring to the monkeys that we elected, not the party electorate, in general. Our elected reps in the House and Senate frittered away their majorities by abandoning the conservative roots established back in the 1980s. And when we get linguine-spined reps that would rather play the go-along, get-along game, the electorate won't be there when they need them the most.

Enter Dick Cheney. Now, condemn us if you want, but we love Cheney. We think he was perfect for the ticket in 2000 even though we'd have rather had him at the top of the ticket. But he was the perfect person to work with President Bush because he took on a whole new role as vice president. John Nance Garner once said, "The vice-presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss." Well, Cheney changed that idea in being the one who attacked the president's critics despite the fact Bush would've rather just let things slide.

He has been rather vocal about Barry's presidency thus far, and leave it to the GOP to shoot themselves in the foot over his criticism:

Congressional Republicans are telling Dick Cheney to go back to his undisclosed location and leave them alone to rebuild the Republican Party without his input.

Displeased with the former vice-president's recent media appearances, Republican lawmakers say he's hurting GOP efforts to reinvent itself after back-to-back electoral drubbings.

The veep, who showed a penchant for secrecy during eight years in the White House,has popped up in media interviews to defend the Bush-Cheney record while suggesting that the country is not as safe under President Obama.

Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) said, “He became so unpopular while he was in the White House that it would probably be better for us politically if he wouldn’t be so public...But he has the right to speak out since he’s a private citizen.”

Another House Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said he wasn’t surprised that Cheney has strongly criticized Obama early in his term, but argued that it’s not helping the GOP cause.

The legislator said Cheney, whose approval ratings were lower than President Bush’s during the last Congress, didn’t think through the political implications of going after Obama.

Cheney did “House Republicans no favors,” the lawmaker said, adding, “I could never understand him anyway.”

Um, Cheney didn't go out and campaign for Republicans in 2008, so I fail to get the "he did us no favors" BS. Got news for Mr. Anonymous: You didn't do yourselves any favors. It's the Congressional GOP who thought they could play the Democrat-lite game, and still win despite the fact that conservatism won at the ballot box where it was offered. Hello, Prop. 8, anyone?

We'd rather see Cheney out there everyday, especially on matters of national security, when it comes to Barry's agenda. Cheney was the conservative on the ticket while Bush was a moderate Republican. Take note of that. I distinguished the difference between the two. Bush was a good president, but he wasn't conservative. He was a big-government conservative (oxymoron, yes) who thought he could lead the nation that way, and everything would be fine. Cheney didn't think along those lines.

The GOP doesn't need to "re-brand" itself. It needs to return to the ideals that won it electoral victories in the past. That goes to all the old talking points any conservative can rattle off in a heartbeat. But it also includes new ideas. We win in the arena of ideas while the Left flounders like a fish out of water. Their answer to everything is "let the government do it." Our answer is let the rugged individualism of the citizenry handle things the government isn't enumerated to control.

That's one of the things Cheney has tried to push. The government isn't the answer to all our problems, and he's warning people about the expanse of government. I know, I know the Left will claim the Bush/Cheney administration seized it's fair share of control, but it wasn't the way the Left would rather do it. In war, the executive has near limitless power, and that was where that "expanse" of power was, for the most part. It wasn't in a federal desire to seize failing firms or in imposing draconian global warming BS regulations on businesses. Their expansion was to literally protect this nation from a bunch of bloodthirsty thugs that are dead set to do us harm. And on security matters, Cheney is right -- Barry is making us less safe.

Here's my advice to Congressional Republicans -- shut up about Cheney and do your bloody jobs. You guys are already on thin ice with the voters, and we're coming out in force to get rid of those that are as helpful as a broken arm. To those who want to embrace Bush's big-government conservatism, your days are numbered, and a target is on your back in the primaries coming up. Forget about Cheney. Do your job if you'd like to keep that job.

Publius II

Before long, Barry's supporters will claim a Rovian conspiracy

I'm starting today out a bit ... light-hearted. Barry was on the stump again yesterday and visited Orion Energy Systems to talk about a "greener" United States. The problem is, though, that our "green" president showed the nation his intelligence once again. This time, however, he can't claim his 'prompter screwed him. This was just plain ignorant: (Via the Journal-Sentinel Online)

The idea that led to the founding of Orion Energy Systems received a presidential salute of sorts today.

President Barack Obama just finished speaking at a White House roundtable on clean energy efficiency attended by Neal Verfuerth, Orion president and chief executive. Obama saluted Orion.…

All terrific press for Orion, except that Obama kept pronouncing the company’s name wrong, calling it OAR-ee-on.

After finishing his remarks and talking with a few people, the president returned to the microphone and said his prepared remarks led him to pronounce the firm’s name wrong.

“I suspect this is Or-EYE-on as opposed to OAR-ee-on. Just wanted to make sure that when I’m giving you a plug, that we’ve got the right plug. It’s Or-EYE-on.”

OK, again this might be nitpicky except for the fact that I agree with Jimmie at Sundries Shack. I could pronounce "Orion" correctly when I was five. And while to some this might seem petty and insignificant, I don't see it that way. This guy didn't just step out of the sticks or fall off the turnip truck yesterday. this guy is a Harvard-educated man. Is his way of pronouncing the word "Orion" the way they did it at Harvard yard or something?

So, the many was unprepared for the job he was elected to do, and he's shown his incompetence almost daily. He reneges on promises made to the people for political expediency. He gets testy with the press. He can't give the simplest of statements without relying on that bloody teleprompter. At this point I'm ready to say it. For the media monkeys out there, I don't want to hear one more damn thing about Bush and his supposed inability to speak. Bush didn't make an ass of himself repeatedly, and while he did have the occasional problem with syntax, at least with his gaffes he wasn't making Joe Biden sound like Daniel Webster.

Publius II