Sunday, July 26, 2009


I'm part of a local meetup dedicated to the 9 Principles and 12 Values as put forth by Fox Television's Glenn Beck earlier this year. We had a very lively discussion at the close of our most recent meeting about the state of our country and how we got here.

One of the presenters, who gave a talk on enumerated powers of the Federal government, put forward the idea that the pervasive corruption in Washington DC is our fault - the voters who send the legislators back there over and over again. Then someone else suggested that the genesis of the problem lay with education in the United States, which raised the ire of a teacher who was present. This teacher then made an impassioned plea for parental and civic involvement in the educational process.

In the course of listening to the discussion, I had an epiphany of sorts. I was making notes and wrote down CIVICS EDUCATION in capital letters and underlined and circled it. Twenty-seven years out of high school, I wasn't sure how to define it. Needless to say I spent a little time looking around the Internet after I got home.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute uses the term civic literacy and defines it as, "knowledge of America's founding principles and texts, core history and enduring institutions". Their organization has done extensive surveys to measure the extent of civic literacy (or illiteracy) in America. Their website,, has the dismal results of their survey over the last few years. The website includes a civics quiz and a host of resources for parents, students and educators. I would definitely recommend this website to anyone interested in furthering their own awareness of civic literacy and education.

John Adams wrote in 1765 that "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know". The only way to reverse what has become of the enduring institution of our Federal government is by increasing that "general knowledge" through civic literacy.

We the people have no right to expect our elected officials to comport themselves within the bounds of their oaths of office, if we have no idea why we elected them in the first place. If we are to have any hope of reversing the freedom-killing, authoritarian and socialist policies of this current administration and congress, we must begin at the beginning to understand why America is here and what kind of nation and people we're supposed to be. Reversing the fog of ignorance that has settled over America in the last hundred years is one of the most urgent tasks we face today.

Eternal vigilance is the price of understanding and defending liberty.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care Reform?

I just got an email from some Republican committee asking me to contribute to their “responsible” approach to health care reform, because “we need health care reform”. I have to ask “Why?”

This whole thing has been ginned up by the Leftist/Democrat establishment in Washington DC and their fellow-travelers among the Republicans. As long as Republicans and conservatives stay on the current “reform” band-wagon they give the Democrat party absolute control over the agenda.

There are any number of things the US Congress and the current administration should be focused on – Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions, the resurgent Russian hegemony in the former Soviet states in the Urals and the Caucasus regions, a strong national defense, security in Iraq and Afghanistan, following the law. Instead, the president and congress are pushing a radical progressive agenda the intent of which is government seizure of banking and insurance interests, a large portion of the domestic auto industry, energy and environmental policy in the guise of cap and trade – and now they’re ready to move on to health care “reform”.

Nobody has read the 1,018 page bill introduced in the US House of Representatives. Nobody has read the various pieces of the Senate bill, all of which just passed out of committee. Speaker Pelosi has said there won’t be time to allow the public time to analyze the House bill before it’s put to a final vote.

President Obama has denied that health care reform is a Trojan horse for single payer. It doesn’t matter what he calls it. To call this blatant government grab at another 20% of the US economy a Trojan horse is to insult the horse. They’re not trying to sneak this in! The House and Senate bills are a mishmash of employer mandates and penalties, regressive taxes and surtaxes, mandated coverage for individuals, privacy and health data management regulations, which will apply to everyone in America except for the President, Congress and labor unions. President Obama nor most members of Congress are empowered by their Constitutional office or equipped with the knowledge to make quality of life and health care decisions.Yet their plan is to impose a giant bureaucracy between the American people and their physicians.

We need a “reset” on domestic priorities. Republicans need to stop playing at all these reform proposals and start legislating on behalf of the people who sent them to Washington in the first place. No conservative Republican voter expects his or her legislator to kowtow to President Obama’s phony prestige and flowery rhetoric. If the Republican leadership were more concerned about their obligation to the country than they were currying favor with the Leftist/Democrat and state-run media establishment, there would be real resistance to the progressive agenda and a spirited defense of the values and principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Elections have consequences. This administration and congress and their radical progressive allies are working around the clock to transform this country into a second-world, cradle-to-grave welfare state. Short of Divine intervention, the only other thing to stop them is a groundswell of informed and vocal opposition by you and me.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Especially when our government so inexorably bound to special interests dedicated to rolling back two and a half centuries of American progress.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Palinization and the Republican Party

There's a new concept in the of pantheon of American politics. Palinization - the unrelenting campaign of bigotry, ridicule and falsehood unleashed by the Leftist/Democrat, state-run media, and Republican establishments against Sarah Palin and others not like themselves.

I think the treatment Sarah Palin has received at the hands of the aforementioned cabal is beyond shameful. I would expect to find palinizers among the rank and file Leftist/Democrats and the state-run media, but not the Republican Party, yet the list of Republican palinizers is too long for this post. There are two, however, whom I believe to be poster persons for the malaise afflicting the Republican establishment.

American Conservative Union chair David Keene recently told Newsmax Magazine's Ronald Kessler that Mrs. Palin isn't ready to run for president. That was nearly the kindest thing he was quoted as saying. He went on with a lengthy list of her so-called mistakes and additional reasons she isn't qualified, but did stop to breathe and take note of the fact that she is "well liked... an attractive political personality... obviously bright...." That faint praise really took the edge off his otherwise delightful and refreshing candor.

Anybody know what David Keene has ever run for? Nothing. In addition to the chairmanship of the ACU, he's currently a lobbyist (on behalf of liberal pressure groups, in some instances), a newspaper columnist, and a blogger, and he sits as a member on several boards. Since 1976 Keene has served in four losing Republican presidential campaigns, endorsed the erstwhile Democrat-Republican-Democrat Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey in the 2004 Pennsylvania Senate election, back in the days when Specter was still a member of the Republican party. In 2007 Keene endorsed Mitt Romney and founded a coalition to oppose to the alleged expansion of powers of the Executive Branch, opposing Republican president George W. Bush. Keene is billed in the Newsmax article as "one of the country's most astute political observers." Really?

Authoress, Wall Street Journal columnist, and MSNBC commentator-palinizer Peggy Noonan has had it in for Mrs. Palin since the 2008 presidential campaign. Noonan's recent column, available at Wall Street Journal online, Farewell to Harms, is as much a hit-piece as you'd ever see at the Huffington Post. It's a bitter screed, by turns aggrieved and baleful. The gist is that Sarah Palin is not a serious political contender, thank God and Barack Obama that Sarah Palin and George W. Bush are gone; she even implies that Joe Biden is smart! Noonan is so out of touch that she thinks the Republican establishment made Palin and Bush, then turns around and blames them for the Republican establishment's troubles. Noonan throws rocks at President George W. Bush, and he's gone! No mention of their accomplishments, character and convictions, just a breathless rush to move past them and get the Grand Old Party started (restarted?). Noonan's never run for anything either.

Two examples of a Republican establishment with its tin ear, out of touch with its base. Furthermore, recent accomplishments of the Republican establishment include losing the House, the Senate, a presidential election and racking up an impressive tally of assorted scandals among their most prominent members. After all this it's no surprise to me that McCain/Palin lost. The Republican establishment's mistreatment of Sarah Palin is nothing but a futile attempt at aggrandizement, to compensate for their own shocking inadequacies and glittering failures. Nor does it bode well for political outsiders or average Joes who want to make a difference for the country by running for public office on a Republican ticket. If successful politicians can't satisfy them, who can?

Over 48 million people voted the McCain/Palin ticket in the 2008 election. How many of those have been alienated by the palinization of Sarah Palin and others? No way to really know? The 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential election will surely answer that question for us.

Let the Republican establishment worry about brands and big tents and natter away about inclusiveness and unity. It would appear that "We the People" are going to have to look after American ideals and values ourselves. I'm not sure the Republican establishment can be trusted with any part of our future, anymore than I would trust the Leftist/Democrat/state-run media establishment. I'm not at all sure I even recognize what passes for the Republican party nowadays - Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan wouldn't either.

48 million voters in 2008 weren't wrong. We don't need to stay home in 2010. We don't need to sit by quietly and let the Republican establishment do the Democrat dirty work. We don't need RINOs playing at healthcare reform or banking reform. We don't need patronage that perpetuates perfidy. We don't need RINOs - there are too many Democrats already!

We need a conservative surge among the American electorate. We need a conservative reformation in the Republican party. We need to find and elect Republicans to all levels of government who will defend the values and principles this nation was founded on, and uphold their oaths of office. We need Republican leaders with the courage to stop the Obama administration and the radical left. We have a few now, but America needs an unashamed and unapologetic conservative Republican majority in the US House and Senate.

If he were alive today, Thomas Paine would tell the Republican establishment to "lead, follow, or get out of the way". And I would have to wholeheartedly agree with him.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, but I never dreamed we'd have to watch out for the Republicans, too!


Welcome to Eternal Vigilance!

I take my blog name from a quote by the ardent abolitionist Wendell Phillips, "Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty". Thomas Paine, in his American Crisis I, wrote "These are the times that try men's souls". Two quotes from two men nearly one hundred years apart, yet words which ring as true today, as when they were first written.

My hope is that Eternal Vigilance will be a source of balance between the doomsayers and apocalypsists who say damnation and crisis are all we have left, and those who just really don't care at all. I don't intend to let fear win out in my life or the lives of those around me, and since February 2009, I don't intend to watch all this go by without doing what I can to stop it. Eternal Vigilance the blog is a just a portion of the price I intend to pay for liberty.

These are indeed trying times. I can understand why the apocalypsists are so convinced that the end is nigh. Just trying to keep up with the misdeeds of the Obama administration and Congress is enough to drive people to despair. On top of that are whole sub-groups of American society devoted to conspiracies, racism, ethno-centrism, anarchy, violent revolution, radicalism, resistance to whatever, power to the whatever. You won't find any of that here, unless it's to criticize, debunk or generally scoff at the ignorance that gives rise to that.

Eternal Vigilance is the price of being an American.

I believe that America is unique in the world. I believe that, from the beginning of time, God, to quote President Lincoln, "brought forth a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men were created equal".

I believe that America is a Christian nation, founded on bedrock principles which have stood the test of time for over 2,000 years. The fact the sitting president views America differently then me means that he is wrong about that, too.

I believe in standing in opposition to failed policies, government takeovers, galloping socialism disguised as reform, and a legislative branch that is, in large part, out of step with the views and values of a large part of their constituency. I believe that America is the most safe when our politicians are on vacation, and am in favor permanent vacations for as many of them as necessary to stop the headlong rush to statism and socialism.

I believe that the establishment media is nothing but a propaganda organ for the Obama administration and the leftist establishment. I've heard the term "state-run media", and believe it to be accurate.

If you believe these things, or you think you don't care but you've made it this far down the page, then Eternal Vigilance is for you, too. If I can put words on a page and capture the imagination of just one or a handful of people, to inspire them to look at America as the land of hope and promise that God and the Founders intended her to be, then this is a valuable use of your time and mine.

God Bless America!