Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mr. Simpson And The Cow

Author's Note - July 15th 2011

When I originally posted this in September 2010, President Obama's deficit commission had just published their report. I'm bringing it out again in response to the president's assertion that we're not paying attention out here. I'll be so forward as to say I've probably given his deficit commission report more thought than he has. Some of the figures are somewhat dated, as cost of tax code compliance has apparently more than tripled since the 2009 report cited here. America is experiencing record-breaking deficits and unemployment, and is far worse off than when Mr. Obama was elected. Recognizing that our out-of-control federal government is the problem, not the solution is the first step on a long, long road back to prosperity and liberty.

Alan Simpson, esteemed Republican co-chair of PBHObama's deficit commission, recently found himself in hot water for his colorful, and possibly vulgar (according to some government/media outlets) description of Social Security as a very, very, very well-endowed cow, and something about a rude remark to a lobbyist. Now, all kinds of leftists are calling for his ouster from this commission, because he told the truth, under the guise of his rudeness to the lobbyist. At least he didn't describe the lobbyist as a well endowed cow....

I don't envy Mr. Simpson his job. Assuming he survives this, he and the members of the commission have the unenviable job of making non-binding deficit reduction recommendations to the executive and legislative branches, recommendations they're free to ignore. What follows is my view of the problem and what I believe they should do, not just to reduce the federal deficit, but to radically transform the federal government and the tax system that funds it.

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." Nowhere does it say Congress shall enable/encourage home ownership through a mortgage interest deduction. Or guarantee a federal minimum income floor with the minimum wage, egged on by the Earn Income Tax Credit and child care tax credits. Or design schizophrenic tax tables that favor singlehood over opposite marriage, while encouraging the creation of children with a per child income tax deduction. Or substitute America's traditional generosity with tax deductions for charitable giving. Or limit free speech under the guise of "tax exemption" for non-profits (religious organizations). Or expand the police powers of the Internal Revenue Service to levy fines or new taxes to compel private citizens to enter into contracts with health insurance providers for the purposes of Obamacare. I know, despite what we hear from the "living" Constitution crowd, that these things aren't there. This scheme of credits and deductions might lead some to believe this is the government giving back, but that view begs the question, "Whose money is it to begin with"? The federal government doesn't have any money. In the face of reckless federal spending, and the future crises it portends, the current tax structure is a severe impediment to sound fiscal policy and fiduciary responsibility. No serious effort to reach entitlement reform and government reform should be undertaken without addressing the tax problem at the root of it all.

The deficit commission should point out the imaginary Roe-style penumbras and emanations that have morphed the thirty words of the 16th Amendment into the 3,700,000 word (2009) US Tax Code. The vast tax bureaucracy and regime are more dedicated to social engineering than to raising government revenue. Congress has codified incentivized behavior, redistributive transfer payments, financial and personal manipulation, and punitive police measures which force otherwise free Americans, "under the penalty of perjury", into compliance with this purportedly voluntary system of taxation. The Internal Revenue Service's own National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olson, released a 2009 report calling on Congress to reduce the complexity of the tax system. She also described the $193bil (2.66 billion hours at the $7.25 federal minimum wage) in compliance costs, and 7.6bil hours spent on paperwork, equivalent to the hours worked by 3.8mil full-time employees or 190,000,000 40-hour work weeks.

The tax commission should recommend a single flat tax rate. No marginal rates. No loopholes or deductions. No more rebates, prebates, tax credits or stimulus checks. No tax "shelters" or death taxes, so that you and I, and Warren Buffet, all devote the same percentage of our treasure to meeting our individual tax burden. End the class warfare by extending the obligation to pay taxes to 100% of all working Americans, not just those whom the elitist radical progressives in Congress and the Obama administration would like to soak. For some Americans, it might result in fewer cartons of cigarettes. For others it might mean taking fewer vacations. Would this make my tax bill go up? Probably, but that just means I've got courage and a little more common sense than most of the politicians and lobbyists in Washington.

Any tax increase must be accompanied, not by cuts in growth of spending, but real reductions in spending at the federal level. The commission should recommend an immediate freeze in entitlement spending at current levels until 2016, and further recommend the repeal of Obamacare, the remainder of Stimulus and Son of Stimulus, labor union buyouts and the dissolution of FannieMae, FreddieMac and all other government sponsored enterprises. The commission should acknowledge Mr. Simpson's candor and require government functionaries and politicians to tell the truth about entitlement programs, which takes us back to the well-endowed Social Security cow.

The truth is that 1/6 of all Americans receive some kind of federal assistance. Social Security and Medicare alone consume 10% of GDP, right now. Barring drastic action by the next Congress, spending on all entitlement programs will continue to grow exponentially because more Americans then ever before believe the progressive lie that they're actually entitled to them. This, and the fact that America is now governed by a cabal of elitist radical progressives whose own sense of entitlement drives them to accrue more power by expanding the scope and influence of the federal government. Their ascendancy and ever-expanding entitlements have coincided to become a vicious and self-perpetuating cycle of dependency, which reaches beyond the permanent underclass of the New Deal and Great Society, into the boardrooms of business and industry with federally subsidized long-term unemployment and government stakes in trade union pensions, banking, insurance and manufacturing. Now they have granted themselves a permanent seat at our kitchen tables with Obamacare. Obamacare alone imposes nearly $100bil in new taxes just for itself beginning in 2011, three years prior to the delivery of a single service.

At the end of its life PBHObama's deficit commission may be just another turkey in the political theater which is Washington, DC. Given courage and a little common sense, it could be so much more, with real reductions in federal spending on entitlement programs and the possibility of real tax reform. One can always hope....

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Penumbras and Emanations and Hypoliticrites, Oh My!

An Australian friend asked me to explain a recent posting on a popular web-based social networking site. I had said,

"I would prefer that politicians stop screwing around with the US Constitution and simply follow it. Corrupt politicians and activist judges with their penumbras and emanations are the problem. If they can't simply do their jobs, they should be FIRED!!!!"

I explained further that it's, "'...Hard to believe - US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas actually inserted an astronomical phenomona (penumbras) and a scientific term for gases resulting from radiological decay (emanation) into a 1965 SCOTUS opinion (Griswold v. Connecticut) to find a new and federally protected "right" to privacy. Douglas wrote that, “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” His flight of judicial fantasy was later used to justify the newly found and federally protected "right" to abortion on demand in1973's SCOTUS ruling in Roe v. Wade and a whole raft of prurient and repugnant laws. Now, on the left and right, hypoliticrites are mouthing about "modifying" the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as it relates to so-called "birthright citizenship", in the context of so-called "anchor babies" born in the US to illegal aliens.'"

Hypoliticrites are only interested in demagoging hot-button issues for partisan gain and personal self-interest. As a people group they are predisposed to believe the opposite of most everything that's actually true. Chafing under the constraints imposed on them by the 4,400 words of the United States Constitution, hypoliticrites spawn monstrosities like the 363,000 word Obamacare bill and the over 42,000,000 word United States Code. Their analogues in the judiciary, the judge-activists aren't even satisified with all that. Since Griswold and Roe, they have continually searched out penumbras and emanations, even from international law, which in the balanced minds of thinking people have no relevance to our Constitution or even our experiences as Americans.

James Taranto writes in the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web for August 13, 2010 that due to possible appellate shenanigans surrounding judge-activist Vaughn Walker's ruling against California's ban on gay marriage, gay marriage could end up being settled federal law - only in California. Will judge-activist Walker mandate legislation to insure fair and equitable gay divorce? State certification for specialized gay-marriage counselors? Specific gay-marriage spousal abuse and domestic violence prevention programs? Or will he simply order all this from the bench? All this, because 7 million California voters said no, their state should not sanction gay marriage.

Among hypoliticrites and judge-activists, it is a foregone conclusion that We the People are so morally and intellectually bereft that whatever innate common sense we possess must be necessarily be eclipsed by the penumbras and emanations from their tortured and perfidiously profane imaginations. Both the left and the right need to pay close attention, especially now. I can speak with authority only for myself, but believe this sentiment to by fairly wide-spread.

There is a strong sense that the electorate has had its full measure of lying and self-interested hypoliticrites, and self-important judge-activists. Were I them, I would be very concerned about disregard for the Constitution, and even more concerned over our reaction to, "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Heed the the 4400 words... or else....

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and the cause of liberty demands that we resist these hypoliticrites and judge-activists, for the sake of our nation and our posterity.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The American Prerogative

America's foremost challenge and opportunity in the 21st century is to consider the question of whether she will continue to be that city on a hill spoken of by John Winthrop in 1630.

I've been thinking about this for a while, but became more focused, thanks to an article sent to me by an Australian friend from The Age newspaper in Melbourne. The author is commenting on the US economic situation. I found very little to disagree with there. The country is in a mess. But we didn't get here just because of economic choices. The source of the problem in the US is an out-of-control government.

The difficulty is in undoing the damage. I'm personally optimistic that the situation can be turned around, but it requires, not only smart short-term economic moves, but pinning our hopes on the right sort of political changes in the November election, and again in 2012, and the economic changes that (hopefully) flow therefrom.

The seeds of this disaster were planted in the early 20th century, going back to Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. The dirty work of undoing a century of progressive influence will be harder than we think. Progressive politics and policy are all tangled up with graft and corruption, and have become a way of life among the lifers in the US House and Senate and their enablers in the government, media and even private enterprise. It could be that an entire generation of politicians and public figures will have to die off or be otherwise removed from positions of power and influence before true societal change can be realized. Shades of the children of Israel in the wilderness....

Irrespective of the extant politics, I believe that America, by virtue of the circumstances of her founding and her various trials, is unique among nations. The American ideal is bigger than self-indulgent, small-minded politicians. In 2010 we need people who aspire to that uniquely American ideal and are not ashamed to wholeheartedly embrace and live it. People who see being an American, whether by birth or assimilation, as a prerogative and an opportunity, not to simply have and acquire, but to overcome trials and adversity with courage and hard work, and then succeed beyond their wildest imaginations.

We need these people, not only in politics and the media, but in schools and houses of worship, in the workplace and at home. People who are guided and compelled by the conviction that "everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required", not from the largess of man or government, but as a consequence of the very deliberate application of his blessings of intellect, passion, resources and talent.

Mr Ferguson is correct as far as it goes, but ours is not just an economic problem, but one of attitude and identity. Solving our economic problems will require the rediscovery of America's founding values and virtues - compassion, hard work, loyalty, self-reliance, thrift. It will require us to get beyond the self-indulgent "me-ness" of narrow agendas and petty politics, and the meanness of race and class warfare, willing to be judged, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, by the content of our character.

America has, at times, endured direst privation and enjoyed great wealth. Yet her underlying constancy, in the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, yields the blessed assurance that this, too, shall pass.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear Steny

Dear Steny,

Steny Hoyer, the voice and the very soul of reason....

I don't know if this is gall or hubris.

Your recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, "Shared Sacrifices Will Solve the Debt Crisis", is replete with fuzzy code lingo straight from your talking points: "shared sacrifice", "raising revenue", "hide the costs of war". Your pithy description of "pay-as-you-go", and your hypocritical assertion that current deficits are "the result of President Bush's... tax cuts... wars... rescue of the financial sector in the last few months of his presidency....", remembering to blame Bush whenever possible.

You hector "the public" on their responsibility to "understand that lower taxes and higher spending may be popular, but... are... a dangerous combination...." Good Lord, Steny! Where have you been for the last 12 months? Millions of Americans have faxed, called, emailed, marched and gone to the airwaves and the internet with their demands that you and your colleagues curb spending! You, Nancy Pelosi, The Big Gavel, John Lewis, Emmanuel Cleaver and Heath Shuler and many other courageous people, facing an alleged hail of violence, racial invective and spitting, all walked, arms locked, right past several members of "the public" in Washington just a few weeks ago! Some of them shared their concerns about a health care bill you planned to pass that day.

There's a video of it on Youtube.

I think you're being a bit disingenuous, or are somehow unable recall that day. Several members of Speaker Pelosi's staff were seen drinking alcohol on her balcony. Is it possible that you had perhaps joined them in lifting a celebratory glass or three? Do you seriously think "the public" don't understand this? BECAUSE YOU EITHER FORGOT, OR WERE OTHERWISE SOMEHOW IMPAIRED IN YOUR ABILITY TO KNOW THEY WERE THERE!!!!

Speaking of health care, you say that costs "... are one of our main challenges." - really? Didn't you just pass a bill that fixed that? Then you follow the admonition with a not-so-thinly veiled admission that you actually failed to address health care cost controls in the final, reminding Congress "... to insure that as the law is enacted, it achieves the goal of containing costs(!)." You didn't have cost containment measures in the bill? Oh, those darned reconciliation rules... hmm... that explains why you all are in such a hurry to get Dianne Feinstein's price controls in place. As an aside, some democrat recently went so far as to offer to discuss tort reform with Republicans in exchange for their help in resolving Dianne's dilemma. Was that you?

This is a siren song to... independents? Your base? These are already supposedly squarely in your corner. No, this is an attempt to beguile moderate Republicans into some kind of bipartisan CYA so you can continue to pose as a reasonable, honorable fellow while your colleagues behind the curtain cobble together last pieces of Feinstein's fix. Steny, as far as I'm concerned this is the same song, seventh verse now. If you pick off enough squishy Republicans to pass your price controls, so be it.

You are correct in this respect - shared sacrifices will solve the debt crisis. In that spirit, I will help you sacrifice your legislative and spending authority, as well as that of many of your democrat colleagues in November 2010, thereby curbing much of President Obama's spending authority for the balance of his term. Then we can remove his spending authority altogether in November 2012.

If we save the country from your unregenerate progressivism, preserving and extending the nation's future for our posterity, why, imagine the trillions of dollars saved over ten years in interest payments alone!

I still don't know if this is gall or hubris....

"The Public"

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, especially when confronting disingenuous or otherwise impaired democrat politicians.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dumpster Diving My Foot!

A major outlet of the government-media enterprise is reporting today on the "alleged perks" for Sarah Palin related to a speaking engagement in California. They and their fellow-travelers are busy making hay out of a portion of a draft copy of a confidential contract "recovered" from a dumpster. If any of them actually took the time to think, they'd quickly figure out a few things to keep them from looking sillier than they already do.

Anybody who's ever done event management knows that the type of aircraft is generally specified for good reason. A Lear 60 or equivalent is probably required to allow a non-stop flight, or to meet a flight-time requirement. Most event insurance requires a pressurized aircraft, at the very least.

Anybody who's ever flown long-distance commercial knows that biz-class/first-class is easier to get in and out of, easier to secure, has quicker access to baggage claim, and is generally a little quicker out of the airport.

Bendable straws make it easier to put the straws in the bottle and still fit on the shelf of a podium.

And unless you're a media-hungry faux-celebrity or liberal who isn't happy unless you're surrounded by paparazzi and the mainstream media, why wouldn't you want your room booked under an alias?

I would have expected greater concern from the government-media enterprise about California college students taking to dumpster-diving to make ends meet - wink-wink nudge-nudge. But hey, it gives California Attorney General, gubernatorial candidate and media bimbo Moonbeam free air and publicity for his candidacy, and 24/7 coverage of the kind of case New York Attorney General, erstwhile gubernatorial candidate and fellow media bimbo Andrew Cuomo could only dream of - cue the hypocritical tut-tutting from the leftosphere.... I doubt this contract came out of a dumpster, or that the "students" concern was for "transparency".

The MSM's rush to extend legitimacy to this bit of Calfornia-style political theatre should be embarrassing. This isn't news, it's the high-tech lynching of an uppity Republican who refuses kowtow to the libosphere.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, especially when California college students are forced to dumpster dive to survive.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Repeal Roe v. Wade

I wrote earlier in these pages that the federal government was going to have a real problem if they expected me to allow my taxes to be spent on elective abortion. In the words of the president, the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother, has been "settled law' in the United States for nearly four decades. Until now.

The progressive nature of the Obamacare legislation made no place for settled law, instead establishing a "lock-box" for supplemental premiums to insurance exchanges to be paid by non-federal funds. Right. And to provide further assurances, especially to the so-called "pro-life democrats", Mr. Obama agreed to promulgate an executive order, parroting the language of the Hyde Amendment, but without the force of law, and notwithstanding Stupak's Chamberlainesque histrionics with the draft document.

Well, I'm not buying their abortion fakeout. Since the Obamacare adherents can't see their way clear to obey the law, I have decided to mount a campaign to appeal Roe v. Wade. They clearly view the law as an impediment to their ambitions, except when they can use it as a club.

If they're going to play fast and loose with the law, I insist that the whole institution of abortion be torn down. If they didn't want me in the debate, they should have stayed out of my pockets. If they didn't want the voters of America to have a say, they should have kept it out of the courts and out of the halls of government.

If it is a private matter, as they say, why have they made it the purview of 300,000,000 Americans?

See the petition to repeal at

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty - especially for the most innocent and vulnerable among us.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Simple Majority for Obamacare

An optional title would be " How the Senate Democrats blew up Obamacare".

I was holding forth today on a social networking site as to the corrupt nature of politicians and how they come up with all the arcane rules of the respective houses of Congress to govern their behavior because they can't or won't follow the United States Constitution. I was subsequently asked if, since the filibuster isn't mentioned in the Constitution, did that mean I thought a simple majority of the Senate should be able to pass Obamacare. My response to that query follows below.

The Constitution permit both houses of Congress to set their own rules. Senate rules permit the filibuster. The Senate could change the filibuster rule if they wanted. Since it would take a 2/3 majority to change the rule, it appears the Senate prefers to leave the filibuster in place.

As to the question of how it should be passed, I think health care legislation and ALL legislation should be able to pass the United States Senate on a majority vote, unless otherwise proscribed by the Constitution, or their own rules. That does not mean that the Republicans should roll over just because you and Harry and President Obama want them to. The Senate Democrats themselves just didn't want a simple majority vote.

If I recall correctly, the Senate democrats created the supermajority scenario for Obamacare, because they 1. shut the Republicans out of the legislative process, and 2. couldn't even muster the votes in THEIR OWN CAUCUS (of 60 Senators or 3/5 of the body) to sustain cloture, so they had to set about buying votes to get to 60 before bringing the bill to the floor.

A lack of transparency and integrity among the Senate democrats sealed their fate, and the fate of Obamacare. They could have had an up or down vote. Unfortunately, democrats and Republicans view politics as a zero-sum game. In this instance the radical progressives in the Senate were going to pass this bill no matter what. And they blew themselves up in the process.

Try as you might, you're not gonna get away with blaming the Republicans for this mess.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, especially when radical progressives blame everyone else for their failings.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Of Oaths and Obloquy?

As we approach this weekend's vote in the U. S., some may believe this to be the denouement of the year-long struggle over "health care reform". Many will rejoice in the tying up of loose ends and the speculation laid to rest as we finally discover what's in the bill. Still others will see the vote as the final chapter in a story replete with tales of backroom deals and skullduggery, of graft and grift and corruption. Some will excuse the process as ugly, yet necessary. Many, including myself, see this as the ultimate expression of a governing class which has abrogated their elected responsibility and sworn oath in the pursuit of power.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in Speaker Pelosi's embrace of the Slaughter Solution, a self-executing rule. In reality it's a parliamentary trick to allow the House of Representatives to "deem" the Senate health care reform bill as passed without voting directly for it. Speaker Pelosi likes this solution because it allows her members "to keep some distance" between themselves and the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, Gator Aid, Connecticut's Dodd-Lieberman Memorial Hospital - and the Senate's support for federally funded abortion. But most of you know all this, and if President Obama is to be believed, you "don't care about the process".

Well I actually happen to care about the process and believe that many other Americans do as well. Mr. Obama has demanded a simple up or down vote on whatever form the health care reform bill will take. What Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Slaughter have come up with is anything but simple. For most members it's a bill that is more enigma than definiteness, requiring a bewildering leap of faith in democrats in the United States Senate, wrapped up in the tatters of somebody's copy of the United States Constitution.

Unlike President Obama, I have not taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and am by no means a Constitutional scholar. Also unlike President Obama, I do not believe that the United States Constitution in his words, "reflects a fundamental flaw in this country". Nor have I taken an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution". But a common sense reading of the United States Constitution shines a glaring light on Speaker Pelosi's fundamentally flawed strategy for advancing the progressive vision of health care reform in America.

I quote below from the United States Constitution, Article 1 section 7 clause 2, with acknowledgement of the web site of the United States House of Representatives as the source of this information:

"Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives... in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays and the names of persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively...."
There is nothing in there about what has become known popularly as "deem and pass" or the Slaughter Solution. Nothing in my unscholarly reading of the United States Constitution provides cover for this legislative sleight of hand.

Every member of the House of Representatives swears the following oath on a copy of the Holy Bible (or the Koran, if one is so disposed):
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God." I cannot see how "deem and pass" demonstrates " and allegiance...." under that oath of their office.

We find ourselves in a similar situation to that of our nation at its founding, with a future that was far from certain. Back then they chose a republic, Two centuries on, both the American legacy and her future are far less certain today. A majority of our elected leaders, in direct violation of their oaths of office, are moving relentlessly to impose a paternalistic state on the American people. Will we be the United States of America, or will we lose the legacy of Washington, Madison, Adams, Lincoln and Reagan, and become a second-world shadow of our former national self, fading into obloquy and obscurity?

It's not often in writing this blog that I will turn to scripture, but in the face of unbridled arrogance and lust for political power, a particular passage that many of us have heard from the Old testament comes to mind. In Micah 6:8, we see the exhortation, " do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly...." And we also see in Isaiah 33:15-16 that, "He who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gains of oppression, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil, He will dwell on high."

That doesn't sound at all like many of the people in Washington. They may truly believe that the end justifies the means. Their clock is running, and they're about out of time. It's their vision of America or ours.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, especially when the future of the country is at stake.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Abortion and Health Care Reform

If Bart Stupak's account of his conversations with democrat advocates of abortion coverage are correct, they (the people writing the bill), view abortion as a means of cost control. He's quoted in today's Wall Street Journal as saying he was told, "If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That's one of the arguments I've been hearing,".

I am opposed to abortion on demand, in all its forms. It's not a gray area for me. That said, there are those widely divergent views that run the gamut from "it's a woman's right to choose" to social engineering and eugenics where undesirables are removed from society. Abortion as cost control is eugenics, pure and simple. Any other reason for promoting abortion on demand is simply intellectual dishonesty.

There are many reasons for a woman to have an abortion. That discussion should be between her and her physician. The federal government and the abortion industry have no business being involved. NARAL and the like opened themselves up to opprobrium when they federalized the issue of abortion on demand.

The reason abortion is still so hotly debated 40 years later is that American society was, and still is, unprepared for the consequences of a decision by the US Supreme Court that the court was unqualified to make in the first place. There are no penumbras in the US Constitution, only those imagined by an activist judiciary.

I am opposed to this health care scam they're trying to ram through. It's bad enough they're going to enforce their mandate via the tax code. Abortion should have never been a federal issue, and I'm going to raise nine kinds of hell if this bill passes and they force me, as a taxpayer, to pay for abortion. It may still be safe and legal after health care reformm but I doubt very seriously that it will be rare.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, even for those who hold intellectually dishonest moral and political positions,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Coffee Party

The Coffee Party is open for business in America and coming to a Starbucks near you. Or would be if your Starbucks hadn't closed. Maybe they're coming to a Dunkin Donuts or a Barney's, instead....

Unlike the tea party movement, The Coffee Party has a titular founder, Ms. Annabel Park, who is a former Strategy Analyst for the venerable New York Times. Ms. Park is currently a documentary filmmaker, and denies being an operative for the Obama presidential campaign. The Coffee Party also have a titular spokeman, retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer, Fortune 500 ex-industrialist, and star of radio and Youtube, Alan Aborn. Alborn claims to be a free-marketer, whatever that is, and a Libertarian.

The Coffee Party have put it all out there. "Progress is patriotic" and "The government is the expression of our collective will". Whatever Ms. Park's motivation for "founding" the Coffee Party, they sound like another progressive and collectivist shill for the Obama government/media enterprise.

The Coffee Party are the darling of the New York Times, egged on by the Washington Post. CNN and KSRO Radio in Santa Rosa, California. We suspect The Coffee Party is nothing more than a substitute the discredited and and an arm of the uber-leftist Organizing (Obama) for America.

According to the Boston Globe, The Coffee Party's Alborn says "he supports the basic tenets of the Tea Party (sic), but not what he views at its stonewall strategy and jumble of church of church and state (emphasis added)". Unfortunately, spokesman Al Alborn doesn't elaborate on that strategy or the jumble. Our opinion is that Alan Alborn is about as conservative as David Brooks.

The Coffee Party claim to seek the middle way of compromise, providing a political home for independent and moderate Americans. If anything they're about two decades too late. Maybe if it had been The Coffee Party in the 1990's instead of Soros and MoveOn. The drive to fundamentally transform America in a second-world cradle-to-grave welfare dystopia by the Obama presidency and the Pelosi/Reid Congress havejust about sent independents and moderates the way of the dodo bird and the ivory-billed woodpecker. The Coffee Party may soon find themselves without a constituency.

The Coffee Party have a difficult job ahead of them. Progressives and their agenda have taken a beating over the Obama/Pelosi/Reid debacle. Without a more substantive message than compromise, The Coffee Party are going to be unable to make any real difference in the political climate. Today's progressive power structure views American politics as a zero-sum game, and the Obama administration and Pelosi/Reid Congress continue to pursue a scorched earth legislative policy. The Coffee Party risks being drowned out by their own, or being co-opted, like their brethren in the democrat party and the mainstream media, by radical/socialist/progressives.

Eternal vigilance (not compromise) is the price of liberty for all of us, including progressives, whether they realize it or not.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hail Caligula and His Horse, Incitatus!

Dear Abby,

I had a friend who, when they were with me, made me believe that I was the most important thing to them. They told me that their most highest goal was to help me be the best I could be, that they would help me take care of my family, that they would make sure we had the best of everything. They said if I would help them move to another city, that they would be able to do more for me, to make my life even better than before. I believed them, got my friends to help them too, working day and night to make sure they had what they needed for the move.

Then they moved away....

Now they never call or write unless they need something, which, in their case, is all too often. They're guilting me and my friends into doing more for them, frightening us too, telling us if we don't help them someone might hurt them, even hurt us. What kind of person would promise to give us everything, then work as hard as they can to take it away?

They say they know what's best for me and my friends. Something just doesn't feel right. I can’t trust them anymore. Abby, what should I do?


Failed by a Friend

This sentiment expressed in the fictional letter above has been given voice millions of time in the last year, but not about a faithless friend. It is an indictment of the political class in America.

People in elected office all over the country have broken faith with their constituents. Politicians turned starry-eyed crowds of admirers into believers in the unbelievable, in the hope that, if they were elected to office, things would change. If they got power they could improve our schools and roads, make our children safer, not raise or cut taxes, grow the economy, strengthen our nation at home and make us more respected abroad, make health care available to everyone, slow the rise of the oceans and fundamentally transform the United States of America.

What do the starry-eyed crowds have to show for the time, toil and treasure, all the promises? Graft and corruption - dissipation and venality - millions spent for liquor, junkets and junk - democrat degeneracy, progressive profligacy, and Republican reprobacy. It's not for nothing that most Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.

The central problem is not the country, but the government. Very few Americans approve of Congress. In fact, that anyone in America approves of their actions indicates that there is something wrong with that segment of the population.

The government/media enterprise is working overtime to convince people that their best hope for social, economic and ecological justice is a second-world remake of our enduring institutions. Know-nothing politicians cite the general welfare clause from Article 1 section 8 of the U.S. Constitution as the source of the penumbra from which emanates the "right" to health care, and then proceed to ram the legislation through the Congress and down our throats. They justify their actions by claiming a majority support this, when the truth is that 61% of Americans believe the current proposals need to be scrapped. President Obama says we will recognize the value of his plan once health reform is passed and the furor dies down. Yet, while hosting the Republicans at a heath care summit at Blair House, he has a proposal ready for passage via reconciliation in the Senate.

Long ago in the health care or health insurance "reform" debate, Obamacare was derided as a trojan horse for socialism. I would submit that, based on their imperious attitude toward the American people, the imperial House, Senate, and Obama administration are more like the dissolute Roman emperor, Caligula. Obamacare is more like Caligula's horse, Incitatus who, according to legend, was put forward by Caligula as a member of the Roman senate. Hail Caligula and the horse, Incitatus!

Like Caligula, Congress and the administration require homage and tribute from their subjects. They name bridges, parks, post offices and office buildings after themselves. They memorialize themselves in airports, universities, and even statues. Like Caligula, who worshipped Incitatus the horse as the embodiment of at least six Roman deities, and provided him a gold and ivory stable encrusted stable, President Obama (“sort of god… above the country….”, according to Newsweek Magazine editor Evan Thomas) and Congress have wrapped Obamacare in the gilded box of social and economic justice and deficit reduction. They demand obeisance and fidelity to Obamacare and command Republicans and C-SPAN to summits in its name.

Jeers to President Barack Obama and the progressive majority of the 110th Congress for fiddling with health care while the economy burned! Their legacy will be written in the red ink of profligacy and crushing debt. Their squander of American treasure would make even Caligula blush. Incitatus, too....

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Immodest Absolutely Immoderate Proposal...

...for Preventing Progressives from Burdening the Taxpayers and Their Country While Benefitting the Public by Their Absence from Public Life.
With thanks to Jonathan Swift. No children were consumed in, or as a result of, this post.

Once principled progressives Mary Landrieu, Louisana and Ben Nelson, Nebraska pragmatically sold their Obamacare votes to Harry Reid, Nevada for $300,000,000 Medicare pads for their respective states. You see a pattern, right?

In total there were 278 progressive votes for Obamacare - House(218) Senate(60).

Our immodest proposal - assuming that Senators Landrieu and Nelson are typical of progressives in the Senate, as well as the House, and further assuming that $300,000,000 is the going rate for a progressive politician in Washington, DC - is as follows:

Offer all 278 House and Senate progressives conditional early retirement packages comprised of one-time payments of $300,000,000. This payment would naturally be subject to capital gains tax at the rate they proposed while in office, unless the prevailing rate is higher than they proposed - which is highly unlikely.

Total cost of the package to taxpayers in the United States - exactly $83,400,000,000.

The conditions attached to the package will also define some offsets, not including the election surtax, which go toward reducing the overall cost of the package. Those conditions are as follows:
Recipient waives all lifetime pension/perks associated with their service.
- waives all Social Security payments
- agrees to enroll in Medicare or their state health plan, or moves to Canada, Cuba, or England.
- assumes liability for all out-of-pocket expenses not covered by their health plan.
- signs a 25-year binding agreement barring them from seeking any elected office, anywhere.

Further cost savings can be realized in reduced jet fuel consumption, staff headcount reduction, reductions in waste, fraud and abuse, reductions in franking, deficit reduction, and by other such sums as may be required.

All that's left is to find sponsors for the bill. Senators Boxer, Landrieu, Nelson and Reid and Representatives Lincoln, Pelosi, Brady, Frank, Hoyer and Markey can carry the bill in their respective chambers. Mr. Markey's global warming committee won't get a chance at this one.

Once the proposal has been scored by CBO and returned to both the House and Senate, we can then expect a quick, near-unanimous vote in both chambers, because as Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Christopher Dodd and Harry Reid have all clearly demonstrated, every progressive has their price.

While $83,400,000,000 may seem like a large sum of money, it is:
2.38% of President Obama's proposed $3,500,000,000,000 proposed Federal budget for 2010.
1.67% of the 10-year estimated $5,000,000,000,000 cost of Obamacare and cap-and-trade.

Beyond the obvious benefit to the economy and the taxpayers, consider this:
Eliminating the single greatest domestic threat to the Republic - PRICELESS!!!!

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty - but 278 progressives are cheap at twice the price....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Honest Discussion about Race

I want to have an honest discussion about race.

I want to understand why some people want to be hyphenated Americans, and others don't. I want to understand what makes it OK for some people to make racially divisive remarks, but an honest observation, depending on the source, is shot down as racist.

I want to know how a prominent democrat says something that makes him sound like an ignorant hick and he gets a pass. I want to know how the happy accident of birth and locale that makes me white and southern, combined with my conservative convictions, automatically make me a racist to some.

This is personal.

As an American in the "land of the free", I want to know why some consider themselves not free. I want to know why some people are so invested in racial division that they have created a whole industry, in and of themselves. The federal government has spent liberally - tens of trillions of dollars fighting poverty and disparity, and this has led to a near-permanent underclass, more disparity, and finally, despair. Yet conservatives, who stand for self-sufficiency and opportunity are said to lack compassion.

Yeah, we need an honest discussion about race.

Dr. Martin Luther King said he was looking forward to a country where people "...would be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." When he made the speech forty-seven years ago Dr. King was talking about his dream for his children. It was also his dream for America. Well that's my dream for my children. America, too. Yet there are those who would reserve Dr. King's legacy unto themselves.

I said on on a social networking site that I was going to do this, and so I've done it.

I want to have an honest discussion about race.

The comments are moderated so if you're planning to be mean and nasty, don't bother. They won't get by me. You can post anonymously if you prefer, but including a name or pithy handle will make it easier for us to follow.

You know where I stand. Post your comments here.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christianity and the Anti-Christian Zealots

Anybody in the blogosphere has the right to say whatever they want, as do the radical/socialist/progressive sycophants and acolytes in the state-run media. That same right is extended to church-state separatist liberal evangelicals. And to those paragons of tolerance in the race industry and the victims' industry. And to Bhuddism, Islam, atheism, liberation, treason, anarchy, Unitarianism, Gaia, Green, Pink, and sedition. Conservative, Christia-- no -- wait a minute --

And right there is where the wheels come off the tolerance wagon.

In some circles Christians and political conservatives can say what ever they like about just about anything, as long as they hew to boundaries of tolerance and open-mindedness. But let just one of us say something about Jesus Christ or faith of any kind, and soon we're confronted by the now close-minded, bigoted, but otherwise tolerant sort that rushed Brit Hume.

There's no reason to recount Hume's conversation about Tiger Woods here. It's out there if you want to find it. We will, however, briefly take issue with the Washington Post TV critic who said that Hume's words were the worst of 2010. That was right before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, of the health care bills in Congress, "There has never been a more open process for any legislation", which is, of course, a bald-faced lie, has been covered in other pages here, and is slightly off-topic. That TV critic is either a sycophant or an acolyte as described above, so Speaker Pelosi's comment didn't faze him. Then there was the critic that called for separation of church and TV....

We do not require all Americans to think or believe as we do. We also recognize that, even among conservatives, there are many streams of religious thought. We are happy to stand with anyone of any religious stripe in common cause for the advancement of freedom and the protection, preservation and defense of the United States Constitution and the United States of America. We will not stand quietly in the face of bigotry, hypocrisy, and the double standard against Christians and Christianity. We will not be railroaded into submission and silence by politically correct discrimination.

There is a strong temptation to end this post with words from a famous hymn about solid rock and standing and Christ, but we will forbear. Instead, we will end as we always try to here.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, even for the liberty of anti-Christian zealots.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dotting the I's and Crossing the T's of Health Care "Reform"

While Nancy and Harry are rushing to get their health "reform" bills reconciled, we hope they're able, in view of their compressed time frame, to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's".

We'll do that here at Eternal Vigilance, as well.

These bills, from inception to final votes, are - ill-founded, ill-advised, ignoble, ignominious, illegitimate, illusory, ill-conceived, irrevocable (in some respects), irredeemable, irritating, infuriating (in all respects), and insensate.

The process by which these bills have been forced upon the American people has been - taxing, tiring, treacherous, tricky, tactless, trying, truculent, tyrannizing, (generally) truthless, (always) troubling, trumped-up, and a travesty.

Unfortunately, these are times when words alone just aren't enough. If you identify with these sentiments, please continue to contact your elected representatives - make your voices heard up and down the halls of government. Remind the members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate of their sworn constitutional obligation, that they serve at your pleasure, and that, absent this getting stopped, you intend to make them keenly aware of your displeasure in November.

Urge them, with Thomas Paine's immortal words, to "lead, follow, or get out of the way".

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.