Thursday, March 30, 2006

Can We Go A Week?

It seems near impossible to go more than a week without hearing New York's Mayor Bloomberg speak for the rest of us. Recently, he has travelled to Capitol Hill to speak against legislation that would keep gun sales records from being used against dealers who steal guns that are later used in crimes.

The mayor had this to say:

“We'll do everything we can to continue the fight against guns on the streets of our big cities. This is not something that has to do with the right to bear arms. This is not a Republican or a Democratic thing,” said the mayor. “We're trying to go after a handful of unscrupulous dealers. One percent of all of the dealers in this country sell 60 percent of the guns used in committing crimes. Those are the ones that we want to go after."

While I appreciate the Mayor's position, what should probably color any analysis of it is who is immediately praising Bloomberg for this testimony.

He earned the praise of Jim and Sarah Brady. This week marks the 25th anniversary of Brady's shooting in the assassination attempt on President Reagan.

"Too many Americans continue to have their families torn apart by gun violence, and we all owe Mayor Bloomberg a great deal of praise," Jim Brady said. "A lot of public officials talk about standing up to the special interests - Mayor Bloomberg is really doing it."

"We're extremely grateful to have the Mayor fighting to make sure our law enforcement officers have the tools they need to get crime guns off the streets," said Sarah Brady. "Efforts in Congress to coddle the gun lobby must stop."

If the Brady Bunch is praising you, that makes your actions a little suspect. In Bloomberg's case, he has made no secret that he is an old-school Big City politico when it comes to guns. He hates them, hates that anyone in the country has them and wants them all banned, just like in crime-free New York. Would that we could all be as saintly as such a Machine politician as Bloomberg. Perish the thought.

Yes, I can see the value in having the records on hand for the one percent or so of dealers who seem to habitually sell mass quantities to questionable sources. However, the ATF knows who they are anyway and can nail them if they step out of line. A gun registry can and has been used by unscrupulous regimes both local and at higher levels to confiscate firearms, though. It can also be used to arrest a dealer who sells a gun to someone who can buy it legally, then it gets stolen or used in a crime of passion or some similar tragedy. Now that dealer is liable, and fully expect that anyone the Brady's endorse would wholeheartedly agree with this, for the gun sale in a criminal fashion. If the authorities should wish to go after him as well, and history tells us they usually are, he has no recourse and will likely see criminal charges and jail time.

Thus, gun dealers get fewer and fewer, guns get rarer and you get de facto gun control in many areas. It's not so far fetched as some believe. All you need do is read a quote or two by the Brady's or their allies to know that that is exactly what they want, and this is just one more little piece in the puzzle of them getting it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


That's about the only word that can describe the Senate bill on immigration that cleared committee. In a period where the majority of the US citizenry, the majority of legal immigrants, and the majority of Latinos in this country want no amnesty for illegal immigrants, what does the Senate propose? AMNESTY. One has to marvel at the sheer size of the cojones on the likes of Senator McCain and Kennedy to push this garbage on the American people. It should be considered nigh unto horrific that Frist, the Majority Leader in the Senate, is readily scheduling this for a floor vote.

Just goes to show you, you can vote in Republicans, you can vote in Democrats, but in the end, they're about as representative of the will of the American people on some issues as Stalin was to the kulaks. My opinion on voting many of these incumbents out in the primaries still holds. Do us all a favor. Do yourself a favor. Do your country a favor. If your Senator or Rep. is a careerist bureaucrat who cares more about their job than such views as illegal immigration, get rid of them and run a candidate who does. You don't even have to betray your favorite party that your family has voted for for the last three generations.

Examine this excerpt from RightWingNews:

...In general, the Judiciary Committee's bill is designed to strengthen enforcement of U.S. borders, regulate the flow into the country of guest workers and determine the legal future of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.

The bill would double the Border Patrol and authorize a "virtual wall" of unmanned vehicles, cameras and sensors to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border. It also would allow more visas for nurses and agriculture workers, and shelter humanitarian organizations from prosecution if they provide non-emergency assistance to illegal residents.

The most contentious provision would permit illegal aliens currently in the country to apply for citizenship without first having to return home, a process that would take at least six years. They would have to pay a fine, learn English, study American civics, demonstrate they had paid their taxes and take their place behind other applicants for citizenship, according to aides to Kennedy, D-Mass., who was instrumental in drafting the legislation.

So, if we go by the 1986 amnesty, which said it was going to do similar to what you see above, the eleven million illegals, Asians, Hispanics, Irish, you name it, will pay a little fine and become U.S. citizens. Then in 10 or 20 years, the bill's border security provisions will remain an unfunded mandate, just as the '86 provisions were, and we'll have 10, maybe even 20 million more illegals from any number of countries. Remember in '86, the Congress swore that this would be the only one of it's kind. Sort of like when they swore that the federal income tax would only remain a small and insignificant tax on the citizenry, huh? You can't trust Congress to do much straight. That's an axiom that's rang true for hundreds of years. But this blatant in-your-face method of dealing with a problem that deeply troubles so many Americans on both sides of the issue, no real compromise and total capitulation to the Leftist point of view is, as I previously stated, outrageous.

They give in to people who say significant parts of the Western United States was STOLEN from them, like MEChA. These are the people who've brainwashed retarded little teens into flying Mexican flags at U.S. schools and flying the American flag upside down with the Mexican flag over it. What exactly are we to think?

What are we to think when the antique media fully supports the left side of this issue? How are we supposed to feel when we see a student carrying the U.S. flag openly reviled by ridiculous teeny-bopper supporters of the reconquista.

We have to think that something has gone terribly wrong. We have to consider that between the Leftist indoctrination kids receive at school and the Leftist control of the message over the antique media that we will see more of this and that the Senate and House will see more of this. I don't expect the House to support this version of the bill in committee and I don't expect it will ever pass in that fashion. I do expect, should the Dems pick up enough seats to take back the House, Senate or both that this will come back with a vengeance. Then expect things to get worse.

For a mentality that praises multiculturalism and inclusiveness, the Left surely has a desire to exclude and discount the culture of the country that provides the flag for them to spit on as it protects them. If things are so all-fired fantastic, for example, with the Mexican culture and Mexican nation, first, why are their citizens flocking here in droves and second why are they so eager to make so much of America just like the craphole they fled? I didn't hear that question asked among the softballs I heard on NPR this morning as they interviewed local school and town administrators in southern California. I did hear the question of why some seem to keep forgetting that these people are here ILLEGALLY, but it was quickly discounted with no followup.

What are we to think?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Usual Suspects

The immigration demonstrations this weekend seemed organized on a massive scale, one usually associated with groups that have experience rallying such crowds to their cause. Typically, this has included the big, old guard communist fronts like International ANSWER. More recently, groups such as United For Peace and Justice and People for the American Way have taken up their places as fronts for ANSWER to try and provide a not-so-severe socialist façade to these organized protests.

Typically, these protests in recent years have been anti-war, and mostly anti-U.S. in nature. This has been the primary cause the Far Left has had to rally around. However, a new cause has arisen to join the tired old anti-war protestors. Now they can argue another neo-Marxist favorite, that America is racist because it deigns to do something, anything about the problem of illegal immigration.

Frankly, I don’t feel the U.S. government is eager to do anything about illegal immigration. I don’t consider that too broad of a statement. The government has flirted with “reform” in the past only by offering amnesty to all illegals in the country at that time. How this is considered reform is beyond me. Although the politicos of today know it is political suicide to advocate amnesty again, make no mistake that they would rather do this than actually engage the issue.

It has been shown time and again that the American electorate overwhelmingly is in favor of more secure borders and harsher treatment for illegal immigrants. When I say harsher treatment, I don’t mean the thumb screw and boiling oil type so much as the kick them out on their rear type. The current catch-and-release program is more akin to a schoolyard game than a legitimate federal policy.

One of the fundamental principles and duties of a nation is to protect its sovereignty, of which the major part of that is strong borders. If it cannot do that, it cannot do anything more important, like defend its peoples. Honestly, how can we ascribe to this government any legitimacy if it cannot perform this basic function?

And the U.S. government suffers here from a decided selfish interest in keeping the illegals and encouraging future illegal immigration. For the Left in the form of the Democrats and some Republicans, it is worthwhile to bring them in and convert them to citizens to increase their voter and/or tax base. Through that alone, illegal immigration is basically institutionalized in our government. Also, there are significant sectors of our leadership, mostly on the Left but some on the Right who wish to keep these illegals flooding in as a sort of permanent underclass. Consider this.

Legal immigrants coming into the country who follow the path to citizenship assimilate more easily into American culture, revenue generation and collection than illegals by an exponential factor. They have more opportunity and more chance at success and upward mobility because they get “in the system”. Illegals are never “in the system”, not completely at least. They are enough in that they are exploited, but not enough in that they enjoy the full benefits of citizenship or contribute the full productivity of it either. They certainly have little or no upward mobility. Hence, you get your permanent underclass.

There are significant elements of the Left that also want to see this in the form of a “new proletariat” to exploit. Because they are disenfranchised and because they have little hope of getting into the system, they are exploitable as both “a cause” and a constituency. This is already a standard formula with LEGAL immigrants in Europe. They are not assimilated and thus have become a festering sore that will eventually put Europe to the unenviable test of confronting a hostile and isolated significant population in its own backyard. We have already seen the opening salvos with the continuing riots in France, the “honor killings” in Germany and the outright cowing and murder in Denmark of those who oppose the immigrant Islamic minority. Will we wait until we see the same with our illegal population here in the United States?

A strange collusion of portions of our own government and the Old Guard Marxist Left have come together to push this issue each in their own way in defiance of the overall will of the American citizenry. This past weekend, we saw it in its most naked form. Massive rallies with Marxist markings were held in major American cities with maximum participation of illegal immigrants and little concern that the government would act to round up and expel those illegal immigrants. Protesters against a bank that offered mortgage loans to illegal immigrants in Munster, Indiana were assaulted by illegal immigrants or at the very least their supporters. Again, minor police involvement, just enough to get the assaulted men away and get them medical treatment. Worse, those “counter-protestors” interviewed were distributing socialist literature using the old canards of racism and class-warfare, the telltale Marxist warhorses. They equally seemed unrepentant and wishful of a worse fate to those who opposed illegal immigration.

The legal immigrant community is not behind the illegals. The American people in general are not behind the illegals. Only an odd combination of groups who seek to remake America into their own image, career politicians and old school Marxists (now there’s an odd, if not strangely related combination) form an unusual oligarchy in their attempt to shape and direct this issue to amnesty and increase of an unassimilated and potentially hostile population within our borders; at the very least, a population that is used as a shield for criminals and worse.

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana said yesterday that it’s a pipe dream to assume we can actually remove any significant part of this illegal population from the country, that we must seal the borders and then find some “reasonable” way to deal with them. Perhaps he’s right. Perhaps treating those legal immigrants unfairly by letting those who could vault a fence or swim a river jump ahead of them is the only recourse. Someone will get slighted, so why not those who can do the least about it, eh? The fundamental problem to this is, it’s already been done. It’s been done in the past and it will be done in the future. Those in power have no desire to “fix” something they don’t even consider a legitimate problem, even the most sincere among them. And those that do have a legitimate desire are painted as racists and hatemongers. What is a population to do? That’s a question I can’t even begin to answer faced with such daunting odds. Any takers?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Divisive Issue, Thy Name is Illegal Immigration

I've commented occasionally on this issue, most notably in terms of border control and criminals using our pourous border as a conduit for their illegal activities. Let's also consider before anything else that people entering this country without following the accepted immigration route, in which we attempt to assimilate them into our culture, are doing so ILLEGALLY. I don't know if I can stress this enough, because it seems to be something that gets missed everytime this argument pops up. If they're breaking the law, what kind of message does it send that we allow them to continue breaking the law by staying? Not exactly an effective means of assimilation.

However, many on the other side of this issue assume that any against ILLEGAL immigration are against all immigration. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm all for legal immigration. I've got over two hundred years of history that tells me it works and works well. People come in with their own unique cultures and ideas, assimilate into American culture while still retaining a bit of pride in their heritage, and voila the next generation from those immigrants are usually indistinguishable from other Americans. They come here because their own countries fail them and because America seems the most promising and free place to make something of yourself. In America, you should not be judged on who your parents were. You should and usually are judged on your own character and ability. That's one of the many things I love about this country, it's ability over any other country in the world to take in a massive influx of legal immigrants.

That being said, we now see ILLEGAL immigrants rallying against any attempt to reform the horrible state of immigration in this country. Michelle Malkin gives perhaps the best overview of the rallies. She also includes some choice quotes from the founders on unassimilated immigrants. It would seem, not surprisingly, that they weren't too pleased with that idea either.

I do have to agree with her on Bush's "We are a nation of immigrants" quote. It seems he's trying to be all inclusive and accepting, but he should at least get the facts straight. We aren't all immigrants. Most of us are third or fourth generation Americans. We and our parents were born here. How does that make us immigrants? We have an immigrant heritage and should rightfully be proud of it, but we are not immigrants. It's a well-meaning platitude, but somewhat misleading in an attempt to identify with the ILLEGALS already here.

I also can't abide the whole "they do jobs Americans don't want to" argument. Either Americans will do them or the industries will change their practice. The tomato industry, an industry wholly dependent on migrant workers, redesigned its harvesting when it was deprived of those workers. Did the tomato industry collapse? Are we paying $10 for a can of tomato paste? It can be done.

So yes, it can be done and we needn't suffer 11 million illegals using public services, draining the resources of hospitals and local public schoools and acting as a permanent underclass for those who are too racist or money-hungry to admit otherwise. The best thing that can be done at these rallies is to start checking ID's and sending those not here legally back to their own country. If they can manage to not break the law again and apply to enter this country legally, I'm all for 'em. Otherwise, they can fix their own countries. We're not here to relieve their poverty by having them live in poverty in our country.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Most Trusted Man In America?

Once, Walter Cronkite was thought of as the "Most Trusted Man in America". His reporting was viewed as objective and reflecting the thoughts and mindset of the mainstream. We remember the famous "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America" quote of LBJ. The antique media won't let us forget it.

We also know, with the hindsight of history, that Cronkite was a lying liberal partisan who wished to impress his personal views on the Vietnam War on his viewers by exploiting their trust in him. He lied about the effectiveness of the Tet Offensive, a battle that the U.S. forces won resoundingly, so much so that history today records it as the turning point of the war. A battle that nearly destroyed the Viet Cong gave them a tremendous political victory to exploit all the way to Saigon as we pulled our last embassy personnel from the roof in the face of invading NVA forces.

This is the legacy of the "Most Trusted Man in America". But now we rely on his even more nakedly partisan expertise to tell us about the so-called "McCarthy Era". Not surprisingly, Cronkite holds up movies such as "Goodnight and Good Luck" as wholly truthful, with the sad exception of not providing the leftist spin at the start of the movie so that young people could have "the proper context" in which to view it.

Never mind that there were Communists in our government and that they were actively spying for Stalin. Never mind they were planting weapons caches all across the US just in case they needed them against us. That wasn't important. What was important was that the Left desperately needed to smear McCarthy as he went after intellectuals they considered their own. Never mind that McCarthy never went after the real liberal darlings like Alger Hiss. The HUAC handled most of that. But what's a little history twisting between Leftists? His only concern seemed to be that their were Soviet spies in our government and that they should probably be fired. The Venona cables proved he was not only right, he had drastically understated the problem.

So now, our legacy is, we ignore the truth that has come out in history. It is better to accept Cronkite's memory of the white wash of history than it is to look at the facts as they have come to light. We no longer are required to assess the value of the character of those speaking of this period. The Venona project has laid it out in Black and White. Why then are we still accepting this blow-hard at face value?

Some could say it is laziness, that truth is always the first casualty as history is written and rewritten. I'd call it purposeful. The victors of the Cold War are not writing its history. They are allowing those who opposed them every step of the way to write it. And Cronkite is one of the old fossils left to help lead their way. The best we can do is constantly expose them for the hypocritical liars they are in the hopes that it might slow or cause to fail their efforts to solidify their version of this very important section of American history.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yes, We’re Still Debating Gun Rights in Indiana

Wednesday’s Indianapolis Star headlined with a piece on legislation that clarified the notion that one has the right to defend one’s self rather than flee if a criminal act occurs.

House Act 1028 clarifies what already was more or less accepted in Indiana, but is codified in only two other states, South Dakota and Florida.

For some time, many states have held that citizens have a “duty to retreat” when confronted with an attacker before they could even consider deadly force in self-defense, but fifteen states, beyond the current three that have enacted legislation, are considering improving their self defense laws to do away with this antiquated notion. Not surprisingly, there were Democrats and anti-rights lobbyists who were opposed to seeing the bill signed. Consider this quote from Handgun Control Inc, er, sorry the Brady Campaign to not seem authoritarian or rights trampling or some such:

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has labeled such legislation "shoot-first" bills. Peter Hamm, a campaign spokesman, said Indiana's bill is "horrible" and "a big mistake."

"It's really a potentially dangerous solution to a nonexistent problem because there is not a scenario of legitimate self-defense anywhere in the country that doesn't get treated by juries, prosecutors and police as self-defense," Hamm said.

"We shouldn't be encouraging people to use deadly force in public. That's why we have trained police officers."

Well, I’d argue that several self-defense cases have cropped up where the homeowners were prosecuted. Some stories from New York City come to mind, never mind that the Democratic prosecutor uses gun violations to send residents to jail for shooting felons trying to break in to their occupied home. The sentiment is very much the same.

And assuming police officers will always be available, when legally it has been stated that police cannot be everywhere and do not have a duty to be in a position to protect you, just catch whoever killed or robbed you, then I’d say that Hamm is being naïve to say the least. That or he’s being disingenuous. In fact I think we should encourage deadly force. It’ll have the benefit of keeping the prison population down and might even make a criminal think twice before attempting that carjacking or trying to mug that little old lady. I think I can speak for the majority when I say that if some criminal were to attempt to harm me or my family at home or while I was out, I, in the words of Sylvester Stallone in the much-maligned film Cobra, wouldn’t just use deadly force. I’d use everything I had.

Predictably, some Democrats weren’t really crazy about it either, which almost in itself proves there was a need for clarification.

"We're talking about a bill that says you don't have a duty to retreat, but I think we should be avoiding problems as much as we can," said Rep. Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary. "This legislation says, 'Go get 'em!' "

EXACTLY. If someone breaks into your home, tries to pull you or your spouse or kid out of your car or assaults you or a loved one while you’re out, plug ‘em. Thanks for understanding Rep. Smith. I’d like to avoid getting mugged, carjacked, or worse too, but sometimes you can’t “avoid” a criminal no matter how many precautions you take. In that garage late at night, or on that lonely street or when you’re home alone late and hear a window break, sometimes you can’t “avoid” the criminal. You can only hope to survive him. In this case, if one of you has to survive, which would you suggest? Which do you think Rep. Smith would suggest?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Red Fashion

Undoubtedly many of you have seen, if you've visited a mall or walked a college campus recently, the preponderance of shirts, mugs and commemorative bongs with Che Guevara's likeness emblazoned on them. It would appear this was brought up the other day by Chris Matthews, former Carter speechwriter and alleged journalist of the people.

In response to a discussion of Bin Laden shirts cropping up in Africa, Matthews mentioned that Che shirts worn by U.S. kids were "kind of cute at this point, aren’t they? They’re not about somebody out to get us now. I think there’s a difference. I mean, that’s kind of camp almost, isn’t it?" and couldn't see how Che Guevara (is) the symbol of hate in the United States anymore.

Well, it's nice that Chris thinks that. I mean, it's not like the kids are wearing Mao or Stalin shirts (give them time), but the icon of an avowed thug and killer is hardly "cute" or not a "symbol of hate". This is a guy who hunted down and executed members of his and Castro's own resistance group for the simple crime of not agreeing that the new Cuban government should be communist. Truly cute. This, from a country that gleefully allowed their island to be used in a little game Kruschev had with Kennedy to cause the U.S. to look imbecilic and gain concessions from the U.S., all while having the possibility of getting to threaten Americans with the donated nuclear missles that were being shipped in. Yes, charming.

Or, could it be that Bin Laden and ole' Che do have something in common, that both were common thugs who relished the power that their status brought to them. They both exist as icons of oppression, chaos and fascism in their own little ways. Although years and miles stand between the two, I'd call neither one's likeness or what it represents "cute" and "not a threat". More than anything, they represent the sad failure of this country to educate its youth on the dangers they faced in the past and the danger we will always face as long as the U.S. is around. But I wouldn't expect good ole' Chris to bring up such trivial notions as that on his cute and harmless program.

Blogger Makes Good In The Big Leagues

I thought I'd take another moment to mention Ben Domenech's new blog, "Red America" over at the Washington Post. His blog was brought in to balance the lefty blog edited by Dan Froomkin, although the Left is up in arms about one of their liberal bastions being "invaded" so. And I'm hearing of calls for more "balance" by adding another leftist blog. I guess two leftist blogs could be almost as good as one right-wing. Sorry, just had to tease the Mao-lovers a bit.

Ben's latest piece covers an article that highlights a Berkeley research study conducted over the last twenty years of 95 kids that showed that all those kids who grew up to be "conservative" were "whiny" and "insecure" as children, but that all liberals grew from "confident, resilient, self-reliant" stock. Statistically 95 kids in Berkeley might be hard to pin down as "significant", but the Left is already embracing this as their new favorite "conservatives must be crazy" topic.

Well, anything to shore up their sadly deflated egos after the trouncing they've received in the last few elections I guess. It'll be good therapy for them. I seem to recall back in my college days that the ones who saw the most psychoses in their fellow students but who usually were the most unhinged were the psych majors. Then again, maybe my statistical sample was too small...

Update 1: As many have probably heard, poor old Ben was caught in the act of plaigarizing by an extremely overzealos Leftist group of bloggers. So, he burns. I don't stand for that kind of thing anymore than the next person and if he did in fact copy and use someone else's work then represent it as his own, he gets what he deserves. I still think his blog is a good idea, and that his indiscretions have handed it on a silver platter to the vulture-like Lefties who wanted any hint of conservative ideas eliminated from the Washington Post, one of their normal holy hunting grounds, is a sad affair. Thanks for screwing with us, Ben. Perhaps you'll still do some good and serve as yet another lesson in the price of poor journalism.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Leftist Hypocrites and the Marxists Who Love Them

Next on Springer, he’s been called “the most honest man in America”, but don’t let that fool you. This man of allegedly humble means supposedly lives in a rooming house with a public bathroom, lives on $25,000 a year and is likely one of the most frugal men you’ll ever meet. None other than Ralph Nader is exposed, though, in the amusingly light read of Do As I Say (Not As I Do) by Peter Schweizer.

Nader is the champion of the consumer, as we currently know him. Starting with GM in the 1970’s, he has made anti-corporatism his bread and butter for more than 35 years. This self-described lover of how things used to be in the good ole’ days of the Soviet Union before glasnost and perestroika ruined it for everyone has attacked everything from cars to loud rock music to pharmaceutical companies and the military-industrial complex. The far Left sees him as their own personal demi-god and either adore him or revile him for “hurting” Al Gore and John Kerry in the last two Presidential elections with his uncompromising stand on Leftist issues. This man hates anything that might be a monopoly or that might produce “land mines, napalm...(or) weapons”.

This of course explains why he owns mutual funds that invest heavily in General Electric, IBM, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. Such companies are well known for their investing in hippy communes and flower gardens. The man who by his own admission has made over $14 million in his career has over $2.1 million in corporate stock, the same corporations he rails against.

Naturally, he has claimed he’s given most of his money to charity, a fact his income tax returns do not bear out. They show in fact that he keeps most of his cash buried in shelters in the form of charitable foundations that give out very little charity. They have his family as officers and invest in companies in which he has a vested interest, usually in attacking their competition through his “public safety” persona.

While not as land hungry as some of his other leftist friends, according to those who’ve hired him for speaking engagements, he does cost them a pretty penny to keep up in limousines, expensive hotels and the finest amenities. For such a devout union man as well, he certainly doesn't tolerate such foolishness at the organizations he founded. Such facts are well-referenced in Schweizer’s book and along with others expose the pure hypocrisy that such liberals live under.

As it notes, while conservatives like Limbaugh and Bill Bennett have been held up to immense ridicule for their short-comings, they have at least owned up to these failures and not tried to be hypocritical in their stance on them. The Left knows no such humility. Brazen hypocrisy is the order of the day and Nader is just one of the glowing examples in this work.

I might touch on one or two others as the week progresses, but I don't want to ruin the book for you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Bipartisan Suggestion

In this age of divisive politics and bitter partisan fighting, where even fighting amongst one’s own Party is more commonplace than it’s been in awhile, I have a suggestion. Actually, the first line is sort of sarcasm. There has always been bitter partisan fighting between the Big Two. It’s just a matter of the agenda of those reporting that you hear more about one or the other. That said I still have a suggestion that is positively inclusive.

This May, when the Primaries season really kicks in, do yourself a favor. Vote out an incumbent or five. Incumbency has become the norm for both parties both in local, regional and national elections. Expect that to continue and worsen. I’m not advocating changing your Party affiliation, either, not if you don’t want to. I think it’s retarded that Democrats think traditionally Republican districts will all of a sudden vote Democrat just because the President’s approval rating is down. Thanks to gerrymandering, both Parties have established nearly impregnable enclaves. So if you think you have to vote Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or Green or even Constitution or else the free world will be torn asunder, then by all means do it. If you’re voting for one of the Big Two, though, clear out the incumbent, would you?

With few exceptions, most incumbents are concerned not with representing their constituents, but with protecting their jobs. Career politicians make for bad representative government. Just consider our this quote from Alexander Hamilton.

"The natural cure for an a change of men."

This fits us in our Congress all the way down to our local governments. At the federal level, the Republicans who swept into power in 1994 on the promise of reducing government and our tax burden are no more. They’re like prisoners who’ve been in jail too long and become accustomed to the walls. They’re institutionalized now and want to protect the system more than you and me. They’re no better than the Democrats they replaced and I’ll guarantee you no Democrat that might replace one will be any better than the Republican if you’re looking for that same 1994 contract. In the short term, though, you can assuage this by, as Henry Higgins says in My Fair Lady, “throwing the baggage out”.

Get rid of the dyed-in-the-wool institutions, like Ted Kennedy. A man who’s been in power in the Senate over 40 years knows NOTHING of how the rest of the country works and represents no one but his own special interests, most notably himself. Replace him with, at least, a fresh face even if it is attached to yet another Massachusetts liberal. At least he might personally know someone who makes less than six figures. Robert Byrd, Arlen Specter, John McCain, such men are masters of the political game but wouldn’t know a native of their constituency from Adam. Why then, should they be considered legitimate representatives of such souls? The answer quite simply is that they shouldn’t. And that’s just the Senate. The House could use a little fresh blood too. Chris Shays in the House is one such person as is Nancy Pelosi. They are Machine politicians, no more caring of their constituency’s true needs in being served than they care about the homeless man who asks one of their staffers for change (can’t get close enough to the Representatives).

As I stated, local government could use a good fumigating as well. Out pests! You’ve taken residence here for far too long. Almost the entire city council of Carmel and Fishers in Hamilton County could walk off the job tomorrow and no one would notice. The same could probably be said for Noblesville as well. The Indianapolis City-County Council and Greenwood town government, Hendricks and Hancock Counties, could likely see all their sitting members depart with nary a negative consequence to their citizenry. These same individuals voted in that extra restaurant tax you’re currently paying and see no need to constrain government to forestall the oncoming rise in your property taxes. You see, to them, they need your money more than you do and you OWE it to them. Don’t you forget it.

How could you forget it? You’re reminded with each new property tax bill and with each restaurant receipt and that’s just here in Central Indiana. Can you who live elsewhere say you truly have it better? I’m betting you can’t.

So come this May, ditch them. Send a message that you will not tolerate political sloth. At the same time, you’ll be doing nothing to hurt your chosen party. A little house cleaning is good every now and then and you don’t even have to compromise your politics to do it. How much more bipartisan can you get? How much more good for American can you get?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Immigration Revisited

In light of this topic continuing to be a source of contention, I thought it worth visiting this quote:

"In the last five months alone, the Border Patrol has arrested 42,722 aliens with criminal records attempting to cross the border. Among them were 6,770 felons; 148 persons wanted in connection with a homicide; 42 associated with a kidnapping; 164 associated with a sexual assault; 298 associated with a robbery, 1,957 wanted for assault, and 4,161 connected with drug crimes. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 139,000 of the 1.1 million people apprehended on the border in 2005 were criminal aliens seeking to illegally reenter the United States." Senator John Kyl

Hat tip to RightWingNews for the quote

While the good Senator from Arizona and I differ on a couple of issues, this is one on which I completely agree with him. The arguments I’ve seen that these are “just people trying to make a living” and that they’re no different than you or me, blah blah blah, every argument designed to make illegal immigrants appear harmless never addresses the above facts. It never addresses that there are more people involved than Pablo and Consuela coming over to make a better life for themselves. For one, frankly, they can do it legally. You don’t start down the road to being a good citizen of the United States if you start by breaking the law.

For two, the vast number of KNOWN thugs that enter the country and get deported back, criminals all, are just a drop in the bucket. Of the 1.1 million people apprehended, how many weren’t apprehended? Was it another million? Two? If we assume 12% or more of those are violent criminals, how do we condone their entry? Why and how can we tacitly approve of the entry of rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and burglars? It’s the equivalent of emptying 139,000 people out of prison and then setting them loose in the hopes we’ll either recapture them or they’ll not do anything we will catch them at. How is that realistic? Answer: It isn’t. It’s not realistic to think we can rubber stamp such a vast and colorful array of criminals coming into this company by establishing “amnesty” or a “guest worker” program. They have to be captured and thrown out, then kept out.

Anything shy of that puts millions of Americans, including legal immigrants, at risk. Face facts. There is no way to have an open border policy given the sheer volume of criminals who use Mexico and Canada as highways into the United States. A sovereign nation is defined by its borders and how well it protects them. If we cannot do that, then why not simply merge with the countries around us and call it a day? Adopt Canada’s socialist medical system and draconian gun laws. Accept Mexico’s staggering socialist bureaucracy with its equally staggering legacy of corruption and economic mismanagement and forget there even is an America. Or, keep the wolves at bay along with the sheep. Encourage them to come through the gates we’ve provided so we can separate the two and that I have no problem with.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Study, Same Conclusions

Of course by now most of you have heard of the study released last week that showed more people new the name of the lead characters on the Simpsons than new the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. I bow to James Taranto on the funniest line of the week regarding this.

"A recent survey shows that Americans can name more of the Simpsons than the rights protected by the First Amendment. (For the record, we can name all 12: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, O.J., religion, speech, press, assembly, petition and partial-birth abortion.)"

I’ve read several pundits’ take on this. Some are what you’d expect, railing at the political apathy of modern America, while some show indifference or a general lack of concern. The belief of the latter is that most Americans know their basic rights and surely exercise them any chance they get. Well, I might be able to accept that to some degree, but many Americans also think they have a right to health care, welfare, and cable TV. That’s why I still think it’s critical that the majority of Americans be aware of exactly which rights might be considered natural or even civil and which popular culture and sometimes leftist thought seem to want to bestow without any legal framework.

Even in my days in school, this would have been a no-brainer. Although my experience stems from a Catholic school and not a public one, my friends and colleagues from that era seemed to grasp the basics of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They could reasonably name those rights and a majority of the Amendments without having to resort to an encyclopedia. Now, this is no longer the case.

Couple a general cultural perception of politics as boring and of no concern to the average American with a school system more interested in treating children like social experiments than individuals to be taught the basics needed to become a functioning citizen and you will get such results from a study like this each and every time.

Such ignorance makes it easy for the true demagogues of the media and political machine to argue for legislation and judicial diktat that appoint “laws and rights of the hour” and not reaffirm and strengthen our true rights. Just the opposite seems to happen, of course. Those rights we are naturally endowed with are seen as threatening and too vast an expanse of liberty and thus every attempt is made to infringe on them by those who feel they know how better to run your life than you do.

The best defense is to fight the tide and take a little interest in your government and your history. Instill that interest in your children at as young an age as possible. Let them know where they really come from. If one assumes that the current generation is bad, based on studies like this, how can you possibly think future ones are going to get any better without help?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Endless Excuses

Yesterday as I drove to work, I heard some interesting commentary on the radio. WXNT 1430’s “Abdul in the Morning” was speaking with the veteran Brian Howey, author of the Howey Political Report. They were discussing the last day of the Indiana legislature’s session and what bills might make it through. The one that consistently caught my attention was their discussion of Property Tax Reform.

Being an election year, several legislatures, almost all Republicans, have made bones about wanting to abolish the property tax. Were they actually able to do such a thing, it would be nothing short of miraculous. The reality, however, is that it’s just an election-year stunt and the best we can hope for is limited, one-time only minor reform. Property tax in Indiana is expected to rise between 7-14% this year, and analysts have been warning that this is just the beginning. Rising costs of local government, they say, combined with the State’s refusal to continue to subsidize property tax relief, have converged in a “perfect storm”, as I’ve heard it described, to give us a huge hike.

Only two or three years ago, counties like Marion suffered a similar hike due to assessments not being updated in a timely fashion. Now they are about to get hit again, and the rest of the state is going to take a punch along with them. What can we do in the face of this wave of new tax? What is our recourse? Are there alternatives?

According to Brian Howey and Abdul, no there is not. They describe property tax as a “necessary evil” and a “consistent source of revenue” for counties even in times of economic instability. They can think of no easy way to replace it and thus are content to keep it in place. Although there were mutterings of forcing everyone to pay the bills come tax time, as I have often heard with income tax, as a way to jolt people into forcing local governments to do something about the increase, no concrete options were offered. We are just stuck with this necessary evil.

It’s an often quoted item that for evil to succeed, good men need only do nothing. This necessary evil, they suggest, must be tolerated because we as the public will not do anything. Perhaps that is the case, but it doesn’t make what has been done right. Property tax is an intolerable evil. It is a bondage on property that ties the well-being of the owner to his or her ability to keep their property from seizure by the government. If you can’t pay your taxes, then like the days of the legendary Robin Hood, the good Sheriff will arrive, tack a sign on your door and throw you and your family out. End of story. No recourse, just a chance to buy your house back at a tax sale before speculators and other hopefuls snatch up the land and home you sweated and possibly bled to maintain.

That’s the necessary evil the likes of Abdul or Brian Howey say we must tolerate. Since we have no ready alternatives, and since local government has no desire to shrink itself anymore than state or federal government, we are told that we should just shut up and pay the tax. We should pay the fee to be a serf on our political lord’s land. Does that sound like something of and for the People? Does that sound like a free society? Or does it sound like a feudal state? If our best advocates, such as the aforementioned Abdul, tell us there is no hope at present, what are we to think? Are we to continue tolerating this necessary evil that burdens us so? This tax on our very homes, the things we consider most sacred, the land and lodgings we raise our family on?
The answer to me is no. To hell with being told we must tolerate it. Call your legislator. Email him. Pester her. Trouble them. Let them know just how much you don’t like the threat of your home being taken away held like a gun to your head for you to pay Caesar’s tax. The only way to break the chains of property tax is to hammer at the manacles placed on us by government. If enough hammers fall, maybe we have a chance to suffer this necessary evil no longer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Still Not Getting It

The obvious answer for the Democrats as to why Americans have been consistently voting out Democrats in the last several elections is… drum roll… not the Democrats themselves! The Democrat Party has a decided sense of tunnel vision when trying to ascertain why it is that they can’t seem to convince more than their hard left faithful to vote for them year after year. Usually the argument revolves around how smart the Democrat message is and how hard that is to translate to the “average Joe”.

Senator Barack Obama showed he truly is a rising star in the Democrat Party when he admitted as much on Face The Nation this weekend. The core of his argument was that the Democrat Party had to do a better job of dumbing-down their message when it came to trying to reach the American public. That way, simpletons such as we could understand the towering intellects such as Mr. Obama.

It seems a rather broad stroke to paint anyone not of the Left in this country as intellectually deficient in ideas such as socialized medicine, abortion, foreign relations, the military, taxes and the economy. Still, that is the take that is often subscribed to, but rarely vocalized. The assumption that Americans are children and simpletons is often taken by demagogues among the Left who see it easier to believe such than to admit to the outright failure to take hold of their own policies.

The policies of the Left have driven the U.S. government from the 1930’s on through today and we see the unmitigated mess that has resulted. Crime is higher than it was. Taxes are at an all-time high and growing. The federal judiciary takes powers away from the states and ascribes them to the federal government. We have a schizophrenic foreign relations policy arm that coddles dictators and rogue states while simultaneously trying to look out for the interests the the United States and its citizens (guess which one wins). Our economy is manipulated by socialist forces in Commerce, most notably the IRS, which does more to push us closer to socialism than just about anything, even Welfare. Medicare is growing and getting worse. Social Security continues as an “unfunded mandate”, as the dues collected for it are squandered to make the deficit look smaller.

Explain to me in any of this what is complex. Explain also how Democrats, who are responsible for originating most of this nightmare leviathan of a modern federal government, are in any way capable of solving any of the above problems. I’ll answer it for you. They can’t and they won’t. They have no desire to fix these things because they see them as good for America. They see taking from you and yours and giving it to others in classic Marxist fashion as the height of charity and nobility. Is it any wonder such a mentally diseased group would think you and I too dumb to understand them?

Consider this as you go to the polls each year and consider who it is you keep voting back into power. We truly have the inmates running the asylum, and every year we keep handing them the keys. Hmm… What’s that say about us?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Marxism Runs Red In The Classroom

That Jay Bennish, the teacher in Colorado caught on tape espousing extreme left political views, is making such big news is interesting. The question might be why is his story such a newsworthy one? Bennish himself seems to think the problem was that he should have "picked a different dictator". I'm not sure if he meant Hitler or if he thought Bush was a dictator, but the effect remains. I don't think necessarily that this story is newsworthy because he got taped. I think it is newsworthy because it finally brings to light the fact that his views are more mainstream among high school teachers and professors than we would care to admit.

In my own little corner of the world, at IUPUI's university campus, a professor I had the misfortune of dealing with recently made clear to his students at the beginning of his Western Civ II class his views. He noted the first day that he was a devout Marxist, that much of the class would focus on Marx's teachings and subsequent thought, and that he didn't give a damn if anyone wanted to debate him on it, because not only would the be simply wrong, they would not pass his class. Although the person involved didn't have a tape, that is a fairly accurate summation of what transpired. Bear in mind again, this was not a history of Marxism class or a philosophy class that focused on modern writers like Karl Marx. It was a WESTERN CIV II class.

This class covered the history of western civilization from 1500 to present. Now, being a bit of a history buff myself, I'm aware of a lot of history that's transpired since then and I'm pretty sure Marx was a fairly small part of it. Nowhere had I seen that neomarxism, like he championed by having the class read the book, Empire, was a driving or dominant enough force in history to manhandle the better part of the lecture. But there it was. This prof was clearly only interested in pushing his agenda on malleable teens that his leftist, neoMarxist view of the world was the eye-opening truth they'd been waiting for all their lives.

Again, I don't see these as isolated examples. I see them as small glimpses into a world where our kids go to get indoctrinated by those at war with many of the core beliefs of this nation and certainly the core beliefs of many of the kids' parents.

But Rob, you say, this is academia. Kids are supposed to be exposed to new ideas and challenged like that. And what about the First Amendment, Rob? You champion that when conservatives and libertarians are talking! What about these poor teachers?

As these are common questions, I thought them worth including (albeit with a bit of mockery, I must admit). Yes, kids should always be exposed to new ideas. It is the purview of their parents, though, to decide which of those views and ideas they think are correct and certainly parents should play the biggest role in shaping their childrens' worldview. I'd agree with that statement if we were talking about a conservative parent, a liberal one, or a neoMarxist. I also believe that teachers should have enough academic freedom to state such ideas without fear of censorship or public debasement, within certain limits. Aha, you say! There's the rub, even you would limit free speech!

Nothing of the kind. These teachers work inside of institutions that are paid for by the public, alumni, and parents and the kids who attend said schools. They're really just employees selling a product, and no matter what they may think of their esteemed profession, if no one wants to listen to their rhetoric, they shouldn't have to. Professors and teachers undertake a noble profession, but they are also figures of authority that young impressionable minds feel will treat them with honesty and open debate. I don't see either of those in such examples, or the myriad of others exposed places like in David Horowitz' new book, the Professors.

Also, these professors have a duty to present the facts. In such cases, I don't really see them doing this. English teachers, geography teachers, and math teachers spouting off their personal political viewpoints as something students must absorb and digest is ridiculous and I don't see a free speech case there. History teachers fare a little better in this regard (maybe even the aforementioned geography teacher), but they should allow for their arguments to be challenged in class. If not, are we not violating those students' First Amendment rights instead? The whole "free speech" argument is somewhat specious anyway, since it usually governs local universities or private institutions regulating what their employees say. The First Amendment was never meant to cover this.

In summation, Bennish had no right to be spouting his Marxist political dogma on young highschoolers anymore than I have a right to go to that same school and spout off my views. Stick to the subjects, teach the kids what they need to know, and offer them real options that will let them explore the whole left/right thing on their own. One wonders if such political indoctrination attempts contribute at all to the declining quality of our high school and college graduates. I'd have to answer strongly in the affirmative.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Let 'Em Play

I read an article in the local lefty-entertainment mag, NUVO, this week that discusses the Green Party's Secretary of State candidate's attempt to collect the 30,000 signatures he needs to get on the ballot. Bill Stant, the candidate in question, says his goal is actually to get 50,000 signatures to avoid duplicates, unreadables, and non-registered voters. That's probably a safe bet.

Now, before I begin, let me just say that I'm supporting and plan on voting for Mike Kole, the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State. Mike is a great candidate and actually has a chance, I think, to pull a major portion of the vote. I'd encourage everyone who comes around, if you haven't already, to go view his web page and his Libertarian points. I'd also like to point out that, while I see NUVO do a lot of puff pieces on Democrats and Greens, amazingly, they rarely include Libertarians. Just an observation, but it is a pretty left-leaning little weekly and frankly most Libertarians in this state are pretty conservative.

Back to Stant. Although Stant only has 6,500 signatures, he seems hopeful that his supporters can round up the necessary ink to get him on the ballot. I say, it shouldn't even be as hard as it is. The state of Indiana, like many states, makes it ridiculously hard to get on the ballot if you're a "third party". The two party system we live under includes the same two parties who write the law, and those parties aren't eager to have competition draining their vote totals in a state where turnout is low enough anyway. But third parties, I think, provide a strong voice of opposition to the status quo of the Big Two and force them to adjust and realign to meet the issues being brought up by these other parties. This results in better government, because issues important to the people, but not really to the Big Two, get roped into the election. What bad can come from that?

So, I say, let 'em play. Why not? More viewpoints, even ones as far left as the Greens, can only help to crystallize other viewpoints. In this case, it really is "the more the merrier".

Now, another aspect to the article were Green viewpoints. I thought I would examine them briefly to see if I might have any sympathies towards any of their platform planks.

Electoral reform: The Greens want public financing of all statewide elections and equal access on all public TV and radio.

Well, I certainly disagree with the public financing part. I have my taxes going to enough programs without paying for people I don't agree with's campaigns. I have no trouble with them getting out there and spreading their message. They just aren't going to do it on my dime. And since I want to see public funding for TV and radio to cease, I don't agree with the "Equal Time/Fairness Doctrine" slag either.

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Greens want companies held accountable for layoffs and outsourcing and want some kind of 'economic plan' that funnels public cash toward 'independent, community-based businesses'.

So they want socialist control of business, then. Nope, can't say I'm for that either. Holding companies accountable for market forces beyond their control (we have to pay $17 an hour to our workers when the Indians pay $5 for ex.) stinks of totalitarian control of business. Creative market force would be stifled and it would end up with government ruining what was left of most businesses, forcing those businesses to fund positions that they couldn't and remain economically viable. But that's not really the Greens' concern, is it? If they're big fat cat businessmen, then they should expect to be reviled, according to the Greens. And any plan where government funnels our cash to funding "independent community-based businesses" is a recipe for disaster. I guarantee it. If you're really that curious, just ask why.

Ecological Sustainability: The Greens want the U.S. to support treaties on global warming, alternative energy and clean air and water.

Ok, last thing first, our air and water is pretty damn clean. It's the cleanest it's been in a long time and getting cleaner. Read the EPA studies, read the IDEM studies. Our efforts and the laws are working. Companies and the public are on board to help keep it clean, because it improves quality of life. Although we can always improve, I don't think we need Green Party-engineered laws to help get us there.

As far as alternative energy goes, yay, when it becomes economically viable, let me know. Again, I'd rather private corporations did the work than government. Government has given us how many alternative energy sources after all that money we've thrown at it? That's right, zero.

And lastly, they're referring to treaties like Kyoto. Funny enough, these treaties always leave out the developing giants of India and China. They are using more natural resources than ever trying to ratchet themselves into the position of World Powers, in China's case perhaps even a Superpower. So, we're supposed to back initiatives that reduce greenhouse gases by a couple percent over the next hundred years and cripple our economies in the face of these developing juggernauts who don't have to comply? Oh, and we're supposed to do this based on junk science that even in my college days in geology I could see was bupkis that, funneled by Lefty money says we're to blame for any of it based on ridiculously inferior climate models? Yeah, I'm not suicidal just yet. I'll say no on this one too.

Social Justice: The Greens believe in living wages, univeral health care and "full equality for every person".

So, in review, socialism/communism five-year plan kind of stuff, a rotted and failing healthcare system like Britain and Canada have that costs taxpayers billions and "full equality", which translates in Greenspeak as set-asides and incentives for anyone who isn't a white male. Yeah...nope on that one too.

And anytime you hear the term social justice, you can rest assured that the backing principles behind it are Marxist/collectivist and not in the interests of individual freedom. Guaranteed.

Non-violence: Condeming war and promoting diplomacy.

This translates as, as long as Leftists are in power, we'll decide what people to bomb and not you. I don't recall seeing the Greens out their picketing the Serbs being bombed into the Stone Age, but then again they were white and Christian, so... Then again, I could have missed the protests that week.

In addition, my experience with such platforms is they never take into account the realities that the world is a brutal place, and everyone is always trying to knock off #1, which currently is the U.S. These "platforms" usually operate on the assumption that U.S. = bad and the rest of the world = good. If that's not naive, I'm not sure what is.

Personal and global responsibility: the Greens believe in "protecting the planet" and being sustainable. Such sustainability arguments were made by fascists who wanted to see their population reduced to "sustainable" levels also. The eco-friendly, human bad/nature good philosophy this springs from basically requires that the human race put a gun to its head and pull the trigger. I'm not ready to concede to the planet just yet.

Well, there you have it, a brief review of the whacky Greens. And yes, I still want to see them on the ballot, even though I plan on doing my little part to convince people of how ridiculous their platform is. That's how this representative republic thing should work.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Short Note On Bias And Hypocrisy

Yes, there are many sites that cover bias in the media well and thoroughly, claiming it on both sides. Occasionally, though, an incident occurs that is so 'in your face', it must be spoken of often. Of all things, I think I hate hypocrisy most of all. I hate when I find I'm being a hypocrite on something, and I hate it more when someone else is so blatantly and unashamedly a hypocrite. So when Newsbusters, an affiliate of MRC, highlighted this piece of hypocritical bias from "America's sweetheart", Katie Couric, I felt the need to pile on the scorn.

Apparently, the founder of Domino's Pizza (gotta love the 5-5-5 deal), Thomas Monaghan, is a man of devout faith, in this case a devout Catholic. He's founding a town in Florida where he hopes Catholic values and beliefs will guide those who settle there.

There's nothing unusual about this. Since America's founding, small communities have been founded by most of the religious branches of Christianity, and several smaller fringe groups, to be havens for people of that faith. Certainly Jews, Hindus and Muslims to name just three of the big religions congregate in communities to be close to people of their own faith. See, we tolerate that here in America because that's what we're all about. We're about being able to live where you want to live and living with whom you want to live. Not such a difficult concept. That is, unless you're a shrill windbag like Kouric.

Little Katie couldn't help but try and bait Tom Monaghan on just about any race or religion issue she could think of, from hinting he might be creating an anti-semitic community, “Does that mean you would welcome Jewish residents?”, after he stated the town would be open to "people of all faiths with a “traditional family value perspective” to railing against potential segregation and lack of available contraception. Yes, apparently Katie's so concerned they may not have any rubbers should she stop in town that she asked the question four times.

Funny enough, ABC and CBS when they covered it treated it like a fairly normal, non-slanted news story. Only Princess Katie chose to play the anti-Catholic card, but she's as much a bigot as she consistently hints Mr. Monaghan is. People have the right to associate with whom they want and form communities how they want. If they want to be inclusive, great. If they want to be exclusive, that's their right too. I wonder what sort of little secured neighborhood Katie lives in and if she'd object to certain minorites or religions moving into it. Put let's not start calling out names there kettle.

People like Katie sitting at the top of what people consider the "News media" should concern anyone who thinks they get a balanced and unbiased picture from the mainstream. Of course, if the antique media was so unbiased, there wouldn't have been as much call for internet news and blogs, so I suppose we owe her that one. Have fun in anti-Catholic land, Katie. Your KKK fan mail should really increase after this.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sleeping On The Job

This happened last week, but I couldn't resist giving it a mention at some point. Apparently, poor Justice and former lead ACLU counsel Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during testimony regarding a political redistricting case. Now, many of us could be forgiven a little nap now and again. Work is hard and sometimes you don't sleep as much as you should. Next thing you know, you're nodding and then snoring. I hope she didn't go that far, but my point is, I sympathize with her plight.

Granted, I feel Justices to the Supreme Court might be a little better rested or at the very least if they seem incapable of listening to such weighty testimony, excuse themselves from the hearing or the Court. Maybe I'm just a little old-fashioned that way. Falling asleep while working on some accounting sheets or doing data entry is one thing. Falling asleep while testimony is being given on a fairly important issue is quite another.

I did notice, of course, that Fox News was the only one to even make this issue public of all the current news and media outlets on TV. Must be that right-wing bias that caused them to do that. Oy, that even hurts to type. Maybe if someone had called and said it was Thomas or Alito or even Scalia who passed out, we'd have had legions of well-coiffed reporters and reporterettes accompanied by their massed electronics setups to cover the event live with minute-by-minute commentary. Perspective people, please.

In the long run, it's not really a huge deal if Justice Ginsburg, who is admittedly very old, takes a little nap. What it speaks more towards, besides the continued rampant media bias to protect such "revered" figures of the Left, is that not only are Supreme Court Justices human, they are often very frail. Making them social arbiters and superlegislatures does nothing but create an oligarchy of whatever political philosophy currently graces the bench. These are just people, and as such they should confine their role to that envisioned, if not by the Founding Fathers then at least the dubious Marbury v. Madison judicial review precedent. Making law out of whole cloth is one thing. Spinning the loom while you're asleep at the wheel is far worse.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Forgive my theft of the style of Bill Sammon's title for the interesting read, Misunderestimated, but I thought it fitting. Attempts to second-guess or poor understanding of the nature of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, like most enactments of that time, usually allows those elements to be twisted in their meaning, diminished or downright discarded. Thus, we have a textbook example in Ron Miller's piece on

Ron starts out with the typical "I'm one of you" lines, akin to saying "I've got a lot of black friends, but" line right before someone starts picking on blacks.

I SHOULD SAY at the outset that I believe that I have a right to own a gun and I do own one.

Have to take his word for it on that, but if he does own them, he obviously hasn't given as much thought as he should've as to why he is, historically at least, able to own one in the United States.

But I don't think that the Second Amendment unequivocally guarantees me that right. Let me explain.

And so it begins. The first two-thirds of his piece revolve around other secured freedoms and the plight of the Militia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His reason for bringing this up is to then discredit, by association, the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

After wading through all that text, he gets to the start of where he could have actually began his article.

Although the idea of defending this nation by means of a civilian militia proved to be a pipe dream, a noble experiment that needlessly cost thousands of lives, its ghost remains in the Constitution to this day. That's what the Second Amendment is: a kind of fossil. It is only a single sentence and few short words have never provoked so much controversy. However, it is clear what the authors intended when it is read in its historical context.

Having also spent a little time showcasing the Founding Fathers as naive in all this, it helps to discredit their intellect and intent in the establishment of our form of government and the enumeration of certain rights. The guy's good, but obvious. He's now made them irrelevant enough to state his true thesis, that the Second Amendment is a fossil, a relic of an age long since vanished. It was for some noble experiment of naive, witless dreamers and fools have misinterpreted it all this time until Ron came along. Fools like, Scott Bursor:

Commentators often attack the vitality of the military and political functions of the militia concept with the argument that they can no longer be performed by a militia. Simply stated, the argument is that an armed citizenry cannot restrain a domestic tyrant or deter a foreign conqueror backed by a modern army. This empirical assertion is frequently made by lawyers, politicians, or other advocates who offer neither argument nor authority for the proposition. And while this assertion may be true in some limited number of circumstances, as a categorical assertion it is demonstrably false.

Consider some recent examples. The Vietnam War demonstrated that a modern military power can be resisted by guerilla fighters bearing only small arms. This lesson has not been forgotten. In 1992, the United States declined to intervene in the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina after an aide to General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised the Senate Armed Services Committee that the widespread ownership of arms in the former Yugoslav republic made even limited intervention "perilous and deadly." The deterrent effect of an armed populace was emphasized by Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie, who led United Nations peace keeping troops in Sarajevo for five months. Despite the tremendous capabilities of the United States Armed Forces, he explained, the prevalence of arms ownership in the area caused him to believe that if American forces were to be sent to Bosnia, "Americans [would be] killed.... You can't isolate it, make it nice and sanitary."

The validity of these concerns has also been demonstrated in the current conflict in Chechnya where "[m]ore than 40,000 soldiers from the Russian army ... have quickly been humbled by a few thousand urban guerrillas who mostly live at home, wear jeans, use castoff weapons and have almost no coherent battle plans or organization." The Russian army's nuclear capability apparently has not translated into a tactical advantage in the streets of Chechnya.

...The Second Amendment does not guarantee immunity from punishment for insurrection; it merely guarantees the capacity for resistance.

I dare say Mr. Bursor has well-refuted the practicality of a "Militia" even in modern times, but is this all the Second Amendment really guaranteed?

From the venerable guncite, I offer the following:

The Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The original intent and purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve and guarantee, not grant, the pre-existing right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Although the amendment emphasizes the need for a militia, membership in any militia, let alone a
well-regulated one, was not intended to be a prerequisite for exercising the right to keep arms. The Second Amendment was meant to preserve and guarantee an individual right for a collective purpose. That does not transform the right into a "collective right." The militia clause was a declaration of purpose, and preserving the people's right to keep and bear arms was the method the framers chose to, in-part, ensure the continuation of a well-regulated militia.

There is no contrary evidence from the writings of the Founding Fathers, early American legal commentators, or pre-twentieth century Supreme Court decisions, indicating that the Second Amendment was intended to apply solely to members of an active militia.

The same ready source also puts paid to Mr. Miller's dubious understanding of the language.

Mr. Miller's argument is one built on a shaky foundation of misdirection or horrendous misunderstanding. It's hard to nail down exactly which is which in his case. It is typical of the shoddy anti-Second Amendment literature of the 90's and I offer it as an example of an updated version (the "I'm a Pepper too" defense) of the same.

Such attempts to reinterpret history in this light, on the small scale as in this article or larger works such as the disgraced Michael Bellesiles' work are meant to go unchallenged and ignored. Their acceptance allows others to build outright lies on a misplaced foundation of shoddy evidence, thus giving them otherwise undeserved and nonexistent credibility. Thus, such works should always be exposed for what they are, the sand foundation that will hold no house.

As a final note, let me also put this thought into your head. Even if there were no Second Amendment, even without an individual guarantee of firearm ownership, the right to keep and bear arms is still protected by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which constrict the federal government to its enumerated powers. Nowhere in those enumerated powers is the right to regulate, restrict, or control firearms. Just food for thought.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Who Won The Cold War? Yet Another Revisionist History Moment

An fawning AP article regarding Mikhail Gorbachev’s 75th birthday has stirred up a little activity on various blogs and talk radio recently. It seems, at least according to the author of the article that Gorbachev and no one else ended the Cold War. Consider this text.

"Mikhail Gorbachev's magnetic brown eyes shine as brightly as ever, and he speaks with the same passion about the collapse of the Soviet Union as he prepares to mark his 75th birthday on Thursday.

The man who ended the Cold War and launched democratic reforms that broke the repressive Soviet regime continues to enjoy the limelight, globe-trotting on behalf of his political foundation and environmental group and taking part in charity projects.

At a meeting with foreign reporters this week, Gorbachev blamed the United States for losing a chance to build a safer and more stable world following the Soviet demise.

"Ending the Cold War was given as a gift" to the United States, but it only strengthened its arrogance and unilateralism, he said. "The winner's complex is worse than an inferiority complex, because it's harder to cure."

This reads like it could’ve come out of Pravda circa mid-1980’s, but provides an excellent example to the amateur modern history buff about how history can and is being twisted to fit the Left’s view of what it was like. I grew up hearing that the winners write history. Pieces like this make me doubt that. I think the person controlling the pen writes the history, and it doesn’t always have to be the people who made that history or “won it”.

Gorbachev won the Cold War about as much as Ike and Bradley were responsible for the battle plans that won the Second World War (hint: It was mostly Patton’s plans). He was and still is a lover of all things Communist. He doesn’t care much for the United States, either and that would be evidenced by his above comment on the “gift” he gave to the United States in his ending the Cold War. Speaking of arrogance and unilateralism, perhaps he’d like to explain the arrogance of his relic Soviet Union as it tried to hold on to its satellite states. The unilateralism that all Eastern Europe and the Republics had to fall in lockstep with whatever Moscow wanted for so long. No, Gorby, you’re right. Surely such traits are uniquely American.

The Left cannot allow or entertain that Reagan and his policies had anything to do with winning the Cold War or it would quickly unravel the very convoluted web they’ve weaved in their part in appeasing the communists of the time and/or denying that communists in the U.S. were anything more than charming and harmless intellectuals.

Gorbachev was a thug who had enough sense to see that the handwriting was on the wall when things really started to fall apart. He thought limited economic reforms would allow him to keep the USSR together and retain the Eastern Bloc. When it fell apart, his saving grace was that he didn’t send in the tanks. Hardly something worth praise, unless you’re simply praising that he wasn’t as sadistic as his predecessors.

Reagan and his policies allowed us to finally defeat the USSR and win the Cold War, one of the alleged “unwinnable wars” of the era. That’s one thing we most certainly should never forget. Another thing we should not forget is how ready certain elements of the press and the Left (in some cases one and the same) are willing to erase and rewrite those facts to hide just how wrong they were at the time. It can't help their credibility in this current crisis either, if they portray themselves so absolutely and righteously but with a shadowed history of craven appeasement and duplicity. Some more food for thought.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Taking the Wind Out of Environmental Sails

Teddy Kennedy (MA-Socialist) has long been known as a champion of the environment. Between him and his nephew Robert Kennedy Jr., they are held as paragons, true leaders of the environmental movement. Let us first consider that many environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, are FOR-PROFIT, and thus have a vested interest in your tax dollars going to pet environmental projects, just as all businesses who try and get a piece of the Federal trough. That should provide perspective as to who holds them in such high regard.

Robert Kennedy Jr. has even been on the air waves recently ridiculing the Bush Administration’s failure to adopt the Kyoto Protocols, better known as the “Death of Western Industry” Accord. He and Teddy stand as strong advocates for taxpayer funding, that’s you paying them money, of alternate energy sources. They blame our dependence on fossil fuels on the greedy designs of oil barons and Republicans who sit on their fat yachts and in their fat mansions and plot your environmental doom.

Well, as in all things, the Kennedy’s are rank hypocrites and their stench-filled rhetoric spews from Hyannis all the way to Washington. Although this is an older story, Teddy and Bob Jr. have sought to have blocked a series of wind turbines that would provide two-thirds of Cape Cod’s power through a massive wind farm on the shores of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. That power is currently supplied by coal-fired plants. So why, gentle reader, would such noble environmental champions want to block such a useful and green project? Is it perhaps interfering with the breeding grounds of some snail or perhaps even a more noble mammal? Is a rare species of kelp at risk from the construction? Should we be chaining ourselves to driftwood off the Cape in protest?

No, if only it were that left-friendly. In a move just dripping with hypocrisy, showing you once again how little those in power, especially the Hard Left, think they should be held to the same account as commoners such as ourselves, Bob Jr. complained “that the project would be built in one of the family’s favorite sailing and yachting areas”. By all accounts, they wouldn’t even be able to see the turbines from their infamous compound six miles away, but heaven forbid we should interfere with the playgrounds of some rich clan smelling of decadence and rot, a family whose foundation was built on the criminal exploits of their patriarch Joe Kennedy Sr.; a family rife with scandal including the abandonment and death by at least neglect and at most design of a young campaign worker for Senator Teddy himself. No, we should bow to their vast and more important need of a place to sail their yachts.

If you’re a big fan of the environmental movement, and if you’re a Hard Lefty who is not a rank hypocrite, and I know there are so few of you, why don’t you vote with your dollars and protest with your computer and stop this walking alcoholic embarrassment and his spoiled brat of a nephew from further besmirching your already besieged causes. Do yourself and peripherally the rest of us a favor and retire these genetic disasters out to pasture. Truly, this is something that should demand bipartisan support, get rid of the Kennedy’s.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

R.I.P. Harry Browne

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of a giant in the field of modern Libertarian thought, Harry Browne. National Review has a nice piece remembering Harry. An unsuccesful candidate for the Presidency in '96 and 2000, Harry achieved much more by swelling the ranks of the Party with his gift for oration and his incessant touring. Harry visited more cities, especially in less "politically valuable" landscape than any of his opponents, and yet didn't get a fraction of the press even the likes of the lefty Ralph Nader.

Although he didn't get the press, he certainly got his word out and was an exceptional standard bearer for the Party when he was called. I may not have agreed with every point the man made, but I most certainly respected and admired him and his stance on government and the fact that it should crawl back into the swamp from whence it came. This was the real Harry that "gave 'em Hell", but I know his reward will be that he can finally rest, secure that his ideas survive and will be built upon by those after him. God bless you, Harry. Get some rest. We'll all try to keep the torch lit in your absence.

The McCain Hypocrisy

Welcome to the “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” world of Washington D.C., dear readers. John McCain, best known for championing the Incumbent Protection and Eradication of Free Speech Act, also known as Campaign Finance Reform, has in light of recent “earmarking”, the popular euphemism for pork-barrel spending, argued against “earmarks” to the tone of threatening to introduce legislation to eradicate them altogether. While such a goal is a laudatory one and I personally would be impressed if he actually did it, McCain likes to prove that he’s no different or less hypocritical than his colleagues.

It would appear McCain has at least temporarily forgotten his crusade against pork-barrel projects. Such amnesia is common among the Washington elite and highly contagious. He has proposed a bill that would pay out $10 million over five years to establish a new law school in his home state of Arizona named after the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Defenders including the man who was thought to be the very conservative fellow Senator from Arizona John Kyl claim that this isn’t really pork-barrel spending because the public is fully aware of the existence of the project.

You heard that right. Because “we” have heard of it, it’s not really an “earmark’. That I guess includes the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, one McCain himself railed against in his “crusade” against “earmarks”. Because we’ve heard about it, we don’t have to worry about it being a frivolous waste of taxpayer dollars anymore. I know that fits a school to train more lawyers. We certainly don’t have enough of those. John’s lost what few ounces of respectability he had with me.

I can’t say I ever considered the senator more than an extreme left leaning liberal in “moderate’s” clothing, but this act of rank, foul-smelling hypocrisy takes the cake. He has no justification for this. He’s no different than Ted Kennedy. Everything he says is suspect and all his past acts, like McCain-Feingold, should be put in their proper light and perspective as burdens on the freedom and treasury of the people of the United States of America.

Barry Goldwater is spinning like a turbine in his grave, knowing his legacy as a senator from the great state of Arizona is being besmirched by a socialist schmuck. If he spins any faster, they’ll be able to hook up a generator to him and solve Southern California’s power problems for the next century. Sorry Barry.

My personal feeling on this is that it’s time for the people of Arizona to wake up and realize the kind of Senators they have in Washington, a breed that symbolizes politics as usual and big-government feeding at the trough. Welcome to the Union, Arizona, your tax dollars and mine are being shoveled into the Golden Corral trough to feed hungry special interests. How do you feel about that?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Future Commandress In Chief???

Is it Geena Davis or just Hillary Clinton who thinks she’s President? I’m not sure. Something I’ve failed to understand since 2000 is, though, how given this woman’s political track record she has managed to get any political office higher than dog catcher. Her only history on serious legislation was when she was playing co-President with her husband and attempting to wreck what was left of the private side of the U.S. healthcare system. All she managed to give us was HMO’s. I’ve seen no progress from her as a Senator other than vacillating nearly as much as John Kerry. She seems to embody the word “demagogue” and I’ve petitioned Webster’s to include a little picture of her next to the word. Consider this recent quote on the Port-gate issue.

"I take a back seat to nobody when it comes to fighting terrorism and standing up for national homeland security. Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments. I will be working to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments."

Yes, she of course has a vast record of fighting terrorism… uh, wait, there was that time…well then there was…uh, umm… yeah. She’s done zip. I wonder what her concern for national security entailed regarding to those hundreds of FBI files on prominent Republicans that White House bouncer-cum-security director Craig Livingstone borrowed and Clinton opponents or the rampant use of the IRS against Clinton regime enemies. Or the fact that her husband and her VP’s Al Gore’s “no controlling legal authority” moneys coming from Red China as well as the dubious transferring of sensitive technology to the Department of Commerce to facilitate their sale to the Red Chinese. I wonder indeed if any of these fiascos are listed in her resume on the internal and external security of the nation.

Don’t count on the press or her campaign mentioning these soon-to-be-forgotten historical events, but I’m thinking that’s the sum total of her “national security” experience, and it’s an abysmal testimony to how pathetic her opinion really is on the subject.

Port Security is also not the issue in this case, but a good demagogue, and Hilly most certainly is a good one, doesn’t trouble herself with facts. Simple omissions will suffice. Port security is and always will be handled by the Coast Guard and Customs/Border Patrol crowd. The U.S. has never outsourced control or protection of our borders to the best of my knowledge. But hey, her statement makes a great sound bite for the antique news.

I'm sure one could make the case that even having "sneaky Arabs" around was enough cause for national security, and both Dems and Repubs are trying to make that case. I know a lot of people are playing the bigot card on both sides of the debate and that's fine, but you must admit some of the arguments against the UAE company are coming off that way. I want to see the enemies of this country dead on foreign shores before they get anywhere near our ports and borders as well, but "national security" isn't a reason to deny a company access just because they're an Arab company. Now, their alleged boycott of Israel is another matter...

I wonder if she’s aware also that many of our port terminals are currently run by foreign governments, from Singapore to China. Again, don’t let facts get in the way of good rhetoric. I’ve often heard during this debate that the only domestic company with the resources and administrative muscle in the U.S. to handle these contracts if they were not managed by foreign conglomerates is Haliburton. While that may or may not be the case, it certainly should give pause to Hilly, whose left-wing crusaders have screamed so loudly about the relationship with the President’s office and Haliburton. She best be careful or the Democratic Undergrounders of the webosphere will start assuming she’s gone over to the “Dark Side”. Oh what a tangled web we weave, eh Senator Clinton?

Consider this just a small commentary on the woman so many seem so eager to be our next President. Demagogues should never have positions of power, because they just use it to seek more power at the expense of those beneath them, which in their eyes is usually everyone else. Hillary Clinton goes beyond the textbook example of a demagogue. She practically is the textbook.