Further evidence that the US is not a serious nation. This is utterly breathtaking (and infuriating). From Judicial Watch:
Keeping with the Obama Administration’s mission to conduct the most diverse outreach campaign in history, the director of the U.S. Census Bureau is touring Mexican border towns with high illegal immigrant populations to personally assure that those who fill out questionnaires this spring will not be deported.
“This is a safe thing for everyone to do regardless of your immigration status,” the president’s handpicked census director (Robert Groves) told residents of a renowned illegal alien “colonia” in south Texas this week. He visited several dilapidated makeshift homes off of a dirt road in a Laredo neighborhood called San Carlos to stress that census data will be kept confidential and not turned over to immigration authorities.
Even if the president of the United States asks him for their census forms, Groves told the Spanish-speaking crowd, he can refuse because the law says the forms must be kept private. If he violates that sacred law, Groves further informed the attentive illegal immigrants, he can go to prison. Besides, citizenship status is not even asked on the census questionnaire, assured the Texas congressman (Chicano rights activist Henry Cuellar) who accompanied Groves on this particular jaunt.
The census director is also giving illegal immigrants across the country a lesson in basic civics by explaining that hundreds of billions of federal dollars are allocated to state and local governments based on population. Being included in the decennial count will in turn allow them to receive more public benefits; “We want to count you and your family can benefit from the services,” Groves is telling illegal aliens.
This marks the latest of many administration efforts to cater to illegal immigrants. A few weeks ago the government launched an unprecedented $133 million advertising campaign—in dozens of languages—to promote the census with the Spanish ads assuring the decennial count is confidential and cannot divulge respondents’ immigration status.
The never-before-seen promotional blitz includes television commercials, print and outdoor ads as well as online advertising. Hundreds of ads have been drafted in 28 languages, including two Chinese dialects, Russian, Arabic and Tagolog. The Spanish advertisements, distributed on national television and print media, are of particular interest because they guarantee the safety of illegal aliens who fill out the census forms.
A few months ago the government announced that, in an effort to reach out to illegal aliens, it is spending $26 million to send Spanish-language questionnaires directly to homes for the first time in history. In past years, participants could request special forms in several languages—including Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese—but the effort marks the first time that the government sends to entire regions census questionnaires in a language other than English.
First off, in my view this is all part of an organized effort to develop a permanent block of voters for the Democrats. We can debate the immigration issue all day long, but I think all would agree that having such a large part of our populace as illegal is untenable. I would argue that were we to trash the welfare state, this would solve a lot of our immigration problems as we wouldn’t attract people seeking the social benefits of our nation. Democrats would rather get another group of people addicted to the state for political dominance.
But regardless of how one feels on the issue, that the director of our Census Bureau is actually going to illegals assuring them that he won’t deport them is absolutely ludicrous. What if there are terrorists living in these shantytowns? In addition, is not the government actively aiding and abetting those breaking the law?
On the sanctity of the census forms, if these people are illegally in the country, are they supposed to be granted the type of privacy ensured to legal citizens? Not to mention the fact that of course the Constitution never mentions an explicit right to privacy.
That the director is encouraging illegals to fill out the census to blatantly expand the size of the welfare state is absolutely outrageous. That millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on this cause is sickening. We are paying money for the government to bilk us through the costs both direct and indirect of subsidizing people illegally living on US soil. How can anyone take this country and specifically this President seriously?
Disclaimer: For the PC police – I am well aware that Big Papi is not an illegal immigrant.
Over the last couple of days I came across two striking articles, one in the American Thinker and the other in the National Review on the destruction of our republic due to the concepts of democracy and progressivism. The authors come to different conclusions. On the one hand, Mark Hendrickson concludes in his AT piece that “The republic they gave us has been corrupted and possibly lost forever.” Alternatively, Matthew Spaulding end his NRO piece: “The American people are poised to make the right decision. The strength and clarity of the Founders’ argument, if given contemporary expression and brought to a decision, might well establish a governing conservative consensus and undermine the very foundation of the unlimited administrative state. It would be a monumental step on the long path back to republican self-government..” These are the two fates we face, and it is the job of conservatives, libertarians and regular Americans to determine which way we go.
On Mark Hendrickson’s piece, there is much fodder for any fan of The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Hendrickson argues that there has grown a dichotomy in the notion of democracies since our founding:
The gulf between the founders and contemporary Americans stems from very different usages of the word “democracy.” Benign “democracy” connotes the empowerment of individuals and a corresponding freedom from tyranny and oppression.
Further according to Walt Whitman, government was to “make no more laws than those useful for preventing a man or body of men from infringing on the rights of other men.”
My interpretation of democracy is simply a system in which 50% + 1 of people can vote away the rights of the other 49% of individuals. While this may be semantics, I would argue that Whitman believes in individual liberty, as opposed to democracy, secured by a severely limited and divided government. Clearly, Hendrickson concurs, and argues that Whitman’s so-called democratic ideal is best served by a:
constitutional republic…premised on the primacy of individual rights. It sought to restrain governmental power in order to protect those rights…Democracy, by contrast, is a theory of power: What the majority wants, the majority gets. The founders — great students of history and human nature — understood that individual rights could be trampled by democratic majorities as readily as by individual tyrants…The founders knew that if America’s constitutional republic ever degenerated into a formal democracy, then Americans’ rights and Whitman’s democratic ideal would be lost.
This is essential. Tyranny by the masses is no less evil than tyranny by a king. Hendrickson rightly notes as I have argued that the socialists encouraged democracy as a means to their end. He argues:
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx wrote that the way to attain socialism was to “win the battle of democracy.” The cold-blooded Lenin taught, “A democracy is a state which recognizes the subjection of the minority to the majority.” The democracy that the founders loathed and that the communists coveted is a political system in which government ceases to protect individual rights and instead annihilates them.
True enough. Further,
In the words of British archeologist and historian Sir Flinders Petrie, “When democracy has attained full power, the majority without capital necessarily eat up the capital of the minority and civilization steadily decays.”
The end result of the push towards democracy has been decivilization, where various interests plunder various other interests overtly. In our current system, the wealthiest financial interests (with all the capital) have stealthily (and sometimes not so stealthily) expropriated the wealth of the middle class in their bailouts and Fed-induced inflation and cartelization, whilst the lower classes have made use of the legislative branch and the courts through the unions and community organizing groups to further bilk the middle class. Those with the most capital and those with the least have feasted on those in the middle. Generally, as I have argued time and time again, the masses have been practicing legal plunder for well over a century. The end result of this system however is that you run out of productive people to rob at the point of the legitimized gun of government.
Ultimately, Hendrickson laments that
politicians and jurists have ignored Washington’s wise counsel and undermined liberty by ignoring or defying (thus, usurping) the clear language of the constitution in pursuit of their ambitions. The rule of law lies in tatters. Our political degeneration has progressed to the point where Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid write major legislation behind closed doors and order their partisan minions to approve their proposals before they even read them. In the name of democracy, the national government has become blatantly undemocratic.The founders’ misgivings about democracy were spot-on. The republic they gave us has been corrupted and possibly lost forever.
Matthew Spaulding recounts the systematic destruction of our rights over time which has left us in this predicament. There is much worthy of analysis here. Spaulding notes the incestuous relationship between government and society:
Americans are wrapped in an intricate web of government policies and procedures. States, localities, and private institutions are submerged by national programs. The states, which increasingly administer policies emanating from Washington, act like supplicants seeking relief from the federal government. Growing streams of money flow from Washington to every congressional district and municipality, as well as to businesses, organizations, and individuals that are subject to escalating federal regulations.
It makes you question, given the fact that our lives are so heavily regulated; that business seems to serve at the leisure of government – how there is any innovation and advancement…how the human spirit remains free when all around it the walls close in upon it.
Spaulding argues that this system has as its origin,
the theories of Thomas Hobbes, who wanted to replace the old order with an all-powerful “Leviathan” that would impose a new order, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who, to achieve absolute equality, favored an absolute state that would rule over the people through a vaguely defined concept called the “general will.”
While true, I might add that given Plato’s view of an ideal society growing not through organic spontaneous order, but under the direction of an elite class, we can trace the roots of the tyranny of elite control back much further. This split is also embodied amongst the founders in the difference between Jefferson and Hamilton.
Progressives were the ones to implement a system completely anathema to that created by the founders. As Spaulding puts well:
American “progressives,” under the spell of German thinkers, decided that advances in science and history had opened the possibility of a new, more efficient form of democratic government, which they called the “administrative state.” Thus began the most revolutionary change of the last hundred years: the massive shift of power from institutions of constitutional government to a labyrinthine network of unelected, unaccountable experts who would rule in the name of the people.
The great challenge of democracy, as the Founders understood it, was to restrict and structure the government to secure the rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence — preventing tyranny while preserving liberty. The solution was to create a strong, energetic government of limited authority. Its powers were enumerated in a written constitution, separated into functions and responsibilities and further divided between national and state governments in a system of federalism. The result was a framework of limited government and a vast sphere of freedom, leaving ample room for republican self-government.
Progressives viewed the Constitution as a dusty 18th-century plan unsuited for the modern day. Its basic mechanisms were obsolete and inefficient; it was a reactionary document, designed to stifle change. They believed that just as science and reason had brought technological changes and new methods of study to the physical world, they would also bring great improvements to politics and society. For this to be possible, however, government could not be restricted to securing a few natural rights or exercising certain limited powers. Instead, government must become dynamic, constantly changing and growing to pursue the ceaseless objective of progress.
This belief in an administrative state in my view is really just a nice way of saying a centrally planned or authoritarian state. As we have seen, the results of states based upon these principles have always failed because central planning fails. This process leads to chaos, bloodshed and decivilization. There is also a major fallacy that somehow because there are rigid principles that confine the spheres that government can influence, and the extent to which it can influence them, that this stifles “change.” In fact, only a system that constrains government and thus maximizes individual liberty, built on bedrock principles can create a fertile ground for dynamic development, technological progress, widespread prosperity and peace. Government’s effort to create these outcomes ensures they can never be reached. The progressives have halted progress, and will push us backwards as a people through moral debauchery and economic servitude due to their subversion of the Constitution through the legislative, judicial and executive branches of our Leviathan central government, with the help of the media and academia in brainwashing the American people into either blind ignorance or delusional belief in the fatherly state. The great advances of man have always been attributable to the individual, never the collective.
Spaulding notes that in the permanent administrative class created by the Progressives,
bureaucrats would address the particulars of accomplishing the broad objectives of reform, making decisions, most of them unseen and beyond public scrutiny, on the basis of scientific facts and statistical data rather than political opinions. The ruling class would reside in the recesses of a host of alphabet agencies such as the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission, created in 1914) and the SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission, created in 1934). As “objective” and “neutral” experts, the theory went, these administrators would act above petty partisanship and faction.
The progressives emphasized not a separation of powers, which divided and checked the government, but rather a combination of powers, which would concentrate its authority and direct its actions. While seeming to advocate more democracy, the progressives of a century ago, like their descendants today, actually wanted the opposite: more centralized government control.
So it is that today, many policy decisions that were previously the constitutional responsibility of elected legislators are delegated to faceless bureaucrats whose “rules” have the full force and effect of laws passed by Congress. In writing legislation, Congress uses broad language that essentially hands legislative power over to agencies, along with the authority to execute rules and adjudicate violations.
The objective of progressive thinking, which remains a major force in modern-day liberalism, was to transform America from a decentralized, self-governing society into a centralized, progressive society focused on national ideals and the achievement of “social justice.” Sociological conditions would be changed through government regulation of society and the economy; socioeconomic problems would be solved by redistributing wealth and benefits.
On this so-called ruling class of bureaucrats, there are a few things worthy of note. First is the principle that there is a certain elite that should decide things for everyone else; that there are some who by the grace of G-d are preordained to rule, while the masses must follow. This is an immoral and non-progressive principle. Aren’t the progressives supposed to be all about freeing the oppressed from tyranny? Further, the argument that the end goal was more centralized government control in my view merely touches on a means to an end which is power for the elite class. Regardless of what they feel is the proper role of government vis-a-vis the masses, deep down control is about power and stoking one’s ego; the elites lust for power over their perceived intellectual subordinates. Ayn Rand sums this relationship correctly: “where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.” It is no surprise then that Barack Obama so stresses service and sacrifice, and even seeks to make it a permanent requirement for all citizens.
Additionally, on the belief that “Liberty no longer would be a condition based on human nature and the exercise of God-given natural rights, but a changing concept whose evolution was guided by government,” this again reminds me of Yuri Bezmenov’s video on ideological subversion. He describes a condition in which the people are so numbed to morality, and the sanctity of their natural rights that they support causes completely averse to their livelihood. In addition, as Hans Herman-Hoppe argues in his Democracy: The God that Failed, in a system in which definitions of essential principles constantly sway at the whim of public opinion, it becomes highly difficult for positive human action to occur. Uncertainty and constantly changing rules and regulations again undermines progress. As Spaulding notes, FDR adviser Charles Merrian argued that “The question is now one of expediency rather than of principle.” Expediency over principle is a surefire way to destroy the rights of the people.
Spaulding adeptly notes the changing view that the progenitors of the welfare state like FDR began to take on under policies such as those enumerated in the
“Second Bill of Rights” that would “assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt held that the primary task of modern government is to alleviate citizens’ want by guaranteeing their economic security. The implications of this redefinition are incalculable, since the list of economic “rights” is unlimited. It requires more and more government programs and regulation of the economy — hence the welfare state — to achieve higher and higher levels of happiness and well-being.
In other words, FDR, his predecessors and followers believed in legalized plunder to ensure “equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Instead of ensuring a playing field in which all could seek to attain what they subjectively defined as the good life, or the happy one, under the guise of equality, FDR and the others believed that they could socially engineer the American people in order to provide “economic security.” This economic security is nothing more than a system of wealth transfers that create moral hazard and cause the American people to cease to strive to create wealth; rather, it leads people to use politics to grab it. The modern welfare state was an edifice created to make the people parasitic, lazy sheeple dependent upon the facilitator of expropriation of government. If the people understood this they would surely not stand for it.
The genius of the progressives is that once they began to radically expand government, it became almost impossible to stop politically, especially when these expansions often occurred because of crises perpetuated by government that purportedly only government could fix. A politician doesn’t want to alienate one constituency or another by scrapping it of its government-granted privileges. In addition, entitlement programs in particular as laws are difficult to repeal, continuously grow and become politically almost impossible to defeat because the public has gotten so used to them as rightful fixtures of the state. How can you expect the American people to accept at face value that they should no longer expect Social Security or Medicaire, even if you can rationally explain that in the long run a state devoid of these programs will prove better for them. Immediately, opponents will say that you want old people to be broke in retirement, or sick children to die.
Yet again, Spaulding is optimistic. He notes:
There is something about a nation founded on principles, something unique in its politics that often gets shoved to the background but never disappears. Most of the time, American politics is about local issues and the small handful of policy questions that top the national agenda. But once in a while, it is instead about voters’ stepping back and taking a longer view as they evaluate the present in the light of our founding principles. That is why all the great turning-point elections in U.S. history ultimately came down to a debate about the meaning and trajectory of America.
In our era of big government and the administrative state, the conventional wisdom has been that serious political realignment — bringing politics and government back into harmony with the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — is no longer possible. Yet we are seeing early indications that we may be entering a period of just such realignment. Perhaps the progressive transformation is incomplete, and the form of the modern state not yet settled — at least not by the American people.
This creates a historic opening for conservatives.
Growing opposition to runaway spending and debt, and to a looming government takeover of health care, doesn’t necessarily mean that voters want to scrap Social Security or close down the Department of Education. But it may mean that they are ready to reembrace clear, enforceable limits on the state. The opportunity and the challenge for those who seek to conserve America’s liberating principles is to turn the healthy public sentiment of the moment, which stands against a partisan agenda to revive an activist state, into a settled and enduring political opinion about the nature and purpose of constitutional government.
To do that, conservatives must make a compelling argument that shifts the narrative of American politics and defines a new direction for the country. We must present a clear choice: stay the course of progressive liberalism, which moves away from popular consent, the rule of law, and constitutional government, and toward a failed, undemocratic, and illiberal form of statism; or correct course in an effort to restore the conditions of liberty and renew the bedrock principles and constitutional wisdom that are the roots of America’s continuing greatness.
The American people are poised to make the right decision. The strength and clarity of the Founders’ argument, if given contemporary expression and brought to a decision, might well establish a governing conservative consensus and undermine the very foundation of the unlimited administrative state. It would be a monumental step on the long path back to republican self-government.
If nothing else, this is an inspiring and hope-filled message. While there are signs that the masses are awakening, I do not believe that a slowdown in the growth of government will set us straight. The man on the street does not realize how rotten our system is to the core — that we require fundamentally transforming America by scrapping the entire welfare state and returning power to the people.
One of the principle institutions symptomatic of our problems both in terms of the increase in government and the diminution of the individual is the Federal Reserve. It facilitates infinite government growth in part through wars, robs people of their income and savings and allows government to stealthily tax. But try to explain to the average person why they should care about the Fed and most Americans (likely with good reason) will probably either stop listening or be unable to comprehend the magnitude of its evilness. Amongst the “elite,” they will default to either Keynesian arguments or ad hominem attacks. They can’t imagine that the foundation of the economy is a mirage. They can’t imagine that a group of unelected Fed governors has such a great effect on our prosperity, liberty and peace. They can’t believe that much of our government is pure fraud.
In general, people do not want to believe that government efforts to help people almost always end up hurting them, and that institutions that have been for a long time may be inherently corrupt and/or cease to be (just look at the investment banking houses). People pray at the altar of the status quo because it is easier to accept things as they are instead of critically questioning and radically reevaluating the world. It took me until these last few years to do so myself.
It is our job if we are to revive the tattered law, refound the relative paradise of republicanism that Hendrickson mourns and realign the country according to the principles that Spaulding espouses to open the eyes of the public to our view. Ironically, progress requires a radical return to “reactionary” principles. Civilization hangs in the balance.
Greetings readers. I know it has been awhile and my has the news continued to come at a dizzying pace. The man most likely to cause America’s long term destruction at the face of our enemies has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his geniality towards despots. Russians may have the opportunity to inspect OUR nuclear sites. It appears there are more Communist-lovers in the Obama administration, an administration that happens to not be the biggest fan of Glenn Beck and the RNC shills over at Fox News. And as always, Israel has been thrown under the bus by the western world. The more the world changes the more it seems it stays the same.
This evening I want to turn to a topic that has been largely thrown under the bus in light of our depression and the push for socialized healthcare. It is an issue that admittedly I have been mum on because of my own reservations about the sensitivity of the topic, and a lack of clarity in my views in trying to reconcile security with liberty. I will address these points later. But I digress.
The mainstream media has barely blinked (and what a surprise it is) as terrorist attacks have been foiled, court cases involving potential honor killings on our homeland have transpired and investigations proving the infiltration at the highest levels of our government by Muslim groups intent on destroying our way of life have been carried out. While I have been well aware of these issues from the first time I picked up a Steve Emerson book, it seems that based upon an event I attended tonight, our future leaders remain blissfully, suicidally ignorant of the dangers that lie ahead.
Tonight I saw a man speak who has had a fatwa declared against him. A man who has been censored by western nations because they are too afraid of the frankness with which he speaks; frankness which threatens western nations because it alienates a people espousing a hateful ideology living partitioned in their midst. A man who has called for an awakening at a time when our collective slumber threatens to cause us to lose before we even fight. Tonight Geert Wilders spoke at my alma mater, that old bastion of tolerance Columbia University. To the crowd’s credit, this time there was no rushing of the stage.
Wilders’ main argument centered on the fact that the ideology of Islam is a hateful one, given the laws imposed on people dictated by the Koran, and the hateful, violent and strongly anti-Judeo Christian bent of the book. He explained how this ideology has led Muslims throughout Europe to seek the destruction of western civilization, and that given their population gains, soon they would be able to take over Europe through democratic means. This was no news to myself or anyone who has been following the developments over in Great Britain, where Sharia law is being implemented and the society has been split in two with the British legislature, frankly cowardly MIA. This was no news to anyone who has witnessed the barbarism in France where chaos broke out in the streets largely driven by Muslim immigrants. This was no news to anyone who remembers the murder of Theo Van Gogh or the outrage at the Mohammed cartoon.
But what was refreshing was the fact that Wilders spoke the truth, unafraid of the consequences. He said things that any student here would be afraid to say (a fear which is probably the first sign that a battle is being lost). On cultural relativism, Wilders boldly asserted that Judeo-Christian values were superior to those of Islam promulgated in the Koran. He cited our ability to speak freely, protection from government and granting of civil rights to all groups as being superior to the rights engendered in Muslim culture and law. He overtly referred to the Koran as an evil book, though he rightly separated the hatefulness of the surahs from condemnation of all Muslims themselves. He even posited that Jefferson had acquired the Koran used to swear in Congressman Ellison so he could understand his enemy when the US took on the Barbary pirates during the early 19th century. He condemned the US government for supporting a UN resolution to ban free speech when it comes to stereotypes deemed offensive. He noted that fundamentally, criticism of religion is in fact the most important measure of free speech, and that it is being thwarted throughout the western world.
He also did something that no European politician has done in my lifetime that I can recall, stating that Israel is the canary in the coal mine, the “beacon of light in a pitch black area” in the Middle East. He boldly asserted much to the chagrin of his haters in the audience that the homeland of the Palestinians was Jordan. He noted, invoking a point similar to that of George Gilder in his fascinating new book The Israel Test, that Israel is fighting the war that we are losing – the fight for freedom against Islam, and that it is our moral obligation to protect her as the first line of western defense. He cited a handful of pieces of legislation that should be implemented, including: a Constitutional amendment that each European nation’s identity is one of Judeo-Christianity, a loyalty oath for Muslims in Europe, suspension of Muslim immigration given the grave problems facing Europe’s already exploding Muslim population, and expulsion of all those who wish to carry out jihad or commit crime on European soil. Most importantly, he urged all Europeans to vote into office “fewer Chamberlains and more Churchills.”
Personally I got a vicarious thrill listening to a man who said certain things that I wish I could say but am afraid to for fear of reproach or worse a fatwa against me. I was proud that he gave a voice to those of us afraid to express our First Amendment rights in the supposed last, best hope of this Earth.
Yet at the same time, this event was a sobering one. As I intimated, many people scoffed at Wilders’ ideas, decrying him for his belief that Muslims want to take over Europe, and guffawing at his poignant criticism of the Koran. These people have no idea about the struggle we are facing. When our enemies are willing to blow themselves up for a cause, and we quell free speech so as to appease them, you know that we are losing this battle. Americans are no more awake today than they were on September 11th. They remain as complacent as ever because they either do not wish to believe that a large enough percentage of the Muslim population is out there ready, willing and potentially able to destroy us, or because they are simply blind to it.
Sitting in a room with supposedly informed, intelligent students, I was struck by their utter ignorance when it comes to people who wish to take away the liberties both social and political that they so cherish. I sat in astonishment as women criticized Wilder’s, a man who opposes the very ideology that subjugates women and leads them to be killed out of honor when they reject Islam. I have news for these people — if you do not wake up soon, one day this country is going to be lost. Laugh at and deride those who warn you, but it is we who are trying to defend your freedom to be ignorant, naive socialists. It is we who defend your freedom to try to shout down those who are upholding our Constitution.
As I mentioned, I wanted to address some general points that I have been grappling with on liberty and security in our country. I have always on this blog defended classical Liberal values. Generally speaking, I believe that any infringement on our rights no matter how small will lead to the eventual collapse of all of our rights and thus must be stopped. However, we cannot have liberty without security. Our Constitution lays out our liberties, but also seeks to ensure their protection. In Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, it is stated: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” When an enemy threatens the values of your Constitution, this enemy must be defeated. We are not serious about defeating this enemy.
Right now, our odious politically correct atmosphere has paralyzed our country. We are working to appease the enemy within. We are going about our daily lives blind to the reality that the threat is growing and that our enemies are putting a happy face on their movement by naming their fronts things like “CAIR.”
I would argue that if we were serious, our attitude might be more like this: If there are people in this country who wish to implement Sharia law, a law diametrically opposed to our Constitution and more important opposed to our natural rights granted to us by our Creator, than these people should be sent back to their homelands. If there are people who wish to carry out jihad on US soil and blow up our great centers of commerce and our Synagogues and Churches, then these people should not be given student visas, they should be deported. If there are people in this country who shun granting individual liberties to all, and special privileges to none then please exit stage left. If you don’t agree that our Constitution is the supreme law of the land, then go someplace where you can live under Sharia law, don’t attempt to impose it on us. Unfortunately today there are Mosques all around this country where undoubtedly anti-American views are being spewed. Reverend Wright probably looks like Kahane compared to some of the other imams here. The people who attend these Mosques and support terrorism either directly or indirectly should not be allowed to enjoy the fruits of this country.
For those who are moderate Muslims, you must speak up and declare to the American people the nature of our enemy. To sit back in silence for fear of being outcast by the Muslim community is a small price to pay for the total loss of freedom for everyone in this land. I cannot stress enough the importance of the so-called moderate Muslims working to help awaken this nation to see the folly of and the danger inherent in the road that we are going down (if for no other reason than because all of us white, fear-mongering teabaggers have lost legitimacy as we are mere racists and bigots). To continue down this suicidal path where we live in fear of offending people who wish to undermine our way of life is a slap in the face of the forefathers who fought to make this a free nation. We must get serious or we will lose. In closing, let me hearken back to Reagan who said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Friends, we must courageously take up this battle.
“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” – Frederic Bastiat
Pundits, pontificators and plebeians all have polarized around the issue of national healthcare. Many have spoken wisely on the pros and cons of the proposed system, a heartening fact given the relative deafening silence when it came to the other government boondoggles of the last few years (really the last hundred to be exact). At the heart of the matter is a debate fundamental to our liberty that the public has failed to have. This regards the broader ramifications of a government-granted right to health.
Aristotle said that man seeks pleasure while avoiding pain. Healthcare is a means to prevent physical pain, and thus I would argue secure pleasure. However, a need for healthcare is dictated by one’s physical condition. One’s physical condition is attributable to a variety of factors. First, there is the question of diet. Then, there are one’s living conditions, namely shelter and clothing. Surely there is a psychosomatic factor as well. Finally of course, there is the question of one’s physical activity level.
If we are to allow healthcare to fall under the purview of government, then certainly it must follow that all things that contribute to one’s health must also be regulated by the government.
Thus, necessarily each and every citizen will have a responsibility to provide ample food, sufficient shelter and clean clothing for each and every other citizen. Likewise, it should follow that the types of food be regulated to ensure an optimal diet, and the shelter and clothing be comfortable enough and of high enough quality to meet government standards. Since one needs a stable living environment, should not the government also have a say as to how children are raised within their homes? Naturally one’s mental health might also be tied to access to diversions, so should not all entertainment such as the arts, film and sports also be government-controlled and taxpayer-subsidized? Should not exercise be mandated, with government-run physical fitness centers for all? What scares me most is that in writing this list, government already controls many of these things in one way or another.
Naturally, a government-run system of healthcare will lead to arbitrary, whimsical intrusions into our daily lives. Who is to set the bounds as to what constitutes proper controls to make the system “competitive” and “affordable,” when the Ezekiel Emanuel’s of the world will influence the system?
Much like the Necessary and Proper Clause, nationalized healthcare will serve as a Trojan horse; it will lead to the greatest infringement on our natural rights of all, infringement on our lives. You’d think the state would already be satisfied having devoured our liberty and property (pursuit of happiness if you prefer), but always hungry for more power, under this system it will get personal.
Perhaps scarier than the details of this system, devilish as they may be is the principle that from the first day we spend on this Earth, given a right to health for all, our responsibility will be to provide for our fellow man, valuing the community above ourselves. If one were to choose to dedicate one’s life to supporting others, of one’s own volition, than this would be fine. The merits of sacrifice for others are numerous and in many cases commendable. However, under a national healthcare system, because of a handful of politicians, we will be forced from day one to work to support everyone else, because the state says so. In the end, we will all be enslaved to each other. Our common lot will be one of misery.
Call me selfish. Call me greedy. Call me immoral. I value my life above yours, insofar as the Leviathan is forcing me to subsidize your eating habits, drinking habits, smoking habits mental health and genetic predisposition. I do not want to be forced to pay for your healthcare by government decree, nor should I. The Founders guarantees my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To presuppose that the collectives’ right supersedes my own destroys these very rights. It ensures pain for all and pleasure for none.
I leave you with some prescient words from Grover Cleveland – the last respectable Democrat – regarding his reasoning for rejection of an act to appropriate federal funds for drought-stricken Texas farmers. He declared:
The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of the kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
We are living through a time in which all common sense and logic has been sacrificed for blind hope and misplaced faith. According to the current gospel, peddled by the Messiah and even his anti-Christ enemies (the Republicans ironically), in a crisis in which millions are being thrown out of jobs, debts are being called in and people are being forced to cut back and save more, naturally we must see to it that these forces are prevented.
So we pump public funds into failed banking institutions that took risks imprudently and followed a business model in which short-term windfalls were rewarded over long-term viability and sustainability…all at the cost of the taxpayers and the financial companies that would have been able to find value and profitability in the assets that would have been liquidated had the banks been allowed to fail. We do the same with the auto industry, bailing out our failing companies, and specifically the UAW – the union that pushed the companies towards failure by demanding the massive salaries and benefits that bankrupted the companies in the first place. We reward debtors who purchased homes they could never afford by forcing lenders to rewrite mortgage contracts and allowing the government to purchase mortgage debt to keep interest rates low, with the government thumbing its nose at those who had responsibly paid off their mortgages. We relieve people who took on too much credit card debt by forcing lenders to lessen their fees (the fees necessary to compensate them for the risk involved in allowing people to finance their purchases through debt) by putting restrictions on “unfair” charges, inevitably causing those who were more responsible in paying off their debts to pay higher rates of interest.
When it comes to the protection of failing bureaucracies, it looks as if all of the states in the nation will be forced to bail out California (amongst others) when the federal government comes in and helps ameliorate their debts created by reckless spending. More importantly, the responsible states will not only be sacrificing their money, but their sovereignty to the federal government, due to the fiscal idiocy of the other states.
Even looking to something as fundamental as our progressive tax structure, whereby those who generate more income are penalized through higher levels of taxation (and forced to subsidize) those who earn less income, in every single case the people that are in the wrong are rewarded, while the people that are right or at least not responsible for these problems are penalized. Given the rate at which our national debt is expanding, the burden of these current problems unfortunately will be borne on the backs of future generations of Americans as well.
At length I have spoken in the past about how economically destructive these policies are, merely exacerbating problems instead of allowing markets and the individuals that make up the markets to adjust. I have explained that many of these problems were created by the government in the first place. I have also spoken to the fact that the holes that we are digging in attempting to stave off our problems, in the wasted future resources and diverted current resources being put towards government-planned projects, the massive amounts of money and debt creation by the federal government and also in our move overall towards a collectivist society.
But fundamentally, what I am seeing is that there is something far more insidious at play. What this crisis has illuminated to me is that because everything the government does has the force of law, it allows it to embody all of the worst traits of fallible man, writ large. More specifically, practically every single thing the government does and has done is about taking things from one group of people or more often all people and redistributing them to other people. Since the government can tax, it has the legal authority to rob you of your wealth and give it to someone else. Since the government can regulate, it has the power to help certain companies and harm the ones it doesn’t like. Since all can vote for government officials, government can allow 50% + 1 of the people to destroy the rights of all people; or allow 99% of people to subjugate the rights of the other 1%.
What I have come to realize is that unfortunately, our Founding Fathers did not think through deeply enough how far men were from angels, because the Founders were imperfect just like the people that they built the government for. They did not understand that while they tried to protect us from democracy, given the power to amend the Constitution, democracy could be implemented, with certain classes plundering other ones and bankrupting the nation in the process. Were the document to lay out in clear language any number of restrictions separating the public sphere from the private, this would simply lead to innovation amongst the people in subverting law and usurping power. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand the fatal flaw that they designed a framework in which the people got the government they deserved, not the government that was best. I do not mean to decry their efforts, but merely point out that as great as the Constitution they crafted was, it still could not ensure that people did not corrupt or disregard it.
As some have argued, were the populace to be more educated, our government would be better policed and regulated by the people it is supposed to help protect, and closer to the kind of paradigm that was intended by our forefathers. However, the government through public education gets to indoctrinate the citizens from day one. Even for those who are home-schooled or receive a private education, they still might be deluded into voting for bad candidates — just look at the New York Times crowd or the Ivy League (I know, I can’t believe I am emerging from it with a clear head either). And an educated populace might be even more adept at using the government to serve its interests as is.
I have always found that more influential than any of these institutions are the people that we grow up with and live with – our families, our friends and our mentors. And this is why I believe that our role as free-thinking individuals is so important, and that we must seize this moment in which the world is upside down, when good is treated as bad and moral is treated as immoral to seek to open the eyes of our fellow men. We need to educate by teaching in theory, demonstrating in practice and appealing in good sense and morality to the fact that this system whereby everyone plunders everyone else in the end leads to our demise; into a land devoid of all values, corrupted and whithered like so many empires that came before us.
We need to engage in debate, unafraid of saying what we feel in our hearts and in our minds is right. We need to sharpen our arguments against our challengers so that we can swiftly, calmly and rationally show them the errors of their ways and turn them into our friends, or at least respectful enemies. We need to explain that our actions affect more than just those around us, but also our future: our children, and our children’s children. We need to preach that as Reagan put it “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” We need to argue that principles and values do matter, and that the consequences of sidestepping them are fatal. We need to scream at the top of our lungs that all progress comes from individuals, not coercive powers that dictate to free men that they must build pyramids or dingy fuel-efficient cars.
As things get worse and worse, people will first most likely react angrily. They will be looking for heads to roll. But we must keep our heads. We must be there with the answers, because it is only when people have lost everything that they will be willing to listen to the voices they dismissed before. If socialism can come into fashion so quickly from the height of what people thought was capitalism, then why can’t Liberalism supplant socialism just as quickly?
Until that day however, we must continue to advocate our principles in the face of angry, irrational intolerant sophists. We must keep fighting the good fight even if it means being hated. Derision and ridicule should be met with satisfaction, because it will mean that our detractors can only react emotionally to our reasoned arguments.
There is no shame in being hated by a group that is wrong theoretically, practically and morally. We must continue along, emboldened in the face of tyranny. We must defeat the gravest of evils with the greatest of goods: freedom.
“I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.
I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”
With that, President Obama laid out his standard for determining the replacement for Justice Souter. As is his wont, Obama of course made his answer intentionally murky (so as to maximize political palatability) adding that “I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time.” The Constitutional traditions like the sanctity of contracts, protection of individual liberty and commitment to a system of free enterprise?
No, for the POTUS does not respect these values in his very belief that one of the fundamental criteria for picking a judge is “empathy.” Supreme Court justices are supposed to judge according to the Constitution. Surely, we would love if our justices too were noble, virtuous and even empathetic, but this has nothing to do with carrying out their duty of interpreting the Constitution properly and applying it equally. Men are not angels, and justices are mere men.
Nor is it incumbent upon qualified jurists to have “the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay or disabled or old,” as Mr. Obama argued at a meeting of Planned Parenthood in 2007. In fact, this is fundamentally opposite of what one should look for in a judge. Judges are supposed to be blind to race, gender, ethnicity, etc. If we accept that all men are treated as equal under the law and endowed with natural rights, granted to them by a power even higher than that of the Constitution…dare I say a power even higher than that of Barack Obama, then one should never favor one group or another in jurisprudence. This fallacious conception of justice values personality over merit. It values emotion over reason.
Also calling into question Obama’s judgment is word that he may be explicitly looking to appoint a woman or a Hispanic to the Supreme Court. What the gender or heritage of a candidate for the Supreme Court has to do with being able to interpret the law, I do not know. What should it matter whether a justice is black or white, man or woman, Hispanic or Korean? In this country, at this time in history, we are supposed to be above race and gender. Nominating a justice largely with this criteria in mind is both racist and sexist. Further, it delegitimizes the role of jurisprudence by valuing traits one is born with over skill. Of course these types of affirmative action quotas are nothing new, but they are all equally asinine. When we replace merit with arbitrary standards, we are setting up our society to fail. Imagine if we selected our doctors based upon the neatness of their handwriting.
Underlying all of this is the question of Obama, the Constitutional scholars’ view of the courts. It would seem to me that his beliefs have have nothing to do with interpreting law according to the Constitutional values that he speaks so passionately about, and everything to do with interpreting the law as Mr. Obama sees fit. In other words, he seeks a justice who views the Constitution as a “living document” that “envisions a road map by which we marry passion to reason, the ideal of individual freedom to the demands of the community,” according to his Audacity of Hope. Again, we see the two-faced nature of these words. Individual freedom matched with the demands of the community. What are these demands exactly?
Having read the Constitution, the only demand that I can see is that we do no harm to our fellow man; that we each have control of our life, liberty and property and that no man or majority can take these from us. What if the community demands that people who own their houses must pay down the mortgages of those who are in foreclosure? What if the community demands that to keep workers in their jobs at auto plants, all citizens must buy green American cars? What if the community demands that the wealthy pay a 90% tax? Or that there be public floggings of anyone who has ever worked for an investment bank?
This of course is the problem with the lax, “living document” interpretation of the Constitution. It allows for a slippery slope that ultimately corrupts the values the law is supposed to preserve. By allowing activist justices to interpret based upon the will of the people at a given time, this can lead to total tyranny or total anarchy, based upon whatever 50% + 1 of the people want. The results of governing without principle, and rather according to the will of the majority will end disastrously. The whole point of the Constitution is to protect the smallest and most important minority, the individual, regardless of that individual’s race, color or creed. Which is why I find it so befuddling that Mr. Obama, a progressive who believes that we all have equal rights should care about the race or sex of his Supreme Court justices. Even more befuddling is his belief that judges understand “what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay or disabled or old,” but not “rich, or white, or straight or able or young.” If the law is supposed to apply equally to all, then shouldn’t the judge understand the concerns of these folks too?
In reality, these factors should not concern judges one iota. This is the beauty of our law. The law treated properly is blind to personal traits. Under the purview of the law, we are all treated as equals. To care about any other arbritrary qualification is simply unjust.