Violation of Common Sense

In a 5-4 decision, the SC has struck another blow to the ACA stating that a requirement of private employers to pay for contraceptive coverage is a violation of their religious freedom and conscience as written into the First Amendment. A common sense decision that everyone should understand but evidently 4 SC justices and a multitude of statist progressive don’t. Hobby Lobby, and the many other private companies that objected to this mandate, can not and do not force any woman to work for them, so when a woman does independently and of free will choose to work for that company, how in the world does she have the right to dictate to them what insurance coverage they should offer? That is absurd.

In another ruling that will rock the progressive world, and in another 5-4 decision, in-home health care workers will not be required to pay union dues which served to strengthen the collective bargaining position of the public unions in Illinois. This again is a victory for individuality and freedom of expression and a blow against big union corruption and political graft.

This has been a bad year so far for statism and progressivism and in turn a great year for individual liberty and conservatism. Let’s keep the momentum going.

World War One

On June 28th it will be 100 years since the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Franz Ferdinand – was assassinated in Sarajevo, triggering the First World War. While I have over my life studied much history of war, I believe I have spent more time on the First World War than any other.  This is because there is something horrendously tragic about the whole thing – thought not, in my view, for the reasons most often given.

For most people with a cursory knowledge of the war, it is just a bloody, miserable waste.  Four years in the trenches with men being sent senselessly to their deaths by insensate commanders.  There is a bit of truth in that, but it does really get to the bottom of the matter.  In my view, our civilization committed mass suicide during that war – over a long period of time prior to the war, starting really in the 16th century but getting rolling in the 18th, we had stripped ourselves of that patina of Judeo-Christian morality which prevented us from doing really horrible things, while at the same time a false sense of security was created by the rising, capitalist prosperity (for some, not all).  We thought in 1914 that we had thrown off the shackles of a dead past and were moving inexorably into a bright future.  What we found is that we had lost our moral compass and were descending into a nightmare.

The men of 1914 went off to war singing.  In all the belligerent powers there was a sense of destiny and awe – we were going to have this thing out and then build a new world of peace, justice and prosperity. Listen to Rupert Brooke:

Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

Brooke ended up dying in the war – sadly, not in a heroic battle, but of blood poisoning.  But that doesn’t take away from the reality of what he did, and what he believed in. In his poems we see the whole spirit which animated all those caught up in the cataclysm. A few years on, Siegfried Sassoon wrote this:

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

That is quite a change.  One can put it down to the sheer horror of war, but it is more than that, it is the betrayal of an ideal.  It was an ideal of patriotism, of manly courage, of the surety that your nation was glorious and deserved dominion unchecked because of the good that was in it. That it proved a false ideal doesn’t make the betrayal of it any less an affront.  Indeed, it might make it worse.  Marching off to war the men thought one thing and found something very different.  What the found was that ideal was non-existent.  What they didn’t know – and most people still have discovered to this day – is that the ideal was wrong because it wasn’t founded upon a firm understanding of God.  To be manly and patriotic is a grand thing, as long as one firmly recognizes that God is Sovereign.  Solzhenitsyn said that the problem of the 20th century was that Man had forgotten about God.  Indeed – and in the searing abyss of World War One, men found that as they had not God, they had nothing and all the patriotism and manly courage in the world could not redeem the fact that 9 million men had died in battle, and victory had been bought so dear by the victors that it was indistinguishable from defeat.  The real pity of it was that people did not, on the whole, turn back to God.

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Is the Solution to Obama a Parliamentary Government?

Part of the genius of our Founders was the really clever way they blended three forms of government into one.  We are part monarchy, part Republic, part democracy.  The Democracy, of course, is the House – one man, one vote and everyone counts.  The Republic is the Senate – each constituent State has equal representation regardless of population.  The monarch, of course, is the President.  Most people don’t fully realize this aspect of our government – but the President is as much a king as anyone who ever sat a throne except for one thing:  his term of office is limited by years rather than by his life span.

It is interesting that in Churchill’s history of the First World War – The World Crisis – the description he gives of the American government observes that in practical terms, in 1917, the American President held more power than any other single individual on earth.  That was written before the enormities of Stalin and Hitler, but by Churchill’s lights at the time, it was correct – even though Russia had a Czar and Germany and Austria-Hungary had Kaisers. The President is at once party leader, head of State and head of government.  A vigorous person in that office is able to impose his will upon Congress and the people and move policy in the way he desires, even without violating the Constitution. And the President can pretty much get America into war any time he wants by simple fact of moving military forces under his own authority anywhere he wants, and letting the resultant events almost compel a declaration from Congress.

I believe that our Founders set this up quite deliberately – that they wanted a system which embodies what they perceived as best in all forms of government, but with each side checked vigorously by other Powers in government. And it worked very well – we had our leader who could act decisively in an emergency while also ensuring that final power to actual change things was in the hands of elected officials, with a final referee, as it were, in the Supreme Court to ensure that neither President nor Congress strayed beyond the bounds of settled law.  There was, however, a weakness in the system and it is a weakness which cannot be avoided in any system: it is dependent for its operation upon the actions of human beings.  Human beings are Fallen and thus get things wrong; usually very often. But we had a great bit of good luck at our start in that our first President – our first King, as it were – was George Washington.  Here was a man who genuinely held himself to be no more than the first magistrate of a free people and while he could have stayed in office until he died – and, indeed, at one point could have gotten himself crowned as actual king – he voluntarily gave up office and retired to private life.

This example of humble Presidential leadership stood us in good stead for quite a long time, but by the time Theodore Roosevelt took office, it started to wear thin as he and most of his successors thought of themselves not as agents of an impartial government, but men of destiny who had to place their indelible imprint upon the nation and the world.  From Theodore Roosevelt to Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama is a pretty straight line, only slightly pushed off course by Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan, who did have a much more Washingtonian ideal of the Presidency than most over the past century.  It was Theodore Roosevelt who first denied the limitations of power in the Founder’s system – saying that unless something was specifically forbidden a President in the Constitution, the President was free to do it.  This was a watershed event – and quite in contrast to Roosevelt’s recent predecessor Grover Cleveland who routinely vetoed legislation for the sole reason that he found no warrant for the law in the powers granted to the government by the Constitution. Now we’ve finished the task and in Obama, we’ve got a President who is essentially claiming that unless someone can actually stop him, he can do as he wishes – the pen and the phone are mightier than the Constitution.  And, so, how do we fix this?

The Founders thought they had provided sufficient safe guards against such things by inserting into the Constitution the power of the legislative to impeach the executive. It was thought that out of a jealous desire to preserve legislative power that the legislature would vigorously oppose the executive and be willing to use the extreme sanction of impeachment when a President started abusing his office.  It didn’t really work out like that – the first impeachment of Andrew Johnson was the merest bit of partisan hackery where the legislative majority simply  wanted to do away with an uncooperative executive; the second against Nixon was only successful because Nixon’s own allies abandoned him; the third against Clinton failed because Clinton’s allies refused to abandon him even though it was clear that Clinton has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors”. And that was that – once it became clear that partisanship would rule the day in impeachment, then it became a requirement that the Senate have 67 firmly committed members to vote for conviction before impeachment would even be considered and given the partisan nature of things, this means a Senate wherein at least 67 members are from the opposition party.  You can look back in time and see how few and far between are the times when any party controlled 67% of the Senate seats.  This means that impeachment is functionally impossible. We need another means of controlling the executive.

We could decide to lower the bar on impeachment convictions, and that might be a sorta-good way to go.  Better than no restrictions, after all.  But if we made it so that only 55 Senators had to vote to convict, then we would see more partisan hackery in the matter of impeachment where the Senate majority just wants to get rid of a President who isn’t cooperative.  That is fatal to good government quite as much as an out of control executive.  Maybe, and this is just me starting to think it over, we should remove the President from day to day executive authority?  That would be to interpose a Prime Minister between the President and the operations of government on a day to day basis.  A Parliamentary regime.

We’d still want a Commander in Chief for war time and other such emergencies, but we also very much want a President who can’t use his pen and phone to alter law.  So, we amend the Constitution to command the President to nominate as Prime Minister the leader of the party holding the most seats in the House of Representatives, and that person – upon confirmation via the Senate – nominates the heads of the government Departments and monitors and controls their actions subject to approval or overthrow by the House. We would make it so that the President signs laws into approval, or vetoes them as he desires.  He would still command the armed forces, negotiate treaties (with the advice and consent of the Senate as now) and could recommend legislation – but in what the Departments would do, he would have no say. And the people who do have the say in the actions of the Department, they can be removed by a simple majority vote in the House – and if the people don’t like how government is going, then every two years they get a chance to change the composition of the House, and thus get a government hopefully more to their liking.

Yes, this could lead to a situation – as it does in France, from time to time – where the President and the Prime Minister are of different parties.  Would it really be that bad if they had to work together?  The PM can want this, that or the other thing, but he’s not going to get it into law unless the President agrees – ditto on the President’s side. Other changes can also be made (I’ve long been in favor of limit the President to one, six-year term, eg), but we do have to think seriously about how we are going to ensure the means of cutting off a President – like Obama, but also like Johnson and FDR and Wilson in the past – who doesn’t care what the law says and is just going to do what he wants, defying anyone to stop him, secure in the knowledge that his opponents won’t have those 67 Senators necessary to convict on impeachment. At any rate, if anyone has a better idea, I’m all ears.

 

YCMTSU – Open Thread Version

I think it’s time that we just lay out on the table all of the garbage this administration has brought upon this country. The soiled debris of progressivism is getting knee deep, the stench is over whelming, and it’s time for us to itemize the unimaginable incompetence in a way that we can keep an inventory on what is currently rotting, so that we can properly process the new sewage that is surely headed our way over last two and half years.  I will start with:

1. The CFPB – the progressive instituted, feel good, Dudley Do Right government bureaucracy that is now embroiled in typical progressive incompetence and over spending. Reminiscent of the GSA excess’s – remember that? Good thing this administration learned their lesson there.

2. Obamacare – I know it’s kind of hard to keep up on all the refuse that is rotting all over this country, but Obamacare is one big pile of rubbish that continues to infect many peoples lives. Thankfully, a federal judge in Colorado has applied some common American sense and stopped  the Progressive Intolerant Fascist Machine from mandating the availability of abortifacients.

3. Washington Redskins – Evidently there is nothing of real importance facing this country which has allowed Harry Reid to stop all other matters in the Senate, and focus solely on the manufactured issue of a corporations name and his fascist desire to ruin it. Because of this, I will be purchasing a couple of Washington Redskin T Shirts, will wear them regularly, and encourage all of you to do the same. Honestly, I seriously think Harry Reid has lost his mind, but with a progressive, it’s really hard to determine how much brain he started with in the first place.

I encourage all of you to contribute to this list, so as we go in to the 2014 and 2016 elections, we will be sure to have a long detailed list of progressive failures, lies, and corruption which we can use as a club to repeatedly beat them over the head with – preferably until they bleed.

Tied to the Mast of the SS Obama

Earlier today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) ripped into the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, over the serial falsehoods of the Obama Administration regarding the IRS scandal.  The clip is here and Ryan points out that “nobody believes you” to the Koskinen.  I saw a small bit of Koskinen’s testimony and the clearest impression I took was of a man who is a smug, little Ruling Class (expletive deleted). He’s quite confident that he won’t be called upon to pay a price for his actions – no surprise, after all, he was very senior at Freddie Mac when the housing market melted down.  Rather than being forced out in disgrace, at the minimum, he’s now in charge of the IRS.  He knows with certainty – as we all do – that with Obama as President and Holder as Attorney General, there will be no criminal prosecutions over this case.

Just as Koskinen and the rest of those involved in the IRS scandal know they are immune from prosecution, so does everyone else in the Obama Administration involved in all the other scandals feel this sense of security. Say what you will about Barack Obama, he protects his own – if you are on his team, he’ll make certain that nothing bad happens to you.  As things go from bad to worse in all aspects of Obama policy, this is the rock upon which Obama’s people sit: they can do what they want and know they are safe.  This is why we get this arrogant disdain from them about the hard, factual basis of our opposition.  We can bring up all the indisputable facts of corruption we want, Obama and his people will just deny it all, call us all names for bringing it up, and go about their business in a quite shameless manner.  That explains Obama and Co, but what of the Democrats in the larger sense?  Why are they going along with this?  Obama can’t protect them all – and Obama’s policies are making the Democrat brand ever more toxic in American politics.  Its all well and good for Obama to just keep going, but come January 20th, 2017, he won’t be there any more…while Democrats will have to live with his legacy.  So, why haven’t any leading Democrats come out in public against him?  To be sure, some have in private and not for attribution; but there has been no public opposition (and none really even from red State Democrats facing electoral defeat because of Obama) – and I suspect there won’t be.

For better or worse – and I predict it will be much, much worse – Democrats can’t cut themselves away from Obama.  That he’s dishonest, corrupt and incompetent doesn’t matter.  In the electoral geometry of Democrat politics, there is simply no way Democrats can renounce their support for the first African-American President…just as, in the by and by, they won’t be able to renounce support for the first female, first Latino and first gay President, if such Presidents wind up being Democrat. You and I over here on the right don’t care that much about such things – if we nominate, say, a gay Latina in 2016 and she wins but turns out to be a numbskull, we’ll turn on her (and be called racist and homophobic for doing that – but, we’re used to that false accusation and so don’t care any longer).  Democrats can’t.  Their existence is based upon certain falsehoods being acted upon as if they were true – one of them is that an African-American of the proper politics and views can do no wrong (other examples: government spending increases national wealth; government unions are the same as, say, the miners unions in the 1920’s; “tax the rich” means that actual rich people will be taxed, etc, etc). Why do you think they still carry the Sharpton and Jackson albatrosses around their necks?  For goodness sakes, those two, old hacks provide nothing for the party or the movement.  But they can’t be denied – because they are black and of the “correct” views.  To deny them is by definition – in Democrat circles – racist.  To turn on Obama would be racist.  They can’t do it – if you could prove to them that loyalty to Obama will cost them a dozen Senate seats this fall and the White House in 2016, they still wouldn’t turn on him.

Ryan told Koskinen that “nobody believes you”.  This, I think, is the epitaph of the Obama Administration: nobody believes you.  I’m confident that nobody believes Obama – well, to modify that a bit:  your Democrat base probably still does, because they get all their information from the traditional MSM and have never thought about anything deeper than the latest reality show.  But outside of that demographic, nobody believes Obama, or anyone on his team.  We all know its a pack of lies – everything; Benghazi, “saved or created” jobs, Fast and Furious, green energy cronyism, GM, Syria, Iraq, Keystone Pipeline, DREAM Act, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Libya, IRS.  Everything Obama and team have said about these things is lies.  As Democrats in the House today spoke up one by one to essentially apologize to Koskinen and claim the whole IRS scandal was a GOP witch hunt, I’m confident that most of them knew as the words came out of their mouths that they were lying – and were lying to defend lies told by Obama and team (I said “most of them” because it seems to me that a number of Democrat Congresscritters are mindless drones selected by the Powers That Be to be mindless drones – hacks who just vote as the leadership demands; such people are probably not much beyond the reality TV intellectual level of the Democrat base…and such people might actually believe what they say is true, as their clever aids write their statements up for them).  But, still: nobody believes you.  But the Democrats will still fall on their swords for Obama – because they have to; to them, to deny Obama is to deny their view of themselves (remember, they honestly believe we are all racists – but that they are untainted by such things; after all, they support Barack Obama, right?  That makes them non-racist).

We’ll see how things come out.  There is a school of thought – and it does have much to be said for it – that we’re too far gone as a nation.  That too many of us are demoralized, dependent and intellectually bankrupt.  Because of this, the majority will continue to back the Democrats no matter what happens.  This line of thinking is why many people – including some very smart and well-informed people – are certain that Hillary will be elected in 2016.  This could be true.  We might be doomed.  On the other side are people like me – who really do think that after a while, when you pile up that much dishonesty and corruption, there is a reaction against it.  if so, then this reaction will start in November and carry through to 2016.  But regardless – sure victory or sure defeat – Democrats are tied to the mast of the SS Obama; they will go down with the ship, if necessary, to prove to themselves that they are good liberals.  So, don’t look for a break in the ranks over there – don’t look for Obama to fall to, say, 30% approval ratings.  There is a solid rock of ignorance, corruption and dishonesty to sustain even an Obama, no matter what he does.

 

Finished? I Don’t Think So.

As Rush Limbaugh asserted on his radio show Wednesday, the Obama presidency is far from over.

The events to which we are witness presently– world unrest, trampling on personal property rights and State sovereigntyassault on affordable energy–continuous assaults on our ability to grow our economy– is all part of Obama’s original campaign promise to “..fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s an important phrase to ponder. “FUNDAMENTALLY” TRANSFORM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Think about that. Let that short, simple, yet all-encompassing phrase sink in. First focus on the word “TRANSFORM” and then the root word of “FUNDAMENTALLY.”

To “transform” something, by definition, is to make something evolve into something radically different from what it has traditionally been. “Fundamental” by definition is a defining, basic characteristic. A building block–something foundational to its being.

Now, to “FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM” means to radically transform the United States from what it has traditionally been– the “shining city on a hill”- the land of opportunity–based on the premise of individual liberty and the affordance of self-determination–yes–to transform that– into something *fundamentally different* and thus diametrically opposed to that foundation.

The Third World Despots, the Kruschevs, the Fidel Castros, the Kim Jong Ils and Uns of the world, have given hours-long speeches about their hopes for the destruction of the Free World, but never have they been able to put it so succinctly and eloquently as has Obama in that one simple, yet profound phrase. “..We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Many people chalked that phrase to meaningless boilerplate rhetoric, as so much rhetorical fluff. But of all the promises Obama made that were broken, whether it was closing Guantanamo Bay, allowing people to ‘keep their doctors or their health plans–period,” or to decrease health insurance costs by $2500 per year, this– this seminal promise–(along with bankrupting the coal industry)–was the one he meant from the bottom of his joyless, cavernous heart.

No people. The Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama is not ended. He still has a lot of ‘fundamental transformations’ to perform.

Barack Obama’s “scorched earth” policy against America and its people has only just begun.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, What Should Our Policy Be?

There was just a small chance at the end of 2008 that our effort in Iraq would work.  By extreme exertions we had mostly pacified the nation and with a bit of luck and more hard work, Iraq might have slowly developed into a pluralist democracy, thus providing a both a bulwark against extremism and a model for the rest of the long-suffering people of the Middle East.  It did not, however, work out like that.  Rather than keep a presence in Iraq, we withdrew all our forces and essentially left Iraq to its own devices.  Power does abhor a vacuum and as we weren’t there and the Iraqis weren’t quite up to the task, other powers started flowing into Iraq.  Now we see the result of that – a clash which is now really more between some people who want to create a Caliphate without reference to the existence of Iraq as a nation, and the Iranians who are bound and determined to keep control of as much Iraqi territory as possible, also without reference to the existence of Iraq as a nation.  Those in Iraq who would prefer neither Iranian nor Caliphate domination are squeezed between the two and will simply have to choose which evil they think is lesser.

At the end of 2008, Afghanistan was seeing an upsurge in trouble as the Islamist effort in Iraq was beaten back and Afghanistan became the only place an Islamist could fight the United States.  In the 2008 campaign, Obama told the American people that Iraq was the distraction, but that Afghanistan was the war we had to fight.  This is why we cut out of Iraq and then surged into Afghanistan.  Not with the number of troops recommended by senior military leaders and while giving a time frame for our withdrawal, thus allowing the enemy to know how long they had to endure before we quit – but, still, the effort was made in accordance with Obama’s oft-stated premise that we had to fight the war in Afghanistan.  In Afghanistan, it also didn’t work out.  The enemy knew we weren’t there forever and continual restrictions upon the ability of our forces to conduct the sort of brutal war necessary to defeat the Islamist forces made certain that victory wasn’t possible.  Meanwhile, the Afghan government descended into ever worse corruption and clearly started making arrangements for what would happen after the United States departed – mostly in terms of giving power to those who were fighting against us.

After all is said and done, whatever we were hoping to accomplish by going into Afghanistan and Iraq has proven a failure.  For you liberals out there who are of the opinion that killing bin Laden was key and winning in Afghanistan was right because Obama said so: you were wrong.  For us conservatives who believed that we could build a democratic, Muslim nation:  we were wrong.  For those on the left who want to harp upon circa-2004 BUSH LIED!!!!1!! memes; just shut up and go away.  Seriously – no one wants to hear that nonsense any longer.  However one felt about the efforts, they have clearly failed and now it is time to re-assess our policies.

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