"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, May 27, 2011

Deconstruction of Four Questions of Passover: Part V - The U.S. Constitution: Loose Constructionism Vs. Originalism

In this section, I will discuss my (as well as more qualified legal scholars’) opinions on whether we really have a ‘living constitution’ or not.
The first step in setting the argument up is establishing the absolute, universal truth that only legitimate rights are the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I did that when I discussed rights in Part II of my writings. Creating man made rights that invariably place an imposition on unalienable natural rights clearly violates this sacred and absolute truth. Disagreeing with that premise would require one to justify restricting (or in some cases taking away) god given rights – an intellectually indefensible position!

“Flexibility” of the Constitution:

In order to make an intellectually honest philosophical argument, I will present both logic and evidence based arguments to bolster my case.

Logical Argument:

As the original intent theory of originalism asserts, a written constitution is and should be consistent with what was meant by those who drafted and ratified it. This is the key point in the argument as I see it. The dynamic view of the Constitution completely ignores the written evidence of what the Founders meant. This is especially true as it pertains to the universal truths embodied in the unalienable rights – the cornerstone of our founding documents. An unalienable right is absolute and does not change in its meaning over time.

All Founding Documents are mutually inclusive (or inter-related) and must stand or fall together. The over-riding concern is one of preserving the first principles. Therefore, any new interpretation of the text must not interfere with our natural rights – otherwise, without the unalienable rights and first principles fully intact, the Constitution is rendered null and void.

As Justice Antonin Scalia – likely the most scholarly of the current crop – puts it:

1. The purpose of a Constitution is to bind us, not to be flexible. The Constitution offers its own way of being flexible and that is through the amendment process.

2. The "Living Constitution" has no guiding principle upon which to guide its evolution.

3. The "Living Constitution" allows for judicial activism; effectively, legislating from the bench.

4. The "Living Constitution" poisons the appointment and confirmation of judges. If there is no fixed meaning in the Constitution, then the best thing partisan politicians can do is to get judges on the courts that agree with their political beliefs. Competence and character are no longer the main issues in judicial confirmation hearings.

In holding with Justice Scalia’s wisdom, you cannot have some right to life or liberty; you either have full rights or effectively none at all. Therefore, any radical departure from the original intent that clashes with any of our unalienable rights is invariably unconstitutional (regardless of SCOTUS decisions).

It is nevertheless a common progressive conviction that with the changing times - or as you exemplified it, with evolution of technology and how it can be abused to infringe on personal privacy – the U.S. Constitution must be flexible, too. Unfortunately, such justifications fall far short of a philosophical justification.

Our unalienable rights are endowed upon us by God (or nature if you prefer like I do); yet activist SCOTUS, ever since FDR - the most damaging president as far as the Constitution is concerned - stacked the Court in the 1930s, have strayed away from original intent in the name of progressivism (reform through government action) – an ideology that conflicts with the original intent.

Progressives usually argue for the “living, or dynamic nature of the Constitution” in order to justify creating new social ‘rights’ under the pretext of the vagueness of constitutional clauses such as the General Welfare Clause, the Commerce Clause, and Equal Protection Clause among others. In truth, there is little, if any, ambiguity to the Constitution if one looks for confirmation of its original (and only) intent in the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers by going through a logical reasoning process.

In sum, the core philosophy of our founding principles rests on one key sentence in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Unalienable rights take precedence and cannot be fringed upon without violating them.  Any right or entitlement that creates an imposition (of any type) on any member of the society is by definition not a right!
Therefore, any governmental action must not violate the unalienable rights in order not to violate the spirit of the U.S. Constitution (and our founding principles). 
The original intent of our founders can not and should not be misconstrued as there is substantial and overwhelming written evidence of what Founding Fathers intended (and this last part is a challenge to any progressive to prove otherwise).

Evidentiary Argument:

Just about every quote by Founding Fathers points to the dangers of government that goes beyond its intended, enumerated powers. James Madison, the father of our Constitution said: “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”


A case-in-point: Programs enacted under the Social Security Act.

The Social Security Act (SSA) of 1935 gave birth to several prominent social welfare and insurance programs (SSI, Disability Insurance, Unemployment, Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP) between the 1930s and present day. These entitlements, taken together, account for the lion share of the annual federal deficit and virtually all the unfunded liabilities, totaling over $100 trillion dollars. Their constitutionality has largely been justified on the progressive side by the General Welfare Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

More specifically, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution lists promotion of the general welfare as one of its purposes. So, as the progressive rationalization goes, it is the government’s duty to not only provide a basic safety net but a comprehensive package of social welfare programs that take care of the needy (and the not-so-needy alike) regardless of their circumstances. (This is the same progressive view that prevails in social democracies of Europe; one that is triggered by an inability to accept human beings as unique creations who may naturally attain differing outcomes.)

In reality, at least as originalists see it, the General Welfare Clause or the Spending Power Clause, does not grant Congress the power to legislate for the general welfare of the country; that is a power reserved to the states through the Tenth Amendment.

The same supposed (and as I will demonstrate, bastardized) progressive interpretation of “general welfare” crumbles in no time when we read (on multiple occasions) the following quotations attributed to James Madison – the father of our Constitution:

“With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions”

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare... they may appoint teachers in every state... The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.”

“…The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Some other relevant (directly or indirectly) quotes among literally dozens attributed to our Founders are:

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated. – Thomas Jefferson

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
-John Adams

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
-Benjamin Franklin

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
- Thomas Jefferson

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
-Thomas Jefferson

Even the most progressive of the Founding Fathers – Hamilton – cannot be attributed any written sentiment that gives credence to the present day progressive defense for a “living constitution”.

In 1833, Justice Story concluded that “the General Welfare Clause is not an independent grant of power, but a qualification on the taxing power which included within it a power to spend tax revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government”. Moreover, the SCOTUS has held that the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments"

Yet, despite the certitude that creating new rights often violates man’s natural rights; and unambiguous evidence of the Founder’s intent, the intellectually bankrupt argument advanced by progressives in justifying the constitutionality of SSA related legislation has carried the day at the SCOTUS.

In order to accept the progressive understanding of the General Welfare Clause in the U.S. Constitution, one would literally have to dismiss its authors’ own sentiments as well as key earlier findings of the SCOTUS. A paradoxical position, indeed!

My challenge, therefore, to any progressive is to try and correlate between the clear sentiments of our Founders regarding general welfare as quoted above and their own views of it.

Use of the Amendment Process:

The U.S. Constitution’s only flexibility is in that it can be amended as needed as the Founders prescribed.

Since the original designers of the Constitution provided for the process of changing it, they never intended for their original words to change meaning.

The Founding Fathers realized that they could not possibly foresee all the societal changes that might require amending the U.S. Constitution. Consequently, and wisely, they provided for an amendment process (Article 5) that would purposefully be difficult (so that the supreme law of the land could not be changed at the whim of a few for wrong reasons), but nevertheless possible as we know from the history of it from the Bill of Rights up to the 27th Amendment.

The difficulty of the amendment process has led to over 9,000 amendment proposals to be defeated since 1789. Politicians during the first century of the union were on the most part faithful to the process. However, starting in the early 20th century with the advent of American progressivism as an offshoot of Fabian socialism, everything changed.

The dilemma of progressive goals being inconsistent with the original intent of the U.S. Constitution had to be dealt with in an unorthodox fashion as Americans in general would not support what they rightly viewed as socialist goals. The amendment process was therefore routinely by-passed starting in the mid 1930s.

I like to call this the coup d’état that America ignored; or the beginning of the structural decay of our republic. Increasingly, SCOTUS (as well as lower level courts) and the executive branch through the use of regulations (which are not law but carry the weight of law) bypassed what our Founding Fathers designed in order to maintain the integrity of the original intent of our Constitution.

This violation of the original intent has been mainly on the progressive side of the ledger (naturally since it is progressive ideals that clash with the first principles and not those of the free market, classical liberal proponents), but also has not been immune from violations by the big government establishmentarian Republican presidents in the past (see expansion of Great Society programs under Nixon and creation of Medicare Part D supported by G.W. Bush).

As such, and for different reasons, I agree with your sentiment that the amendment process should be adhered to (strictly) and laws should only be made by the Congress after careful deliberations and their constitutionality tested (if needed) by an intellectually honest SCOTUS. Our Republic worked just fine before such shenanigans; after all, slavery, as just one example, did not require the excuse of the interstate commerce clause (Article I, Section 8) to be abolished. It was done the right way: through amending the U.S. Constitution.


And lastly, but perhaps most powerfully, why the original constitution does not allow for judicial interpretation in any form can be found in history of the high court. The Supreme Court's power for constitutional review, and by extension its interpretation, did not come about until Marbury v. Madison in 1803. The concept for a "living constitution" therefore relies on an argument regarding the writing of the constitution that had no validity when the U.S. Constitution was written.

FDR: The Treachery of a U.S. President

The single most significant era of violating the spirit of the U.S. Constitution was the “New Deal” during the reign of the most destructive president in this country’s history.  FDR, an indisputable socialist, did more to alter the course of America than any other president before or since.  His major coup was irreparably damaging the U.S. Constitution, followed closely by his dispicable selling out of eastern europe's 100 million people in to Soviet slavery in Yalta.
FDR’s nearly Marxist philosophy became clear as early as March 3, 1912 when he gave a speech in which he laid out his philosophy - he placed the "liberty of the community" over "the liberty of the individual." He said competition was bad but cooperation was good. The speech was a concerted assault on the idea of private property. He imposed no limits on the power of the state. And remember, this was almost two decades before the Great Depression and the New Deal!

Charles Beard, the doyen of American socialists and creator of the ideas for FDR's NRA and AAA said "FDR accepts the inexorable collectivism of the American economy...national planning in industry, business, agriculture and government." "Individual economic activities and individual property rights will be altered and changed." FDR was bringing us to a 'collectivist democracy' and "worker's republic."

Earl Browder, the General Secretary of the Communist Party USA, admitted "If the New Deal could be established, it should be possible to proceed from this, step by step, without violent overturning, to socialism." George Bernard Shaw said FDR "is a communist but does not know it." He was wrong; FDR knew it, it the American public who did not!

All of his actions were bent in the same direction - dead left. He unceasingly promoted Communism at home and abroad to the full extent and possibility of his office. In his first inaugural he proposed 3 planks of the Communist Manifesto. More specifically, he proposed national land redistribution! Karl Marx explained his plan to destroy all constitutional government: "The surest way to overturn the social order is to debauch the currency." FDR carried that out with a vengeance by taking the US off the gold standard and confiscating all gold.

Even more light is shed on just how radical FDR was by revelations of his labor secretary, Frances Perkins – an indisputable communist sympathizer of her day. In a speech to the employees of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, on October 23, 1962, Frances Perkins explained how the Social Security Act was used to subvert the Constitution:

“Before I was appointed, I had a little conversation with Roosevelt in which I said perhaps he didn't want me to be the Secretary of Labor because if I were, I should want to do this, and this, and this. Among the things I wanted to do was find a way of getting unemployment insurance, old-age insurance and health insurance. I remember he looked so startled, and he said, `Well, do you think it can be done?' I said, `I don't know.' He said, ``Well, there are Constitutional problems aren't there?'

`Yes, very severe Constitutional problems,' I said. `But what have we been elected for except to solve the Constitutional problems?'

`Well,' he said, `Do you think you could do it?' `I don't know,' I said, but I wanted to try. ``I want to know if I have your authorization. I won't ask you to promise anything.'

`He looked at me and nodded wisely. `All right,' he said. `I will authorize you to try, and if you succeed, that's fine.' ''

FDR knew that the Federal Government did not have Constitutional authority to interfere in social welfare problems and said so quite effectively before becoming President of the United States. The Founders clearly did not intend to grant such authority to the Federal Government, as shown in the Federalist papers and other writings. But that did not matter whatsoever since FDR was effectively even more radical than our current President as evidenced by his actions as well as many statements purporting limits on wages (on April 7th, 1942) and countless others indicating clear socialist ideology.

Even many Democrats of the era turned against him. Al Smith, a four-term governor of N.Y. and his party’s presidential candidate against Hoover in 1928, was practically declared a traitor by FDR and the Democrat Party whose infiltration by the socialists can be traced back to the mid 1930s. Smith, a man from very modest background, was a staunch defender of worker rights, minorities, and other progressive policies; yet by 1936, he was in complete panic because his party and country were becoming unrecognizable to him in his words. He famously gave a very sobering January 1936 radio address titled “Betrayal of the Democratic Party” where he asked his fellow Democrats to list his party’s and Socialist party’s platforms side by side and pick the one that came closest to matching the achievements of the first four years of FDR Administration. The answer was clear that the Socialist Party platform was being successfully implemented just as socialist candidate Norman Thomas would reiterate later, during the 1948 presidential campaign. Smith added:

"Congress has overstepped its bounds. It went beyond that Constitutional limitation, and it has enacted laws that . . . violate the home rule and the State's right principle."

He said:

"It is all right with me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx, or Lenin, or any of the rest of that bunch, but what I won't stand for is to let them march under the banner of Jefferson, Jackson, or Cleveland." Smith concluded his address by saying that there could be only one victor: "If the Constitution wins, we win. But if the Constitution - stop. Stop there. The Constitution can't lose!  The fact is, it has already won, but the news has not reached certain ears."

Boy, was he ever wrong on that one or what?!

In accordance with his collectivist ideology, using the crisis of the Great Depression as his enabler, FDR stacked the SCOTUS and went to work sowing the seeds of the dismantling of the American way of life. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Farewell QE2, We Hardly Knew Ye

The good news is that Fed Chairman Bernanke has announced QE2 (Quantitative Easing 2) - also known as deflating the dollar or monetizing the debt among economic realists - will be winding down over the next few weeks.

The bad news is that not only infusion of the $600 billion in to the economy has not worked despite Bernanke's assertions to the contrary, but a QE3 may be on its way if the charlatan wing of the Fed (not all Fed governors favor QE) headed by Bernanke has its way.

I wrote about this very subject in the American Thinker over six months ago and I will reiterate my sentiments:  QE could not have possibly worked, and thus it did not.  It had failed miserably before in Japan, the Euro zone, and the U.S.  However, ignoring history is a weakness of elitists like Bernanke everywhere. 

I said QE2 would devalue the dollar and cause dollar based commodity bubbles.  It did. 
I said QE2 would not spur significant economic activity or, as a consequence, much additional employment because we did not have a credit availability problem but rather a confidence problem.  It did not.
And no, I am neither a nobel prize winning economist or a wizard of sorts.  It is all common sense and cursory knowledge of macro economics as well as history.

More specifically, just how miserably did QE2 fail?  Lets compare before and after data for key areas of jobs, housing, GDP growth, and inflation.

Depending on how generous one wants to be with squishy numbers (and I am being generous to the ill-fated plan), QE2 created around 700,000 jobs at a cost of $850,000 each.  I can easily argue that these jobs would have been created with or without QE2 as the recession officially ended two years ago, but I won't.  But wait..., there is more to the employment picture.  Although total full-time jobs went from 111.8 million to 112.5 million during the implementation of QE2 according to the Labor Department data, number of part-time workers is down by 600,000.  Translation: 85% of the gain in jobs is simply shifting of part-time jobs to full-time jobs. 
All together now: can you say $6 million per net new job?!
Oh, by the way, the participation rate (percentage of working age population actually working) is lower by .5% compared to August 2010 - lowest in 28 years.

How about housing - the backbone of our economy and the cause of our economic woes?
Well, the news there is not great either.  Housing prices are actually lower today than they were at the beginning of QE2.  According to the National Association of Realtors, average existing home price today is 8% lower than when QE2 was initiated less than a year ago. 

QE2 must have, then, at least spurred economic growth, right?
Wrong.  Economic growth has been anemic and on a downtrend.  Last summer, GDP grew by 2.6%.  The latest quarter indicates the growth in GDP to be 1.8%.

How about inflation, which I predicted would result as a result of QE2?
Well, that is significantly higher at over 3% excluding the all-important food and energy prices (over 10% including them!)  Last summer the same inflation figure was at 1.2%.

Instead QE2 created an artificial boom in dollar denominated commodities from gold to oil as well as dollar based financial instruments.  When so much excess liquidity is pumped in to a market where neither consumer nor business confidence exists, this is the inescapable result.  As the dollar loses its value, prices inevitably go up.
Take the stock market.  The S&P has increased by a whopping 26% since last August.  However, if you measure the increase in most other currencies (or by gold prices), the real increase shrinks to between 4 and 8%.

The truth is simple as likes of Nouriel Roubini, Bill Gross, and Peter Schiff see it.  Artificially increased liquidity only debases the currency and creates inflation.  The only meaningful growth can come about when consumers are confident enough to lift self imposed restrictions and businesses confident enough to invest for future.  The first without the second is impossible and consequently the Obama Administration's abominable track record in imposing punitive regulations on businesses will allow neither!

Is this the right track Bernanke meant when he said QE2 has left the economy “moving in the right direction”?  Right direction towards where? Dismantling of the U.S. economy?

Righteous Indignation of the Left

Suffolk University in Boston has come up with a new poll that indicates that Fox News Channel is by far the most trusted news source to no one's surprise - well, that is no one but the Soros' puppet progressives at outfits like Media Matters.

The poll shows that FNC is trusted by 28% of the public, followed by CNN at 18%, NBC at 10%, MSNBC at 7%, and the other two network news at 6% each.

This is no surprise to those of us who live their lives with their eyes and minds open.  During the 2008 election season, at least two studies - one by Pew Research Center and the other by CMPA - showed clearly that Fox was the most balanced and unbiased source of election coverage. 

I would agree with critics who might say that Fox leans to the conservative side but that is beyond the issue at hand.  The ideological bend of the network is irrelevant as long as they report the news fairly.  That, unfortunately, is not the case as far as other networks are concerned.  Besides, I do not hear those progressive critics complaining about MSNBC or any other network who are clearly biased in their reporting.  How biased?  Enough to cover up for and help get a radical Chicago community organizer with enough skeletons in his closet to make any cemetery jealous elected President of the United States.

The reaction to the poll has been predictably knee-jerk from the left.  Media Matters Executive V.P. Ari Rabin-Havt says "the public's trust in Fox is disturbing".  He also says the poll reveals that "Fox News viewers trust the information that Fox gives them." 

What a shock!  A network who can be believed in?  I mean what is going on here?  We can't have that now, can we?  It is downright disturbing, to borrow Mr. Havt's phraseology.

In a more serious and somber tone, this is the sad state of the American left today.  It is indicative of their righteous indignation and elitist view of just who are the ones in the "know". The rest of us who believe in the individual over the collective are simply unwashed masses who need to be told what to think. 

Very sad, indeed!

Condolences (from Ireland) Over a Pint

Barack and Michele offered their deepest condolences for Missouri and the mid-West victims while exploring Barack's Irish roots over a few pints of Guinness and a couple rounds of golf.

Characteristically, Barack did not miss the opportunity to take credit where there is none: "At my direction, FEMA is working with the affected areas' state and local officials to support response and recovery efforts, and the federal government stands ready to help our fellow Americans as needed."

The historic floods and tornados in the mid-West have wreaked havoc and caused untold billions in damage along with heavy loss of lives. 

I am waiting to see if there is a trace of integrity left in the MSM, which happily criticized Bush for just flying over New Orleans.  Our current President is 5,000 miles away and could not tear himself apart from a few pints and a round or two of golf.

Video of the Year (IMHO)

Gassing Up with Obama from RightChange on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Changes In America - A Personal Perspective

A friend of mine sent this to me, so here it is.  My two cents worth is that you can either run or stay and fight despite how steep the hill might seem! 
I, for one, have never been a good runner...

By: Belisarius

Dear Family and Friends:

Allow me to be characteristically blunt - and I hope you take the time to erad this: Here is my take on WHY and HOW ameriKa is turning into one gigantic pile of shit...

Subsequent to the raid in which Obama bin Laden was terminated (intended - as an insult to the deceased), we were treated to several photo opps which featured our brave men and women in military service - to include a visit by the current clown-in-chief. Now I did not dwell on the subject nor intended to look for this, but a factor struck me today: In the news coverage that I had referenced, the military that was featured was predominantly white - with a few "minorities" thrown in... ALL looked like the exceptional soldiers and people that they ARE - I did not see color, I saw green...

I suggest that you go to MSN's home page - www.msn.com in America, and check it out for today, May 21, 2011 -- In "News of the Week" (which rotates) "Armed Forces Day" is featured - and look at the photos: There is not ONE white person shown - ALL are minorities. And this is far from the statistical composition of our Armed Forces...

So much of this happens in our media that this CAN NOT and IS NOT "by accident" -- It is with intent - and it is part of the social engineering that is going in that God-forsaken country - and has been underway for more than 100 years... This is not a "black or white" issue -- It is an issue as to what is being "projected" to the ameriKan public - and this is equally inequitable to whites, blacks and all minorities as wells...

{Kindly note: The spelling "ameriKa" refers to current "occupied ameriKa" - as opposed to "America" - as it used to be. Think about it - it is an important distinction...}

My purpose in writing this...? I have not been circulating much political and current events materials because I have become sick and tired and fed up with most things - and I essentially have given up on "ameriKa" -- It is a boring replay of what I have seen in the past - all playing out like a boring U.S. television show designed for morons with short attention spans - and how else to describe the general public of ameriKa...?

In short, I have concluded that ameriKa is "done" - the corpse is still warm - and most people do not understand it is dead... With all of the major problems facing ameriKa, the leadership (primarily Democrat) is intent upon playing political games. Those of you who take the time to read this and have children and grandchildren really need to take stock of things - and become active locally in political matters as affect you - because they DO AFFECT YOU - and you CAN have an impact...

A lawyer friend commented on his up-bringing in California and how he knew each if his neighbors - and how everyone looked out for each other and helped one another. My local community is like this, although I can see it fraying a bit with new folks moving in. This lawyer noted how he knows NONE of his neighbors in Arlington; no one communicates, people do not know one another and do not look out for common interests. I stated this to a professional person whom I met while on travel; he responded: "You know, you are right. A new party moved in to our community and I went to greet them - and they looked at me as if I were an alien..."

Doesn't this appropriately describe modern ameriKa...? ameriKa can no longer export anything - and all it has to show the world is the stress and tension as have become ingrained in ameriKan life... ALL imposed on individuals in terms of the life and style by the government. Taxes are the most glaring example: Most people now have to work 5 - 6 months of the year simply to pay the tax bill - and for what? For the federal government to misappropriate funds and to legally steal from those who work. Simply consider the $ 3 - 4 BILLION Pigford settlement, in which black farmers allegedly were "discriminated against"; per official U.S. Government statistics, there were approximately 12,000 black farmers to which this applied - however, the initial settlement pool consisted of more than 85,000 applicants -- All one has to do is claim the attempted to farm, and are entitled to a $50,000 payment.

THIS is what ameriKa has deterioriated to - and the even sadder point is that most ameriKans are even afraid to speak up... They either ARE or have become cowards... People are afraid to confront the points of stress and tension in their lives because it opens these unsavory truths as to WHERE the money goes for wnhich they are working. This results in alienation - the basic underlying premise of communism - which in turn results in apathy. I have concluded that ameriKa simply is not worth it unless the people wake up...!!

I am down here in Colombia - where the people treat each other with civility and are very nice - people smile and greet one another on the streets and in the malls - even me - and they are not afraid I will eat their food!! It is not as the media projects: It would remind you of America of the 1950's. I can see a future down here - There is NOTHING left in ameriKa - NOTHING but problems and taxes... I really hope people wake up, because the most likely future for ameriKa is to see future generations eating the crap and garbage that the Chinese will dictate and send - and they will NOT be benevolent "world leaders" - as has the (Dis)United States...

It is up to each and every one of you and like minded people to take a stand. After all, it is YOUR future and YOUR children and grand-children's future - I at least have a great place to go...

Amnesty By A Different Name

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make any noise? If the Obama Administration offers "administrative alternatives" to go around the Congress, is it backdoor amnesty to millions of illegal aliens? Ahhh, the eternal questions that beg for answers that are really quite obvious!

Judicial Watch recently filed a FOIA law suit against DHS on April 29th in order to get correspondences with respect to illegal immigrants. The original FOIA request was made on February 4th, 2011 but the DHS failed to respond by the date due under the law.

And what triggered the request? Remember the USCIS memo prepared for Director Alejandro Mayorkas discussing alternatives failing meaningful congressional action on immigration reform? Briefly. it is the game plan for Obama Administration to violate the separation of powers and ignore the will of the people.

A reasonable person might ask what is the Director of the agency responsible for citizenship (USCIS) doing having memos prepared that violate the spirit of the U.S. Constitution? The answer is obvious.

When a nation elects what amounts to be a Chicago style (politics of favoritism engulfed in corruption) radical to occupy the White House, nothing should surprise them. Having ignored court orders, congressional inaction, and people's will in general, backdoor amnesty would be nothing new at this point in the game.

Welcome to Obama's America!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Leroy Fick: Just What Is Wrong With America Today

Leroy Fick, the the two-million dollar Michigan lottery winner who is still on food stamps, is in reality no one more significant than just another face in the crowd; yet he is the very embodiment of why our country is headed down the road to massive failure like Rome.

Ancient Rome - the Roman republican establishment which our foundation was modeled after - was symbolic of what can be achieved by a non-despotic, (relatively) free society two millenia ago - until the Second Triumvirate - which signalled the start of bigger more despotic and intrusive government, providing social assistance among other follies for poltical gains similar to the social democracies of present day Europe.  Perhaps not so coincidentally, it was also when all semblence of morality died in the ancient empire.

Roman history instructs poignantly on both the genius of prudent government during all its glory and the folly of empire for its final four centuries.  During that latter period, Rome produced its share of Leroy Ficks along with disastrous leadership.  Leroy Ficks, like too many in his situation (minus the lottery winnings), is the display of selfishness of the dependency class who is always looking for ways to suckle from the government regardless of legitimate need for assistance.

The most important lesson for us is that it is the Leroy Ficks and their enablers (progressives of this world) who have directly led to the fall of great empires; and we are no more special than the great Roman empire was during its heyday to avert the same fate. 
The fate that awaits us can be found in history for those who believe in the adage that those who do not remember history are bound to repeat it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Who Is Throwing Who Off The Cliff?

The newest deception of the left is the Ryan plan on Medicare reform.  The much maligned plan by the progressive left does nothing to change the elements of the current plan for those within 10 years to eligibility age of 65.  Those who are currently younger than 55 will have a sliding voucher system (based on income) that will provide up to $15 thousand per year to buy insurance at open market.  This is similar to what members of Congress currently enjoy.  The idea is to introduce competition in order to drive insurance costs down - the only way the pending default of Medicare can be averted because the market forces always work if the government does not meddle in free markets with destructive regulations.

So, how do progressives fight this proposal?  Here is their latest:

The group is aptly named The Agenda Project.  The Agenda in question is spreading collectivist statism.

My question to those who can still think for themselves is just who is throwing who over the cliff?  Republicans like Paul Ryan who want to ensure solvency of the program or progressive Democrats who want status quo, which even the Medicare's own actuaries say will result in the collapse of the system in less than 14 years?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"We Have Already Brought About Change"

Truer words have not been spoken! 
Obama uttered those motivating words to a group of 600 frustrated supporters at the Capital Hilton.   He added, failure to get everything they want as fast as they want should motivate and not dissuade them.  "We're just a quarter of the way through," Obama said, sounding almost as if he was assured of a second term. "We've got to finish our task."

Who can argue that the country has been put on a path to fundamental change?  With healthcare reform - the crowning achievement for any socialist wannabe, run away agencies like the EPA, FCC, NLRB effectively legislating by fiat despite the courts and the congress, and other misguided and damaging legislation such as the financial reforms having been passed and sign in to law; the President is right on target. 

Given the chance, he will complete his task by passing immigration reform that will shore up his party's support among those who see the U.S. as a pig to suckle on, and other competititon killing, anti-free markets legislation.  The damage that has been done will take many years to undo, if ever.  We simply cannot afford a second Obama term if the free world is to survive.

Democrat/Union Thuggery Goes On Unabated

The latest victims on the union thuggery front are Sebastian Taravella and Salvatore DiStefano who were beaten and threatened by the thugs of their union, CWA (Communications Workers of America) for blowing the whistle on illegal activities.

As N.Y. Daily News reports, these two Verizon employees blew the whistle on union labor bosses looting the coffers through various scams that included setting up personal 401K plans with member dues and various undocumented expense allowances. These accusations were verified last month by a financial monitor the union hired as a result of investigation by the labor department.

The incidents came after a local vice president purportedly told members at a meeting, "We have to deal with these spies on a personal level, like take them ... off the company property and off company time and take care of them," the suit charged.

On a related note, blindsided last fall by the election of Gov. Scott Walker, the loss of both houses of the legislature and the US Senate seat held by ultraliberal Russ Feingold, the Democrats in Wisconsin have simply refused to accept defeat and instead are continuing the fight by any means necessary. Democrat lawmakers' three weeks-long flight from the state to prevent a vote on Walker's reformist budget made national news; less well-covered tactics by the complicit media have included recounts and recall petitions as well as threats and intimidation by labor unions of all stripes.
Wisconsin state attorney general's office last week released documents and audio recordings of some 70 threats against state officials.

Among the most outrageous was an e-mail allegedly from schoolteacher Katherine Windels, which read: "Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell." She's been charged with two felony counts, including a bomb threat.

The controversial collective-bargaining law itself is in limbo, thanks to a restraining order issued in March by an ultra liberal judge in Dane County, where Madison is located.

Yet the Battle of Wisconsin's likely to look like a game of beanbag compared with what's coming nationally, as our nation's parlous fiscal condition forces as a desperate debate over the country's fundamental nature. Expect the Democrats to grab any tool in their kit and use it early and often against even common-sense Republican reform or pushback. And they call the Tea Party the radicals.

As Utah Senator Orrin Hatch noted, Democrats in Washington are already using their power ruthlessly, from last week's show-trial hearings with the oil executives to the National Labor Relations Board's diktat that Boeing can't create new jobs in Dreamliner production in right-to-work South Carolina, but only in unionized Washington state.

Hatch is right. And with the nation's future at stake, the GOP had better start acting accordingly.

Is it any wonder that routine violence by union thugs (by all labor unions but especially SEIU and AFL/CIO) goes unnoticed in Washington by the administration of the most union friendly President we have had in a century?  Remember the countless visits to the White House by high union officials like Andy Stern (more than any other single person during the first few months of Obama presidency)?  Where do you think the blessings to ignore local elections and commit dispicable acts like physical attacks and verbal threats come from? 

Unions have always supported only Democrats.  Now, with the presidency of the thug-in-chief from Chicago, they have a sympathetic ear and a collaborator in the White House.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Political Correctness Gone Awry

Although I normally could not care less about internal affairs of other countries, the news that John Demjanjuk was convicted in Germany of thousands of counts of acting as an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp made me take notice.

As we know, John Demjanjuk was deported from the U.S. two years ago for his involvement in WWII atrocities while serving as a guard at Sobibor.  Neither the court in the U.S. or the one in Germany conclusively found Demjanjuk to be involved in anything other than being a guard: no testimony of survivors that attested to any fact like him personally harming any of the prisoner.  This is a matter of fact - the only conjecture is that he actively participated in atrocities.  As the AP story also reiterates, "There was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a specific crime. The prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing".

I am not an anti-Jew person.  In fact, my sentiments on this blog are very clearly pro-Israel and I will defend Jewish rights as long as I live.  However, I find it to be a great injustice to convict a 91 year old frail man and sentencing him to 5 years prison (a death sentence at that age) based solely on his misfortune to be assigned to a concentration camp. 

There is a reason why we do not prosecute common soldiers (unless we can prove that they did something atrocious).  It is the commanding officers that order such atrocities.  Soldiers follow orders and have no choice or say in the matter.  Demjanjuk was never shown to be anything other than a guard and no one claimed successfully that he did anything wrong like torturing or personally killing prisoners.  That is exactly why the court decisions against Demjanjuk in the U.S. as well as Germany are obviously motivated by political correctness and should be condemned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Death of Decency - The Latest Blow

It is no surprise to those of us with a thread of decency left in us that this scandal ridden White House would further lower itself in to the depths of presidential indecency.  The shameful thug wannabe that we call our President has done everything possible under the sun from outright intimidating business leaders to union thug like tactics with other foes ranging from SCOTUS justices to members of congress.

The latest act in this drama is tonight's poetry reading in the WH with rapper Common among others.  Obama is no stranger to Common, who made multiple appearances for him while he was on the campaign trail in 2008. 

And, just who is this upright citizen...Common?  Though he may not be considered a gangsta rapper, his lyrics in the past have included burning George W. Bush, praise for convicted cop killer and former Black Panther Assata Shakur, and on one occasion apparently incited violence against a front row concert goer who gave him the finger after Common screamed fu@& Bush (the person in question had to be escorted out by police because his life was in danger)!

Is there any trace of decency in this man (Obama)?  Going by those who surround him (Rev. Wright, Tony Rezko, SEIU/ACORN/AFL/CIO thugs, Common like gangsta wannabes,.................), the answer is obviously no.  That is the lows White House has sunk to under this regime.

Short Takes on Week's Events So Far

Just a few thoughts.....

Welcome to the new era of Obamorality when it is okay to shoot an unarmed man in the head and send cruise missiles raining down on suspected terrorists, killing them and their families and other innocents around them, but it is too uncivilized and immoral to waterboard captured terorists under strict medical supervision (never mind the fact that the same practice provided the key piece of intelligence in 2006 that allowed the "unarmed man" to be found and shot)

As AP puts it, "Obama mocked Republicans on their position on immigration" (notice how the word illegal is left out on purpose to poison the mind of the readers!)  He said: "they won't be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border".  Another prime example of: a) his complete disregard to securing the border where the border patrol estimates nearly 2 million people crossed in to the U.S. illegally last year despite the shaky economy, and b) his continued unpresidential behavior in mocking, threatening, and bullying his ideological opponents.
(You know, the elections are a short 17 months away and SEIU, revamped ACORN, and his other shock troops  need more illegal's to vote to keep him in power)

Finally, FEMA, which was much maligned by the press and the left under Bush Administration for bungling the aftermath of hurricane Katrina is apparently still incompetent.  They have admitted to paying out more than $28 million by mistake and now is asking for the money back from homeowners.  Now, there is good government work in action - can't wait till they get their hands on healthcare!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orwellian Doublethink and Controlled Insanity

By: Ronald R. Cherry, MD

In order to control millions of people totalitarian governments find it necessary to somehow prod their subjects into accepting that which is not true. Intelligent people will naturally see the truth and thereby comprehend when government lies to them — and so that's the rub — how does totalitarian government deal with intelligent people when they must be lied to? George Orwell provides the answer — intelligent people must be conditioned to reject self-evident truth — to reject the sanity of common sense — to accept the insanity of Orwellian Doublethink — to accept the lie and the truth in their minds simultaneously — "with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."

How do Dictatorships lie to intelligent people and get away with it? In the early stages of totalitarianism the use of Orwellian Newspeak is preferred to blatant in-your-face lies because Newspeak is the clever manipulation of words which mean one thing to the speaker and it's opposite to the listener — Newspeak lies thereby tend to confuse or escape the notice of unsuspecting people. For example, government which confiscates middle class property through excessive taxation, while lining their own pockets and redistributing the stolen property to a lazy so-called proletariat class in return for votes, is government deemed to be a provider of "Equity" and "Social Justice." Never mind that equal property outcome destroys the work ethic of both the middle class and the proletariat class leading to economic collapse, and never mind that equal property outcome is a big Orwellian lie because, like the Pigs of Animal Farm, the elite government class empowered to take property ends up with the lion's share of property. Greed and theft by the people who administer totalitarian government cannot be publically identified as greed and theft, so the injustice is called "Social Justice" — Orwellian Newspeak for government greed and theft. Another example are the Newspeak words "Affirmative Action" — words used to describe the destruction of a student's right to gain graduate school admission based on an out-of-favor ethnic group or skin color — rather than admission based purely on academic achievement and studious preparation. We also have the phrase "Living Constitution" — Orwellian Newspeak for Dead Constitution. The "Living Constitution" is law which is not derived from We the People, law not derived from the majority, but law arbitrarily derived from a small minority. The "Living Constitution" does not take its breath of life from the amendment process (the real life and breath of our Constitution) but from the minds of an effete class of "Philosopher Kings."

Newspeak government lies are cleverly disguised in rhetoric — lies which can be received and accepted by otherwise intelligent people via the insanity of Orwellian Doublethink — simultaneous mental acceptance of both the lie and the truth. Taken together, Newspeak lies of totalitarian government and Doublethink insanity on the part of their subjects, rejection of truth within human minds can occur on a colossal scale. Insanity (or psychosis) is the mental state where reality (the truth) cannot be separated from falsehood (the lie). Since totalitarian governments lie to their intelligent subjects using Newspeak, and since such government requires them to accept the lie and the truth simultaneously via Doublethink (with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth); totalitarian government is in the business of "Controlled Insanity."

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously [the lie and the truth], and accepting both of them [Insanity]... with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth... Those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is; in general the greater the understanding the greater the delusion; the more intelligent the less sane... If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality... If human equality is to be forever averted; if the "high," as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently; then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity..." George Orwell — 1984

The Lies of totalitarian government must also be accepted by the less intelligent — no problem. George Orwell realized this was a much simpler problem to solve. This segment of society can be made to accept "the most flagrant violations of reality" without too much trouble — just expose them to 8-12 years of foolishness in government schools — and simply lie to them — even flagrantly — through the American out-of-mainstream mass media — the American version of Soviet Pravda and Izvestia. Since the out-of-MSM passes along government Newspeak lies without question, the lies of totalitarian government can be taken in and digested by dumbed-down gullible fools. Doublethink insanity is a requirement for the intelligent while the sanity of stupidity is needed for the rest.

"Crimestop...includes the power of not grasping analogies; of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [Socialist Principles of Oceania], and of being bored or rebelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop in short means protective stupidity... The world view of the Party imposed its self most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm because it left no residue behind; just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird... In the long run a hierarchical society was only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." George Orwell — 1984

Totalitarian government can only exist through their clever or blatant use of lies which must be accepted through the controlled insanity of Orwellian Doublethink or the controlled sanity of Crimestop Stupidity. Orwell's 1984 character, Julia, an enemy of Big Brother's Totalitarian government, "did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truth;" where "the heresy of heresies was common sense." One way free people can remain free is to think — to recognize and accept self-evident truth — to reject the labyrinthine world of Orwellian Doublethink — to reject the depraved world of Orwellian Crimestop — to exercise the sanity of common sense. Common sense means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously (the truth and the lie), and accepting only the truth... with the truth always one leap ahead of the lie.

55% of Americans Prove Failure of the Schools

Originally posted on American Thinker
May 9, 2011

Last Friday, a new CNN survey showed that 80% of Americans believe the economy is in poor shape.  Who could argue with them?  With unemployment ticking back up to 9%, home values still sliding, surging gas prices, lackluster confidence on the part of consumers as well as business leaders, and an apparently out-of-control national debt with no visible signs of solutions that are agreeable to both sides, we seem to be stuck in doldrums for the long run.

Here is the shocker in the same survey:  55% of Americans blame former President Bush and the Republicans for the mess we are in! 

For better part of three years, Democrats (with the help of the ever-willing media) have stayed on the message that this is a mess they inherited and it is apparently paying off.  Never mind that they controlled all branches of the government for the past two and a half years and the congress for five!  Never mind the fact that real estate bust which caused the crisis is a product of not only overzealous Fed meddling in the economy but decade long stiff congressional Democrat opposition to answer the alarm bells rung by Bush, Treasury Secretary Snow, Senator McCain, and others primarily on the Republican side!  Never mind the fact that what exacerbates the crisis is trillion plus dollar annual deficits thanks to Democrat spending (yes, Bush spent too much also but his deficits averaged a little over $200 billion per year over his eight years - with the lionshare attributable to his last two years when Democrats controlled the congress and economy went in to recession affecting the revenues)!  Never mind the fact that corporations of all sizes are making big profits but no one is willing to invest - as business confidence surveys and interviews with CEOs indicate because of fiscal uncertainties, ill-advised anti-business laws under the guise of financial and healthcare reforms, and a nightmarish regulatory environment under a Democrat rule that has added more job killing regulations over the past two and a half years than any other previous Administation!

So, what are we to take away from this survey?  Democrats and their allies in the complicit media and academia have succeeded in dumbing down the public in general so that they are brain-washed by empty rhetoric.  When public schools purposefully abdicate their responsibility to properly educate the students under their charge, outcome is predictable.

Under classic education, there are three phases to the development of any individual: the learning phase, the logic phase, and the rhetoric phase.

The first phase takes place in elementary level where students are taught to simply take in (learn) facts. Public schools do a pretty good job with this phase - except it is not necessarily facts but politically correct made-up facts that they teach young students who do not know any better!  We have early to mid 20th century cultural Marxism that has thoroughly infiltrated our schools via the Marxist symphatizing teacher unions to thank for that.

That is where the educational process pretty much ends for most public school students who do not either excel by their own motivations or actively interested parents.  The logic phase when students are supposed to be taught critical thinking skills and to question facts before accepting them as truths, and the rhetoric phase when they are supposed to learn to polish their arguments do not get the attention they are supposed to. 
This academic unpreparedness is then carried on to the college level where further indoctrination takes place.  The reason is as simple as recognizing the dynamics involved in being indoctrinated by Marxist ideology.  Critical thought process is the natural enemy of any system based on collectivism.

Is it any wonder when you consider that old dogs have been up to new tricks for better part of a century?  Likes of Gramsci, Cloward, Piven, and Alinsky figured out decades ago that their Marxist ideals could only be realized by the educational process over a long period rather than at the point of a bayonet.  It is the the ones on the side of free minds and free societies that have been asleep at the switch.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Deconstruction of Four Questions of Passover: Part IV - A Perspective on Slavery and Racism

A Perspective on Slavery and Racism

A foreword: This section is not a justification for slavery but rather an attempt to put it in appropriate perspective and demolish some myths at the same time. I will discuss a brief history of slavery; then briefly explain the reasons for - and attempt to dispel - the myth that Founding Fathers were racists.

Slavery and the Americas:

Slavery is an institution that is as old as recorded human history. It was introduced to the region, and later to the colonies by the British (originating with the Spaniards and the Portuguese who were introduced to it by Arabs and African slave masters) during the two centuries preceding the independence mainly for purposes of tobacco (and later sugar cane and rice) cultivation. In the 18th century British merchant ships were the largest element in the "Middle Passage" which transported millions of slaves to the Western Hemisphere. Most wound up in the Caribbean (others in Brazil and rest of S. America), where the Empire had highly profitable sugar colonies, and the living conditions were bad for which African slaves were (physically) ideally suited.

A great reference source, as I discovered in my research for this paper, is a book by Kenneth Morgan titled “Slavery and the British Empire”. In the book, Morgan writes about how deeply embedded slavery was in British domestic and imperial history - and just how long it took for British involvement in slavery to die, even after emancipation. Slave trade itself was abolished in the empire through the Slave Trade Act of 1807 (long after the Revolutionary war) but not slavery itself (which was supposedly abolished in a court case – Somersett’s case – in 1772 but remained legal in most of the Empire until Slave Abolition Act of 1833)

Many attempted to theoretically justify slavery including Thomas Dew (Review of the Debate, 1832), George Fitzhugh, John Calhoun, and James Hammond.

In holding with its acceptance in the British Caribbean, the British settlers in Jamestown did not object to slavery as an institution. After all, labor was in short supply and the settlers came from the same culture that had embraced the practice of slavery. The practice was, in fact encouraged by the Colonial masters who had first hand experience with the profitability of the institution.

Throughout early American history, slavery remained primarily a southern practice where traditional Christian values were not particularly strong.

Founding Fathers and Racism Accusations:

Contextually, the Founding Documents, as written, are the biggest obstacle to progressive goals of achieving social justice and economic equality through collectivism (government policies). Progressives, to lay the groundwork for their attack on our Constitution, must demean and criticize its authors. The framers' views about natural law must be trivialized or they must be seen as racists (as you seem to think also). After all, Alinsky (the darling of the left) tactics demand no less from its disciples: Attack, slander, demean, and ridicule.

Founding fathers, in a feeble attempt to weaken their image, have also been claimed by some to be atheists. Even this is clear slander as many were Christians while others were simply deists with deeply spiritual beliefs as the founding documents make abundantly clear. Once again, such slander – though personally meaningless to me – is used to weaken the foundational principles of our Constitution through weakening the Founders’ image.

Well, those accusations are not accurate as I will attempt to demonstrate at two different levels: factual and philosophical.

First, we must be aware of the prevailing norms of the era. No one can reasonably expect, thus judge, norms of 200+ years ago by the standards of today. Doing so would be the height of intellectual dishonesty. For all we know, the mores of 50 years from now might openly accept those who practice pedophilia. Does that make those of us who abhor the practice somehow less noble today than we would be considered in the future? The moral: No one should look back at history through the prism of today's morality. Change comes slow regardless of the era as evidenced by the length of time it took for modern day acceptance of bi-sexuality.

So, how do we know that slavery was not a factor in shaping any of our Founding Documents (especially since neither the Articles of Confederation nor the Constitution called for an end to slavery)? Well, that is why I asked if you were familiar with them (especially the Federalist Papers, for clarification purposes) and U.S. history. It is all there, in plain words, for those who are willing to view events from the perspective of the era and truly understand them.

The prevailing mores of the era would not have tolerated any modern day view of individual right to be free for all. The founding fathers were well aware of this and had to work around it while encouraging movement towards modern day views. In fact, one of the reasons given by Thomas Jefferson for the separation from Great Britain was a desire to rid America of the evil of slavery imposed on them by the British. Benjamin Franklin also explained that this separation from Britain was necessary since every attempt among the Colonies to end slavery had been thwarted or reversed by the British Crown.

To set the record straight, not all founding fathers (a total of 204) owned slaves (only about a third did); in fact half of the key ones (excluding the other signers of the Declaration) did not own or condone slavery. Of the ten key (those with the most influence) founding fathers (Franklin – till 1781, Washington, J. Adams, S. Adams, Jefferson, Jay, Henry, Madison, Paine, and Hamilton), only Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Henry, and Madison owned slaves. Of those, Washington (who was known to be very charitable towards his slaves, thus the reason for the popularity of his name among blacks for generations) and Franklin emancipated theirs. Franklin went as far as co-founding the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society/Abolitionist Society.

Of the rest of the Founders, many including Richard Bassett, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift were also prominent members of various abolitionist societies. In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804. Furthermore, the reason that the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a federal act authored by Rufus King (signer of the Constitution) and signed into law by President George Washington which prohibited slavery in those territories.

Next, you have to examine the political ramifications of taking stronger action towards abolishing slavery during that time. The primary purpose was obviously for the states to gain their independence from the British Empire. Although many of the founding fathers (including Washington and Franklin) wrote about their distaste for slavery, the southern states (yes, the Democrat ones for those who keep on ignoring the fact that Democrat states were the ones – all the way through the 1960s – advocating at first for slavery, and later for segregation) made it quite clear that they would side with the British, let alone ratify the Constitution, if it called for an outright end to slavery. The eventual compromise reached would allow for slavery to die naturally within a 20-year period. Nevertheless, the contradictions between the viewpoints were never resolved and eventually led to the Civil War.

To those with anti-slavery sentiments, Union was more important than ending slavery, which they believed was declining anyway (which it was - until the cotton gin’s emergence in 1789-1790). Putting slavery before independence would have made no sense since the British encouraged the practice for their own reasons – more prosperous colonies meant more revenues to the Crown. In other words, independence had to be gained first, thus the larger goal of securing it subjugated the issue of slavery.

Anti-Slavery Quotes by Founding Fathers:

The anti-slavery sentiments of the founding fathers are also well documented in their writings. Here are some examples:

“I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it (slavery).”                                                                
- George Washington

“My opinion against it [slavery] has always been known… Never in my life did I own a slave.”      
- John Adams

“Why keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil.”
 - Charles Carroll

“As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they …curse not the inhabitants of those regions and of the United States in general, with a permission to introduce bondage (slavery).”
 - John Dickinson

“Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts… by agreeing to this duty.”
 - Richard Henry Lee

“It ought to be considered that national crimes can only be and frequently are punished in this world by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master.”
 - Luther Martin

“Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity… It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men.”
 - Benjamin Rush

“Slavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common law… The reasons which we sometimes see assigned for the origin and the continuance of slavery appear, when examined to the bottom, to be built upon a false foundation. In the enjoyment of their persons and of their property, the common law protects all.”
 - James Wilson

“It is certainly unlawful to make inroads upon others… and take away their liberty by no better right than superior force.”
 - John Witherspoon

John Jay, one of the authors of The Federalist wrote in 1786, "It is much to be wished that slavery may be abolished. The honor of the States, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused."

Oliver Ellsworth, one of the signers of the Constitution wrote, a few months after the Convention adjourned, "All good men wish the entire abolition of slavery, as soon as it can take place with safety to the public, and for the lasting good of the present wretched race of slaves."

Patrick Henry, the great Virginian patriot, refused to attend the Convention because he "smelt a rat," was outspoken on the issue, despite his citizenship in a slave state. In 1773, he wrote, "I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery."

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, which, famously, declares that "all men are created equal," wrote, "There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other.” Jefferson thus acknowledged that slavery violated the natural rights of the enslaved.


More generally, founders, with the exception of those from South Carolina and Georgia, exhibited considerable aversion to slavery during the era of the Articles of Confederation (1781–89) by prohibiting the importation of foreign slaves to individual states and lending their support to a proposal by Jefferson to ban slavery in the Northwest Territory.

Despite initial disagreements over slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Founders once again demonstrated their commitment to maintaining the unity of the new United States by resolving to diffuse sectional tensions over slavery. To this end the Founders drafted a series of constitutional clauses acknowledging deep-seated regional differences over slavery while requiring all sections of the new country to make compromises as well (Article 1, Section 9 where a 20 year limit was set for the continuation of importation of slaves; the three fifths compromise in counting slaves in the Enumeration Clause – which by the way was not a measurement of human worth but rather an anti-slavery provision to reduce the number of slavery proponents in the Congress; as well as using the same ratio in taxing the slave holding states).

When the last remaining Founders died in the 1830s, they left behind an ambiguous legacy with regard to slavery. They had succeeded in gradually abolishing slavery in the Northern states and Northwestern territories but permitted its rapid expansion in the South and Southwest. Although they eventually enacted a federal ban on the importation of foreign slaves in 1808, the enslaved population continued to expand through natural reproduction.

Finally, I would like to point out the instances of anti-slavery sentiment expressed in the Federalist Papers (referring to #s 14, 16, 41, 48, 54, 72, 75 at a bare minimum that I could find). I shall refrain from quoting from them here but I encourage you to look them up.

In totality, considering the pointlessness of holding the Founders responsible for the mores of their era, the history of slavery, recorded evidence of distaste of the institution by clear majority of them (including the slave holding ones like Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin), and both repentance in words as well as in deeds, one cannot make a credible argument that the founding fathers were a bunch of racists as progressives put it. Yes there was pro-slavery sentiment on the part of a minority of Founders but, in the absence of any influence on the documents themselves, that is not a reason to condemn in any way the legitimacy of the group as a whole or the fruit of their efforts.

On a philosophical/logical level, the reason that, by the measure of their era, they were not racists is also compelling.

Let’s examine the key parts of the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

In the face of these words, one side might say “but the slaves were not considered men” while the other side takes the meaning literally as we understand it. Which is right?

We already know the sentiments of great majority of the Founders from the previous section. The Declaration would logically have to apply to all men – including the slaves. If not, why all the anti-slavery sentiments and deeds by slave holders and non-holders alike? In fact, many scholars have made the connection of abolishing this practice to morality and even Christianity.

By the same token, one would have to condemn Christianity if the Founders are to be condemned despite their sentiments. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, slavery is anti-human and such, naturally, was shunned by the Founders who were deeply spiritual (in very few instances not as fervent Christians as others) men for the overwhelming part. The slave holding minority’s earlier actions, as reprehensible as they are by modern standards, were the product of the norms then. Overcoming this abhorrent institution naturally would have taken time and courage as they displayed later during the founding.

I shall sum this section up by pointing to the Founders deeply held moral and religious values in general, recorded events of the era, and the Founders’ own words to make my case against outright accusations of racism that are circumstantial in nature at best.

Deconstruction Of Four Questions Of Passover: Part III - Founding Principles and American Exceptionalism

A Nation Founded on Universal Principles:

The American Founders appealed to self-evident truths, stemming from "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," to justify their liberty. This is a universal and permanent standard that cannot be undone by man (except under tyrannical conditions). These truths are not unique to America but apply to all men and women everywhere. They are as true today as they were during the founding, and will forever be.

Based on the founding principle of equality, the American Founders asserted that men could govern themselves according to common beliefs and the rule of law. Throughout history, political power was often held by the strongest. But if all are equal and have the same rights, then no one is fit by nature to rule or to be ruled.

As Thomas Jefferson put it, "The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God." The only source of the legitimate powers of government is the consent of the governed. This is the cornerstone principle of American government, society, and independence.

These core principles also inescapably mean that everyone has the right to the fruits of their own labor. The fundamental rights to acquire, possess, and sell property is the backbone of opportunity and the most practical means to pursue human happiness. This right, along with the free enterprise system that stems from it, is the source of prosperity and the foundation of economic liberty.

Because people have rights, government has only the powers that the sovereign people have delegated to it. These powers are specified by a fundamental law called a constitution. Under the rule of law, all are protected by generally agreed-upon laws that apply equally to everyone.

The ultimate purpose of securing these rights and of limiting government is to protect human freedom. That freedom allows the institutions of civil society—family, school, church, and private associations—to thrive, forming the habits and virtues required for liberty.

Liberty does not belong only to the United States. The Declaration of Independence holds that all men everywhere are endowed with a right to liberty. That liberty is a permanent aspect of human nature everywhere is central to understanding America's first principles. Here is a brief discussion of these principles:

The Rule of Law
First Principle that mandates that the law governs everyone equally

The Founding Fathers believed that the rule of law is a fundamental First Principle of a free and just government. John Adams explained the Founders’ understanding when he wrote that good government and the very definition of a republic “is an empire of laws.”

Theoretically, in America, the government governs the citizenry according to the law, not by the whims or fancies of our leaders. By requiring our leaders to enact and publish the law, and to adhere to the same law that applies to each citizen, the rule of law acts as a potent barrier against tyrannical and arbitrary government. Notice that I inserted the word “theoretically” because leaders and courts have increasingly violated this sacred creed over the past century, thus weakening the pureness of our governmental system.

Founding Father Samuel Adams observed that the rule of law means that “There shall be one rule of Justice for the rich and the poor; for the favorite in Court, and the Countryman at the Plough.”

By requiring both the government and the people to adhere to the law, the rule of law serves as a key foundational First Principle for protecting our liberty.

Unalienable Rights
Recognizing that everyone is naturally endowed by their Creator with certain rights that cannot be infringed or given away
The Declaration of Independence proclaims as a self-evident truth the First Principle that “all men are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Thomas Jefferson explained the essence of the Founding Fathers’ understanding regarding the First Principle of unalienable rights when he wrote that“a free people claims their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as a gift from their chief magistrate.” A basic maxim of American government is the recognition that some rights derived from Nature may not be taken or violated by the government.

The recognition and protection of unalienable rights is perhaps the centerpiece of America’s First Principles.

Recognizing that all persons are created equal
Equality is a First Principle of America’s free and just government. As explained in the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers believed that “all men are created equal.”

The Founding Founders embraced the Judeo-Christian understanding that the Creator created all individuals, that each person arises from His handiwork, and that every person embodies His blessing. Regardless of physical, mental, and social differences between individuals, each individual is equally precious in His eyes.

While this First Principle originally arose from a belief in the nature of the Creator, the laws of nature lead to the same conclusion. To compete in a state of nature, each person possesses the same opportunity – the same right embedded in his or her very nature – to maintain his or her survival and to pursue happiness.

By embracing the First Principle of equality, America rejected the deliberately inequitable regimes dominating the globe in their time. Inequality codified in the law was a cornerstone of government throughout world history. Hereditary nobility and other special classes were almost universally granted special privileges unknown to the common person.

From its very founding, however, America aspired to embody the First Principle that all men are created equal. The First Principle of equality sparked abolitionism, women’s suffrage, and the great civil rights movements. Combined with the rule of law, this First Principle requires that each person be treated equally under the law, and that the equal protection of the laws be afforded to all.

The Social Compact
Social Compact recognizes that governments are instituted by the people and derive their just powers from the consent of the governed
The Declaration of Independence recognizes as a self-evident truth that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . .” There are two aspects to this First Principle of the Social Compact. First, that legitimate governments are instituted among the people; second, that the just powers of the government are derived from the consent of the people. The Founding Fathers derived much of their understanding of this First Principle from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and other like-minded philosophers.

The Founding Fathers believed that because conflict is inevitable in a state of nature, individuals united in civil societies and established government to secure the peace. James Madison reflected that “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” But men are not angels, Alexander Hamilton noted, and government becomes necessary to restrain “the passions of men.” Thus, paradoxically, legal restraints are necessary to preserve liberty. The alternative is vigilantism – which Hobbes aptly termed a “war of every one against every one.”

The second aspect of the Social Compact is that the people must consent to give the government its authority. Robert Bates, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, explained that “In every free government, the people must give their assent to the laws by which they are governed. This is the true criterion between a free government and an arbitrary one.”

The Limited Government
Protection of unalienable rights is the legitimate purpose and limit of government requires the government to be strong enough to fulfill its purpose yet limited to that purpose
Rejecting the belief that governments possess unlimited power, America was founded on the First Principle that the protection of unalienable rights is the legitimate purpose and limit of government (referred to limited government). The Declaration of Independence recognized this as a First Principle when it explained that “to secure these rights . . . governments are instituted among men. . . .”

Founding Father Thomas Paine expressed the American sentiment when he wrote that “Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, not to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.” Thomas Jefferson explained, “our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them.”

Because individuals relinquished some of their rights solely to secure their life, liberty and property, John Locke wrote, the government “can have no other end or measure when in the hands of the magistrates but to preserve the members of that society in their lives, liberties, and possessions; and so cannot be an absolute, arbitrary power over their lives and fortunes which are so much as possible to be preserved. . . .”

Thus, directly opposed to the proposition that the government is all powerful, because we have consented to the government to protect our unalienable rights, the government only has the power it needs to perform that function and auxiliary supports thereof – nothing more.

From its founding, America embraced as a First Principle that the purpose and limit of the government is protecting the unalienable rights of its citizens.


Thus is the flawless and inarguable logic of our Founding Principles.

A Foundational Consequence: American Exceptionalism:

First, an explanation before I expound on this section: Believing in American Exceptionalism does not simply mean everyone else is second class citizens of the world. American Exceptionalism is the idea that the “United States and the American people hold a special place in the world, by offering opportunity and hope for humanity, derived from its unique balance of public and private interests governed by constitutional ideals that are focused on personal and economic freedom”. I like to call it a quality that directly and indirectly enhances the human condition all around the world – not inhibit it.

Although the current President would take an issue, we have proven our Exceptionalism continuously for over two centuries by defending liberty with our own blood and treasure all around the globe; opening up our shores to the downtrodden and the oppressed; and as a byproduct by our innovative and productive leadership and our charity in general.

What makes us unique as a nation? Are we geographically blessed more than anyone else? Have we had thousands of years of shared history or common religion as people to build our nation on? Are we a homogenous people who might be somehow superior to others? The answers are obviously NO!

More fundamentally, what makes us unique is our exceptionalism emanating from having broken away from European feudalism and forming a nation, based on a collection of founding documents that were inspired by natural law (as historically ascribed by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and others) that placed utmost importance on the concept of civil society.

As the English writer G. K. Chesterton observed, "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed." That creed is set forth most clearly in the Declaration of Independence, by which the American colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. The Declaration is a timeless statement of inherent god given rights, the proper purposes of government, and the limits on political authority.

Just think for a moment. This collection of men, who based on the norms of their era could have created any type of government and given themselves any amount of power, chose to create a republic that would be effectively governed by people, with limited, enumerated powers reserved for the government. An amazingly enlightened course of action as likes of Chesterton would extensively write about. Perhaps the best summation, still, is as Alexis deTocqueville observed: “America is exceptional because of our uniquely American ideology based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire – all working in harmony.”

In sum, America is an exceptional nation, but not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truths that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Detroit: Future of America Under Unchecked Progressivism

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and other entities like ALEC come up with periodic rankings of each state by various economic performance measures.  The conclusions are inescapably similar: economic as well as demographic past track record as well as forecasts are dominated by more conservative red states at the top and progressive blue states at the bottom in performance (see ALEC report).

The business and population exodus out of these progressive states - most prominently California, Illinois, and New York - where largely unfunded pension funds and run away deficits threaten to bankrupt them, have one common thread: decades of continuous, unchecked progressive administrations.  And now, this.....

As CBS Detroit affiliate WWJ reports, nearly half the residents of Detroit and over a third of its relatively more affluent suburbs are functionally illiterate.  But wait, it gets worse: half of those who are functionally illiterate have a high school diploma!  Don't ask the teacher unions why..........

Yes, this is the same union run city where thousands joyfully lined up in street to get their "Obama cash"; a natural extension of the legions across the country whose blissful ignorance of the most basic truths was demonstrated by likes of those hoping for a change that included having their mortgages paid by the government. 

Take a good look at Detroit - for that matter Cleveland, Akron, or any other progressive dominated, formerly industrial, city - ...they are the consequences of unchecked progressive policies pushed by labor unions, the academia, and corrupt political operatives.  If the Obama Administration succeed in their policy goals, you do not have to look any further to see the future of America.