Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
Evangelical Atheists love to remind Christians that Christmas is (insert smug, condescending tone here) actually a pagan holiday, and Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25th. Yes, dear Capital A Atheists, we know. We are not revering a day on the calendar. We just use that day on the calendar to honor Someone who is a daily part of our lives. But I’m not just looking at you, Militant Atheists, as the gleeful spoilers of all the Christmas fun. I had a fundamentalist Christian refuse to return my “Merry Christmas!” for the same reason. Instead, she was so bitter, nasty, and hateful to me that I dearly hope she never tells anyone else she’s a believer. No one would want to be a part of what she’s involved in. And before you go and tell me not all Atheists and Christians are like that, believe me, I know. Some of my favorite people on the planet are atheists or of other faiths, and they endure and return my Christmas cheer. They are secure enough in their belief that mine doesn’t threaten them, and vice versa. It’s lovely. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be that way?
What we focus on is what we see in the world. We can choose to focus on the ugliness of the Christmas season. The mobs on Black Friday, the phone scams, the guys asking for change on the street corner who have their brand new Highlander parked a couple of blocks away, even the cranky Atheists and crazy Christians who are so intent on being right that they neglect to be kind. Certainly, if we want to find reasons to dislike our fellow man this Christmas, we can find plenty.
Instead, what if we focused on the good? What if we looked for the love in the season? I want to focus on the generous heart of every person I see putting change in the Salvation Army bucket. I choose to see parents giving up new glasses again this year, so their kids can have the toys they’ve been craving. I choose to see friends and family gathering around festive tables, overeating and enjoying each other. I choose to see precious babies on the laps of mall santas everywhere, joy and wonder evident on their faces. In all those mall shoppers which make it impossible to get anywhere quickly and who take up all the room in front of the rack I need to get to, I choose to see a loving mom/wife/sister/friend, who just wants the gift she picks out to be perfect.
In focusing on the good, I am not changing the world. The good and the bad will happen, even if I stick my head under the covers and don’t come out until February. The focus changes ME, not the world around me. This is not a new concept, but it’s one that’s easy to lose sight of.
The quote by Hamilton Wright Mabie sums it up for me. No matter what our belief system is, no matter our opinion about the rightness or the wrongness or the commercialization of the season, if we look for the love, we just might wind up having a Merry Christmas after all.
In this series of posts I intend to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the Progressive Left in America today is using and manipulating the Middle Class of America to destroy the Middle Class of America. The complex and comprehensive nature of this covert war, as I am calling it, is going to take much more than one blog post, so a series it is.
The Progressive Left has made an art form out of portraying itself as the champions of the middle class, but as art imitates life, the Progressive images splashed on the canvass for public consumption are nothing but pleasant depictions of fanciful imagining. While electioneering or selling a new public program or making some legislative play for reform of one flavor or another, the left grabs the banner of the middle class and waves it vigorously before the cameras as the trumpets blow, “those struggling to get by,” and “conversations are being had at dinner tables across America,” and “Average folk! Your neighbors, your co-workers, your families!” Rote phrases and slogans delivered from the podium with the passion and sincerity of a Pentecostal tent preacher preaching salvation on a July afternoon. Here in Minnesota, the Democratic Party has gone so far as to name themselves as not just the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Farmer and Labor Party. How much more down home and salt of the Earth can you get than that?
The love of the American Middle Class is nothing but a rouse, an act; a willful and malice based act intended to connive and deceive as part of a covert war on the American Middle Class and everything that it is, everything that it stands for, and everything that it represents. This may sound outlandish and a bit over the top, but one really need look no further than the contemptuous portrayal of Suburbia by the contemporary Progressive Leftist. Who better exemplifies the Middle Class than Suburban America – The home owning nuclear family that is living the middle most of average American Dreams somewhere in flyover country? You, my friends, are the mortal enemy and root of all ills in the mind’s eye of the Progressive Left. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning to the time you drift off to sleep at night and every solitary act you engage in over the course of the day is a savage crime against the good of the planet and it’s delicate balance. From the house that you own and the square feet that it contains and the size of the lot that it sits on, the car that you drive and the number that you own, the number of children that you have, where you send them to school, how you eat and what you eat, how you heat and cool your home, what you do in your free time, your faith, the company that you work for as well as the company you keep or don’t keep, where you shop and how you shop, where and how you vacation, all of it. All of it is a wasteful, greedy, dirty, despicable, short sighted and downright ignorant impediment to the next great cultural awakening that is just around the corner if you Neanderthals would just let go of this silly, antiquated notion that you are just living your lives.
It is easy and evident to say that the Secular Progressive Movement has taken aim and has waged an overt war on traditionalism and traditional institutions. The Church, charitable organizations, the perception and place of the nuclear family in the cultural fabric of the Nation, educational institutions and educational standards, economic and financial models and practices, the list goes on and on. There is no doubt that traditionalism is under assault. As importantly though, as a matter of tactics, there is a covert war being waged on the practitioners of traditionalism and the fundamental being of the average Middle Class American, a propaganda war. A war on the practices of the individual, the average American and his family and how they go about their day…and it is deeply personal.
There are numerous terms that can be used to describe the hive-mind that the American left exhibits; Statists, Globalists, Socialists, Communists, Collectivists. Most if not all proponents espousing a grand vision of Utopian harmony through collective action and being through public programs, public education, public housing, public transportation. Better living through community action, community gardens, community resources, communal responsibility. Open source for the common good in search of shared solutions to collective problems on a universal scale because…well…you know…it’s good for everybody. The search for self has been found in becoming one with the all.
“I” has become a four-letter word, never to be uttered in enlightened company. The word “self” is to be scorned unless the qualifiers of centered, absorbed, interested or other suffixes that cast the appropriate taint of derision accompany it. To bring the grand vision of unified glory to fruition any reference to, or pride in, the abilities or accomplishments of the individual must be castigated, mocked or viewed through the coke bottle glasses of parsimonious dismissiveness. “You didn’t build that,” the statement that will live in infamy, was not a creation of the current occupant of the Oval Office, merely a rhetorical reinforcement of a collectivist mantra that has been rattling around the halls of institutions of enlightened social engineering for decades.
Collectivism relies on the destruction of individuals and the ethos of individualism, and the perception of the individualist by the culture at large, to survive. The “lone wolf,” the “cowboy,” the “loner,” have all been perceptively transformed in the pop culture from the hero or romantic of old; The John Wayne’s, the James Dean’s, the Hemingway’s, the rugged individuals that owned their surroundings and took charge in moments of crisis. The “Lone Wolf,” is now a domestic terrorist. The “cowboy,” was a favorite term of mockery for George Bush during his presidency and is seen as the guy with the ego complex at the workplace that tends to go off half-cocked and is impossible to work with. The “loner,” is a school shooter. The Individual acting on his own has become an agent of destruction and chaos. In the case of the Labor Movement, the individual is incapable of improving his lot in life and must rely on the “fellow worker” to advance his station – solidarity is the one and only road to liberation. To resist or deny absorption into the Union results in assault, verbal and physical – they will beat you into recognition and assimilation into the collective. There is only safety in becoming one of and with the numerous.
This mindset, this philosophy, this practice of Collectivism is a destructive force. It must destroy to thrive. It has no choice. It must drain the desire to strive – to strive for something greater suggests that the collective is flawed, something to be escaped from. It must destroy the hero – the hero has a face, the hero has engaged in rogue behavior that elevates his status above the faceless in the mass. It must diminish the inventive – the inventive individual did not seek out the appropriate and proper approval and guidance of the collective and it’s agreed upon goals, he went “off the Reservation,” and must be eliminated. The individual must not be allowed to over perform – that incites envy in the hive, an emotion like envy is a virus to the hive. The hive didn’t ASK to get sick! That damned pathogen of performance MADE it sick! Quarantine it before it spreads!
Collectivism is a deceptive, soul sucking, achievement crushing, contempt addled, and covetous bland mass of forced mediocrity that has over the course of decades diminished the abilities and lowered the expectations of a people and culture that is The United States. A Nation, a culture, and a people that rose to power, prominence and dominance on the World Stage by embracing and rewarding the achievements and contributions of the Individuals that stuck their necks out to create something larger than themselves for themselves and their progeny. From the economy to inventiveness, education to the social contract, our downward spiral as a Nation is directly correlated to the embrace of Collectivism and it’s bitter distain for the achievements and will of the Individual.
I honestly can’t understand why anyone would want to degrade themselves and their surroundings by jumping onto the Collectivist train.
We’re not just all politics all the time here at Liberty’s Torch. Welcome to the first in a new flavor of posts that dive head first into the waters of how-to, preparedness, do-it-yourself projects and hands-on problem solving. While these posts are not “political” in and of themselves, I do find that my politics drives how I go about approaching the world in my day to day activities as a Conservative Libertarian. From where I sit, the DIY ethos, the ability to build things, making something from nothing and/or making the most from limited resources are essential aspects of a comprehensive Conservative lifestyle. Knowing how to build, how to cook, how to camp, how to create…yes, I did build that, and so can you. Here’s how…
Submental. A word that seems to mean one thing, but by means of some linguistic gymnastics, is bent to mean something else. It would imply something below the level of proper mentation, but it doesn’t. Just like the meaning of the word “settled” seems to mean something special to statists in regards to the law.
“And also, let’s again have a little perspective. Was any program ever, ever sabotaged to the degree this one has been? I mean, it’s been three years. It’s not a bill. It’s a law. I know that tea people think they know the Constitution — I don’t think they’ve even read it. A bill becomes a law, once it does, you don’t argue about it…I don’t care what your opinion on the health care law is now, it’s the law — you’re supposed to help it along.” — Bill Maher, “Piers Morgan Live”, CNN, Tuesday October 29, 2013
Hey, Bill…I have a question for you. Have you driven on a road in the past decade or so that had a speed limit of, say, 65 mph? It’s hard to drive any significant distance without finding one; most Interstates and other major highways have raised their limits to somewhere around there. You’re old enough, Bill, to remember the late 70’s, just after something called the “National Maximum Speed Law” was passed, in the throes of the “Energy Crisis”. It was part of the “Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act”, which limited maximum speed on ANY road in the US to 55 mph.
In 1995, guess what happened, Bill. That law was repealed. That’s right, it was repealed. As in eradicated, removed, cancelled. Congress voted to negate it. “What,” you say, “A Federal Law was cancelled?” You recoil in disgust, your emotions an agonized, confused whirl. “But when a bill becomes a law, once it does, you don’t argue about it! It’s supposed to never go away!”
It did, Bill. History is full of such laws that have been passed, lasted a while, then were…brace yourself…repealed. I’m sorry to have to shock you like that, Bill, I know that word hurts to hear, but you have to face it someday. Laws like the Alaska Native Allotment Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Dawes Act, and even the…I’m sorry, this is brutal for you and I realize that, but be brave…the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917. Now that’s submental, isn’t it, Bill?
Then there’s the Banking Act of 1933. You’re a liberal, Bill, you surely know what that was. You don’t recognize it? Why, it was the Glass-Steagall Act! I thought every liberal knew what that was, and blamed it’s loss for the financial crisis. All the Occupiers had signs demanding it be reenacted, you MUST remember THAT! And the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — though you may remember it as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 — don’t you remember?
That act repealed PART of the Glass-Steagall Act. Just part. There was such argument and haranguing over that, but in the end, it was done. Weren’t you all so upset when the Republicans tried to negate just PART of the ACA? You thought that was so unfair, to try to remove just a piece of a law like that. And when the shutdown came, there was such furor over the Republicans trying to pass “piecemeal” laws to cover things like death benefits, and national monuments. No, it had to be all of it, that’s what you all screamed, all of it! It’s the law of the land, it’s settled! You can’t just hack at it like this, you have to accept it, get behind it! That’s what you all said.
But then someone asked for the sequester to be negated. They wanted those increases restored. I thought the sequester was a Federal law? It’s settled. Why this talk of…(choke) repealing it? Wait…wasn’t that something you wanted? You didn’t like the sequester. In fact, didn’t you say “This Sequester shit is so submental – its like not having the willpower to diet, so rigging the refrigerator to blow up when you open it”? Bill, even though the word “submental” means “located in, affecting, or performed on the area under the chin,” that comment would imply that you…you…didn’t agree with a law. You wanted it…repealed. But according to you, isn’t that sort of thing submental? Well, I, for one, feel like I’ve taken one on the chin, but I don’t think that’s what you meant, was it?
I’m confused about your desire to repeal the sequester, Bill. Aren’t we supposed to help it along, regardless of our opinion on it? But Democrats want to fight over the sequester, and even Ezra Klein can see that the deal to end the shutdown presented them with a golden opportunity to change an existing, settled law.
“The timing of all this is designed to create a fight about sequestration. The Jan. 15 deadline means funding for the federal government runs out at the exact moment sequestration’s deeper cuts kick in. The Dec. 13 deadline means that the full House and Senate would have time to consider any package of recommendations the bicameral committee comes up with, if the committee actually manages to come up with anything.” — Ezra Klein, Washington Post, October 14, 2013.
I think it’s time to face some uncomfortable facts, Bill. I know it hurts to say this, but I think it’s clear that any law can be repealed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a liberal or conservative law. It doesn’t matter if it has bipartisan support, or if the Supreme Court rules in its favor. SCOTUS can revisit it and change its mind, or Congress can pass a law that changes or even negates a law — they can remove it entirely. There’s even a procedure, laid out in the Constitution, for amending it. The highest law of the land can be altered if the proper procedure is followed. There have been 27 amendments to the US Constitution. Of those, the 18th Amendment prohibited alcohol…and the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th. No law is immune to changes over time.
Democrats have been screaming for the 2nd Amendment to either go away, or be hedged about with regulations, restrictions, and obstructions to the point where the people would only be able to legally get single-shot rimfire rifles, which they have to keep in a government-run armory, and can only be taken out to go to a government-sanctioned range and back again. That’s how they do it in much of Europe, after all, and aside from the skyrocketing violence, terrorist actions, and public massacres by rampaging nutcases, they’re doing just fine… Well, to be fair, not all Democrats want that. Some want every single gun in America turned in and melted down into commemorative paperweights. Except for the ones held by the police, of course. They say “we don’t want to take away your guns,” but they have their fingers crossed behind their backs, because they have made it perfectly clear that they do in fact want to do just that.
But to paraphrase you, Bill, it’s not a bill. It’s an amendment to the Constitution. I know that statist, leftist people think they know the Constitution — I don’t think they’ve even read it. A bill becomes an amendment, then goes to the States for ratification. Once it does, you don’t argue about it.
Utah Senator Mike Lee spoke to the Heritage Foundation recently, and his remarks are well worth watching and reading. Real Clear Politics has the video and transcript.
What do we do next, not only to stop Obamacare… but to advance a larger, positive vision of America, and craft a practical plan to get us there? What’s next for conservatives?
That is the question I would like to try to answer today.
I expect that we will cover this speech in detail over at the Conservative Union community, perhaps as a “Topic of the Day” later in the week.
It’s important for us to not only HAVE ideas for what we want to do once we take power, but to discuss these ideas, and then to figure out how to communicate them efffectively. This speech is a terrific step towards getting that process kicked off. I see it that the Defund Obamacare campaign woke up and engaged the troops, helped us identify one another and declare our intention to keep fighting – to not just roll over and accept the world of Big Government.
Now it’s time for the next step, which involves some hard work, thinking, research, discussing, etc.
Read and watch this speech, form your own opinions about what he says before reading the opinions of others, and then…let’s talk.
That’s what the Democrats are calling the House Republicans’ steps to address the current funding gap and partial government shutdown. They are complaining that the House wants to break up the budgetary issues currently at odds in the continuing resolution. What the House is doing is a response to the utter gridlock on the huge omnibus appropriations bill currently at a standstill due to the Obama Administration’s intransigence. The House figured, OK, they don’t want to pass the CR we’ve given them, let’s take a step back, break it down, and fund things that need immediate attention. This is seen as a “piecemeal” or “cherry-picking” approach by the Democrats. But is this attitude just another example of Democrat grandstanding?
I believe it is. Harry Reid said in an interview:
“Now they are focusing on trying to cherry-pick some of the few parts of government that they like,” Reid said. “Just another wacky idea by the tea party-driven Republicans. … We support veterans, and parks, we support the FBI, we support the federal government, that’s our job that’s what we do. We can’t and we won’t be forced to choose between parks and cancer research or disease control or highway safety or the FBI, or national security agencies.” — Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 9, 2013
On the surface, it sounds like Ol’ Harry “Cowboy Poet” Reid has a point, but that point is fragile, like that of a mechanical pencil. Subject it to too much pressure, and it snaps off.
Congressional appropriations, according to Jessica Tollestrup, Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process for the Congressional Research Service, come in three major types: regular appropriations bills, continuing resolutions, and supplemental appropriations measures. The type that, under normal circumstances, provides most of our government’s funding is the regular appropriations bill.
The normal process during the Congressional year is for the budget (supposed to be offered by the President) to be broken down into around 12 or so separate chunks, each of which is considered by a separate appropriations subcommittee. Spending bills are originated in the House, by Constitutional requirement, and the Senate wrangles over possible changes to what the House committees propose. Each chunk addresses a different area of government spending. When things are going as laid out in the Constitution, the process goes back and forth until a budget is acceptable to both the House and the Senate, then each chunk, each a separate appropriations bill, is given to the President to sign or veto. (This is highly simplified, for the full process refer to the CRS document athttp://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-684.pdf)
But things are not normal right now. Congress has not been able to agree on a budget for around 5 years. The President passed down a couple, but they didn’t work for Congress. The House has passed a number of budgetary measures, but the Senate didn’t accept them, such as the Ryan plan. Yes, it has been that long since we had an actual budget. In order to keep functioning in absence of a budget, Congress has resorted to the second type of appropriations bill, the Continuing Resolution. But just because it’s a CR doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to be broken out into its usual chunks and put in a bunch of smaller bills. What we’ve got, though is one huge bill with everything in it, an omnibus bill.
Omnibus bills are typically an attempt to save time by putting everything in the same package deal. While they can, under some circumstances, help with getting things done before deadlines, it’s easy to hide jokers like earmarks, special interest favors, and other kinds of “pork” because they are usually huge. Such large documents are rarely completely understood because there’s never enough time to read them. They are a strategy to slam-dunk a whole lot of extra stuff into the “law of the land” along with the main body of the budget. They’ve been getting more and more popular since the 70’s, containing more and more and more of the budget in a single, unwieldy bill.
Remember Nancy Pelosi’s famous “we need to pass it so we can find out what’s in it” line about the Obamacare bill? That’s what happens when you have omnibus bills — they’re so big that you have legislators like John Conyers saying “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill.’ What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” It’s quite simple — bills in general in Congress were supposed to be smaller, easier to read and understand, making it actually possible to do the work of Congress properly in the time allotted them. Such omnibus bills are too big to fully grasp.
Congressmen have complained about omnibus bills vociferously in the past, including prominent Democrats, and at least one President has made his displeasure known. President Ronald Reagan, in his 1988 State of the Union address, thunked down three huge stacks of budget bills weighing in at 42 pounds. He was quite clear when he said:
“Congress shouldn’t send another one,” said President Reagan, forcefully. “No, and if you do, I will not sign it.”
He received a standing ovation. A bipartisan standing ovation. It was justified — this was the second time in two years, the third time ever, that all 13 regular appropriations bills were presented as an omnibus. Ten years later, then House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) had this to say about another 40-pound appropriations conference report:
“Ronald Reagan was right. It was a bad way to do business in 1988, and it’s a bad way to do business in 1998.”
This wasn’t even as large a bill as the one Reagan was angry over — it only contained 8 regular appropriations bills, but it was accompanied by numerous other authorization measures and a generous helping of “pork”.
In 2004, HR 2673, yet another Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Bill, clocked in at 455 pages. Many Democrat Congressmen stood to complain about this bill’s size, and the inability to comprehend it completely. Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) said, in reference to the bill’s size:
“Mr. Speaker, here is the bill. I hesitate to lift it. I think it is an OSHA violation. This is it. It became available to us at 12:15 last night. It is less than 12 hours later, and we are going to be voting on this in a very short time. Something is wrong with our democracy.” (Emphasis mine)
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) stood to issue the following complaint:
“Mr. Speaker, this bill comes before us is an omnibus bill because we did not take all the bills, vote on them on the floor, and the Senate did not do it either.”
Mr. Nadler’s comment implies that if an omnibus bill is presented, Congress didn’t do its job properly. The proper, normal, and reasonable procedure should be to present individual subcommittee bills, each short enough to be comprehensible in the time allowed. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) expresses her agreement with this concept:
“A lot of mischief can come from a bill that is a $388.4 billion bill, 14.75 inches thick. I measured it, which was filed sometime after midnight. I will guarantee my colleagues not one Member, including the gentleman from Florida, read this bill, even on the Internet…This is wrong. It is the wrong way to do it. It is the wrong way to debate it; and as far as I know, given this massive spending bill that no one has read, as far as I am concerned, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Vote ‘no’ on the rule, vote ‘no’ on the bill.”
But now, when the Democrats are under the gun and a beloved step towards their shining goal of single-payer healthcare is threatened with defunding, suddenly the proper method of multiple smaller bills is a “wacky idea”. It is derided in the media as “piecemeal” and “cherry-picking”, even though it used to be the way it was always done.
Don’t be fooled by the Democrats’ whining. It is normal to break up appropriations bills into smaller, easier-to-handle pieces, it is normal to try to defund things that your party believes are wrong, or may harm the country, and it is normal for both houses of Congress and the President to negotiate over contentious issues. All of this moaning and groaning and petulant refusals to do their jobs are nothing but theatrics, and hypocritical theatrics to boot.
And lastly, I refer back to an earlier post of mine — all of these complaints about the ACA being “the law of the land”, how it got passed (along party lines), and how SCOTUS found favorably for it are nothing but intimidation, intended to keep people from challenging it. NO law is immutable. NO law, even one that SCOTUS has decided upon, is untouchable.
Why is there such worry about who the President appoints to the Supreme Court, whether they’ll be left-wing or right-wing? Because SCOTUS can revisit decisions and overturn them. The Democrats are always concerned that SCOTUS might swing to the right, and revisit something like Roe v. Wade, just as the Republicans are concerned that SCOTUS might swing to the left and revisit DC v. Heller. When someone says “it’s the law of the land”, you should mentally append “for the time being”, since any law is subject to repeal, modification, regulation, a new SCOTUS case, or having a decision overturned completely. The court might revisit the ACA…and next time, John Roberts might change his mind, who knows?
So in the fury of the Government Shutdown, the left has become apoplectic about the “Affordable Care Act”. You’ll more likely recognize it as “Obamacare”. They consider it to be Constitutionally tested by the Supreme Court, therefore it’s the “law of the land”.
This logic is fundamentally unsound, let’s debunk it.
1) The Constitution does not grant “kingly” powers to the Supreme Court. Their job is to rule on the law brought before them, and to clear up controversies between states.
2) Nowhere in article III of the Constitution or in the Federalist papers, Thomas Jefferson’s letters, etc do you see that the Supreme Court was supposed to be the “final say”. Jefferson in fact believed their power should be limited even further, than the Constitution did already.
3) We know for a fact the left doesn’t actually believe their own words. Let’s go through their history of fighting against the Constitution itself :
3.A) The Progressive Income tax was tried several times before the amendment was brought up and each time it was found unconstitutional. Did that stop the Progressives from trying to trash the Constitution and implement their marxist utopian tax? NOPE. They kept fighting and eventually (and illegally) amended the Constitution to add the Progressive Income tax.
4) The Supreme Court only ruled on one part of the law, the individual mandate. But as this site states;
Feel free to examine the entire text of Article III to assure yourself that no power of Judicial Review is granted by the Constitution.
“Well,” you might say, “someone has to review laws for constitutionality. Why not the Supreme Court?” Some possible answers:
First and foremost, it is not a power granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution. When the Supreme Court exercises Judicial Review, it is acting unconstitutionally.
It is a huge conflict of interest. The Federal Government is judging the constitutionality of its own laws. It is a classic case of “the fox guarding the hen house.”
The Constitution’s “checks and balances” were designed to prevent any one branch of government (legislative, executive or judicial) from becoming too powerful and running roughshod over the other branches. There is no such system of checks and balances to protect the states and the people when multiple branches of government, acting in concert, erode and destroy the rights and powers of the states and the people.
Even if the Supreme Court could be counted on to keep the Executive and Legislative branches from violating the Constitution, who is watching the Supreme Court and will prevent the Judicial branch from acting unconstitutionally? Unless you believe that the Supreme Court is infallible (and, demonstrably, it is not), then allowing the Supreme Court to be the sole arbiter of Constitutionality issues is obviously flawed.
Justices are appointed, not elected and may only be removed for bad behavior (which has happened in the distant past but these days, appointment to the Supreme Court is like a lifetime appointment). If the court upholds unconstitutional laws, there is no recourse available. We the People cannot simply vote them out to correct the situation. Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1823:”At the establishment of our constitution, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.“
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the individual mandate was ruled constitutional by the Government. They are exercising an authority that doesn’t belong to them. It certainly was never meant to be the *final* verdict on constitutionality. As http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html – so poignantly points out;
“It is the Constitution, not the Supreme Court, which is the Supreme Law of the Land. Even the Supreme Court should be accountable for overstepping Constitutional limits on federal power.”
Obamacare is bad and unconstitutional law, just like the Alcohol Prohibition, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, and Slavery, which was also upheld in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not the final say in our Country, we are not a country ruled by Justices. The Constitution is the final say, and it’s up to EACH body and Representative to uphold and fight for that document. The Government Shutdown MUST continue until we defund/delay the implementation of this HORRIBLE law, that none of the proponents bothered to read before voting YES.
The goal of Obamacare, is not to increase Health Care access.
It’s goal is to decrease the amount of money we’re spending on Health Care. That’s all the left talks about. How much more we spend on Healthcare than countries with “wonderful” universal Healthcare.
I hate to burst their bubble, but life is not all sunshine and lollipops with Universal Healthcare. ObamaCare AKA the Affordable Care Act, is a step towards Universal Healthcare and will destroy the wonderful Health Care this nation enjoys.
It is completely appropriate to compare it to Slavery, as the Government will judge your worth, and determine if you are worthy of being helped. You belong to the state.
That is why Republicans need to keep the Government Shutdown! We CANNOT stop fighting hard enough against this bill, it is bondage.
I woke up this morning, turned on the radio (ok, it was iHeartRadio on my tablet), and the news happened to be starting. Does that happen to you? You want to hear the show on the station but you always turn it on during the news or a commercial? Happens to me all the time. But this time, it was actually useful, and I didn’t mind, because I found out about this little gem:
The town of Mesa, Arizona was apparently terrorized by this man who insisted on going to a local elementary school with a gun. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh…some parents called the Principal of Entz Elementary School to complain that their children had seen a man with a gun on the premises, and this disturbed and frightened them.
The school responded by calling the man and asking him not to come armed to the school to pick up his daughter. They also asked him not to wear his police uniform.
That’s right, the man is a police officer, and picked up his daughter in uniform, along, of course, with his legally-required sidearm. Officer Scott Urkov of the Coolidge Police Department was aghast, and posted this to his Facebook page:
“Nothing like your kids school calling and asking if I could not come to pick up my daughter in uniform cause parents were concerned when their kids came home telling them there was a man at school with a gun. Are you freaking kidding me?”
The school called his department in response to this posting, and subsequently, the officer was told to keep his big trap shut about such things. But the genie was out of the bottle, and the story went just a TAD viral. The school did, to their credit, sort of backpedal, and said they didn’t mean to offend the officer, and would treat this as a “teachable moment”, and have him come in to a special assembly and tell the kids what a policeman does in the society.
But even though this seems to have been dealt with, they aren’t dealing with the far more insidious problem underneath the “teachable moments” and special assemblies. No, it’s far worse than that, even though telling a cop not to come to school in uniform, armed, is bad enough. No, this is simply one of a plethora of cases throughout our country where it is clear that teachers and administrators are engaged in behavioral conditioning of children on the subject of guns.
“That’s crazy,” some of you might be saying. “They’re not ‘conditioning’ kids, they’re just…um…uh…teaching them…uh…” Yeah, um uh. Look, here’s the deal. When you take someone, anyone, and every time they do something you don’t like, you punish them, you are to a degree conditioning them. You’re convincing them that the actions you don’t like will result in a negative sanction. The difference between laws that protect us from bad guys, and efforts to convince bad guys not to be bad are, we agreed to such laws ahead of time by electing the officials who passed them in the first place.
But when it’s kids, who don’t have a say in the matter and can’t reject the input, that’s different. There is a practice among schools of “zero tolerance”, which is supposed to be an attitude that bringing dangerous or illegal objects to school is not acceptable, at all, with no exceptions. The original intent was to keep lawbreaking juveniles from bringing weaponry to school, a concept that sounds, on the surface, to be reasonable. We don’t want juvenile thugs bringing weapons to school and terrorizing the other children or harming teachers, do we? Of course not, and this isn’t about that. The “zero tolerance” paradigm has been co-opted by a far more disturbing one: hoplophobia. Teachers and administrators are teaching children to be afraid of anything, any object, any speech, any action or practice, that suggests in any fashion the use of any sort of weapon. This incident in Mesa, Arizona proves that this conditioning is working.
Look at the series of inane and insane zero tolerance prosecutions across the country:
A boy in Harmony, Florida was suspended for a day for playing “cops and robbers”, shaping his hand into a “gun shape”.
A fifth-grade girl in Philadelphia was scolded so severely for having a piece of paper torn roughly into an L-shape that she has nightmares. Her grandfather had made the “paper gun” for her the night before. The teacher yelled at her for “bringing a gun to school”. Remember, this was a piece of paper. Her fellow students compounded it by calling her a “murderess”.
A 12-year-old boy from Rhode Island was suspended for bringing a keychain in the shape of a derringer, only two inches long, to school. He won the keychain at a local arcade in exchange for game tickets.
A Maryland school suspended a 7-year-old for biting a Pop-Tart into a vaguely gunlike shape. The student said he was trying to make it look like a mountain, not a gun, but the teacher who saw it interpreted it as a gun. This prompted the introduction of “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013” in the state, but this bill has not progressed noticeably since a committee meeting in March.
Two students in Virginia Beach were given one-year suspensions for playing with airsoft guns on their own property, at home. The school claimed jurisdiction because “there was a bus stop nearby”. Excuse me, there are bus stops everywhere, I know, if I’m driving in the afternoon, those buses stop seemingly every block, making all traffic stop and start.
A kindergartener was suspended for telling a friend about her Hello Kitty bubble gun, which shoots harmless soap bubbles. She was treated as if potentially violent, because she actually said she would “shoot” her friend and herself with this clearly dire destructive device.
A 6-year-old Palmer, Massachusetts student was suspended for bringing a Lego gun (one of the tiny plastic guns held by Lego figures) onto a school bus. This plastic toy is barely larger than a quarter. We’ve all played with plastic army men that look more threatening.
9-year-old was suspended indefinitely from the Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate, near Detroit. His crime? Showing a friend a top-launcher that was vaguely gunlike — to me, it looks like a Hasbro “Beyblade” launcher, that spins up little tops by squeezing a lever or pulling a cord. The school claimed the child said “bang bang”, but it’s my belief he was simply telling his friend it was for “Beyblade”. This is a toy that has spawned a television cartoon series for children. I played with tops when I was young, too — “Whizzers” were the thing then, tops with a friction tip you rubbed on a surface to spin up an internal gyroscope.
And, the capstone, a Cobb County, Georgia high school senior was charged with a felony: bringing a deadly tackle box to school. The student, an avid fisherman, had two knives, used for fishing, in the box. He was arrested and released on a $1000 bond.
This is only a selection of the most egregious of these cases. But the message is crystal clear: anything that someone in authority perceives to be any sort of weapon, especially a gun, will get you in humongous amounts of trouble, trouble beyond all scope of reason or restraint. The logical and reasonable response in the mind of a child, subjected to this treatment, is to be utterly terrified of anything resembling a gun, or that might possibly be considered to be a weapon. They won’t want to touch one or be near one, much less own one. This is the core of the problem.
Children grow up to be adults. Adults have full access to their rights, not being limited by parental or in loco parentis, restrictions. What will be the result when these traumatized and conditioned children get to be older, and finally are accorded their legal rights to keep and bear arms? They will be too afraid of those arms to take advantage of those rights, that’s what! And when people reject a right, that right goes away. The government will be all too happy to remove the 2nd Amendment, or so hedge about it that it is effectively negated, if the next generation is too afraid of “arms” to even touch them.
Hence this program of terrorizing children over anything and everything remotely gunlike or weaponlike — to inculcate in them an active fear, a fear of the devices by which they secure their liberty in perpetuity. They will also be too afraid of them to consider using them defensively. They may not even realize it’s happening — they’ll wring their newly-adult hands, wondering what they can possibly DO to protect themselves from criminals and other violent offenders, their minds automatically shying away from the obvious choice of arming themselves. This is behavioristic training that Pavlov would easily have recognized. Ring the bell, the kids get scared. Simple and straightforward — the carefully-installed conditioning, making them terrified of guns, will make that choice unthinkable.
That scraping noise you’re hearing, down deep in your soul? That’s the sound of the Overton Window slowly creeping from “policy” to “unthinkable”. Once it has done that, there will be no obstacle to disarming America, rendering it just as defenseless and just as subjugated as the rest of the world. Except for those parts of the world that despise us…those parts seem to be quite able to get and handle weapons. Some of them from our own government.
The episode with the police officer in Mesa, Arizona is the clear result of such conditioning. The school wasn’t concerned that the officer’s rights may have been infringed upon, either his 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms or his 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech — they wanted it clear they weren’t trying to offend him. Everyone knows about the 52nd Amendment, right, the one that gives us the right to never be offended? No? Actually, that’s not in the Constitution. There is no right to not be offended. There’s no right to feel safe. The 2nd Amendment accords us the right to make ourselves safe, but this right is under attack by those who don’t want the substance of safety, because that would also carry the responsibility to practice safety. Instead, they want the illusion of safety, simply the emotions associated with being safe, because no one has to be responsible for anything when it’s just an illusion. The children of Entz Elementary School were well trained by the zero-tolerance teachers — they saw a gun, and were appropriately afraid of it. Now they have the opportunity for a “teachable moment”, to channel that fear so those kids will forever accept a government authority as the only one who should be allowed to have a gun.
We must develop zero tolerance for zero tolerance in our schools, or our children will have zero tolerance for their own rights. Once that has happened, the zero tolerance some in the world have for America will take its toll, and we will have zero defense against it.
The history of the economy from 1981 (Reagan) to present (Obama).
In 1981, Reagan inherited, what was a worse recession than what “Obama inherited” (we’ll get to that later) in 2009. The unemployment rate was worse, the interest rates were worse, and the rate of government spending was worse.
At the end of his term in Office he slashed the progressive tax code to two rates, and got rid of almost all of the exemptions and loop holes. He slashed the rate of government growth, and helped defeat the Soviet Union.
He also gave us the *highest* level of post WW2 employment participation of any President ever. It was his policies that carried that rate through 2001.
So Bush I took office in a landslide, most people thought he would continue Reagan’s policies.
They were wrong. Bush Sr didn’t believe in limited Government and the first chance he got, he increased taxation and spending.
This caused the employment participation rate to stall out, and even drop down lower than it was at the end of Reagan’s term. Because Bush I wasn’t a solid conservative he lost to Ross Perot and Clinton. The first thing Clinton did was raise taxes and threaten to push Hillarycare.
economic revival. This helped push the employment participation rate back to where it was in the 80’s under Reagan.
Bush II won over Gore by a thread, and the natural cycle of Capitalism and terrorism took it’s toll on the economy. Bush started out his policies as a progressive and trying direct stimulus payments. He then tried tax cuts (but not as big as Reagan’s). This helped stop the economy from sliding further, but did not grow it to Reagan’s 68% participation rate.
That downward tail is where it gets fun. That was another creative destruction bit of capitalism, and having too much money invested in housing. This was completely a government driven bubble and a government driven collapse.
1) The Government under Carter and Clinton pushed the CRA forcing banks to give bad loans.
2) Groups like ACORN (that Obama worked for) sued large banks to make sure they were giving out bad loans.
3) The Federal Reserve entered the era of cheap money, lowering money supply why below it’s market value. This made it quick money, which attracted people to bad loans.
4) Democrats increased volatility in the job market by threatening to repeal the Bush tax rate and raising the minimum wage.
Even though the unemployment rate has finally fallen to 7.9% by the end of 2012, the total labor participation has fallen to 63% and has been stuck.
This is the end result of Obama’s economic policy. From ObamaCare, to massive government spending, to increasing the tax burden of the job creators.
It all adds up to a labor participation rate, that we last saw in the 70’s.
We need to go back to Reagan’s policies, and part of that policy shift is the repeal of ObamaCare.
Steps to recovery:
1) Cut spending to 18% of GDP. Shift the way money is spent, to spend the taxes collected last year, not the taxes forecast for this year. REPEAL the Affordable Care Act!
2) Get rid of the corporate income tax, and get rid of the progressive income tax, shift to a flat sales tax of 10%.
3) Massively gut the Leviathan. The EPA, the CPSC, the DEA, the ATF, Homeland Security, etc. All of them need to be shut down, and every regulation they created must be repealed.
If we did these 3 things, we’d see businesses start moving back to America, you’d see workers wages INCREASE.
(all Labor Force Participation graphs from BLS.gov)