Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tea Party parting thoughts - UPDATED

******************Update Pictures from Nov 28th Tea Party******************

View from the teapot:From within Keiner Plaza

Take a look at detailed coverage, quality pictures and clips of speech's from Acorn buster James O'keefe, Dana Loesch, Gina Loudon, Bill Hennesy, and more, on Tea Party posts from Gateway Pundit's, Keyboard Militia, Sharp Elbows, A Traditional Life, and Dana Loesch, Reboot Congress (has Jay Stewart's speech) for better quality pictures of the finished Tea Party Product.

But here's a couple behind the behind-the-scenes pics, such as, before we could put up The Gulag, it took some elbow grease even getting it to the party. CampusGulag's super secret Gulag storage facility, had it's high-tech elevator go down, so we had to get it out of the bldg the old fashioned way - handing the hefty panels down one at a time from the roof!






Some of the Gulag builders union local 1776, admiring it's handiwork:


Joe the Dairy Farmer, Commandant John Burns, Myself and an Inmate



Gulag Commandant, John Burns, administering some ObamaCare to Tea Party leader Bill Hennessy:


Commandant John Burns administers Obamacare Bill Hennessey

Excuse my lame videography, as Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft rouses the crowd:
video

A quick thought as I dash out to today's (my B-Day, btw) Tea Party, from Edmund Burke, who knew a thing or two about governments attempting what they should not,


"thoughts and details on scarcity
Of all things, an indiscreet tampering with the trade of provisions is the most dangerous, and it is always worst in the time when men are most disposed to it: that is, in the time of scarcity. Because there is nothing on which the passions of men are so violent, and their judgment so weak, and on which there exists such a multitude of ill-founded popular prejudices.

The great use of Government is as a restraint; and there is no restraint which it ought to put upon others, and upon itself too, rather than on the fury of speculating under circumstances of irritation. The number of idle tales spread about by the industry of faction, and by the zeal of foolish good-intention, and greedily devoured by the malignant credulity of mankind, tends infinitely to aggravate prejudices, which, in themselves, are more than sufficiently strong. In that state of affairs, and of the publick with relation to them, the first thing that Government owes to us, the people, is information; the next is timely coercion: the one to guide our judgment; the other to regulate our tempers.

To provide for us in our necessities is not in the power of Government. It would be a vain presumption in statesmen to think they can do it. The people maintain them, and not they the people. It is in the power of Government to prevent much evil; it can do very little positive good in this, or perhaps in any thing else...
"
It's nothing new, fools are a crop that never fails to produce. It is up to the Farmer to weed them out or let his land be over run.

The Plain Truth

John Burns, Gulag Commandant

No Property Rights, No Property, All Gulag all the time

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Navy SEALS charged for bruising a dirtbag - just sick

Warning: Well justified rant ahead.

I was speechless over this administrations decision to try the 9/11 terrorists in civilian court, and in New York City, at that. What was there to say? It is what it is, and recognizably so.

I'd left keeping an open mind towards this administration behind months ago, I left refraining from anger towards this administration behind several weeks ago, having been supplied far too much evidence of their economic idiocy, perpetually apologizing for this Nation, bowing to foreign despots and with their dangerous attempts to erode our Rights beyond recognition with cap and tax and healthcontrol... any such restraint would be little more than a faux polite contrivance; however, I am now moving numbly into a state of cold, civil, bitter loathing... nauseatingly close to hatred (really? My oldest Son is entering the military early next year, and this creatures policies will.. will... yeah... nauseatingly close. Read on.), towards this President and this administration.



The Navy SEALs were recently sent in to find and capture the terrorist who masterminded the atrocity in March of 2004, where U.S. contractors were captured, mutilated, hung from a bridge and set on fire in Fallujah. They found it, captured it and brought it back. The targeted said disposable fleshbag, who for some reason has a name, as if it were human, 'Ahmed Hashim Abed' (really, we need to get past our anthropomorphic tendencies) apparently 'suffered' a bloody lip during it's capture ... and... so... three... of... the... SEALs... are... being... charged... with... abuse.

As if they were L.A. Cops arresting a civil rights leader? IT IS AN @#^$*#! TERRORIST IN A G#$#@&! WAR ZONE! THESE ARE THE SEALS CAPTURING A TERRORIST LEADER, NOT FRICKING CONSTABLES EXECUTING AN ARREST WARRANT!!!

The three warriors refused to allow the issue to be handled in a low key manner with "non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial". Good for them!
Just a short time ago, in 2007, Karl Rove was accused of over the top 'fear mongering' for suggesting that democrats would insist on the "...ACLU showing up saying, 'Wait a minute, did you Mirandize them when you found them on the battlefield..." ... yeah... over the top alright.

What am I thankful for this year?

That the creature currently occupying the White House, and it's anti-American administration, have only three years to go before we get the chance to throw their filthy disgusting asses out of our nations capital... and that in less than a year we'll get to make a down payment on that action.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hey GOP! Less is more!!!

I've got a new winning strategy for you GOP...

If you want my vote, you've got to promise that you won't give me one damn thing!

Promise on your life and your sacred honor, that you'll give me less, less regulations, less taxes, less Govt in me and my family's lives.

Ed Martin


I don't want your damn help in my medical decisions, I don't want your damn help saving me from foreign competition, I damn sure don't want you trying to make my kids 'smarter', and I don't want your damn help making my gallon of gas go farther - the only help I do want is in removing Govt from my life.






Promise me that, credibly, consistently, and I'll tell everyone I see about you.


I'll knock on doors in my spare time for you.


I'll speak to groups about you, I'll help knock down any gift bearing RINO that gets in your way in the primaries.


We'll work our butts off to get you elected.

Stephanie Ruhbach, Dr.Windsor and moi

But. Only. If. You. Promise. Us. Less.

And if you dare bring me home any bacon from D.C., We'll see to it that you find that fabled elephants grave yard.

In 2010, less is more.

Just ask these People and these. But don't double cross these folks, they, and all the rest of us, will be watching.


Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft and 97.1's Dana Loesch


Remember, deliver us less and we'll give you more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back To The Basics: Where Is Justice To Be Found?

Where Is Justice? (with several small, but very significant edits made the morning of 11/23/2009)
Have a look here,
"We did note that while we recognise that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States supports the early resumption of dialogue" between the Dalai Lama's representatives and Beijing," Obama said after his meeting with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed US President Barack Obama's recognition of sovereignty issues dear to China."

To that, let me just say, that President Obama, has no understanding of, or respect for, Justice - none whatsoever. He may have some finely tuned notions about fairness, retribution and compensation, but about Justice, in the Western sense - nope, ain't got it. But more on that at a later date.

Progress Past
So we've had a look at how Liberalism took a left turn into it's current dead ends (Left and Right), and so come back around to where I started, the idea of 'There ought to be a law', with the questions of, why, and what sort of law ought a law to be... which leads us to ask, what is the purpose which LaAthena, Goddess of Wisdom, turns Achilles from killing his King, to civil disobediencews serve? We can't understand what is good or bad law, or whether one country should be able to swallow up another, without knowing first knowing what Justice is.

The question of what Justice is, must be answered first, and while Socrates was right, in The Republic, in that you do need to understand the structure of your society in order to understand how Justice will be exercised within it, you also need to determine what comes before Justice, what it is that justice serves, what makes Justice possible, before you can determine what Justice is, and how laws should support it.

Socrates decided that what it was that came before Justice, was the raw needs, the structure of the community, the polity, the Republic. The error here, is thinking that the structure of the whole, the society, was the proper starting point in and of itself, and that the requirements and influence of the individual, had no purpose other than to serve the needs of that whole.

In the eternal question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, Socrates chose the Chicken. Others have chosen the Egg. I think that the only proper answer that can be given, is 'Yes'. They both come first, and any answer which chooses one over the other, has missed the point of the Question, and is going to find itself either without a means to be created, or a means to continue - it really is no better than asking, which side of the coin came first, heads, or tails?

As concerns the question of Justice, we have to look at what Man is, and what the community of men is to Man, in order to determine how both will be best served.

Where To Start
When trying to look into the beginnings of Justice or Law, some of the origins are so murky and disputed, that citing this and that about who first engraved what laws on which pillar, and what they did and didn't mean, etc, is a bit pointless; better for our purposes, to listen to the meaning which those origins, whatever they may have been, actually produced among those we can more clearly observe, beginning with (with one exception), Periclean Greece.

The Exception That Fuels The Rule
The first stirrings of the idea that justice might reside outside of a King's decree, the power to say that justice is what those with power say it is - Might makes right - is seen in Homer's epic poem, The Iliad.

T.S. Elliot said that 'Poetry communicates before it is understood', which I very much agree with (see my posts What are Words For), and while that is so, I also think that the poetic communicates it's full message even before the parts of it have been recognized by those who receive it, and all of that message travels, not only from person to person, but is transmitted whole, though perhaps undigested, across place and time.

Without recapping all of the Iliad, it opens with the Greeks, led by the high King Agamemnon, raiding and pillaging the surroundings of Troy, and among the 'wealth' they've taken, is the daughter of a priest of Apollo; she was claimed by Agamemnon, and among the lessor kings, the hero Achilles has been awarded a princess, Briseis.

The priest of Apollo comes to the Greeks and asks for his daughter back; Agamemnon refuses, and Apollo, the God of Reason, angered at this affront to his priest, shoots arrows of plague into the ranks of the Greeks, wreaking havoc and death among them. The Greeks demand that Agamemnon yield his prize, Agamemnon feels his back is to the wall and his honor is at stake, he can't back down; yet his troops and Kings demand that he must – it's a clear no win situation with positions staked out firmly in false pride and puffed up honor – when finally he relents, it is in fury, and in an attempt to salvage his pride, he demands that he be given Achilles' prize, Briseis, who has by now become more than just a treasured prize, she is loved most dear by Achilles, yet she is now to be taken from Achilles and given to Agamemnon.

This is the source of the Anger of Achilles, not it's full meaning, for although it begins as a seeming issue of the price of glory and wounded pride, that is it's least part, the spark, not the flame.

That Rage, the Anger of Achilles, has been not only a driving force behind the development of the West, but it has continued in that poetic image, even as a mighty Oak is contained and transported within an acorn, to transport 'The West', in a form that has been able to survive multiple jumps from it's originating culture, the Greeks, on to the Romans, and on to the invading barbarians, and on to the Europeans, and on to the British, and finally (?) to America. How did this poetic device, rage, anger, and their image (the word, Image, is not to be dismissed as merely a 'picture'), manage to power a poem across three thousand years?

The answer lies partly in what it is that is contained in that anger, as burning questions; an anger that is questioning authority, questioning the role of honor, of duty, of justice and for realizing a need for something more in Life than what are typically recognized as just rewards (driven home when Priam comes to Achilles tent). These questions ignite at their introduction in Book I, and later more clearly and significantly revealed, in Book IX.

When Achilles must turn over Briseis to Agamemnon, he reaches for his man killing sword but in that moment discovers the dawning of one of the most momentous realizations in History, which Homer illustrates with the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena (Minerva in Pope's translation), besting his passion and staying his arm from drawing the sword on his King, from Book I of Alexander Popes translation of the Iliad;







Achilles heard, with grief and rage oppress'd,
His heart swell'd high, and labour'd in his breast;
Distracting thoughts by turns his bosom ruled;
Now fired by wrath, and now by reason cool'd:
That prompts his hand to draw the deadly sword,
Force through the Greeks, and pierce their haughty lord;
This whispers soft his vengeance to control,
And calm the rising tempest of his soul.
Just as in anguish of suspense he stay'd,
While half unsheathed appear'd the glittering blade,

Minerva swift descended from above,
Sent by the sister and the wife of Jove
(For both the princes claim'd her equal care);
Behind she stood, and by the golden hair
Achilles seized; to him alone confess'd;
A sable cloud conceal'd her from the rest.
He sees, and sudden to the goddess cries,
Known by the flames that sparkle from her eyes:

"Descends Minerva, in her guardian care,
A heavenly witness of the wrongs I bear
From Atreus' son?—Then let those eyes that view
The daring crime, behold the vengeance too."
"Forbear (the progeny of Jove replies)
To calm thy fury I forsake the skies:
Let great Achilles, to the gods resign'd,
To reason yield the empire o'er his mind.

Achilles begins to realize that all he possesses, which he has over and above all other mortals in Wealth, Honor and Reputation; they are revealed to be little like what he, and everyone else, had always thought them to be. Though his anger flames into rage, Achilles, greatest of warriors among the Greeks and Trojans alike, does not cut his enemies down, but withdraws to his camp, withdraws his men with them, and lets the Greeks begin to suffer disaster their High King brought upon them... through his unjust actions.

For all intents and purposes, isn't what he has done, to convert blazing fury, into the cold anger of civil disobedience?

By the time Book IX comes around, Agamemnon has clearly seen and felt the impact upon the Greeks of the loss of Achilles, and finally relenting, he sends an embassy to Achilles, containing Odysseus, the wiliest of Greeks, skilled at using intelligence to obtain a goal, and Ajax, a Hero almost on a par with Achilles himself, personifying physical power and competence, accompanied by Phoenix, the man who helped raise and train Achilles from a youth. The two heroes make finely crafted speeches and offers of bounteous gifts that can be Achilles', even offering the return of Briseis herself, if he will just return to the fighting with the Greeks.

Achilles, however, will have none of it, and rebuffs them all. Achilles has grasped that more than mere honor has been taken from him – and that more than goods and honor can be taken from him; that although his life, property and happiness have been trod upon as being trifles, as being thought of as being of less value or worthiness than Agamemnon’s… somehow something more than those tangibles has been taken form him. If that had truly been all he'd lost, then the abundance of honors and gifts offered him would have been more than enough to make everything right once again.

But something more has been taken from him, and he knows it, something which could not be restored even by restoring Briseis to him. Why?

Here's part of Achilles' reply to the embassy, from Book IX of Alexander Popes translation of the Iliad, Achilles responds to Odysseus (Ulysses) and the embassy:




Then thus the goddess-born: "Ulysses, hear
A faithful speech, that knows nor art nor fear;
What in my secret soul is understood,
My tongue shall utter, and my deeds make good.
Let Greece then know, my purpose I retain:
Nor with new treaties vex my peace in vain.
Who dares think one thing, and another tell,
My heart detests him as the gates of hell.

"Then thus in short my fix'd resolves attend,
Which nor Atrides nor his Greeks can bend;
Long toils, long perils in their cause I bore,
But now the unfruitful glories charm no more.
Fight or not fight, a like reward we claim,
The wretch and hero find their prize the same.

Alike regretted in the dust he lies,
Who yields ignobly, or who bravely dies.
Of all my dangers, all my glorious pains,
A life of labours, lo! what fruit remains?
As the bold bird her helpless young attends,
From danger guards them, and from want defends;
In search of prey she wings the spacious air,
And with the untasted food supplies her care:

For thankless Greece such hardships have I braved,
Her wives, her infants, by my labours saved;
Long sleepless nights in heavy arms I stood,
And sweat laborious days in dust and blood.
I sack'd twelve ample cities on the main,
And twelve lay smoking on the Trojan plain:
Then at Atrides' haughty feet were laid
The wealth I gathered, and the spoils I made.

Your mighty monarch these in peace possess'd;
Some few my soldiers had, himself the rest.
Some present, too, to every prince was paid;
And every prince enjoys the gift he made:
I only must refund, of all his train;
See what pre-eminence our merits gain!
My spoil alone his greedy soul delights:
My spouse alone must bless his lustful nights:
The woman, let him (as he may) enjoy;

But what's the quarrel, then, of Greece to Troy?
What to these shores the assembled nations draws,
What calls for vengeance but a woman's cause?
Are fair endowments and a beauteous face
Beloved by none but those of Atreus' race?
The wife whom choice and passion doth approve,
Sure every wise and worthy man will love.
Nor did my fair one less distinction claim;
Slave as she was, my soul adored the dame.
Wrong'd in my love, all proffers I disdain;
Deceived for once, I trust not kings again.

From what began as a question of 'What Price Glory' and pride, begins to dawn a realization that not only is no material price sufficient, but that even Glory is not a sufficient or worthy goal to begin with (I've touched elsewhere upon this, as in the Reason's of Reason series of post, such as Adding The First Leg to the Three Legged Stool of Reason), and Achilles is prepared to discard his promised, and much desired, eternal fame; he is 'dis-illusioned' and ready to simply return to a long, unregaled, mortal life.

Freud and the rest be damned, to my mind, the heart and soul of the Iliad is revealed in this passage, like no other.

Keep in mind, that Golden haired Achilles, to the Greeks, was the supreme example of Man. He was the fastest runner, the greatest warrior, the finest companion and a King in his own right, his father a King and his mother a Goddess. He knew Honor, in the sense that men of that day understood it, that of Kudos (tangible fame, renown, that a hero receives and accumulates), Time~ (personal honor, the respect other warriors have for you) and kleos (The renown and glory of your deeds that will be transmitted in story long after you've died), but the embassy to Achilles, the offers of Odysseus and Ajax, by all custom of the day, should have not only restored his honor, but enhanced it. But instead they fell woefully short... and while he never quite determines why, and neither does Homer, in the passage of a few millennia, the West has begun to develop the ability to begin to supply an answer to what drove Achilles.

Pope noted in his preface,

"That of the Iliad is the "anger of Achilles," the most short and single subject that ever was chosen by any poet. Yet this he has supplied with a vaster variety of incidents and events, and crowded with a greater number of councils, speeches, battles, and episodes of all kinds, than are to be found even in those poems whose schemes are of the utmost latitude and irregularity."

That "Anger", and the question of what it was and what it meant, has driven the West down through the centuries. Achilles has sometimes been dismissed, especially in modernity, as a whiner, a diva, any number of post-modern & Freudian complexes - including being a victim of post-traumatic stress(!)... but the lack of a fully satisfying answer, together with a recognition of the nagging importance of the question, has kept the issue alive when all the cultures and ages the Iliad has passed through have fallen to dust.

Achilles recognized something had been done to him, some violation, so deep and so profound, that it could not be solved by his famed sword, and which no mere gifting of presents, titles or flowery speech, could heal. He felt an equality of something with all men, and to the highest king, in their violation,

"Are fair endowments and a beauteous face
Beloved by none but those of Atreus' race?
"

and that once trampled, could not be restored. He loves Briseis, but regaining her person will not heal the wound, it wasn't a matter of possession, but a matter of something closer to the soul - in my humbly arrogant opinion, it is the Right of a man to his 'property', not the property itself, but the Right; the recognition that there is something which exists as part of the makeup of his soul, that which, without it, he is no longer a Man, no longer able to exist in community with those who have violated it.

That question, again, in my humbly arrogant opinion, has been the fuel of Achilles' anger, and it has driven the West to rise above the simple savagery of fairness, which easily contains all other cultures, and has driven the West to become the West, the only culture in the world of not only Law, but Law which recognizes, and bows, to something higher, something which centuries after Homer, would begin to be recognized as Natural Law.

But between the time of Homer and the identification of Natural Law, there's a lot more that had to come to pass, many more questions needed to be asked, answered and tested, before getting to that point.

The Basic Questions begin to find a Home
IMHO, Aeschylus offered, in his trilogy of plays "The Orestia" (the plays Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides), the best synthesis ever given, for how society was transformed from a clan warfare understanding of 'just desserts', literally an eye for an eye succession of violent paybacks, to a society which raised itself from that of one governed by emotional retribution, to that of one governed by reason, one concerned less with obtaining 'satisfaction' than with Justice.

As an attribute of the nature of Man, we require the freedom and liberty to act in accordance with our reasoning, to sustain and further our lives. This entails the need to think and speak your thoughts, to act upon them and to retain the property created through your thought guided actions. In the Orestia, Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, is given an irresolvable conflict of duties, that of a son to avenge the murder of his father, and the fact that a child must never harm, let alone kill, either of their parents, but the the murderer of his father is his mother, Clytemnestra, and it is his duty to kill her - but it is forbidden.

The God Apollo charges Orestes to avenge the murder of his father. But if he does so, the Furies, ancient and hellish banshees, will pursue him for killing a parent, and destroy him in retribution for the crime of murdering his mother. In this conflict of duties and non-conceptual attempts to resolve conflicts to the injured parties satisfaction, lies the fatal, primitivizing, flaw of clannish society, and the reason why it can never rise above the violent limitation of constant, unremitting clan warfare.

In The Libation Bearers, Orestes weighs societal and familial duties, against the judgment of the Sun God Apollo, the God of Reason, and he determines to resolve his unresolvable conflict by complying with Apollo; he puts his mother, Clytemnestra, to death. Immediately the ancient forces of retribution, the Furies appear to Orestes and pursue him screaming from the scene.

In The Furies (Or The Eumenides 'the kindly ones'), Orestes is pursued and haunted from one location to the next, until he arrives in Athens, seeking refuge in the city of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.

To decide the issue, Athena causes twelve Athenians to be selected as jurors to hear the pleas of the accusers, the Furies, who declare that Orestes has obviously murdered his Mother, his own blood. They hear the pleas of Orestes that he 'had no choice' but to do his duty and avenge his father's murder, and finally they hear an argument in favor of Orestes by Apollo himself (a very lawyerly, legalistic, parsing bit of slippery rhetoric and spin, which has seemingly always defined lawyers), which declares that Mother's aren't really blood relatives, but little better than fertile fields for the seed of the Father, the True blood relative, to grow in; therefore, Orestes didn't actually kill a blood relative, his Mother, who was only the person who killed his actual blood relative, his father (though the spin is shallow, there is immense in the whole image, one I hope to get to in a future post).

Athena charges the jury of twelve Athenians to decide the matter of Orestes guilt or innocence... and the verdict comes back a tie, six for guilt, and six for innocence - what to do? Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, decides in favor of Orestes, establishing the precedent that those who cannot be conclusively proven to be guilty, must be assumed innocent (which would finally blossom ages hence, in our Founding Fathers era, into the fruit of each person being considered as being Innocent, until proven guilty... but there's a few thousand years, and many developments, materially and spiritually, before that result is possible).

The Furies are... well... Furious at verdict and what they take as an usurpation of their duties and privileges... Vengeance must have an outlet! But Athena, the personification of Wisdom, not only calms them, but offers a new path which will enable them to become transformed from mere physically palpable creatures of vengeance, feared and hated by all; into a force to be respected and treasured by everyone everywhere, they are to become the protectors of Athens forever more. They will become reverred protectors of the city, a vital force that will carry out the judgment of the people themselves, and directed to not only punish all lawbreakers (who become the true blood criminals, against not just relations but all members of the community), but to uphold the law which makes Athens' society possible.

strophe 3:




Praise not, O man, the life beyond control, - [anarchy]
Nor that which bows unto a tyrant's sway.
Know that the middle way
Is dearest unto God, and they thereon who wend,
They shall achieve the end;
But they who wander or to left or right
Are sinners in his sight.
Take to thy heart this one, this soothfast word-
Of wantonness impiety is sire;
Only from calm control and sanity unstirred
Cometh true weal, the goal of every man's desire.

This, in dramatic form, portrays the elevation of society from savagery, to civilization, and Justice is that which allows the people to overcome mere Fairness.

The Primitive Nature of Fairness - What's that smell?
Clannishness is suited only to that low level of social interaction no more complicated than one person interacting with one other person. It "understands" that one person must think and do and have possession of what that thinking and doing results in, property. To make a reasonable claim to being a human, you must recognize that requirement and extend to others the recognition that they are under the same requirements. To be able to associate, you must agree to not prevent or infringe upon their equally fair claims to their actions and property - without that, you could hardly attain to human life, you'd be little better than an animalistic predator.

But at this point, you don't yet reach rights, only agreement, which you and anyone watching, would call Fairness. You do this, they do that. You give this, they give that. A perceptual level balancing of things, tit for tat actions, stuff.

You've got to strain the imagination to come up with a scenario where one party isn't clearly aware whether or not their requirements of fairness have been imposed upon, and who the imposer must be - as with (pardon the crude example, but it is fitting) the fart on an elevator containing only two people - everyone knows who did it!

But with the introduction of a third person, the entire nature of the association changes. Now, with three persons present, you can't know for certain which of the others did something, simply by virtue of knowing that you did not do it. With three people or more, you must examine evidence and judge whether B or C did something, and if both deny it, how to prove it? Of course if B didn't do it, he knows he didn't, but if C says he didn't, and how do they know A didn't do it just to cause a situation where he could take from B or C as the loser... seeming uncertainty enters the picture.

As the rest of the alphabet moves into the neighborhood, you then have a situation of A concluding that C did it, and then retaliates. C's friends and relatives, believing that he didn't do it, retaliate against you - your only hope of survival rests upon your fellow vowels being stronger that the Consonants, and we have as a result, clan warfare the original anarchical situation.

That is the limitation of, and inevitable result, of driving social satisfaction through "Fairness".

For all of the social contract theories, no one, to my mind, described the issue better, and it's solution, a gov't of laws, than Aeschylus portrayed it in the Orestia, it dramatically illustrates, certainly better that than any of our modern philosophers attempts, a depiction of the state of nature transitioning into a 'social contract'.

The Binding Contract - Law
With a more complicated society, you enter a position of no longer being able to have full 1st hand knowledge of other individuals actions, and so a standard is required whereby all can feel that they have a fair, just, hearing, from which they can expect a reasonable decision to resolve an issue - and with which all parties will agree to call the matter at an end, resolved. This is where Law arises from, and with it the transition of requirements of life progresses past that of merely physically sustaining life, into that of providing for, no matter how poorly understood, Individual Rights; we pass from only personal ethics, to shared ethics, ethics trusted to be shared with that unknown third 'other', which is what political philosophy enables, and the Law provides.

The law becomes your trusted intermediary with third parties, trusted to examine the evidence based upon agreed upon rules of evidence, charged with dispassionately evaluating the evidence, and rendering the best possible judgment on behalf of the interests, the requirements...of all of the individuals in that society.

This lifts society above the level of simple handshake agreements and personal & blood association (and their accompanying clan vendetta's), and into the realm of established Rights. The necessary price of this progress, is that each person in society delegates their right to use force to solve issues of conflict (outside of immediate physical dangers), to a set of rules, administered by those society deems best suited to treating all fairly, and the requirements of Human life, are elevated to become Rights of speech, liberty of action, and property rights.

This group administering the defense of the peoples rights, is itself only a pooled extension of each person's rights to those requirements, and necessarily cannot violate those same rights.

By coming into society, you implicitly agree, as Athena stayed Achilles sword arm, to refrain from using force, to become part of civilized society, is to delegate that right of forceful action, to those that society trusts and designates to dispassionately defend the rights of all - and backed with the might and force delegated to it from each individual in that society.

That delegation, is the true, and only sense, where the community and the individual are mingled into one collective body. It is through Law, and the system of Justice which it serves, where the One in the Many, is actually found.

Good Walls Build Good Neighbors
It is important to also keep in mind that Rights are the societal recognition of barriers between individuals, which must not be crossed without invitation and consent, they are the political equivalents of walls and doors, and breaching them either individually or on the part of society (which would then reclassify itself as a mob - collective action without reason) should be viewed in the same light as physical trespassers and burglars.

More so. The violation of Rights, properly understood, is not just a violation of custom, but of reasoned rationality itself, to the safety and well being of the polity, and opposition to reality and its requirements. Rights are not permissions, having to ask permission to exercise your rights - the requirements of human life - makes you less than human in your attributes, and yielding them makes you a slave.

Where Law unites all of societies individuals into One body, Rights provide the separation which preserves them as Individuals, the Many.

No Right To Wrong
You can have no Right to retain the right to violate the rights of others, and to escape the defense of others rights. The well being of everyone's rights, rests upon the single body charged with defending them (this is central to what the errors of Libertarians, and why a libertarian society (of the Murray Rothbard variety) would quickly devolve into tyranny).

You yield your right of force, not in submission, but in recognition that in doing so, your Rights are made stronger, your safety and rights are better defended by a 3rd party whom all recognize (and by implication, participate in), than by you yourself - and by extension anybody be they hot headed or cool headed, feeble minded or genius - or everyone else, acting on their own.

It is in the societal transfer of the monopoly of force to Gov't that preserves the rights of all, and no one has a right to jeopardize the rights of all.

Unless that people put aside simple eye-for-an-eye actions, for the infinitely higher concept of reasoned Justice, and it's concomitant acceptance of people being united not by blood alone, but as partners in this ideal (the heart and soul of Gods gift to the Jews, through Moses, "The Law"), savagery - no matter how ritualized or codified - will be the only result.

You can have no Right to retain the right to violate the rights of others, and to escape the defense of others rights. This is the fallacy of the question of which came first, the Chicken or the Egg, or asking which side of the Coin came first, Heads or Tails - it is a Unity that comes all at once, whole and together, the One in the Many.

Law without Rights, is Tyranny. Rights without Law, extends no further than your teeth and your fists, Law without the participation and support of ALL Individuals within society, is weakness and mockery - a tool for those with the sharpest teeth and strongest fists.

Rights are very much a Moral concept, and the attempt to apply them in an amoral fashion can lead only to rampant immorality and eventual loss of all Rights. Justice is only to be found where Reason, together with Morality, are practiced and exercised as One.

Next in this series, I'll take a look at what passed from Aeschylus's hints, and the first recognitions of Natural Law, with Cicero, that of Plato, Aristotle and Sophocles, who first showed how merely reacting 'intelligently' to events, and looking only towards ones self for answers, leads to deeper disasters, and the understanding that Law was different from decree, and that Law that didn't come from above, would only lead you to the below.

P.S.
Required reading for anyone seeking to belong to Man and the Community of men, should include,
Orestia - Aeschylus
Republic - Plato
Laws - Plato
Politics - Aristotle
Rhetoric - Aristotle
Nicomachean Ethics - Aristotle
Republic (Treatise on the Commonwealth)- Cicero
Laws - Cicero
Summa Theologica (Second Part) - Aquinas
The Two Treatises of Civil Government - Locke
Commentaries on the Law - Blackstone
The Bible - (Oh, come on, guess)

P.S.S - These should be aids to your thinking, not substitutes! There is much, even in Aristotle, that is deeply flawed... but they always help move you towards a better understanding of life, and more importantly, of Your life.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Health Control Target: Focusing In

In Case You Weren't Clear On The Danger
My House Representative, Todd Akin, came to our local community college today, giving a sobering assessment of the Health Control bill as "... the worst piece of legislation he had ever seen in his legislative lifetime...". He noted that he knew many of us "... feel on edge, with good reason..." and didn't hold back from saying that for the first time in his 9 yrs. in office, he felt actual fear for the direction of the country.

He brought a guest speaker with him, Ron Bachman, from the Center for Health Transformation, a Newt Gingrich project (which personally, registers as a less than positive endorsement, for me). He also offered no sugar coating, and I was pleased to hear him
(Sorry about the vid 'quality'... I'll have to upgrade from my PocketPC phone)

video

characterize the plan similar to how I have, that "...this bill has nothing to do with "Health" or "Health Care", it has to do with Power." and that "...Joe the Plumber was right... he discovered that it is about the redistribution of wealth. "

I completely agree.

He noted that if you want to see how the healthcontrol bill is about Power, search it for "Shall's", as in "You shall do this, and you shall do that, and you shall do what ever we say... ", this bill Slall's us 3,461 times. To see those parts of the bill where it is being used to redistribute wealth, search for the keyword"Grant", as in "...We Grant these people thi$ much, tho$e people that" such as "...WELLNESS PROGRAM GRANTS..." and "...no State qualifying for a grant under paragraph (1) shall receive less than $1,000,000, or more than $5,000,000 for a grant year..." ... Bachman said 481 times, but by my count, I found that Grant appears 366 times, and Grants appears 323 times... either way, that means very little attention given to 'allowing' you and me to keep our own wealth, to be used as we see fit - little of our own Lives, to be lived, as we see fit, as we see fit to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness....

Fuhgedaboudit.

Other black holes on the congressional horizon, are the Cap & Tax bill, which will bring the Federal Govt into questions of such national importance as how many electrical outlets you have in your garage, and requiring Carbon Footprint assessments for home additions you'd like to 'propose' for your dwelling.


Worst Case Option
If this healthcontrol bill manages to pass through the Senate and into (using the word loosely) "Law", one option which some states are pursuing, and one of our Missouri State Senators, Jane Cunningham, is passing amendments to their State Constitutions, which would prevent their their citizens from federal health care mandates by guaranteeing that they can choose their own health care and insurance options, to "...send a message to Washington that participation in an insurance plan is a personal decision and a right which should not be infringed upon...". Such amendments would ensure a new conflict between Federal and States Rights, and bring the matter to the Supreme Court.

Hardly the ideal scenario, but at least a ray of hope in the darkness of federal healthcontrol of our lives.


video

Parting Shot

I asked Congressmen Akin about, what Pelosi & Hoyer had taken to be a laugh line about where they found authorization under the Constitution for their healthcontrol bill, I asked him where do they think they find such authority? He noted that my question presumed an assumption - that being that they had read the Constitution in the first place.

video

Laughing through the tears.

Where Do I Go From Here...

I talked with several people this weekend, and today, who are involved with organizations around the state and in local activism, and I think where I might be able to find my best first niche on the scene, is by working through a few of them to round up some unsuspecting sleeping citizens and present them with the information about our Rights and the Constitution. With luck I'll be able to convince them to swallow the red pill, so that the sleepy citizen vanishes into a dream, and perhaps enough of us can wake up to how important it is that we defend our rights from these attacks - so that this nightmare just might have a chance of being prevented.

It's a start....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lunching with Radicals: How to put my actions where my words are?

Lunching With Radicals
I went to a seminar today, given by the man who has had a large hand in helping Tea Party projects, including ours here in St. Louis, to get off the ground and make a national impact, Michael Patrick Leahy. Lots of good information, tips and tactics... which I've got to give some serious thought to, ASAP, so I can begin putting my actions where my words are.

I stuck around afterwards, and tagged along to lunch with Mr. Leahy, and several of our St. Louis Tea Party Coalition luminaries (and Big Government contributors), Bill Hennesy and Dana Loesch and her husband Chris, Gina Loudan, (who started the "Whole Foods Buycott" in support of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who had dared speaking out against the healthscare bill) and her husband, former state Senator, John Loudon and their daughter Lyda, as well as one of the bold young guys who put this surprise Gulag protest on at Wash-U, the 'guard', John Burns .

Those familiar with me and my typical longwindedness, may be surprised to hear that I mostly kept my mouth shut, doing my best to soak up the fascinating conversations going back and forth, with folks who are actually making measurable differences in our country - God Bless Them.

BTW, Campus Gulag is taking the world of silly protests back to their parents in wackademia, and skewering school administrator's everywhere - go ahead and click them a few bucks donations in thanks (yes, I did)!

P.S. I'm now a Certified Radical. Cool. I'll keep you posted on what I learn to do with it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day - Three Poems For Those Who Keep Us Free

With heartfelt thanks, some soul food for our Veterans,

William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903
Invictus

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)
The Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, --
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.


John McCrae. 1872–1918
In Flanders Fields

IN Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Govt Healthcare Bill - Those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it.

The Presence of the Past



We should keep that phrase in mind whenever we hear, often from those who are likeminded with us, maybe even from ourselves, that the current state of affairs is unprecedented. When we hear how unprecedented it is that a President should try to limit the pay of CEO's and other executives... you should be aware that FDR did the same and more. He didn't operate under the fig leaf that the acceptance of bailout money justified his actions... he just limited the pay of all executives. Period.

When you hear of Govt pushing it's policies and propaganda, enforcing it on the people... whether through 'green jobs', or telling people who they can sell to and at what price, as with today's healthcontrol bills, we should think back to FDR's inflating the idea of interstate commerce to cover any transaction that MIGHT involve materials and prices between states, such as his administrations suit against a farmer who dared to raise some crops for his own families usage, despite govt regulations against it.

We should think of Wilson APL (American Protective League), Palmer Raids and more, as well as FDR's 'Blue Eagle' programs that bullied Americans into buying and selling only from or through approved outlets who supported govt policies.

We should think of hundreds of thousands of Americans imprisoned for opposing the policies of Wilson's administration.

When we hear of emergency bills being rushed through congress and mutter about this being unprecedented, we should think of FDR's forcing through a bill, unread, through congress, in the dead of night, because of 'the need to act now!', we should think of things like FDR's seizure of the citizens Gold. When we hear of assurances from govt that "this is temporary" or "that is fear mongering, and will never happen!", we should think of how the Dollar Bill went from 'Redeemable of one dollar of Silver', to... being redeemable for... nothing (see the pictures above, of a paper note redeemable for money, to a paper note which we pretend is just as useful as money).

When we hear of legislators laughing at questions such as "Where in the constitution is govt authorized to do any of this?!", we should recall Supreme Court Justice McReynolds, lamenting as he read his dissent to the courts ok'ing FDR's gold clause cases "this is Nero at his worst. The Constitution is gone."

We have incrementally lost our freedom and liberty, lost the precious protection of a nation of Laws, not men (tyrants), because we allowed our educational x-spurts to downplay and denigrate the classical humanities, history, literature, in favor of 'educating' students to 'get a job' - very few of us realize that the core meaning at the center of that policy shift, is to ignore those lessons that the past could teach us, (because they could teach us - read Dewey) and we are condemned to not only repeat the same errors as before, but in doing so we submit ourselves to the power of those who don't care whether their desires and power lust is beneficial or destructive, for them it is sufficient that they want it and want it to 'do good'.

In 1848, de Tocqueville, demanded, in the French Parliament, that they bring the true topic of their discussions out into the open, that they name the forces they were playing with. He insisted that the issues be identified and discussed. He dared to identify the proregressive policies, and choose. This is from his speech, the bracketed words are the reactions from the members of parliament listening to his speech:
"Now, the first characteristic of all socialist ideologies is, I believe, an incessant, vigorous and extreme appeal to the material passions of man. [Signs of approval.]

Thus, some have said: “Let us rehabilitate the body”; others, that “work, even of the hardest kind, must be not only useful, but agreeable”; still others, that “man must be paid, not according to his merit, but according to his need”; while, finally, they have told us here that the object of the February Revolution, of socialism, is to procure unlimited wealth for all.

A second trait, always present, is an attack, either direct or indirect, on the principle of private property. From the first socialist who said, fifty years ago, that “property is the origin of all the ills of the world,” to the socialist who spoke from this podium and who, less charitable than the first, passing from property to the property-holder, exclaimed that “property is theft,” all socialists, all, I insist, attack, either in a direct or indirect manner, private property. [“True, true.”] I do not pretend to hold that all who do so, assault it in the frank and brutal manner which one of our colleagues has adopted. But I say that all socialists, by more or less roundabout means, if they do not destroy the principle upon which it is based, transform it, diminish it, obstruct it, limit it, and mold it into something completely foreign to what we know and have been familiar with since the beginning of time as private property. [Excited signs of assent.]

Now, a third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual. They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that the State must not only act as the director of society, but must further be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer. [“Excellent.”] For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him, in a word, to confine him. They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, [Further signs of assent.] to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom. [Lively assent.] "


The republicans and so called 'conservatives', are approaching this healthcontrol bill from the proregressives turf, and with their values and goals. They speak of how their plan will ensure more people, and for less cost, completely unawares, apparently, that such a rebuttal concedes the principles of the argument to the leftist proregressive. It concedes that, as de Tocqueville put it,


"... an incessant, vigorous and extreme appeal to the material passions of man..."

was a perfectly acceptable focus and concern for govt to take and secure.
When they complain that the proposed govt 'Shalls', fee's, fines and taxations to force people to become insured, are too excessive. It concedes as acceptable that it is ok for govt to have, as de Tocqueville put it,


"...always present, is an attack, either direct or indirect, on the principle of private property..."

completely unaware, apparently, that such a position abandons the right of the individual to their property and choices of how it should be spent, and ultimately results in the individual having no means for exercising any Rights.

The republicans and so called 'conservatives', are seemingly concerned only with costs, unemployment and whether the economy (anybody have any idea what that entails?) might be 'hurt', but the idea that govt can have a say, any say, properly and acceptably, in the decisions of individuals and businesses as regards health care, or anything else, unaware of the control of our own lives it rips from us, and hands over to govt. It concedes a function and nature of govt as being uncontroversial, that as de Tocqueville put it,
"Now, a third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual."

So called republicans and 'conservatives' like Newt Gingrich, have no problem speaking of a govt role in deciding our most personal choices and decisions, negating our right to be individuals, and they are clueless about what men like de Tocqueville, Jean Baptiste Say & Frédéric Bastiat, not to mention men like John Adams, Samuel Adams & Patrick Henry, saw so clearly well over a hundred and fifty years ago, that,



"...They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, [Further signs of assent.] to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom. [Lively assent.] "
If we argue with the leftists on their own turf, the materialist concerns of benefits, working conditions, pay, goodies; we will lost. We will lose, because they will always be willing to offer more pleasure, and we have only pain to offer in that realm, responsibility, self reliance, hard work, patience - who, with no further knowledge or cares, is going to choose stale bread over Twinkies?

The argument MUST be over Individual Rights, they absolute dependence upon Property Rights for the existence of ANY Rights, and the structure, purpose and meaning of the United States Constitution.

Any damn fool who argues for electing candidates with an "R" after their names ("A RINO is better than no R at all."), rather than candidates who stand for the principles of Americanism, is only arguing for the forces of anti-Americanism, but a new system of serfdom - and if you look at the comments under that stupid post, the Tea Party people are very, very much aware that an "R" is worthless, without the principles it supposedly stands for, and they intend to target such RINO's for extinction.

Please God, let there be "Lively assent" from the American people, to that. In that same speech, de Tocqueville, humorously suggested that his plague of socialists try their ideas out on Americans, confident that they would be ignored at worst, more likely roundly thumped for their foolishness,



"I mentioned a while ago that socialism pretended to be the legitimate continuation of democracy. I myself will not search, as some of my colleagues have done, for the real etymology of this word, democracy. I will not, as was done yesterday, rummage around in the garden of Greek roots to find from whence comes this word. [Laughter.] I look for democracy where I have seen it, alive, active, triumphant, in the only country on earth where it exists, where it could possibly have been established as something durable in the modern world—in America. [Whispers.]

There you will find a society where social conditions are even more equal than among us; where the social order, the customs, the laws are all democratic; where all varieties of people have entered, and where each individual still has complete independence, more freedom than has been known in any other time or place; a country essentially democratic, the only completely democratic republics the world has ever known. And in these republics you will search in vain for socialism. Not only have socialist theories not captured public opinion there, but they play such an insignificant role in the intellectual and political life of this great nation that they cannot even rightfully boast that people fear them.

America today is the one country in the world where democracy is totally sovereign. It is, besides, a country where socialist ideas, which you presume to be in accord with democracy, have held least sway, the country where those who support the socialist cause are certainly in the worst position to advance them I personally would not find it inconvenient if they were to go there and propagate their philosophy, but in their own interests, I would advise them not to. [Laughter.] "
That was during a time when the proregressive elite had yet to break into our educational system, when We The People still saw socialism as the foul, immoral, evil it is, they didn't yet accept any notions of materialist goodies as having more value than the real concept of Liberty; and they still knew that Liberty rested squarely upon constitutionally delimited government and Property Rights.

That has nearly been diseducated out of us. Why? Because as John Adams said, in a work well known to virtually all of the Framers of the Constitution, and most Educated (mostly at home) Americans afterwards, this from his report on a constitution for Massachusetts, "Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law", such desires to ensure that the people remain ignorant of the true meaning and scope of rights...



"...has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say rights, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government,-Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws-Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe."
It is our task, our responsibility, to re-Educate Americans to the timeless truths which our founders understood, and which any departure from, means nothing but reactionary ideology and regression into servitude and barbarity.

I tried to leave a comment to a post by Bad Bad JuJu (what's with the comment system there?), which he said,


"The (American) People need to understand, if the Health Care Bill is passed, it is nothing less than a government takeover of the whole health care system."
Which is very true... and worse. It really is nothing less than the repudiation of Individual Rights, Period.

It is a declaration, through taxation and decree, that govt defined x-spurts should have first say over the living and maintenance of their own lives.

What we've got to do, in the next two years, is Educate the core of the American people, to what has been de-educated out of them. The meaning of the ideas which lay behind the Constitution, and why it was written in the way it was - and to take vocal political action to restore to this land, a nation of Laws, not men.

Here's a good place to start.

It's not going to be easy... but it'll be fun to tell the grandkids about!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Reboot revisited: To Think Or Not To Think - That is the Term Limit Question

This post has grown out of my previous, carefully worded, cool headed post (er… rant) against the “Reboot Congress” and “Term Limits” crowd, and I think I need to bring some of the commentators points up to the surface. In the comments, Mxdg replied to me that,

“…Maybe voting them all out won't work and most likely will hurt but you haven't convinced me that term limits are a bad thing. The pipe dream of people learning about positions of pols and how it effects the country and voting responsibly, while being something I would dearly love to see, is just that, a dream.”

I replied, in part that, due to the reams of existing regulations, regulatory agencies, laws and byzantine committees, sub committees and ad hoc committees... which are in place before a rep arrives in D.C., and which continue on during and after their terms have ended; not to mention the gazillion measures and bills striving for their attention, and the importance of knowing which influential person favors which… the 'legislator', especially the new representative, has to rely upon their aides who have experience in the capital, those who make up the local bureaucracy, to tell the new member who supports what, what he should support, and what he should oppose, and what it is that the bills themselves actually mean (their having grown too long to be able to bother with actually reading them(!)).

It is only through experience, favors done and returned, connections made, gained and strengthened over time, that a legislator can hope to get to the point that they can themselves begin to steer the course of their office and their vote.

If we pass a law to substitute for our vote, to override our ability to make an intelligent choice between candidates on our own; not only do we enshrine stupidity into the electoral process (not only will good and bad both be turned out, but even the possibility to make an intelligent decision between them will be ruled out), but the weak legislator will be replaced by even more powerless ones who have no possibility of attaining any significant understanding and influence of their own, and the result will be that those who 'aide' the process, career minded bureaucratic aides focused on their own long term futures, influence and power, will become even more needed by our ‘elected’ representatives, ever more relied upon and powerful, than they now are.
The elected representative, who can’t serve more than two terms, would become a mere figurehead, having not even the possibility of ever attaining actual power over the process.

In short, if you think it's bad now, while legislators and their aides still actually care about the results of elections, imagine what it will be like when those who have the actual power will have been permanently entrenched, and won't give a rat’s ass who wins.

The problem is NOT in the number of terms that our elected representatives are allowed to seek, it is in the existing regulations, regulatory agencies, laws and byzantine committees, sub committees and ad hoc committees, concerned with things congress has no constitutional authority to be concerned with, which We The People have allowed and even encouraged, to entrench itself in Washington D.C.; what allowed them to take root, what waters and fertilizes them and cross pollinates them, is the fact that we allowed our govt to interfere in the free enterprise system, to make ‘safe’ decisions for us, by law, so that we could shuck some of our own personal responsibility – a veritable dinner gong for the power hungry to rush towards the feeding trough.

Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, even more so than FDR, rang that dinner gong, and along with the complicit and instigating aid of proregressive legal minds such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, and ‘educators’ like Wilson, they established in our society and laws a pragmatic disdain for principle, a disregard for property rights, and a reverence and trust for x-spurts to regulate and supervise the market for us – to replace our own thoughts and choices, with their legal decrees.

No aid, no progress, is going to be made by replacing even more of our ability to choose, with more of their decrees.

Missing The Point
To this, ZZMike replied that
"The argument against term limits is that it takes a few years to "learn the ropes" and get really good at being a Congressman. So by the time you know which way is up, you're out.
The arguments for term limits are Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, maybe even Richard C. Byrd, and any number of people who've been there forever."

A common sentiment, but, IMHO, it is missing the real point by a long shot. It is not so much missing the forest for the trees, as missing the trees for the one tree you've got your face pressed up so close to, that the bark is getting stuck in your teeth.

Let me try it this way. I say that the 'no term limits' option is like continuing to taking a slow acting poison, while fighting for the 'enforce term limits' option is like taking lethal doses of cyanide. ZZMike and others take a narrow look at my position and argue that I've got the roles reversed, that it is instead the ‘no term limits’ position that is the lethal dose of cyanide, and ‘enforce term limits’ that is the slow acting poison.

Do you see what’s wrong with that picture? While on one hand I do think they are wrong, that Pelosi & Reid are not foul incumbents because they can win unlimited terms, but because they've enacted rules and regulations that do things like supply defacto financing for incumbents campaigns, through mailers and so forth... but on the other hand, that is missing the real point entirely!

What I'm arguing is, is that that is not the argument! My argument is that it is foolish to argue over which way you'd like to be poisoned, the real argument is that we must stop allowing ourselves to be poisoned at all! Period!

We need to realize that govt is the way it is, because we've allowed it to pass laws that are unreadable, and that subvert or circumvent the constitution, in order to 'make things safe' so we don't have to think for ourselves, so that we can avoid thinking for ourselves, so that each of us is, in light of some group we belong to (worker, consumer, investor, etc), too big and sacred to fail!

Rather than deciding to commit massive time and resources to what would certainly be a multiple year effort in order to pass a constitutional amendment to impose term limits, which at the very best, in my estimation, would only switch out the players while the same game continues on unabated; we should instead choose to commit massive time and resources to publicly examining what it is our constitution actually means (and a sufficient understanding is not that difficult to acquire), how current practices, rules, regulations and agencies are either a-constitutional or flat out un-constitutional, and so we should actively work towards electing representatives who will work towards repealing them brick by brick – and our time and vocal attentions should be focused on keeping a Tea Partyish political 'consumer reports' type eye upon them, holding their feet, and votes, to the fire.

It may indeed be difficult to accomplish this, but no other measure will work, certainly not term limits, they will only distract us from the real issue, and sink us deeper into the constitutional hole we are already in.

Sneaking A Peak
ZZMike also said that the Founders
"… also figured that someone would run for Congress, take time off from the family business (usually a farm), do his bit for a couple of years, then go back home and let somebody else have a shot at it."

At the risk of sounding too ‘Pie in the sky’, if we remove the unconstitutional agencies, rules, regulations and powers from the hands of our legislators, then they will again have a less complicated system and limited scope of concerns; concerns which will not support corrupt aims or opportunities to feather their nests more than their own farms and businesses would offer them, and they might again consider serving in congress to be a worthwhile duty and honor, instead of a long term desire for personal gain.

It is not limited or unlimited congressional and senatorial terms that corrupts politicians or attracts corrupt politicians; it is a system that has been recentered around a corruption of our constitutional republic. Allowing the Fed govt to wield its power in the free market, corrupts both the market and our Govt, and our Rights are trampled in the process.

The free market is based upon incentives, not guarantees; risks, actions and choices freely made, not forced upon them - a free government is based upon impartial laws defined and delimited by a Constitution, which defends the right of its citizens to choose freely.

A free Govt is based upon objective law: lady justice blindfolded, her scales weighing matters without favor or prejudice, in order to dispense Justice – her sword ready to defend the innocent and to punish the unjust.

When Govt and the Free Market intermingle, Lady Justice is made to peek beyond her blindfold, giving unjust favor to those which an influential lawmaker favors, and in turn, the market will use its wealth to invite, bribe and control, the favors of the government, which in turn will use it’s sword to force the market to ‘choose’ it’s favored desires.

The free market is based upon incentives, not guarantees; actions and choices freely made, not forced upon them - a free government is based upon impartial laws defined and delimited by a Constitution, which defends the right of its citizens to choose freely. Allowing the two to mingle, forces ‘choices’ upon us, and dissolves impartiality, and guarantees the corruption of both.

The "Safe Choice" Means No Choice
ZZMike said
"As I remember, one of the reasons the Founding Geezers had Senators sit for longer terms than Representatives is so they wouldn't have to be so dependent on drumming up the vote."
Yes they did... and the 1920's version of 'term limits' was a campaign finance reform that was to 'democratize' the Senate, that would put power 'in the hands of the people', a push for ‘hope and change!’… which was the 17th amendment. It took the election of Senators out of the hands of the locally elected State representatives – in direct opposition to one of the Founding Fathers most deliberately designed hierarchical features of our Constitution, that would ‘cool off’ the passions of the House, into nothing different than a more concentrated version of the House of Representatives with triple the length terms.

Even more than the 16th amendment (Income Tax, The Fed, etc), the 17th amendment has damaged our govt - almost beyond repair.

The Senate was designed to be a deliberative body, several arms lengths removed from the passions of the people, concerned with and answerable to the real concerns and interests of their States and the nation as a whole. Senators were to be elected by their state legislators, those locally elected representatives who were closest to the people themselves (closer even (by presumed district size) than those elected to the House of Representatives). These representatives who the Senators had to earn the votes of, would much more likely be known by, and know the real needs and concerns, of their constituents, and who would choose the best and most experienced representatives from among themselves, or some similarly person of competence and character.

This kept the Senate at several arms lengths from the rabid popular hue and cries of the moment. The popular whims and flash points of the day, which are so easily demagogued, was what the House of Representatives was designed to respond to – the Senate on the other hand, was to be a deliberative body, one which could serve as cooling off chamber, weeding out unwise, populist passions. And it could do so, because it didn’t need to curry favor from the populace, which would be consumed by those popular whims and flash points of the day, but from elected officials who knew the people, but also knew more about the issues themselves and were able to make cooler headed judgments, and see to it that Senators paid more mind to the real substantive concerns of their state. And because the Senate held terms of six years, it would need even less, to be concerned about those hot-button issues.

The 17th amendment was pushed through on similar populist grounds to today’s ‘reboot congress’ and ‘term limit’ mania, it rode a proregressive wave of 'throw the bums out' and 'make them more answerable to us!' demagoguery, spurred on by, ironically enough, corruption in Chicago Style Politics of Illinois, and promised hope and change for the People!

Predictably, what it in fact did, was make it almost guaranteed that Senators would have to mug for pictures, kiss babies and zoom around the state to be seen as much as possible, and heard saying less and less of substance, and worse, it made them answerable NOT to a handful of knowledgeable members of state legislators, who themselves were plugged into not only the peoples concerns, but the more valid concerns of the state as a whole - it made them have to sell themselves to passionate interest groups across the state, it made them have to stage huge campaigns, and it made it necessary for Senators to spend huge amounts of time catering to the whims of interest groups and those few who most influenced them – it guaranteed that no Senator could ever really know the constituents who would elect them - and vice versa.

Rather than give power to the people, it made them more anonymous and powerless.

The Real Point
The real point, is that a republic requires a carefully structured and delimited government rooted in and bound by a written constitution, representative of and answerable to, a moral, principled, people, who are not only willing to pay attention to the issues and carefully elect their representatives, but who understand that it is their duty as citizens, to do so.

Arguing that we are no longer that people, and so we must consume more and more poison, is an insane plan to restore the health of the Republic.

We must educate ourselves; we must encourage our neighbors to become educated as well. We must seek to remove the responsibility of educating our children, from those who are teaching them the exact opposite of what they need to know – the pragmatism (ala John Dewey, the founder of modern diseducation) – and return the responsibility of educating children to parents who will seek an education for them that is rooted in the principles our Founders understood, and which enabled them to write our Constitution.

That process cannot be shortened, the burden cannot be reduced, by legislating short cuts.

Think... or be prepared to be told what to think.