Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat!!!

Halloween theme for our Dept. at the office: Wal-Mart Shoppers.

Note the addition to the costume accessories in my cube that some folks might find reallllllyyyy scary... a Wal-Mart Shopper with a Constitution!

Happy Halloween and Trick or Treat folks, and stock up for Voting November 2nd - time to start cleaning up!

A fun bunch of people to work with:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Racists Start Your Engines!

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,' if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's going to be harder."

President Obama speaking to Univision
Huh. Who knew that 'getting beyond race' meant firing the starting pistol for the race of the races to begin? Pardon me for my lack of PC, but to make a political exhortation to an American electorate, beginning with,

"...If [fill in YOUR favorite race here]'s sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,'...
... there is no other way to describe that in this day and age, but as racist. It means, in and of itself, that
"We are all racists now, and it's important that the races we like [for now], punish those races we are opposed to!"
I’ve often gotten short tempered at simple dumb, bigoted and/or prejudicial statements being taken and cast as racism... I mean, stupid is sometimes just stupid, it isn't always necessarily malevolent... but this one – from our President – takes the cake. This is not only nominally racist in content, but is purely racist in those 'principles' which must be held, affirmed and believed in, in order to have thought of it, and to have said it.

I now drop those few shreds of reservations and presumptions of innocence towards Owebama which I'd managed to cling to... bitter as it might be to admit, the President of the United States of America, is a racist.

I can't tell you how painful it is to say that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Four Funerals for Free Speech

What is free speech?
Does 'Free Speech' come with no constraints or responsibilities whatsoever?

Is anything and everything made permissible as long as you assert you are doing it as an expression of your 'Right to free speech!'?

As a refresher, here is our First Amendment,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
And here I'll provide some links which present, and represent it, with commentary that is relevant to that aspect of thinking which our Founders had in mind when they demanded that the Constitution be accompanied by a Bill of Rights in order to be ratified. Relevant selections of history, philosophical thought, informal commentary, and early supreme court decisions on each aspect of the First Amendment and how it applies in regards to 'Free Speech', 'Religion' and 'Petition and Assembly'.

Given our world today, a time when a government organ like NPR (supposed private corporation status aside, it's an abomination of, and a direct violation of all Americans Rights to Free Speech in and of itself) can fire people for exercising their right of reasonable discussion, and also a time when pure thugs and demagogues hide under color of authority in order to abuse the First Amendment rights of their fellow citizens in order to push their own political agenda... you had better begin reading, studying, discussing, and god dammit, FIGHTING for these Rights - or kiss them goodbye.

When does one person's 'Free Speech' infringe upon the Rights of another to peaceably assemble?
When is the exercise of the Right to peaceably assemble and to engage in free speech and the exercise of ones religion, appropriate, and when must those very Rights be defended against an onslaught by others purporting to be exercising those very same 'rights'?

A political Right is something which sustains your Right to engage in the actions and speech you choose to engage in – so long as your actions do not infringe upon another's – when they do, then the exercise of what you supposed to be your rights, is in fact infringing upon the rights of another, and when that happens, while you may be going through the outward appearance of exercising those rights, you are in fact only using them to abuse the rights of another.

And there is no Right to do any such thing.

In a land robbed of Education, such distinctions, once commonly understood to simply be examples of prudent reasoning, are shoved aside under the banner of a literalist secular fundamentalism allowed to masquerade as ‘legal reasoning’. Those few instances where legitimate Rights are defended, are simply battered away at, again and again, until they are bludgeoned into submission and our real Rights are eventually declared unconstitutional. And once this sort of thing is allowed to happen, routinely, then those few instances where regular people and communities do attempt to stand up for their Rights and for simple civil decency (Ground Zero Mosque anyone?), will be rolled over by truly despicable monsters.

That is what is happening under our very noses, and it is being defended by that institution dedicated to making a mockery of our Constitution and of our Individual Rights, the ACLU, which has just succeeded in bullying the small the town of St. Peters MO into withdrawing it’s ordinance banning protests in the area of a funeral.

“As expected, the St. Peters Board of Aldermen voted Thursday night to remove a ban on protests near funerals.

The city's ordinance had been similar to a state law that was struck down by federal judges earlier this year. A letter from the ACLU of Eastern Missouri on behalf of members of the Westboro Baptist Church prompted the board to repeal its ordinance.

Westboro members are known for protesting at the funerals of soldiers. They hold signs saying God hates gay people and celebrate the death of soldiers as God's judgment for what they believe is this country's tolerance of gays.

The ACLU won a recent federal court battle with the city of Manchester over its funeral protest law, and its letter pointed out several other cities that repealed their ordinances.”
That this issue is even discussed with any pretence of legitimacy is disgusting enough.That it is done by the ACLU on behalf of the Westboro Baptist Church purportedly defending their ‘right’ to protest at the funeral of a fallen soldier... should properly induce a seething rage in the hearts of anyone who truly values their freedom and liberty.

Last Friday was senior night at my son's High School football game. Parents of seniors escorted their son's before the start of the game as they were announced, and their immediate goals after graduation were announced, some were going to college, some into the military, etc. Before the start of the game where they had planned to play the school fight song, there was instead the announcement that the flag was flying at half mast for a graduate from the previous year, had just been killed in Afghanistan... and into that hush a young girl sang, without accompaniment, the "Star Spangled Banner", which was one of the most moving renditions I've ever heard - no dry eyes were to be found in the stands or the field.

That young man was laid to rest today... and it is to be claimed that some group of thugs has a Right to subject his family to abuse, has a Right to disrupt their right to peaceably assemble to bury their son who fell in defense of his nation, has a Right to disrupt the free exercise of their religious observance in funeral of their son?

There is NO FREE SPEECH ISSUE involved here, there is no such thing as a Right to violate the Rights of others, there is nothing here but an exercise of pure bullying under the color of the supposed authority of constitutional law. Disgusting and despicable. Particularly so because the well funded coffers of the Anti Constitutional Leftist Union subverted the rights of the people of St. Peters not in a court of law, but through the threat of financial burden that would follow their lawsuit.

"St. Peters Alderman Tommy Roberts echoed comments by four other aldermen that he was voting for the repeal only because of the money the city would have to spend to defend the law.

"If these despicable people would've showed up in protest at my dad's funeral, one of them would've gotten their ass whipped," he said. "I'm opposed to this, but we don't have the money to fight the ACLU on this. I am going to have to vote in favor of this for the sake of the taxpayers."

Aldermen Gus Elliott and Dave Thomas voted against the repeal. Elliott said he believed protesters were trampling on the First Amendment rights of mourners."
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story commented upon almost this very issue over a century ago, on how it applies to our First Amendment Rights, and how the pretence of such actions as being the exercising of real rights, was in fact an assault upon them, that...

“"...Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." That this amendment was intended to secure to every citizen an absolute right to speak, or write, or print, whatever he might please, without any responsibility, public or private, therefor, is a supposition too wild to be indulged by any rational man. This would be to allow to every citizen a right to destroy, at his pleasure, the reputation, the peace, the property, and even the personal safety of every other citizen. A man might, out of mere malice and revenge, accuse another of the most infamous crimes; might excite against him the indignation of all his fellow citizens by the most atrocious calumnies; might disturb, nay, overturn all his domestic peace, and embitter his parental affections; might inflict the most distressing punishments upon the weak, the timid, and the innocent; might prejudice all a man's civil, and political, and private rights; and might stir up sedition, rebellion, and treason even against the government itself, in the wantonness of his passions, or the corruption of his heart. “[emphasis mine]

Justice Story correctly foresaw that if some errant bunch in society took to such methods as do the ACLU and their likeminded compatriots in Phelps's Westboro bumpkins churls, then it would certainly be disastrous for society at large and for the Rights of all those within it.

“Civil society could not go on under such circumstances. Men would then be obliged to resort to private vengeance, to make up for the deficiencies of the law; and assassinations, and savage cruelties, would be perpetrated with all the frequency belonging to barbarous and brutal communities. It is plain, then, that the language of this amendment imports no more, than that every man shall have a right to speak, write, and print his opinions upon any subject whatsoever, without any prior restraint, so always, that he does not injure any other person in his rights, person, property, or reputation; and so always, that he does not thereby disturb the public peace, or attempt to subvert the government. It is neither more nor less, than an expansion of the great doctrine, recently brought into operation in the law of libel, that every man shall be at liberty to publish what is true, with good motives and for justifiable ends. And with this reasonable limitation it is not only right in itself, but it is an inestimable privilege in a free government. Without such a limitation, it might become the scourge of the republic, first denouncing the principles of liberty, and then, by rendering the most virtuous patriots odious through the terrors of the press, introducing despotism in its worst form.”
"Introducing despotism in its worst form" - truer words....

Ladies and Gentlemen of We The People, your treasured First Amendment Rights are being subverted under the thin pretence of exercising them, in order that they might be destroyed and done away with, in government, in the media, in the courts and in our schools.

That is what is being done, and you know it. Don't you.

In less than two weeks you have a chance to begin setting this situation aright by Voting on November 2nd, but that is Not Enough. You, YOU have a responsibility to stand up for your Rights and those of your fellows, you have a responsibility to take whatever civil action you find yourself capable of, to work, to expend effort towards defending your Rights.

You have a responsibility to learn about your Constitution, a responsibility to understand what your Rights mean and a responsibility to put people into - or remove them from - positions of power and influence in your government, in your school, in the public press and in your daily lives, otherwise you will face funerals for free speech in each of those four corners of your world.

Get off your duffs and do something about it - or it will be surely be lost.
(Cross posted at 24th State)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Decimating the Press Corps(e)

The Pressorian Guard thins it's ranks.
I made a slightly tongue in cheak post last week, from a video of the Chicago press corps (or to be sensitive to Obama, 'press corpse'... hmmm... sorta fitting) did their best to shield Rahm Emmanuel from hostile questioning, comparing them with the Roman Praetorian Guard, I called them the "Pressorian Guard".
NPR, fresh with $1.8 million in donations from George Soros (gotta love the quote: "NPR’s new project, called Impact of Government" - WHAM!), is apparently taking that title to heart, defending not just the knights of the PC realm from the press, but their sacred leader, Political Correctness itself, from being accosted by the inconvenient Truth.

Juan Williams should have read my post. Juan, a throw back to the old left, made the mistake of thinking that honest discussion was a virtue and that feelings weren't crimes, let alone expressing them.
As he describes his termination,
"...she continued to ask me what did I mean and I told her I said what I meant. Then she said she did not sense remorse from me. I said I made an honest statement. She informed me that I had violated NPR’s values for editorial commentary and she was terminating my contract as a news analyst.
I pointed out that I had not made my comments on NPR. She asked if I would have said the same thing on NPR. I said yes, because in keeping with my values I will tell people the truth about feelings and opinions.
I asked why she would fire me without speaking to me face to face and she said there was nothing I could say to change her mind, the decision had been confirmed above her, and there was no point to meeting in person. To say the least this is a chilling assault on free speech. The critical importance of honest journalism and a free flowing, respectful national conversation needs to be had in our country. But it is being buried as collateral damage in a war whose battles include political correctness and ideological orthodoxy.
What he may finally be discovering, is that feelings, whims, desires, are all the left has to stand on... and force it's only response to their being challenged.
"I said, 'You mean I don't even get the chance to come in and we do this eyeball-to-eyeball, person-to-person, have a conversation? I've been there more than 10 years, We don't get to have a chance to have that conversation?"
Correct. Orders from above. Fired.

This is me wearing my shocked face.

Here's Juan wearing his.

But the bottom line is as NPR itself said (a functionary arm of the government), that what Williams had said was "...inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR...", which is exactly so. He told the Truth. Obviously he had to go.

The Bellmont club (HT Julie) has an interesting take on that statement by NPR:
"See? That sheds light on everything, but only if you realize that the key to understanding these non-explanations is to grasp that they should be self evident. They implicitly assume that if you “don’t get it” then there must be something wrong with you. If you require elucidation then some critical sensitivity is lacking from your make-up, just as it was absent from Larry Summers, Ginny Thomas or Juan Williams. An inability to recoil instinctively, or worse a desire for reasons signifies a reptilian stain in your bosom, which if it doesn’t make you want to rip it out, means you are the equivalent of a dead soul, lacking in some basic quality. The reactions to modern blasphemy immediately recalls the passage in Matthew which says, “then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.” What further need have we of witnesses? And that is that."
Sums it up rather well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Praetorian Guard is dead, Long Live the Pressorian Guard!

The Press was supposed to be the guardians of the Republic, the so called unofficial Fourth Estate, to keep those in government honest and answerable to We The People.

Well apparently the Media are making a move to become a more ‘legit’ and official operation, they can be seen in this video reported on by Dana Loesch at Big Journalism, to be visibly making a move to become a new adaptation of the Caesars Pretorian Guard.

Ladies and Gents, I give you the Pressorian Guard:

(Ummm... note to the would be Caesars - might want to read up on how willing the old Praetorian Guard was to only protect power, rather than taking some of it for themselves. Just sayin')

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Beauty within American Government

Humor me here as I divert my posts on regulatory law, into riffing off of two recent short posts by Bill Hennessy, 'Drowning Beauty' and 'Is Glenn Beck helping?', that have been rattling around my attic, I want to try to tie them all together here.
In the first he notes that totalitarian regimes typically either destroy or hoard beauty,
"’s important to remember what’s at stake in America, in the world, this election: beauty.

Totalitarian regimes despise beauty. They bury it in palaces where the rulers roam, their cancerous eyes raking over someone’s masterpiece the way raw sewage pollutes a clear stream after a pipe’s failure...
I heartily agree with this, and then he notes something which isn't often recognized, that "high art" never made a big splash in our popular culture, because for Americans, we've never lacked it or needed to have it boxed and displayed in the standard artistic forums; it'd be like selling snow to Eskimo's, it already fills our daily lives around us. This is an important point which the typical 'intellectual' is blind to in so many ways.
Beauty doesn't require museums and halls in order to exist in our lives - don't get me wrong, they can enhance, deepen and spread beauty, but they are more of a magnifier of it, not it's source, as those who promote such venues like to presume. Bill notes that,
"...In free America (remember it?) high art never made it big because such beauty surrounded everything. Little country churches with their Godly whiteness graced the eye, their choirs the ear, with a love no painting or opera could equal...."
It's an extremely important subject, one I hope he posts more on soon.
I've posted on this more than a few times on also, and it's something which I think should be front and center in all of our minds, particularly during elections, because just as the eggheads miss the beauty which surrounds us, we typically miss the impact that high art has on the beauty the egghead fails to see. To see what I mean, next time you are driving around town, take note of the twisted metal lumps put up in our parks and labeled as 'Art'. The magnifying ability of 'high art' goes both ways, and it goes so much further than simple aesthetic tastes and appeals, if you can diminish and corrupt what would be thought of as a beautiful sculpture, painting, play or symphony, then the peoples ears begin to long less for their choirs, and their eyes fail to see the grace in their churches.
Bill say's "If freedom dies, beauty hibernates", and I'll say that the reverse is also true, if beauty hibernates, freedom dies.
The Good, the Beautiful and the True are a package deal; you can't slight one, without degrading the others. Fellows like Antonio Gramsci knew that first and foremost in order to reduce America, they would have to make us less good as a people; his recommended assault path to the Soviets and sundry leftists, was to target the Art world because he knew that a regard for Beauty and a regard for Justice, go hand in hand - degrade one, and you degrade the other. This was a once commonly understood concept that has been noticeably absent from our schools for decades, if not downright opposed in them.
(Hmmm... wonder if that's important? Seen a textbook lately? Is 'Beauty' a word that pops into mind? How about with what used to be the foundational 'texts' of education, Homer? Virgil? Aeschylus? Shakespeare? I'll try to avoid getting distracted here, but a word to the school reformers seeking to 'improve' the textbooks: if you expect blood from a stone and don't get it, how the stone is being squeezed, probably isn't the issue which should concern you. Moving on.)
Relevant to this, here's something from one of the posts I made on this a while back, Forgotten Beauty and lost Justice,

"...from an essay at the excellent Art Renewal, Good Art, Bad Art:

Is it a coincidence that that fall was followed by the most blood soaked series of tyrants and wars the world has ever known? Such a coincidence would require a strong belief in coincidences - I don't buy it - the two are related. Deeply..."
"The art of painting, one of the greatest traditions in all of human history has been under a merciless and relentless assault for the last one hundred years. I'm referring to the accumulated knowledge of over 2500 hundred years, spanning from Ancient Greece to the early Renaissance and through to the extraordinary pinnacles of artistic achievement seen in the High Renaissance, 17th century Dutch, and the great 19th century Academies of Europe and America. These traditions, just when they were at their absolute zenith, at a peak of achievement, seemingly unbeatable and unstoppable, hit the twentieth century at full stride, and then ... fell off a cliff, and smashed to pieces on the rocks below."
The 19th century poet and critic, Matthew Arnold, famously (though mostly forgotten today) recorded his thoughts on travelling across America in the mid 1800's in "Civilization in the U.S", and he described it as it being a drab, ugly landscape, devoid of "Sweetness and Light", and though he scored with this one,
"It is often said that every nation has the government it deserves. What is much more certain is that every nation has the newspapers it deserves."
, I think his prejudice led him astray with this,
" What really dissatisfies in American civilisation is the want of the interesting, a want due chiefly to the want of those two great elements of the interesting, which are elevation and beauty. And the want of these elements is increased and prolonged by the Americans being assured that they have them when they have them not. "
I think he missed something, which Bill caught the edge of in his post, that beauty is not only to be found in paintings, opera's and local architecture, it is also in, and more substantially so (though less easily identified) in the manners, habits and culture of the people, and visible in
"...Little country churches with their Godly whiteness graced the eye, their choirs the ear..."
, and these are potent enough to outshine the selected objects on display in even the finest of galleries.
Which brings me to his second post from a while back, that has been popping up in my mind now and then, "Is Glenn Beck helping?". Now, I'm not really interested in hearing anyone's opinion on Glenn Beck, pro or con... but I suppose I've got to at least give a quick blurb myself, and will say that for several years people I worked with had tried to interest me in him to no avail. His humor mostly annoyed me, his occasional political comments were usually too shallow for interest and too often even when he was correct, it was for no more reason than a stopped clock has for being correct twice daily.
But IMHO (!), Beck has been making some remarkable, though uneven, headway since starting his show on Fox. I gave a cheer when I first heard him say Woodrow Wilson was a monumentally bad President, and I nearly came out of my chair to hear him say on Nat'l T.V. that the sainted Teddy Roosevelt was a bad President as well. Finally someone else said the obvious! It's been fun watching Beck do something very rarely seen these days, especially for a public figure, not only has he changed his mind, but he's visibly, continually, revising positions, as he has discovered more and more information and history - whether and how much he has left to go, is beside the point - watching someone actually learn is a thrill, pulling along millions of viewers with him - priceless. And his continual refrain of: "Don't take my word for it... look it up yourselves!" while pointing them to the sources where they can go look it up for themselves at, that warms the cockles of my ever-linking heart.
I do wish he'd get the heck past the 'Wilson was an evil dude' kick though. And although I did once hear him mention William Godwin (very much closer to the source of the spread of modernity’s sickness), that one mention was all, and his pre-20th century interests seem to be confined to the figures of the Founding Father's only.
I don't want to spend any more time on those other sources here (see the "Greatest Hits" in the right sidebar of my blog for more), I'll just mumble out 'Godwin, J.S. Mill, Bentham, Condorcet, ROUSSEAU, Descartes, and then back out through Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Pierce, Dewey...' and move on.
What I would like to say in response to Bill's question,
"But does Beck’s presentation help or hurt?...I love Glenn, but he needs to offer solutions. Bring on guests who give people a path to survival. Offer some hope that America will return to a Constitutional Republic sometime in our lifetimes...."
, is that incomplete as his foundation is, redundant as his Wilsonian sniping is, and myopic as his focus upon only the leading figures of our Founding Father's era is, and shallow as some of his advice might be, yes, what he is saying, matters.
Beyond the enthusiasm I have for his relentless exposing of Proregressives follies and evils, the fact is that he has been far more effective than any school or agency has been in stirring up some semblance of real educational reform among Americans - their own. The point of his daily jaunts has been to focus people on what is the true beauty and ultimate point of America - not our Constitution (and you know how much I revere that document), but in rekindling the idea of, and desire for, Self Government.
For all of our calls for tax cuts and legislative repeal, if in the end we do not find our way back past public and national politics, to the desire and insistence upon being a self governing people, it will all be for naught, and will only usher in a new, slicker, better packaged tyranny to take the place of the present one.
Making people aware of what lays behind the problems we're facing is extremely important, and it is the only way to restore us to ourselves, and so yes, even though he offers no specific plans, I think that he is helping, and I'll give you a recent example of what I mean.
Government of the other, by the other and for the other... is ugliness incarnate.

That old once and future tyranny is just itching to ride in among us on the exact same horse it came in on with T.R. & Woodrow Wilson, merely saddled differently. Several of us saw that horse, and it's road apples, earlier this week when two "Prop B" activist's (sorry, I didn't get their names) brought their passive aggressive act to a group discussion at Tea Party Headquarters.
During the discussion we were having on the roots of our current situation, they said they'd really like to talk to us about the "Prop B Puppy Mill" issue; several people replied, no thanks, we'd looked at that and didn't think it was a good issue or in any way worthwhile or of interest to us.
They immediately pulled the
"Oh! You are so Rude! Why won't you be tolerant and allow us to takeover your quaint discussion with what we know you should be talking about?"
I managed to listen for a few minutes more while they made their points and passed around their talking points, listened while they patronizingly denied that there was any validity to any of our groups responses with a condescending "That's simply not true", and assured us that all Prop B was, was a few very, very, necessary regulations needed to correct a dire situation (which the previous regulations somehow didn't correct), it was "a People's initiative!" and so of course it would not restrict anyone's freedoms or cost any more money to carry out, and these additional regulations would simply make all of our lives better, and spread happy puppies across the land.
Well... hearing anyone talk up the wonders of regulatory law clicks my un-mute button pretty quickly, so I asked them if they could point to a single area where such regulations had ever actually worked, a single area where regulations didn't spawn more regulations and deprive us of more of our freedoms - and their answer was:
"Yes, the field I work in, Bartending. Regulations covering selling alcohol and the amounts a person can drink. Those are great examples of regulations that have worked."
Had she never heard of Prohibition? Was she aware that in several states all liquor is sold in govt stores only? How about DUI's? These are examples of what has worked and not creeped and grown into all areas of life? Seriously? And when she attempted to talk over me and change the subject, I'd had enough, stood and used my best outdoor voice to remind her that,
"You're free to bring up your foolishness here if you want to, but you're bringing it to a group whose purpose for gathering is centered around opposition to our expanding government and opposition to more and more regulatory control over our lives... and you bring in a proposal for MORE regulations to our discussion, and attempt to cow and control our discussion to conform to your agenda, and then have the nerve to whine about how unfair we're being to your pro-regulatory views, and all the while denying any validity to our opinions and comments - and you expect hushed tones and respectful acceptance? Please ... grow up, get over it, and feel free to move on."
They had no interest in the purpose of our discussion, they never had any intention of debating or even discussing our concerns about their Prop B, they were only interested in our accepting and complying with what they had to tell us, and finding that that wasn't going to happen, they stammered about for another couple minutes, then with a farewell of how conservative they actually were and how rude we all were, they finally left.
Reason is not their focus, force is. The purveyors of regulatory laws in particular, and big government in general, are not content with principled laws that are reliant upon judgment to live by and apply, they want to define every last particular of what they think is best for us, whether it's 50 and not 51 puppies per owner, or restricting campaign ads before elections, or telling us what we can and cannot eat, they are unwilling to allow you to govern your own life, and they are eager for the institution of government to define your every thought and act for you.
And that's it in a NutShall, their answer for every problem and grievance, is for more regulation, and when those regulations fail to reform us into better drones, then they will demand even more regulations and more control being given to the government, and for us to give up more responsibility for our own actions and manners - their goal is that our responsibilities should be given and ceded to an external central government, instead of strengthening and reinforcing the truly American form of government: Self Government.
And this was where I saw that Beck is in fact helping. From our discussion group, a dozen or so very typical working class people, with one or two who fancy themselves 'better educated' (yeah, that'd be me), I heard coming from them over and again about "The 5,000 year leap", "Frederich Bastiat" and "The Federalist Papers", and not just the names, but quotes and concepts, and how they applied to and opposed the fundamentals of the activist's puppy mill bill.
Thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
The Path Home

That was beautiful, and with this group I know for a fact that the content of their responses, where they found the sources for them themselves, were largely the work of Beck. He not only mentioned those sources they drew on, but he has been pushing people to read them themselves - and they did, and they are, and THAT is our path home, not through detailed action plans, but by rebuilding the structures within us all for Self Government. Of course those detailed action plans will be needed for the tactical wins, but because of Beck, they don't need to come from Beck, because of what he has pushed people to rediscover and recreate with themselves.
Those action plans will come, and are coming, either from themselves, or from people like Bill Hennessy, and the people are able to see, understand and recognize the need for them, and that rediscovery is driving this election as it will the future elections and propositions to come. We would have no place to take America back to, if we are not prepared within ourselves to refound and defend it, and I think Beck is very much helping to prepare the ground for that.
Self Government is the key to America, and it is the key to our morality, to our economic system, and to our Constitution, if we seek and insist on governing ourselves, the rest will follow and we will have and be a self correcting system of government, if not - then we are doomed to becoming just another run of the mill country, defined by it's borders and 'heritage', no more exceptional than any other.
But we are not that.
The source of American exceptionalism is found in the eternal and universal ideas of liberty and Natural Law, and in our desire and willingness to be a self governing people. For all that Socrates got wrong, he got that part right, Self Governance is the key to being able to entrust government with the power it necessarily must have, and it is the only path to true freedom and liberty.
There is no contradiction here, only a good and self governing people can withstand the rigors of freedom and liberty. The basis of our Federal Government, as well as our State, County and Municipal governments, is the individual ability, willingness and responsibility of the people to govern themselves. As the quote popularly attributed to de Tocqueville puts it:
"America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great
That is where we have been attacked, that is where our schools attack us most, always turning our eyes from what is good and beautiful within ourselves and towards more and more centralized, removed, anonymous authorities, and ever further removed sources (now pushing us towards an "I.B."!). We must be a moral, self governing people, jealous of our rights and privileges, and insistent upon restricting the power which external governance can have over us, going any further beyond what is needed to uphold and defend everyone's individual rights - We The People must be that, or we will cease to be.
When Matthew Arnold travelled across our land, he made the mistake of looking for outward appearances and displays of beauty, and he failed to see where the greatest most glorious beauty of America lays, all around and shining through each of us, the American choice for Self Government, and the beauty of it still, even today, shines out through,
"...Little country churches with their Godly whiteness graced the eye, their choirs the ear, with a love no painting or opera could equal..."
From sea to shining sea, that is America, the Beautiful.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The First Monday in October

On the 1st Monday in October, the current Supreme Court Justices, nine in number, of the Supreme Court of the United States of America will meet and convene, hearing cases as they apply the the Constitution of the United States of America, and ruling on, and delivering opinions on their merits and constitutionality.

These Nine Justices, are the ones who hear and rule upon how laws will affect your liberty and freedom.

One of them, Sonia Sotormayor infamously said,
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life…"
And as I said before:
"The problem with Sonia Sotormayor’s “Latina” comment isn’t that it’s racial, but that in seeing reasoning human beings, as defined by their genes, excludes character and reasoning, to say nothing of Constitutional reasoning (which IS her and their point) from the matter altogether."
Another Justice, Elena Kagan, wrote an academic paper advocating for policies to redistribute Free Speech. And advocated before the Supreme Court which she now sits upon, that, it would be a swell idea to give a regulatory agency power over the 1st Amendment (which she is now charged with defending), trusting that... it's highly unlikely... that they'd ever actually limit anyone's Right to Freedom of Speech (but just in case... it was needed, they should have power over it).

"The gov't view is that although 441b does cover full length books, that there would be a quite good as applied challenge applied to any attempt to apply 441b in that context, and I should say that the FCC has Never applied 441b in that context, so for 60 years a book has Never been an issue. "
I don't have the stomach tonight to go through the worst Justice on the court , Stephen Breyer (or at least he was until the two latest came along - he may be eclipsed by them - I've posted on him several times before, he's simply awful), or the others on the left or 'center' of the court.

I'll just say Thank God for these guys - Justice Thomas and also Justice Alito and Justice Roberts... and I suppose Justice Scalia as well - they are all (note: Four is less than Nine, and Four is less than Five also) that's standing between your liberties being defended by a written constitution, and their defense being cast as a 'living document' able to mean whatever those who want to find a particular meaning in it - like Kagan, Sotomayer & Breyer - which happens to fit what they'd like it to mean.

Am I fear mongering? Damn right I am.

Here's the Article of the Constitution which defines the Supreme Court, click the links, learn the meaning behind them - you're gonna need it.

Article 3

Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.