Tag Archives: Constitution

Citizenship Debate: Introduction

San Diego — In the last post titled “Straw Men, Red Herrings and Big Lies” I made the assertion that one of the red herrings out there was the flap over President Obama’s eligibility to be President.  Most have high centered on the so-called “Birther” issue where some believe him to have proffered bogus documentation of his birth place and in so doing sent others into paroxysms of appoplexia.

I suggested that it was irrelevant because it centered on the wrong question, that being, even if he WAS born in the U.S., the real question was the citizenship of his father vis-à-vis entitling him to the status of “Natural Born Citizen” as demanded for eligibility to become President.  I further suggested that I believed the answer was “No.”

A reader, “Ellen” (whom I erroneously referred to as “Erin” in responses because I misread her name and for which I apologize profusely) leapt feet first into that assertion and presented, on the face of it, a reasonable case to the contrary even if couched in somewhat patronizing language.

To be honest I thought that was cool.  My whole purpose here is to stimulate thought and reasoned debate; and if my assertion brought that debate about, then I would feel good that I had succeeded. And i guess, now that we are in the political silly season, some overflow of passion is to be expected.

Unfortunately, rather than simply agree to disagree and present a contrary view, Ellen felt so strongly about her position that the status of individuals born on American soil regardless of the allegiances or citizenship of the parents was settled implicitly to be that of a natural born citizen and therefore eligible to be president, that she expressed that I was dead wrong and ignorant of the real facts and that, therefore, I obviously did not know what I was talking about since it was a long-ago firmly settled issue.

(Rather than me putting words in her mouth, I would suggest you jump to that initial post (there is a link in the right hand column or you can just scroll down to access it) and read the comments from her and the short exchange which followed so you can determine for yourself what she is saying.)

I would normally let comments speak for themselves and happily stand back and let commenters rejoin one another in a lively discussion. The problem in this case is that while I am divinely indifferent as to whether someone agrees with my conclusions or not, to maintain some credibility with these posts it is important to make sure that I do have the core facts from which I draw those conclusions in hand and present them as accurately as possible.

It was not my conclusions alone that Ellen challenged however, but the “facts,” the whole underlying premises that I relied on to form the basis of the argument.  That puts me in the sad place of having to spend time defending something that in the end I presented and argued was irrelevant and was being used as a red herring to draw our attention away from the important issues.  So here I am, spending more time than it deserves to be able to show that I did not pull this assertion out of the air or out of some politically incorrect portion of my anatomy.

And so here is this debate’s opposing positions.  I’m quite am sure Ellen will let me know if I am mischaracterizing her position but to me it is that the framers never meant for there to be more than two types of citizenship and the courts, especially the Supreme Court, has ruled on it and settled it definitively with the results that any citizen other than a naturalized citizen, is a natural born citizen, leaving no room for question or debate.

My position was and is that it is NOT a settled issue and that debate continues partially because the writings of the framers and the specifics of the language used clearly (to me and others) indicate the intention of creating three, not two, “levels” or categories of citizenship.  However, in my opinion, court rulings and statutes have muddied the water so severely that the issue is still unsettled leaving us quite justified in arguing which interpretation is best, but not in asserting that it is all settled one way or the other.

I promised in my response to Ellen that I would re-research the issue (because I foolishly did not keep any of my notes after I wrote the post) and, by this weekend, present the reasons I hold to my position.  She denigrated the attempt, declared, as if making a pronouncement from on high, that this had been settled nearly from the first, imply it was simple ignorance on my part not to know and accept that, and went so far as to tell me who not to use as reference because of his flip-flopping on the issue but then proceeded to quote him herself as his conclusions pendulum back and forth but through her position.

OK, with that comment, this has now passed the point of workable debate.  Several of the sites she referenced were also ones from which I drew data.  The problem is, she had cherry-picked the quotes that fit her scenario and on some sites, ignored those that countered them while asserting there is only one side to this.  I have merely tried to show that there is another side, equally passionate and equally relying on historical material and with an equal (or to me, superior) claim to the truth.

Both sides are true believers because each has a vested interest in the outcome due to policies dear to them.  I never tried to say that the other side to my argument did not exist, as she has, but rather that the question is still unresolved and that I believe, personal opinion here, that the position she espouses is in error vis-à-vis the intention of the actual authors based on their own comments and accepted authorities.

That is not the only issue the courts have ruled on that I believe has been newly revised and reinterpreted incorrectly.  Some of those actually result in conclusions I like but I think judicial re-interpretations are not the proper way to make changes to the Constitution, and original intent, rather, proper amendments should be used.

Rulings in law about almost anything get overturned as the political climate changes.  I will concede that more recent rulings have been skewed in favor of Ellen’s argument, that is, that soil is more important as a qualifier of citizenship than blood or even allegiance/jurisdiction over the parent.  But I think that was not the original intent nor was it the original interpretation.  Some like me, prefer that other interpretation not because of Obama or anyone else.  I already noted that it my mind the constitutional uses of the terms would prohibit Marco Rubio from the presidency and I am inclined to like him.

When Ellen cherry picked quotes to support her side while ignoring, from the same context, any quote or ruling to the contrary she used a great debating technique but a bit disingenuous if one is holding themselves out as the purveyor of ultimate truth.  But nevertheless her quotes and citations were good ones and, if only this topic had the least amount of practical relevance, would have properly formed the basis for a marvelous debate.

And who knows, perhaps she was right after all;  since I had deleted my notes I did not have even one citation to throw back at her in my defense.  I know how that has to look to readers so felt forced to take this further whether I saw any real point to it or not.  To maintain credibility I had no option but to take the time to revisit and reassess the material. I will let you decide, at the end of it, if I have made the case that this issue is not fully resolved or not.  I have no real expectation of swaying Ellen’s position but that is not really the point.

And so I re-did and expanded the research.  THe good news was that i discovered quickly i was not, by any means the first to question this (as one would expect if Ellen was correct)) and a wealth of material was out there.  To lend credence to the fact that I am not creating this out of whole cloth, most of the following series is actually made of quotes from other sources wrapped with a few narrative comments of my own.

Still, to my dismay, after cutting and pasting citations and quotes and adding but a few comments of my own I realized that I had created over 50 pages of material.    I do not know what the limits of the sizes of posts on this site are but this surely has to go over it.  And it certainly would go over the attention span of all but the most anal on this topic.  So I have attempted to excise and edit it back down and after severe editing it still is, at 35 pages of MS Word document, in my opinion, too large for a single post so I will post it in a series, titled “Citizenship Debate, Part 1-?”.

As I write this I have not determined, by experimentation, how many pages I can get into a single post.  So to help you know when it is over, I will title the last post as “Citizenship Debate – Conclusion” so you will know when it is over.

As you know, posts are listed with the latest post on top which means the posts in this series will end up being listed and presented from BOTTOM to top forcing you to scroll down to the start if you are to properly follow the material to see where I get my conclusions.  All I ask is that if you actually care about the bottom line (which I must tell you I no longer do) then please wade through ALL of it.  Do not select just parts you like, one way or the other.  To be fair in your analysis, you must also include in your reading, the material Ellen sent as comments to the “Red Herring” post and not just what I write.  Hopefully, with that, I can at least claim to have presented this fairly to both sides and let you all make up your own minds.

So as quickly as I can get the material posted I will start adding posts from this one (“Introduction”) to the last one (“Conclusion”).  It may take a few hours to see how much i can add at once and then start block copying material into the sequence of posts so bear with me.

And then I intend, regardless of comments, to move on to more relevant topics that will have, in my opinion, an impact on our country vis-à-vis the upcoming election.


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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


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It’s Not About Health Care, Stupid!

San Diego –– I thought i would have at least a week to sit back, take in the sad spectacle of presidential contenders forming their circular firing squad, and worrying perhaps more about issues of foreign polict such as actions in Iran and their proxy, Syria.  Now there is a chance for us to really get in deep doo-doo no matter what we do beause we have utterly failed to do what was called for back when we could have had some potentially positive inpact.  Now, if that explodes, we will truly be “damned if we do and damned if we don’t” no matter what.  Brilliant.  The only good side for the administration is it will be a great distraction.

But no, another flack has arisen over health care/insurance mandates that has both sides focussing on the surface and ignoring what, to me is clearly a huge issue over the power of the presidency and the government in our private and contractual lives.

What is it that makes some minds go numb when the messiah du jour speaks?  What arcane mesmerism makes them just assume that the assertions by their idols in government are accurate against all common sense and checkable facts to the contrary?  This whole flack about insurance companies being mandated to provide contraceptives is couched in the warm and fuzzy language of caring about women’s health care.

Bovine Excrement!

What it is about is a naked power grab that will set a precedence that you all will not like when a president of another party is in power that you fail to see?

We surely all know by now that the President thinks (because he has openly said so) that the Constitution is flawed and, by implication, needs to be replaced with one he would write.  His view is echoed by a Supreme Court justice just returned from the middle east, that garden of interpersonal relations and political sweetness where she offered opinions stating they should not use our Constitution as a model.  Statistics would probably show that at least 9 out of 10 dictators would agree with her… and with him.

Lets forget for the moment that Presidents and Justices swear an oath to defend, protect, and uphold that Constitution and just assume neither the President’s nor the Justice’s vocabulary permitted them to understand those words as most folks would.  After all, they are two syllables each and not words in the common TV-inspired language.  And no where are the terms “like” or “you know” or any four-letter epithets in evidence so the entire thing is rendered incomprehensible to most of the posters on that paragon of deep intellectual insight, Facebook… and apparently to the President and at least one Supreme Court Justice as well.

We almost have to assume that level of illiteracy otherwise their own statements and actions would make of them the ultimate hypocrites and surely they are not that… surely.  Or it would make some actions treasonous and surely we do not want to go there.   It does certainly give you a new respect for their writers who populate the teleprompters…

But here is the deal now as I see it: the president is usurping Constitutional limitations on his power, as well as congressional authority, by mandating all by himself that insurance companies of all types provide some service, targeted to a specific demographic, free of charge to the recipients.  So what is the problem?  I see several.

Problem One: He is proclaiming the presidential power to override personal contracts to mandate activity that is not even discussed in Congress.  There is no provision in the Constitution that grants him OR congress that power.  If it stands, then there is nothing to stop a President from the other party from declaring the opposite, or that he has the personal positional power to mandate that all insurance contracts for male employees contain clauses where they will be granted penile implants for free… or for that matter to interfere in any contractual arrangement he or she thinks should be changed for his view of the greater good.  If you support it happening now then you better be prepared to shut up when it happens in the other direction.

Problem Two: He is proclaiming the presidential power to provide special services for non-life-threatening issues to a limited demographic and not to another.  Generally in the interests of their beliefs in social fairness, the left argues that something must be done for ALL of those effected if it is done for any of them.  Well, as pointed out in the next segment, ALL policy holders or the companies that pay for them are effected whether or not they are female.  And since males generally do not have contraceptives, does this policy mandate that they must be given condoms for free? If not, then how does that equate to the equal social justice for all whined about by liberals? The answer, especially since those meds are already available for free from Planned Parenthood, is obvious.  This does not address some inequity: it is neither about social justice nor is it about health care.  It is about insinuating and asserting power.

What if instead of an evangelical Marxist you had an evangelical Christian Fundamentalist who mandated that such medications could not, as part of a government program, be given to ANYONE?  You would, if you support this mandate now, have to support that opposing president’s right to do that even if you did not agree with it.  Or are you only willing to ignore the Constitution when it goes against your personal wishes but want to see it used as a club when you agree with its provisions?

Problem Three:  He is ignoring the laws of economics by pretending that his mandate has no cost to it to anyone.  That is just economic ignorance gone to seed if you believe that.  Even New Math would let you figure this out for yourselves.  The medicines in question are not free to the providers, so who pays for it if not those for whom it is provided?   When Planned Parenthood gives the same meds out for free, the cost is borne by their contributors… but there is still a cost that is going to be borne by someone.

When a private company does it, that cost is borne by being spread across their customer base meaning, for insurance companies, the buyers of the policies are paying for something whether they want to or not and whether they have any moral objections to it or not.  And since Obamacare mandates that businesses pay all the costs of health care and provide it free to employees, the cost is borne by the business and ultimately by their customers… us.   And the slack is picked up by the taxpayers… again, us.  Free?  Not hardly.

Not enough problems for you yet?  OK, here are some more.

Problem Four:  He is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he argues that women should be in charge of their bodies (so they can abort a pregnancy if desired) but apparently now arguing that they are also so stupid or so weak they cannot take charge at the other end of the reproduction process and not get pregnant in the first place. So which is it?  Strong and intelligent or weak and stupid?  What works at one end has to work at the other or it is not true.

 I also need to have it explained to me how free contraceptions from this source is somehow better than the free contraceptives ALREADY available free from outlets such as Planned Parenthood?  This is not about women; women are being used as pawns in a power struggle and because the opening volley uses ammunition dear to them, they are following along without seeing past the immediate red herrings.

Problem Five:  It removes any pretense of allowing the free practice of any religion guaranteed in the First Amendment by demanding that anyone who is in anyway involved in paying the costs of this medicine must do as mandated whether or not they find the use of it voluntary and morally repugnant.

Remember we are not talking about pills for headaches or pain; we are not talking about antibiotics for helping to heal wounds or diseases – unless you think that pregnancy is a disease.  Obama apparently does; he already said he does not want his children to be “punished” with a child.  Punished with a child?  Really?

Is there anyone from basically grade school on up who does not now know how to make a baby and how to avoid that happening?  We are talking about dealing with the results of a voluntary act, except in the case of rape for which I would happily make an exception.

But the real issue here is the answer to a simple question: does the federal government, or the President, have, under the authority granted them by the Constitution they/he swore to uphold, the power to prohibit not just churches, but the people themselves, the citizens of this country, the free exercise of their religious beliefs unless those beliefs lead to some criminal activity?

If you do not know the answer to that then you really need to read the document this flack is all about.  And until you do that, you need to shut up and back out of the discussion until you can engage intelligently in the real issues.

Personally I do not believe the government has ANY business in this area at all.  I do not believe that abortion, except in the case of rape or incest, should even be a governmental topic.  It is not a constitutional topic.  I do not believe the government should take it upon itself to prohibit it or make it somehow illegal.  But I also do not think the government should facilitate it by making taxpayers pay for it.   I think it is entirely a private matter, a matter of choice that i think individuals have, but it is none of the government’s business one way or the other unless it is tied to some criminal act.

But this mandate is not really about that issue either.  Stripped of the obfuscatory shield of pretense at being about women’s health, it is about cold, naked power and whether or not the President, any president, has this sort of power.  It is not really even about contraception or abortion; those, along with “womens’ health care” are just the ammunition being used to rally some narrow-viewed individuals into the fray.  It is, at its core, about the power of the President and the government and how far that extends into private lives and business contracts.

And if it is allowed to stand, what it does is give any president, not just this president, the power to step into the middle of your beliefs and into the middle of your business contracts.  At least insist, even if you support the result, that it be debated in Congress and presented as a proper bill that does not do any violence to the constitution.  Then when he signs it it will be under the proper authority.

But that is not what he wants to happen.  He wants the authority to do it himself outside of congressional oversight and outside of the constitution.  This is a floodgate I do not want to see opened.  I do not want even Presidents I support having this much power because when it happens, the America of the founders will be dead.

Remember in the last post I said you had to take the complaints used as the rationals in the Declaration of independence as the foundations of the limitations to federal power protected by the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.  Here, direct from the Declaration itself, is one of those things that pushed the founders into a war…

Speaking about the abuses of the monarchy they wrote,

“… He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of new officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” 

Can we spell “Czars” and the incredible expansion of them in the Federal Bureacracy where without congressional oversight they crank out regulations for the most intimate details of our lives?  Those are the sorts of things we rebelled against and created a government of only 3 parts where laws could come from only that set.

Or how about this complaint in the Declaration?

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.”

That same Supreme Court Justice mentioned above once opined we should look to foreign laws; and this entire administration seems interested in allowing foreign bodies and departments such as in the U.N. to subject us to their rules.

I would suggest the transformation mentioned in previous posts is well underway.  If this latest power grab succeeds, and if Obama is re-elected and then is free to use that power as he wills without worry about future elections, we will see our country become unrecognizable in a very short period.  And if efforts are made to override the XXII Amendment all pretense will be gone.  I can live with a President Obama, I cannot accept a King Barrack I.

Should that happen, I think the people will decide it is time for another revolution as Jefferson anticipated, just later than he thought it would happen. And in the furtherance of that outcome, I will now go back to watching the presidential candidates beat each other up so the public hates them all and, int he process, do all that they can to re-elect Obama.

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Can A Transformation Based on Hate Be A Good Thing?

San Diego — Let me give you some dots to connect…

Obama announced and is openly pursuing a program to, in his words, “… fundamentally transform our country.”  In this he has the lock-step support of followers who see him as a political messiah.  This, however, is a very different goal than the founders had.  They recognized a distinctly American character, also easily recognized by early visitors and writers such as Alexis De Touqueville, and sought via the Constitution and its amendments, to protect it, not to change it.

But following the popularity of the works of European writers such as with Rousseau, Godwin, and Marx, starting with Woodrow Wilson many in his party slowly transformed what had traditionally been the political philosophies of the so-called progressives, into something new, and something very, very different than the culture that was being protected by the Constitution or, for that matter, different than the one held by early liberals and progressives alike.

By the time we get through the years to Obama, we find a man who is openly contemptuous of that document and speaks openly about its fundamental flaws, but without the integrity (and with the hypocrisy) required to take an oath to adhere to it and defend it and actually do that instead of working diligently and brilliantly to obliterate it.

I have written before about his adherence to and support of the works of those early social writers just mentioned.  I didn’t have to make anything up, I simply used his own writing and speeches and have shown where some phrases were lifted in their entirety.

To accommodate his dream utopia as formed and informed by his father and reverend and close associates during his philosophically formative years, one must first destroy the society from within.  They all knew this and wrote about it since they all studied the works of John Maynard Keanes, the economic god of the left, who wrote that you could only do that economically and the way to do it was to “debauch the currency.”   How to do that exactly was spelled out in the economic theories of Cloward and Pliven who were the mentors of the professors under who student Obama claims to have studied.  And they are certainly the approaches that appear to be implemented and are playing out pretty much as predicted.

And so a very successful effort is being made to transform the culture, which means that before the new order can be instituted, the old order must be destroyed or at least crippled.  There is a roadmap you can check to see if I’m speaking the truth here and it is from their own side.  From these same authors, now synthesized in the writings of Saul Alinsky, another mentor for the president and his close friends, are clearly spelled out the strategies needed to make all of that happen.  And the foremost is that the country must first of all tear itself apart.  And to implement that strategy, Saul observes, the best approach is to set the people upon themselves in a great class war, just like Marx predicted and said was necessary.  And then he tells how to do it.

But class war requires something that most Americans deplore and that only existed in the fringe elements because it was seriously discouraged by the founders and their philosophies.  And that something is systemic, cultivated, institutionalized hatred.  Of course there have always been examples one can point to of evil people wrapped in their own petty hatreds, but it was never a part of the official or sanctioned social fabric of our culture nor was it the social goals as outlined in the Constitution.

When evil was applied by or in the name of the government, and there is no denying that it was, it was an aberration and in direct conflict with the ethics, outlook, and morals embodied in the Constitution itself.  If there was a flaw, it was that sometimes it was not crystal clear about how abhorrent some behaviors among its citizens were and how much violence the allowing of those behaviors to continue would someday do to the document itself because, for reasons of greed and personal power, some individuals got away with despicable acts in the name of the country.  The real flaw was in the law makers who initiated or cowardly allowed such behavior to start or continue.

(A Quick “Aside:”  if you want to argue that the great flaw was the allowance of Slavery, I would agree as would many of the founders.  But in the short term the greater question was to have a country or not?  Once established, then the provisions of the Constitution itself allowed that particular evil to be abolished.  So the real message is that the Constitution provided the internal processes by which any “flaws” could be addressed without the kind of damage to the core document typical of trying to do an end run around it does.  And since that “flaw” had been corrected 150 years prior, it could not have been the one or ones referenced by Obama.)

But it was not the Constitution that encouraged it; it was a really a violation of the Constitution that allowed it until corrected.  You need to take the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as a single piece not two separate ones.  The grievances spelled out in the Declaration form the “thou shalt not” actions that the Constitution sought to prohibit the government founded under it from doing.  To understand the Constitution you must understand the grievances that inspired the Declaration.  And then apply them to our own government since we did not want to allow a new government being created to fall into the same behaviors and patterns as the one we were about to shed.  if you want to know how to interpret Constitutional provisions, especially in the Bill of Rights, you must read it in the context of the grievances set forth in the Declaration.

So now our leader wants us not to protect that founding document and its intentions but to transform it.  And from reading all of those authors noted above, he knows how it can be accomplished.  But part of the unintended consequences, known to him, but apparently not to his disciples, is that to do it you have to get people to hate one another.  And the easiest arena in which to create that hate is the economic one where using the directives of Uncle Saul, one can easily manipulate emotions from jealousy, to envy… and ultimately to hate.

We all tend to focus our thoughts on the topic of hatred in different arenas than to look at our own government (unless talking about the bigots on the other side).  Usually such discussions are centered around small fringe groups.  Skin heads and neo-nazis, supremacists of all colors (and yes, bigotry is not limited to certain skin colors or races), all practice focused hatred but are generally not in large enough groups to have much overall effect.

We also sometimes think of hatred as the purview of religions and sometimes it is.  Islam, the “religion of peace” for example, openly tells its followers, not, by the way, only a fanatical fringe but ANY follower who believes in the sacred words of the founder, to kill or convert all who are not Muslims and establish as a goal a world wide caliphate based on Islam.  The only way you can get a normally peaceful people to engage in Jihad to exterminate others based only on their beliefs, is via carefully crafted hatred. And to do that you set up the chain: jealousy, envy… and finally hatred.

But that is anathema to all things American where our Constitution forbids us to ever establish a State Religion a la King Henry VIII or some Ayatolah.  So how do we do it?  It was remarkably simple we had to create a category of entitlements or people who were, for oner reason or another, entitled to something the others were not.  We’re not talking about the natural rights spoken of in the Declaration or spelled out in the Constitution.  We are instead talking about government created “rights” because in doing that we can create the class divisions needed to start the process.

The American character was originally based on self-sufficiency but also in concern for our neighbors.  When one of our numbers fell on hard times we were expected to help them as best we could; not because it was mandated by the government and not through some government program, but because it was our individual responsibility.

And when the system was allowed to work unfettered, the rising economic tide lifted all boats and the few blind-sided by life were helped by private or faith-based charities.    But as the social experiments of the utopians started to come into play, the rising numbers of needy, resulting from the heavy caps on the production sources, overwhelmed the natural system and, right on cue, the government stepped in to “save” the “less privileged” it had created and thereby started to create dependencies and with them the beginnings of a systemic jealousy and envy. And with dependencies comes the real currency of tyrants: power.

Greece is now showing us the natural results of this.  Totally without money and utterly dependent on the largesse of their EU neighbors who have demanded, as a price for their help that Greece clean up its economic act, the now entitled and dependent citizens have turned on themselves and are rioting in the streets.  Envy has segued into hatred. People are rioting to have a bankrupt government keep providing their entitlements even when there is no money and therefore are angry at the government and at the OTHER governments for not keeping the trough full to their liking.

Here, in the US, we are on the fringes of that (and in California may be looking over the edge).  The Occupier Movement, driven by jealousy and envy and a complete disavowal of a “clean your own room or house first” approach, has evolved, predictably into a situation where envy and hatred are starting to merge.  And who is supporting that?  How to you get from envy to hatred?  Convince the envious one that they are somehow entitled and are therefore somehow a victim.

The American character, as noted before, was initially predisposed to help one another in times of need.  But the assumption was that such help was not a lifetime achievement award for galactic level laziness and at some point it would end and the person would return to productivity, leaving only the truly needy unable physically or mentally to care for themselves, that we had to collectively support.  That lasted only until, with the government’s help and support, the numbers feeling victimized and entitled became unworkable.

The strategy is a simple one: keep the economic instability to a point where the progression of jealousy to envy to victimhood to hatred is maintained, then turn it around by skewing it so out of balance and in favor now of the entitled class that the productive people themselves now feel victimized by those clamoring to take from them the products of their own work, and now you have done it: you have everyone hating everyone else and a simple push, a simple match or spark, is all it will take to bring the system crashing down waiting for a charismatic leader to step in to “save” it.

Our world’s history is full of such saviors usually carried into power on the shoulders of academia and the various victims in an unlikely alliance.  Stalin, Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, and before them all, Robespierre followed this historical progression.

So have we again reached critical mass?  Have we reached the tipping point where a single match will set us all at each other’s throats making way for the latest messiah?  Are we so far along and desperate to get our minds off of the situation we will fall for a war as the solution because we are so ignorant of the past that we will once again accept any jingoistic call to arms because we have been sold the old tale that our problems are NOT the fault of our own government but of someone else?

Will we be pushed into war with Iran to knowingly (on the part of the government) spike the price of oil which is critical to all of us and will make nearly everything more expensive to give us some external demon to hate?

Or will we simply be given a domestic demon in the form of someone from the other political persuasion that wants, oh horrors, to cut back on the entitlement gravy trough?

Right now the debt is about $1 million for every citizen.  Can you expect to pay that back in your lifetime?  No?  Then who will get to do it?  And if we keep debauching the fiat currency making each newly minted dollar worth less then the effective debt rises accordingly.  If ever there was an arbitrarily created scenario for disaster we are staring it in the face.

The only question is, are we going to fall for it?  Are we going to fall for the tactics to get us to hate each other and so take our eyes off the larger picture?  Or are we going to stand, collectively, and say if this is the transformation desired by our leaders then NO THANK YOU!  Instead, will we, as a people, prefer to recover the American Character as exemplified in the Declaration and Constitution?

instead of transforming it, are we more interested in trying to tweak and strengthen the areas that can profit from it by using the methodology spelled out in the document itself?  Or are we interested in creating for the office of president, the precedence that allow anyone occupying it to transform the country in his own vision and as he sees fit without regard to little problems like the citizenry, the congress,… or the constitution?

This is the simple question facing you.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that ANY of those people vying for the office are likely to do the latter.  But isn’t that what we OUGHT to be searching for and supporting?  If we don’t, and don’t do it soon, it will not make any difference and we will, like the citizens of Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, etc. look up one day and ask how this could have happened.

And the answer will be… us.  We made it happen.  We didn’t just allow it to happen, we MADE it happen.

I’m an old guy and sincerely hope I will not live to see that day.

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Happy Birthday America

San Diego – On this day in 1776, some very brave individuals dipped their quill pens in an inkwell and signed their names to a document that was to alter the course of history not just for this country but for the world.  The values embodied in that writing were, for over 100 years, the values that motivated this nation and illuminated its character until it truly became the place symbolized by the lady with the torch in New York Harbor.

Those men had backbones of steel and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish the land of the free and home of the brave.  Their words were immortal even if their bodies were not; and for that they should be grateful.  Because if they were still alive to see what we have done with their trust, a trust for which many of them actually gave their lives and fortunes, I think they would be appalled and profoundly saddened to see their political progeny with backbones of cornmeal mush.  John Adams wrote:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” 

If there is kindness in Heaven then Adams will not be allowed to look down.  As a nation we no longer truly understand the word ‘honor’, much less ‘sacred honor’.  I fear that in another 230-odd years into the future, if in fact we have that amount of time left, future historians will see this country as little more than a footnote in history as is Rome or Babylon to us.  Unless, that is, we quickly get our heads back on straight and our country back on course and away from the ruinous path we are now on.

Most of the celebrants today are simply out for a day off work and the chance to see some good fireworks displays where they are still allowed.  A recent survey showed that only about a 3rd of the people knew what year the Declaration of Independence was written, fewer still could name any of the signers,  a statistically insignificant number could recite any of the reasons for it, and an astonishingly low number, less than a quarter of them, knew from whom we were declaring independence.  And it gets worse,

We have so degenerated into partisan bickering that a recent Harvard study concluded that 4th of July events tended to benefit Republicans and gave no benefit to Democrats.  What???  We have a major party fielding candidates to lead the country who derive no benefit from remembrances of the date on which, for the first time, we defined this country as one which was, as noted in some of my previous posts, obsessed with freedom?  What does that say about them if it is true?  And if it is true why would anyone have any truck with them at all?

Well the reason seems to be that Marx was right after all:  people will get soft after awhile and forget the fire that was in the bellies of their elders and ancestors and come to a point where all they want from a government is to be taken care of.  And they will give up the freedoms for which those signers risked everything, so that the fruits of the labors of others will be used to carry them.

Don’t think so?  Another poll taken just a few months ago showed that for the first time ever, over half of the citizens wanted the government to partake in wealth redistribution and have the people willing to work provide the goodies for those who are not.  As a nation and culture, this country cannot survive that attitude which is anathema to everything — EVERYTHING — those signers believed in.

Rather than accept the founders’ own words about what they believed and tried to accomplish, our universities are filled with liberal professors who have reinvented them in the images of their own beliefs and ignored all of the carefully written documents and letters to the contrary.  Those teachers are, to use Lenin’s appraisal, “useful idiots.”  And students, who know only what they are taught and no longer seem willing to take the time or expend the effort to go researching and analyzing evidence on their own, swallow that poison in big single gulps.  Who needs a Jim Jones when we have a cadre of professors pouring the cultural Kool-Aid for them?

I have written before and offered quotes to show that the social and political philosophies of the founders following Locke and Burke and elegantly phrased by Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other are not what is too often taught in our schools and certainly not in mine.  I have pointed to their own writing to demonstrate what they REALLY intended with the Bill of Rights and how it was NOT even remotely close to what we modernly have come to assert.

Though I have not previously written about one of those revisionist topics, a news article today encourages me to do so.  It is now popular to try to contend that the founders were not religious people and certainly not Christian. Even our president, King Barrack, said we are not a Christian nation.  We have usurped the founding fathers’ awareness of religious abuses and consequent fear of a State Religion to declare they were not, themselves, religious and spiritual people.  But as explained by Benjamin Rush, one of the founders and our first Secretary of Education,

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments…. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”

Much is made modernly of Jefferson’s religious thinking and many claims are even made that he was most likely an closet atheist.  It is true he held organized religions, especially those with a priestly caste that interfered in governments, in the lowest esteem.  But that is a different matter and in a letter to John Adams, discussing Calvin, with whom he disagreed, Jefferson wrote:

 “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.”

Undaunted, much is also made of the alleged fact that even George Washington said that the U.S. was in no way founded on Christianity (though actually that is a quote from Adams) and also on the unfortunate fact that some quotes to the contrary by him have been shown to be, themselves, utter fabrications.  Indeed he may be one of the most often misquoted people outside of Yogi Berra and Abe Lincoln.

But there are plenty of Washington’s real letters and recorded speeches to draw from and we need to put those real lines in context as Madison admonished when he wrote that such reinventions of what people believed came from separating their words from the environments in which they lived.  In presenting one of the most critically important issues in trying to interpret the words of those no longer around to clarify things for us, Madison prophetically warned us,

“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” 

The founders were fearful of a state religion and noted frequently the history of Henry VIII who made himself head of the Church of England.  But to separate church and state politically is a very different thing entirely from separating a culture’s reliance on foundational religious principles and values.  And we therefore need to accept that Washington also wrote:

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” and further “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Or let’s listen to John Adams…

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

I think we are now seeing the truth of that statement come true as we increasingly lose our moral compass as we throw away our religious values.  It is true that Adams railed against the abuses of religion throughout history and so fought long and hard to make sure the new country he was helping to found did not incorporate the co-founding of a State Religion.  But for himself and his own beliefs, he also wrote:

“But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe.” 

Alas, modern revisions and attempts to reinvent the founders’ beliefs and intentions didn’t start with the religious issue and has hardly stopped there.  The new interpretations, as i’ve pointed out now and then, extend to other matters as well. James Madison, who wrote in defense of the 2nd Amendment (and contrary to a retired City College professor who asserted to me that the 2nd Amendment was written to avoid the draft— which NO ONE back then was talking about since after the war they virtually disbanded the army entirely)…

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Our professors and liberal leaders have clearly done what Madison advised against above and have taken words apart from their historical context as they tried to reinterpret and reconnect the founders’ words with the professors’ own desires.  And as a result we are, in my opinion, getting the very government he feared would intrinsically follow: “…a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

Perhaps in part that is because we did not heed Madison’s other prescient warnings, such as…

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

And elsewhere he noted.

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. … It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. … It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

Madison also had something to say to those who believe it is the role of government to provide a common trough from which all might feed.

“The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.” 

So what is the point of all of this recitation?  Why have I here and in other posts tried to show what the founding fathers and the intellectual mentors they admired wrote and meant as contrasted with modern, and mostly liberal, attempts to claim otherwise?  The reason is simple and straightforward.

I believe the country those great mean defined and founded was the best thing that ever happened to the history of man’s attempts to form “…a more perfect union.”  Yes it has flaws but our Constitution also provides the means to correct them.  But, to the point, we cannot accurately asses their words and deeds without accurately understanding their true intentions and foundational beliefs.  If we try to make course corrections without that understanding we are almost guaranteed to make mistakes and in this world those could be culturally and nationally deadly.

Many of the same issues facing them are facing us.  The world has grown and evolved but in some fundamental ways not changed all that much.  And human nature, sadly, has not appeared to have changed at all.  Our modern world may provide additional solutions to those problems facing us, but if we cannot accurately understand what the real problems they were addressing with their solutions and simply try to attack the bottom line, our chances of lasting success are virtually nil as are the chances of not doing some damage to the good parts as well.

My fear therefore stems from the fact that I believe that as we as a nation, following mostly liberal thinking, have drawn further and further away from the principles laid down by the founders starting with that document signed on the first 4th of July,  Our nation has gone, as a result, from growth to decline.

I believe that if the liberal socialist ideals embraced by much of Europe, and profoundly held by our current president, continue to expand and control, then we are doomed.  Like every other time in human history socialist economics has been applied and failed, it will fail with us too. There have been no exceptions to that litany of failure and we will not be the first.

In fact the country and especially this state (California) are poster children for the proposition that Socialist/Keynesian economics will bring any followers to ruin.  I fear, along with John Adams, that,

“… a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  And…

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” 

I also believe that when we find ourselves adrift in terms of core values just as we are adrift economically; when we reach, as we seem to have started doing, the point where we refuse to discriminate between right and wrong and insist morality is an old and obsolete concept, then our national soul is a rotten as our national purse and we, of right, are laying the seeds of our own destruction. Again, in the words of John Adams,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” 

I sadly am increasingly of the belief that King Barrack knows his Adams well.   He is not very good with the sword, as we are seeing, but he is beyond excellent with debt.

So on this Fourth of July in 2011 I will be celebrating the birthday of what was, at one time, the greatest country on earth.  For those who feel that this celebration has no benefit to them then I would say you need to re-assess your thinking or seriously consider emigration to a country more in line with your beliefs.

You cannot have it both ways.  If you belong to the “blame America first” thinkers, and if, eventually, you get your way and we turn into another socialist country of the current European model, then we will simply have their problems (think Greece as the exemplar of that ideal) you will lose the good things you wanted to keep.

If, on the other hand, you help those like me turn the country back to what it was you may lose your place at the government trough because I would personally throw the trough away.  But with that comes a place of true freedom, a place where, for those willing to work for it, the pursuit of happiness can result in success to a level unachievable in those other places from which our immigrants have come.

And if you are an immigrant, legal or otherwise, please think about this: you came here to escape a place where you were treated poorly or had no hope of rising past the level you were in.  Why would you then want to turn us back into the place you came from?

So instead of turning your environment into little enclaves of “the old country,” do what our earlier immigrants did: buy into the hope and possibilities of this great land, buy into the words and meanings and values of the Declaration of Independence celebrated on this day, buy into the freedoms memorialized in our unique Constitution, and do all you can do to let us and help us grow and all you can do to keep us from slipping into the same approaches and attitudes and allegiances and corruptions that defined and described the places from which you came.

If we will only open our eyes and see it, there are benefits to us all from celebrating the birthday of the signing of our Declaration of Independence.


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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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De Tocqueville on American Culture, Religious Influence, & Devotion to Equality

San Diego – Much has been made by modern secular progressives and liberals that Americans, including our Founding Fathers, were never all that enthralled with religion per se or with Christianity specifically.  They cite the 1st Amendment as evidence and conveniently forget both the words per se and the annunciated reasons for it.  And they especially ignore that while it mandated that the government never establish a State Religion (which they claim demonstrates their antipathy to religion in general), it also specifically protected the fee expression of religion by the citizens.  Oops…

Modern liberal spokesmouths would have you believe that any association with Judeao-Christian core values was utterly coincidental and that, as King Barrack said, we owed as much to Muslim influences as to Christian or Jewish ones for our founding principles.  That is a little hard to square with the Koran’s directions relative to Jews and Christians that the good Muslim will convert them or “smite their necks” as was done to Daniel Pearl and those who followed him into the merciful clutches of their  righteous Muslim captors.

Yet, In spite of that, the current attacks on both Jewish and Christian traditions coupled with the open acceptance of Muslim traditions does not seem even the slightest bit contradictory to the sycophants fawning before his majesty.  No one notices or finds anything unusual when the National Day of Prayer, started by President Truman and observed for decades is ignored and that at the White House the observation is cancelled because it might offend some groups.  Who, for instance?  Perhaps the 50,000 Muslims that came for THEIR national Day of prayer held on Capital Hill in 2009.  They had no reason for concern since the King had already declared that we were not a Christian Nation.  Now tell me Reverend Wright did not have an influence here…

It is hard for us, the non-readers and politically naive in 2011, to know whether that assertion about the lack of religious influence in the past was true or not. The disciples of our anointed one seem to decide truth not on facts but upon His  Sacred Words from behind the prompter.  And for the others simply too lazy to check facts, that appearance of uncertainty is precisely what liberals hope you conclude because in that vacuum of self imposed ignorance it is easy for nearly any gibberish to be sucked in to fill the void.

But, unfortunately for them, there were lots of eye witnesses who wrote prodigiously about it, not to mention the volumes written by the founders themselves because, as they noted, they knew they were creating something very different and wanted to be sure people later could understand their intent.  The founders would be astonished that modern people wishing to claim ignorance of intent or wishing the intent to be different than what is was, insist no such documentation exists.  For that to be true all libraries would need to be burned to the ground.  Based on the unwillingness of his adulating followers or the adoring press to verify the pronouncements however, they might as well be.

Surely there must be a few who did their homework and discovered the disconnect between his assertions and reality.  No problem, the answer cannot by definition be that he is wrong so it must be that the founders themselves were too close to it and too biased to assess, objectively, how early newly minted American citizens felt and therefore could not speak accurately for themselves. OK, but there is another source often overlooked or ignored and he had no actions to support or personal decision to explain.  In fact, he was not even writing FOR an American audience.

In 1835 Alexis De Tocqueville major French political thinker and historian (1805-1859) published the first edition and volume of his famous work, “Democracy in America”.  His timing was unique and fortuitous; he visited us at a crucial crossroads in American History and worked to capture the essence of American culture and values developing as, after two wars to assure our political stability and freedom from European colonialism, we transitioned into something unknown in the rest of the world, a country virtually obsessed with the concepts of equality. He was a true liberal before the term was hijacked by modern progressives.  He believed in objective observations and gave little credence to the value of power derived through some sense of elitism or anointed authority.

He noted the irony of having northern States, where old concepts of aristocracy were dead or dying and the loss of hereditary wealth and power generated an obsession with the work ethic and equality of opportunity to become the test of value, and a collection of southern States where a landed aristocracy, kept in place like the patricians of Rome and Ancient Greece by a slave-based economy, held on to those aristocratic values and ideals though he saw them as doomed to failure.

But, getting back to the main point here, he also wrote clearly about the role that religion played in the thinking of Americans and below are some quotes to that effect as he discusses the relationships between religion and the broader national culture.

“Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious. There is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

“There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor.

“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851 ed.), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337.

OK, let’s hear you spin those observations into assertions of secular deists only marginally attached to any religious values…

Also aware of the rise of socialistic philosophies in Europe he saw America as a great experimental testing ground and wrote of the “Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans” by comparing how European socialists and Americans dealt with the concept of equality in Volumes One, Part I, Chapter 3.  He not only recognized our great potential strengths, he also recognized our great potential weaknesses and the traps into which we might fall.

“But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”

“…Furthermore, when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. As none of them is strong enough to fight alone with advantage, the only guarantee of liberty is for everyone to combine forces. But such a combination is not always in evidence.

“…“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude”.

It appears we have fallen into most of those traps.  It is one thing to espouse a personal philosophy that prefers socialism, or secular humanism flowing from Rousseau and Godwin and Marx over the philosophy flowing from Locke and Burke and Jefferson.  Those are legitimate debates to be had.  But they need to be held based on facts not on wishes, and they need to be based on a history that corresponds to reality not on a re-written version that ignores inconvenient facts.

If one believes that religion per se is inherently negative and we, as a country, should turn away from such “superstitions” that is their right.  But it is disingenuous at best and openly deceitful to try to base such an argument on a fabricated history which claims that we NEVER were a religious culture or that the religious tenets of our culture flowed from anything other than Judaeo-Christian roots.

It was De Tocqueville who coined the phrase that “In every democracy the people get the government they deserve.”  if we continue to vote based not on historical realities or on easily verifiable truths but on concepts openly opposed to our long held values then we will get what we deserve but not something that will preserve the nation as we know it.

When we as a democracy, allow all three branches of government to ignore or de facto repeal our Constitution and then allow the media to abrogate its job of finding the truth in favor of supporting its own biases, then all that is left to us is our votes.  And when those votes are primarily cast by people who believe they are entitled to feed at the government trough, and who, as De Tocqueville noted above, “… want to bring the strong down to their level,” and who prefer, “equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”  then as I have said before,  we are truly doomed.

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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized


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