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Archive for January, 2013

Or two tales of tyranny over talk, both with origins in Caul-i-forn-ya, the land of fruit and nuts, where you can have it all, and your neighbor will be the one billed for it…at least until they move away.

First up is actor Steven Webber, who very recently opined:

The scale of Right Wing sociopolitical sabotage necessitates a Nuremberg-scale trial for all the corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascist architects of our democracy’s current and most pressing misery. From the blatant Republican policy doublespeak emanating from think-tank sponsored word doctors to the outright obstruction and lies expectorated by Republican congressional representatives and senators, the very concept of governance can only be considered once the culprits are removed. Driven to real madness by unadulterated greed they have embraced an ideology, the success of which hinges upon the very ruin of this nation.

Disagree with the party in power?  Then you deserve to be tried and convicted by a jury of those who believe they are your betters.

As an idea, I can’t say it is remarkably original.  Dictators and tyrants have used kangaroo courts for centuries to determine that those who don’t see it their way are silenced.  What makes this funny, while still sad, tragic, and slightly demented is his accusations that Republicans are somehow the pawns of corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascists…and yet says NOTHING about the green energy giveaways to companies that take our money, then go bankrupt, without any consequence to those who profit from it, and his silence on GE’s chummy relationship with the Obama administration.  Still, if he were smart, then he wouldn’t lament the greed of those who want to KEEP their money while turning a blind eye to those who have been actively fomenting the envy and class warfare that have been growing under this administration’s careful husbandry…the envy and class warfare that divide a nation, and empower those who want you to believe that the only reason you don’t have the trappings of wealth are because those that do aren’t transferring enough of their wealth to you.  Still, such attitudes are often hallmarks of the mobocracies that are the end result of democracies like the ones that the President would like to fundamentally transform our republic into. 

The worst part of this is that if you believe in the exponential nature of stupidity, Mr. Dimbulb McPretend-For-A -Living isn’t the only one thinking that freedom he is enjoying shouldn’t be available to others who oppose his views, which is why those of us who have personally witnessed the unfathomable power of stupidity in large groups have no interest in further abrogating our Second Amendment rights, and also understand why we might “NEED” a magazine that holds more than seven rounds, or a firearm that has numerous utilitarian and tactical features.  I suppose we should thank him for displaying his totalitarianism so plainly, and demonstrating progressivism’s fundamental weakness, that being that it will brook no criticism, because when pressed, it cannot be defended, but instead, I’d prefer a lengthy explanation of why he isn’t brave enough to face an opposing viewpoint in the rhetorical arena with argument, or at least a “spirited debate”.  It’s the kind of thing that casts pretty strong doubt on the legitimacy of any of the left’s calls for a “national dialogue” on any exercise of freedom they’d prefer to squelch than see you exercise.  But enough of the visible tyrant looking to intimidate those he’d rather not face, and on to those who are open with their “SHUT UP!”, and try to justify it with a crass emotional pandering that is no friend of logic. 

Recently, professional golfer Phil Mikelson pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, inflaming the minders of the envy class when he mentioned in public that a combined federal and state income tax burden of 62-62% was taking just a bit too much of his earnings and that he might have to move.  Notable for his reaction to this, sports commentator Roland Martin came rushing to government’s rescue with this remark:

 “But here’s the deal: 98% of the country is saying “Phil, Shut Up.”  They would love to make $40,000,000 a year, they would love to win a golf tournament and make a million bucks.  He was right when he said “I should have kept my criticism to myself.” because he looks like a whiner.  And here’s another piece:  When he goes and plays in a golf tournament, you know what he wants?  He wants people out there to buy tickets to see him play.  He wants them to buy his golf clubs, and the clothes he wears.”

Yes, Roland, he does.  And whether you like it or not, he is a draw.  And as such, people will get paid to park cars for those who will come to see him play.  They will buy concessions from people at the courses.  They will rent local hotel rooms, and eat in local restaurants, and shop in local stores.  I know this.  I witnessed it at the Buick Open at the Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc for YEARS.  And when he plays well, people will want to buy his clubs, and his clothes, and those will in turn create more jobs.  He might not be a great businessman.  Many pro athletes aren’t.  But if he’s getting sound advice, then he has been told that taxes in excess of 60% are too high.  It takes away his incentive to do all he can in terms of business ventures, because at some point, government thinks he’s just made enough, so it is entitled to take what he’s earned and spend it inefficiently, and give it to groups and causes that he might NEVER decide to spend his own money on, some of which he might he diametrically opposed to. 

But the biggest disappointment is when Mikelson decided that he needed to apologize for speaking the truth.

My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.”

“I think it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

Why Phil?  Why does having the public’s attention because you’re a golfer disqualify you from speaking on the very real effects of bad policy decisions?  Why are you under such restraint when actors like Steven Weber and any number of other entertainers aren’t above using their celebrity to offer far less substantial, factual, or reasonable opinions with the clear intent of persuading their audiences.

And the idea that it is somehow insensitive to point out that confiscatory tax policy will lead you to make significant decisions for economic reasons is silly.  While those same people would undoubtedly like to have those problems, it never hurts for them to know that no matter how much money government will take from those “rich” people, it will never create the opportunity, or be multiplied in the same way as that money would if it was left in the economy.   Government may pay you a few more weeks of unemployment, but it can’t create a job that isn’t dependent on taking from someone else.  But the more insidious effect of this type of shutuppery is that while it may silence people like Mikelson, it can’t and won’t stop them from voting with their feet anyway.  And as Caul-i-fornians have been discovering, when enough of the “rich” leave because they’re tired of getting stuck with the check all the time, it doesn’t take long before you learn that you and your neighbors are the “rich”.  This could be avoided if we could have honest “conversations” and “dialogue” about such things, but instead, all we’ll be left with is some cynical pearl clutching, and the increasing cost of the welfare state sucking up opportunity and imposing the equality of misery.

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*The one that leftists keep seeing after the words “…shall not be infringed.” in the Second Amendment. The one that apparently prefaces a litany of provisos, limitations, restrictions, and “common sense regulations” that are nothing of the sort.

These apparently include a government right to ban firearms that look scarier than other firearms, including the dreaded “black” firearms, magazines (clips are what you put in your hair) that are hold 10 rounds or more at a time, and the need to ask permission of the entity that the right was intended to defend against.

It’s long past time for elected officials to produce their copies of these important document, or come to terms with the fact that the asterisk, and its accompanying litany DOES NOT EXIST.

And for those who want to conjure justifications in support of overreach by an entity that has enough trouble dealing with matters that are actually under its jurisdiction, here is some food for thought:

I do not have to express a NEED to exercise a RIGHT, and yes, the burden is on you to make the case otherwise. That would include a showing that NEED was actually a serious consideration in the debates that gave us the Second Amendment. Good Luck with that.

For those who want to suggest that limitations are appropriate and permissible because “the Founders didn’t envision machine guns”, I have two responses:
(1) If you accept this as valid, and I don’t, then they also didn’t envision all of the other technological advances that touch other Amendments in the Bill of Rights either, like radio, television or computers. Perhaps we need to license these uses as well, if only to avoid “abuses of the First Amendment”, which as everyone knows, can destroy a person’s lifetime of work establishing their integrity with a single broadcast, or completely taint their ability to obtain a fair trial by their peers…just ask the Duke LaCrosse Team, or George Zimmerman. While we’re at it, maybe thermal imaging technology needs to be off-limits to law enforcement because its use without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment? And maybe other electronic surveillance should be restricted as well. Surely the Founders, who were suspicious of government power, would have objected to being monitored when in public, as it presumes guilt in the public at large, and touches on issues of freedom of association and self-incrimination?

(2) The facts don’t bear this out. The Founders and Framers lived in an age when scientific advances were a part of daily life. The history of that time had already shown advances in firearms. Where their grandfathers might have owned blunderbusses, muskets were ubiquitous at the time of the revolution, and refinements were being made to those during their lifetimes, as this correspondence from Thomas Jefferson demonstrates. What is more, these men wanted to encourage scientific and technological advances. That’s why Congress was specifically granted the authority “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. These were not stupid men. They were not legislators who would rush though a bill trampling on the rights of their constituents, and do so in such a hurry that they would forget to include exceptions necessary to allow law enforcement to do its work. They were careful. They were deliberate. The reams of paper recording their debates on these issues show this to be true, and it is insulting to their genius to glibly, and in a perfunctory manner, to presume that they simply failed to take into account the advancing nature of science when they authored the Bill of Rights. If they had intended a limitation, one would have been put there. And that is the correct legal interpretation of a statute as well.

To those who want to argue that it is an archaic document, written for a different time, logic is not your friend either. It was written in the aftermath of a conflict where we had thrown off the yoke of a government that did as it pleased, to the detriment of those living under it here, and without a concern for how its actions were perceived or received, and when government’s inclination was to levy numerous taxes to finance its exercise of power that reached even into our homes. Depending on where you lived, daily life held a number of dangers, which could be, and frequently were defended against by individuals with firearms, because law enforcement was limited in its ability to respond in a timely fashion, or because it was non-existent. And it was a time when many still harbored a deep mistrust for the new government which had displaced the old, if only because they were wise and educated enough, or experienced enough to understand that governments have a way of consolidating power, and cloaking subsequent tyrannies in the garments of benevolence. Many people would rightly maintain that the circumstances haven’t changed, only the players. But even if those of you who still believe the “archaic” law argument, even in the face of overwhelming evidence from other countries who have stripped their law-abiding citizens of their firearms rights, you are in luck. The Framers left you a mechanism by which to change it. It’s called “AMENDMENT”, and it is the ONLY legitimate means by which you may ACTUALLY insert the asterisk and all of the baggage that you currently pretend is there. This cannot lawfully be achieved through Federal Legislation, because the words “…shall not be infringed.” contain no exception for federal legislation. This cannot be lawfully achieved through state or local legislation, because incorporation through the 14th Amendment has made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well. (And for those leftists who suddenly discover both the 9th and 10th Amendments in their copies of the Constitution, I would remind you that these are for the rights NOT addressed in the Constitution…including those already addressed in the Bill of Rights.)

Amendment is also the only legitimate process because the Constitution is the only legitimate “social contract” that governs our society. And whether you like it or not, there are a number of people who have grown up under it, and ordered their lives around its guarantees. If this social contract is to be changed, ALL who are affected by it have the right to input that the Amendment process guarantees. Such a change is not to be attempted by a legislative body alone, especially when that legislature’s control over such matters was specifically and deliberately curtailed.

For those of you who want to wave around the bloody bodies of some children to support the usurpation of power, you need to educate yourselves about what happened, including coming to grips with the facts that the “common sense reforms” you seek would have done NOTHING to prevent the tragedies you’re weeping over.

Finally, legislation by emotion is an error. When you are so dead set on restricting other people’s liberty that you have measures proposed by legislators who don’t even have a basic understanding of what it is they would outlaw, it is a problem. It further denigrates the legitimacy of those who would legislate such measures, and the whole of their actions. It is akin to having an appendectomy performed by an auto mechanic, or a journalist. If you propose to regulate something, you had better understand what you’re talking about, or you risk being ignored, and bypassed…kind of like what the President does to Congress now.

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TO THE OFFICERS OF THE FIRST BRIGADE OF THE THIRD
DIVISION OF THE MILITIA OF MASSACHUSETTS
11 October, 1798

      GENTLEMEN
   I have received from Major-General Hull and Brigadier-General Walker your unanimous address from Lexington, animated with a martial spirit, and expressed with a military dignity becoming your character and the memorable plains on which it was adopted.
   While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
   An address from the officers commanding two thousand eight hundred men, consisting of such substantial citizens as are able and willing at their own expense completely to arm and clothe themselves in handsome uniforms, does honor to that division of the militia which has done so much honor to its country.
   Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable spot, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

JOHN ADAMS.      

 

John Adams, Charles Francis Adams. The works of John Adams, second president of the United States: with a life of the author, notes and illustrations, Volume 9. Little, Brown and Company. 1854.
 
 

I have given this correspondence much thought in recent times, and again this week. Largely because of the largely inane wishcastings of people such as Professor Louis Michael Seidman, who made the weakest legal and logical pitch for ending what he laughably called “our Constitutional addiction”, at the same time there is much talk from Representatives, Senators, and even the President and Vice President, all of whom have sworn unqualified oaths to protect and defend the Constitution, about imposing new gun controls that would do nothing to prevent the recent events that have allowed these tyrants-in-training to publicly pontificate about their extra Constitutional wank fantasies to regulate an activity that they are plainly and specifically prohibited from infringing upon. While the most malevolent among them will simply refuse to be honest about their reasons for first believing that there is an asterisk and a footnote to the Second Amendment that provides an excuse to disregard the words “…shall not be infringed.”, others will at least admit that it is because they believe that since some clearly cannot be trusted with such liberty, that nearly all should be deprived of it. They don’t phrase it that way, but whether they say things like “You don’t need a gun that shoots 10 bullets to kill a deer.” or they say “No one needs a magazine that holds 30 rounds!”, or “Why does anyone need 7000 rounds of ammunition?”, it is all based on the same implication: If John and Jane Q. Citizen are allowed to be so armed, then they simply won’t be able to control themselves. This ignores the fact that thousands of Americans are armed in precisely this manner every day, and commit no crime, nor go on any shooting spree. Nevertheless, recent massacres committed by people who suffer either from a lack of impulse control, or mental defect have provided all the justification necessary in the little minds that presume that no one but themselves should be trusted with such instrumentalities, and have so fixed themselves to the task of using tragedy to assume authority that was never theirs to wield, which brings me to the reason I have been pondering this letter for quite a while now.

I know that I’m not the only person to wonder why it is we have become an entitlement society. While I do not use the term in direct reference to the expansive, illegal, and immoral expansion of the welfare state to the point where it eclipses many freedoms that should still be taken for granted rather than being endangered as government has grown to envelop spheres of influence that it was never meant to occupy, these entitlements are a symptom of the attitude that has brought us here, and one of the tools that have made it possible. I also know that it is not a coincidence that when the single greatest implement of self-control, which is the best governance of all, has been systematically denigrated, demoted, and pushed from the public square until any public practice of it at all is reduced hollow shell of something that no longer has any significance for a people taught to eschew it. The problem is that when Jefferson’s correspondence was disingenuously cherry-picked into the Constitution, the only possible end result was a bigger government, because there was no longer any large-scale inculcation of the difference between liberty and license, and no incentive for those leading society to continue to instruct people in the distinction between the two. As a result, more and more people became “entitled”. Entitled to freedom without responsibility. Entitled to lead without accountability. Entitled to have government take from others on your behalf. Entitled to have things government permitted promoted to the status of “rights”. Entitled to satisfy every desire and perversion without having others to name these excesses as such. Entitled to the basest contempt for those who refused to surrender their integrity to these practices. Entitled to condemn virtue and rewrite history. Entitled to pervert or ignore the protections conferred upon the rights of the individual by the only true “social contract” that this nation has ever had.

And I’m convinced that it wasn’t an accident. If man will not govern himself, than governments will do it for them, placing the highest priority on maintaining peace, even if the lack of public discord is an illusion. At this point, barring an act of divine providence, I see it as a race. Either government steps up its efforts to consolidate power and rid itself of the concept of consent of the governed, or the excesses and perversions accelerate to the point where society breaks down under the weight of contradiction, and a mass of the people decide they prefer meek servitude to the chaos of chance and the burden of their own safety and commanding their own destinies. Neither picture is a happy one, and frankly, does little to acquit us as a society for what we have done with what better men gave their treasure, their blood, and even their lives to give to us.

Increasingly, all I have left is prayer, and freedom of Christian liberty, because what exists in the physical is an impending nasty, brutish, and shortness that we had in our power to avoid.

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When a Harvard Lawyer and a Syracuse Lawyer spend a great deal of time trying to regulate an activity the government is explicitly prohibited from interfering with instead of actually doing their jobs.

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Facebook is both a blessing and a curse.

I love the fact that I can converse with people from all walks of life who, in their own way, “get it”.  The downside is that occasionally, I encounter people who think they do, but then either dodge the question or downplay the fact that they don’t know understand what they are claiming to fix.  Their answers are rooted in their good intentions, but like those they elect, they do not understand what they are breaking in the name of fixing.  Take this conversation with “Bill”, which is of course, not his real name.

 
Bill: Randy [the person whose wall it was], you set up the same straw men that the Republicans do. (And, re Gover Norquist, a man whose only line is never to raise taxes but never proposes a solution to current problems, is a whiner not worthy of the attention he unfortunately currently receives.) Yes, there are contradictions in our country, we have probably always been that way. The current stalemate in Washington is ridiculous and unfortunate, but that makes it incumbent on all of us to find solutions instead of simply trying to tear each other down. If you think the deficit is a problem, what is your solution? Should we cut expenses, and if so, what expenses? If you think social security and medicare are handouts, are you proposing that we all give them up (including yourself), and if so, what are you proposing for the poor, that they simply do without? These are serious questions, and the rantings of most people today (especially in Washington and on Sunday morning shows) contributes nothing to their resolution.
 
 
Me:  Find for me the part in the Federal Constitution that says it is the federal government’s job to take money from people who earn it, so that IT may decide WHO to help with it, HOW to help them, and TO WHAT DEGREE.

Your bonus question is to explain the morality of a government that allows its elected officials to empower and enrich themselves by fomenting Greed’s ugly and retarded sister, Envy, with notions such as “fairness” that require someone else to provide for you, and the idea that “Sometimes, You’ve just made enough.”

While we’re waiting, in answer to your question:

Yes. End Social Security and Medicare both. Not only did the Federal Government never have the authority to engage in such largesse, but the decades of mismanagement of BOTH programs have conclusively demonstrated that the Federal Government is simply incapable of being trusted to simply use the money it compells from us for the purposes for which it was collected in the first place.

Then follow with massive cuts to the EPA…its jurisdiction should be the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, MCTA, RCRA, and the Model Toxics Control Act ONLY. Strip it of its rule making authority.

Department of Education? Gone. Department of Energy? Gone.

Repeal the 16th Amendment. It has far exceeded the original scope and purpose, and has fed the beast that has engaged in gross usurpation and overreach for more than a century.

Repeal the 17th Amendment. This one amendment has done more to destroy federalism and the separation of powers than any other aspect of the federal government, as it took one of the parties in the federal power sharing arangment right out of the equation, making it much, much easier for the federal government to completely ignore the status of states as co-equal sovereigns with the Federal government, allowing the Feds to usurp state powers and impose unfunded mandates in return.

That would be a start.
 
Bill: BiW, I appreciate your clear statement of what you think needs to be done. What you state goes to the heart, I think, of what separates those who want an extremely small federal government and those who think the federal government can and should play a role in helping certain citizens of this country. If that is what the Republican Party thinks should be done, then I would appreciate the Party so stating instead of simply talking about “cutting spending” without being clear what it truly wants. The reason they don’t do that is that they know most Americans don’t want that and thus so stating these goals is political suicide (as well as the fact that I think no politician, of whatever stripe, ever really wants to cut spending). However, the simple fact is that the majority of Americans don’t want this to happen, so all the GOP in the House is doing now is being confrontational without making any positive suggestions for what can be done to the current situation. So, I pose the question to you: if Social Security and Medicare are not going to end, if the Departments of Education and Energy remain, as well as the 16th and 17th Amendments, then what do you suggest, or will you simply emigrate?
 
Me:  Actually, what “goes to the heart” of what separates those who want LIMITED GOVERNMENT and those who confuse welfare with charity is an understanding that the federal government has a very short list of powers enumated to it, with the rest of those powers being reserved to the states, which are smaller, and far more accountable to those who are most impacted by their policies, or to the people themselves, along with an understanding that the blueprint that has been totally distorted by more than a century of progressive meddling was the product not just of a careful study of the nature and history of government, but of the nature of man, and more importantly, a recognition that governments would be run by men who are by their nature susecptible to corruption by the opportunities that power and the money that follows it afford.

If you want your state to be extraordinarily generous with your wages, if the state constitution permits it, knock yourself out. The Federal government DOES. NOT. HAVE. THAT. AUTHORITY. PERIOD.

I can’t speak for the Republican Party, largely because of the fact that for most of my lifetime it has been a major disappointment to me. Many in it are afflicted with the same brand of incumbentitis as the Dims, and subscribe to the notion of “cutting spending” not because they believe in, or even understand the blueprint, but because those they rely on for votes understand on a visceral level that it is an essential component of what is required to deflate the government back into the confines of its PROPER sphere of influence, even if they do not understand or don’t bother to demand that the next steps also be part of the equation they are being sold at election time.

No, the reason they don’t do that is that they have no interest in relinquishing power than they were never meant to have in the first place, and because too large a portion of the population has had little or no actual instruction in the law and the philosophy that informed the law in the first place, so that they willingly trade their own sovereignty, and the accountablity that comes with it to a government that redistributes the wealth of others (after a not insignificant handling fee is subtracted, of course).

Actually, their current response is to recognize that no matter the perceived goodness of the Left’s intentions, welfare states aren’t free, and you cannot keep borrowing money in order to simply give it away. Well, some of them realize this, anyway. The rest are just as lost as the Dims, and will continue to be enacting new entitlements and “benefits” for their dependents even as the furniture is being reposessed from beneath them.

You aren’t paying attention, which is why it is difficult to take your question seriously. Social Security WILL end. It is going broke, and with current spending being what it is, Uncle Sam will not have the financial wherewithall to “save ” it when that day comes in just a few short years. Medicare was already on that same path BEFORE Obamacare raided it for 60 Billion Dollars it could ill-afford to lose. Most of the bureaucracy will be equally insolvent as montization of the debt results in hyperinflation, and interest payments on the debt exceed discretionary spending, even if the government is unwise enough to attempt confiscatory tax policies.

Now that’s TWO questions of your that I’ve answered. I believe you owe me some answers. Go back, re-read my prior comment, and answer the questions I asked you.
 
Bill: BiW, thanks for your interesting response. Not being a Constitutional lawyer, I cannot say where that document permits Congress the powers it has used, however, the final arbiter of that power, the Supreme Court, has upheld the New Deal and similar spending authority and thus these activities are not therefore unconstitutional. Whether that is “moral” or not, and whether fairness is the basis for government activities is not an easy question to answer. Because government is a creation of an imperfect species, homo sapiens, it is itself imperfect and always will be. Democracy is the least bad system because it entails the most compromise. It appears we both have a dim view of the capabilities of the Democratic and Republican parties to really address these issues. I doubt that either Social Security or Medicare will simply disappear, numerous economists would disagree on that point, and, even if they ran out of money, they would be numerous ways to restructure them to ensure their viability, even if in a different form. And I certainly doubt that the Republicans, if they were to come back into office, would do much to cut back or eliminate these programs (any more than they would eliminate the government giveaways to corporations and other of their supporters, as the Democrats do for unions and their supporters). Given that state of affairs, I tend to concentrate on what MIGHT be doable: a vastly simplified federal tax system, careful reductions to the federal budget (such as military spending, subsidies and tax benefits to large corporations, big agro, oil and gas), simplification of federal regulations, an end to the drug wars (with legalization and regulation of drugs) and so forth.Me: The court was acting under duress. Look up “The Switch In Time That Saved Nine” and FDR’s court packing scheme.

As for the morality that was the basis of our law, I suggest reading Blackstone.

And as far as cutting military spending goes, it is actually one of the Federal Government’s legitimate duties. 
 
Finally, we aren’t a democracy. The much maligned “old white guys” who drafted the blueprint had some very unflattering observations about democracies, which is why they set up a republic, so we could be a nation of laws and not men.

Your mistake isn’t unusual, but it can be corrected. Start with The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and Blackstone’s Commentaries.
 
Bill:  BiW, thank you for reminding me we are a republic. You cite worthy material to re-read, and your points are well taken, however, I don’t see how they help address the current political situation. We have to work with the system we currently have. I suppose one could just oppose everything and just hope the system collapses of its own weight (a tactic I sometimes think the Republicans now follow), but that is highly unpredictable and quite destructive. I would rather discuss what are the actual policies that we should pursue as a nation, rather than debate the “morality” of the past 100 years. That seems to me a more worthwhile, if harder, course to follow.
 
Me:  Or you could discover that many of the problems we have are the result of deviations from the blueprint undertaken by people who claimed to know better.
 
Much like today.
 
Welfare states do not work. The evidence clutters up the 20th century. Math also provides evidence, and nature of man also makes it clear…just watch what is going on with Greece. Keep doing what the Dims are doing here, and you’ll have front row seats here.
 
Bill:  Well, given that you seem to distrust both the Dems and the Reps, doesn’t seem like much can be done. Are there any countries in the world today that you think are doing it right?
 
Me:  Sure there is “much to be done”. It starts with educating people and weening them off of the error of believing that for every “problem”, government has a solution, and then SHOW them every point where government has gotten it wrong, which means dismantling a lot of myths that are taught to them by the “educational” system.

At the same time, you work to elect people who know better at your state and local levels. The change will come last at the Federal level, but it WILL come. Either when the current band of brigands spends themselves into irrelevancy, or if they give free reign to their beast’s rapacious appetites, and they reach a little too far into our pockets and lives and draw back bloody stumps, or we dodge both of those, and the pendulum swings back when the hippies aging badly die out, and their progeny reject their legacy because it has made Americans poorer in spirit and poorer financially for their excesses.And no, no country is doing it right. Canada at least is pursuing reasonably intelligent tax policy at the moment, and is enjoying a measure of economic prosperity because of it, but they are far too wedded to the hallmarks of the welfare state to be as successful and free as they could be. Their immigration policies are also destructive, and over the last thirty years, have largely disproved the “vertical mosaic” theory that they embraced in the 1960s._______________________________________________________________

 Asking  questions without ever listening to the answers.  Assuming that what has never worked before will work now.  Because they are the ones imposing it.  Much like the Obama cheerleaders who discovered with their first paychecks of the new year that they now have some skin in the game too.One complained to me that he could do better with his money than the government could.  I said “Welcome Brother!”

 

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