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Archive for the ‘Memory Lane’ Category

Paul Krugman.

No.  Seriously.

I really am thankful that the First Amendment protects the vile nonsense that he spews.  Not because I enjoy him proving with each column the utter meaninglessness of being a Nobel Prize Winner, but because it makes him feel secure in revealing who he is, namely a slimy little toad who thinks nothing of disparaging men whose boots he isn’t fit to lick, let alone fill.

Krugman eagerly attacks men who stepped up to lead when it was required of them.  Bush never complained about the “inheriting” Bin Laden from his predecessor.  Giuliani never whined about the “bad luck” that befell his city on that sunny autumn morning.  Instead, Giuliani went to help coordinate the response to the attack, and he himself was temporarily trapped at the command center.  Bush went to Ground Zero for those of us who couldn’t go ourselves, and personally carried the thanks of a grateful nation to those whose profound sadness and mourning we all carried on that day.  And then he put the resolve of a wounded nation into words, and directed it in a fashion that took the fight to those who thought they humbled us on that day.

Paul Krugman doesn’t live in the same world as the rest of America.  Every word he types, every “nuance” that he utters in the service of a worldview that misplaces its hope and drips contempt for anyone who believes not in the justice of redistribution and Keynesian economics, but in the power of the individual, and the government that would respect it, rather than restrain it, and every fantasy to empower the government he would worship tells us all that we need to know about him.  And that’s a good thing.

In a world where such a small person can lash out at people who can’t help but to be better than him, we can all count ourselves lucky that he and others like him not only reveal their true character, but their tragic lack of understanding.  It is good that such would-be tyrants, and others like him can show themselves without any modicum of self-reflection or shame, because then we are all put on notice of exactly who they are, and that all of us can fulfill one of the many duties we each have as citizens, and keep such people from gaining any more power than they already have by challenging all of the false assumptions and conclusions foisted upon us by people who let their jealousies blind them to the nature of evil, and the ability to discern what it is.  I thank God for the wisdom he gave to the Framers who made such that we had such freedoms, knowing full well the capacity for their abuse, and I thank the generations of men and women who made sacrifices to defend the flag that waves over all our heads today, and the guarantees we enjoy because of it.  And I thank God for those who looked upon the dust and rubble that settled over lower Manhattan on that day and put their lives on the line to make sure that Krugman, Bloomberg, and others could continue to show their contempt for the things that continue to make this country great.

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…the images and sounds still evoke anger.

But the government still isn’t serious.

I know that sounds somewhat incredible, and I suppose it deserves some qualification.

Ten years after muslim terrorists boarded commercial flights determined to use jetliners as weapons, our government is still no more serious than it was then about preventing terrorists from committing horrific acts on U.S. soil.

Sure, they have instituted no-fly lists, and installed intrusive and constitutionally questionable devices designed to make those who are inclined to obey the law and not be murderous asshats to surrender both personal privacy and dignity before we are allowed to board our flights to all parts of the country.  The government has created a whole new agency to guard these check points and feel up passengers, and to do so in a heavy-handed fashion.  It has also stepped up its scrutiny of citizens, and issued warnings about those who have served this country and would object to having the weight of a security and intelligence apparatus meant to prevent those who are foreign to us in every single significant way fall most heavily on those it was meant to protect.

At the same time, our borders are no more secure than they were on 9/11.   Illegal immigrants still spill over our borders, making some parts of the US no-go zones, not just for normal citizens, but for law enforcement as well.  And it makes me very angry.

While I believe and support the idea that “fighting them there” in Iraq and Afghanistan decreased the likelihood of “fighting them here”, the fact remains that we still face people who are not only willing to kill us because we refuse to adopt their backward way of viewing the world, but they are also willing to kill themselves to accomplish it.  That makes them immeasurably dangerous, and opens up avenues of attack that are unthinkable for people who want to live again to fight another day.

When I look around today, I see that just like that day 10 years ago when the skies fell silent, save for the F-16s flying over head, many of our softest targets are still very soft and very vulnerable.  As a parent of two school-age children, I can’t tell you how much this distresses me.  Although I’ve struggled with it in the last two decades, I have always been able to “dream really dark”, and I see no limits on what a handful of determined, bloody-minded suicide killers could accomplish with the right weapon and a little bit of planning.  Beslan isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a school full of children, and it gives me no joy to say that.

The terrorists won ten years ago.

I hate typing that more than you hate reading that.  But consider this:  They managed to change everything about a routine part of the day for millions of Americans that we took for granted and was a symbol of our freedom…the ability to travel freely in our own country.  They managed to make an entire nation willingly surrender its privacy and dignity for what has already been proven to be the illusion of security, and spend a great deal of its own resources in installing and maintaining this illusion, while empowering malefactors who are supposed to work for us in promoting an agenda against people who object to government having such powers in the first place. 

It isn’t so much a border as it is a sieve, and sadly, it won’t take much for the next attack to bring horrors that will shatter the senses of people who believe themselves protected from such things.  Even more sad is the degree of liberty that they will surrender in the wake of such an event to a government all to willing to accept that sacrifice to “make us safe”.

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I’ve long maintained that if as a society, we all come to fear words, or shy away from the discomfort they may occasionally cause us, then you can stick a fork in us, because we will be done.  The minute any real exchange of ideas can no longer be met on an honest basis, all that remains is the inevitability of conflict.

The problem is that we have been on the road to exactly this for quite sometime.  While there is something to be said for not going out of your way to be offensive, or to at least not take an “in your face approach” with any and every conversation, there also comes a time when to walk the opposite path, and to always expect it in others, leads to a form of repressive dishonesty, where the consensus is that there is nothing ugly, wrong, or offensive in the world.  In this world, the oppressors drink their tea with their pinkies out and carry on with muted, unflinchingly polite conversations not because it is appropriate for the surroundings, but because it is all they wish to see.  This dichotomy is perhaps best viewed through the lens of the 1950s.  Ozzie and Harriet, Wally and the Beav…it could get very easy for a shallow swimmer to believe that these were halcyon days.   But there was a lot underneath that tranquil, ordered surface that would surely disrupt the digestion of Hugh Beaumont and Babs Billingsly, from a population that had started the process of desegregation in the military, which helped the promise of freedom to blossom, and then wither, as the liberators brought new dependency, trading an enslavement of the body for one of the soul.  These forces also brought a push against social norms that was spread from person to person through the invocation of freedom, but only lead to bitter harvests of broken homes, lives lost to chemical dependency, and the destruction of families.  I think that a failure to honestly confront the “scarier” aspects of the world laid the groundwork for the revolutionary changes that came in the decades after after.

Not everyone stuck their head in the sand though.  A few people were brash and uncompromising in the face of a monolithic conformity, the avenue they took was that of comedy.  People like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin challenged it by deliberately being offensive, both by saying “those words“, and by poking at many of society’s conventions.  Carlin moved beyond it to attack the use of euphemisms that the early stirrings of political correctness started to impose upon society in the late 70s, because of the fear of “offending” other people.

Unfortunately, political correctness marched on, and managed to foster the movement not to offend until, at some point, it morphed into a right not to be offended, which is a useful tool whenever you don’t want to have an honest conversation, and you don’t want others to either.  Sadly, we also had a corresponding change in the very philosophy of learning at the same time.  Modernism, which was flawed largely because of it starting its analyses in the wrong place gave way to post-modernism, which is distinctive because of its refusal of the notion of truth (except for the truth that there is no truth).  When the two came together, and the very notion that there is truth (at least outside of scientific theories which are to be unquestionably accepted as truth) became offensive, and something to be avoided in order to not be complicit in the act of telling or repeating the truth. To do so is to risk becoming a pariah, or worse, as the reaction to the Tucson shootings confirms.

Now it is dangerous to even be associated with (or standing next to) someone who utters something that smacks of the truth.  It is one thing for everyone to look in each other’s eyes and think “I know.  But we can’t say it.” and quite another to let it slip in polite company, because of what observers might think.  Now, it is required to step away from the speaker and say “They said it.  Not me.”, and then to walk away, and turn your back on the criminal who committed the last great crime.

This last week, I saw someone push against this tendency.  Someone I respect a lot, and who has been the older brother I never had.  I’ve been fortunate to call him friend, and I hope to do it for many more years.  I was shocked, and disappointed with what happened, but I’ve come to realize that he knew exactly what he was doing, and expected it.  It was his departure from a world that he helped bring me into, and that I still find to be informative, entertaining, and even cathartic.  It completed an exit that started a few months ago, and while I think I will still see him in comments, the starts to the conversation are gone. 

Understanding this helped me to understand what happened and to reform my expectations going forward.  Without a change, the window of what does not offend can only grow smaller and smaller.  At some point, all but the most milquetoast and vanilla of us in the medium can expect to learn that we occupy the space on the bubble of what can be tolerated, until the next contraction, where we find ourselves on the outside looking in.  The only question that remains is one personal to each of us: Do I change my speech, and with them, eventually my thoughts, in order to conform to a world where casual truths become offensive, and finding anything to say that doesn’t cross the listener’s/reader’s line becomes a Herculean effort, or do I remain who I am, and damn the delicate sensibilities of others?”

In retrospect, it was one Hell of a flame-out, sir.  And I apologize for not getting it sooner.

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Sometimes, a person or a voice gets so intrinsically combined with another thing that the person becomes an institution. One of those institutions was stilled this week, but if you close you eyes and listen, you can still hear his voice echoing without fading not just from Comerica Park, but from the corner of Michigan and Trumbull as well.

Ernie Harwell wasn’t just the Voice of the Tigers. He was the Voice of Michigan. A Michigan Icon as ubiquitous as Faygo Redpop, Koegel’s Viennas, Stroh’s Beer, and Mooney’s Ice Cream. It may have sounded corny when he mentioned being invited in to our cabins up north, our back yards, or in the transistors hidden under our pillows, but he was there. He was the sound of campouts next to Lake Huron. He was the sound of summer at my grandparents’ home in Waterford, his voice ringing with clarity from the table radio in the kitchen into the living room, and upstairs on a hot but fragrant summer night.

I would be hard-pressed to say why I feel the need to write about it here, but I went to youtube, and I listened. And remembered. I remembered not just a simpler time, but a time of innocence. I remembered those things that meant “Michigan” to me, and I reflected on those things that no longer exist. And sometimes, I think what it would mean to be six again, having a hamburger and some of Grandma’s potato salad and a slice of her strawberry rubarb pie for desert, and sitting next to my Grandpa as I eat it, sitting on the back deck at their house as the sun sinks lower in the trees and lights up the canal, shimmering until sinks low enough on the horizon that the stars become visible in the eastern skies.

If you will excuse me, I’m going to listen to a little bit more now, and when I’m done, I’ll try to figure out where all this dust in my eyes is coming from.

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He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

Once again, we’re at that time of year when everyone examines the year that was with their clever lists, and wry observations.  being neither clever or wry, I’ll simply point out where we weren’t a year ago, before the Dawn of the Age of the HopeyChangeyness (now with Skittles-crapping unicorns.)

A year ago, the government wasn’t the owner of two previously privately held auto companies, the largest insurer in the nation, or a large mortgage bank.

A year ago, our President wasn’t buddy-buddy with Chavez or Castro.

A year ago, we didn’t have a tax-cheat as Treasury Secretary.

A year ago, we didn’t have an Executive Order authorizing the immigration and placement of thousands of Palestinians in the U.S.

A year ago, U.S. taxpayers weren’t funding and facilitating abortions in other countries.

A year ago, five percent fewer federal employees made over $100,000.00 a year.  It must be nice to get a raise in the worst recession in my memory…especially when you already have the job security of a federal employee.

A year ago, we had a President who wasn’t on record as thinking that the Constitution is “fundamentally flawed”.

A year ago, we had a President who did not bow deeply to the Saudi King and the Japanese Emperor.

A year ago, we had a President who did not avoid the Senate’s advise and consent role by appointing czars in places where they had never been before.

A year ago, we had a President who did not go out of his way to insult average Americans by casting aspersions on their values and the values of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

A year ago, we did not have a Supreme Court Justice who completely and utterly disqualified themselves before appointment with repeated statements calling their integrity and impartiality into question.

A year ago, we did not have government officials threatening private investors who were trying to protect their legal rights in bankruptcy.

A year ago, we did not have a presidentially appointed self-admitted Communist in government.

A year ago, a government official would not have dreamt of quoting Mao in public as a favorite philosopher.

A year ago, our elected representatives would not have dared to ask constituents for ID before answering their questions, or used union goons and police to silence and remove constituents from public meetings.

A year ago, the conventional wisdom would have laughed at the notion that we need hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending that stimulates nothing in order to turn the rising tide of unemployment.

A year ago, the government did not deign to set compensation levels for employees of privately held companies.

A year ago, the idea of government health care for all was the punchline of a Hillary Clinton joke.

A year ago, we didn’t have a President who has informed a whole sector of the energy industry that he wants to put them out of business.

A year ago, the EPA was not threatening to regulate carbon dioxide emissions if Congress doesn’t.

A year ago, INTERPOL could not operate on American soil without regard to the American Constitution and American due process.

A year ago, we didn’t have an attorney general who believed it was appropriate or necessary to try foreign terrorists in Article III courts.

A year ago, we had a President and administration that recognized that we were already in a war on terrorism, because the terrorists had already declared war on us.

A year ago, a statement to the nation about a terrorist act committed against Americans by the President was a duty, and not an annoyance.

A year ago, carbon dioxide was good because it helps plants grow, and not a pollutant requiring taxes by Congress that will be paid by energy consumers.

A year ago, in was understood that the government cannot force me to buy a government-approved health care plan with the threat of exorbitant fines and/or jail time.

A year ago, it wasn’t the priority of one political party to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to a group of community activists that have engaged in voter fraud and other criminal enterprises…time and again.

A year ago, the government didn’t fire watchdogs who caught influential friends of the government with their sticky fingers in the government till.

A year ago, we had a President and Leader of the Free World who didn’t sit on his hands and “bear witness” to the brutal repression and murder of people resisting a totalitarian regime that is determined to destabilize the region it is in.

A year ago, we had a President who did not support a leader attempting a coup by vilifying the people who lawfully prevented it.

A year ago, we did not face a government that grows fat and belligerent on our tax dollar, while constantly threatening to take more of our money and freedom from us.

A year ago, we didn’t have a President that accused our soldiers of perpetrating war crimes for political gain, or declared police guilty of acting stupidly while admitting in the same breath that he didn’t have all the facts.

A year ago, dissent was the highest form of patriotism; now it’s racist!

Crossposted at The Hostages.

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The older I get, the more I appreciate Thanksgiving.  Maybe it’s because it is uniquely American.  Yes, I know Canada has a Thanksgiving Day, too, but what comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?  That’s right.  Pilgrims.  And not Pilgrims with that signature lilt in the voice, ending sentences in “Eh?” But what I also enjoy is this holiday’s Christian roots, and the irony of lefties enjoying the holiday without serious consideration to what this holiday is really about.  A time of reflection and giving thanks to God for the extraordinary providence he has bestowed upon us.What’s that you say?  Only a rube would express thanks to God?  Only a superstitious idiot would do such a thing?  Yeah.  Those Founding Fathers were real idiots, weren’t they?  Case in point?  Noted foolish Christianist and tyrant, George Washington:

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A Proclamation  

 WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”  

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.  

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wife, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.  

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.  
(signed) G. Washington  
 

Why, the unmitigated gall!  A sitting U.S. President having the nerve to invoke God in his official capacity as President!  Didn’t he know that The Constitution contains a “wall of separation between church and state”?   Actually, no.  He didn’t, because the Constitution contains no such thing.  And the private letter of Thomas Jefferson’s from which this  false doctrine was later transplanted into the Constitution by the Court in the twentieth century wasn’t yet written.  Jefferson, that noted author of this fabled Constitutional premise , was not even in the country at the time the Constitution was written, as he was serving as the nation’s Minister to France.

This is a time of year for reflection and giving thanks.  I’m thankful for my family, both the one I was born with, and the one I chose.

I’m thankful for the Providence God has bestowed in my life, and the Providence that he has bestowed on our nation.

I’m thankful for second chances, and the fact that we can still abandon the insanity that a reckless minority and our elected officials are inexplicably wedded to, and determined to force us into.

And yes, I will be taking some time over this Holiday on my knees and in audience with the very same Creator that the Father of our country sought in times of adversity and times of plenty.  Why don’t you join me?

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Now where have I heard that before?  I’m sure it will come to me…

He’s got it right, although I doubt the efficacy of the tea party movement.  I don’t see where Congress is listening.  They aren’t listening when we call, they aren’t listening when we write, and an envelope with a tag and string from a teabag isn’t really being heard either.  I’m starting to doubt if the country can survive their deaf ears.

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Naturally, when one makes progressive steps, there may be some who see it as a betrayal of their goals and interests. - Louis Farrakhan

Yet there comes a time in the life of a patriot when abdication would amount to a betrayal if not outright treachery.  - Olusegun Obasanjo

There are three signs of a hypocrite: when he speaks he speaks lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he betrays his trust.  -Muhammad

One should rather die than be betrayed.  There is no deceit in death.  It delivers precisely what it has promised.  Betrayal though … betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope.  -Steven Deitz 

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.  But it cannot survive treason from within.  An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is know and carries his banner openly.  But the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.  A murderer is less to fear.  The traitor is the plague.  - Cicero 

 Though those that are betray’d do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe.  -William Shakespeare

Any appeasement of tyranny is treason to this republic and to the democratic ideal.  -William Allen White

While I ate my lunch today, I sat and wondered “When does betrayal become treason?”  I know, none of you have any idea why such thoughts might start screaming through my head. But in all seriousness, I think this question is closer to the tips of more American tongues than at any time since 1860.  I thought it might be instructive to start with a defintion.

be⋅tray

1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one’s friends.
4. to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
5. to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
6. to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
7. to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
8. to seduce and desert.
Origin:
1200–50; ME bitraien, equiv. to bi- be- + traien < OF trair < L trādere to betray. See traitor


be⋅tray⋅al, noun
be⋅tray⋅er, noun

4.
bare, expose, tell, divulge. 6. display, manifest, expose, uncover.

4, 6.
hide, conceal.

 

 

I submit to you that this administration and Congress have engaged in acts of betrayal against the American people.  The evidence, in no particular order or rank of importance:

1.  President Obama’s “Apologize for America Tour”.

No one asked him to do it.  No true patriot could countenance the election of a President who felt compelled to stand on the dais in foreign cities, ensconsed in nations with endless trains of human rights abuses and decades of abuses and tyrannies against their own people who would have the audacity to want something more than what their rulers deigned to let them have. 

Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods. Facing the Washington monument that I spoke of is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. And our country still struggles with the legacy of our past treatment of Native Americans.

Not content to discuss the shortcomings of America’s past with people all too eager to justify their hostility toward us, he doubled down with the twin deceptions of flattery and lies.

And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

And except for that whole “convert or die” and the “Kill all the jews” thing, they have been great models of tolerant behavior.   Nobody can strap on a bomb and wade into a crowd in a marketplace, or hijack a jetliner and slam it into a skyscraper like these paragons of ‘religious tolerance and racial equity’.  And they way they can behead westerners that fall into their captivity?  Truly epic style.  

I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.”

Of course, he was speaking from a position of weakness.  The nation was not prepared for a fight with savage pirates half-way around the world at that time, so he took the only prudent course of action that he could at that time.  He stalled for time.  It worked, and when we were ready, we acted like men, and bloodied the noses of those particular bullies, which prevented any further trouble with those ‘lions of islam’ for quite some time.

 

2.   The quiet agreement to resettle Palestinians in America itself.

 

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the “Act”), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

 

 

(Presidential Sig.)
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, January 27, 2009
[FR Doc. E9-2488
Filed 2-3-09; 8:45 am]
Billing code 4710-10-P 
 
3.  Vilification of AIG Bonuses by the President and Members of Congress, After They Had Taken Steps To Ensure That They Remained In The Stimulus Bill Passed Before The News Was Broken To The Public.

The bailout of AIG theoretically posed the potential for stopping the payment of these bonuses, yet at least one Senator stated that he was asked by the Administration to retain the bonuses in the bill, which means that they were there to read by other members of Congress before passing it, and before the President signed it.  When the public got wind of it, The President and some members of Congress, as well as some state Attorneys General decided that public OUTRAGE! trumped rule of law and eager to not have to answer for their roles of incompetence in the matter, they felt free to vilify people who had negotiated for compensation in a lawful manner and threaten to take away what they were lawfully entitled to as a matter of contract law, in derogation of the Constitution.

In a stunning development, Sen. Christopher Dodd said that Obama administration officials asked him to add language to last month’s federal stimulus bill to make sure the controversial AIG bonuses remained in place.

In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury. And I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole. (Applause.)

(“This is an outrage,” is how Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, characterized the bonuses on ABC’s This Week, echoing what candidate Obama said just a few months ago.)

In a letter to CEO Edward Liddy, Cuomo said he’s been investigating AIG compensation arrangements since last fall and would issue subpoenas at 4 p.m. EST Monday if he didn’t get the names of employees scheduled for bonuses plus information about their work and contracts.

“Blumenthal claimed the AIG executives were “undeserving” of the bonuses. Blumenthal also pointed out the bonuses paid out were to increase next year. However, Beck pressed Blumenthal on the legality of that and Blumenthal came up blank in this exchange:”

And standing by and saying nothing when ACORN and the SEIU were bussing people to protest outside of the homes of some who were to receive bonus money?  Shameful.

4.   Appointing a Tax Cheat As Treasury Secretary, And Continually Nominating Persons For Government Positions Who Have Trouble Making Timely And Accurate Tax Payments.

Do we really want someone who had trouble paying his taxes to become the Treasury Secretary?  Afterall, the IRS falls under the Treasury Department.  Is this the right tone to set for the American Taxpayer?  Especially in a tax-happy administration?

In 2006, the IRS audited Mr. Geithner’s 2003 and 2004 taxes and concluded he owed taxes and interest totaling $17,230, according to documents released by the Senate Finance Committee. The IRS waived the related penalties.

During the vetting of Mr. Geithner late last year, the Obama transition team discovered the nominee had failed to pay the same taxes for 2001 and 2002. “Upon learning of this error on Nov. 21, 2008, Mr. Geithner immediately submitted payment for tax that would have been due in those years, plus interest,” a transition aide said. The sum totaled $25,970.

It only gets better, though.  He didn’t simply “make an error” during those years, because the calculation was not only done for him, he had to acknowledge that he was going to use the money to pay the taxes when it was given to him.

The IMF did not withhold state and federal income taxes or self-employment taxes — Social Security and Medicare — from its employees’ paychecks. But the IMF took great care to explain to those employees, in detail and frequently, what their tax responsibilities were. …

The tax allowance has turned out to be a key part of the Geithner situation. This is how it worked. IMF employees were expected to pay their taxes out of their own money. But the IMF then gave them an extra allowance, known as a “gross-up,” to cover those tax payments. This was done in the Annual Tax Allowance Request, in which the employee filled out some basic information — marital status, dependent children, etc. — and the IMF then estimated the amount of taxes the employee would owe and gave the employee a corresponding allowance.

At the end of the tax allowance form were the words, “I hereby certify that all the information contained herein is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments from the Fund.” Geithner signed the form. He accepted the allowance payment. He didn’t pay the tax. For several years in a row.

And he wasn’t the only one.  There were others nominated by the Administration that have similar difficulties.  If this isn’t a “big deal” for them, why is it such a big deal if you don’t pay your taxes?  Never mind.  Put your notions of “Rules for thee, but not for me” back on the shelf and get back to work, peasant.  We have a lot money promised to ACORN and midnight basketball.

The confirmation of another Cabinet member stalled Thursday because of unpaid taxes after USA TODAY disclosed that the husband of Labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis paid about $6,400 this week to settle numerous tax liens against his business dating to 1993.

 
 
Some attempt was made to call these “honest mistakes”.  A *few* of them even might be, but when they are being tapped to serve in an Administration that is determined to layer new tax after new tax on people who are already paying the taxes, and giving more and more of that tax revenue to the people who pay little or nothing, it is certainly a provocative strategy.  A little like holding a bomb and playing “Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Moe” with the wires and a pair of scissors.  Taxes are a primary reason why we aren’t part of British North America today.  Apparently, some people have forgotten that fact.
 
5.  The Publication of a DHS Memo That Characterized Typically Patriotic Citizens As Potential “Right Wing Extremists”.
While this memowas purported to have been written during the Bush Administration, it was released by President Obama’s DHS, and later retracted with a half-hearted apology to the citizens targeted by their own government.
 
 
Note to faceless bureaucrat author:  When you are busy targeting as threats the people who put their lives on the line to protect and serve this nation, that might be a rather large indication that its YOU who might be part of the problem.
 
6.   The President’s Bow to a Foreign Leader.

Oh, yes.  I always bend way over when shaking with both hands.  I’m sure that’s it, Gibby.

7.  The Obama Czar Explosion.

President Barack Obama’s decision to place czars above Cabinet-level agencies presents dangers beyond confusion over who’s in charge and an organizational chart that looks like pasta carbonara. There’s also the potential for a constitutional crisis.

Obama’s czars, the most ever appointed by an administration, are likely to have the authority to influence or make decisions for Cabinet-level agencies. Yet they aren’t confirmed by Congress and don’t have to respond to pesky requests to testify before oversight committees.

 

“The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances,” Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, warned in a letter to the White House.

Each of these has enormous government power, and answers only to the president. 

The quiet accumulation of power by executive appointment, done by an Administration that has made some compelling noises about restoring “transparency” to government.   Once again, it is more instructive to note what the President has done, not what he has said on the subject.

8.  Firing Government Watchdogs Who Blow The Whistle On Freinds of The President Who Have Their Sticky Fingers In The Government Till.

 It wasn’t enough to fire someone who caught a “Friend of Obama” diverting public money to personal purposes.  The Adminstration decided to break the law in doing so, and smear a public servant’s good name at the same time.

A George W. Bush appointee, Mr. Walpin has since 2007 been the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such subsidized volunteer programs as AmeriCorps. In April 2008 the Corporation asked Mr. Walpin to investigate reports of irregularities at St. HOPE, a California nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE had received an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant, which was supposed to go for three purposes: tutoring for Sacramento-area students; the redevelopment of several buildings; and theater and art programs.

Mr. Walpin’s investigators discovered that the money had been used instead to pad staff salaries, meddle politically in a school-board election, and have AmeriCorps members perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.

There’s also the question of how Mr. Walpin was terminated. He says the phone call came from Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, who said the President felt it was time for Mr. Walpin to “move on,” and that it was “pure coincidence” he was asked to leave during the St. HOPE controversy. Yet the Administration has already had to walk back that claim.

That’s because last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the President to give Congress 30 days notice, plus a reason, before firing an inspector general. A co-sponsor of that bill was none other than Senator Obama. Having failed to pressure Mr. Walpin into resigning (which in itself might violate the law), the Administration was forced to say he’d be terminated in 30 days, and to tell Congress its reasons.

9.  Buying GM and Chrysler with Taxpayer Money, Then Giving Them To The Unions.

Our story begins with the slow downfall of Chrysler, which succumbed to bankruptcy after experiencing a steep sales decline of 48 percent in one year. During its slide, Chrysler borrowed money from lenders and in return signed a contract promising that as so-called senior creditors, they’d get paid before anyone else if the company went under.

These creditors, by the way, represent something of a cross-section of America: the University of Kentucky, Kraft Foods’ retirement fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, pension funds, teachers’ credit unions, and so on.

A normal bankruptcy filing would be straightforward. Senior creditors get paid 100 cents on the dollar. Everyone else gets in line.

But President Obama and his allies don’t want that to happen. So they interfered on behalf of unions (the junior creditors) and publicly upbraided the senior creditors who were asserting their contractual rights and threatening to head to bankruptcy court.

One disturbing report came from a well-respected attorney representing the dissident Chrysler creditors. Thomas Lauria, the head of White & Case’s bankruptcy practice, says that he was threatened by Steven Rattner, the White House’s auto task force chief. (A White House spokesman denies making any threats.)

“I represent one less investor today than I represented yesterday,” Lauria said on a Detroit radio show. “One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.” Lauria said that his clients were willing to compromise on 50 cents on the dollar, but the government offered them only 29 cents.

In the Federalist Papers in 1788, James Madison wrote that “laws impairing the obligation of contracts are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.” Unfortunately, Washington politicians seem to pay little attention to history, morality, or the rule of law.

President Obama defended his decision to take a majority stake in GM, saying it was unavoidable and temporary. “We are acting as reluctant shareholders,” he said in a televised address.
The government-orchestrated shrinkage will cost taxpayers $30 billion, on top of $20 billion in U.S. funds already put into the company. In exchange, the U.S. will own 60% of the new GM. In all, the rescue of the car industry could cost taxpayers close to $100 billion.

The government’s plan calls for 10% of the new GM to be owned by existing bondholders, while a United Auto Workers union health-care fund will own 17.5%. The Canadian government will own the remaining 12.5%.

As part of the “Bailout Fever” that gripped Babylon on the Potomac, there came the conclusion that Chrysler and GM were “too big to fail.”  As a result, hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars were pumped into the ailing companies, by a government that imposed conditions that could not possibly be met.  Then, like the neighborhood loanshark, it made demands that secured creditors accept less than what they were entitled to under law, forcing the bankruptcies of the companies, which were then rushed into waiting restructuring plans, which favored unsecured or junior lienholders, like the United Autoworkers Union, over secured creditors, many of which were pension plans, that later faced the insult of vilification by the very same scheming kleptocrats who orchestrated these purchases with taxpayer dollars, on top of the injuries inflicted on them in bankruptcy.  And the best part?  Despite our (I mean the taxpayers’) significant investments, most of the money given to the these companies is now gone, and will not be repaid.  That isn’t really change we can believe in.

10.  “Bailout Fever” in Babylon on the Potomac/The Great Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac Swindle.

Yes, it started under Bush, which is yet another reason I wasn’t pleased with him, either.  And yet, for all Obama seems to want to blame the economy on him, one might wonder about the wisdom of continuing and expanding the practice.  There are several reasons why the practice is onerous.  The first of which is that the government has a role to play as a regulator, yet when it starts to decide which companies it is going to bailout and which companies it will “let fail”, it is not longer a regulator, it is also a paarticipant in the marketplace, and once it wears both hats, it loses objectivity and throws the whole balance off-kilter.  Throw in a few left-leaning, Chicago politics style ‘czars’, and you have just placed capitalism itself in danger.  For an intellectually honest government that is held accountable by the fourth estate, this could be a serious problem.  Since we have neither, the apparent course of action was to double down, and justify such extra-governmental activity by proclaiming capitalism “broken” and in need of serious governmental intervention and reconstruction.  Unfortunately for us, with such genius at work in D.C., this may well become a self-fullfilling prophecy, leaving only one remaining question for the Obama Administration: How do they convince people that the Great Depression of 2010-2016 was the fault of Bush?

Of course, its hard to distinguish between corruption, and business as usual in DC after the Democrats in Congress let Fannie and Freddie become millstones around the necks of taxpayers on their watch, eventually crashing the economy, and having the stones to blame Republicans for it, by saying that the poor regulation was their fault.  Of course, the warnings were there, being made by Republicans, and repeatedly glossed over by Democrats, who cheerfully covered their eyes and said “Elephant in the room? What elephant in the room?  Fannie and Freddie are fine, and no, they are not backed by the US government.  Quit talking crazy you silly Republicans!”

For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted.  Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President’s repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.

In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn’t make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.

11.   Stealing From Future Generations To Fund A ‘Stimulus’ Bill That Has Done Little to Stimulate the Economy, But Spends Plenty Of Borrowed Money On Things The Government Has No Business Spending Money On.

Under the guise of “We have to pass this bill now or the economy is gonna die and take us all with it!!!” , Congress passed the biggest crap sandwich in the history of the counrty, spending more in ONE BILL than the sum total of all PRIOR ADMINISTRATIONS.  This is a bill jam packed with so many things the government has no business spending our money on, let alone money that will be borrowed, and paid back by us, our children, and our grandchildren at damn near usurious rates.  This is an act of generational theft that wouldonly be undertaken by madmen and people Hell-bent on destroying the country.

We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

And that ‘stimulation’ for the economy that is supposed to be helping the now Carterian unemployment levels that continue to rise with every single month?

No Jobs: While they have not been able to support these claims, Pelosi/Obama promise between 3 & 4 million jobs, yet House Tax Committee staff can’t estimate even ONE job will be created.

Ineffective: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 52% of the spending in the ‘stimulus’ bill can even be spent by the end of FY’10. Well short of the 75% benchmark.

Make no mistake, this will be a disaster for this country.  Much of this money is not yet borrowed.  That borrowing is accomplished by the sales of US Treasuries.  Other countries aren’t buying, and won’t until the interest rates are made more attractive.  The more treasuries that are sold, the more succeeding buyers want a higher rate of return.  What that does to interest rates here is make them climb…to layers we have not ever seen in this country.

12.   Silence From The Oval Office When Young Iranians Turn On A Corrupt Government.

There are two maxims for any POTUS who will have to deal with any situation in the Middle East:

1.   Tread carefully.  You need to be conscious of what you say and do; and

2.   No matter what you do or say, the mad mullahocracies will find a way to blame you for anything that happens that you don’t like.

What this means is that even if you eschew plain speaking and acting in America’s interests alone, if you are at least a pragmatist, you whould understand that when you’re damned no matter what you do or do not do, you should act like an American and be damned for the correct conduct, which does far more to enhance your credibility and standing among the free peoples of the world.   The Administration seems to have missed this memo when it saw fit to stay silent on this matter, until even Fwance had strong words of condemnation for the clerical leaders of Iran regarding their brutal crackdown on the youth of Iran which was attempting to throw off the shackles of a corrupt and repressive government.  This apparently had the effect of prodding the President into this tepid statement on the subject:

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

You “mourn” them, sir?  I’m sure they find that thought very comforting as they are hunted down in the street.  “Bear witness”?  I’m afraid that the world has borne witness to your complete and utter lack of courage.   If we had simply “borne witness” to Soviet oppression, then the world’s bloodiest political belief would still hold sway over half the globe, sir.  You were presented with a chance to be Presidential, and you voted present.  Congratulations for souring another generation of Iranians on America and Americans, and causing people everywhere who desire freedom to know that as long as you occupy the Oval Office, they can expect no support from us.   What happened to the man who said this a few months earlier in Cairo:

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.

Let me be clear, I think you suffer from an epic misunderstanding of this country and its role in the world.  Make no mistake, as you continue with an agenda to subvert the every fabric of this nation, and pay lipservice to concepts of freedom and democracy as long as no cost or action is expected of you, I will consider you to be unworthy of categorization as American.

13.  Active Advocation For Return To Power Of A Would-Be Tyrant Who Violated His Country’s Constitution.

The President has his very own example of EPIC FAILURE FOREIGN POLICY that can be summed up in just one word:  Honduras.

The military removal of Zelaya as president – and the appointment of Roberto Micheletti  as interim President by the Honduran legislature – came after Zelaya attempted to rewrite his nation’s constitution to end term limits to continue his rule, despite the fact that term limits in the constitution is one of eight “firm articles” that cannot be changed.

After the Honduran Legislature refused to call a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution, Zelaya called for a referendum to do so, which the Honduran Supreme Court and Attorney General declared unconstitutional.  Zelaya, allied with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez , fired top military commander Romeo Vásquez Velásquez for refusing to carry out the referendum.  Every branch of government sided against Zelaya and Congress began discussing impeachment proceedings. Acting on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court, soldiers arrested Zelaya on June 28 and sent him into exile in Costa Rica. 

Let that sink in for a moment.  An American President is advocating for the return to power of a man who violated his country’s constitution in an attempt to prolong his tenure in office.  That country’s military obeys an order of that nation’s highest court and removes said official and puts him into exile.  The military did not take over.  The military did not put two behind the offender’s ear and dump him in a ditch.  They followed a lawful order of the civillian government and removed a would be despot from power.   In Latin America.  This is progress.  What is the President’s response? “It’s a coup.”

The usual suspects were outraged.  Castro, Chavez, the petty dictators who might be threatened by a people actually enforcing the rule of law to the detriment of a dictator.  I’ll leave it to you, the jury, to identitfy the President’s real motives.   Keep in mind, we had to “bear witness” to the atrocities in Iran, but this was a “coup” worthy of forcefull opposition.

Last week, responding to the Honduran military removal of Zelaya as president, President Obama said “it would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition rather than democratic elections. The region has made enormous progress over the last 20 years in establishing democratic traditions in Central America and Latin America. We don’t want to go back to a dark past.”

“We are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president,” President Obama said.

To be sure.  Afterall, the soul-crushing “dark present” in Cuba and Venezuela are far preferable.  Never mind that Constitution thing.  I’m sure it means nothing, because Zelaya won the election, you know.  Therefore the Constitution doesn’t apply to him.

Something clearly has gone awry with the rule of law in Honduras — but it is not necessarily what you think. Begin with Zelaya’s arrest. The Supreme Court of Honduras, as it turns out, had orderedthe military to arrest Zelaya two days earlier. A second order (issued on the same day) authorized the military to enter Zelaya’s home to execute the arrest. These orders were issued at the urgent request of the country’s attorney general. All the relevant legal documents can be accessed (in Spanish) on the Supreme Court’s website. They make for interesting reading.

What you’ll learn is that the Honduran Constitution may be amended in any way except three. No amendment can ever change (1) the country’s borders, (2) the rules that limit a president to a single four-year term and (3) the requirement that presidential administrations must “succeed one another” in a “republican form of government.”

But don’t let those pesky facts, or even prior positions of “bearing witness” get in the way.

14.  The House Passes ‘Cap and Trade” Legislation, Which Will Be The Largest Single Tax Increase On American Families Ever Passed.

Forget the fact that the CBO’s forecast tax numbers are well below those compiled by the Heritage Foundation.  Put aside the fact that 300+ pages of amendments were submitted at 3 AM the morning before the vote.  Put aside the fact that no one who voted for it could have possibly read it, since there was not even a copy availble on the floor to House members to peruse during debate or the vote.  Any of these is sufficiently outrageous enough to warrant a pitchfork and torch party for the House.  The worst part is that it is in support of the biggest scientific hoax since Piltdown ManMan-Made Global Warming.

Make no mistake, if passed, this bill will cripple American energy and manufacturing, raise taxes in a way that one one will be able to ignore, and of course, contains goodies for the typical pet projects and supported of the left.

Under the new democratic cap and trade legislation all US homes will have to meet strict government eco-standards before they can be sold. This will cost homeowners thousands of dollars before the home can even be put up for sale.

Why not?  Every major spending bill passed by the Dems so far this year has been a major boon for ACORN, so why should this one be any different? Jamie Dupree has been going over the bill with a fine toothed comb, and says the term, “community development corporation” is found  a bunch of times in it.

15.   The Rush To Impose Government Run Healthcare.

Undeterred by the poor quality of care and the rationing of life-saving drugs and treatments in other nation’s government run healthcare, this administration has made it a priority to impose government run health care upon us all.  Key provisions include yet more taxes to be placed on small businesses.

The Kennedy-Dodd bill would create an individual mandate requiring you to buy a “qualified” health insurance plan, as defined by the government.  If you don’t have “qualified” health insurance for a given month, you will pay a new Federal tax.  Incredibly, the amount and structure of this new tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and Health and Human Services (HHS), whose only guidance is “to establish the minimum practicable amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage (as so defined).”  The new Medical Advisory Council (see #3D) could exempt classes of people from this new tax.  To avoid this tax, you would have to report your health insurance information for each month of the prior year to the Secretary of HHS, along with “any such other information as the Secretary may prescribe.”

And of course, Congress is incapable of resisting the temptation to slide pork into the bill.

 Sweeping healthcare legislation working its way through Congress is more than an effort to provide insurance to millions of Americans without coverage. Tucked within is a provision that could provide billions of dollars for walking paths, streetlights, jungle gyms, and even farmers’ markets.

The plan as imagined contains some sinister implications, as well.  From the mouth of the President himself:

But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let

doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

Healthcare.  At a ginnormous cost.  Brought to you by the same people who brought you such paragons of efficiency and economic frugality, such as the Post Office, AMTRAK, and Medicare.  They will not be happy until government’s yoke is firmly around our necks.

 

So at what point does such a series of ongoing offenses and injuries, committed with impunity by elected officials become Treason?  Being the purist that I am, I start with that dusty old document that the President dislikes and would “fix” at the earliest opportunity, The Constitution, which defines treason thusly:

Section 3.Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

While I freely admit that none of the institutions or individuals indicted have picked up arms against the nation, I submit that the net effect of their actions is nevertheless a declaration of war.  When government, though its various branches, commits a series of actions that have the effect of destroying the country through taxes that will drive businesses away, thus driving up unemployment, and general misery, the result is no different than setting off bombs in the offices, factories, and storefronts of the country.   When these actions would denigrate and destroy our finances and economy, leaving other nations to capitalize on the misfortune wrought on us by our own government, buttressed by overt statements of geopolitical moral equivalence, and remarks that denigrate this nation and its history, made in foreign capitols, to countries that would love to see an America descendant, how is it not giving aid and comfort to our enemies?   When they actively pass spending bills that cannot be paid for except by borrowing, to fund initiatives and groups that they are not constitutionally permitted to give taxpayer money to, with bills that they could not have even read, how can such contempt for the Constitution, and the American People not be levying war against the country?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I leave it to you to consider the question put to you.  When does betrayal become treason?  When does an irresponsible and non-responsive government cross the line from possessing a venomous contempt of its people to an outright intent to enslave them to ideals that are foreign to reason and history? 

 

 

 

 

 

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I got a germ of an idea for a post, that suddenly became much more daunting as I started to work on the necessary outline, and I realized that it will take me a while to put it together.  That, and the fact that I did not want to have that be my post over the Fourth this year, I went digging in the archives at the Blog Cradle and stumbled upon this gem, from when I was still new to this game.  Given the subject matter, I thought it much more appropriate for this holiday weekend.  I may throw up a few more ‘reprints’ during the weekend.  I first published this on December 13, 2006, and aside from cleaning up the spelling and formatting, it is how it was originally published, without any updating with additional sources, which I have subsequently come across in my reading.

I Broke My Own Rule

I broke my own rule. I underestimated the stupidity of a would-be revisionist.

I was over at the playground (Bareknuckle Politics-Home of the Stupidest Trolls on the Planet!) when I was greeted with the following statement:

“treaty of tripoli was a founding document however, and it CLEARLY states that we are in no way a christian nation. “
 
A moment of breathtaking stupidity, from a clue-challenged knuckledragger who refers to himself by the misappellation “the Truth” or as I lovingly refer to him, “Truthless”.

The Treaty of Tripoli:

Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796 (3 Ramada I, A. H. 1211), and at Algiers January 3, 1797 (4 Rajab, A. H. 1211). Original in Arabic. Submitted to the Senate May 29, 1797. (Message of May 26, 1797.) Resolution of advice and consent June 7, 1797. Ratified by the United States June 10, 1797. As to the ratification generally, see the notes. Proclaimed Jane 10, 1797.
The following fourteen pages of Arabic are a reproduction of the text in the original treaty book, first the pages of the treaty in left-to-right order of pagination, and then the ” receipt ” and the ” note ” mentioned, according to the Barlow translation, in Article 10. Following the Arabic and in the same order, is the translation of Joel Barlow as written in the treaty book-the twelve articles of the treaty, the “receipt,” and the “note”; and after these is the approval of David Humphreys from the same document, which is fully described in the notes. Following those texts is the annotated translation of 1930.
[Translation]
Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary.
ARTICLE 1.
There is a firm and perpetual Peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, made by the free consent of both parties, and guaranteed by the most potent Dey & regency of Algiers.
ARTICLE 2.
If any goods belonging to any nation with which either of the parties is at war shall be loaded on board of vessels belonging to the other party they shall pass free, and no attempt shall be made to take or detain them.
ARTICLE 3.
If any citizens, subjects or effects belonging to either party shall be found on board a prize vessel taken from an enemy by the other party, such citizens or subjects shall be set at liberty, and the effects restored to the owners.
ARTICLE 4.
Proper passports are to be given to all vessels of both parties, by which they are to be known. And, considering the distance between the two countries, eighteen months from the date of this treaty shall be allowed for procuring such passports. During this interval the other papers belonging to such vessels shall be sufficient for their protection.
ARTICLE 5
A citizen or subject of either party having bought a prize vessel condemned by the other party or by any other nation, the certificate of condemnation and bill of sale shall be a sufficient passport for such vessel for one year; this being a reasonable time for her to procure a proper passport.
ARTICLE 6
Vessels of either party putting into the ports of the other and having need of provissions or other supplies, they shall be furnished at the market price. And if any such vessel shall so put in from a disaster at sea and have occasion to repair, she shall be at liberty to land and reembark her cargo without paying any duties. But in no case shall she be compelled to land her cargo.
ARTICLE 7.
Should a vessel of either party be cast on the shore of the other, all proper assistance shall be given to her and her people; no pillage shall be allowed; the property shall remain at the disposition of the owners, and the crew protected and succoured till they can be sent to their country.
ARTICLE 8.
If a vessel of either party should be attacked by an enemy within gun-shot of the forts of the other she shall be defended as much as possible. If she be in port she shall not be seized or attacked when it is in the power of the other party to protect her. And when she proceeds to sea no enemy shall be allowed to pursue her from the same port within twenty four hours after her departure.
ARTICLE 9.
The commerce between the United States and Tripoli,-the protection to be given to merchants, masters of vessels and seamen,- the reciprocal right of establishing consuls in each country, and the privileges, immunities and jurisdictions to be enjoyed by such consuls, are declared to be on the same footing with those of the most favoured nations respectively.
ARTICLE 10.
The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli as a full and satisfactory consideration on his part and on the part of his subjects for this treaty of perpetual peace and friendship are acknowledged to have been recieved by him previous to his signing the same, according to a reciept which is hereto annexed, except such part as is promised on the part of the United States to be delivered and paid by them on the arrival of their Consul in Tripoly, of which part a note is likewise hereto annexed. And no presence of any periodical tribute or farther payment is ever to be made by either party.
ARTICLE 11.
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
ARTICLE 12.
In case of any dispute arising from a notation of any of the articles of this treaty no appeal shall be made to arms, nor shall war be declared on any pretext whatever. But if the (consul residing at the place where the dispute shall happen shall not be able to settle the same, an amicable referrence shall be made to the mutual friend of the parties, the Dey of Algiers, the parties hereby engaging to abide by his decision. And he by virtue of his signature to this treaty engages for himself and successors to declare the justice of the case according to the true interpretation of the treaty, and to use all the means in his power to enforce the observance of the same.
Signed and sealed at Tripoli of Barbary the 3d day of Jumad in the year of the Higera 1211-corresponding with the 4th day of Novr 1796

Now understand, Truthless was using this to say we aren’t a Christian nation. Considering that there is no official state religion in this country, unlike others,( say…the Barbary Coast states???) he is correct. However, unfortunately for Truthless, it cannot be truthfully stated that this is in any way a ‘founding’ document. He/she/it did not explain the basis for such a silly assertion, but there are some interesting events surrounding this treaty.

At that time in history, we were a fledgling nation, still unable to discourage hostile parties from preying upon our shipping, and along the northern coast of Africa, the ‘Barbary Coast’, the islamic nations there supported pirates who went out onto the shipping lanes to do what pirates do best: murder and steal, all in the name of Allah. For a time, our ships could count on the aid and protection of the English and French ships who plied the waters. However, with the rise of Napoleon, the English became obsessed with blockading the French, and the nations who allied with them.  As time passed, the needs of manpower to keep the blockade in force lead the English to board American ships and kidnap American sailors. This practice, known as impressment, was one of the causes of our second conflict with the British Empire in less than a half a century. Without this protection, our shipping was an easy target for the muslim pirates. We soon sought a treaty, (think negotiated extortion) to relieve the threat against our ships. Hence the treaty.

Now the clause Truthless got him/her/itself all stirred up about, Article 11, was in the copy of the text translated from the Arabic by the diplomat in the region. Let that sink in for a moment.

It was translated from the arabic text.

That means that it could not have been a statement authored by elected representatives of our government, meant to be a accurately be a statement by us, about what we are about.

All communication at that time was subject to the limitations of travel, which meant it was nearly two years before this copy got to the Senate. The records of the time indicate that it was read aloud on the floor before the vote to ratify it was held. Personally, I find the record dubious, if only because today’s Congressional Record frequently publishes entire texts of speeches never said aloud in Congress.

What is more noteworthy is the fact that the treaty renewed eight years later did not contain the Article. It would be unusual to delete something so ‘formative’, something that nimwits like Truthless’ so fervently cling to as conclusive proof that Christianity wasn’t the elephant in the room during our nation’s formative years, and our law wasn’t an extension of the judeo-christian values and mores that were embodied in the jurisprudence of western civilization.

‘Founding document’, my great-aunt Hattie.

Memo to all would-be revisionists: If you are going to rewrite history to fit your spiritually-stunted agenda, don’t rely on a document ‘negotiated’ at gunpoint, that was changed to remove your weak-kneed justification at the earliest opportunity.

And Truthless, use your head for something more than a place to hang your dunce cap. It is getting tiresome correcting your stupidity.

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