Archive for July, 2010

I know my history... and wars have consequences.

The Judge in the Arizona immigration enforcement law case today enjoined key provisions of the law from being enforced tomorrow when the law goes into effect.  This was not entirely suprising, as Arizona is in the Ninth Federal Circuit, which ought to be renamed the FAIL! circuit. 

To my conservative friends who are blustering and hyperventilating:  Relax.  No matter the outcome of this hearing, it was going to be appealed.  I’m more interested in the reaction of the average joe to this, because then we will better understand if the American public will understand that their consent is no longer required by the governing, who apparently have so little respect for the rule of law that they will openly display their disrespect for the concept.

Out of all the analyses I perused today, I think Legal Insurrection had one of the better ones.  I don’t know if the Professor was trying to be subtle, or if he came to the real nub of today’s decision without really noting its significance. 

The result of this statutory interpretation was that the Court found the procedure — as written — to interfere with the federal immigration scheme:

“Thus, an increase in the number of requests for determinations of immigration status, such as is likely to result from the mandatory requirement that Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies check the immigration status of any person who is arrested, will divert resources from the federal government’s other responsibilities and priorities.”

Now one of the thrusts of the government’s case is that the Arizona law violates the Supremacy Clause, because immigration is a matter where Congress was explicitly given jurisdiction in the Constitution.  That’s all fine and dandy, but there are only two recognized situations that I am aware of where the Supremacy Clause becomes an issue:

1.  State law regulates the Federal government directly, or it discriminates against it; and

2.   State law interferes with a Congressional Policy.

Any argument that rests in any fashion on what amounts to a claim that “The state law will require the Federal government to do the job it reserved to itself as an exercise of its expressly granted power, which might mean that it could expend money and other resources that it would rather spend on other priorities.” meets neither of these standards.  What’s more, it demonstrates a unilateral revocation of a concept that has kept this nation from coup and overthrow for about 230 years:  The rule of law.

The rule of law, put simply, is the idea that the law rules men, not other men.  Because the law applies to everyone equally, everyone submits to its authority, with the belief that if it ever becomes necessary, aggrieved parties will have their day in court, and “self-help” remedies (like gunfights), which are destructive to social order, will not be necessary.  By this admission in her ruling, Judge Susan Bolton fails to comprehend that the Federal Government’s desire (or lack thereof) to enforce certain laws is a factor in whether or not a state may adopt a law that is the mirror of the corresponding Federal law does irreparable violence to this notion, as well as the notion of Federalism itself.  The states are supposed to be co-equal sovereigns with the Federal government, granting it authority to perform specifically enumerated tasks, the performance of which is necessary to the maintenance of a viable nation.

What happened today was that a state which is suffering from a co-equal sovereign’s utter failure to perform a task that was specifically assigned to it.  That assignment was originally made because of the expectation that the Federal government would secure the nation’s borders and protect its citizens from many of the ills that an enormous influx of illegal aliens would bring.  Arizona, and other border states have had an incredible burden placed on their resources as they have had to provide services for people who have no legal right to be here, and from the other associated effects such as wage depression, and the growing amount of narco-crime that has followed the influx of these criminals.  [Yes, I used the word “criminals”.  In my Black’s Law Dictionary, it still applies to people who break the law.]

If the Federal government can be so arbitrary and capricious with regard to enforcement of laws relating to a core duty it holds, then we all have reason to fear, because selective enforcement can be applied to any Federal law.  If this cannot motivate the average citizen to bring real change to Federal government, then not only are we lost, but we deserve to be.  If we accept lawlessness garbed in the authority and mantle of law, then we have surrendered any notion of being a free people.

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Not a Free Bird?

Another quarter is heard from on the Arizona immigration bill.

Elton John has waded into the debate over a new immigration law in Arizona, condemning artists who boycott the state over the controversy.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, John told the crowd of 8,800: “We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona.

I have read that some of the artists won’t come here. They are f**kwits! Let’s face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what the (expletive is) with these people?”

He has the same rights as any other man in California.  He is free to marry a woman…or not.  This really isn’t that difficult, but I suppose that the lure of drama was just too great.  Sometimes, you just want to say to people “Thanks, but I’m not sure you’re helping.”

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So Barack Hussein Obama thinks it more important to go on a talk show with some of the most vapid ‘talents’ to waste pixels since Britney Spears had a show than to go to the Boy Scouts’ Centennial Jamboree.  Is it news worthy?

Only if you think about how it demonstrates his priorities.

On the former, he can field softballs from a friendly panel who would much rather joke and giggle with him than ask a difficult question about the many failures of his adminstration or push him to denounce the tired tactic of his defenders and enablers of “Blame Bush!”  nearly two years after taking the job he so desperately asked us to give him.

At the latter, he is likely to come face-to-face with people of all hues and creeds who focused on achievement and learning all the things that they can do, rather than wallowing in the conviction of all the things they are sure that they can’t do (even if they never tried).  He will come face to face-to-face with people of all hues and creeds who make the daily attempt to adhere to a code that doesn’t have room for cynicism or the petty divisions that politicians cleverly manipulate in an attempt to increase their own power.  At the latter, he would come face-to-face with people who believe in voluntarily giving service to their communities, not out of a tangled belief in collective salvation, but because they understand their faith enough to know that such service is a betterment to themselves personally, and is the real root of charity.  And finally, he would come to face-to-face with people who believe in right and wrong in personal behavior, and are willing to take a stand regarding those beliefs, rather than bow to political expediency.

Knowing this, I understand his choice completely, and I find it unsurprising.  If I were him, I wouldn’t want to be spending time with boys, young men, and their elders, any one of whom demonstrate more character on their absolute worst days than this shallow shell of a man who has left a trail of friends and associates in his wake so that the electorate doesn’t think too hard about birds of a feather flocking together.  That would have to be singularly uncomfortable. 

I know some conservatives and former scouts who are upset that the President of the United States will not lend the prestige of his office to a celebration of an American Institution.  I myself have mixed feelings about this.  While I regret that the current occupant of the Oval Office cannot suck it up, take a break from his perpetual vacation, and try to inspire young men and boys to aspire to such lofty goals, I find that I am glad that he has once again chosen what is easy over what is right.  If the boys cannot have such an honored guest who demonstrates many of the morals that are the product of the code they live by, then I would honestly prefer that they didn’t have to endure one who clearly cannot. 

And while I too, was a scout, and still try to live up to that code, I fear that their grace and respect is simply more than he deserves.

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“If we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example…I am not going to promise a cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group.  That is racism in reverse at its worst.  So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if successful.  I promise only that I will not consider them.” — John F. Kennedy, speech October 17, 1960.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never be a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve certainly experienced racism, but it has not made a great impact on me.  I have always thought, as I got older and older, I was more in charge of who I was.  What someone thought about me or said about me made less of an impression on me at very vulnerable times.” — Robert Guillame

“When I was a kid, we said that we were precluded from going to certain neighborhoods because of the color of our skin…Now the neighborhoods are the neighborhoods of ideas,  you’re not supposed to be there because…of the color of your skin.”– Justice Clarence Thomas

“The really important victory of the civil rights movement was that it made racism unpopular, whereas a generation ago at the turn of the last century, you had to embrace racism to get elected to anything.”–Carol Mosley Braun

Take a few minutes to watch this video.  Take note of the fact that there are black faces and white faces in that crowd.

Those people were there to overcome racism, and see that citizens were not denied their place at the table in society based on the color of their skin.  This is different from being entitled to positions and places because of the color of their skin. 

Unfortunately, this distinction has become muddled.  The right and proper retirement of the notion of “separate but equal” meant that the color of skin was no longer a legitimate basis for the denial the right to participate in society.  Not in education.  Not in accommodation.  Not in opportunities for employment or housing.  Sadly, this concept had to be given life by the force that government would bring to bear in some parts of the country.  Before long, it was not about being able to attend the closest school, as it was in Brown I, but it became about the need to segregate, regardless of proximity.  Before long, we graduated to acceptance of the notion that a certain number of places in graduate level education had to be set aside for people of color, in order to remediate the past unavailability of these positions because of that skin color, and regardless of the fact that it was apparently necessary for only that skin color [The footnotes on the racial makeup of that year’s class accepted to the medical school, Bakke v. University of California] when other minorities were apparently able to achieve admittance without set asides, or the lower standards that characterized them.  We received, and still carry the continuation of Affirmative Action in employment, especially government employment, long after the color line had been erased from existence.  Racial quotas in education have given way to a softer, but still distinct system in “a compelling interest in diversity”, which provides justification in admissions policies that consider race based on an unquantifiable “critical mass” calculation that provides no clear guidance, but enshrines entitlement to admissions into a new status quo, which undermines the notion of merit and the pursuit of excellence based on achievement, and all of society now suffers for it.

It isn’t enough for some that our institutions have surrendered to the concept that race has to be a factor; that betrayal of the vision set forth by the two big martyrs of my parents’ generation would be enough to stain us all with a new stain of racism.  Now we have the more subtle, and insulting belief that these entitlements are necessary because of a presumption that members of that race could not achieve without the entitlement, so benevolently granted and ferociously and jealously guarded by members of a certain political persuasion, who remain steadfastly unwilling to even consider winding down the policy of entitlement, and letting these citizens stand or fall of their own accord.  These villans, who have managed to convince their subjects that their ills are the result of those who would push government back, and allow them to define for themselves what success means to them, practice a far crueller racism than any Klan member or white supremacist ever did.  At least with the Klan and the white supremacist, their racism was upfront, and didn’t extract anything but fear from its victims.  With the liberal, the racism is a kinder, gentler bigotry.  It says “Yes, you have been held back.  But you can enjoy freedom, with my help, and all I ask is that you trust me, elect me, empower me, and I, with the force of government, will make sure you get your fair share.”  And those who think of themselves as victims today did so, and still happily do so.

I’m not saying that real, unreasoning hatred based on race no longer exists.  To do so would be no less foolish than the millions of people seduced by the idea of a society where everything is free.  But such a belief is no longer a fixture of American society.  That died with my generation.  That died when children grew up watching Captain Kirk kissing Lieutenant Uhura in reruns on Saturday afternoons.  Yet today, 40 years after that moment was committed to film, those who have found power in asserting victimhood on behalf of others would have you believe now more than ever that any person who happened to believe the words of those two famous martyrs hides a hooded white robe, rope, a cross, and gasoline in a closet, and is bristling for the chance to bust them out and go crazy with them, simply because they disagree.  Simply because they were foolish enough to believe that character and ability should define achievement, and because they dare to question when government does not deliver excellence, and instead delivers a “social justice” agenda that would infantilize not just the victims, but all of us.

Who will tell my children and my grandchildren that their right to make mistakes, that their right to happen on the next big thing when pursuing their own dreams as set forth by two visionaries who inspired two generations because of the purity of their vision, and of the innate rightness of how it would at last fulfill the promise that gave birth to the freest nation the world has ever countenanced were betrayed by those same people?  Who will explain to them that overcoming hatred would succumb to the ease of accepting, and then demanding what others in society have to earn?  Who will explain to them that overcoming the resistance to granting citizens the same right to make their own destinies as all other citizens succumbed to the cynicism of carving out and dispensing entitlements, all the while making sure that the premise that government intervention was necessary was always front and center in their discussions with the recipients, and was enforced by the savaging of any member of that group who achieved great things for themselves without subjecting themselves to the largesse of their betters, or selling the belief that such largesse was necessary.

The result is that the dream of being judged on the content of character is dead.

It was killed by venality.  It was killed by cynicism.   It was killed by the ease of acceptance.  If there is a silver lining, it is that the constant priming of the racial pump has saturated the culture with a constant focus on race, and the consciousness of the fact that it is new bigots, with the soft tyranny of their lowered expectations who are dividing society, both with their expectation of race-based entitlement, and their constant chorus of “Racism!” whenever they are met with honest questions by the same people they vilify.  The question is are the right people taking note of this new racism, and the insulting premises that it rests on?  Some days I’m not so sure, as demonstrated a short time ago by my fellow-blogger, and I would like to think, friend, Rutherford Lawson, in one of his remarks at his own blog:

Let’s start on the NAACP as an anachronism. Frankly, I’d be happier with a non-race affiliated human rights group intervening in cases of injustice and prejudice. I think the NAACP is past its prime … hell it calls its own people an outdated and almost offensive label (“colored”).

There was a time when blacks got the brunt of the abuse in this country and merited an organization devoted to their defense (or “advancement”). Now I think we need to focus on the advancement of all minorities and under-represented people. As I said on my radio show yesterday, dirt poor whites in West Virginia are just as deserving of advocacy as ghetto blacks. To say any differently is to actually insult the black community that they are somehow the most wretched of all minorities.

Needless to say, my co-host Sandi did not agree.

For those who are unaware, Rutherford is black. (He is also liberal, which is one of the reasons he and I do not see eye-to-eye on many things.  However, he has his moments of remarkable clarity, which is why I haven’t given up on him. :-))  His co-host [for his blog radio show] is a lily-white liberal.  I don’t think they could have made my point better had they tried.  [And in the interests of disclosure, I did try to ask Rutherford for his thoughts on this…twice, to no avail.]

If the trend that has occurred continues, succumbing will lead to surrender.  Surrender to entitlement.  Surrender to double standards.  Surrender to any notion of taking hold of the American Dream.  Surrender to an inevitable balkanization.  Surrender to the idea of a government that will decide for everyone what freedom means, and what liberties we each will have, and to what degree.  Surrender to settling rather than living.  Surrender to a collective indentured servitude rather than a life limited only by your own individual ambitions.  In that way lies madness…and ruin…and power and wealth for those who would exploit it.  That is the real teachable moment of this week…when you allow yourself to be manipulated for someone else’s gain, those people can define what you are not paying attention to.

Think about it.

Is that enough conversation for you, Eric, or do you want to impugn my character a bit more?

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The fact that this person and Hank Johnson are both in the majority in the House of Representatives should bother you.  It should bother anyone who is worried about the policies being made in this country today.

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I heard about this on my drive home from work today.    

Washington’s Board of Pharmacy initially allowed individual pharmacists to refuse to sell Plan B pills based on moral objections, as long as there was another pharmacist available who didn’t share the same moral reservations…unless there wasn’t another pharmacist on staff at the same time, in which case you were screwed.  And never mind that this meant that Pharmacy owners who might have moral objections to selling Plan B were essentially forced to sell the drug.  Their choice didn’t matter.    

As a result, they took the only course open to them.  They sued.  And now it appears that the Pharmacy Board has apparently come to its senses, and recognized that collective desires do not trump individual rights.    

A trial was set to begin July 26, but a judge postponed it indefinitely Monday at the request of lawyers for both sides, who cited the board’s June decision to begin a new rulemaking process.    

The deal surprised women’s-rights advocates who had watched the pharmacy board pass a rule in 2007 at the urging of Gov. Chris Gregoire that barred pharmacies from refusing to sell a legal drug out of a moral or religious objection. The rule never took effect, awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit.    

Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood’s Washington political arm, said she’s “completely bewildered and baffled” by the moves by the board and its lawyers in Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office.         

But don’t tell Planned Parenthood.  They seem to believe that their choices are more important than the pharmacy owners.
Planned Parenthood says personal beliefs imposed on a patient are different from financial considerations. Advocates say women shouldn’t be delayed by a trip to another store when seeking the Plan B “morning after” pill, which can prevent fertilization or implantation of an egg if taken within 72 hours of sex. 
John Carlson, the host of KVI 570’s 3-6pm show was discussing it with Laura Einstein, who is counsel for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest.  Laura made some really poor analogies in trying to explain why it was ok for the pro-babykilling crowd to force pharmacists to sell a product that they may find morally objectionable.
I came in late, but the arguments made that I heard were:
1.  If we allow the new proposed rule to go through, what happens to the women who can’t get to a different pharmacy, because they don’t own a car?  This argument ignores the fact that in most of Washington, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a pharmacy, and that we pay exorbitant sums for public transportation.  The idea that someone will somehow have their life changed ignores the fact that anyone you can name knows someone who owns a car, or can catch a bus to stores and pharmacies.  This argument didn’t make any headway, and I really can’t fathom it going well with a Judge, either.
2.  Because Pharmacists are licensed by the state, they have a monopoly, and therefore it is appropriate for the state to force them to sell it.  This really is my favorite, because it is so dishonest and characterizes the reason for the license completely falsely.  The government doesn’t require licensure in order to provide a secure living for the licensee; the government requires that pharmacists be licensed in order to protect the public health.  That’s why in addition to all the schooling that pharmacists have to go through, they actually have to get tested by the state in order to prove that they actually learned something and understand things like which drugs might react very badly when taken with others…it is a public heath issue.  And counsel would know this if she simply looked at the RCWs on the subject:
RCW 18.64.005 State Board of Pharmacy- Powers and Duties
(7) Promulgate rules for the dispensing, distribution, wholesaling, and manufacturing of drugs and devices and the practice of pharmacy for the protection and promotion of the public health, safety, and welfare. Violation of any such rules shall constitute grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of licenses or any other authority to practice issued by the board;[Emp. Added].
This was an unbelievably stupid argument to make, even for a lawyer so clearly partisan on the subject, and Carlson rightly called it so, pointing out that if a pharmacy license is a monopoly issued by the State, someone is getting ripped off, as there are hundreds of pharmacies in Washington State, and many different ones often less than a mile from each other.  It also fails the laugh test based on the fact that Planned Parenthood itself offers Plan B as part of its contraceptive services in its 38 Washington “Health Centers” all across the state.  If it is a monopoly, it’s a poorly managed one.
He asked her if she also believed that if a woman in a rural area of the state wanted an abortion and the only nearby doctor did not want to perform it on the grounds of moral objection, shouldn’t he be forced to do so?  Afterall, if a pharmacist should be forced to sell a product, shouldn’t a doctor be forced to perform a procedure, especially it if would have the same result?  Ms. Einstein objected to this, stating that it was a horrible analogy because that doctor “might not be qualified to perform the abortion”.
I can understand why she might not want anyone thinking too hard about this analogy.  To start with, doctors in Washington can’t be forced to perform abortions.  From the Revised Code of Washington (RCW):
Refusing to perform.

No person or private medical facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the performance of an abortion if such person or private medical facility objects to so doing. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of the person’s participation or refusal to participate in the termination of a pregnancy.    

I wouldn’t want to have to explain why a doctor is allowed to not aid a woman in killing a baby, but a pharmacist is required to participate in such an act.

As for the “qualified to perform abortion”, there are two issues raised by this argument.   The first is whether or not a doctor needs to have a certification or special license to do so.  According to the RCWs, this does not appear to be the case:    

Right to have and provide.

The state may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or to protect her life or health.    

     A physician may terminate and a health care provider may assist a physician in terminating a pregnancy as permitted by this section.    

The only obvious restriction on performing an abortion under this section is found in the very next subsection:

Unauthorized abortions — Penalty.

Unless authorized by RCW 9.02.110, any person who performs an abortion on another person shall be guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

The other issue is whether such a procedure should be performed by someone who doesn’t do so regularly.  She was a tad more honest with this argument, as she stated that while she was an attorney, she probably wouldn’t take a criminal case, because she may not be competent to do so.  I can understand and respect that, but at the same time, her example makes no allowances for variations in difficulty of such cases based on the offense.  A criminal traffic matter is not the same as a murder, and does not require the same level of expertise or skill to successfully defend.  I admit I am not a doctor, but physicians spend a lot of time learning their craft, and to make the argument that they could not handle a surgical procedure because they didn’t make a regular practice of it is less than honest.  It isn’t all neurosurgery.     

However, as her client, Planned Parenthood does perform abortions, and lots of them, I can understand her wanting to create the impression that only doctors who regularly perform abortions should be consulted to do so.  Blood Money addictions can be some of the hardest to break, and the cruelest to justify.
By now, I had called in, and was salivating for a shot at her, but she left before Carlson took callers, and I was far enough back in the call queue that they didn’t get to me before there were a few minutes remaining and I was home and had to hang up so I could be Dad.  Before she hung up, she and Carlson walked back through the facts and her arguments.  She expressed the belief that “they would manage to persuade the Board of Pharmacy to do the right thing.”  Carlson asked her “But didn’t the Board of Pharmacy vote unanimously to start new rule making procedures?  Isn’t that indicative of them having made up their mind to change the rule?”  Nonplussed, her response was something along the lines of “they still have to have public hearings on the proposed rule and besides, the Ninth Circuit already told the pharmacists that they have to sell it.”  Carlson’s last word was “The Ninth Circuit?  Well, we know what is likely to happen if it gets appealed to the Supreme Court, don’t we?”
But it is so much better than that, because once again, she mischaracterized what the Ninth Circuit said about it, because in the Opinion issued last week, the Ninth Circuit explicitly recognized the State Board of Pharmacy’s authority to set the policies regarding the dispensing of the drug.  It overturned the injunction placed on enforcement of the rules that the Pharmacy Board now seeks to change not because the Board of Pharmacy does not have the authority to change the rule and allow pharmacists to have a choice also, but because to not enforce the existing rule was not consistent with Federal precedent, which is much different from the Ninth Circuit telling them that they can’t do it.
I looked up Ms. Einstein’s bar information.  She was licensed to practice in Washington five and a half years after I was.  I have to confess that I’m torn.  On the one hand, I am disgusted that a member of my profession and my state’s bar could be so disingenuous, and on the other hand, I’m glad that she is representing “the right to kill babies at all costs” crowd, because if she represents the best they have to offer, then I have every confidence that those of us who understand that the “right to choose [death]” does not trump all other rights will eventually prevail, if only because we don’t kill our children.

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 It is also important to note that even though the Founders believed the Rights of the people came from God, they did not insist that every citizen believe in God; they simply saw no way to justify those natural moral Rights unless there was a God.

Hence, they set up a form of government that would recognize and protect God-given Rights without establishing a government religion or creating an environment of intolerance.  This was important to the founders because they considered religious freedom to be an “unalienable Right”, even though they didn’t specify it in the Declaration of Independence.  (They did so in the First Amendment to the Constitution.)

“Congress shall make no law…”

After Thomas Jefferson identified the Moral Law as the foundation of the Declaration of Independence, James Madison and other Founding Fathers legislated those laws and “unalienable Rights” in the Constitution.  The First Amendment, of course, is the one that deals with religion. It reads:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (See the complete Constitution: Appendix II.)

The key point is this:  while the First Amendment clearly forbids the federal government from establishing a national religion, it does not prohibit the government from establishing a national morality: it clearly implies that it is wrong for Congress to establish a religion or to prohibit the free exercise of religion; it also implies that any congressional attempt to abridge the freedom of speech, the press, or assembly is morally wrong.  The Founding Fathers obviously were convinced that it would be immoral for Congress to restrict these freedoms.  In other words, they believed these freedoms were morally right and needed to be protected through legislation.

Legislating Morality, by Dr. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, pp. 21-22.

Of course, this flies in the face of the “You can’t legislate morality” crowd, and it also should start you on the road to understanding that the “secular” humanism favored by many today is not value neutral, nor is it amoral.  The context in which we understand morals and law today is flawed because too many fail to realize that the discussion is not really about whether we will have moral law or amoral law;  it is about whose morals will inform our law.

Because of the obfuscation made possible in part by the committed efforts of humanists to prevent the judeo-christian ethic from informing society in its most formative years, many people now lack the understanding to critically examine the world around them and the reasons underlying popular opinions and attitudes.  Euphemistic phrases have also contributed to the popular, but shallow, perceptions that abound today.

Today murder is sanctioned by “choice”.  Compassion is practiced with the money and resources of others, and often creates unwitting victims rather than providing any help beyond the next check.  Cities do everything they can to prevent or limit lawful firearm ownership and suffer from horrific crimes…committed with guns, and never see the disconnect.  Permissiveness is the order of the day, and yet the enablers fret over the manifested consequences.   “Tolerance!’ becomes the battle cry for those least likely to practice it.  The whim of the human heart becomes the ultimate expression. Everything is permitted and nothing denied.  And yet their answer that comes when the damage is surveyed…the damage from the permissive approach is “Not enough freedom!  You must give us more power!” 

At times, it reminds me of a person in a small boat at anchor, who cuts the anchor line because they can’t see the purpose for it, then they get bent out of shape when they realize they’re headed for the rocks, but they would sooner see themselves wrecked than bother with the restraint that an anchor offers.  It is easy to see where this ends.  In many ways, we’re already starting to live it.  The question remains:  “What are you going to do about it?  Fiddle while Rome burns, or pick up a bucket, and get busy?”

Inspired by my good friend, Rosetta the Racist, by his latest post at the H2.

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I do so love it when liberals tell me that there is no socialism in their burning desire for Health Care Reform.  I’m sure I’d feel reassured, if it weren’t for administration appointees like Dr. Donald Berwick.

“You could have had a monstrous insurance industry of claims and rules and paper-pushing instead of using your tax base to provide a single route of finance.  You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker. And that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must—must–redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well.”

Surely, this must have been a mistake.  

or maybe not…

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The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

 If you can read these words, really read them, and not get a lump in your throat…

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Supreme Court nominee Kagan made a startling admission today.

When pressed by Senator Tom Coburn if she believes that Americans have a fundamental right to own firearms, her response spoke volumes of what she either does not know about the law, or what she chooses to ignore.  Given her record on changing the potentially damaging testimony of a professional group in order to preserve one of the greatest pretexts for murder ever, or fundamentally misrepresenting the law when arguing before the Supreme Court, resulting in a decision which completely abrogated the law at issue, I tend to think it’s the latter and not the former.  From the Washington Examiner:

The Oklahoma Republican then asked Kagan if she believes American citizens have “a fundamental right” to own firearms for self-defense, which he noted the great English jurist William Blackstone described as a “natural right.” Kagan responded by saying, “To be honest with you, I don’t have a view of what are natural rights independent of the Constitution.”

Coburn pressed, asking Kagan if her response meant “you wouldn’t embrace what the Declaration says, that we have certain God-given rights, and that among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” Kagan replied that “my job as a justice is to enforce the Constitution and the laws.” She emphasized that she was “not saying that I do not believe there are not rights pre-existing the Constitution and laws.”

Misrepresentation to the Court, changing client testimony, and now a refusal to acknowledge the rights set forth in the charter of the country?

She doesn’t need to be practicing law, let alone sitting on the Supreme Court.  She needs to be disbarred.

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