Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama Faction Again Shows Contempt for the Constitution

The U.S. Constitution plainly states that only "the People of the several states" can elect representatives to the Congress of the United States. Despite this undeniable restriction, the U.S. Senate has voted to give the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives. According to a story in the Washington Post "The House is expected to approve the D.C. vote bill next week, and President[sic] Obama has indicated he will sign it into law. " Thus in the near future we will witness the unique spectacle of a Federal bill signing ceremony in which an individual exercising Constitutionally questionable authority as President of the United States will purport to sign into law a bill that unquestionably violates the Constitution. Unlike some other historic "firsts" daily held up for our obeisance in connection with the present occupant of the White House, this one undoubtedly deserves great attention.

As Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has pointed out the President, and any members of Congress who vote for the bill in question, certainly know that the it is unconstitutional. McConnell fails to note however that their willful disregard for that fact places each and every one of them incontestably in violation of their sworn oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

By now most reasonably well informed citizens of this country are aware that Barack Obama has refused to release documents needed to establish the fact that he satisfies another clear and explicit Constitutional requirement, to wit, that "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President". Acting in defense of the Supreme Law of the Land citizens, now including military people conscientiously seeking to be faithful to their oaths, are by legal means pursuing such evidence. So far the judges have arbitrarily denied any and all such plaintiffs a just hearing in the Courts. The media has subjected them to ridicule and vilification. They have been slandered as insane and somehow extremist in their views. Yet their only goal is to assure that the expression of sovereign will which is the basis for the legitimate authority of the U.S. government, our Constitution, is not treated with contempt; that the agreement as to the form of government which has been the acknowledged mainstay of the peace and unity of our polity is not cast aside; that Americans loyal to the Constitution and its principles do not face the awful choice of either abandoning liberty for their children and their grandchildren or coming face to face with the grievous prospect of civil war.

Despite unfair and slanderous attacks, people concerned with the eligibility issue have persistently warned that the willingness simply and openly to disregard the Constitution in one instance is likely to lead to further abuses, until in the end it has been shredded beyond recognition or repair.

It's not hard to recognize the Obama faction's latest contemptuous disregard for Constitutional procedures as convincing new evidence that their warning is fully justified. If the legislative power of Congress over the District of Columbia somehow includes the unconstitutional power to assign it a vote in the Congress, what of the other places over which it has similar authority, such as the sites of "Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings." (Article I, Section 8) or other places (e.g., Guam or Puerto Rico, or the extensive public lands within the boundaries of some of our western States) that qualify as the "Territory or other Property belonging to the United States (Article IV, Section 3). Can Congress, by factional majority vote, grant voting representation to whatever entities it may by law create out of such jurisdictions?

I realize that any such Congressional actions would fly in the face of our whole history as a nation. I know that epochs in some of its greatest controversies were marked by legislation (the Missouri Compromise, the Great Compromise of 1850) whose history and existence prove that no such power was ever imagined to be in the hands of a factional Congressional majority, until now. But if the unconstitutional exercise of this power passes with no more than a casual bleat of protest, what warrants the expectation that it will not be used as a precedent for actions that would permit a majority faction to pack the Congress as President Franklin Roosevelt once sought to pack the Supreme Court, engineering permanent and dictatorial control of the legislative power?

I wish we could live in the certain hope that the Supreme Court will weigh in against this patently unconstitutional act. But even if it does, a majority arrogant enough to disregard both the Constitution and the weight of our whole history may well believe that the fervent personality cult they seem to rely on for their impunity in this case will secure them from opposition in any event. The arrogance of despotic power rarely comes on all at once. By seemingly small usurpations it accustoms people to accept the abuse of power until, encouraged to bolder action, it can eventually be stopped only by major confrontation fraught with the possibility of civil conflict. Have we and all our leaders become such strangers to commons sense and civic duty that we will only move to act when things have reached such a dire extremity? Where is the wisdom, where is the prudence, where is the sane concern for civil peace in such inaction? Statesmanship acts from foresight, in good time, by proper and effective political means. But, the American Founders foresaw that "enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." In that event, people with courage and common sense must make up for the defect of statesmanship. They must organize and communicate their firm opposition to the politicians who are contemptuously engineering the end of Constitutional government in our land. If the privileges of statehood are to be granted to the people of the District of Columbia the U.S. Constitution makes it plain that it is for the states to decide, by Constitutional amendment. The state legislators now promoting the re-invigoration of respect for the 10th Amendment ought to recognize the Obama faction's latest act of usurpation as a step intended to subvert their good efforts just as they begin. I pray they have the vision to see what is at stake and respond accordingly.

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Real Change-Replacing the Federal Reserve

Our thinking about the fair tax approach has reminded us of the fact that in our society money is a commodity generally distributed throughout the land, not in the first instance pooled in the hands of a few. The contrary impression has been created by the centralized banking system, which along with the income tax obscures the simple fact that goods and services (and therefore the money that represents their value) start life as widely distributed as the individuals who actually produce and perform them. The first economic question therefore is not about the distribution of money (the false pretense of socialist and communist thinking) but about the mechanism for gathering it. Just as the income tax gathers money for government without regard to the choice of the people making it, the centralized banking system absorbs money from people that is then used (circulated in channels) without regard for choices they should make based on the actual circumstances of their lives. By disconnecting bankers' choices from the real life conditions of the people whose money they employ, the centralized banking system encourages the existence of the seemingly lucrative, but illusory assets whose corrupting weaknesses have caused its present crisis.

We're told that some banks and other financial institutions are too big to fail. But like a mass of cells growing in a way that burdens and harms the body (we call it a cancer), the question is, what allows the existence of something that continues to grow without regard for any contribution it makes to the real health and strength of the body (in this case the community or society in which it exists)? When the body must tax itself to exhaustion to maintain a tumor, we don't generally rush to rescue the tumor, or re-enforce the processes that encourage its growth. No, we seek to stop and reverse its growth, or by other means to kill it or remove it from the body. Even when dealing with the body's cancers we are finding that the real answer lies in re-discovering and strengthening the healthy functions and processes that respect the organic nature of the whole, rather than, at its expense, nourishing unproductive cancerous growths.

What we need is a fair banking system that, like the fair tax system, would make the flow of money more dependent on the choices of the individuals (and private associations) that produce its value in the first place. Step by step, let's try to envisage it. Private individuals make money. At first they may store it away about their persons, or in their homes, but experience teaches them that as the amount increases their individual ability to ward off thieves can't keep pace with the incentive others have to steal it away. Let's suppose that a family with a very large store of money has built a safe house for it. The neighbors approach them, asking whether, on some terms of mutual advantage and trust they could deposit their money in the safe house. They agree to share the burden of defending it (the cost of its security). Naturally, just as the store of money attracts interest from people willing to steal it, it attracts interest from others who, averse to stealing, are willing to ask for a loan. The owners of the store of money see the advantage of making such loans, on terms that help to defray the cost of its security, and eventually generate a profit. They agree to share in the profits in some way commensurate with the contribution each makes to the store. They also agree to let someone (perhaps the original owner of the safe house) make decisions about the amount and terms of lending, provided always that they make sure enough is available to meet the needs of the depositors as they arise.

Clearly, everyone involved can benefit from these arrangements, so long as sufficient care is taken to keep the lending practice strictly in line with the needs and interests of the depositors. If for example the depositors are farmers, the person in charge of the lending will make sure more reserves are on hand before planting season, when withdrawals will have to be made to buy seed, refurbish equipment and so forth; or at harvest time when more hands may be needed to bring in a particularly abundant yield. Of course those are also times when the demand for loans may rise. Therefore, loans have to be carefully prioritized to help the original depositors maintain their productive capacity, provided they're doing what's needed to make a good harvest more likely. The properly responsive local bank, tied to local needs and realities, has few opportunities to outgrow the health of the community in which it arises. By and large those temptations will be kept within bounds by due regard for the survival of the depositors whose productivity is the mainstay of its existence. Such a bank is like a healthy organ, interacting with the body whose health it reflects and helps to maintain.

A society whose financial life rests on a base composed of such institutions (independent local banks, sanely integrated with the communities they serve) has no special charm to avoid all calamities. Harvests will fail, lending decisions prove wrong, the occasional crooked professional bank schemers more dangerous than thieves in the night. But the impact of failures will be more localized, their effects more contained and transitory. This kind of bank failure was fairly common in nineteenth and early twentieth century America, before the creation of the Federal Reserve set up the conditions for a far more generalized and longer lasting form of failure.

I'm not saying that all more centralized financial institutions are intolerable. In fact, when the realities of life lead to the amassing of very large fortunes (as the discovery of large gold and silver deposits did in the U.S.) the community based banking model proves inadequate. Where one or a few individuals largely capitalize a bank (fill the store with their money), its practices will be driven by their desire for a good (and often a quick) return on their money. But there needs to be a sign marking the region occupied by such banks that says "enter at your own risk". Anyone who deals with them should have to live with that warning, including enterprises willing to depend on them for working capital. Moreover, this region should be hedged about in ways that prevent individuals and families from much involvement with them. People whose lives depend on their income (they live on a paycheck) need banks that keep an eye on conditions close to home. Properly understood, such individuals include business enterprises (including the affiliates of large, diversified corporations) located in a community and structuring a labor force that depends upon their operations. Such locally rooted enterprises should have to store their operating capital and reserves where they live, and get a return for it related to the health of their immediate environment.

In practice such a hedge might involve restricting certain banks to individual depositors above a specified deposit threshold, or to dealings with the corporate entities that float above and tie together locally based outlets and production units. The money available for such investments would be limited to the net profits (after seasonally adjusted local reserves are met) sent on to such corporate entities in return for the services they provide to their affiliates.

Instead of setting conditions that allow banks (or other enterprises) that are too big to fail, we need to structure the system purposefully so that failure is the natural consequence of bad decisions and actions, but no failure is catastrophic for people not directly involved with the institutions whose management decisions occasioned it. We need to structure it so that local communities benefit from the healthy result of their own efforts, rather than seeing those results siphoned off for uses that have little or no regard for their needs and interests. We need to structure it so that the folks who live at the grassroots deal with banks that rise or fall on the strength of the community, and which therefore have a vital interest in making responsible decisions that contribute to its strength. Finally we need to structure it so that the investments available to people who live on their income mainly take the form of equity in the enterprises they themselves depend on, so that they not only profit from their work but from the overall success of the business that makes use of it.

As we consider this kind of banking structure, one question looms: what about the large deposits and flows of money the national government requires to perform its functions. Well, if we think about the reasons people have for putting their money in the bank, instead of keeping it at home, none of those reasons apply to government. The Federal government has the wherewithal to safeguard and manage its own money. It also has a functional imperative (service to the people and national community as a whole) different than the more narrow, profit-oriented perspective of the private banking system. Government money should therefore be placed in a government bank, staffed and run like any other government department or agency. The hybrid monstrosity that is the Federal Reserve (a private system capitalized with public money) is a contradiction in terms that invites the kind of crack-up we're currently witnessing.

The problem of course is that the indebtedness of the Federal government conjures the hybrid monster into existence. At the end of the day, the government ends up being like the house many people live in- because you owe more than you own, the bank owns the house, not you. Unless you can service what you owe, the bank owns the house, not you. This means that unless the American people have a government that lives on the revenues generated by their activities, they don't' own the government, its creditors do. In generations past political leaders who cared about preserving liberty (that is, government of, by and for the people) hated and feared large government indebtedness. Politicians today pretend that they can spend without regard for the indebtedness which results. They seem content to lead the American people into permanent debt slavery, effectively overthrowing the form of government based upon their freedom. Having quietly turned control over to creditors (including potentially hostile foreign governments) they are no longer free to act as representatives of the people.

By abolishing the income tax, we give people back control of the money they make. By restoring a locally based banking system, we give communities back control of the money the people of those communities supply. By establishing a properly public bank for public monies, we restore to the American people institutional control of and responsibility for monies intended for public use. But we will not restore the real liberty all these steps envisage until we discard the notion that the national government must be the servant of all our aspirations. Instead we must limit its activities to those functions directly related to its true purpose. According to our Constitution, the U.S. government's job is to secure (make safe) the blessings of liberty. It cannot produce them. That's our work. The Federal government is somewhat like the security team at a factory. The fact that its activities are vital to the operation of every shop in the factory doesn't mean that the head of security should make decisions best left to the people responsible for those shops. Even where centralization makes sense, it isn't sensible to make the national government the focus of centralization except in those areas (for example, border security, military preparedness, and international relations) where the Federal government rightly claims responsibility based on the provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

I conclude therefore that the current economic crisis requires these bold steps:

  1. Abolish the income tax and replace it with a fair tax system such as that proposed in the Linder bill;
  2. Abolish the Federal Reserve and replace it with a) a locally rooted banking system for people who live off their wage or salary income and for locally rooted enterprises b) a private, at your own risk banking system for rootless corporate investors and individual depositors who live off their wealth, not their income; c) a U.S. government bank for managing the government's money.
  3. Thoroughly restructure the Federal government's activities so as to eliminate every activity, department and agency not strictly related to its specifically mandated Constitutional responsibilities. We must end, not extend the failed socialist experiments of the last century.
This is not a prescription for populist hand-outs and other lying policy delusions. It implies a return to individual, family and local responsibility. It implies restoration of the central role of private business, and religious and charitable associations. It implies an end to the pretense that government makes money, or progress or prosperity. It implies, in a word, a return to liberty- with all the hard work, risks and challenges liberty entails. But we all know that in many ways the present trends of our political and social life undermine the disposition and virtues people must have to accept these challenges. Therefore, economic restoration cannot occur unless our political system and moral identity are restored at the same time. Otherwise, real change will not come about, and would not be sustainable if it did. We must discard the political system that has failed and betrayed our liberty. We must reclaim the moral character that can produce energy and courage enough for the new politics that must replace it. No more manipulative, so-called Republicans. No more insidiously delusional Democrats. Just Americans striving as best we can to be decent human beings. Strong enough to be independent. Wise enough to stand united. Good e
nough to be free.
Obviously, we've got a lot more to think through. Stay with me.

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Republicans: A Curious Response

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."

Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Blaze



Aficionados of the Sherlock Holmes stories know that the dog didn't bark because the supposed culprit in the night was well and favorably known to the pooch. In fact the murderer in the Silver Blaze story wasn't a wrongdoer at all but a horse, who kills its trainer in furious reaction to his attempt to nick its tendon just enough to prevent it from winning an important race the next day.

For all his phony posturing, Obama's actions seem calculated to drive the United States over the cliff of bankruptcy, while leaving us defenseless against our enemies. Just when we thought the race was over, Obama and his cronies come along to make sure we lose forever. We're headed for a day of reckoning alright, and he's been raised up to make sure we show up on time.

As he leads us to the slaughter, here comes the Republican party- the one a lot of people have been feeding with their votes at election time in hopes that it will at least bark loudly when danger threatens. Instead, the only sounds we hear are the typical yaps and whimpers a dreaming watchdog makes in its sleep. Socialism is on the march. Soviet style one-party rule has already turned the corner. The Constitution is being prepared as tomorrow's trash can liner. Yet all we hear in the Republican response are the usual bleats about spending and irresponsibility, along with the quiet acknowledgement that the Republicans have no right to talk. "I guess that'll show those burgerglers."

Of course Obama's media claque would pounce if anyone whispered words like socialism, communism or despotism. No gulag yet, but they'll laugh and ridicule. They'll mention you in the same breath as (God forbid) Alan Keyes, a sure sign that the owners of the two-party system have taken you off the roster and posted you off the premises.

If you had your eye on the Republican nomination in 2012, would you risk that? Leave aside the fact that your cowardice, and that of all the Republicans like you, guarantees that the Republican nomination will be as worthless to liberty in 2012 as it was in 2008. Politics isn't about making choices that are good for the American people, just those that avoid the wrath of their now unchallenged keepers. ("There used to be a home for the brave around here somewhere, but I think it finally went back to the bank. Couldn't make the payments, I guess. Nice folks, but mortgaged way over their heads.")

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Abolish the Income Tax (Cont'd)

Contrary to the crypto-terrorist rhetoric of creative destruction, there's more to our lives than survival. According to our Constitution, security includes the blessings of liberty. This doesn't mean that we survive and then we enjoy freedom. It means that we survive in freedom, making right use of freedom, with freedom as the path and means to achieving favorable results. Given the dire warnings of impending economic doom being used to herd us toward the communist slaughter pens, this means remembering that freedom isn't our reward for being co-operative sheeple. It's a vehicle that conveys the strength we need to keep ourselves from being shorn, dressed and stewed like sheep.

Like any other conveyance, freedom can't run on empty. The first order of business is to keep it fueled. This takes us back to where we started: the Lindsey Bill to abolish the Federal income tax. At a stroke, abolition assures that freedom runs with a full tank of gas. For people who think the U.S. government has money of its own, this is hard to understand, so we'll take it a step a time. The U.S. government's money comes mainly from taxation. Before it's taxed away, all the money is in the hands of the people, either as individuals or in their private associations (business enterprises, for example.) The Lindsey Bill simply abolishes the system that gives the U.S. government the prerogative to reach into people's pockets and claim as much money as it pleases before they have a chance to decide anything about it.

The Federal government serves some legitimate purposes. No one denies that it needs resources sufficient for those purposes. But instead of amassing them through a supposedly legalized guild of professional pick pockets (the IRS as presently constituted), the fair tax approach first lets people decide for themselves what to do with their money. They may spend it all now (present consumption) or set some aside to serve future needs and purposes (savings). The present income tax system effectively taxes both activities (since the dollars it preemptively claims could be used for either purpose.) The fair tax approach levies taxes only on what people decide to spend.

Before we let the money grabbers distract us with their usual chatter about tax rates, let's focus on the key difference between the fair tax and the income tax. Under the income tax the government decides when and how much of your money it may claim. Under the fair tax, you make that decision. As all politicians and bureaucrats know, decision making is power, especially when it directly controls the activity that results. One person has a dollar. Another person wants to use it. If the person who has it can simply decide to keep it, that person controls the dollar's power. If the other person can at will reach out and use it for some other purpose, that other person controls the dollar's power. The fair tax returns control to the people who have first possession of the dollar. It's that simple.

But still not simple enough for the folks who get power from the present arrangement. Okay, let's try again. I walk into the barber shop with twenty dollars in my pocket. The barber takes twelve dollars and a three dollar tip out of my pocket the moment I cross the threshold. That's not just before I get the hair cut, it's before I finally decide that I want to get it then and there. I'm in the shop, so I pay. That's the income tax. Or alternatively, I walk into the store, look at the cuts they offer, take stock of how the customers look, maybe chat with a couple of them. Then I decide whether to spend some of my money on the haircut. No money changes hands until I pay for what I've decided to get. That's the fair tax.

Of course, we all live as it were on premises serviced by the Federal government in some way. Therefore, whatever we decide to buy, the U.S. government may claim a bit in payment for its services. Under the income tax that claim is preemptive. Under the fair tax, it becomes effective only when we decide to consume some of the goods (understood here to include good service) the U.S. government's services help us to preserve. By necessity, the government can be assured some revenue (we have to purchase food, for example.) In a society as diversely productive as ours, however, we have the luxury of lightening the load borne by necessity (to ease the path out of poverty, for example), spreading it to products and services that pleasure, adorn and entertain our lives.

In any case, we fill the government's resource requirements using a method of taxation that relies on the choices people make for themselves, rather than the choices political bosses and bureaucratic commissars make for them. This approach gives people the greatest possible opportunity to use the money they make to build a little something for themselves and their loved ones. Good decisions, both about their productive lives (what they do, how hard they work, how well they develop and target their talents and abilities) and about their savings and consumption, will allow them to survive, to live well, and/or to amass wealth, depending on priorities they determine (not bureaucrats and politicians.)

Well, almost. As we were reminded last fall, there remains the critical question of what happens to the money people decide to save. Government isn't the only threat to the control people have over what happens to their money. A banking/credit system divorced from their needs and circumstances can effectively erode and even destroy its potential, profiting others while they stand by helplessly. This thought brings us to the next step on the path of real change for the better: replacing our ill conceived and failing financial institutions. Watch this space.

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Real Change Step One: Abolish the Income Tax

I saw today that Rep. John Linder (R, GA-7) and 44 Republican co-sponsors have introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to abolish the income tax and replace it with an implementation of the fair tax proposal. As they say, this represents real, positive change. It is a critical element of the agenda that could avert the economic collapse made imminent by our country's long and damaging flirtation with socialism. Unfortunately, with Obama occupying the White House and the Democrats in control of Congress, what we're likely to get at the moment is just the opposite: a short engagement followed by a shotgun wedding that forces America into a Soviet-style marriage of inconvenience, then prolonged depression and a psychotic break.

Obama's Soviet-style communist state is a Tyrannosaurus Rex on parade in the Jurassic Park of dangerous political excursions. For a moment it's exciting to get close-up and touchy-feely with something so old that we thought of as extinct. Then we remember that at feeding time, we're on the menu. Okay! That's no fun. But if the prospect means we're ready to end the vacation and get on with real life, what's to do? Well, it would be nice to make sure we get out of the Park alive. For this, just like the characters in the movie, we need to apply the know-how that made our little excursion possible. We need to remember our home address (that may strike you as a gimme, but don't forget how easily the mind goes blank during a life and death encounter with a resurrected monstrosity.) Once we retrieve the address, we need to remember how to get there. Then, we head for home. We open the place up, air out all the rooms and get back to being ourselves, that is, the first and greatest free people in human history. Now, being ourselves is hard work, but doing it well has been a source of great satisfaction in our lives. Smart people take vacations mainly to remind themselves of that. Unfortunately some people voted absentee in the last election, while their brains were still on vacation. Hence, the Obamasaurus hex.

There's been a noticeable spike in hate mail from the Obama worshippers since I called his communist agenda by its right name. I've also gotten a lot of encouragement and thanks from Americans who want to preserve liberty in this country, and the prosperity that goes with it. Typical is this brief comment from someone reacting to a WND.com story on my remarks: "I read your WND article, and I agree with you regarding stopping this mess, my question is what do you propose for a solution to stopping this? Thanks for all you do, and I think we need to start to pull together and get things turned around in a hurry."

In one remark, I see what I love and admire about Americans, but also what I find so frustrating. When we see a problem, immediately we ask the question- "What's the solution?" Wallowing in the mess is thankfully not the disposition of real Americans. On the other hand, we are, quite frankly, an impatient bunch anxious to get to the action in a hurry. Because of the first trait, we want a solution badly. Because of the second, we'll grab at a bad solution. But for the latter impulse, Obama would not be resident in the White House. During the election, people would have stepped back from his empty rhetoric to ask hard questions about just what kind of change he is proposing. They would have examined it long and hard enough to see that it's not change at all- just the same ugly grab for power and control that has marred every socialist movement in the world, and produced the sort of results that toppled the Soviet Empire and that have taken other countries (like Zimbabwe, for example) from prosperity to starvation.

Anyway, African countries provide at least a bit of evidence for the simple truth that electing a leader with a black skin is no guarantee of progress. (No, really, I'm not kidding.) In fact, in Africa it has occasionally been the harbinger of personality cults, repression and economic ruin. (Okay, now I am kidding.) Racial preoccupations have deeply wounded the American psyche, but the guilt induced delusion that we're putting a little pathetic salve on those old wounds hardly warrants national suicide. We don't need a phony savior. What we need is a reminder that, with God's help, ordinary folks built this great land, with government from time to time as their instrument, not their master. Though the socialist minded tinkerers of the twentieth century concluded that industrialization and urbanization meant doom for the culture of liberty, the technological leaps of the last thirty years have produced just the tools needed to prove them wrong. Government of, by and for the people- based on self-confident individuals, the God-ordained family, and other private associations now has more potency for economic and political success than ever before in human history. One person with a good idea can literally reach out and offer their ingenuity to the world. Maybe that's why the forces of elite tyranny are so anxious to get a stranglehold on our economy and government. These days, people motivated by a common cause can form a national network to advance it overnight. The information needed to substantiate their thinking and inform their actions is at their fingertips. Remembering the old Latin motto, "Festina Lente", let's get busy.

So much for introductions: tomorrow, I'll go more fully into the three revolutionary changes we need to get America on the way back home, starting with the one the Linder bill seeks to implement: ABOLITION (of the income tax, that is.)

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

How I know Obama is a Communist

THOUGHTLET

What signals the difference between a "socialist" and a "communist"? It's the gradual repression of political and civil liberty culminating in the open prosecution and suppression of dissident views. But this suppression cannot come about until a monopoly has been established over access to the seats of government executive and decision making power. The key manifestation of this monopoly is of course some form of party dictatorship.

Aside from all the evidence in his known background, associates, policy preferences and political actions one of the main reasons I make bold to call Obama a communist is his grab for unchecked partisan control over the conduct of the next census. Skillful manipulation of the census could make the decisive contribution to establishing an electorally unchallengeable party monopoly, which would then provide the basis for consolidating party dictatorship. If such dictatorship were not part of their agenda, the Obama faction would leave ultimate oversight of the census process where the Constitution places it, in the hands of the legislative branch. As it clearly is part of their agenda, only ignorance or willful stupidity blinds people to Obama's ambition to establish a better tailored version of Soviet-style government in the U.S.

Of course, there may be another name for what keeps some of the so-called Republicans from speaking out about it. Could it be cowardice?

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Insane? Guess I’m not the Only One

In a generally unheralded speech about the so-called "stimulus" package, dated February 10, 2009, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said:


Let me conclude by saying we are at a seminal moment in our country. We will either start living within the confines of realism and responsibility or we will blow it and we will create the downfall of the greatest nation that ever lived.

This bill is the start of that downfall. To abandon a market-oriented society and transfer it to a Soviet-style, government-centered, bureaucratic-run and mandated program, that is the thing that will put the stake in the heart of freedom in this country.


Coburn says that the policies being pursued by Obama will lead to a "Soviet-Style, government centered, bureaucratic-run and mandated" result. As I recall, the Soviet-style of government was a communist state.

Coburn concludes that the continuation of such Soviet-style policies will "create the downfall of the greatest nation that ever lived."

Until a friend sent me an email about it on Friday, I hadn't read Senator Coburn's speech. But on Thursday evening in Hastings, Nebraska, when asked about Obama's policies, I said that he is a radical communist, and that if Americans who care about liberty (i.e., who don't want to put a stake in its heart?) do nothing to stop him he'll bring about the destruction of the United States.

Though I never watch Keith Olbermann's drivel or anything else on MSNBC (and advise others to practice the same abstinence) I read that in response to my comments he questioned my sanity.

If I'm out of my mind, I guess I'm not the only one.

I also read that Olbermann tried to make something sinister out of my saying that unless Obama is stopped (in his efforts to establish a communist state) the U.S. will be destroyed. Compared to the sort of language used against say, Ronald Reagan and G.W. Bush by Democrat and left wing-critics, this is a polite and reasonable exhortation to political action. However the effort to construe it as something else smacks of the tactics employed at the famous show-trials of Stalin's era, even as Olbermann's suggestion of insanity brings to mind the communist practice of committing dissidents to psychiatric hospitals. Could their use of such tactics be the reason Olbermann and his "We're all socialists now" Newsweek buddies (like his guest for the segment, Jonathan Alter) don't want us using the "C" word? We might remember the tactics of communist repression, and notice some similarities.

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Keyes: Obama owes success to cowardice Holder decries

According to Eric Holder (Holder: US is nation of cowards on racial matters) "in things racial we [Americans] have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." I find myself quite unexpectedly agreeing with him, but I couldn't help but see the profound irony of that remark, especially coming from someone in his position. He claims the title of Attorney General of the United States by appointment from a man whose victory in the last election was mainly due to that kind of cowardice; a man whose constitutional eligibility for the office of President remains under a debilitating cloud of suspicion, because of that kind of cowardice; a man whose whole career as a left-wing activist and politician has exploited that kind of cowardice. Though Holder purports to see this cowardice in other Americans, I wonder whether he sees, or would honestly admit, how much it has influenced and determined the outlook and activities of left-wing and liberal blacks like himself and his new boss.

Because it so well served their purposes of self-advancement, the liberal black elite became adept at exploiting the fear of perceived racism so prevalent since the Civil Rights movement's conquest of America's conscience in the 1960s. In the process they actually strengthened and perpetuated negative stereotypes, to such a degree that black Americans fell into the trap of seeing their ethnic identity in almost entirely negative terms. Years ago, in my essay Masters of the Dream, I described the tragically self-defeating nature of the liberal black establishment's negative pre-occupation with racism.

…the belief that the black identity has no positive content means that, in dealing with the problems of the black community, one neglects to think about policies based on the community's internal values, institutions and resources. Instead, one assumes that the solutions must come from without. The passive victims of history become the passive beneficiaries of philanthropy, the passive clients of bureaucracy, the passive subjects of the domineering welfare state. Despite all good intentions to the contrary, this type of liberalism pushes black Americans back toward a condition of endless childhood, servitude and subjection. Liberal hope becomes liberal slavery.

In reaction against racial prejudice the black elite unwittingly embraced race and racism as the defining preoccupation of the black American identity. This leads them to be blind to the development of a distinctly positive black American identity, rooted in the assumption that personal moral and spiritual worth persist despite all the demeaning assaults predicated on racial inferiority. The history of that moral identity reveals an incessant spiritual guerrilla war against the devaluation of their humanity that centered ultimately around a simple and unyielding faith in God as the true standard of human worth, and Christ as the one whose suffering, sacrifice and resurrection validated the Godly dignity of every human being willing to put their faith in Him.

Instead of embracing this moral identity the liberal black elite aped the snobby (and often atheistic) scientific materialism that became increasingly characteristic of the American liberal establishment in the course of the twentieth century. They jumped on the bandwagon of leftist social analyses that defined groups in terms of quantifiable characteristics. Apparently they do not realize how much this implicitly validates the dehumanizing practice of classifying beings by physical characteristics, to which practice all truly racist ideologies owe their repugnant pedigree.

In the introduction to the essay quoted above I allude to the deadly effects of this surrender of moral identity.

Already, generations of black children have grown up without any sense of their true heritage. Consciously or unconsciously, their minds are influenced by those who, for whatever reason, spread the doctrine that racists ripped black Americans from our African roots, stripped us of our values and institutions, and left us with no shred of our own culture or humanity. Leaders like Louis Farrakhan, who claim to be strong enemies of racism, have taken this demeaning doctrine as a major premise of their creed. Ironically, in order to prove the worst in others, it requires that we deny the best in ourselves.

The black American liberal elites celebrate the election of Barak Obama as some kind of breakthrough for black Americans. This is the ultimate and deeply self-abasing fruit of their moral surrender. Except for the physical characteristics derived from his biological heritage, I cannot see what connection Obama has with the positive, moral identity of Black Americans. Black Americans are in fact a physically motley ethnic group. But despite physical differences, a common spirit and heart were refined, forged and tempered in the historic experiences of slavery, "Jim Crow" segregation and the stifling environment of pervasive racial prejudice. Many of the deepest emotional struggles, and the strong spiritual resources arising from the reality of that heritage take root during childhood and adolescence, formative years during which Obama was being raised in contexts devoid of the need to confront and deal with it. Though Holder laments American cowardice with respect to racial matters, Obama is the ultimate concession to that cowardice. Defined in racial terms he is a man whites need not fear- with dark skin but devoid of the spiritual tension characteristic of black Americans- W.E.B. Dubois' "two souls in one body" that pull between resentment and affiliation: the smoldering despair that true justice will ever really be served battling with the undying faith that God's love will ultimately and truly transform the American heart, the human heart, to be open to the race we all have in common.

I agree with Holder that we need to get beyond this cowardice. It will require that we get beyond the idea that Obama's election is the historic breakthrough that carries America out of the shadow of racism. Maybe that's the larger meaning of the doubt as to his identity that hangs over his claim to the Presidency. Even if he ultimately shows proof that he is a natural born citizen, as the Constitution requires, that will still not be enough to prove that he is what he and so many others falsely proclaim him to be. For in the end the burden from racism in America isn't about physical appearances- it's about moral and spiritual realities. It's about trying to do what's right regardless of racial feelings and perceptions. From this perspective, Obama's rejection of the simple premise that all human beings are created equal (including our nascent offspring) means that his election rather reasserts than transcends the ruthless disregard for humanity that made race and racism such potent instruments of evil.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Swedish Solution?

Thought for Today


Amidst the din of the political fray, it's hard to do much clear, quiet thinking about the economic crisis the politicians claim they are addressing. A lot of people won't listen anyway. They'll assume it's politically motivated. That assumption is actually a symptom of what's wrong with any approach that seems to put politicians at the helm of economic decision-making. When it comes to economics, partisan political ambition is a bad counselor. What's called for is a clear head, and a common sense willingness to think about what really works.

From what we've been told, bad debt precipitated the crisis. Encouraged and pressured by self-serving politicians, banks and the government agencies responsible for regulating them, suspended good lending practices to make sub-par loans to people who couldn't sustain the payments involved. To attract investment, (that is, make money) supposedly reputable financial institutions created and sold hollow assets based on these bad loans (that is, they made virtual hay in the phony sunshine.) For a while (a long while), the pyramid of false expectations built upon these virtual reality assets balanced on its mostly imaginary base, against a blue screen backdrop of lies and regulatory collusion. But, for reasons still shrouded in mystery, at a politically critical moment last fall the CGI program crashed, revealing a largely hollow pyramid precariously set upon its pointed end. Investors awakened in a panic from their suspension of disbelief, seeking desperately to avoid being crushed by the collapsing monument to political ambition, shortsighted greed and blindly arrogant deception. It proved all the more weighty in its fall precisely because it was just an illusion.

As far as I can tell, the key ingredients in this breathtaking con game were bad debt, unregulated greed and self-serving political ambition. To get homes they couldn't afford people made promises they couldn't keep. To make money they couldn't earn, bankers offered assets they couldn't back. To get votes they didn't deserve politicians forced lending practices the financial system couldn't sustain, while implicitly making their constituents involuntary co-signers on loans they knew nothing about.

Now we're being told that the remedy for the threatening mess that resulted is more of the same. Only now, to buy a power base they can't afford, the politicians are spending money the government doesn't have, on political assets that won't produce one kilobyte of real economic profit. How can it make more sense to direct funds through political channels to support projects dictated by political ambition, than it does to leave those dollars in the hands of millions of people with even more incentive (in tight times) to squeeze every ounce of value out of them? A handful of politicians maximizing their own political gain can't possibly make better use of money than millions of earners and enterprises forced by necessity to seek the best economic return on every dollar they expend.

This is the common sense reason why tax cuts are more likely than government spending to produce solid economic recovery and growth now, as they have in the past (e.g., under John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.) Of course, such plain reasoning only seems sensible if economic recovery is the goal. I'm sure it has few attractions if the goal has more to do with seizing power. In that case, the propaganda of the economists who attended a recent globalist conclave in Davos, Switzerland will seem more compelling (see WND's exclusive Globalists see econ crisis as excuse for 'new world'.) They urged governments to take advantage of the crisis to seize control of the banking system in their respective countries, using bureaucratic control to impose decisions on behalf of the taxpayers. They call it "the Swedish solution." Now let's see. Would those be decisions along the lines of pressure to make more bad loans? Or the allocation of more tax dollars to subsidize politically valuable special interests, like the ones hogging the benefits of the so-called 'stimulus' bill?

But why stop there. Once the government is running the banks on behalf of the taxpayers, the bureaucrats will need to dictate terms to the businesses getting bank loans, starting perhaps with the media companies, the energy companies and the health care facilities. Last fall when folks like me warned people that the so-called bail-out was America's leap across the Rubicon into socialism, I'm sure the usual claque of more 'moderate' observers snidely dismissed it as alarmism. But now that Newsweek has proclaimed it, I'm sure they all agree it must be true. Is this the real purpose of their so-called 'moderation': to encourage people to ignore the truth until it's too late to forestall disaster. (That may explain what they're up to. It doesn't explain the lemmings among the people, who follow their lead.)

Here's another "alarmist" view prematurely shared. The reference to Swedish socialism is meant to make us all think we're in for sex, saunas and Bergman at the cinema. In fact what's coming are gag rules, gun-grabbing, and gulags (in that order.) Before the gags silence us, and the gun-grabbing leaves us defenseless, it might be a good idea to heed the alarm. Someone's in the house making off with the jewelry and silverware. And by the time the police arrive, they'll be under orders to arrest the people who live there. Except you luhhhhhhhhhove Obama (Ok everybody, Group hug!!!!!) that means you.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama Threatens Keyes and other Eligibility Plaintiffs

As many of you know, I am party to one of the lawsuits seeking evidence that would help to establish, one way or the other, whether Obama in fact meets the U.S. Constitution's eligibility requirements for the office of President of the United States. To understand my view of the critical issues involved see the WND articles The End of the Constitutional Republic, and Obama, Oaths and the End of Constitutional Government.) Now Obama's lawyers have filed a motion to quash our effort to obtain the relevant documents (cf. Bob Unruh's WND article Sanctions sought in eligibility case.) I am told that it includes a demand that monetary penalties be assessed against me and the other plaintiffs in the suit. Though not unexpected, this motion confirms Obama's ruthless determination to destroy anyone who continues to seek the information the Constitution requires. Why should they demand penalties against citizens who are simply seeking the enforcement of the Supreme Law of the Land? It is simply because their persistence runs contrary to the will of a supposedly popular demagogue? This smacks of tyrannical arrogance. That Obama thus signals his intent to bring financial ruin on those who won't accept his cover-up of the circumstances of his birth is a tactical escalation. It confirms the common sense suspicion that he won't act forthrightly in this matter because he has something to hide.

As one of the targets of this escalation, I need no more convincing proof of the ruthless disposition so far successfully masked by his empty rhetoric of hope and change. Obviously he means to offer hope only to those willing to surrender their most basic rights. To any who insist on questioning his actions, he offers the drastic change of ruin and destruction. So be it. We shall be among those who learn firsthand the meaning of the sacrifices made by the Founders of our free republic, as they pledged and gave up their lives, their fortunes and the world's esteem.

To tell you the truth, I expected Obama's ruthlessness, as I expect that it will escalate until his threats extend to liberty and even life itself. Tyrants are like that (yeah, they are.) What I am not so certain of is the disposition of the people of this country, and in particular of those who still avow allegiance to the Constitutional Republic. For all their posturing in opposition to Obama's socialist schemes, Republican Party leaders show no disposition to notice, much less decry, his determination to subvert the Constitution. But does the self-serving reticence of such so-called leadership truly represent the disposition of the people whose sovereignty they seem so ready to abandon? In politics as in war, real leadership does not consist in titles and position, but in those willing to stand in the forefront of the battle, where taunts and wounds and even death await the ones who raise a rallying flag. The fate of that flag depends, however, not on their willingness to brave the dangers, but on the courage and heart of those who, seeing that flag, return with renewed courage to the fight. Though they know not if it will stand or fall, will they decide that either way it should not meet its fate without them?

People who have been watching recent events with any discernment must realize by now that, for all his talk of material salvation for the masses, the Obama faction really means to strengthen only those willing to serve in the army of their domineering ambition. Thanks to the phony stimulus package, they will soon have billions of taxpayer dollars with which to nourish this servile allegiance to his will. Including myself, many of the people willing to articulate and act against his overthrow of Constitutional liberty have nothing in their coffers except the grace from God to see a little truth, and the courage to speak it, drawing upon the example of His Son. But time and again in America's history, a little truth has been sufficient to reach into the reserve of love for God and liberty on tap in the patriot hearts and consciences of those who would be free.

So to my fellow plaintiffs with the courage to stand firm, and to all those who may lose by the price they pay for it, I say keep faith and pray- not so much for yourselves as for the heart and conscience of the good people of your country. Trust that there still burns a candlelight of liberty within them, and a thought for those who would rather be consumed as its wick than surrender to the wickedness that now seeks its destruction.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Design for Despotism

Thought for Today

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism… "From the American Declaration of Independence

"Probe with bayonets. If you encounter mush, proceed..." Lenin


These days arrogant pundits have a tendency to sneer at the very thought of "conspiracy theory". This reminds me of Verbal's pithy pronouncement from the movie "The Usual Suspects" (not for family viewing, by the way) that "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist." But when I'm tempted to let snide punditry influence my thinking I more often call to mind the above quoted words from America's Declaration of Independence. It reminds us that people who want to preserve their liberty must be willing to keep in mind the possibility that the actions of their government leaders may be part of a "design" (that is, a consciously contrived plan of concerted actions) aimed at establishing despotic rule over them. If the American Founders left room for a little conspiracy theory, why shouldn't we? Indeed, in the cyber age we should be more open to it than ever. After all, when it comes to human activities, "conspiracy" is just another word for systematic programming. The key question in that context: What is the goal?

I've been asking myself that question as I consider the Alleged Usurper's recent power grab involving the Census Bureau. And I'm not just referring to the obviously partisan purposes it may serve. What struck me more was the unnecessarily arrogant fashion in which the Obama faction declared control over an activity that the Constitution clearly states shall be determined by law. Existing law places the Census bureau under the supervision of the Secretary of Commerce. A change must be made in the law before the White House can constitutionally alter that arrangement. Admittedly, with a Democrat majority in both Houses, Obama will have things his way. But at the very least, appearing to issue orders not authorized by law (as the Constitution requires) smacks of a hasty if not dictatorial temperament. However, my concern isn't about temperament, either.

Years ago, I wrote my doctoral dissertation at Harvard. I focused on Alexander Hamilton's contribution to the U.S. Constitution. As I researched and ponder this subject, I was struck by the dangerous abuses of executive power that might arise, under certain circumstances, because of the assumptions the Framers made with respect to the characteristics of the American people. The Constitution's famous system of checks and balance works only on the assumption that the different branches of government will jealously guard their own Constitutional prerogatives and the prerogatives of the people they are supposed to represent; and will therefore adamantly resist encroachments upon them. If one branch or another takes unconstitutional initiatives, the judiciary has means to forestall the effects in some cases. In others, the legislature has the power to remove the offending officials. The executive can simply refuse to carry out unconstitutional actions. But, by the same token, only the executive has frequent opportunity to carry on an unconstitutional initiative until it produces a concrete result that can be challenged only after the fact. An individual might, for example, be unconstitutionally arrested, tortured and killed under the auspices of executive authority long before either of the other branches even hear about the action, much less have any chance to intervene. The first safeguard against such abuse is the character of the one vested with executive power. But if that person has the disposition to move beyond the law until met with hard resistance (to probe with bayonets, as Lenin put it), great and perhaps fatal harm could be done before such resistance sufficed to stop him.

There will be a special danger in this regard if the executive in question has enough support in the Congress to make him confident that his abuses will not be challenged, or that challenges will never have sufficient support to achieve the only outcome that will definitely remove him from Constitutional authority, which is to say, impeachment and removal from office. Can we say with any confidence that we are not in this situation of special peril to liberty?

The present occupant of the White House assumed residence while refusing to provide credible evidence that he is in fact constitutionally qualified to serve as President. Neither the judiciary nor the Congress, nor any other government officials, showed any disposition to defend the terms and authority of the Constitution. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, Obama took the initiative to run for President despite whatever knowledge still impels him to withhold from public view the document that would rebut the substantial allegation that he is not a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore unqualified to serve. Following Lenin's dictum, he probed. He met no resistance. He has so far gotten away with it.

Does his dictatorial presumption with respect to the administration of the census reflect the same tactical disposition? If he so casually crosses the line of respect for Constitutional formalities with no shred of cover from the circumstances of his action, what will he do when some emergency actually seems to authorize extraordinary measures? He has already called for a domestic security force as large and well funded as the military. He has already begun to tout the economic crisis as something that can only be solved by centralizing more and more power under his control. His supporters have already begun an effort to replace allegiance to the Constitution with personal allegiance to him. Taken alone, such things might be meaningless. But altogether, like the threads of a tapestry, they begin to suggest a design.

Someone who plays the party dictator when nothing is at stake may just be practicing for the moment when everything hangs in the balance. And if Congress is willing to tolerate such infringements of the Constitution when there's nothing to fear, what must we expect if and when some catastrophe calls for armed forces in the streets, and the prerogatives of disaster arm executive whims with raw power to do things far more threatening than the partisan rearrangement of the bureaucracy?

Let's not pretend that we live in times when such events are at all unlikely to occur. On the contrary, the last terror attack hit upon our soil in a time of relative prosperity. If the next one wrenches us in the midst of an economic depression, will the twin demons of fear and economic misery leave people with much heart for liberty? Or will it seem a pointless distraction from the imperatives of survival. Such times call for a leader whose heart will be the repository of America's love of freedom, keeping the flame alive in spite of all. But human history suggests that they are more likely to spawn leaders that seize the opportunity to do what their ambition, their ideology, or their resentful disposition has inclined them to do all along: seize the day; seize the power; and use that power to snuff out the flame of liberty, and scatter its dying embers.

I know that there are some Americans so far gone that they look without concern upon the prospect of such despotism. For them, the so-called economic stimulus boondoggle is like the distribution of money a new Roman Caesar would make to woo the support and loyalty of the Praetorians and the Roman rabble. Like such Romans, they are doubtless the ones who will gladly serve as servile henchman of despotic ambition, as it works to cow, seduce and subdue the rest of us. But are they so many that the little harbingers of tyranny, carried upon the winds of so-called change, have no audience capable of understanding and responding to their significance? Are there no Americans left willing to see with an eye jealous of our freedom, and stand, with hardy, God struck spirits upon the rights He has designed for us?



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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

U.S. Constitution to Feds: "Hands Off Religion"

In writing about Obama's pietism I pointed out that "The self-worshiping American power elite that Obama represents has promoted a false understanding of the proper relationship between piety and politics based on the shibboleth of separation." Why do I call the assertion that the U.S. Constitution requires separation of Church and state false? The phrase "separation of church and state" occurs nowhere in the Constitution of the United States. The false understanding promoted under the idea of separation distracts from the more accurate concept of religious freedom actually set forth in the Constitution. The first amendment simply makes it clear that the Federal Government must follow a "hands-off" policy when it comes to religious institutions and activities. It is forbidden to make law on the subject of religious establishment, so that there can be no constitutionally legal basis for institutional coercion. It is also forbidden to make laws that bar people from practicing their religion. Though people often speak as if the first amendment prevents the Federal government from dictating belief, in fact the operative word is "exercise", a word that connotes a regular activity, not a purely mental or intellectual disposition.

It's also important to note that the first amendment's constraints are not placed upon some abstract entity called "government." They are specifically targeted at the Congress of the United States, the lawmaking body of the national government of the United States. The U.S. government has only those powers delegated by the Constitution. By the clear and explicit language of the tenth amendment "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Read in context with this language, the first amendment simply makes clear that the power to make law with respect to religious institutions and practices is withheld from, not delegated to, the Federal Government. It is therefore reserved to the States or the people.

Though the legal shysters of the power elite pretend that the 14th amendment somehow authorizes the Federal courts to interfere with the States and the people on these matters, no amount of verbal contortion can justify their claim. The 14th amendment says simply that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…" By the terms of the first and tenth amendments, those privileges and immunities include the privilege of practicing their religion, and establishing religious institutions without interference by law from the national government. In this regard, the shysters' sophistical legal reasoning depends on the false pretense that the object of the first amendment's language is the protection of individual rights, when in fact it deals with the allocation of a power of government (specifically the power to make laws with regard to religious institutions and practices.) The powers of government are not the prerogatives of individual persons. They belong to the people as a whole. The first amendment simply makes clear that the power to legislate on religious matters i.e., by legislation to take action with regard to them, remains in the hands of the people, acting on their own, or through their local governments, or through the governments they establish at the State level.

I'm sure the legal shysters quietly pat themselves on the back for the cleverness with which they have used references to the first amendment to allow Federal courts to do exactly what its words forbid them to do, which is, use the instruments of the law to interfere with religious institutions and ban the practice of religion in the public square. But though they cite a thousand court decisions and precedents, none of them makes one iota of difference if it contradicts the Constitution. The whole purpose of having a written constitution is to make sure that those who fancy themselves the lords and princes of the law cannot depart in their judgments from the understanding that in the first place authorizes them to exercise whatever government powers they possess. This means that at any time we may have recourse to the original words of the Constitution in order to expose their usurpations and abuses, and strip them away. In reading the Constitution our proper guides are the same reason and common sense the Founders continually referred to as they deliberated upon its ratification. Corrupted by a sense of their own power, the judges of our era may refuse to accept these guides as constraints upon their legal reasoning? But unless we are willing to surrender government of, by and for the people, we the people must continue to have recourse to them in our deliberations on the Constitutional validity of Federal court opinions, as well as all other actions by the U.S. government.

The Constitution does not forbid an establishment of religion. Rather it forbids the Federal legislature from making any laws on the subject. This leaves the States or the people free to deal with the matter as they choose, independent of dictation by the national government. Does this prevent the government of the United States from working with entities and organizations connected with or grounded in religion? Obviously not. The Constitution leaves legislative discretion in matters of religion to the States. If a State grants a larger role to religion (as was done by almost all of them at the time they ratified the Constitution), the Federal Government is nonetheless authorized to deal with it. But the tenth amendment leaves it to the people of the States to determine what if any role their State governments will play, with the residue of decision-making power left to the people at the local level or in their private associations. By and large the American people have chosen to rely on private institutions, but how can language that does not forbid the Federal government to work with a State government on grounds of religion be used as an excuse to bar cooperation with private entities? In fact, since Federal legislation is forbidden to touch on matters of religious institution or practice at all, it's hard to see how the national government can lawfully take account of them at all.

The logical consequence is not difficult to make out. At the Federal level legislation must be written in terms that apply to all, without regard to these matters. If the White House wishes to encourage more local action in some matters, it can only do so by law only on the basis of criteria that pay no regard whatsoever to religion, but that allow all entities which satisfy objective and religiously neutral requirements to enjoy equal privileges. The Federal government cannot require, for example that participation in a given program be limited to people who pray. By the same token, if they are otherwise qualified to do so, it cannot forbid their participation solely on account of their practice of prayer .

This is in no way prevents the President, the Congress or the Judiciary, for that matter, from showing respect for religious institutions and practices where no law or legal coercion comes into play. It would not, for instance, preclude the use of money authorized and appropriated by law, or the use of facilities built with such money, by people voluntarily participating in religious activities (like a Congressional prayer group, or military personnel attending services on a military base) so long as the opportunity for such activities is available to all citizens on the basis of criteria formulated without regard to religious practices or institutions. Nor does it interfere with otherwise lawful actions of government officials (like references to God in speeches, or religious prayers in public places.) The Federal laws (and therefore all lawful action at the Federal level) can include or be based on no provision "respecting" these matters. (It's enlightening here to remember that the word "respect" has a Latin root, in a word that means looking at,observing, or seeing.) Contrary to the tenets of political correctness, the Constitution does not require that the national laws of the United States be sensitive to the religious differences among its citizens. Rather it requires that they be blind to such differences and by law require no action, constraint or penalty on account of them. People in official positions can conduct themselves according to their own conscience in this regard, provided nothing they do comes from or enforces with purported legal authority any rule, order or policy specifically in regard to the practice or institution of religion.

The shysters' fabricated doctrine of separation aims to neuter religious believers as they act in the public square. The words of the first amendment actually neuter the Federal Government in all its dealings by law with citizens of the United States. You might say that on these matters, the Constitution requires a permanent U.S. government policy of scrupulous indifference with respect to religious institutions and practices as such. Obviously this is not the last word on the subject, but, given the Constitution's clear wording, isn't it the reasonable place to start?

With this Constitutionally grounded principle in mind, we can think about some of the specific issues on which we are these days called to take a stand, including the issue of marriage, the regulation of sexual behavior, and the question of religious practices (the obvious example is human sacrifice) that violate laws formulated without specific regard for them. We can also make out why it is that nothing in the Constitution interferes with the duty of all leaders and politicians to respect and apply the concepts of right and wrong upon which the nation is founded (summarized in the Declaration of Independence), even though these concepts presume and rely upon respect for the existence and authority of the Creator, who is the author and will be the judge of us all. Stay tuned.


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Monday, February 9, 2009

Obama: Civil War Disguised as Politics?

 

When I ran for the U.S. Senate against Barack Obama I did my best to speak the truth. I knew when I accepted the invitation of the Illinois Republicans that I stood little or no chance of victory. With few exceptions, everyone I consulted advised against it. Most thought it political suicide. But the facts convinced me that Obama is a dangerous left-wing extremist. When confronted with the proven depravity of his moral views, my faith and conscience convicted me as well. After years of telling audiences that we had to stand for right and truth no matter what the cost, I felt that the Lord would hold me accountable if I refused to walk the talk. Sometimes we are not called to victory, but to witness for truth, as Jesus did, even unto death.

So when I campaigned in Illinois I let no false ambition; no kind of blandishment or intimidation; and no whispers of political gain or loss distract me from speaking the truth. I talked about Obama's extremist support for abortion (including his unconscionable willingness to tolerate infanticide in Illinois hospitals); I described him as a hard line socialist, pointing out his uncompromising commitment to central government control of health care and education; I pointed to the contradiction between his professed support for traditional marriage and his consistent promotion of the homosexual agenda. I remember talking to people, including Republican leaders, and others who have built little empires and big reputations as leaders of the so-called "Christian right", (what I call more appropriately the moral conservatives). Time and again I heard in response feckless mumblings about how moderate he seemed in his speech at the Democratic convention. Time and again I felt the implication that I was somehow exaggerating, imprudently "demonizing the opposition." They did little or nothing. And when the pro-abortion elements of the Illinois Republican Party openly went on the offensive against my refusal to back down from my stand for moral principle and real conservatism, in silence and inaction these leaders complied with their politically ruthless intention.

Meanwhile I and my family encountered from the Obama forces the ugliest indignities I have ever experienced in politics: Parades in which Obama's marshaled minions shouted curses and epithets almost every step of the way; and forums in which they rudely launched expletives with gestures just short of physical violence. At one such forum the environment they created was so ugly that my wife was visibly shaken, and my daughter in tears. Even on Election Day, when we went to the polling place to vote, a man there created a disturbance. He shouted insults. He acted in a physically threatening way. Nothing was done to stop him, and the pandering Illinois media breathed hardly a word about it in their so-called news coverage.

In all of this there was a hard edged disdain for decent civility that reminded me of the murderous invective Lenin launched against those who opposed the communist agenda. But it all took place behind a media fabricated façade of false hope and moderateness, like the propaganda screen behind which the totalitarians of the twentieth century hid their perpetration of atrocity.

Having felt the cutting edge of this reality, on election night I refused to engage in the nice ritual usually associated with the resolution of our political contests in America. Obama's people treated politics as war. But in war only gutless servility congratulates a ruthless opponent on the victory he has gained without civility. Mine was to be sure, a silent protest but loud enough to have some so-called leaders, supposedly on my side, losing no opportunity to "apologize" for my behavior.

Since 2004 I have walked in the political wilderness. This walk is not without its burdens, but I am heartened when I remember whose footsteps I find there: those of people like Reagan and Winston Churchill who in their dedication to right refused to let ambition triumph over truth. Assaulted, ridiculed, caricatured, ignored, at times reduced to a small and almost covert band of like-minded adherents, they kept their faith. They witnessed the rising power of the evils they warned against. They witnessed the policies of appeasement, retreat and surrender practiced by unprincipled leaders in the face of those evils. They witnessed the day when hard experience finally forced those who had all but forgotten their existence to turn and make a stand against wickedness triumphant over freedom.

I have an ominous feeling about the years ahead. With Obama, we have crossed the line that separates civil politics from civil war disguised as politics. Occupying the White House is a man known for his support and association with people (like leftist Kenyan politician Raila Amollo Odinga) for whom that line appears never to have existed. I predict that American politics as we have known it is gone. And unless we Americans wake up, more than civil politics will end up dead. For there are other footsteps in this wilderness, left by leaders who opposed the Communists when they took over Eastern European countries in the late 1940s, or Asian countries in the fifties, or African countries in the sixties, or South American and South African countries in the eighties, and so on. Mostly we do not know their names, nor can we mark the spot where their lives were overtaken because their compatriots did not wake up in time. But, with the Psalmist, I will fear no evil, for here, as everywhere, I see the footprints of the one who conquered death itself. Wherever they lead, there is life renewed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Obama's Pietism: Helping Faith or Enforcing Godlessness?

 
When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. (Proverbs 23:1-3)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (U.S. Constitution, Amendment I)

  
 

When G. W. Bush established the Office of Faith based initiatives, I was among those who made myself unpopular by telling anyone who asked that I thought they should steer clear of such government largess. Now, as if to confirm the truth of that warning, the present occupant of the White House is moving quickly to transform what was supposed to be a helpful support for socially beneficial religious initiatives into a means of enforcing a godless approach to public life, albeit clothed in the pietistic language of church-state separation. Obama ordered the establishment of a White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to replace Bush's bureau. According to an online AP story (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/05/obama-attends-prayer-brea_n_164190.html)

Obama said the office would work with nonprofit organizations "both secular and faith-based" and would help them determine how to make a bigger impact in their cities, learn their obligations under the law and cut through government red tape. … To lead the office, Obama appointed Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal minister who headed religious outreach for Obama's Senate office and his presidential campaign. He also named 25 religious and secular leaders to a new advisory board.

The big picture is that President Obama believes faith-based and smaller secular neighborhood organizations can play a role in American renewal. They can work with the federal government to address big problems," DuBois said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're also going to make sure we have a keener eye toward the separation of church and state."


The story goes on to make clear that the Obama people intend to develop a stricter policy on issues like the hiring requirements to be imposed on institutions getting funds from the government

"There is a pretty clear lack of legal clarity and data in this area. This mechanism allows us to explore those areas on a case-by-case basis and find out exactly where things are," DuBois said.
Lupu [Ira Lupu, a professor at George Washington University School of Law] said Bush-era faith-based regulations were ambiguous and sought to limit faith-based groups as little as possible. Obama's order, on the other hand, emphasizes oversight of how taxpayers dollars are spent, making sure they don't go to religious purposes, he said. "He's signaling, 'We are going to take more seriously than the Bush people did the constitutional concerns about what it is the government may or may not directly support with government money,'" he said.

It takes but a little imagination to catch the sub-text of these words. So-called faith-based initiatives will be welcome so long as their basis in faith is checked at the door. This closes the door on conscientiously Christian action, since its goal must be to share the Gospel, and so bring people to Christ. Jesus said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."(Matthew 5:16) Scoured of all outward signs of the connection to God and Jesus Christ, the glory of works of mercy is more likely to go to government, and of course to politicians running for re-election.

But isn't it just as well to help people with their material needs, regardless of who gets the glory? Maybe, if such help represents real benefit. But the word benefit refers to the good we do for others. According to Christ, "No one is good but God alone."(Mark 10:18). Consequently, we cannot do good except in connection with God's intention. The Apostle Peter described the Lord as "not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) And Jesus said "He that believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."(Mark 16:16); and he warned "you will be hated by all for my name's sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved."(Mark 13:13) Does not a Christian therefore believe that no action truly benefits others unless it is connected with God's will for their salvation; and with the repentance and transformation in Christ that is the way to that salvation; and with the unwavering witness to the power of His Holy Name that is the test and seal of our rebirth in Him? If working with Obama's plan requires the surrender of these characteristics, what Christian purpose is left in so-called Christian activism?

I sometimes think that one of the purposes of evil in this world is to encourage people to do "good" on one condition: that they leave God out of it. This turns our natural disposition to conform to God's law of love into a subtle but deadly weapon against our own salvation. What ought to be sublime expressions of God's presence in and through our lives, become instead empty assertions of our own will and intentions, offerings made rather in the spirit of Cain than in the true spirit of love for our Creator. In this light, the purported constitutional requirement of church-state separation appears to be a lie intended to put the power of the U.S. government behind this wicked deformation of our good nature.

The self-worshiping American power elite that Obama represents has promoted a false understanding of the proper relationship between piety and politics based on the shibboleth of separation. In an environment marred by acceptance of this false understanding, truly faith based institutions expose themselves to great spiritual and material damage if they make any part of their sustenance dependent on a government stipend.

 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

3 Cheers for the 10th Amendment Movement

 

I'm pleased to see the growing movement in State legislatures around the country to remind Americans of the existence and import of the 10th amendment to the Constitution. It reads simply "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." These words first of all firmly and unequivocally establish that the U.S. government has only the powers delegated to it by the Constitution of the United States on the authority of the sovereign people of the United States by whom it is ordained and established. The State governments, established by sovereign decision of the people of the respective States, continue to enjoy the powers vested in them by their State constitutions, subject only to the specific prohibitions spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.

 
For many years I've stressed the importance of the 10th amendment as it guards against the establishment of consolidated, despotic power at the national level. For a while I was met by incomprehension, incredulity and some ridicule from people who insisted that the Courts have eliminated the 10th amendment from the Constitution through their refusal to respect and enforce it. (This is, by the way, the same argument some are using to excuse the palpable dereliction of Federal Judges and officials who refuse to demand proof that the Alleged Usurper in the White House satisfies the Constitution's eligibility requirement.) However as I have often said, a long string of cases in which the Courts have willfully ignore the Constitution is not a weighty line of precedents, but a long train of abuses. By guile, force and ignorance such abuses may be imposed upon the people for a time, but they are not and can never become law because they either contradict or are not authorized by the Supreme Law of the Land.

 
As the 10th amendment resolutions proliferate around the country, I find myself quietly praying that they represent a serious commitment on the part of State legislators to restoring the proper position of the State governments before it is too late. I also pray that they will remember the reasoning that allows them to do so without threatening to destroy the Union on which our nation's strength depends.

They should be realistic about the great challenge they face, arising in part from a major alteration in the Constitution of the United States that has done more to undermine the residual sovereignty of the State governments than any Court decisions. As originally ratified the Constitution established a national legislative body in which one chamber, the House of Representatives, consisted of representatives elected by the people as apportioned among population districts established within the boundaries of each state. The second chamber, the Senate, consisted of two Senators from each State, chosen by the State legislatures. In 1913 the 17th amendment was ratified, providing for election of the Senators directly by the people of each state. This meant that the U.S. Senate no longer represented the State governments, but rather the States as mere geographic entities. Despite the appearance of greater respect for the will of the people of the States, this in fact greatly weakens the States' ability to defend their prerogatives. It is far easier to divide the people of a State against itself when the government institution that represents their united will (as determined by their state elections) has been eliminated from the picture.

 
Any serious effort to restore respect for the 10th amendment must include some way of compensating for the elimination of this key component of the mechanism originally devised to enforce it within the framework of the Federal government. It must also include an effort to think through the simple, but now much neglected argument that prevents the healthy reassertion of State sovereignty from overturning and dissolving the Federal Union. Government of, by and for the people, whether at the local, State or national level, depends for its legitimacy on the premises of just government succinctly summarized in the American Declaration of independence. Whether at the State or the national level, those chosen to represent the people in their exercise of the powers of government must respect the principles of God-ordained equality and unalienable rights therein declared. Otherwise the republican form of government cannot be preserved. Article IV, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution makes its preservation in every State of the Union a particular responsibility of the United States government, but by their oaths of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States every government official at any level is bound to the same purpose. For whether we seek to restore the States' proper sovereignty under the Constitution or preserve undiminished the strength of their Constitutional Union, the ultimate aim, and our common good, is to safeguard the liberty of the American people.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Income Tax Dilemma


Thanks to the reported tax problems of various Obama appointees and nominees, the issue of the income tax system is once again front and center in the public consciousness. The partisan minded attack dogs have predictably added "tax-cheat" to the list of obnoxious traits they mean, rightly or wrongly, to associate with Obama's tenure. The problem is that we can't accuse people of sinning without validating the standard that makes their conduct sinful. In this case, though, the standard involves respect for a system that may itself represent, in its entirety, a violation of Constitutional right. When Rosa Parks sat in the whites-only section of the bus, she broke the laws that supported legal racial segregation. Proponents of segregation eagerly hurled 'scofflaw' epithets at folks who behaved as she did, including of course the civil rights demonstrators who staged sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. Though accurate in one sense, the epithets fall flat in context with the violation of fundamental law involved in racial segregation.

The Federal Income tax system similarly involves violating a plainly articulated provision of the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment clearly states that "No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…" Most Americans appear to believe that failure to file their income tax return is a criminal offense. But the return takes the form of sworn testimony as to the amount, source and type of their personal income during the calendar year for which they file the return. If people are compelled by law (that is legally subject to arrest, trial, conviction and punishment) for failing to file the return, it would seem clear that their testimony cannot constitutionally be used against them in a criminal case. But how is it possible, for example, to try someone for the criminal offense of filing a false return without using the false information it contains against them, information they are supposedly compelled by law to provide?

The answer, we are told, is that the tax system is based on voluntary compliance. Filing isn't compelled, it's compulsory. (No, I'm not kidding.) We compulsorily volunteer the information provided in the return, which is therefore usable in criminal cases brought against us. But in what sense is filing a voluntary act? With that question in mind, pause here for a moment to watch the following brief video, featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Nevada, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg. (My thanks go to a Digg Friend, Webb Smith for the shout that alerted me to this gem.)

To put it mildly, Reid makes no sense. In fact his response puts doubletalk in the shade, with doublethink hidden in its penumbra (right next to the right to abortion.) While you're chuckling, think hard about the fact that the operation of the system that finances the Federal government, including indispensable things like its defense and intelligence activities, relies on this nonsense for Constitutional legitimacy.

I can't speak to the motives or intentions of the Obama picks tagged with tax troubles. I do know that the Federal Income Tax system poses a serious dilemma for anyone (like me for instance) who cares about the integrity of our Constitutional republic. Every time someone fills out and submits a tax return he acquiesces in the systematic destruction of a vital and explicit Constitutional right. Every time someone is prosecuted using information obtained in the environment of systematic coercion created by the Federal tax system, we all of us acquiesce in the destruction of a vital and explicit Constitutional right. The U.S. courts have taken pains to make sure that violent criminals are made aware of their Constitutional rights, including the right to remain silent. Why haven't they bothered to read those rights to the rest of us? Could it be that they wonder what would happen to their paychecks?

It occurs to me that with one simple, fundamental step we could ease their fears, restore our rights and do far more for the economy than anything found in the Alleged Usurper's phony and dangerous so-called "stimulus" package: Abolish the Federal Income Tax and replace it with a means of taxation consistent with liberty. That would be a real change. While you're thinking about it, why not visit www.fairtax.org.