Thursday, December 31, 2009

James Madison on the General Welfare Clause

The "progressive" justification for practically every statist program is the "General Welfare" clause in the US Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;
It goes on to list the enumerated powers to which this introductory statement refers. Here's what James Madison, widely believed to be the father of the Constitution, had to say about it:
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
You are now equipped to argue with "progressives" on the enumerated powers. Now, go forth and rage against the kakistocracy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The RNC Called Today... Wanted Money

I told them no. I told them that I would send my hard-earned post-tax dollars to the first major political party that would agressively recruit and support candidates who would swear to uphold the Constitution, and then do it!
  • Candidates who will remember that the Constitution is the specification for the US Government.
  • Candidates who will remember that the Constitution is a binding contract between We the People and the US Government.
  • Candidates who will remember that, if it isn't in the enumerated powers, it isn't authorized.
  • Candidates who will remember that the founders never intended the "general welfare" clause as some sort of blank check to buy votes.
  • Candidates who understand that not every "good idea" needs to be a law.
  • Candidates who believe in the Bill of Rights -- all ten of them, including the second and the tenth -- and the enduring reasons why each one is still vitally important.
  • Candidates who will remember that any regime that distorts or disregards the Constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous.
  • Candidates who can't be bought with bribes from the party bosses to send my tax dollars to their state or district to advance the party agenda.
  • Candidates who will remember that my money -- my property -- represents hours from my life that it took to earn it, and they had better spend my life sparingly and wisely, because it isn't theirs to take, and it isn't theirs to waste!
That party will get my donation for the mid-term elections. Those are my terms. Now, let's make this checklist go viral on the Internet.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Executive Order Amended to Immunize INTERPOL In America

While we were all distracted with health care (which itself is the worst assault on our liberty in decades), Barack Obama has signed an executive order giving INTERPOL, the international police, immunity from our own constitutional protections. At what point are We the People going to rise up and remove this man from office?

When I vociferously and feverishly opposed his bid for president, much to my friends' and relatives' annoyance, I thought he would be a liberal president, perhaps a bad president -- like Carter and Clinton -- although I had misgivings about how bad. Based on what I have seen so far, I think consummate evil is a better description.
For Immediate Release December 17, 2009
Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425
- - - - - - -

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words "except those provided by Section 2©, Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act" and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.


December 16, 2009.
(Continue reading...)

Let me reiterate: This executive order gives INTERPOL the authority to violate every amendment in the Bill of Rights. Think gun control, free speech (hate speech), global warming agenda, the list goes on. The most immediate reason for this order is to allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) via INTERPOL to try the US Military for war crimes. Excuse me? Is this man really commander-in-chief?

Barack Obama cites INTERPOL acting "in America's interests". Well, whoop-de-frickin-doo! First of all, I've seen what Obama thinks is in America's interests. But ignoring that for a moment, what's to compel them to continue to do so? What guarantees do we have? What limitation of power? And where are our Constitutional rights now? Do you feel even a little bit scared? Is this man living up to his oath to uphold and protect the US Constitution?

Think I'm overreacting? Look up Obama's favorite word, audacity, to calibrate your radar.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas, Barack Obama! Yeah, Right.

I received the following email from President Obama, or his minions:
From: Natalie Foster,
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Karl Uppiano
Subject: Karl -- send this to your friends

Karl --

Forget to send your holiday cards this year? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

You can personalize our customized holiday video message for all of your friends and family. Each video will have their names in it -- and yours. You can even choose a special holiday greeting to include.

Just click here to create your own videos to send:

I sent a personalized video to my mom in Kansas -- and it made her day. Then she sent customized versions to folks at her church, and they loved it too!

Go ahead, spread the cheer.

Happy holidays,


Natalie Foster
New Media Director

P.S. If you haven't seen the version with your name in it yet, click here:

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
This was my response:
Dear President Obama,

You mean Merry Christmas, don't you? It won't be a Merry Christmas for me this year, since I am watching my liberty, and my kids' liberty be squandered by a bunch of radical "progressives" who want to render the Constitution -- the specification for the US Government, the contract between the US Government and We the People -- inoperative. In so doing, you will also enslave those you claim to want to help the most: The poor and down-trodden. Way to go.

You have spent my kids' allowance, their lunch money, their inheritance, 35 years of future paychecks, and their retirement. Thanks a heap. I hope they'll vote better than we did in the last two elections.

Karl Uppiano

P.S., I am sending this to my friends.
Out of respect for the office, I left out the epithet that normally follows expressions such as "way to go" and "thanks a heap". It is implied.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why the Strongarm Tactics?

Why is this health care bill such high stakes? Why the strongarm tactics? Because there is so much money and power involved. The federal government has so overstepped its authority that this is make or break for dictators. If government were less intrusive, politics would be less divisive.

I hope statism fails, and I hope Barack Obama fails on this one. I said I wouldn't use that label anymore, but if Barack Obama succeeds, he is going to ruin us. Mark my words. Hear me now and believe me later.

Senate Actions: Political Malpractice

We are truly living in a kakistocracy. Rage against the kakistocracy. This is more than just "political disagreement" on issues. Can't the tea partiers across this nation file a class action lawsuit against our legislators for political malpractice?

I do hope Barack Obama fails on this health care bill. This is not the way America does things. Americans don't want this. Once lost, liberty is almost impossible to recover. Please don't let them take our liberty, and our children's liberty to make our own health care decisions.

The current health care system has problems because of too much government, not because of insufficient government. Assuming health care reform is the highest priority right now (I believe it isn't), effective reform would be the exact opposite of the plan that statist senators intend to ram down our throats despite growing majority opposition.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Don't Doubt It -- This is a Kakistocracy

The wheeling and dealing, outright bribery and political malpractice is simply shocking. This is kakistocracy on parade. Jefferson, Madison, Washington, et. al., would be shocked and saddened, but probably not surprised. They warned us about this.

Too Lazy to Move?

Attention "progressives": There is no shortage of socialist regimes out there. Just move there, if that's what you want. Why change the USA?

It's Kind of Quiet Around Here...

I have been posting over at the Bellingham Tea Party Blog, because it gets more traffic than Rage Against the Kakistocracy (if you can believe that). Oh well, BTP is technically my blog too, but I'm doing it for the organization, and other people contribute, which makes it more interesting.

I do tend to moderate my posts over there, since that website represents more than just me. This site is for my more radical or partisan rants.

Here are some of my recent posts at BTP:
I think the 10th Amendment article is the most important one of all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cash for Caulk and Tire Inflation

Barack Obama wants to provide government incentives for caulk and other weatherizing materials.

Mr. President, my windows don't need caulking. I'll wager that most windows don't need caulking. But if they do, caulk is really, really cheap in the amounts that would be required to seal leaks. I would hope that this program extends to insulation (there are already programs in place for that, I think). I could save energy if I were to insulate the floors in my crawlspace. Some older homes might benefit from insulation blown into walls and attic space. But caulking?

That's like proper tire inflation. If your tires aren't properly inflated, you'll waste energy, wear your tires, and compromise vehicle handling. But if your tires are properly inflated, there's nothing to do. It isn't as if the energy crisis will be averted by everyone adding 10 PSI to their tires. We're not going to stop global warming by sealing all the non-existent cracks around my windows (particularly, as I believe, if humans aren't responsible for climate change in the first place).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

DIY Climate Change Analysis

Iowahawk cracks me up with his satire on a regular basis. However, he has provided us with a rare glimpse into his scientific and statistical skills with the article Fables of the Reconstruction (Or, How to Make Your Own Hockey Stick). If you want to understand how climate data are analyzed, you should definitely check it out.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Global Warming, or Climate Change?

Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus riding on the dashboard of my car...

It don't matter if it warms or cools, long as we've got elected fools taxing us before we drive too far...

"Climate change" is the new name for this largest of all frauds ever perpetrated on the susceptible inhabitants of Earth, empowering tyrants worldwide. The climate has always been changing. Now the statists have secured fraudulent scientific justification to tax us for it.

My God, I wish I was a liberal right now. I'd be so damned happy. I could just sit and grin stupidly at my TV set, "knowing" that everything would be just fine...

It's not the science, "It's the ideology stupid."

From American Thinker -

President Obama's complete lack of concern for the fraudulent science associated with global warming is contrasted with the common sense of Sarah Palin. The gutsy Alaskan suggested that Obama ought to hold his horses on the whole climate change thing until the real verdict is in. Of course, the smartest man in the world will have none of that.

With the outrageous news of deceit, fraud and suppression of opposing evidence by top climate change "scientists," many conservatives had expected to see the story unfold a little differently (with actual reporting and investigating). Global warming, aka, climate change has been heralded as the preeminent story of our time. As such, the exposing of scientific fraud in the ultimate "science" movement would have made screaming headline news in a sane world.

(Continue reading...)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ever Wonder How We Take Our Global Temperature?

Musings from the Chiefio explains it like this:
GIStemp: Goddard Institute for Space Studies, temperature Series.

If we would study global temperature change over time, we need a temperature record over time, and over the globe. GIStemp attempts to create a temperature history with full coverage over time and over space. Unfortunately, the (GHCN – Global Historical Climate Network) data start with one thermometer in Germany: Berlin Tempel in 1701.

Over time, thermometers are added, and they slowly migrate south and to both the new, and old, worlds. Eventually, about 1900 A.D., there are sufficient thermometers on the globe to get a partial idea what is happening. But climate is subject to cyclical changes. Some, like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, have about a 40 to 60 year full cycle length. Others, like solar cycles that run 178 years, and Bond Events – a 1500 year cycle, are a bit longer. A 100 year record is inadequate to allow for these events.
(Continue reading...)

That's right, it's estimated, interpolated, or just plain made up. Only after the data are fully cooked, is it used to drive public policy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Proof Behind the CRU Climategate Debacle: Because Computers Do Lie When Humans Tell Them To

If this is actual code from an actual model, actually distorting data the way the author suggests, then we have a smoking gun, and plenty of ammunition:
I’m coming to you today as a scientist and engineer with an agnostic stand on global warming.

If you don’t know anything about “Climategate” (does anyone else hate that name?) Go ahead and read up on it before you check out this post, I’ll wait.

Back? Let’s get started.

First, let’s get this out of the way: Emails prove nothing. Sure, you can look like an unethical asshole who may have committed a felony using government funded money; but all email is, is talk, and talk is cheap.

Now, here is some actual proof that the CRU was deliberately tampering with their data. Unfortunately, for readability’s sake, this code was written in Interactive Data Language (IDL) and is a pain to go through.
(Continue reading...)

Speaking as a professional software engineer, his analysis looks plausible.

Update: I strongly encourage you to read Climategate Code Analysis Part 2, especially the discussion. This is how science is supposed to work -- but hasn't in the case of AGW.

(Linked by Grouchy Old Cripple -- thanks!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So Long, And No Thanks for the Externalities

The Rational Rejection of Security Advice by Users

This is a fascinating analysis of the true cost of computer security. Since we have well-established that I am a reactionary, anti-political correctness extremist, you have some idea where this is going.
It is often suggested that users are hopelessly lazy and unmotivated on security questions. They chose weak passwords, ignore security warnings, and are oblivious to certificates errors. We argue that users' rejection of the security advice they receive is entirely rational from an economic perspective. The advice offers to shield them from the direct costs of attacks, but burdens them with far greater indirect costs in the form of effort.

Looking at various examples of security advice we find that the advice is complex and growing, but the benefit is largely speculative or moot. For example, much of the advice concerning passwords is outdated and does little to address actual treats, and fully 100% of certificate error warnings appear to be false positives. Further, if users spent even a minute a day reading URLs to avoid phishing, the cost (in terms of user time) would be two orders of magnitude greater than all phishing losses.

Thus we find that most security advice simply offers a poor cost-benefit tradeoff to users and is rejected. Security advice is a daily burden, applied to the whole population, while an upper bound on the benefit is the harm suffered by the fraction that become victims annually. When that fraction is small, designing security advice that is beneficial is very hard. For example, it makes little sense to burden all users with a daily task to spare 0.01% of them a modest annual pain.
(Continue reading (PDF -- twelve pages)...)

This is the kind of economic analysis that congress and regulators rarely do with government programs. Instead, they look at the feel-good factor, and ignore the cost entirely. One line in particular caught my eye: "... economists have long studied how misaligned incentives often produce
undesired outcomes ...". This practically defines government programs. I know many liberals would read this document, and their heads would explode. "How can you say this? Do you know the risk you are exposing users to?" Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. But just try having a rational discussion about bicycle helmets or seat belts with a liberal. They feel that no risk of any kind, in any amount, is acceptable. Hence, the disclaimer at the end:
Note: this paper is not to be read as an encouragement to end-users to ignore security policies or advice. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
They cannot seem to get their heads around calculated risk assessment. Since they can't, they feel that no one else can either, and regulators must force everyone to "be safe" -- whatever that means in real terms (while simultaneously ignoring the unintended and often very undesirable consequences of their nanny statism).

Or, maybe it's because most legislators are lawyers, and everything is a "slip-and-fall" situation. The possibility of getting sued and having someone be awarded an astronomically out-of-proportion-to-the-injury settlement makes no risk acceptable these days.

It’s Got to Suck to be a Climavangelist!

Here's some great red meat for all of you AGW "Deniers", by Doug Giles:
What are the global warming grunts going to do now that the Apostles of the Holy Church of Climatology have been busted for cooking the “truth” (I believe the exact word they used was “tricking” us) so that we the sheeple would step-n-fetch to their Chicken Little crap?
(Continue reading...)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Climategate -- Prof. Watson calls Morano an 'asshole' on Newsnight

This arrogant little professor keeps talking about character assasination. What he apparently fails to grasp is that what happened with Climategate wasn't character assasination, it was character suicide.

Oh, and then he calls his adversary on the interview an "asshole". With that, I think he managed an assassination and a suicide with one bullet. I think we all know which one is the rectum here.

The Best States in the USA in Defense of Liberty

From an email circulating the Internet

An update from Oklahoma:

Oklahoma law passed, 37 to 9, had a few liberals in the mix, an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along with the ACLU, said it would be a mistake. Hey this is a conservative state, based on Christian values. HB 1330

Guess what -- Oklahoma did it anyway.

Oklahoma recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they want to get a green card and become an American citizen. They all scattered. HB 1804. Hope we didn't send any of them to your state. This was against the advice of the Federal Government, and the ACLU, they said it would be a mistake.

Guess what -- Oklahoma did it anyway.

Recently we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegals to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional. SB 1102

Guess what -- Oklahoma did it anyway.

Several weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas, Montana and Utah as the only states to do so. More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Florida [Note: I'm sorry to see that my home state of WA is not mentioned here. -- ed]. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once again. HJR 1003

The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns. Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. I'm sure that was a set back for the criminals (and Obamaites). Liberals didn't like it -- But,

Guess what -- Oklahoma did it anyway.

Just this month, my state has voted and passed a law that ALL driver's license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no other language. We have been called racist for doing this, but the fact is that ALL of our road signs are in English only. If you want to drive in Oklahoma, you must read and write English. Really simple.

By the way, Obama does not like any of this.

Guess what -- who cares -- Oklahoma is doing it anyway.

To Verify:

The Liberals Want Their "Progressive" Name Back Again

Have you noticed that “Liberals” have started calling themselves “Progressives” again? That’s because “Liberal” has become a nasty word, and people are starting to associate bad policy with liberal policy. The funny thing is, the “Progressives” started using the name “Liberal” for the same reason back in the first half of the 20th Century.

The “Progressive” movement got started in its present form sometime in the early part of the 20th Century. The “Progressives” believe that history is a linear progression of human events that will result in the eventual perfection of human beings (if we would only allow it). They reject the idea that “history repeats itself”.
... today we know that history is progressive rather then cyclical, that biblical prophesies are irrelevant, and that new thinking is required to fit new circumstances. This makes the long-established American tendency to fall back on the wisdom of the founders in times of stress all the more inappropriate. In a high tech age, there is simply no excuse for blind worship of a grouop of preindustrial philosphes. ~ Daniel Lazare, The Frozen Republic (1996)
Why are biblical prophesies irrelevant, Daniel? Is it because you misunderstand the true nature of biblical prophesies? A biblical prophesy doesn't foretell the future any more than my father telling me "If you don't study, you'll fail mathematics" did. It is a prediction that I have the liberty to avoid, if I work at it.

And why are the founders now irrelevant? Has human nature changed one iota in all of recorded history? I think not. Tyranny is as popular and as dangerous as ever. A high-tech society has nothing whatever to do with it. And just so you know, we don't blindly worship the founders, we actually understand what they were trying to accomplish, and we admire them for that. We believe that their years of study and careful design yielded a Constitutional Republic that facilitated the most prosperous and generous nation in all of human history. To the extent that it is still allowed, their system of government is still working. To the extent that it is broken, well, they predicted that. They told us to guard against it, but we failed to heed their warning.

It's true, history doesn’t repeat itself like an endless loop from Groundhog Day, but those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it. Time is linear (to human observers), but historical events have an uncanny way of replicating themselves in disturbing ways if you don’t take steps to prevent it. The regression of individual liberty is one process I would like to reverse.

I for one am happy to see the left abandon the “Liberal” moniker. Their statist schemes are about as illiberal as you can get. They want bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulation (except for recreational drugs, illicit sex, sexual perversion and pornography – where, evidently, less regulation is better). But where it really matters, “social justice” inhibits and usurps liberty and justice for all. Soon, true believers can again call themselves “Liberal” and mean it in the original sense of the word: The Classical Liberal.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Never Surrender!

My wife sent me this.


Written by Christopher Monckton
Tuesday, 24 November 2009

This is what they did - these climate "scientists" on whose unsupported word the world's classe politique proposes to set up an unelected global government this December in Copenhagen.

An unelected global government with vast and unprecedented powers to control all formerly free markets, to tax wealthy nations and all of their financial transactions, to regulate the economic and environmental affairs of all nations, and to confiscate and extinguish all patent and intellectual property rights.

The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the "global warming" fraud - for fraud is what we now know it to be - tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures.

(Continue reading...)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Fundamental Transformation of America

This is from an email that is circulating on the internet.
  1. When Obama wrote a book and said he was mentored as a youth by Frank, (Frank Marshall Davis) an avowed Communist, people said it didn't matter.
  2. When it was discovered that his grandparents, were strong socialists, sent Obama's mother to a socialist school, introduced Frank Marshall Davis to young Obama, people said it didn't matter.
  3. When people found out that he was enrolled as a Muslim child in school and his father and step father were both Muslims, people said it didn't matter.
  4. When he wrote in another book he authored “I will stand with them (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” people said it didn't matter.
  5. When he admittedly, in his book,said he chose Marxist friends and professors in college, people said it didn't matter.
  6. When he traveled to Pakistan , after college on an unknown national passport, people said it didn't matter.
  7. When he sought the endorsement of the Marxist party in 1996 as he ran for the Illinois Senate, people said it doesn't matter.
  8. When he sat in a Chicago Church for twenty years and listened to a preacher spew hatred for America and preach black liberation theology, people said it didn't matter.
  9. When an independent Washington organization, that tracks senate voting records, gave him the distinctive title as the "most liberal senator", people said it didn't matter.
  10. When the Palestinians in Gaza , set up a fund raising telethon to raise money for his election campaign, people said it didn't matter.
  11. When his voting record supported gun control, people said it didn't matter.
  12. When he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, people said it didn't matter.
  13. When he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan and Mummar Kadaffi and Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.
  14. When it was pointed out that he was a total, newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, people said it didn't matter.
  15. When he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, people said it didn't matter.
  16. When his voting record in the Illinois senate and in the U.S. Senate came into question, people said it didn't matter.
  17. When he refused to wear a flag, lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, people said it didn't matter.
  18. When people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, people said it didn't matter.
  19. When he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, people said it didn't matter.
  20. When he surrounded himself in the White house with advisors who were pro gun control, pro abortion, pro homosexual marriage and wanting to curtail freedom of speech to silence the opposition, people said it didn't matter.
  21. When he aired his views on abortion, homosexuality and a host of other issues, people said it didn't matter.
  22. When he said he favors sex education in Kindergarten, including homosexual indoctrination, people said it didn't matter.
  23. When his background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him, people said it didn't matter.
  24. When the place of his birth was called into question, and he refused to produce a birth certificate, people said it didn't matter.
  25. When he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezco, a man of questionable character, who is now in prison and had helped Obama to a sweet deal on the purchase of his home, people said it didn't matter.
  26. When it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, people said it didn't matter.
  27. When he started appointing czars that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed Marxist/Communist, people said it didn't matter.
  28. When he stood before the nation and told us that his intentions were to "fundamentally transform this nation" into something else, people said it didn't matter.
  29. When it became known that he had trained ACORN workers in Chicago and served as an attorney for ACORN, people said it didn't matter.
  30. When he appointed cabinet members and several advisors who were tax cheats and socialist, people said it didn't matter.
  31. When he appointed a science czar, John Holdren, who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilizations and seizing babies from teen mothers, people said it didn't matter.
  32. When he appointed Cass Sunstein as regulatory czar and he believes in "Explicit Consent", harvesting human organs with out family consent, and to allow animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, people said it didn't matter.
  33. When he appointed Kevin Jennings, a homosexual, and organizer of a group called gay, lesbian, straight, Education network, as safe school czar and it became known that he had a history of bad advice to teenagers, people said it didn't matter.
  34. When he appointed Mark Lloyd as diversity czar and he believed in curtailing free speech, taking from one and giving to another to spread the wealth and admires Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.
  35. When Valerie Jarrett was selected as Obama's senior White House advisor and she is an avowed Socialist, people said it didn't matter.
  36. When Anita Dunn, White House Communications director said Mao Tse Tung was her favorite philosopher and the person she turned to most for inspiration,
  37. people said it didn't matter.
  38. When he appointed Carol Browner as global warming czar, and she is a well known socialist working on Cap and trade as the nations largest tax, people said it doesn't matter.
  39. When he appointed Van Jones, an ex-con and avowed Communist as green energy czar, who since had to resign when this was made known, people said it didn't matter.
  40. When Tom Daschle, Obama's pick for health and human services secretary could not be confirmed, because he was a tax cheat, people said it didn't matter.
  41. When as president of the United States ,he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, people said it didn't matter.
  42. When he traveled around the world criticizing America and never once talking of her greatness, people said it didn't matter.
  43. When his actions concerning the middle-east seemed to support the Palestinians over Israel , our long time friend, people said it doesn't matter.
  44. When he took American tax dollars to resettle thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to the United States, people said it doesn't matter.
  45. When he upset the Europeans by removing plans for a missile defense system against the Russians, people said it doesn't matter.
  46. When he played politics in Afghanistan by not sending troops the Field Commanders said we had to have to win, people said it didn't matter.
  47. When he started spending us into a debt that was so big we could not pay it off, people said it didn't matter.
  48. When he took a huge spending bill under the guise of stimulus and used it to pay off organizations, unions and individuals that got him elected, people said it didn't matter.
  49. When he took over insurance companies, car companies, banks, etc. people said it didn't matter.
  50. When he took away student loans from the banks and put it through the government, people said it didn't matter.
  51. When he designed plans to take over the health care system and put it under government control, people said it didn't matter.
  52. When he set into motion a plan to take over the control of all energy in the United States through Cap and Trade, people said it didn't matter.
  53. When he finally completed his transformation of America into a Socialist State, people finally woke up, but it was too late.
Any one of these things, in and of themselves does not really matter. But when you add them up one by one you get a phenomenal score that points to the fact that our Obama is determined to make America over into a Marxist/Socialist society. All of the items in the preceding paragraphs have been put into place. All can be documented very easily. Before you disavow this, do an internet search. The last paragraph alone is not yet cast in stone. You and I will write that paragraph. Will it read as above or will it be a more happy ending for most of America? Personally, I like happy endings.

If you are an Obama Supporter, please do not be angry with me because I think your president is a socialist. There are too many facts supporting this. If you seek the truth you will be richer for it. Don't just belittle the opposition. Search for the truth. I did. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Constitutionalist, Libertarians and what have you, we all need to pull together. We all must pull together or watch the demise of a society that we all love and cherish. If you are a religious person, pray for our nation.

Never before in the history of America have we been confronted with problems so huge that the very existence of our country is in jeopardy. Don't rely on most television news and what you read in the newspapers for the truth. Search the internet. Yes, there is a lot of bad information, lies and distortions there too but you are smart enough to spot the fallacies. Newspapers are a dying breed. They are currently seeking a bailout from the government. Do you really think they are about to print the truth? Obama praises all the television news networks except Fox who he has waged war against. There must be a reason. He does not call them down on any specifics, just a general battle against them. If they lie, he should call them out on it but he doesn't. Please, find the truth, it will set you free.

Our biggest enemy is not China, Russia, or Iran; no, our biggest enemy is a cabal of politicians in Washington DC.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chain Up for Health Care Reform

In the health care debate, we're arguing over policy details for every special interest under the sun, but nobody is asking the basic question: "Does the US Constitution even authorize this?"

Of course it doesn't! The founding principles were all about individual liberty and freedom of choice. The health care reform bills currently under consideration in the legislature replace freedom of choice with taxation, mandates, penalties and rationing, when we need the exact opposite.

We're about to be enslaved, and we're arguing about the nature of the chains. Amazing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr. Tim Ball on the Hacked CRU Emails

Well, well, well. Nothing to see here. Move along. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Falsified AGW data: outright fraud for political power and control. Al Gore, I hope you have plausible deniability (pun partially intended) -- you can say you were played for a fool. People would believe that. Otherwise, you should be ashamed. Very ashamed.

Now, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. There is still the remote possibility that the purloined papers are themselves a hoax. In that case, I guess we're back to the status quo: "Yes it is! Give me all your money!" "No it isn't! You can't make me!" Time will tell.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

God and Government: Islam and West Are Incompatible

This article at American Thinker articulates a concern that I have had for a long time, namely, that the free excercise of Islam is incompatible with the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment:
Western policymakers and elites in government, academia, and the media suffer from an extraordinary ignorance about the true nature of Islam. This ignorance was on display following the murder of thirteen American troops at Fort Hood, Texas by Nidal Hasan, a devout Muslim who held the rank of Major in the U.S. Army. Hasan is said to have shouted "God is Great" in Arabic as he gunned down his unarmed fellow troops. (Continue reading...)
This is a very troubling situation, because we have a catch-22. If we allow free excercise of Islam, that involves invoking sharia law, which then violates the non-establishment clause. If we reject sharia law, then we violate free excercise. I think some of the founders were aware of this, but the number of Muslims in the colonies was zero to none, and the founders probably did not expect them to come here in large numbers for a very long time. Now the world is much smaller, and they're heeere... I guess this isn't a problem for many, because we've been ignoring the Constitution for so long that practically nobody knows much about it anymore. The fact that this significant little detail bothers me isn't important to most Americans, or our elected officials.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Missed a Huge Opportunity Yesterday

Yesterday evening, I received a call from the Republican National Committee, asking for money to win in 2010. I hemmed and hawed about not having enough money left for donations, what with all of my other donations, and finally weasled out of it.

What I should have said: I will donate to the Republican party when you have purged the politicians from the party, and replaced them all with statesmen who want to reverse government spending and the concentration of power in central government. When the party represents liberty and the founding principles as embodied in the Constitution. When you replace social justice with liberty and justice for all. Please call me when you can assure me you have accomplished that. In the meantime, my hard earned dollars are going to the Heritage Foundation and the National Rifle Association.

I would say the same thing to a fundraiser for the Democrats too. Support for the fundamental principles of the Constitution should be the same for both parties.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here's an Idea...

Yesterday, Barack Obama gave a short speech about an upcoming "Jobs Summit". He said that he welcomes any idea that will help create new jobs. Mr. Obama, here's my idea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letter to Lindsey Graham

Dear Senator Graham,

I saw you On the Record with Greta last night. When you said that you would require Nancy Pelosi to promise to leave out certain provisions of the house health care bill in order to pass the senate, well sir, my jaw just dropped.

I cannot believe that you are going to gamble our liberty on Nancy Pelosi keeping a promise! Nancy Pelosi takes no prisoners. She will agree to anything to get what she wants, and once she gets it, will do whatever benefits her agenda. She is a lot like Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein in that regard.

Why not vote the bill down unconditionally, and take another run at it? We do need health care reform in this country (but it is NOT the highest priority -- think economy and energy instead). To be effective and protect our liberty, health care reform should be the EXACT OPPOSITE of the house bill! Here are my suggestions:
  • NO Government Takeover of Health Care
  • NO Public Option or co-ops or government run "exchanges" of any kind
  • NO Mandates
  • NO Vote for Cloture or other sleazy methods of getting the bill passed (i.e. reconciliation or attaching it as an amendment to another bill)
  • YES to totally eliminating barriers to buying health insurance across state lines
  • YES to real tort reform
  • YES to genuinely decreasing the mandates on health insurance companies and policies so that smaller, more flexible companies and policies are allowed exist and compete
  • YES to allowing everyone to claim tax credits for providing health insurance, from corporations to small businesses to those that are self employed
  • YES to cracking open the potential of Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) by increasing the ceiling on maximum donations that each person can make each year
  • YES to cafeteria style choices for all individuals or businesses, so that each consumer is at liberty to choose the insurance that he/she wants to pay for and meets their personal needs
  • YES to allowing real freedom of choice for consumers who want to purchase high deductible policies in combination with an HSA or catastrophic policy
  • YES to cutting out waste and fraud by VERIFYING the citizenship of everyone who receives an entitlement benefit
  • YES to transparency and accountability - we want the entire bill, in its final legislative language put online for at least 72 hours prior to voting, as well as an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office being completed at least 72 hours before any voting is allowed to take place
Note that Nancy Pelosi DID NOT live up to her promise to give We the People 72 hours to read the bill before the house vote.

Karl Uppiano

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Science vs. Religion

Science and Religion Are Not Incompatible, They Are Orthogonal.

The title “Science vs. Religion” uses “vs.” in the mathematical sense: science and religion plotted on perpendicular axes on a chart. Science and religion are not incompatible, they are orthogonal. In mathematics and linear algebra, orthogonality refers to two perpendicular coordinate systems or sets whose dot product is zero. That is, one space does not project onto the other. This may seem restrictive, but taken together, the single-dimensional x- and y-axes form a much richer space: a two-dimensional plane. Science and religion complement each other in the same way.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letter to Congressman Larsen

Dear Congressman Larsen,

I just received your missive about your vote on the health care bill. In it, you state that the status quo is unacceptable. Perhaps it is, but did you really have to introduce a whole new garganuan bureaucracy, complete with mandates and penalties for private citizens? Why not this:
  • NO Government Takeover of Health Care
  • NO Public Option or co-ops or government run "exchanges" of any kind
  • NO Mandates
  • NO Vote for Cloture or other sleazy methods of getting the bill passed (i.e. reconciliation or attaching it as an amendment to another bill)
  • YES to totally eliminating barriers to buying health insurance across state lines
  • YES to real tort reform
  • YES to genuinely decreasing the mandates on health insurance companies and policies so that smaller, more flexible companies and policies are allowed exist and compete
  • YES to allowing everyone to claim tax credits for providing health insurance, from corporations to small businesses to those that are self employed
  • YES to cracking open the potential of Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) by increasing the ceiling on maximum donations that each person can make each year
  • YES to cafeteria style choices for all individuals or businesses, so that each consumer is at liberty to choose the insurance that he/she wants to pay for and meets their personal needs
  • YES to allowing real freedom of choice for consumers who want to purchase high deductible policies in combination with an HSA or catastrophic policy
  • YES to cutting out waste and fraud by VERIFYING the citizenship of everyone who receives an entitlement benefit
  • YES to transparency and accountability - we want the entire bill, in its final legislative language put online for at least 72 hours prior to voting, as well as an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office being completed at least 72 hours before any voting is allowed to take place
I do think it is a little odd that health care suddenly became the cause du jour when we have much more pressing needs (e.g., recession, energy costs). Nobody was clamoring for health care reform. It just rode in with the statist takeover in 2006 and 2008.

You're a nice guy and all, but you obviously do not understand the founding principles at all (or perhaps you're a progressive who rejects them). Either way, my task is clear: To do everything possible in my power to legally make sure you never work in this town after 2010. I can't wait to campaign, donate, and vote.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What if We Said This Today, and Meant It?

Replace "King of Great Britain" with "President, and Congress, and Supreme Court of These United States", and then say this:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
The founders considered natural law ("laws of nature, and of nature's God") to be self-evident. Those natural laws included life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (to name three; most of them are enshrined in our Bill of Rights).

Now, 233 years later, hardly anybody even knows what natural law is, or what rights it represents. The founders considered these rights inalienable, because they are part of the natural universe; they're not any government's to grant or infringe. Any government that attempts it, is working against nature -- including human nature. Misery is the result, regardless of good intentions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

I am usually griping about politics here, but my real passion is music, and The Beatles have been my favorite music since about 1965. I remember a neighbor girl coming up the driveway one summer between third and fourth grade, saying to me "I just heard the coolest song... it goes 'Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you' you should hear it!" It wasn't long before I heard it. I was hooked. Those songs wrote the soundtrack of the rest of my life.

I found this series of The Beatles in concert. Not lip sync, not overdubs, but the real Beatles playing real instruments.

Check out George playing the solo in "Til There Was You". If it seems odd for a rock & roll band to sing show tunes, remember that the movie The Music Man was a huge hit in 1962, just two years earlier.

The television cameras of that era had a hard time with glare off shiny objects, like the instruments. You'd get a black halo around the bright spots.

In the next video, the three part harmony on "This Boy" is amazing. This is partly why they were considered the best rock band in history. They had chops.

People like to diss on Ringo's drumming, but check out how precise and flashy his playing is on "Please Please Me". He was no slouch. He just wasn't showy.

Here, George nails the solo in "I'm Down". It isn't a hard solo, but it's fun to watch him play it, as well as John massacring the farfisa organ. And of course, Ringo singing the Buck Owens classic "Act Naturally" is a hoot.

On "Help!", Ringo is playing the drums just like he does at the beginning of the movie, where the religious extremists are throwing darts at him... "You Can't Do That" is just fun to watch.

The crowd gets a little overwhelming at Shea Stadium. It's harder to hear the band. I don't know that crowds at rock concerts are any quieter today, but the sound equipment was a lot less powerful. The Beatles were basically just playing through their Vox amps, and a public address system for the vocals, into a stadium full of screaming people.

Paul is in fine form on the vocals in "Baby's in Black", and George's country twang guitar cracks me up. Those songs in 3/4 time are just fun to sing along with in a big crowd.

It's a good rendition of "I'm Down", although John is really cutting up this time. He may have known the audience couldn't hear them. We hear them much better on the soundtrack than the audience could possibly have. The vocals on "Help!" come through better in this concert, than in the previous video.

It's fun to watch them play, after spending all those years listening to their records. It takes me back to a much happier time in my life. The government and I were both much smaller then.

But if you go carryin' pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow...

Another short article from Victor Davis Hanson, advises this:
...interim White House communications director Anita Dunn's praise of Mao Zedong as a "political philosopher" is so unhinged and morally repugnant, that she should hang it up, pronto.
Most offensive to me, is that she was addressing a high school graduation. Where's the outrage? (more...)

(Revolution, The Beatles...)

I Wonder What the Capricious Gods Will Do

Victor Davis Hanson has many concerns about our current government, but here he wonders how business (the engine that creates all of the wealth that Obama wants to redistribute) will cope:
But imagine that you are a small business owner, and just consider—why expand now or rehire? since (a) I have no idea what the new taxes will be; (b) I have no idea about what all these new regulations, cap and trade, card check; etc will cost me; (c) I am beginning to think all this trash talk about bad doctors, insurance companies, the Chamber of Commerce, CEOs, the wealthy, etc. suggests this administration does not like me or what I do; (d) the government is everywhere: Ford now must compete against Government Motors; Banks against government-affiliated Citibank; Blue Cross against the public option; and so on. If I have a business, somewhere down the line there is going to be a government-run rival, sort of like your local can’t go broke PBS station in every avenue of commerce. Why insist on ensuring hustling employees when the rival, overpaid DMV-like work force can’t go broke whatever they do?
Kakistocracy, that's what I'm talking about. Read the entire article...

I Am So Tired of The Left Attacking Fox News

Charles Krauthammer has an editorial over on TownHall about the administration's attack on Fox News. I particularly loved this line:
Fox News is no monopoly. It is a singular minority in a sea of liberal media. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC vs. Fox. The lineup is so unbalanced as to be comical -- and that doesn't even include the other commanding heights of the culture that are firmly, flagrantly liberal: Hollywood, the foundations, the universities, the elite newspapers.
But wait! There's more:
Fox and its viewers (numbering more than CNN's and MSNBC's combined) need no defense. Defend Fox compared to whom? To CNN -- which recently unleashed its fact-checkers on a "Saturday Night Live" skit mildly critical of President Obama, but did no checking of a grotesquely racist remark CNN falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh?
Fox's hard news really is fair and balanced. Their op-ed personalities lean right. But even on Glenn Beck's craziest days, Fox barely counterbalances MSNBC, let alone the whole army of alphabet networks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tyranny by Any Other Name...

The Los Angeles Times headline reports "California appears poised to be first to ban power-guzzling big-screen TVs" (full article...).
Reporting from Sacramento - The influential lobby group Consumer Electronics Assn. is fighting what appears to be a losing battle to dissuade California regulators from passing the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions.
Let's ignore for the time being, the fact that all of the newer flat panel displays use less power per square inch of viewing area than the old CRT-based technology.
"We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy," said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. "This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs."

Tightening efficiency ratings by using new technology and materials should result in "zero increase in cost to consumers," said Harinder Singh, an Energy Commission staffer on the TV regulation project.
This is exactly the kind of idiocy that I'm talking about. Where is it written that unelected energy commissioners have that kind of power over California citizens? What gives them the right to tell anyone what they can or cannot purchase? If we do not like paying for the electricity to operate a large screen set, we'll look for a more efficient one, or operate it less frequently for shorter periods. Which reminds me... aren't there other appliances that run far more hours per day that would warrant more concern than TV sets?

This is precisely the kind of arbitrary and impertinent claptrap that the founders were concerned about when they set about setting up a government that was the minimum required to get the job done and no more. This is only one rather insignificant ruling in a sea of rulings by legislators, commissioners, bureaucrats, in local, state and federal governments nationwide that adds up to a very oppressive experience. The founders would be appalled.
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits. -- Thomas Jefferson
Since California is not part of the federal government, they are exempt from the US Constitution as long as they do not violate the Bill of Rights. But still... tyranny is tyranny by any other name.

Is Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty?

I find this very disturbing. If what Lord Monckton says is correct, then this is more important than any domestic issue, including Cap & Trade or Health Care. Unlike those programs, which may be practically irreversible, this treaty would be completely irreversible.

I do not think Barack Obama considers U.S. sovereignty to be of any importance. On the contrary, I think he sees it as a constraint on his agenda. I sincerely hope that I am wrong about that. I hope Obama takes his oath of office seriously, and that he finds other ways of dealing with the climate change issue. Since I do not subcribe to the Religion of Climate Change, the only element of the climate change issue that I think we need to deal with is the fact that we have some players on the world stage whom we need to politely brush off.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel prize for peace? For doing what, exactly? I am sure that Alfred Nobel never imagined that his prize "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." would be used to influence US politics by awarding it to a sitting president. While not unprecedented, it is of questionable constitutionality.

The Nobel Committee cited Obama's creation of a "new climate in international politics" and his work on nuclear disarmament. I'm not aware of any work on nuclear disarmament thus far that meets or exceeds what past presidents have attempted. Was it the apology tour? Was it pity over the Olympics debacle? Until a president's term in office is over, it is hopelessly premature to present awards like this. We don't have the complete historical record yet. What's more, Barack Obama's ego really does not require any additional stroking. He claims that he is "humbled" by this award. Well, that's a start. A few more like this, and maybe he'll be able to identify with the rest of us mere mortals.

When you consider some of the more recent Nobel laureates, you begin to detect a pattern of idiocy more than honor: Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and now Barack Obama. It is lunacy to put those people in such company as Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela. By the way, Lech Walesa is not impressed with this decision.

The Nobel Committee says it sometimes presents the award to encourage laureates, rather than to reward them for their achievements. Barack Obama is the most radical statist, and the most naive diplomat since Jimmy Carter, and perhaps in my entire lifetime. I do not want anyone to encourage him. Many things are already worse than they were during Jimmy Carter's presidency. I don't see a Ronald Reagan standing in the wings this time, to clean up the mess.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Do Not Blame Barack

I found this article Do Not Blame Barack, on The American Thinker. I don't think I have read any Selwyn Duke before, but this is amazing. Here's how he starts out:
Contrary to what my title indicates, I probably judge Barack Obama more harshly than most reading this page. I don't think he is just a misguided ideologue or merely a creature of expediency. I believe, practically speaking, he is an evil man. That is to say, while he is largely ignorant like so many others, he has developed an affinity for evil. He mistakes it for good.

Yet, to be blunt, Obama doesn't alarm me as much as the average American. (more...)
He mistakes it for good... During the election, I could not believe that people were actually being conned by this man. That he was acting like a third world dictator was as plain to me as the nose on my face, but very few people seemed to notice. That was the first time in my life that I ever stood on the Nooksack River bridge in Ferndale to hold a campaign sign, or send money to political causes. I simply could not believe my eyes.

But we cannot blame Barack Obama. We have allowed ourselves to become so corrupted by decadence and hedonism that we seem to have lost the ability to think analytically. This generation has never faced hardship in any meaningful way. We have never had to really earn our liberty, or our security, so we have no idea what it costs, or what it's worth. Easy come, easy go. We owe so much to our founders, and the veterans of many historically significant wars, yet we scarcely even acknowledge it. I fear we will piss away what remaining liberty we have, and the sacrifice by those who came before will go down the toilet. Our children will someday wake up in bondage, but lucky for us, they will have been too poorly educated to fix the blame where it belongs, and we'll get away scot free one more time. I wonder which generation will have the guts to do what our grandparents, our parents, and now we, should have done: throw the statists out and restore our constitutional liberty once more.

However, in order to do that, they must understand what liberty is, and why it's important. The fact that we have elected a majority of statists to congress, and put one in the White House, tells me that we don't know. And if we don't know, how will our children know? How did Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and all the rest figure it out? What motivated them to overthrow their own government? If anyone were to suggest that today, they would be labeled a radical. And yet, if something is important enough... People assure us that because of our founders, violent overthrow is no longer required. We can do it at the ballot box. I pray that is true. I pray that We the People vote intelligently before it's too late.

Oh, and by the way, my answer to Selwyn's question is "Yes, I would give up my Social Security". Decades ago, I came to the cold realization that I'll never see a fraction of what I paid in all those years, let alone dividends. I refuse to steal from the next generation to feed my own selfishness. I can never retire with a clear conscience, and FDR is responsible.

Those Who Ignore History are Doomed to Repeat It

As a historian and classicist, Victor Davis Hanson has a unique perspective on world events and foreign policy. In his article The Past Is Not Quite Past, he leads off with this:
We can learn a lot about our present dilemmas through looking at the past. This month I’m teaching an intensive class on World War II, and again reminded how history is never really history. One lesson: do not judge past decisions by present considerations or post facto wisdom from a Western point of view, but understand them given the knowledge and thinking of the times from an enemy perspective. (more...)
... and concludes with a scathing analysis of Barack Obama's foreign policy. I am not gloating about Barack Obama's poor decisions; I am very worried about them. I hope he learns fast. Faster than the thugocracies around the world who are lining up to take advantage of his naive attitudes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do You Still Have All of the Liberty You Were Born With?

Think back to when you were growing up. What things could you do then that you can no longer do now? What things did you have the liberty to decide for yourself that is now a mandate? How many federal, state and local laws were passed since you were born? How many new bureaucracies and agencies have been created since you were born? How many new regulations have they imposed? How many tax increases have you seen in your lifetime? How many new government programs have replaced your ability to do it yourself?

Every single one of those things increases the government’s power over you and reduces your liberty by a corresponding amount. Every dollar that you pay in taxes is a dollar that you do not have the liberty to spend as you see fit (including donating to charity or just helping a neighbor). Every dollar you pay in taxes represents minutes taken from your life -- the time you worked to earn it. The government is literally taking your life, dollar by dollar, minute by minute. The truths that our founders once felt were self-evident -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- statists today are taking incrementally in ever-increasing quantities.

Every bill passed by congress imposes a mandate or restricts your activity in one way or another. Legislators legislate. It is what they do. It is in their job description; they cannot help themselves. Every time someone says “There ought to be a law”, they express another wish to impose their will on the rest of us. When are we going to say, “Enough is enough?”

Statists took some of my liberty before I was born. Social Security was supposed to be a retirement insurance trust fund. Participation is mandatory. I have been paying into it for my entire working life. It has not been compounding interest. If it were, I would be rich by now, and I could retire today. As it is, I probably can never retire. The government has been stealing my retirement savings in a legalized Ponzi scheme for the past 35 years. At least in private Ponzi schemes, participation is voluntary. It was sustainable during the post war years, because the baby boomers were a huge workforce, each paying into their Social Security retirement account for a comparatively small number of retirees. The number of deposits far exceeded the number of withdrawals. Well, now the baby boomers are coming of retirement age, and the next generation is not remotely large enough to support us. The government squandered my liberty to retire and enslaved my unborn children while I was still growing up.

The next big infringement on my liberty came when I was in grade school, with the Great Society – primarily Medicare, Medicaid and the beginning of the federal takeover of public schools. Every one of those initiatives reduced my liberty – the first two by costing me ever-increasing taxes, and by government intrusion into the formerly private medical industry. Prices have increased, and choices diminished. Now, they're getting ready to finish the job. The federal takeover of public schools introduced a completely new uniformity (uniformity is the opposite of diversity) and reduction of local choices in school curriculum.

Richard Nixon spawned the Environmental Protection Agency while I was in high school. This bureaucracy is empowered to make regulations having the force of law, without any responsibility to We the People: We do not elect EPA bureaucrats. The EPA has infringed on private property, private enterprise and plain old everyday liberty, all in the name of the environment. I understand that we need to preserve the environment. That is what the first amendment is for: If you have concerns about the environment, you get on radio, television, on the Internet and in print, and bring your fellow citizens around to your point of view. We are then at liberty to fall in line, or to ignore you. That is what liberty is all about. You don’t always get what you want. You do not get to use the force of government to coerce your fellow citizens to follow your agenda against their will. That is the very definition of tyranny.

While growing up, I watched gun control legislation at all levels of government erode the second amendment. What part of “infringe” do they not understand? Infringement does not just mean taking my guns; it means, eating away at the fringes of my liberty. I am a responsible, law-abiding citizen, who happens to like firearms and marksmanship. I used to enjoy going off into the fields after school and plinking, or target practice. Today, guns and ammo are so expensive that shooting is nearly unaffordable, assuming I can find a place to go shooting anymore. Infringement comes in many forms: direct restrictions on the right to carry, registration requirements, banning of certain types of “bad” weapons, the high cost of guns and ammo caused by government actions deliberately designed to limit availability. It should be self-evident that regulations do not apply to the bad guys, but it has a tremendously bad effect on the citizen who has both the responsibility and the explicit right to bear arms against tyranny, for self defense, and the defense of his community, should the need arise.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act began reducing my liberty while I was in high school. Again, I understand that unsafe working conditions are a bad thing. Nevertheless, top-down, collectivist rules and regulations, mandates and standards do not make society better if the hidden costs make society worse. That is one big problem with government regulations: They pick a priority and drive it all the way to the top of the list, while they completely ignore conflicting needs and unintended consequences. Sometimes another government regulation or agency takes up the cause of the problems caused by the first. If government were less intrusive, politics would be less divisive.

Not one year ago, our government saw fit to bail out the automakers at great expense to taxpayers and future generations (remember, taxation erodes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). Why did the auto manufacturing industry fail? We can trace most of the reasons to intrusive government. For one thing, the economy collapsed because of mismanagement of government run financial institutions, which the Constitution does not authorize it to run. Government has been hobbling the car companies for years with safety and environmental regulations. Who can oppose safety and the environment? Well, I can, for one, when the regulations are imposed by government, and not by consumers demanding product features in the free market. You might argue that consumers do demand it by electing politicians who pass those regulations, and create the regulatory agencies, but no. The feedback loop is far too long and slow for there to be any real responsibility. Once the bills are passed and the agencies created, it is nearly impossible to remove them, regardless of how well or how poorly they work, or how many unintended consequences they create. The free market is much faster, more adaptable and nearly immune to political pressure. Everybody votes with their dollars every day of the year. Moreover, special interests do not control the election, which is maddening for the special interests.

Seat belt laws and helmet laws came along after I graduated from college. Seat belts and helmets are good ideas. I have used them religiously all my life. But not every good idea needs to be a law. I am an adult. I can reason. I can prioritize. As an individual, there might be good reasons why I would not want to use my seatbelts. On the other hand, maybe there aren’t. Why is it anyone else’s business? The argument I hear most frequently is that when I am killed or injured (not a given, with or without seatbelts), it costs society money. Well, it wouldn’t, if society wasn’t so all-fired busy taking care of me. If I could be responsible for myself, it would not be anyone’s business but mine. Again, if you think I should be wearing my seatbelts, you can use the first amendment to convince me. Don’t take my liberty; it’s mine, you can’t have it!

Ever since I was born, I have seen the alphabet soup of government initiatives, agencies and regulations come and not go. Each one adds to my tax burden, adds mandates and reduces degrees of freedom. How great it would be if, for every new law that congress passes, they had to remove three.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Deprecated: I Hope Barack Obama Fails

A kinder, gentler anti-kakistocrat: This is the last article that will carry the label I Hope Barack Obama Fails. As an engineer, when I discover that something is not working, I use negative feedback to correct the error. People were reading this label, and mistaking me for a racist, or being just plain mean-spirited. The new label will read I Hope Statism Fails.

A statist is someone who thinks 545 people in government can provide better solutions to our problems than 300 million individuals (they can in special situations, but only very rarely). A statist is someone who aims to use the force of government to ram their agenda down your throat. A statist is someone who aims to increase the size and scope of government beyond that specified in and authorized by the Constitution -- axiomatically, at the expense of individual liberty.

There are statists in both the Democrat and Republican parties. The only difference is in the nature of the agenda that they aim to ram down our throats. Barack Obama is a particularly radical and virulent statist, but he is not the only one, so the old label was way too specific. My goal is to have all statists fail, not just Barack Obama.
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits. -- Thomas Jefferson
In the interest of historical and archival integrity, I will not change the existing articles festooned with the old label. But new articles will use the new label.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Statism, Characterized

The following paragraph by J. Robert Smith, better characterizes the left in a few words than I have seen in a long time:
...statists - call them progressives, liberals or leftists - have worked diligently to advance government, to centralize authority in a political elite and bureaucracy and to, thereby, abridge the rights of the individual. They dismiss the original intent that undergirds the Constitution, claiming a right to make interpretations that are frequently aimed at pressing their causes and increasing their power. Many disdain our values, faith and traditions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Conservative Alternative

The tea party movement has uncovered a strong aversion to both political parties, presenting a risk of a new third party. I have long believed that a third party simply serves to divide the conservative vote, and thus awards the election to the Democrats.

The Republicans have traditionally been the more conservative party. But they have in recent years, moved left to embrace the statist agenda in the mistaken belief that the electorate have moved left. They have not. The far left have gotten noisier. The far left have taken over the Democrat party leadership, giving the illusion that the entire country has moved to the left. Our choices at the ballot box last election were between statists, and more statists.

The Republican party would start winning elections again if it would return to the founding principles, and offer a true conservative alternative, and stop trying to be Democrat Lite.

Hidden Cost of Socialized Medicine

My wife just had gallbladder surgery. Twenty years ago, she would have had a longer hospital stay, and come home with a nine-inch incision and six weeks' recovery time. Yesterday, she came home with four tiny holes in her belly where they sent in the fiber optic camera and the instruments. Her recovery instruction is "activity as tolerated". She has no sutures; just tape covering the wounds that will dissolve in a week or so.

I would say that is a tremendous leap in technology, driven by the private, free market. History teaches us that government control of anything tends to remove any incentive to innovate, advance the technology or improve service. Ironically, when the progressives take over health care, progress, and therefore patients, will suffer. We'll never even know what we're missing.

Cockamamie Cash for Clunkers

From an email circulating on the Internet:
  • A vehicle at 15 mpg and 12,000 miles per year uses 800 gallons a year of gasoline
  • A vehicle at 25 mpg and 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a year
  • So, the average clunker transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year
  • They claim 700,000 vehicles so that's 224 million gallons/year
  • That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil
  • Five million barrels of oil is about 1/4 of one day's US consumption
  • Five million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars at $75/bbl
  • Therefore, we all contributed to spending $3 billion to save $350 million
I will add
  • Most of the new vehicles sold were not domestic brands
  • The environmental impact to destroy the clunkers and build and operate the new vehicles may exceed that of running the clunkers for their normally expected lifespan
  • Destroying these older vehicles puts them out of the grasp of lower income families
  • Government significantly hurt the used car industry in a predictably misguided and futile attempt to "stimulate" the economy and "help" the environment
While I haven't run the numbers myself, they are close enough to convince me that this is one of the most cockamamie schemes ever dreamed up by any government. It had no beneficial effects; it was pure negative side effects. I think this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are living in a kakistocracy.

Politicians, if you're going to screw things up this badly, I think it's best if you just step away from the controls.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The process of demoralization is complete and irreversible...

This interview with ex-KGB agent and defector Uri Bezmenov was recorded in 1985. If he is correct, then our current congress and administration are the "end game", and our politicians are just tools. "The process of demoralization is complete and irreversible..." is a quote from the interview.

Even though the KGB is gone, the statist ideology lives on. We may still be able to save ourselves, but it won't be easy, because an entire generation or three may be lost to our government-controlled public education system.

Research: I searched Snopes and other fact-checker websites, and Googled "Uri Bezmenov". I found nothing to dispute the authenticity of this video. That doesn't alter the fact that Uri himself could be lying or mistaken. I actually hope that he is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Van Jones Post Mortem

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has this to say about Van Jones:
Van Jones can do his “whup ass” through corporate benefactions, but not on Joe Sixpack’s weekly tax deductions. At least I think that is what the controversy is all about. Had Jones been white, Asian, or Hispanic, and in his many diatribes just substituted the word “black” when he employed “white”, and replaced “Bush” with “Obama,” then the Left would really have conducted a smear campaign. But such are the times we live in, that a Jones feels he can abuse the public discourse and insult the intelligence of the public, confident that when called on it, the refuge of “racist”! is always there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

US Government Record

This is going viral in email:
The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775 - they've had 234 years to get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it can't compete with private sector FedEx and UPS services.

Social Security was established in 1935 - they've had 74 years to get it right; it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938 - they've had 71 years to get it right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 - they've had 39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

The War on Poverty was started in 1964 - they've had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor"; it hasn't worked.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 - they've had 44 years to get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to mention them as models for all US health care.

AMTRAK was established in 1970 - they've had 39 years to get it right; last year they bailed it out as it continues to run at a loss!

This year, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political payoff called the Stimulus Bill of 2009; it shows NO sign of working; it's been used to increase the size of governments across America, and raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job. Our national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

"Cash for Clunkers" was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009 -- after 80% of the cars purchased turned out to be produced by foreign companies, and dealers nationwide are buried under bureaucratic paperwork demanded by a government that is not yet paying them what was promised.

So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that each and very "service" shoved down our throats by an over-reaching government turns into disaster, how could any informed American trust our government to run or even set policies for America's health care system -- 17% of our economy?

Maybe each of us has a personal responsibility to let others in on this brilliant record before 2010, and then help remove from office those who are voting to destroy capitalism and destroy our grandchildren's future.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.

-- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, September 7, 2009

Overheard on VHF Emergency Frequency 121.5 MHz

Email forwarded to me. I don't know if this is true or not, but it is amusing.
Conversation overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai. The conversation went like this:
Iranian Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'
Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'
Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'
Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'
Air Defense Radar: (no response -- total silence)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Simply Unbelievable

National Review Online has this doozy:
Looking for a quick and easy boost in the polls, President Obama has decided to go to the one place where merit bears no relationship to adulation: the United Nations. On September 24, the president will take the unprecedented step of presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council. (more...)
Anyone who still questions my label "I Hope Barack Obama Fails" simply cannot see what is going on. He is now moving from merely devouring our liberty, to reckless international endangerment.

Perhaps I'm a Regressive

I have been thinking about whether I'm a conservative, a classical liberal, or something else. For a while, I kept saying "I'm not a conservative; I'm a preservative". Meaning that I want to preserve our founding principles against the onslaught of socialist liberal thinking. Since liberals have rebranded themselves as progressives, and since progressives occur in both the Democrat and Republican parties, I am considering calling myself a regressive. I reject the progressive agenda.

Progressives are statists, that is, they believe the state usually has the most effective solution to society's ills. As such, progressive government would be government that just keeps progressing: expanding without bound, devouring our liberty as it goes -- rather like what we have now.

There is no formal definition for a regressive thinker. According Webster, the word means

1 : tending to regress or produce regression
2 : being, characterized by, or developing in the course of an evolutionary process involving increasing simplification of bodily structure
3 : decreasing in rate as the base increases <a regressive tax>

Definition 1. is a tautology, and is therefore useless. However, definition 2. expresses my belief that we need to simplify, and revert to the founding principles of the US Government. Definition 3. suggests that I might support a regressive tax. No, I would stop with a flat tax. If we did 2., then 3. would be a very minor distinction anyway, since taxation would not be much of a burden for anyone.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

James Madison on the General Welfare Clause

The left often uses the "general welfare" clause to justify "welfare" programs, claiming that it is authorized in article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
James Madison, widely known as "the father of the Constitution" had this to say about it. He had just vetoed a bill that would have established roads and canals to facilitate commerce and military operations (sounds like the interstate highway system, doesn't it?). In his veto message to congress, Madison said it didn't fit the Constitutional principle of enumerated powers:
Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled “An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,” and which sets apart and pledges funds “for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,” I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation with the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States…

To refer the power in question to the clause “to provide for common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms “common defense and general welfare” embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared “that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”
So the guy who wrote the specification for our government, the binding contract between our government and We the People -- the Constitution -- has said the Constitution doesn't provide a blank check for every "welfare" program that pork barrel politicians want to write.

The last time I checked, the original Constitution was still in force, with relatively few changes. If We the People today want something different, we cannot arbitrarily re-interpret it; we must amend it.

Two hundred years later, we have a federal interstate highway system, but still no amendment authorizing it.