Monday, March 30, 2009

More Quotes from Rush Limbaugh

"There has always been a line, ladies and gentlemen, which no president would cross, with respect to the distinction between the public and private sectors. Obama has now crossed that line. There is no limit to government's destruction of private activity or control over it." -- Rush Limbaugh

"It scares me to see all of this hatred and envy that has been ginned up by Barack Obama and other Democrats. Corporate America is on their enemies list, because they've stolen the wealth of the nation's rightful owners, and it is now going to be returned to them." -- Rush Limbaugh

I Don't Care Who You Are

We have to stop arguing whether Republican statism is better than Democrat statism, and start insisting that government follow the Constitution. Any regime that disregards the Constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous.

Letter to Barack Obama

I sent the following message to Barack Obama:

Dear President Obama,

Nothing in the Constitution -- the contract between We the People and the US Government -- the specification for the US Government -- gives you the authority to fire a CEO of a private enterprise: General Motors (or does GM stand for Government Motors now?).

We the People demand our liberty back! The liberty to succeed or fail based on our own ingenuity -- or lack of it. The US Government bailing out and nationalizing private businesses is not one of the enumerated powers in the US Constitution! We have well established procedures for dealing with business failure: Bankruptcy. The US automakers are bankrupt because of outdated committments to unions, oppressive government regulations, and failure to adapt to new competition and business models in the 1970s and 1980s. Bankruptcy would have sorted it all out.

Government, step back! Follow the Constitution! Power to the people!

Most Sincerely,
Karl A. Uppiano

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Attack From the Left: Paul Krugman's Poison Pen

In this Newsweek article Obama's Nobel Headache, Evan Thomas asks "What if President Obama is squandering his only chance to step in and nationalize—well, maybe not nationalize, that loaded word—but restructure the banks before they collapse altogether?"

Which leads me to ask "What if President Obama and congress would butt the hell out and let We the People work it out?" Who says the government is supposed to fix any of this? The controversy underscores the fact that obviously no single individual -- or group of individuals -- knows what to do. The free market has the best chance to react the most quickly. It has a built-in natural feedback mechanism that the government does not.

I am an engineer by trade, and I understand inverse feedback. Systems that lack inverse feedback, or have improperly designed inverse feedback are usually inherently unstable. Government programs suffer from both shortcomings in spades. Note that automatic stabilizers are not the same as what I am referring to in the free market. I am talking about Adam Smith's "invisible hand", as well as concepts by Milton Friedman and many others.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Some Quotes from Rush Limbaugh

"We don't have any checks and balances on Obama's budget, not in the Senate, House or media. The Chinese Communists are our only hope. The question is, will the ChiComs pick up the tab for all the trillions we're spending but don't have?" -- Rush Limbaugh

"We don't need to worry about infiltration from foreign enemies. It's being done from the White House. The mansions, if you will, of the United States of America's library of freedom are being dismantled doorjamb by doorjamb, brick by brick, floorboard by floorboard." --Rush Limbaugh

Letter to Patty Murray

Patty Murray is one of the members of the senate budget committee, who just rubber stamped Barack Obama's outrageous budget proposal.

Shame on you for tripling the national debt. You have now committed my children and their children to a debt to fix a problem created in your generation.

This might be one of the definitions of evil: You politicians can't even take responsibility for problems caused in large part by your own policies. You just kick it down the road.

One thing is for sure: You do not represent me, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that you will never be elected to that position again.

Most sincerely,
Karl Uppiano

I will post a list of senators voting for this travesty when I can find the list online. I have a day job, so conservative political activism will have to wait.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Essential Reading for All Americans

Mark Levin has written a new book, Liberty and Tyranny, A Conservative Manifesto. Even if you do not believe you are a conservative, or if you believe you are a liberal, you should read this book. It will reinforce your principles if you are a conservative, and if you are a liberal it will challenge your beliefs, and explain what conservatives really believe (as opposed to the media propaganda about who conservatives are and what they believe).

You can watch a four part YouTube video of Rush Limbaugh interviewing Mark Levin about his new book.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What is Typical?

I'm afraid the Declaration of Independence was a fluke. I'm afraid the American Revolution was a fluke. I'm afraid Jefferson and Madison were a fluke. I'm afraid the US Constitution was a fluke. I'm afraid the Bill of Rights was a fluke. I'm afraid Ronald Reagan was a fluke. I'm afraid Barack Obama and our current congress are typical.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Petitions for Redress of Grievances

Although our government is very well conceived, I have been very concerned, as I'm sure you know, that our government has been disregarding the Constitution and eating away at our liberty at an increasing rate for approximately 80 years now. The Constitution is the specification for the US Government; the contract between the government and We the People. Any regime which refuses to honor and abide by the Constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous.

Rather than launching into a screed about how Barack Obama and congress are shredding the Constitution, I believe the following approach will be more effective, and it applies equally to all of our politicians, regardless of party affiliation. This web site contains petitions for a redress of grievances against the US Government.

You may or may not agree with the content of every one of these petitions -- in fact, that is precisely the point of the rule of law. It doesn't tolerate special interests. I encourage you to read them all. The actual meaning might turn out to be much less extreme than the titles would lead one to believe. If you agree, please sign up, and sign the petitions. Or, you can ignore this opportunity, and let our children deal with it instead. We are in this situation today because our great grandparents didn't confront their government when it would have been much easier to address. Loss of freedom is like boiling a frog: If you throw a frog in boiling water, he will jump out unscathed. If you throw a frog in cool water and warm it up, he'll be boiled alive*. We are about to be boiled alive.

*Actual scientific research suggests that a frog will jump out of absolute physical discomfort before the water actually boils. I'm hoping We the People are at least as smart as the frog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More on Stem Cells

From the Not in the Enumerated Powers department:

A colleague sent me an excellent article about stem cell research over at the weekly Standard. It's about science, religion and morality. Science and religion are orthogonal:

  • Science answers the question "How can I get what I want?"
  • Religion answers the question "What ought I to want?"
What Barack Obama did was remove any moral judgment or restraint in the application of scientific knowledge. That just might be the definition of evil.

Now, you will say "you can't legislate morality", but we can and do legislate morality all the time: We can't execute prisoners, but we can abort fetuses. We can't torture illegal enemy combatants, but our tax dollars can fund embryonic stem cell research. Even Barack Obama seems to want to draw the line at human cloning. So as the old joke goes, "we've established what you are; now we're just haggling over the price".

AIG Executive Retention Bonuses

Am I incensed that We the People are on the hook for AIG executive bonuses? Yes! Am I incensed that AIG is living up to their contractual obligations? No! Consider the following:

  • Politicians were responsible for worsening -- if not creating -- the financial crisis.
  • Politicians were unwilling to take responsibility for the financial crisis, choosing bailouts rather than bankruptcy for businesses that politicians set up to fail with their social agenda.
  • Politicians knew about the AIG bonuses a year ago.
  • Politicians specifically included an amendment to the bailout legislation to allow companies to meet contractual obligations such as bonuses.
  • Now politicians, e.g., Barack Obama, act all offended, trying to gin up righteous indignation against a company that is now 80% government owned and operated, in an attempt to obfuscate politicians responsibility in all this.

The amount of the executive retention bonuses amount to .001 of the total AIG bailout! I'm concerned about the nationalization of private industry, not about how a minute fraction of the boondoggle is spent!

Next election, I suggest we try to elect politicians who aren't complete retards.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The 912 Project

I attended the 912 Project viewing in Bellingham at Boston's Pizza. It was standing room only, and a very enthusiastic crowd. The TV program was a little hard to hear, but for the most part, it was uplifting. I didn't think the show itself was an event in itself, but I was pleased to see public support for traditional principles and values.

Here's the 912 Project web site.

Buyer's Remorse

Another article on American Thinker. Some conservative former Barack Obama supporters have been dope-slapped by reality: Formerly Useful Idiots.

Science and Politics

In a previous post, Obama Abolishes Constraints on Stem Cell Research, I discussed the role of politics in science. American Thinker has an article that covers some points that I missed: Will the Administration's Census Policy Put Politics above Science?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Preserve Raptor Jobs

My niece called my attention to the website Preserve Raptor Jobs. The web page allows you to sign a petition and compose a letter to Barack Obama, who must soon make a decision on whether to continue funding on the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

The left despises the military, and loves to cut the military budget. However, of all the roles and responsibilities that the federal government has usurped from We the People, the Military is one of the few legitimate roles and responsibilities actually specified in the Enumerated Powers of the US Constitution. A regime that refuses to observe the Constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous. We the People take that very seriously.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Abolishes Constraints on Stem Cell Research

In removing the Bush era constraints on stem cell research, president Obama claims that "It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda - and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." Tell me another! If you want to get politics out of science, then you must get government out of science. If politicians are involved in any way, then by definition, politics is too. And most importantly, the Enumerated Powers prohibit it. It is too easy to hide political agenda in funding choices. Research that produces contrary results loses funding, and vice-versa. You can't tell me that most politicians are above this sort of thing. They have demonstrated time and again that they are among the most craven creatures on the planet.

The agenda surrounding stem cell research is abortion (on the left), and the right to life (on the right -- particularly the religious right). The difference is, the right is up front about their concern. But the left tries to hide the abortion agenda behind the idea that stem cells might produce medical miracles, but they rarely mention -- at the expense of aborted fetuses. That's evil enough, but embryonic stem cells are freely available without killing fetuses. Furthermore, the government ban was on obtaining stem cells from aborted fetuses using government money. I see nothing wrong with that ban. It means that someone who is philosophically opposed to abortion won't be required to fund it with their tax dollars.

And while we're on the subject, let's discuss Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). It has been a long time since I have seen something so disgustingly, blatantly politicized. Anyone who knows a shred of the scientific method and the philosophy of science, knows that AGW cannot be proved. Without reproducible results, no one can use the hypothesis to predict anything. It might be interesting, it might be compelling, but it is of no use -- except politically. The sad thing is, I'm not sure Al Gore even understands that. Or worse, maybe he does.

Many people seem to think that privately funded science is somehow tainted, and that science funded by NASA or the EPA, or Greenpeace is as pure as the driven snow. That is absurd. In fact, privately funded science, e.g., by big oil, usually needs to be more factual, because the company's bottom line depends on actual results, not propaganda. They want to know what works. They might use their findings as propaganda, but they rarely fund the research expressly for that purpose. And if they make a testable hypothesis, then anyone else is free to test it, and report on its veracity.

And the Children Shall Lead

And the Children Shall Lead is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcast October 11, 1968. In it, an evil alien called Gorgon beguiles the children of a scientific expedition on a distant planet, to help Gorgon to kill their parents and later to take over the Enterprise. The creature, played by Melvin Belli, gives the children the power to invoke "the enemy within" to create fear and paranoia among the ship's crew, as he did on the planet. Gorgon uses patronizing propaganda to lull the children into implementing his evil agenda.

Flash forward to 2009: Al Gore tells a school assembly of 12 year-olds not to listen to their parents; that sometimes they know more than their parents. The similarities to the old Star Trek episode are downright creepy. Gorgon vs. Gore -- they even look similar. Trying to subvert the children into betraying their parents. The enemy within. One can only hope that as in the old Star Trek episode, someone can finally expose the Gorgon for what he really is: an ugly, evil, self-serving, lying coward. You can learn a lot about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness watching Star Trek: The Original Series.

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a non-falsifiable hypothesis. In other words, there is no experiment that you can run which will prove or disprove AGW. This is very much like trying to prove or disprove the existence of God. It can't be done, which is why the framers of the US Constitution included the non-establishment clause and the free exercise clause in the First Amendment. They knew that government should have no role in faith-based issues. There is no issue that is more faith-based than AGW. Any government subject to a First Amendment should butt out. The First Amendment has a Free Speech clause which allows anyone who feels strongly about the subject to attempt to persuade We the People to play along. That is as it should be, and the outcome will depend on how we decide to exercise our liberty and free will.

One definition of tyranny is when special interests succeed in using the force of government to impose their will on the rest of us. Think about that, Gorgon -- I mean Al Gore.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I Hope President Obama Fails

We need to roll back 100 years of government encroachment on the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. President Obama is moving us faster than we've ever gone before, expanding government beyond the constitutionally Enumerated Powers. Therefore, I want him to fail. We the People need him to fail, for the sake of our Constitutional liberty. A regime that refuses to honor its constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous.

Cap and Trade

I sent this message to congressman Rick Larsen, and senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray:

Please, please, please, do not go along with President Obama's request for a "cap & trade" tax on industry, especially in this down economy.

Most of my messages to politicians are about ideological issues, but this is personal. It involves my family's financial survival. If you tax industry, especially the energy producers, the effect will be devastating. The cost of everything will go up. I can barely afford to purchase food, and I have a well-paying job (for the time being). That could all change if this tax-and-spend government continues to overload the remaining productive members of our society.

Now, here's the ideologue part: Anthropogenic Global Warming is a non-falsifiable hypothesis. As such, there is no experiment that you could run to prove or disprove the theory, just as you cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. As you know, our founders wisely left religion out of government for that reason. You should wisely leave decisions about AGW as an individual liberty for exactly the same reason. It doesn't matter how passionately you believe something. The first amendment, not government coercion, should be the tool to affect public policy on AGW.


Karl & Peggy Uppiano

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do You Really Want National Health Care?

As always, remember the golden rule: Whomever has the gold, makes the rules. When we provide for our own health care, we are solely responsible for our own health. Once government has a direct monetary interest in our health, watch out! The government will feel responsible for our health, and it will own us!

It already compels us to wear seat belts, motorcycle helmets, prohibits smoking, regulates trans-fats and fast food. These are all good ideas, but we should be at liberty to make those choices. Liberty goes to the one who controls the purse-strings.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Alternative Energy

Congress and the Obama administration should have this nation's founders spinning in their graves so fast now, that it should be possible to harness that energy to feed most of the power grid all up and down the east coast.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tax and Spend Democrats

I sent this message to congressman Rick Larsen, and senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray:

The Obama administration and this congress takes the term "Tax and Spend Democrat" to levels not seen in this nation's history. I know that Democrats do not like to be called that, but when the shoe fits... We cannot spend our way out of a recession. We got out of a recession worse than this one in the 1980s with tax cuts!

Our nation was founded on Liberty and Capitalism, and if you intend to change that, then you need to amend the Constitution! The US Constitution does not authorize this kind of reckless and oppressive behavior. A regime that refuses to honor the specification, the contract between the US Government and We the People -- the Constitution -- is untrustworthy and dangerous.

Do the right thing, and uphold the Constitution that you were sworn to uphold.


Karl & Peggy Uppiano

Monday, March 2, 2009

Son of Fairness Doctrine

I sent this message to congressman Rick Larsen. The Broadcaster Freedom Amendment is supposed to put the ineptly named Fairness Doctrine to rest once and for all, except for a little rider put there by Illinois senator Dick Durbin. Read on...

Dear Mr. Larsen,

I think it is good that the Senate chose to protect against infringement of the first amendment by passing the Broadcaster Freedom Act, but there is a nasty fly in the ointment in the form of a rider placed there by Dick Durbin of Illinois.

S.160's Purpose is "To encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership, and to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest." My yardstick for any government action is this: "Does this action enhance, or diminish individual liberty?" The obvious answer in this case is "diminish", because it adds more government control over an already heavily regulated industry.

The stated goal of the Durbin rider is to increase diversity and minority ownership of broadcast facilities. That may or may not be a desirable goal, and it may or may not be in the public interest, but as legal citizens of the USA, minorities have the same legal right to own broadcast stations as anyone else. The Constitution does not enumerate powers for the government to impose quotas and affirmative action for We the People, or to decide what is in the public interest. We decide, and if we're interested, we'll get it. I want the US Government to stop assuming roles and responsibilities that belong to We the People!


Karl & Peggy Uppiano

List of Enumerated Powers

Since I frequently refer to the Enumerated Powers in the US Constitution, I wanted to provide the list of what those powers are. I Googled "list of enumerated powers", but I found no definitive list, so I scanned the Constitution itself. Here is what I found.

Article I, SECTION 8 lists the powers of Congress:

  1. 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;
  2. To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
  3. To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
  4. To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  5. To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
  6. To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
  7. To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
  8. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
  9. To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
  10. To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
  11. To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
  12. To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
  13. To provide and maintain a Navy;
  14. To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
  15. To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
  16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  17. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever,over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock Yards and other needful Buildings-And
  18. To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Article II, SECTION 2 lists the powers of the president:

  1. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments,upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
  2. He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone,in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
  3. The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Article III, SECTION 2 lists the powers of the judiciary:

  1. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made,under their Authority; - to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; - to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; - to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; - to Controversies between two or more States; - [between a State and Citizens of another State;-]* between Citizens of different States,- between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, [and between a State, or the Citizens thereof;- and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.]*
  2. In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Minister sand Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
  3. The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
This may or may not be the list that scholars refer to as the Enumerated Powers, but this is the list that I found of the powers granted by the US Constitution to the various branches. I was going to make comments about my reading of them, but I decided to let them stand as written, in plain English.

According to the Constitution then, congress has 18 powers, the president has three, and the judiciary has three, for a total of 24. They're claiming a lot more than that today.

*language has been changed by amendment.

Gridlock? Bring It On!

Mark Twain said "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the congress is in session". The theme of this blog is liberty. Every law that congress passes, every new tax, every new bureaucracy, every new regulation reduces our individual liberty by a corresponding amount.

Now that the Republicans are the minority or opposition party, I hear a lot about how Republicans are inhibiting progress -- causing gridlock -- in Washington D.C. If they are causing gridlock, I say "bring it on!". The less accomplished by government, the better. even if Republicans were in the majority, I would say that. The government grew, albeit more slowly, during the years when Republicans were in power. The kakistocrats cannot help themselves.

If we had a flurry of deconstruction of big government going on in congress, then I might reconsider my position.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Charity, Prosperity and the Great Society

LBJ's Great Society created a massive increase in government welfare and oppression, in the name of helping the less fortunate. There is no question that any great society would voluntarily help the less fortunate. What is not so great is the government demanding that we help the less fortunate, imposing taxes and inflicting penalties for not doing so. A society that has to be forced by government to help the needy isn't a great society; it is pathetic.

A free and prosperous society will have more resources all around to help the needy. Even if capitalists spend all of their time and money working for themselves, the generated wealth spreads automatically, and no less equally than if government does it.

Charity is necessary to help those who are willing but unable to participate in the free market. A great society cares for these people. However, we are less likely to be charitable when we feel that our government has already taken 30% of our earnings, especially when they spend it on causes that we feel are unworthy. If those who would try to use the force of government to enslave us to further their own agenda, would instead exercise their first amendment right to free speech, they might convince more of us voluntarily to donate to charitable causes of our own choosing.

We're Too Focused on the Bill of Rights

Don't get me wrong, the Bill of Rights is important. It is the last line of defense against oppressive government, and it is being eroded rapidly, which is why we should be so concerned about the following:

The US Constitution as originally written, did not contain a Bill of Rights, because the primary authors, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, believed that the Enumerated Powers effectively limited the powers of the US Government.

The Enumerated Powers specifically lists the only things that the US Government can do. Logically, there are an infinite number of things the Government cannot do, because they are not on the list. Jefferson and Madison, being well-educated students of the Enlightenment, understood this.

The Bill of Rights, on the other hand, is an incomplete list of things that the Government cannot do -- examples, if you will. In fact, the ninth amendment in the Bill of Rights says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." In other words, just because something isn't in the Bill of Rights, doesn't grant the US Government the authority to do it. It reinforces Madison's conviction that the Enumerated Powers are the real limiting factor against oppressive government. That is why you see politicians and special interests continually trying to downplay the importance, and re-interpret the concept, of the Enumerated Powers in the Constitution. This is the reason we need a Limited Government Amendment.