Friday, December 31, 2010

Charity: Red States vs. Blue States

Statistics show,
Preservatives are generous with their own money. "Progressives" are generous with other peoples' money.
Paraphrased from Grouchy Old Cripple. Those rankings are from 2004, but I have heard similar reports before.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Waah! The Constitution is Old and Confusing! Mommy!

In this video, the correspondent explains how reading the Constitution, according to the new rules in Congress is a gimmick, because the Constitution is old and confusing:

The US Constitution is confusing? I read and implement specifications for a living. The Constitution is far less confusing than many other specifications I have read. There's no shortage of documentation explaining what the founders meant. The Federalist explains the specification in great detail. And what does the Constitution's age have to do with anything? Politics and human nature haven't changed a bit in 230 years. Perhaps we need a few more engineers in congress (and the media). I think we could help them out.

It is human nature to seek power over others, and having obtained power, to expand power. The Constitution is anything but complicated. It is simply designed to limit power. What is complicated is trying to figure out how to twist it into a vehicle to expand power. Progressives have been doing that for 100 years, changing the meaning of "general welfare", necessary and proper, the commerce clause, into virtual power grabs. But when you become familiar with the original intent -- the thing We the People ratified -- the problem is obvious, and not at all confusing. We are fighting tyranny, pure and simple.

Preservatives, with our emphasis on the founding principles are leading the way, forcing the 'progressives' to defend their actions. This is a good thing. We can't let up.

Update: We can get all indignant about this, but satire is another way to deal with it.

Update: More satire.

Update: Ezra Klein in his own defense. I disagree with him, of course. I think we have plenty of documentation that describes in very clear terms, what the Constitution means, and how our republic is supposed to work. One side wants to follow that vision, and the other side doesn't. One side wants to insist that we follow the Constitution as ratified and subsequently amended by due process, and the other side doesn't. One side wants to fix obsolescent parts of the Constitution through due process (amendments) and the other side wants to deconstruct it. That is what cleaves American politics, Ezra.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

111th Congress: Buh-Bye!

The worst, most reckless congress in my lifetime, the 111th congress is no more. Good riddance! Thanks a heap for ObamaCare and Cap and Tax, and a host of other legislation that was opposed by a significant majority of Americans. Congressman Rick Larsen said that the response to Cap and Tax at his office was not just "no", but "hell no". He voted for it anyway. Sadly, he retained his seat in the 112th congress, so Washington State's second congressional district still has no representation in Washington D.C.

The good news is, the 112th congress will start their term with a new set of rules, including a reading of The Constitution in congress as the first order of business. Furthermore,
One key change would require bill sponsors to add statements to the congressional record citing the specific constitutional authority for the actions they are proposing.
Sound familiar? "Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that?"

Of course, good intentions pave the road to hell. It has to be more than lip service. We the People have to watch these politicians like hawks, because people like Rick Larsen still roam the halls of congress, and we already know what he thinks of We the People.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


For the past 100 years, while we were sleeping, under the radar, the left has been passing laws to further their agenda. The 111th lame duck congress hit the gas, in order to get as much 'progressive' agenda in under the wire as they possibly could before the new congress is sworn in next January.

It just occurred to me: Why can't we preservatives do exactly the same thing, except repeal every possible law to further our agenda? It isn't as if we need most of those laws. If big government is detrimental, then why not repeal it?

Even if we can't succeed entirely, we can at least maintain some kind of equilibrium. Undo the 'progressive' agenda as fast as they can implement it. We know the 'progressives' haven't been particularly selective in their approach; they just try to ratchet up government power every chance they get. We should be just as opportunistic, and ratchet down government power every chance we get.

If the Republicans lived up to their name, they would be not just the "Party of No", or even the "Party of Hell No!", but the party of "Slash and Burn", dismantling nearly every 'progressive' agenda item of the past 100 years that makes itself available -- restoring constitutional government, liberty and equal justice for all.

I'm certainly not advocating anarchy, or repealing the civil rights amendment, or re-instituting slavery. I'm talking about annihilating all laws, programs and regulations to which the question, "Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that?" has no credible answer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Time for the Alternet?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now circumvented checks by congress and the courts, in their bid to regulate the Internet. Started during the first big wave of the "progressive" movement with the Communications Act of 1934, the FCC has always been the government's tool for regulating technology, commerce, and of course, information. When it was first created, the FCC was regulating the then-new technologies of interstate and foreign telegraph, telephone, cable, and radio communications. Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that?

By establishing a few strategic choke points on business, the government has very powerful control over content. Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that? If radio stations want to keep their FCC license (i.e., stay in business), they have to comply with reams of technical, legal, business and content regulations. Even for a small mom-and-pop station, it requires at least one full-time employee just to stay in compliance. See section 73 and section 74 of the FCC Broadcast Rules. But wait, there's more! Much more! I know. I used to be the chief engineer (First Class Radiotelephone Operator License P1-13-10705) for just such businesses. The excuse given for this overwhelming government take-over in 1934 was to ensure freedom from interference and to set up international and interstate compatibility standards. Never mind the fact that the free market could have done the same, and in fact, was already moving in that direction. Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that?

Now, the functional equivalent of radio stations -- the connection to the general public -- Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are in the cross-hairs. If they don't comply with FCC regulations, the government can fine them, or revoke their license (i.e., put them out of business). Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority to do that? From the government's perspective, this free-wheeling, wild and woolly internet has been free long enough. With things like conservative blogs, pornography, WikiLeaks, the threat of ISPs setting up tiered pricing in order to manage a limited resource (bandwidth) using the tried-and-true free market approach of charging more for something of higher value, the FCC wants to step in and control all of it. Especially information. But it also has its eye on "monopolistic" ISPs that might do something "greedy". Never mind the fact that I am at liberty to terminate my internet service any time I don't like my provider's terms and conditions. I really don't need the government's help with this non-essential frill. It's nice to have, but my survival does not depend on it.

I don't like the government being in control of my information sources. Radio, television and the Internet are today's free press. Or free speech. Since government has now seized the Internet, I think it is time for patriots and free thinkers everywhere to consider establishing the "Alternet", the free alternative to the Internet.

The Internet was built on research and technology from ARPANET. ARPANET packet-switching technology was intended to provide multiple routing options over an unreliable network, such as you might find on a battlefield. Today's computers and routers are built on top of protocols and modular technology that is now owned and operated by private citizens worldwide. Whenever you set up a local area network (LAN) and wireless network (WI-FI or WLAN), you are installing a miniature version of the Internet in your own home. Obviously, home routers are not up to the task of industrial-grade networking, but folks, We the People are in possession of the right technology and know-how to set up the Alternet. Certainly, there are logistical hurdles to overcome. But we shall overcome. Google is working on a self-driving car, for crying out loud. The Alternet would be child's play by comparison. We cannot let the government control our dialog, our information or our liberty.

P.S., you remember short-wave radios, and the Citizen's Band (CB) craze of the 1970s and 1980s? You might want to look in your attic, and dust off those old relics. See if they're still working. We might need them.

P.P.S., it appears that the name "Alternet" (or AlterNet) has already been taken. According to Wikipedia, "AlterNet, a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute, is a progressive/liberal activist news service." Doesn't that just figure. Well, "Progressives" don't like copyrights and private ownership anyway, so I'm sure they won't mind if we use "Alternet"!

"Support for this government take-over of the Internet is provided in part by: the Pew Charitable Trusts, Bill Moyers's Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Joyce Foundation, George Soros's Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and by contributions from other suicidal NPR supporters like yourself."

Friday, December 17, 2010

American Thinker: The Adolescent Left

Here's another great article from American Thinker, this time by Keith Riler:
As tempting as it is to view the machinations of the left in masterfully calculated Dr. Evil terms, today's progressive is better-understood as a ranting teenager, burdened with both a disordered view of freedom and typical adolescent entitlement issues. It's not that today's lefty is unintelligent; in fact, many are very bright. It's that he is emotionally underdeveloped.

By disordered freedom, I mean the 1960s-influenced, "don't tell me what to do/I'll do whatever the hell I want to do" kind of freedom. Pope John Paul II summarized the flaw in such a stunted and animalistic view of our potential when he explained that "[f]reedom is not a matter of doing what we like, but rather of having the right to do what we ought."
(Continue reading...)

Freedom is not a matter of doing what we like, but rather of having the right to do what we ought. ~ Pope John Paul II

I am not Catholic, but that is the most concise definition of liberty that I have ever heard, and it underscores the fundamental difference between hedonism and responsibility.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

American Thinker: WikiLeaks, Stuxnet, Cyberwar, and Obama

Here's a very interesting article by J.R. Dunn at American Thinker about cyberwarfare, and it puts WikiLeaks (and many other things) in proper perspective. It makes my previous posts about WikiLeaks look positively puny by comparison. From about halfway down the page:
... It is no exaggeration to state that Julian Assange is engaged in warfare. He is at war -- not simply with the U.S., although the U.S. is his current bĂȘte noire, but with the human race as a whole. He is a would-be Alexander, intent on bending the world to his will, with little concern who gets hurt while he's doing it. He sees himself as a mythic figure, above and beyond the run of normal humanity, a man with a historical mission. (This is no rarity, unfortunately -- see Obama, Barack.) His followers see him as an Apollo bringing forth a new age.

Yet the world isn't bending, and the new age remains unborn. Despite all the excitement, Assange's impact has been minimal. Until incarcerated, he simply dropped one info-bomb after another, then ran off and hid, perhaps loitering to paw a woman or two in the process. It's an unedifying spectacle, nothing Alexandrine or Napoleonic about it.
(Continue reading...)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's the First Amendment, Stupid!

Shooting the messenger won't work. WikiLeaks leader, Julian Assange and his cohorts are definitely arrogant, anti-American goons. Their reaction (conducting cyber-attacks on capitalist/business websites) to the negative actions by the United States and others is proof.

But... if WikiLeaks were an American publisher, they would have first amendment rights. According to the Constitution, it isn't illegal to publish -- anything. What is illegal is treason. Treason is the only crime specifically mentioned in the Constitution. It carries the death penalty. The leakers could be found guilty of treason, and executed. The founders wanted to make it clear that you could take illegal action against your government if you believe it is in the wrong, but you would be risking your life (just as they did, and knew only too well). If you aren't willing to die for your convictions, it isn't a conviction, it is merely a preference.

The current regime has become very bad at keeping secrets, because they're basically incompetent at everything. If they started treating traitors like traitors, and invaders like invaders, I think things would change for the better, very rapidly. WikiLeaks is shining a very valuable light on this regime.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4th Amendment Apparel

This website features T-shirts and underwear printed in magnetic ink with the following:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
A convenient way to protest government oppression without creating a scene. I hope they make a fortune.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My first reaction to the WikiLeaks story was anger. What WikiLeaks are doing is probably underhanded and self-righteous, but under the Constitution, the United States government cannot infringe on free speech. WikiLeaks is no different than a newspaper or pamphleteer from the 18th century.

The sheer number, and the nature of the leaked documents suggests incompetence, or worse. If the US government has secrets to keep, then it had better keep them well. It should prosecute anyone with a security clearance caught leaking documents, to the full extent of the law. Someone who feels inclined to leak classified documents should be prepared to face the consequences as part of the courage of their convictions (or profit motive).

Finally, my government had better be conducting itself in ways that I would not be ashamed of, should its covert operations be exposed. Unfortunately, a government as big and powerful as the current regime is frightfully likely to be doing all kinds of things that lots of people would be ashamed of.

Update: I still think shooting the messenger is the wrong approach. Assange might be an anti-American twit, but he isn't really the problem. The ineptitude of our government is the problem. As far as the leaker(s), if he (they) disagrees with our government on principle, then they should be willing to die for their convictions. Otherwise, they're not convictions, they're just preferences. And treason is the only crime that our Constitution mentions specifically. It carries the death penalty. That is to deter people who would commit treason out of preference instead of conviction. Our government should be prosecuting for treason, and executing those found guilty of it. That was the agreement.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DHS Seizes Internet Domain Names

The website TorrentFreak is reporting that the US Government just seized the domain names of dozens of websites worldwide. This is the proverbial "boot on the throat" mentality that the current regime seems to favor -- kind of a reverse "consent of the governed" sort of mindset.

This is causing an international anti-American backlash. Currently, the United States controls many of the key features of the Internet, including the Domain Name Service (DNS). DNS is the "address book" of the Internet; it converts names like into an Internet address ( that computers can find. Without any advance warning, the US government just ripped several pages from that address book.

Control of the Internet by American interests has been a decided advantage for Americans for many reasons, so this action by the US Government Department of Homeland Security is not in our best interest. Especially since DHS shut down sites, not for terrorist activities, but because they were violating copyright laws.

Many of the websites shut down this week were guilty of blatant copyright infringement, which I do not support or condone. But somehow, copyright infringement doesn't seem to be as closely tied to the mission statement for the Department of Homeland Security as -- oh, I don't know -- securing the borders, deporting invaders (euphemistically known as "undocumented workers"), and finding better ways of securing air travel.

I have no problem if RIAA wants to sue everyone they can find for copyright infringement, or put stupid DRM in their products. They're a private organization, trying to protect their own interests. But when a government does it, well, that's tyranny, pure and simple.

It saddens me that the comments on this article this article at TorrentFreak are anti-American, and not anti-statist, for the most part. Most freedom-loving Americans are horrified by this as well. The usurpation of liberty is now starting to hit very close to home indeed (and worldwide at the same time)! When a super power goes rogue, that is when it no longer deserves to be a super power.

I will be updating this article as the story develops.

Oh, I almost forgot: Where in the Constitution did We the People give government the authority do do this?

Update: this article probably won't be updated. The media will flock to the WikiLeaks story.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Text-to-Speech Converter-in-Chief

Ok, this might be a cheap shot. I'm not that good without a script either. Still, the president can't give a speech from memory, and he sounds positively incomprehensible off the cuff.

Americans need to know that there are cheaper ways to get text-to-speech. A good laptop computer costs maybe $1500.00, Acrobat reader (with text-to-speech) is free. Plus, you can use the laptop to surf the web when it isn't giving speeches, and it doesn't usurp your liberty.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nancy, Are You Serious? -- My First Attempt at Political Animation

The dialog is derived from actual quotes by Nancy Pelosi, a reporter, James Madison, with some filler thrown in by yours truly.

Why do I pick on Speaker Pelosi so much on this blog? Well, because she says such outrageously arrogant and tyrannical things, in complete disregard for the rules that are supposed to govern her. She has the whole government/governed relationship completely upside-down.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is the first Thanksgiving Proclamation, given by George Washington in 1789:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789. ~ G. Washington
I encourage you to read this carefully, and see what things George Washington thought we should be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time to Start Playing Offense

Always after the fact, the Transportation Security Administration is playing defense with the terrorists.
  • When terrorists first successfully hijacked airplanes with guns and knives, our government responded by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans.
  • When terrorists first successfully hijacked airplanes with box cutters and killed 3000 innocent Americans, our government responded by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans and surrender all sharp objects.
  • When terrorists first unsuccessfully detonated a shoe bomb aboard an airplane, our government responded by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans, surrender all sharp objects, and remove their shoes.
  • When terrorists first unsuccessfully detonated a shampoo bomb aboard an airplane, our government responded by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans, surrender all sharp objects, remove their shoes and surrender all liquids.
  • When terrorists first unsuccessfully detonated an underwear bomb aboard an airplane, our government responded by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans, surrender all sharp objects, remove their shoes, surrender all liquids, and submit to full naked-body scans or intrusive pat-downs.
If government continues this pattern without a better plan,
  • When terrorists first attempt to detonate a colon bomb aboard an airplane, our government will respond by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans, surrender all sharp objects, remove their shoes, surrender all liquids, submit to full naked-body scans or intrusive pat-downs, and rectal probes.
  • When terrorists first attempt to detonate a Tampax bomb aboard an airplane, our government will respond by requiring all innocent citizen travelers to submit to metal detector scans, surrender all sharp objects, remove their shoes, surrender all liquids, submit to full naked-body scans or intrusive pat-downs, and... well... what will We the People tolerate from our government?
Those full naked body scanners cannot detect explosives inside the body.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ Benjamin Franklin
It is time for our government to stop responding -- playing defense -- and start playing offense. We Americans protesting TSA security procedures aren't ungrateful about the agency's attempt to enhance security, we're protesting the way it is being done. We demand something better. We know better options exist. We demand an end to politically correct pandering at the expense of our liberty and safety.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Presidency and the Constitution

Mike Pence delivered a speech at Hillsdale College on September 20, 2010:
THE PRESIDENCY is the most visible thread that runs through the tapestry of the American government. More often than not, for good or for ill, it sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people. Its powers are vast and consequential, its requirements impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility and insistent attention to its purpose as set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

Isn’t it amazing, given the great and momentous nature of the office, that those who seek it seldom pause to consider what they are seeking? Rather, unconstrained by principle or reflection, there is a mad rush toward something that, once its powers are seized, the new president can wield as an instrument with which to transform the nation and the people according to his highest aspirations. (Continue reading...)
With this understanding, I can only conclude that Barack Obama (and several others in recent and distant memory) are an insult to our founders, to the Constitution, and to the office of the President of the United States.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Education: The Elephant in the Room

Karen Karacsony posted this article on American Thinker:
For the first two hundred years of America's history, there was little in the way of public education. Thus, from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century, education was most often a family affair (though churches, literary societies, and apprenticeships also contributed to the education of early America's youth).

As youngsters, our Founding Fathers were educated like most other children of early America. Of the six Founding Fathers, three were homeschooled: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Two were self-taught: Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin (though Franklin did attend primary school for two years). And one, John Adams, was both homeschooled and privately taught (at a very small school). (Continue reading...)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Climategate: One Year and Sixty House Seats Later

This article by Marc Sheppard on American Thinker is worth reading:
It’s been one year to the day since hero or heroes still unnamed and unrewarded bestowed upon the world a virtual dossier, the contents of which should have ended the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) debate abruptly and evermore. Remarkably, it didn’t. Despite the revelations exposed in the now public climate huckster’s handbook, one year later the specter of governance and wealth redistribution both national and international based largely, if not solely, on pseudo-scientific hocus-pocus persists. (Continue reading...)

Quantitative Easing Explained

This has become quite viral on many conservative blogs, so I figured I'd throw my hat in the ring:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

This video is amusing and informative:

I Pity the Fool!

...who says, "The Constitution is a living document"; that it means whatever -- or nothing -- and in so doing, removing all protection from tyranny and the usurpation of our natural rights. Their intention, of course, is to provide the people who will be doing the interpreting: Highly educated and nuanced progressive scholars, who will render politically-correct progressive interpretations. The actual result is that whomever happens to be in power will render whatever interpretation suits them. It's all sweetness and light when progressives happen to be in power, but watch out if that isn't the case! The only way that the Constitution can provide actual protection for everyone is, if it says what it means, and means what it says.

For a more concrete example, consider the following thought experiment: Instead of the Constitution, let's say we're talking about your labor union contract. Let's say it is a living document. As long as the union defines what it means, everything is fine (from the union's perspective). But let's suppose instead, that the employer gets to decide. Who decides who gets do decide? Why or why not? The union contract provides protection to both parties, and they both have a legitimate stake in a fair and consistent contract.

Let's try another thought experiment: Think of the Constitution as a specification. The US Government is the implementation of the spec. Computers, bridges, airplanes, automobiles, houses... all have specifications -- the blueprint for how the thing goes together, how it works. If an engineer or machinist decides the spec is a "living document", all hell breaks loose, resulting in a failure to operate properly, or even death. If your computer doesn't follow the spec, your games and financial software won't run, the machine won't boot, or it bursts into flame -- depending on what part doesn't follow the spec.

We can't rely on highly educated and nuanced progressive scholars, who will render politically-correct progressive interpretations. The Constitution requires popular enforcement, by ordinary people who can read it, understand it, and vote accordingly for politicians who will honestly answer the question, "Where in the Constitution did We the People give you the authority to do that?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Letter To My Representatives

I sent the following message (with the appropriate personalization) to senators Maria Cantwell and Patti Murray and congressman Rick Larsen:
Dear Senator Cantwell,

Ok, so with herculean efforts by your party, Patti Murray and Rick Larsen managed to eke out a thin victory, despite their voting records.

You need to know that I am doing everything in my power to make it so that no politician feels safe leaving their office without a credible answer to the question, "Where in the Constitution did We the People give you the authority to do that?"

Your answer needs to be better than Nancy Pelosi's response, "Are you serious?" To an intelligent and informed electorate, there can be no more serious question.
I would like to encourage everyone to send a similar message. Contact info: [Maria Cantwell], [Patti Murray], [Rick Larsen].

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Greatest Pianist Alive Today

Every now and then, I post something about music, because I can't stand politics. I have to give my soul a rest. I was searching YouTube for the third movement of Beethoven's Appassionata Piano Sonata (yeah, I know -- what is a redneck, knuckle-dragging, unsophisticated conservative doing searching YouTube for the third movement of Beethoven's Appassionata Piano Sonata? I guess I don't fit the stereotype, do I?) and I found this:

She just nails the finale with precision and style. But if that doesn't blow you away, this rendition of Franz Liszt's Totentanz (Dies Irae) will:

She has personality, too. These outtakes from recording sessions are fun:

What a talent. Unbelieveable. I hope to see her in concert someday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead!

You'll have to forgive me for joyously celebrating Nancy Pelosi's (political) demise. She is an arrogant, constitutionally illiterate, power-abusing tyrant. In her position of power, that equals evil.
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. ~James Madison
When asked where she found the constitutional authority to compel citizens to purchase health insurance, Pelosi replied, "Are you serious?". Doesn't she think the Constitution applies to her? Or does she not understand it? Either way, the Constitution is the only thing standing between We the People and tyranny. We cannot depend on politicians' good behavior to protect us. Nancy Pelosi is a case-in-point.
The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived. ~James Madison
Nancy Pelosi said, "We have to pass the bill so you can see what's in it." Excuse me? That isn't how a democratic republic works! Especially after she promised more transparency, such as posting bills for 72 hours so we can see what's in them. Not that 72 hours is sufficient for us to see what's in a 2000-page behemoth like health care reform.
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. ~James Madison
So Nancy, good bye, and good riddance! I hope you never darken our bath towels again!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Do We Do Now?

We have just witnessed the most dramatic election of our lives, if not the history of our Republic. The worst thing we could do now is hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. The people that we just elected to replace the current regime will not behave if we do not watch them like hawks.

I would like to suggest that we contact our public servants early and often, on every issue that concerns us. Please remember to ask, "Where in the Constitution did We the People give you the authority to do that? " For local officials, substitute the word "constitution" with "charter". Encourage everyone you know to ask the same question. Encourage bloggers, and reporters in the mainstream media to ask the same question. Write letters to the editor asking the same question. I want this question to "go viral" nationwide.

If more and more people start asking this question, I think most of our worst political problems, in all branches and all levels of government would go away by themselves, almost overnight. When a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi that question about the healthcare bill, her deer-in-the-headlights response was, "Are you serious?" Well, we are serious, and politicians should be afraid to step out of their offices without a credible answer to that question. That is the only "litmus test" that we need.

It really takes so little effort, that it is at least worth a try. The beauty of it is, this really should appeal to honest people from anywhere on the political spectrum.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arguing With Idiots -- For Dummies II

Never argue politics with anyone without first asking, "Where in the US Constitution do you find the authority for the proposed policy?" If they can find it, then argue. Otherwise, end of discussion.

Hollywood Actress "Gets" the Constitution!

This article on Breitbart TV, Conservative Actress Janine Turner Rallies for Joe Miller; ‘Follow the Constitution’ is great. Janine is one of the "constitutional literates". I thought she blew it on the Medicare question though.

Janine: The correct answer to the medicare questions is, "Medicare is clearly extra-constitutional, and it should be migrated to the states, or the people. Because of the dependency it fosters, it is inhumane and politically unfeasible simply to terminate it, but a transition to a constitutional format is imperative if the Constitution is to have any meaning at all." You get a B+.

These things take time, and we can't fix everything overnight. We have to start moving in the right direction though.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Not a Conservative; I'm a Preservative

I used to call myself a conservative. But I'm not a conservative, I'm a preservative. Conservatives are merely fiscally responsible, and optionally, socially conservative policy wonks. Conservatives constantly have to argue each policy with the 'progressives'. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes they lose their will. Sometimes they lose their way. Sometimes they compromise.

"Preservatives" want to preserve the founding principles and our nation's political heritage for future generations. Preservatives simply ask, "Which article of the US Constitution gives government the authority to do that?" Preservatives demand that our politicians follow the original intent of the same Constitution that they took an oath to uphold and defend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ballots, Not Bullets; Voluntary, Not Mandatory

Our most honorable founders gave us a government in which we could alter the course with ballots, not bullets. They also gave us a government that would address public policy in ways that are more voluntary, and less mandatory.

Things are getting less voluntary, and more mandatory all the time. Before we cross the line where bullets are the only recourse, we need to reverse course. Time to lock and load those ballots, folks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Find the Constitution

November second is coming. It's hard to say how this will all go down. If we manage to get enough new blood in Washington over the course of the next few elections, we might be able to repopulate our three branches of government with politicians who won't respond with, "Are you serious?" when someone raises the question, "Where in the Constitution do you find the authority for the proposed action?" Otherwise, we will crash, and then we'll all have to pick up the pieces and start over. In that case, I hope someone manages to find the Constitution in all the rubble.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oppressive Government

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with a woman about politics. I mentioned that I felt that government was too oppressive. She replied, "I don't think our government is oppressive". I had to wonder what she thought real oppression would feel like.
Here is a quick run-down:

  1. Government is in my wallet.
  2. Government is in my paycheck.
  3. Government is in my employer's HR department.
  4. Government is in my glove compartment.
  5. Government is in my car's engine compartment.
  6. Government is in my steering wheel and door panels.
  7. Government controls owns my car's manufacturer.
  8. Government is in my gasoline.
  9. Government is in my medicine cabinet.
  10. Government is in my toilet.
  11. Government is in my shampoo.
  12. Government is in my washing machine.
  13. Government is in my light sockets.
  14. Government controls my power company.
  15. Government controls my gas company.
  16. Government is in my television set.
  17. Government controls my television station.
  18. Government is in my radio.
  19. Government controls my radio station.
  20. Government is in my telephone.
  21. Government controls my telephone company.
  22. Government is in my computer.
  23. Government is trying to control controls my internet.
  24. Government is in my liquor cabinet.
  25. Government is in my gun cabinet.
  26. Government is in my ammo locker.
  27. Government is in my air.
  28. Government is in my water.
  29. Government is in my back yard.
  30. Government is in my lawn mower.
  31. Government is in my garden supplies.
  32. Government is in my food supply.
  33. Government is in my grocery store.
  34. Government is in my refrigerator.
  35. Government is in my pants.
  36. Government is trying to control controls my diet.
  37. Government controls my doctor's office.
  38. Government controls my hospital.
  39. Government controls my medical insurance.
  40. Government controls my charities.
  41. Government runs my retirement fund.
  42. Government controls my parenting.
  43. Government is in my kids' school.
  44. Government controls my kids' college financing.
  45. Government is trying to get into my kids' minds.
From the moment I get up in the morning to the moment I close my eyes at night, practically nothing I use, or touch, or love, is immune from government regulations, mandates and taxes. I can see my liberty diminish by the day. With very few exceptions, only the most trivial decisions are left up to me anymore. After having taken from me all my life, and not being content with spending my kids' future now, they will make sure my kids don't get most of whatever I happen to have left when I die. How is that not oppressive?
There is practically nothing that the government controls or regulates that we do not already have the tools in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to handle on our own.
Send me your suggestions and we'll keep adding them to this list.

Times Sq. bomber sentenced, warns of more attacks

From an article in The Washington Post:
NEW YORK -- The Pakistani immigrant who tried to detonate a car bomb on a busy Saturday night in Times Square accepted a life sentence with a smirk Tuesday and warned that Americans can expect more bloodshed at the hands of Muslims.

"Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun," 31-year-old Faisal Shahzad told a federal judge. "Consider me the first droplet of the blood that will follow." (Continue reading...)

America's ruling classes and Muslim apologists object strenuously whenever one of us says we are in a religious war. The strange thing is, the people we're in the religious war with, say it all the time -- and I quote, "Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun". I do not think I could put it any more succinctly if I said it myself. How long are we going to ignore this threat, and pretend it does not exist? How far do we take tolerance and diversity? I believe in being tolerant, but I draw the line at cultural suicide.

I know, I know, this guy is a crazed outlier. He would have to be crazy to try to target innocent civilians. There are tons of moderate Muslims. But right up to the time he tried to set off the bomb, he fit the profile of a "moderate Muslim". Well educated, seemingly assimilated, and so on.

The judge cut him off at one point to ask if he had sworn allegiance to the U.S. when he became a citizen last year.

"I did swear, but I did not mean it," Shahzad said.

This illustrates the concept of taqiyya -- religious deception: According to Islamic doctrine, Muslims are allowed to lie to avoid persecution, a right that jihadists use to cover anything to further the cause. So whom can you trust? I would not say, "You cannot trust any Muslim" without them saying it first. Personally, I would advise, "trust but verify" whenever verification is physically possible. Otherwise, you logically cannot trust anything Muslims say about their religion, its objective or their part in it.

Islam is a political system disguised as a religion. In regimes where Sharia law reigns supreme, people become Muslim in name only, simply to avoid persecution and death. In this country, taqiyya suggests that I can't be sure what they're doing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Objective Truth

If all truth is relative, as post-modernists and 'progressives' believe, then one man's truth-claim is as good as another. But my truth-claim is that truth is objective. Therefore, truth is objective. ~ Q.E.D.

Are 'Progressives' Just a Bunch of Big, Inconsiderate Slobs?

I know it's probably prejudiced of me to generalize, but I have a few data points that show that actions speak louder than words (although the actions are related to the words). Since pictures are worth a thousand words, at 30 frames per second, videos must be worth gigawords.

Here is the aftermath of Barack Obama's immaculation:

I'll go out on a limb here, and assume there weren't a lot of tea party types in attendance. Now here's an article that compares the immaculation with the aftermath of the tea party march on Washington D.C. ... Oh, and here's the aftermath of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally (there is a stack of garbage bags at 0:51, ready for convenient pick-up):

And here's the aftermath of the "One Nation" rally:

Are you picking up a pattern here? 'Progressives' talk a lot about responsibility, protecting the environment, but look what they do to it. They talk a lot about compassion and social justice, but look what they leave for other people to clean up. They're like kids. They want other (more successful) people to take care of them, to provide for them, and clean up after them.

You would think that the "One Nation" rally organizers would have gotten a clue after the Obama immaculation, and at least hired some cleanup staff. Of course, the tea partiers and the "Restoring Honor" crowd cleaned up after themselves. And the D.C. Park Service said they left the area cleaner than they found it. Now, no doubt, the 'progressives' will eventually become embarassed by this comparison, and their "solution" will most likely be in the form of more government regulation and infringement on our right of assembly. They have shown that they can't be trusted to clean up after themselves, so they'll invoke the heavy hand of government to force everybody to do the right thing.

Having volunteered on the Bellingham Tea Party cleanup detail, I can tell you that tea partiers are a tidy crowd. Before our first tea party, I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to find little or no trash left behind after the event. Since I had to police the area anyway, and I had the trash bag with me, I picked up stuff that was obviously there before the event. We left the place cleaner than we found it. And that my friends, is what we mean by "responsibility". No government regulations required -- just a little respect for others.

Update: More here.

By Their Creator

I sent the following letter to Barack Obama in response to his remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 33rd Annual Awards Gala:
Dear President Obama,

In the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson writes:
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. (Emphasis mine.)
In your remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 33rd Annual Awards Gala, you quoted this passage, but deliberately omitted the words “by their Creator”. In so doing, you have changed the entire meaning of this important statement. Let me break it down for you.
  1. Thomas Jefferson makes a truth-claim: “We hold these truths to be self evident,” meaning that this is a fundamental truth, a given.
  2. He goes on to say what his truth-claim is: “that all men are created equal,” meaning that there are no natural-born monarchs, aristocracy or commoners. We are all commoners.
  3. Jefferson then further states: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” meaning that we have birthrights that no government can bestow, and that no government can alienate.
  4. Finally, he lists but three: “that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Which is to say, there are many more, of course. The number is, in fact, infinite.
By expurgating “by their creator”, you remove the critically important statement that we have birthrights that no government can bestow, and that no government can alienate, thus paving the way for a statist utopia, or statist hell, more likely.

Mr. President, you claim to be a Christian, so I must assume that you believe in God, the Creator. Nevertheless, even if you do not, Humanity exists, so something created us – if not God, then evolution – unless God created evolution … but I digress – we have a creator.

If you want to know what your natural rights are, try this thought experiment: Imagine that you and your family wake up tomorrow morning, naked in the Antarctic wilderness – no government, no society, only your naked bodies. What are your rights? They are infinite. You can do whatever you want. There is no government or anyone else to tell you what to do, or what not to do. You will probably want to exercise your right to find shelter, food and clothing first. You might want to exercise your right to defend yourself against wildlife that would consider you their lunch. Conversely, you might want to consider making the wildlife your lunch. I’m just saying.

The point here is, there is no natural right simply to receive shelter, food and clothing. It is your right – and your responsibility – to work for it by whatever means available, if you wish to survive. Now, for the sake of argument, let us say that you stumble upon a remote settlement of humans. Do they give you food, shelter, or clothing? There is no government to compel them to do so. They might have compassion, or they might think you could help them to survive. Therefore, they might voluntarily decide to help you. However, if you or anyone else tried to take their things by force for your benefit, they would be within their rights to defend themselves against the theft. Now, think again about the proper role of government, and about the limited powers enumerated in the Constitution.

Karl Uppiano
Everything below the line was cut off by the word limit imposed by the White House website.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Things Could Get Pretty Messy

A friend sent me this article from the Wall Street Journal:
'Look, we know we screwed up when we were in the majority. We fell in love with power. We spent way too much money—especially on earmarks. There was too much corruption when we ran this place. We were guilty. And that's why we lost."

That's the confession of Eric Cantor, the 47-year old congressman from Richmond, Va. If Republicans win back the House in November's elections, Mr. Cantor would be the next majority leader—the second most powerful post in that chamber behind the speaker. And he could be Barack Obama's worst nightmare. (Continue reading...)

In this article, I hear a lot of conservative policy talk, but not any 'preservative' founding principles talk. Conservative values without adherence to the founding principles, as embodied in the US Constitution, won't hold up. We found that after Reagan, and after the Republican revolution in 1994.

I make a distinction between "conservatives" and what I like to call "preservatives". Conservatives are merely fiscally responsible, and optionally, socially conservative policy wonks. "Preservatives" are people who want to preserve the founding principles, and our nation's political heritage for future generations. And the US Constitution backs us up.

Conservatives constantly have to argue each and every policy with the 'progressives'. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. Sometimes they lose their will. Sometimes they lose their way. Sometimes they compromise. Preservatives, on the other hand, simply have to ask, "Which enumerated power in the US Constitution authorizes the proposed action?" If it isn't constitutional, it isn't constitutional. End of discussion. It doesn't matter if it's a Republican initiative or a Democrat initiative.

There are some who try to make the US Constitution into a rubber ruler (activists on the US Supreme Court). But we have the founding documents, written in plain English: The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and of course, the US Constitution. It isn't hard to keep people honest if we know our stuff, and pay attention. In the article, Cantor complains about the Obama regime being ideologues. We preservatives are, and need to remain, ideologues! The founding principles are an ideology with proven merit. They also still happen to be the law of the land!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nancy Are You Kidding?

This story has evidently been around a while, but it only came to my full attention a few days ago. Funny, I would have expected our objective media to make the big deal about it that it deserves. But noooo ...

In a nutshell: when asked where the Constitution authorizes congress to order Americans to buy health insurance, the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi said: "Are You Serious?"

I'll pause for a moment to let you reflect on just how dangerous this is. I can only think of two scenarios to explain this -- neither of them good:

  1. Best case, the speaker of the house is simply a constitutional illiterate, and she doesn't understand the principle of enumerated powers.
  2. Or worse, she might think the enumerated powers have become anachronistic, and somehow just don't apply to congress anymore.
In either case, I would say
[kachack!] Ms. Speaker! Move! Away! From the controls! You're tyrannizing people! ... I know you think you're helping ... somehow ... but this is tyranny! Now stand down, before I have to send in the S.W.A.T. team! [kachack!]
No Nancy, we are not kidding. We the People are deadly serious. The US Constitution is still our only defense against tyranny, it is still in force, and we demand that you obey it. If our republic survives this regime, I hope that "Are you serious?" will go down in history as Nancy Pelosi's "Let them eat cake" moment.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~ C. S. Lewis

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whitelisting and Blacklisting

In the field of computer security, we have the concepts of whitelisting and blacklisting. When deciding whether to accept data from an untrusted source, we have to figure out a way to determine whether the data is safe or not. There are two ways to do this: We can make a list of all the unsafe data, and reject it when we recognize it, or we can make a list of all the safe data, and reject everything else. Which approach to take depends on the kind of problems we are trying to solve, and which list is more manageable.

A whitelist is like a guest list. If you're having a party, you don't list everyone in the world who is not allowed -- a blacklist isn't feasible -- rather, you make a list of the people you want to attend.

Firewalls work on the whitelist principle. No service requests are allowed except for services we know are safe. Virus scanners work on the blacklist principle. They scan all files, looking for characteristics that are on the blacklist. Blacklists are usually difficult to maintain, and even if they're up to date, it is possible to miss a heretofore unrecognized new threat. That's why virus scanners constantly have to update their profiles at great expense, and even then, some viruses get through.

Which brings us to the constitutional principle of enumerated powers. James Madison, the constitution's primary architect, recognized that our rights come from nature, not from government, and that listing all of them is not feasible. Madison also realized that power is dangerous, and government is risky. Therefore, his design provided for a whitelist: the enumerated powers -- about 26 in all. These are the few powers that We the People agreed to cede to government to exercise on our behalf. Everything else is off limits.

When it came time to ratify the Constitution, the states were concerned about the federal government usurping their sovereignty. Some people were concerned about specific rights. It is apparent that these people did not fully understand the principle of whitelisting, and they were demanding a blacklist: The Bill of Rights ("congress shall make no law..."). Madison at first resisted this lobby, because it was contrary to his vision for the Constitution. He was concerned that people would concentrate on the blacklist, and ignore the whitelist. He eventually relented. Even so, the last two articles in the Bill of Rights, the ninth and tenth amendments, still attempt to whitelist government power:

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Now, 223 years later, we find our government completely oblivious to Madison's principle of enumerated powers, and We the People are fighting just to defend the scraps remaining in the Bill of Rights.

James Madison was bloody well right!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Burning the Koran is Offensive and Provocative...

...but so is building a victory mosque at the site of the 9/11 massacre. The difference is, the Korans will only burn for an hour or two, but the mosque is permanent.

The Koran burnings will be used as a tool by the 'progressives' to marginalize the religious right, and win more elections this November. I know people are frustrated, but this is a bad tactic.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm Not an Islamophobe, I Simply Reject Their Doctrine and Culture

The right to reject someone's doctrine and culture is fundamental to the American form of government, and consequently, our culture. People do it all the time, whenever they have an argument about politics or religion.

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Anti-Alinsky Cookbook? Anyone? Please?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are followers of Saul Alinsky. The left have embraced Alinsky's principles, as described in his book Rules for Radicals. I have a copy of this book in my house, but I find it so nauseating that I haven't read all of it yet -- but I know his rules.

Some have suggested that the right could use Alinsky against the left just as effectively as they have attacked conservatives, but I find the concept so disgusting that I am loathe to do that. If those are the new rules, then I suppose you play by the rules, or die.

I'm just wondering though: Is it possible to develop a cookbook of strategies and tactics that would blunt Alinsky's tactics, while using Truth and Reason to promote Liberty and Justice for All?

Friday, September 3, 2010

If Government Were Less Intrusive, Politics Would Be Less Divisive...

...and lobbyists would be irrelevant. If our politicians would follow the principle of enumerated powers in the Constitution, it wouldn't matter if your senator is pro-life or pro-"choice", whether he is a "young earther" or a "progressive". Good leaders would stick to the powers that were originally intended, leaving We the People -- and the states -- at liberty to make our own destiny.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Glenn Beck Rally "Predominantly White"

Mainstream news coverage frequently characterized Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally last Saturday as "predominantly white". WHO CARES?!? The American population is "predominantly white". It's the national demographic, for crying out loud.

The media keep trying to paint the tea parties as racist. But a racist is someone who allows race to cloud their judgment and affect their policy decisions. My fellow tea party compatriots and I would welcome more participation in our events -- of any race. We offer more upward mobility and freedom of all kinds than the 'progressives', who only see minorities as helpless victims, perpetual dependents, and a potential voting bloc. Who's the real racist?

The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich had this to say about the tea parties, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and all the other scary white people.
ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

Vive la révolution!

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.
(Continue reading...)

First off... bankrolling "the" tea party would be very difficult, since there isn't one tea party. There are many, independent tea parties, and the ones that I have first-hand experience with rely entirely on donations from local businesses and individuals. They do not get any outside funding. Others have partnered with "parent" organizations such as Freedom Works or Tea Party Express (the latter an arm of the RNC, if I remember correctly).

While I prefer the grass roots approach (it's less corruptible), I am not scandalized if someone with lots of money wants to support the right principles. The way I see it, as long as George Soros is funding left wing causes, we need some heavy financial hitters on our side. Like everything in politics, it isn't a perfect situation. The more power is concentrated, the worse things get. Our founders knew that, which is why they hit upon the principle of enumerated powers and a federation of states as the best model for government.

Stephen Hawking: God was not needed to create the Universe

The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe, Stephen Hawking has concluded.
(Continue reading...)

And what preceded the Big Bang? Could it be a void, without form? Or was it a previous universe, fresh from the Big Crunch? Where did the laws of physics come from? Or the material for the current Universe? The laws of physics describe some of the universal mechanisms reasonably well, but they provide no existential insight.

Too bad "the hawk" decided to take the leap from science to philosophy. You can argue whether God created the universe (and with it the laws of physics), but the fact that the laws of physics can explain the Big Bang, and nearly everything else, doesn't prove or disprove the existence of God. What's more, we don't know all there is to know about physics. I believe quantum mechanics, string theory and a unified field theory are all still giving us big problems.

Someone said "you can never see the face of God". I think the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and the fact that information never can exceed the speed of light pretty much guarantees that we'll never know everything. We think we're so damn smart.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Never Give Up! Never Give Up! That Ship!

Hey there friend, you say you were living your life, raising your kids, and you woke up one day to discover that arrogant politicians were taking liberties with your liberty? That they were trying to fix the economy with the very same things that they used to break it? That they're risking your job and your family's security? You say that they're spending your kids’ future to pay for their own bad policy decisions? That you're tired of idiot politicians who say "we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it"?

And then -- and then, when you and your neighbors finally organize, and take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations simply to demand better government, they call you RACIST?!? Is that what's bothering you, cousin?

Well STOP IT! Educate yourself! Read the Constitution (it's only 19 pages)! Find out which politicians disregard their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution! Find out which candidates are constitutionally literate and fiscally responsible, and work to get them elected! Remember in November to elect constitutionally literate, fiscally responsible leaders!

If We the People don't regain control of this ship, and change course -- and fast -- we WILL hit that iceberg looming ahead of us. And we'll have precisely the government we deserve.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Muslim or Christian?

Rush Limbaugh dedicated his whole show on Friday to whether Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, but it was the mainstream media who decided to start polling on that issue.

There are people who think that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all basically the same. Nothing could be further from the truth, as most religious people know. Get some Methodists to discuss Mormons, or vice-versa and see what happens. They're both nominally Christian.

Islam, unlike most other major religions, has a very strong theocratic doctrine. It is therefore a relevant first amendment question to know whether Barack Hussein Obama is Muslim. His father was a Muslim, which makes Obama legally a Muslim according to Islamic doctrine. This is actually something that should have been discussed seriously and openly during the campaign. It's a bit late to be talking about it now.

If Muslims continue pushing for Sharia Law (or Sharia compliance, as Muslim apologists are now calling it -- to make it sound more compatible with the free exercise clause), it will dramatically and dangerously distort the original intent of the first amendment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick II

I saw this in a blog the other day:
I believe in "moderate muslims" the way I believe in giant squid: I've never actually seen one, but every once in a while a dead one shows up somewhere.
I completely agree with Barack Obama (?!?) when he says that the Muslims have every constitutional right to put a mosque near ground zero. The free exercise clause guarantees that.

Where I differ with the president is that decency and respect should make Muslims instinctively realize that this would be a bad move. But if it is in their culture to erect a monument wherever they have achieved a conquest; to establish a beachhead at the site of their victory, then it is with cultural awareness that we should realize that it is not unconstitutional to prevent that. If we need to declare ground zero as "hallowed ground" then so be it.

This would not be a religious issue except for the fact that Muslims do not distinguish between politics, religion and conquest. The fundamental separation of church and state that we Americans understand, is antithetical to the people who attacked us, and to the people who want to build the mosque. It is a culture clash of biblical proportions, and the 'progressives' who are always mewling about 'diversity' and 'cultural sensitivity' ought to try some real cultural awareness for a change. Republicans should not back away from this issue. It is fundamental, and it will help, not hurt their election prospects.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Least Qualified, or Least Principled?

Adapted from a speech that I gave at the Bellingham Tea Party ice cream social, on Friday, August 6, 2010.

How many readers know what the word kakistocracy means? Here it is again: kakistocracy n., pl. -cies. Government by the least qualified or least principled citizens. [Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad; -cracy, government, regime]

The unqualified don't know the terms and conditions set forth in the Constitution. They don’t know what they're doing, and they don't know what they're not supposed to be doing. They're simply wielding power over us, without direction or constraint. They might mean well, but they're unauthorized.

George Bush said "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." He attempted to justify government usurpation of our Constitutional rights. He showed that he didn't know what he's not supposed to do -- very disappointing.

C.S. Lewis said "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

But as bad as it is to have unqualified leaders -- who know not what they do -- unprincipled leaders are worse. Much worse.

Unprincipled leaders know the terms and conditions in the Constitution; they simply disagree with them. They see the Constitution as an impediment to their agenda, so they employ Machiavellian tactics to subvert the official specification for the United States of America. They work tirelessly to misrepresent the founding principles in schools, universities and the media.

The Constitution guarantees equal justice for all, and protects your life, liberty and prosperity. Any regime that distorts or disregards the Constitution is untrustworthy and dangerous.

Who's unprincipled? The usurper-in-chief and his minions and henchmen, Eric Holder, Rahm Emanuel, and a long list of unelected czars. About half of the Supreme Court who proclaimed -- in their confirmation hearings -- that they do not believe that the Constitution means what it says, or says what it means. They believe the Constitution is a "living document", to be interpreted as needed to achieve "social justice" instead of "equal justice".

But Bush is gone. Obama is here, and he's far more dangerous, in my opinion. We need to be aware of the danger, while simultaneously understanding Constitutional principles. The Obama presidency might be an interesting turning point, if we take away the right lessons. If McCain had won, I think we would have continued sleepwalking through history, instead of waking up. McCain and the others would have continued to usurp our liberties and mindlessly erode our constitution. Barack Obama's regime, on the other hand, is conducting a full frontal assault, with the pedal to the metal. And people are freaking out. Still, he'll do a lot of damage even after he's done. He's already appointed two justices who are the most radical and anti-Constitutional in our history. They'll be there for at least two generations, and they'll do untold damage. Bush's appointments won't do that.

If we hope to preserve our republic, we must elect principled statesmen who understand the founding documents. Who know the Constitution, chapter and verse, and who can explain where in the Federalist Papers, the supporting arguments can be found. This country has no room for kakistocrats of either kind.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick

The proposed Muslim center at ground zero, called the Cordoba house, is a thumb in the eye to all who died there on 9/11. It is the Muslim culture to erect a mosque on sites that they have conquered. Even the name "Cordoba" is a historical reference to the Muslim conquest of Spain. The city of Cordoba was an Islamic caliphate in the middle ages. This is a very symbolic gesture to Muslims, and it should be a chilling one to us, too. Our ignorance of their culture, and our slavish PC devotion to "diversity" will be our downfall.

The Muslims are using our liberty against us. It is illegal and unconstitutional to prevent the construction of this building. That's because our laws, and the Constitution are based on Judeo-Christian values. When cultures who do not respect those values infiltrate our borders, we have a catch-22. Islam is fundamentally incompatible with the first amendment. I always thought it was a catch-22 for the Muslims, but it appears that they have twisted things around so that it's a catch-22 for us.

I'm not sure what recourse we have, but it might involve civil disobedience. Our laws won't help us here. My position is that Muslims can erect a Cordoba house at ground zero just as soon as Christians can erect a cathedral in Mecca, and not a moment before.

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We the People

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Racism -- What Is, and What Isn't

A racist is someone who allows race to cloud their judgment and affect their policy decisions.

Any group that demands constitutional government and equal justice for all is not racist.

A Letter From the President!

I received this (form) letter from Barack Obama:
From: Barack Obama
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 5:31 PM
To: Karl Uppiano
Subject: Change

Karl --

When you and I set out on this journey three years ago, we knew that ours would be a lengthy struggle to build a new foundation for this country -- one that would require squaring off against the special interests who had spent decades stacking the deck in their favor.

Today, it is clear that you have shifted the odds.

This morning, I signed into law a bill that represents the most sweeping reforms of Wall Street since the Great Depression, and the toughest consumer financial protections this nation has ever seen. I know that I am able to do so only because the tens of thousands of volunteers who make up the backbone of this movement overcame the most potent attack ads and the most powerful lobbying the special interests could put forward.

Our special-interest opponents and their Republican allies have now set their sights on the elections in November as their best chance to overturn the historic progress we've made together.

(italics mine)

Frankly, I'm stunned. Build a new foundation for this country? I am afraid he's serious. Our founders gave us a fine foundation; we just need to get back to it. That would solve many of the problems that we face today. Whatever the special interests and the Republicans are doing had better be getting us back to the original foundation, or I won't support them either.

He rambles on, and finally gets to this:

But today's victory is not where our fight ends.

Organizing for America and I will move forward in the months ahead on the tough fights we have yet to finish -- even if cynics say we should wait until after the fall elections. This movement has never catered to the conventional wisdom of Washington. And we have fought to ensure that our progress is never held hostage by our politics.

You and I did not build this movement to win one election. We did not come together to pass one single piece of legislation. We are fighting for nothing less than a new foundation for our country -- and that work is not complete. As we face the challenges ahead, I am relying on you to stand with me.

Please donate $5 or more today:

Thank you for helping us get here,

President Barack Obama

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.
Contributions or gifts to the Democratic National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
This email was sent to:

(italics mine)

Barack Obama is talking about changing the foundation of this nation without the consent of the governed. What he is trying to do is not authorized by The Constitution, and thus would require at least one constitutional amendment; that isn't even being discussed. He knows that we would never agree to that, so he's simply crashing through it. This is how third world tin-horn dictators operate. I never thought I would live to see the day.

The Failure of Limited Government

Our founders realized that any government that works against human nature is bound to fail. Therefore, they designed a government that works with human nature, and man's desire to be free – a government with liberty and equal justice as its central theme.

The one place they had to compromise was in their realization that all politicians lust for power, and that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They implemented checks and balances, and tried to create a limited government – limited by The Constitution and further limited by the Bill of Rights (in case people didn't "get" the enumerated powers in The Constitution).

Limited government is the one place where the American form of government bucks human nature, and guess what? It is the only place the original design has failed. No one can say we have limited government today.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quotes by C. S. Lewis

Here are some brilliant quotes by C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Of course, just because I agree with them doesn't make them true, but I believe them.
  • We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
  • You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
  • There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
  • Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
  • Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
And I saved the best for last:
  • Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Big Fat Hairy Demagogue

Mr. President, I heard your Independence Day address where you said,
We celebrate the principles that are timeless, tenets first declared by men of property and wealth but which gave rise to what Lincoln called a new birth of freedom in America — civil rights and voting rights, workers' rights and women's rights, and the rights of every American, and on this day that is uniquely American we are reminded that our Declaration, our example, made us a beacon to the world.
(emphasis mine). Men of property and wealth? But despite that fundamental flaw, we finally managed to overcome that handicap? Is that what you're saying Mr. President? Barack Obama, your property and wealth is worth more than that of at least 95% of American's will ever be. Since you are wealthy, does that devalue your principles? I'm calling you on your shameless Marxist attempt to slime the founders while pretending to give them props.

The founding principles are quite different from yours, you know. Those men of property and wealth said that human rights are a birthright [from the creator], they do not flow from any government [welfare, affirmative action], and no government, no man, can take them  away [taxes, regulation].

Furthermore, Mr. President, by signing the Declaration of Independence, those men risked far more than you ever have -- their fortunes (although they were not all rich, a fact that you conveniently omitted), their families, their lives -- so that you would have the liberty that you so obviously do not appreciate, or even approve of. Don't bother to deny it, I already know what you think. You have made no secret of it, and the Internet remembers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Uphold and Defend

I have been crafting a statement about the Constitution and our founding principles that is both simple and powerful at the same time. Something that could be a plank in a party platform. Something that works as a sound bite. Something that could "go viral" on the internet. I think I finally have it:
The US Constitution is still the official specification for the United States of America.
It guarantees equal justice for all, and protects your life, liberty and prosperity.
Any regime that distorts or disregards its original intent is untrustworthy and dangerous.
Please help this go viral. Ask candidates what they think about this statement. Ask candidates who agree with it, to use it in their campaign. Ask candidates who disagree with it, to defend their position. Ask tea parties to use it in their messaging.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Founding Principles For Dummies

Sometimes people think that this nation's founding principles are inaccessible or difficult to understand. Actually, they are dead easy.

We have two main documents: The Declaration of Independence, and The United States Constitution. The Declaration of Independence (the preamble, mainly) describes the principles and values that the founders embraced (the why). The Constitution is the specification for the government that would implement those values (the how).

Here is the why:

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

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive 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.

(Emphasis mine). The document then goes on to list the grievances against King George and the government of England. This is why we fought the American Revolution. I quoted the entire preamble, because it is as beautifully written English as I have ever seen.

The highlighted section describes the simple principles to be specified by the Constitution and implemented by the federal government. Thomas Jefferson (the primary author) asserts that it is a given that all men are created equal, and not birth station, race, or gender sets them apart. That they have unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to name only three (the actual number is infinite, and cannot be listed). Unalienable means that no man and no government can bestow or deny these rights, because they belong to the individual.

Therefore, the only powers that a government has, must come from individual citizens delegating their authority to the government. The US Constitution enumerates the powers that each of the three branches government has -- about 26 in all. All the rest (an infinite number) belong to the states, or the people. Because the list is infinite, it is only possible to list the ones we grant to the government, and not the other way around. The states and the people ratified the US Constitution, thereby agreeing that We the People delegate to the federal government, 26 of our unalienable rights. For the government to take on more rights and responsibilities without officially amending the US Constitution would amount to usurpation and alienation of our rights.

Many of the states feared that politicians could not be trusted not to usurp their authority. There was fear that some states would not ratify the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, felt that the enumerated powers and the consent of the governed would be sufficient to prevent usurpation. He felt that listing certain rights would focus attention on those rights, and thereby make usurpation of other rights just that much more likely. Madison relented; therefore, the first ten amendments comprise the Bill of Rights. Just to make sure, though, the tenth amendment says,

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Re-iterating Madison's contention that the government can only assume rights and responsibilities delegated to it by We the People.

It turns out, James Madison was right: Over the past 100 years, the federal government has usurped rights without our consent; without any corresponding constitutional change granting that power. Politicians' lust for power and control is so pervasive that enormous bureaucracies have usurped so many liberties, that we are now fighting just to protect the scraps in the Bill of Rights. For example, the first and second amendments are in serious danger with things like the Orwellian "fairness doctrine", "net neutrality" and gun control.

The Constitution Is a "Living Document" -- Not!

As an outgrowth of the post-modernist movement (the philosophy that there is no objective truth, and that everything is relative), comes the "progressive" claim that the US Constitution is a "living document". Post-modernism raises self-serving B.S. to the level of an academic philosophical movement that claims that everything means pretty much whatever you want it to mean -- even things written in the past by authors who had a very specific meaning in mind. Post-modernists claim that it is possible to "discover" meaning that even the original author did not envision. It strikes me more as a license to make stuff up, than any sort of rigorous discipline.

I don't know if post-modernism grew out of a conscious effort to deconstruct the Constitution, or if "progressives" picked up on post-modernism as a tool to misrepresent its original intent. I have to doubt that even the "progressives" believe that the Constitution is a living document, though they might have convinced themselves through constant repetition.

One has to wonder, though, what use any constitution is, if it can mean whatever anybody wants it to mean -- in particular, those in power. What protection does it afford against tyranny? Balancing liberty and government power was the original intent of the Constitution. Deconstructing the Constitution renders it inoperative, and endangers everyone's liberty. If parts of the Constitution have become obsolete, we amend it according to the procedures specified therein -- by the consent of the governed.

The Slavery Issue

"Progressives" like to argue that the founders were hypocrites for all this lofty talk about liberty, yet they owned slaves. This argument is so easily refuted, that I find it interesting that they still use it. However, most people are not familiar with any evidence to the contrary. Why is something so important not taught in school?

John Adams recalled in 1822, how the Continental Congress arrived at the decision to have Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence:

The subcommittee met. Jefferson proposed to me to make the draft. I said, 'I will not,' 'You should do it.' 'Oh! no.' 'Why will you not? You ought to do it.' 'I will not.' 'Why?' 'Reasons enough.' 'What can be your reasons?' 'Reason first, you are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second, I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third, you can write ten times better than I can.' 'Well,' said Jefferson, 'if you are decided, I will do as well as I can.' 'Very well. When you have drawn it up, we will have a meeting.'

A meeting we accordingly had, and conned the paper over. I was delighted with its high tone and the flights of oratory with which it abounded, especially that concerning Negro slavery, which, though I knew his Southern brethren would never suffer to pass in Congress, I certainly never would oppose.

(Emphasis mine). Well, I had never heard about this before. What did Jefferson say about slavery? A few seconds after Googling "declaration of independence first draft", I had this. Near the end of the list of grievances, Jefferson writes:
he [King George] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
Those do not sound like the words of a man who endorses slavery! I never saw that in school! What I do see is all kinds of sordid innuendo about Thomas Jefferson and his slaves by "progressive" historians. Why then, did Jefferson own slaves? Well, life isn't simple. He inherited them. Jefferson knew that he could not simply free his slaves without a viable environment to release them into.

The reality is that it was politically unfeasible to abolish slavery at the time of the revolution. Before we could do that, we had to win our independence. Then we had to get a Constitution ratified. Neither of which could have happened if the founders had forced the slavery issue. Even with the principles of liberty and freedom in the founding documents, it nearly destroyed this country when we finally did get around to it. The United States was one of the first nations officially to abolish slavery. The founders were among the first to propose the ideas of individual liberty and self-government, implying the abolition of slavery as part of a system of government. It took a while for policy to catch up in practice.

The founding documents are crucial to our continued liberty and protection from tyranny. The US Constitution is still the official specification for our United States. It protects liberty and justice for all, your individual liberty and your property rights. Any regime that distorts or disregards its original intent is untrustworthy and dangerous.