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.