Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Charlie Gibson - Derelict or Dishonest?

The ACORN videos have been available on-line and reported on by Fox News television for nearly a week. It has been the hot topic on talk radio for several news cycles. There have been interviews, scripted statements, firings, threats of lawsuits, you name it. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate took action, adopting an amendment to a transportation and HUD appropriations bill that would de-fund ACORN.

But from ABC, NBC, and CBS? Silence. The New York Times? Nothing. The Washington Post? Not a peep.

If it does not fit the template, big media ignores it.

Big media bias has been well-documented for decades. They used to at least pretend objectivity, but even that is now out the window. They are no longer biased, they are active propagandists.

And their deportment exhudes hubris. If they do not report it, then it is not news-worthy. Obviously.

Enter Charlie Gibson on a radio interview this morning in Chicago. Here is the transcript:

Don: Ok here’s my question, Senate bill yesterday passes cutting off funds to this group called ACORN. Now we got the…we got that bill passing, we got the embarrassing video of ACORN staff giving tax advice on how to set up a brothel with 13 year old hookers. It has everything you could want corruption and sleazy action at tax funded organizations that’s got government ties. But nobody’s covering that story why?

Charlie Gibson: (laugh) I don’t even know about it. Uh, so you got me at a loss, I don’t know. Uh, uh, but, but My goodness if it’s got everything including sleaziness in it we should talk about it this morning.

Roma: This is the American way…

Charlie Gibson: Well maybe, maybe that’s one you just leave to the cables.

Roma: Well I think that this is a huge issue because there’s so much funding that goes into this organization and it’s a multi…

Charlie Gibson: Well, I know we’ve done some stories about ACORN before but uh, uh this one I don’t know about.

Roma: Jake Tapper did some blogging on it. I know he’s at least blogged once on this scandal.

Charlie Gibson: You guys, you guys are really up on the uh on the website.
For audio click here.

So here we have the news anchor for ABC news. If anyone is going to be the last one to know about something it is not going to be him, right? I mean, we're talking about Charlie Gibson, not Ron Burgundy. Aren't we?

Or maybe he is Ron Burgundy. Either that or we have a blatant ideologue masquerading as an objective news anchor. Those are our choices. But objective, intelligent news anchor? That is not a conclusion we can draw with any credibility. Charlie, himself, does not leave us that option.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama Stage a Coup?

I have heard rumblings of this over the last few months. It is a reflection, I think, of the growing fear that regular Americans have of government, and the immense swing to the left that Obama has attempted to take us on in his first few months in office. Add to that Obama's radical associations and the Chicago-style one-party politics that are Obama's forte, plus the fact that he stubbornly marches forward with his agenda in spite of the overwhelming opposition of the population at large, and you have ample reason for many people to entertain these fears.

But, says Bruce Walker at American Thinker, these fears are not likely to materialize. Here is his column. (or go here)

Some conservatives have begun to openly wonder if Obama is going to seize power in America. Would he want to do this? Perhaps so (a scary thought, but he has promised change.) No one dreamed that Carter, the worst president of the last century, wanted or planned to seize power. Clinton wanted to win power, but the worst anyone expected of Clinton was Huey Long bossism.

Obama rose in politics through the thoroughly corrupt one-party government of Chicago. His spiritual advisor sounds like a rabble-rousing storm trooper. His intellectual mentor, Saul Alinksy, like the Bolsheviks and Nazis, believed in state terrorism. If Obama wanted to follow their leads, could he? I believe not.

Once it became clear that Obama was acting without any pretense of constitutionality, he would need muscle to back him up. Yet the greatest source of that muscle, the United States Military, loathes Obama as much as he loathes them. He would need intelligence, yet his maltreatment of the CIA ensures that those operatives would toss more bananas peels in front of him than real information should he make an extraconstitutional move.

Obama would also need the police, yet the President’s comments about a Cambridge policeman, a member of what has to be among the most politically correct force in America, shows the natural antipathy between Obama and law enforcement officers. The police, “pigs,” to the crowd that Obama belonged to as a community organizer, cannot be a solid support of any seizure of power.

What about the civilian national security force promised by Obama during the campaign? Conservatives are much more likely to be veterans and own guns than leftists. The creation and coordination of a real civilian army would also profoundly antagonize all state and local police forces.

Our federal system still exists, although states’ rights have declined greatly, but state governments still exercise real power (as several governors demonstrated in rejecting stimulus funds.) Nazis, Soviets, and Fascists all had to first crush federalism before gaining absolute power. States founded America, something almost unique among nations – state governments still have a special role in our United States. Crushing states completely would be very hard and very risky.

Beginning a coup or a revolution from above, as some fear Obama may do, also presumes that the revolution will end in a certain direction. If Obama and his elitist cohorts began a revolution, it would surely end: but how? Not only are the military, the CIA, and the police generally disgusted with Obama, but the ideological sentiment of the American people is profoundly out of step with Obama.

In every single state of the nation, according to a recent Gallup Poll, conservatives outnumber liberals. Consistently over the last decade, including the most recent, Battleground Poll, sixty percent of Americans call themselves conservatives. It is impossible to imagine conservatives support a leftist coup or revolution from above.

But the problem for Obama would extend beyond that. Attempting something like a seizure of power could be expected to alienate vast numbers of moderates and many self-defined liberals as well. Probably three-quarters or more of Americans would oppose any practical effort to end democracy, suspend civil rights, or end the Constitution which was open and clear.

Even his political party would have nightmares about any attempt by Obama to seize political power. The consequences of failure, which would be likely, could be a conservative counter-revolution. More likely, though, would be an electoral nightmare for Democrats which would last for decades. This is why a seizure of power is unheard of in the English-speaking democracies of Britain, Canada, America, Australia, and New Zealand.

The British Parliament, in which the Labour Party has huge majorities, has the theoretical power to pass a law which ended the requirement for new elections at least every five years. The Labour Party could simply make its power permanent. This would not even be an unconstitutional seizure of power. Yet no one believes Prime Minister Brown would ever propose that or that he could persuade his party to accept that. Even though he will be thoroughly trounced in the next general election, there will be an election in about nine months.

Politicians need elections just like lawyers need lawsuits. Without contested elections, Congress becomes as irrelevant as the Reichstag after Hitler got the Enabling Act passed. So even Obama's own party, or much of it, would oppose a seizure of power.

Finally, if Obama attempted an effective seizure of power and provoked a real national revolution, the repercussions for Democrats and the left in a successful counter-revolution could lead to a second American revolution in which vast amounts of political power could be explicitly returned to the states, the role of government in our lives precisely defined, the semi-divine status of judges overthrown, and power returned to the people.

Could the leftist choke hold on the media prevent a new revolution? Well, the left has tried to stop the Tea Party movement and the Town Hall protests with no success at all. Polling data shows the increasing ineffectiveness of the establishment media in controlling American’s thinking and actions.

Obama is not going to try to seize power, because he would fail utterly and damn his precious radicalism for decades in America. What he will do is what his predecessors on the left have done: acquire power through Fabian tactics; win one battle (like increasing union bosses’ power) and then move to the next lever of power in government and society. That is the dangerous path we have been on for many decades. We need to fight the very real enemies, not imaginary ones.
For an alternative viewpoint (sort of) click here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Bizarro World of Babylon D.C.

Only in Washington D.C., where the real world and the ethos of the common people seldom enter, could the spectacle of last night and this morning have taken place. As I contemplate these things, it causes me to muse on that magical, mystical place . . .

We shall call this chimerical city Babylon D.C. Behold its mystery and mayhem!

First, we have King Barack I, whose wardrobe consists of the world's finest oratory. A quick check with the opinions of all the smartest and most beautiful people will squelch any doubts about that. Just ask them. These, in fact, whether one asks them or not, are always at the ready to remind us of that indisputable point. Barack I is the finest orator to have ever ascended the throne of Babylon D.C. To say otherwise, to doubt such hyperbolic orthodoxy, is akin to saying he has no clothes on at all!

Next, we have the Democrats, champions of the people! These brave heroes never miss an opportunity to stand up for fairness, justice, and the little guy, thumbing their considerable noses at special interest groups, big corporations, and evil right-wing Nazis like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Truth is their Gibraltor and they will fashion that Gibraltor on their potter's wheel into whatever form best suits their political ends. We might point out that one cannot be a champion of the people while robbing individuals of their rights and property, but in doing this we prove ourselves to be just the mind-numbed minions of Rush Limbaugh. We should learn to think for ourselves . . . think like Democrats! We must be at one with the beautiful and important people. Watch them as they hail the great leader!

And watch the Republicans follow suit! Those evil neo-cons are always trying to destroy our democracy by standing in the way of the smart and beautiful people. They dare to offer an alternative--themselves as the wiser, safer central planners. They seek to show us a better way. "Let us grow government, yes," say they, "but let us grow it leaner and more efficiently, and in slower increments." We might point out to them that the end result is still the same, a bloated distortion of the founders' intent, but they only respond, "Reagan! Reagan! I was a foot soldier with Reagan!" And so they applaud the great leader as well, and admire his fine clothing.

Behind King Barack I sits Lady Pelosi, Duchess of Ditz. She wanly smiles, fearing to overdo it lest the royal botox injections should be stressed at the overmuch pressure. Above all things, Lady Pelosi desires, nay lusts, to obtain and to wield Barack's scepter, to take his reins and turn him in whatever direction she chooses. It is her agenda he is pushing, or is it vise versa? Who wields the scepter when it is just the two of them behind the scenes?

And for what reason has this regal assemblage been called? Is it a call to war? Is the kingdom at stake? Must some catastrophe be averted? It is all three. This coven has gathered to expose and then cast out that infernal disease, that enemy of the state, corporate greed, along with its sibling, profit, and its progenitor, irresponsibility (that wicked criminal which has ever haunted us under the pseudonym freedom.)

Silence ensues as King Barack pauses to begin his speech. The willing crowd is mesmerized at his electrifying elocution, his dynamic diction, his resounding rhetoric. A thought pops into someone's head . . . this guy is wholly dependent on the telepromptor, what would, what could he do without it? But the thought is quickly squelched and evaporates into the oblivion as kingly rhetoric overcomes it.

"Black is not black," says the King. "It is white."

Everyone cheers.

"There are those who have been saying that black is black. Such in-sophisticants do not deserve our time nor attention. Nevertheless, they have poisoned the minds of many with their mis-information. Their words are false and deleterious. These are just pushing their corporate agenda. They are against reform just for the sake of being against reform. They make up facts. I am not just speaking of rancorous radio hosts or nefarious news programs on cable television. I am speaking even of politicians. In short, they lie." His mind's eye reaches out to the wicked witch of Alaska as he says it. "But I'm here to tell you tonight that black is white, has always been white, and never will be otherwise, not as long as I am king. Moreover, it is free! It will never cost anyone anything!"

"You lie!" hollers a young knave from the gallery.

Everyone stops. The king pauses, stutters, mumbles, then goes on. Botox bubbles appear on the rosy cheeks of Lady Pelosi seated behind the king. But, the moment is lost.

Finally the Liar is finished with his speech. The great assembly of liars and thieves is delighted. We shall work together. We shall overcome. We shall create utopia! But not until that young and foolish villain is brought under the iron fist, forced to bow the knee!

Before anyone can think what to do, old general McCrotchety speaks up and speaks out against such insolence as was brazenly and doltishly displayed by the upstart Congressman. He demands an apology.

And, thus, the young scallywag is brought forward and forced to submit, under the guise of decorum, as truth and integrity are assiduously ignored.

And so all the earls and dukes with their royal knights and ladies attendant leave, lying to each other about what has taken place, how important they all are, how great was their king's oratory, and how much good has been done for the people, while the lone honest man is censured.

Welcome to Babylon, D.C.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"The General Welfare" (re-visited)

Yesterday, I posted the following. After having done so I thought of some additional comments I wanted to make. You will find them at the end of this re-post.

"...promote the general welfare."

This little clause, found twice in the Constitution if I am not mistaken, is the favorite clause of the Left and the one used most often as a pretext to foist whatever form of wealth-redistributing, soft tyranny they wish upon the public. What did the founders, the actual writers of the Constitution, have to say about it?

First, James Madison.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson:
"With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the 'Articles of Confederation,' and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted."

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one...."
-- James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792

Now, Thomas Jefferson.

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817
It is worth noting that in the two founders I have quoted above we have both sides of the American political spectrum from the late 18th century represented.

That is, we have Madison who represents the Federalist party and who was one of the major contributors for The Federalist Papers, papers written in defense of federalism and for the adoption of the Constitution into law.

And we have Jefferson, who represents the Democratic-Republican party, the one opposed to the Federalist party.

So we have both sides of the political aisle in the late 18th and early 19th century, the time of the founding of the country, opposed to the modern idea that the "general welfare" clause should be used (abused) in the way it is today by many in both major parties.

Would you say we have drifted?

Would you say that to a man the founders would have stood against this sort of misuse of the Constitution to enable the federal government to do whatever it wanted? The only possible exception I can think of to that would have been Alexander Hamilton, and even he would have been far to the right of today's political center.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The American Form of Government

I ran across this gem while looking around over at the home page of Walter E. Williams, columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University. I had to bring it here, and though it is ten minutes in length it is well done and most certainly worth your time.

I'm thinking of putting it permanently, somehow, on the front page here, perhaps at the bottom.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Collective vs. the Individual

The heart and soul of the health care debate hinges on whether one holds to a theory of government which champions the collective or a theory of government which champions the individual. This is evident both from the arguments I have heard proposed on the radio and from a reading of my on-line discourse with our Aussie liberal friend.

Whether it is Marxism, fascism, fabian socialism, Eurpoean-style social democracy, or even old-style monarchial systems, a common thread runs through all. That is this. There are a few elite people, an aristocracy or an oligarchy, who are more qualified to make decisions for the masses than the individuals who make up those masses. This is the modern Left, ironic that it should be so because it is the fallback position of most human government throughout history.

The Right, in this country at least, seeks to steer government away from a collectivist mentality and back toward the innovations and ideals of the founders of this nation . . . Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, et.al. These men championed the rights of the individual over that of the collective.

At least this is what the Right is supposed to be about. In recent years, however, it has been more or less just a lighter version of the Left.

The collective . . . "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Logical, is it not? At least Captain Spock thought so in Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan. But then Admiral Kirk showed him the nobility of the opposite viewpoint in Star Trek III, the Search for Spock.

(Don't you just love Star Trek references?)

The arguments for nationalized health care all run along this theme. They are the product of a collectivist mindset. How can we (the smart people, the beautiful people, the ivy-league-set) make society a better place? They cite statistics to prove, ostensibly, that their system would work better for society as a whole. Nevermind that they trample on the rights of individuals. That's not important. Nevermind that they take away the decision-making ability of individuals, most people don't know what is best for them anyway do they?

This kind of thinking can be seen in articles like this piece from the Los Angeles Times in which it is lamented that the states most vehemently opposed to ObamaCare are those which stand to benefit most from it.

Freedom is a dangerous thing. Individuals who have freedom often act very stupidly with it. They are free to eat what they want, so they overindulge, become obese. The Leftist aristocracy comes along and says, "We have a problem in society--too much obesity. What shall we do?" Then, as if they have been appointed the caretakers of individuals, they seek legislative answers to subjugate the freedom of individuals and stop this obesity "problem." This is what happened with smoking. This is what is happening with health care, right now.

(By the way, it is patently stupid to cite statistics on the general health of a society and believe that the only cause affecting that general health is the medical industry. As Captain Spock might say, "That is illogical." There are many other factors involved, including genetics, environment, diet, daily activity, cultural practices . . . I could not possibly name them all. But such is the illogic of the Left.)

The collectivist, be he a European social democrat, an English monarch of old, or a Leninist from Moscow, would seek to improve society as a whole at the expense of individual liberty. The United States of America, in contrast, has historically been the safehouse of individual liberty. Whether or not this works out best for society as whole--according to the theories of some Harvard elites--is unimportant. In America, the rights of the individual have always been more important than the needs of the collective.

At least until now.

We shall see what this Congress and this President do, whether they will uphold American traditions and values and stop this madness, or whether they will stomp on individual rights and thus stomp on everything our founders believed.

Let us hope and pray for the former.