Sunday, May 31, 2009

America's Last Mistake?

Edmund Burke said "Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state."

Simply put, our government is really no better than the men we elect to run it. And now, we have elected a usurper.

That the American public has made a mistake in electing a man that has never run any organization, and about whom we actually know very little, is something that can be chalked up to happenstance. However, having already assumed extra-constitutional powers in a way never dreamed of by any of his predecessors, having busted the budget in a way that has led to the greatest national debt in our history, with no end in sight and with nationalized healthcare looming, Obama’s popularity seems to show little sign of abating.

We peasants should be storming the gates. We should be gathering in Washington, torches ablaze and pitchforks aloft, by the tens of millions. The government is not only stealing our money, they are stealing our liberty. But instead, whatever is left of the American spirit threatens our President with only this: a "decline" in approval ratings to the low 60’s, and a Strongly Approve/Disapprove differential of 10%, making Obama still hugely popular.

With blind media complicity, the government has twisted, contorted and then finally simply shredded the constitution; "delineated powers" meaning whatever a particular branch of government decides it should mean on that particular day in order to accomplish its policy goals. Rule of law is lost – examples abound everywhere, from GM’s boardroom to a Supreme Court chair being readied for a Justice who promises to rule with “empathy.”

We like to think that the American public is made of sterner stuff – indeed, it used to be so. It wasn't too long ago that voters took Bill Clinton out behind the woodshed in his first mid-term election, giving us the Gingrich Congress and the Contract With America, a Congress that ultimately dragged Clinton kicking and screaming into economic prosperity, a prosperity for which Democrats take credit even to this day.

I would like to believe that the day of reckoning is coming for Barack Obama, too. I would like to believe that the current Congress will be swept from power in 2010, replaced with men who possess more…sanity. I would like to believe that the American people will embrace rugged individualism once again, that we will yearn to take care of ourselves and our families, and reject the government’s offer to be the milk-engorged mother of us all.

I’m just not sure I can believe it. And I wonder, when will that "offer" become an insistence?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cheney v. Obama on National Security: No Contest

Yesterday, in a stunning display of contrasts so vivid that it was practically blinding, Barack Obama and Richard Cheney squared off on the ways and means of fighting the War on Terror. Obama, as he so often does, revealed a lack of depth and an alarming naivet矇 – proving once again that he is effective only when he is in campaign mode or mouthing platitudes. As a leader? Not so much. In fact, not at all.

In the Obama White House, where political gain is the coin of the realm, national security is merely one more chip to be tossed into the pot.

Employing (because it is all he knows how to do) warmed-over, left-wing talking points, Obama repeated the hackneyed old mantra that the policies which kept America safe for 7 years after the tragic attacks of 9/11 have actually made America, well, less safe.

The logic is tortured, tired, and was best left on the campaign trail, where he fed it to the Kos crowd on a daily basis, and where they ate it up like a crunchy granola bar laced with hashish. In other words, it met all of their minimum daily requirements for Bush/Cheney bashing, got them high on America-hatred, and left them ravenously hungry for more.

Speaking from notes at the American Enterprise Institute, shortly after the President's teleprompter winked off, former Vice President Cheney simply took Barack to school.

Exposing Obama’s stump-speech rhetoric as a not-so-veiled partisan attempt to yet again demonize the former administration, Cheney laid out in clear and concise terms the thinking and strategy behind the Bush Administration’s response to the attacks on 9/11. In doing so, he exposed the mortal danger into which Obama puts the citizens of this country, the citizens he has sworn to protect.

Cheney:
In 1993, they bombed the World Trade Center, hoping to bring down the towers with a blast from below. The attacks continued in 1995, with the bombing of U.S. facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the killing of servicemen at Khobar Towers in 1996; the attack on our embassies in East Africa in 1998; the murder of American sailors on the USS Cole in 2000; and then the hijackings of 9/11, and all the grief and loss we suffered on that day.

Nine-eleven caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while, and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated. Throughout the 90s, America had responded to these attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis. The first attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a law enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact - crime scene, arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.

That's how it seemed from a law enforcement perspective, at least - but for the terrorists the case was not closed. For them, it was another offensive strike in their ongoing war against the United States. And it turned their minds to even harder strikes with higher casualties. [snip]

To make certain our nation country never again faced such a day of horror, we developed a comprehensive strategy, beginning with far greater homeland security to make the United States a harder target. But since wars cannot be won on the defensive, we moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks. We decided, as well, to confront the regimes that sponsored terrorists, and to go after those who provide sanctuary, funding, and weapons to enemies of the United States. We turned special attention to regimes that had the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction, and might transfer such weapons to terrorists.

We did all of these things, and with bipartisan support put all these policies in place. It has resulted in serious blows against enemy operations ... the take-down of the A.Q. Khan network ... and the dismantling of Libya's nuclear program. It's required the commitment of many thousands of troops in two theaters of war, with high points and some low points in both Iraq and Afghanistan - and at every turn, the people of our military carried the heaviest burden. Well over seven years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive - and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed. [snip]

In the years after 9/11, our government also understood that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. And in a few cases, that information could be gained only through tough interrogations.

In top secret meetings about enhanced interrogations, I made my own beliefs clear. I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program. The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.

Our successors in office have their own views on all of these matters.
By presidential decision, last month we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations. This is held up as a bold exercise in open government, honoring the public's right to know. We're informed, as well, that there was much agonizing over this decision.

Yet somehow, when the soul-searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth. The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question. Other memos, laying out specific terrorist plots that were averted, apparently were not even considered for release. For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.[snip]

...we promised an all-out effort to protect this country. We said we would marshal all elements of our nation's power to fight this war and to win it. We said we would never forget what had happened on 9/11, even if the day came when many others did forget. We spoke of a war that would "include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success." We followed through on all of this, and we stayed true to our word.

To the very end of our administration, we kept al-Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.

Along the way there were some hard calls. No decision of national security was ever made lightly, and certainly never made in haste. As in all warfare, there have been costs - none higher than the sacrifices of those killed and wounded in our country's service. And even the most decisive victories can never take away the sorrow of losing so many of our own - all those innocent victims of 9/11, and the heroic souls who died trying to save them.

For all that we've lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings. And when the moral reckoning turns to the men known as high-value terrorists, I can assure you they were neither innocent nor victims. As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

This is clear-thinking, honest leadership - something that is sickeningly absent in Washington these days. Richard Cheney has laid out in a clear and concise manner the dangers we face not only from Islamic terrorists, but from the halls of power in our own country. Many of us have taken heed, many have not. What remains to be seen is whether or not the voting public has the intelligence and courage to do something about it.

Indeed, I often wonder now if the majority of Americans even want to.

If you have not yet done so, I urge you all to watch this speech in its entirety; here is the link to the first part, the rest of the links are on the target page:

Part 1

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All You Need To Know About Mark Steyn...

...is that the man is a genius, and a powerful weapon in the conservative arsenal in the fight against tyranny. This article is adapted from a speech he made at Hillsdale College.

Imprimis

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ms. Pelosi, It's HAMMERTIME!

We have so much more intellectual firepower than the Left it is absolutely stunning.

One of the brightest stars in our firmament is, of course, Charles Krauthammer, a NYC-born, Canadian-raised, Harvard-Medical-School-educated genius. A diving accident while in med school left him paralyzed for life, but Charles continued his studies during a full year in the hospital and went on to graduate with his class.

The celebrated Dr. K was at one time, surprisingly, a speech-writer for Walter Mondale.

In this video he critiques the latest bit of stagecraft from that now-famous supergroup Nancy Pelosi and the Dissemblers - a press conference in which Ms. Pelosi skips, trips, stumbles and gavottes so clumsily around the truth it is positively dizzying. One can only imagine the hue and cry if this had been a Republican event.



"Her charge of the CIA lying to her is utterly implausible. Why would it lie to her and tell all the others the truth? It makes no sense at all; and it was refuted by the black and white Obama CIA memo –– not a memo out of the Prince of Darkness: Bush and Cheney; but Obama CIA –– would show that in the briefing in which she says none of this simulated drowning occurred, they had specifically told her about the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques that had been used on a prisoner, obviously, a month earlier."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ann Coulter: Hoot.

Though she causes the Left to erupt in paroxysms of sputtering rage, the Right is one lucky team to have Ann playing on their side. She wades into the Miss USA kerfuffle with this:
Not even Dick Cheney can incite the blood-curdling rage of liberals at the sight of a sexy Evangelical Christian. Paula Jones, Katherine Harris, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and, most recently, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, have all come under a frenzy of attacks from liberals.

Christians are supposed to be fat, balding sweaty little men with bad complexions. It's liberals who are supposed to be the sexy ones. (I know that from watching "The West Wing" and all movies starring Julia Roberts.)

But sadly for liberals, in real life, the fat, balding sweaty little guy with the bad complexion is Perez Hilton and the smoking-hot babe is Carrie Prejean.

This apparent contradiction incites violent anger in liberals, triggering their famous "fight or flight" response. So liberal masturbators are, once again, launching furious attacks on a beautiful Christian in a fit of pique similar to the one directed at Joan of Arc.

First, the Miss USA contest held a press conference to announce that Prejean had breast implants. Take a Christian position in public and Satan's handmaidens will turn all your secrets into front-page news.

Next, a photographer released a single cheesecake photo of Prejean. This prompted liberal reporters who have never met a Christian to proclaim that Christians were outraged by the photo. Liberals believe abortion is a sacrament, but smoking, wearing short skirts and modeling lingerie are mortal sins. (And if wearing women's underwear is a basis for being disqualified from the pageant, that's the end of Perez Hilton's judging career.)

Then on Monday some genuine "semi-nude" photos were released. These were not what we'd call appropriate for a Christian. In a curiously similar attack, the left's final attempt to destroy Paula Jones was to lure her into appearing naked in Penthouse magazine. Oh well.

Christians aren't people who believe they are without sin; they're people who know they're sinners and are awestruck by God's grace in sending his only Son to take the punishment they deserve. [snip]

Liberals used [her parents] divorce papers to argue that Prejean had some deep-seated psychological disturbance causing her to oppose gay marriage. Symptoms of this debilitating illness include a belief in some sort of "god" and a reverence for the Bible.

It's not as if Prejean's special talent in the Miss USA contest was to perform an opposite-sex marriage. (Or, as the president and I call it, "marriage.") She didn't even volunteer her "controversial" views on marriage. Rather, she was asked for her opinion on gay marriage and gave it -- in an answer wrapped in so many layers of sugar it took 10 minutes to get to the point.

"Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised, and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman."

What a vicious hate-monger! Any second there I was expecting her to bust out a "by golly!" or an "oh my gosh!" Angry gay-marriage supporters should be happy they didn't get my version of that answer. It contains some terms you won't find in your Bible. [snip]

I'm not sure we needed a psychological profile of Prejean to figure out why she holds the same position on gay marriage as: the president, the vice president, the secretary of state, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards and his mistress, and the vast majority of the American people.
Anyway, for those of us with a healthy prurient curiousity: Gay Marriage Opponent Topless Photos Leaked

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Obamaland, Getting Sick Could Be The Death Of You

The Thug-in-Chief had a sitdown this week with the bigwigs from the healthcare industry, both the insurers and providers. Can you picture Obama walking around the room with a Louisville Slugger in his hands, a la Al Capone? I can.

Needless to say, the meeting went well for the Pres, but not so good for me and you.

What came out of this little get-together was a pledge by the healthcare industry to save $2 trillion over the next ten years. Savings are good. Eliminating wasteful spending is good, too. Of course, what remains unspoken could kill you - and that is the methods that will be employed to save this $2 trillion. Here's a quick rundown on the most likely scenarios:

1. CUTS IN PHYSICIAN'S COMPENSATION. As the universe of those that require health care expands with the aging of the baby-boom generation, the incentives for students to enter the field will diminish as the potential compensation diminishes. Without the expectation of a big payday at the end of those long, hard years of study and self-deprivation, more and more of our best and brightest will finds other areas of interest. Fewer, and less qualified, doctors will be treating more and more patients - just the thought of it is enough to makes you sick.

2. LIMITED AVAILABILITY OF THE BEST DRUGS. It comes as no surptrise to learn that the newest drugs are often the best drugs, and the best drugs are the most expensive drugs. Well, if we are going to cut costs, perhaps the older, less effective drug might save us a few bucks. More people in Canada die of cancer than in the United States, and coincidentally, 44% of all new drugs to hit the market are priced out of Canada's healthcare system. The linkage is inescapable and real.

3. PREVENTIVE CARE WILL DECREASE - NOT INCREASE. It will be one of the first things to go under the rationing system that will have to be imposed to make the cuts a reality. Routine colonoscopies? Look in the rear view mirror and you might get a glimpse.

Dick Morris writes:
Obama's pretension that nobody will find changes in their current health insurance plans except for a magical reduction in their cost by $2,500 a year is a fool's proposition. Private health insurers will be no more private than TARP-funded banks or government-subsidized car companies are in Obama's America. They will be controlled by government health care planners who will approve treatments, limit drug use, hold down medical incomes and bring their cost-cutting programs to bear. Inevitably, their axe will fall on the oldest and the sickest among us, those least "deserving" of our newly limited and, under Obama's program, diminishing, health-care resources.


The other radical changes Obama is bringing about in our nation can always be reversed. New taxes can be repealed or lowered. That which was nationalized can be privatized. Government that has grown can be cut. But once the health care system is extended to cover everyone, with no commensurate increase in the resources available, the change will be forever. The vicious cycle of cuts in medical resources and cuts in the number of doctors and nurses will doom health care in this country. This wanton destruction will not be reversible by any bill or program. A crucial part of our quality of life — the best health care in the world — will be gone forever.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oklahoma, OK!

From the Tenth Amendment Center comes this:

In response to Governor Henry’s veto of House Joint Resolution 1003, Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key has reintroduced the resolution as House Concurrent Resolution 1028. Passage in both the House and Senate on a concurrent resolution will not require signature from the governor.

Introduced on April 29, 2009, HCR1028 is “A Concurrent Resolution claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers; serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates; providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed; and directing distribution.” (h/t AxXiom for Liberty)

Read the full text below:

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:


“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.”; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”, and the Ninth Amendment states that ”The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN:

THAT the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.

THAT this serve as Notice and Demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

THAT all compulsory federal legislation which directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.

THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation.

And a hat tip to Irene Keating for pointing out an excellent interview on the subject here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mr. Obama, Your Job Is to Ruthlessly Protect the People

An excerpt from the remarkable pen of Nicholas Guariglia:

Obama's remarks at this week's press conference cast grave doubts on his understanding of a president's most important responsibility.
Let’s play devil’s advocate and grant Obama all of his pretenses and premises: waterboarding is torture and the United States should never torture. Fine. But Obama still does not seem to understand the point of the American presidency. It is not to go abroad and apologize for our 150-year-old sins. It is not to ingratiate yourself to tyrants. It is not to run private industry. It is not to be on our television screens every waking hour. It is not to pose shirtless for magazines. It is not to dance with Ellen DeGeneres. It is not to serve one man’s narcissism. It is not to remind us to wash our hands before supper.

It is to protect the populace and pose as a vanguard for the citizenry, during the four or eight years that the office is temporarily in your hands. To do whatever it takes — even if it means Obama himself risks violating his own conscience and subjects himself to the possible whims of a foreign war crimes court. His solemn responsibility and obligation is to sacrifice his reputation, his career, his job, his political ambitions, his values, his preferences, his inclinations — even his life — to protect the American people. That is what we trusted him to do. That is what we elected him to do.

That is not what he is prepared to do.

One must wonder: how far would Mr. Obama go to save Sasha and Malia? What if, by some devastating travesty, President Obama’s daughters were to fall captive to al-Qaeda neck-slicers and an operative already in our custody knew the precise location of the two little girls? How far would Barack Obama — the man himself, as a terrified father — go to extract information from the detainee before him? Would he play loud music in his cell? Would he put him into an uncomfortable yoga position for a few hours? Would he pour water down his nose? And more importantly, wouldn’t he want to know the content of the memos that described which methods effectively worked against this particular detainee?

For if President Obama applies a different moral code to saving the lives of his loved ones than he does to protecting the country, he is undermining both the rationale for which the executive branch exists as well as his own intellectual honesty.

People of all political persuasions should be able to agree on three irrefutable geopolitical realities: 1) there are tens of thousands of people across this world who consider it a theological duty to destroy American cities; 2) these people are not going away soon and cannot be deterred, dissuaded, or bought off; 3) one way or another, these people will soon have the means to achieve their ends — probably within the decade, certainly within our lifetimes. This isn’t merely a possibility. It’s a probability. The only thing stopping this outcome is extracting information and quickly responding to actionable intelligence.

Let’s get serious, please. We cannot have a sincere discussion about what we should and should not be doing until we can weigh the pros and cons of a particular technique’s effectiveness. President Obama should allow the public to see what methods worked and then look into the camera and promise never to replicate those methods under any circumstances.

Only then will Obama’s pledge of being “judged as commander-in-chief on how safe [he is] keeping the American people” consist of political courage and backbone.


The entire article is here.