Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fundraising Message From Governor Sarah Palin

Comparing Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, it would seem that Governor Palin has significantly more extensive and more relevant experience. Governor Palin has filled an executive role, unlike Mr. Obama, who has been a United States Senator for a whopping two years. Funny that overpaid juggler Chris Mathews and the acrobats at AP have yet to raise experience questions about Mr. Obama, but they are quick to raise them with respect to the more experienced Governor Palin.

The following is a fund raising message that I just received from her:

Dear Friend,

I'm honored and humbled to join this historic campaign as John McCain's running mate. I feel privileged to join a man I admire and the man I know is ready to lead our country as the next president.

Some of life's greatest opportunities come unexpectedly, and this is certainly the case for me. I never set out to run for office. But life has taken me on a course that first led to the Alaska Governor's office and now the country's first female Republican vice presidential candidate.

I want you to know that John McCain and I will challenge the status quo in Washington. We're ready to address our nation's great challenges - from reducing our dependence on foreign oil to cutting wasteful spending and creating good jobs for Americans. I look forward to working with him to achieve every goal he has set out during this campaign to improve the lives of all Americans.

As the mother of a son serving in the U.S. Army and the commander of Alaska's National Guard, there is no doubt in my mind that John McCain is prepared to serve as our next Commander in Chief.

What I admire most about John McCain is his unwavering ability to put our country first and to ask for nothing in return for his decades of service. He's shown his resolve, toughness and strength of heart in the darkest of places; all in service to his country. This speaks volumes about the type of selfless leadership John McCain will bring to the White House.

Our team is ready to lead the country as the next President and Vice President of the United States. We're ready to win in November and we won't be able to do it without your support. If you want change in Washington, then John McCain and I are asking for your support. Please join our team today!


Governor Sarah Palin

P.S. Now is your opportunity to get involved and join our team. I'm proud to be John McCain's running mate and I'm ready pitch in and do my part to win in November. And that means asking you for a campaign contribution. Senators Obama and Biden have amassed a massive war chest - with hundreds of millions of dollars aimed at defeating me and John McCain. Will you help our campaign by making a generous donation today? Any amount you can give will go a long way in helping our ticket. Your support is appreciated. Thank you.

Brutally Honest about Sarah Palin

Rick of Brutally Honest just sent me a post on Sarah Palin. Rick is skeptical of Palin's qualifications, but it seems that McCain's choice is even more brilliant than I initially thought. With this choice he's bringing in disenchanted conservatives as well as women. These advantages were too confusing for juggler Chris Matthews and the acrobats at AP. I understand what Rick is saying about inexperience, but Palin has more experience than Obama. Obama has never served in an executive capacity. Plus, if the Democrats want to bring up the inexperience issue, then they have to confront this problem with Obama, especially since no one's sure where Obama was born.

Rick writes:

To say that McCain's choice for VP has conservatives panting is little like saying Al Gore's slightly bent. The buzz is enormous and you're guaranteed to read more about her, certainly here, in the days leading up to the election. Seems the more I read about her, the more appreciative I'm becoming. Beyond doubt, she is worthy.

Others think she's pretty fab too including this web-site devoted to Sarah Palin facts:

Sarah Palin isn’t allowed to wield the gavel at the convention because they’re afraid she’ll use it to kill liberals.
Sarah Palin once won a competitive eating contest by devouring three live caribou.
Sarah Palin once carved a perfect likeness of the Mona Lisa in a block of ice using only her teeth.
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.
Sarah Palin pick retroactively makes the theme of #DNC08 “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”
Sarah Palin doesn’t need a gun to hunt. She has been known to throw a bullet through an adult bull elk.
Tons more where that came from and there's also an edgily named site called with more.

Gerard brings us the "Best Palin Reaction Line of the Day":

"The smart liberals are worried. The dumb ones think they've won."

Lots of dumb to choose from too, whether it be here, here or here on this blog or, of course, over at the Daily Kos:

So it's official - John McCain has thrown a Hail Mary and tapped Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. The trad med types are ga-ga about what a game-changing choice Palin is. And they're right. It is a game-changer. The Palin pick takes a race already leaning toward Obama and pushes it further into his corner.

Why? Because Sarah Palin is the most unqualified VP nominee in modern history, with the possible exception of Admiral Stockdale.

She's worse than Quayle.

After his selection in 1988, Dan Quayle was rightly lambasted as a dim, inexperienced lightweight with no real pertinent experience who was named by George H. W. Bush as a gimmick - a case of an old, out-of touch candidate trying to appear relevant by teaming up with a much younger pol. Now, Palin's not Quayle - by all accounts, she's quite bright. But she's fantastically inexperienced, far more so than Quayle was when he was tapped. And she possesses an attribute far worse than Quayle's stupidity - she's a big corrupt wheel in Alaska's big corrupt Republican Party, arguably the most corrupt political apparatus in the United States.

It seems all the more boneheaded to bring up Dan Quayle when Obama makes him look like William F. Buckley.

Nevertheless, there'll be much more about Palin here, you can betcher britches on that... in fact, I've created a new category called Plainly Palincredible so that we can keep track.

H/T for the image to Rachel Lucas.

Day of Fast and Prayer For America's Election System

Nancy R is calling for a day of fast and prayer for America's election system on Sept. 4 beginning at 6 AM. Here is a prayer that she has e-mailed me:

1) Dear God of Heaven and Earth, the Universe and everything therein, creator and father of us all, hear our prayer, bend your ear down from heaven to hear the prayers of your people.

2) We thank you dear God for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to take on the sins of the world and die for us. We thank you even more that you raised him from the dead and that He now sits at the right hand of your throne.

3) Dear Father, you created our country on Judeo-Christian principles which we have all been guilty of ignoring. Father, we are guilty of having a form of godliness. We are entertained by a worldly mix of movies, television, music and internet that erodes our Christian values. We go to church on Sundays thinking the appearance of holiness is more important that seeking holiness.

4) 85% of Americans have a Christian orientation... Yet, more than half of us bow to the god of Political Correctness. Please Lord God, turn us back to you. Purge our sins from our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits. We are full of sin. Please Father, give us a renewed heart and mind for the things of God. Make us all "new creatures in Christ".

5) Purge us of lust for carnal things. Millions of us are addicted to the flesh in its many forms. Help us Lord to choose You, instead! Give us the promised victory Jesus, for "Whoever He sets free is free indeed".

6) Father, we pray for godly leaders. We pray that you will forcebly remove all traitors to our great land wherever they might be. Purge out the anti-Americans in Washington, in our Congress, House and Senate. Remove those anarchists on the Supreme Court who are ripping our beloved Constitution to shreds!!! Take out the professors in our universities who tell our children that wrong is right and that God is irrelevant.

7) Forgive us Lord for being the "silent majority"!!! Being silent has brought America to the breaking point! Energize us Lord... Let us be the "City on a Hill" and that we will be "salt and light" to a dying world. Give us boldness to do your will and not our own! Give us courage to do what you created us to do!

8) And finally, Dear Lord, give us a president who will bring us back to our core Judeo-Christian foundation, who will fight for the right to life of the unborn and define marriage as between one man and one woman.

9) The Bible tells us that when we pray and repent, God will hear our prayers, see our tears and heal our land.

John Locke and Supreme Court Rebellion

In his Second Treatise on Government (the first treatise having been a response to Sir Robert Filmer's argument in favor of the divine right of kings) John Locke argues for a liberal state that emphasizes freedom based on his argument that humanity in a state of nature enjoys freedom, and since people do not voluntarily give up that which they enjoy, government is moral only if its institution enhances freedom by protecting life and property. Government ought to protect property because most value comes from labor, labor can be converted into money and money does not spoil, so that property can be enlarged beyond use (paragraphs 45-8). In essence, the most talented can be motivated to expand production and so increase wealth beyond use and therefore society becomes wealthier because of the existence of money and the right to property. Despite two centuries' ideological objections by leveling, socialist, Marxist, pragmatist and deconstructionist academics, and Locke's dependence on a pre-marginalist labor theory of value, Locke's argument was pragmatically correct. Societies that retained the liberal impulse benefited, and as the United States has sacrificed the liberal impulse since the 1910s in favor of European-style social democracy, its wealth and the public's earning power has declined.

A major part of Locke's argument is that there is a right to revolution. He may focus on this because he wrote the Second Treatise at the time of the Whigs' Glorious Revolution of 1688 (it was first published in 1689). Monarchies, Locke argues (paragraph 90) are inconsistent with civil society because civil society is created to establish a mechanism by which conflict among individuals can be resolved peaceably, namely the courts, and if an absolute monarch controls the courts then there can be no civil society to resolve conflict between the monarch and members of the general public, that is, that the public is in a potentially violent state of nature with respect to any absolute monarch:

"Hence it is evident that absolute monarchy, which by some men is counted the only government in the world, is indeed inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil-government at all: for the end of civil society, being to avoid and remedy those inconveniences of the state of nature, which necessarily follow from every man's being judge in his own case, by setting up a known authority, to which every one of that society may appeal upon any injury received, or controversy that may arise, and which every one of the society ought to obey; where-ever any persons are, who have not such an authority to appeal to, for the decision of any difference between them, there those persons are still in the state of nature; and so is every absolute prince, in respect of those who are under his dominion"

Hence the necessity of an "appeal to heaven" under conditions of abuse by an absolute monarch.

Locke argues that just because we are born under a government, it does not necessarily mean that we are subjects to it. Rather, we become subject to a government by choice (paragraph 116):

"for those, who would persuade us that by being born under any government, we are naturally subjects to it, and have no more any title or pretence to the freedom of the state of nature, have no other produce for it, but only because our fathers or progenitors passed away their natural liberty, and thereby bound up themselves and their posterity to a perpetual subjection to the government, which they themselves submitted to. It is true that whatever engagements or promises any one has made for himself, he is under the obligation of them, but cannot, by an compact whatsoever, bind his children or posterity: for his son, when a man, being altogether as free as the father, any act of the father can no more give away the liberty of the son, than it can of any body else...

and (paragraph 122):

"But submitting to the laws of any country, living quietly, and enjoying privileges and protection under them, makes not a man a member of that society: this is only a local protection and homage due to and from all those, who, not being in a state of war, come within the territories belonging to any government, to all parts whereof the force of its laws extends. But this no more makes a man a member of that society, a perpetual subject of that common-wealth, than it would make a man subject to another in whose family he found it convenient to abide for some time; though whilst he continued in it, he were obliged to comply with the laws, and submit to the government he found there

Men and women enter into society because in a state of nature they are exposed to the "invasion of others" (paragraph 123):

"for all being kings much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justices, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very insecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however, free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property."

Critical to maintaining civil society is a legislature that does not and cannot exercise arbitrary or absolute (paragraph 135) authority, standing laws and authorized judges (paragraph 136, 137).

The end of government is the good of the community (paragraph 163) and when power is in the hands of a magistrate its purpose must be (paragraph 171):

"to preserve the members of that society in their lives, liberties and possessions; and so cannot be an absolute, arbitrary power over their lives and fortunes, which are as much possible to be preserved...And this power has its original only from compact and agreement, and the mutual consent of those who make up the community."

Obviously, if a society is based upon agreement, then it can be dissolved. Locke argues that Anglo Saxon culture was conservative (and the same is likely true of American culture) so that a right of revolution would be rarely exercised. But (paragraph 212 &214):

"When any one, or more, shall take upon them to make laws, whom the people have not appointed so to do, they make laws without authority which the people are not therefore bound to obey; by which means they come again to be out of subjection, and may constitute to themselves a new legislature, as they think best, being in full liberty to resist the force of those, who without authority would impose any thing upon them. Every one is at the disposure of his own will, when those who had, by the delegation of the society, the declaring of the public will, are excluded from it, and others usurp the place, who have no such authority or delegation...Whoever introduces new laws, not being thereunto authorized by the fundamental appointments of the society, or subverts the old, disowns and overturns the power by which they were made and so sets up a new legislative."

and (paragraph 227):

"when either the legislative is changed, or the legislators act contrary to the end for which they were constituted; those who are guilty are guilty of rebellion; for if any one by force takes away the established legislative of any society, and the laws by them made, pursuant to their trust, he thereby takes away the umpirage which every one had consented to, for a peaceable decision of all their controversies, and a bar to the state of war amongst them. They, who remove, or change the legislative, take away this decisive power, which no body can have, but by the appointment and consent of the people; and so destroying the authority which the people did, and no body else can set up, and introducing a power which the people hat not authorized, they actually introduce a state of war, which is that of force without authority; and thus by removing the legislative established by the society (in whose decisions the people acquiesced and united, as to that of their own will) they untie the knot and expose the people a-new to the state of war. And if those themselves, as has been shewn, can no less esteemed so; when they, who were set up for the protection and preservation of the people, their liberties and properties, shall by force invade and endeavor to take them away..."

Not being knowledgeable about the US Supreme Court, my understanding is that there are two basic views of Constitutional interpretation. One is that the Constitution needs to be interpreted in light of the intentions of the Founding Fathers and that in choosing to reside in America many Americans expressly commit themselves to this compact, and those who do not live here as peaceable strangers for want of a better place. Under this view the Constitution can be amended by two thirds vote of Congress and three fourths vote of the state legislatures or at a convention called by two thirds of the state legislatures and ratification by three fourths of the state legislatures. This model is consistent with Locke's ideas and is likely the way that the Founding Fathers anticipated the Constitution would be changed and the Supreme Court would interpret it. Madison, for example, anticipated problems with the republic as manufacturing grew and the country became larger. If there had been an alternative intent as to how to change the Constitution under such circumstances, it would have been written into the Constitution and the amendment process made easier.

The second model is that the Constitution is a living agreement that the Supreme Court can change. The Supreme Court itself has increasingly relied on this interpretation. For example, in elimination of the death penalty for child molestation this past June the Court relied on multiple extensions of the Constitution to the states and the meaning of "cruel and unusual punishment". This kind of extension may have begun in part for two reasonable purposes: how to adjust the Constitution to the growth of big business and civil rights abuses. These two reasons may have clouded the public consciousness about the role that the Supreme Court ought to be playing.

The Constitution does not provide for, and no one as far as I know has proposed a constitutional amendment to permit, the Supreme Court to legislate changing mores. Rather, this is an unauthorized usurpation of legislative authority. The Supreme Court has arrogated power and can exercise it arbitrarily based on its claim to be a moral interpreter of organic social change. This alone is consistent with the grounds that John Locke describes for revolution. The Supreme Court, in arrogating legislative authority through its one-sided claim to be an organic interpreter exists in a "state of nature" to the general public. No amount of legalistic argument or verbal acrobatics can change that.

But it gets worse. It does not seem likely that the Supreme Court's traditional claim to being a moral interpreter on behalf of society can hold true. The American public has increasingly divided into three camps: a small conservative camp, a small left-wing social democratic and a large moderate camp. The small conservative camp is made of traditionalists and a small number of disgruntled intellectuals. The social democratic camp is made up of university-trained professionals, such as attorneys, university professors, elite investment bankers and feminists. The large center is a more general cross section of American life.

There is little doubt that a disproportionate share of the Supreme Court Justices are Ivy League trained attorneys from elitist backgrounds and so fall into the social democratic camp. Their ideology deviates from the mainstream of America, and so they can no longer claim to fill the role of being a Constitutional interpreter on behalf of changing social norms. The social norms in which the Justices believe are deviant from the mainstream of America.

There needs to be a reassessment of the role that the Supreme Court plays, and the extent to which the "living interpretation" of the Constitution has exceeded its lawful bounds. Just having read the Second Treatise, it seems to me that Locke expressly supports a revolution against the usurpations in which the Supreme Court has already engaged.

Democracy In Inaction--Where Is Donald F. McGahan Now That We Really Need Him?

I just wrote the following e-mail to Bob Robbins, who inquired about responses to my efforts to obtain some administrative inquiry into the Barack Obama birth certificate question:

I posted the NY Board of Elections response in Postcards from the Edge. The NY Secretary of State told me that the Board of Elections handles this. It's probably a good idea to write to both because it varies by state. No other responses. In other words, I've written to my Congressman, the New York State Board of Elections, the Secretary of State, the IRS, the FEC, sent a petition to the FEC and all I've heard back in nearly a month is from the Board of Elections saying that they will think about looking into it. Democracy in inaction.

Here are links to the letters I wrote, they are on my blog:

Who Knows Where the Voter Fraud Goes?

On August 6 I noted that the McCain campaign needs to think carefully about fraud prevention. Yesterday, Pamela Geller(h/t Bob Robbins) covered an interesting story along the same lines:

PUMA* members were out and about in Denver trying to savor some of the ambiance when they were approached by a group of young people registering voters in Denver. They tried to register this group to vote — all of them are registered voters in other states. The young people never asked where they lived, only if they wanted to register to vote.

Bob also sent me a link to a Charles Krauthammer article in which Mr. Krauthammer wonders why there are no testimonials to Barack Obama's character. Whereas John Kerry could find a bunch of veterans and McCain has dozens of associates who will stand behind him, Obama has no one--he stands alone. Indeed, we cannot even figure out where he was born.

The mainstream media has been clownish with respect to its coverage of Mr. Obama because it has not functioned as one would expect of competent news sources. There have been few or no questions about Mr. Obama's past, his ethics, his associations in Chicago and the small matter of potential deception concerning his early life, to include allegations of forgery of his birth certificate.

The absence of "character witnesses" is consistent with my suspicion that Mr. Obama is a man who lacks character. What better way for a publicist to manage such a man's candidacy than to omit all history. This is very similar to how con men operate, and this is also why I have been suspicious for several months now about whether Mr. Obama may be exhibiting traits associated with sociopathy (also see here and here).

*PUMA stands for "Party Unity Up MY A** and is associated with disenchanted Clinton supporters.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Media Clowns

Media bias in favor of America's first Indonesian presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has me laughing to tears. The bozos at MS-NBC (perhaps to commemorate Larry Harmon, the most famous Bozo, who sadly died last month) claim that the Republicans are "frantic". The Bozos at AP assert (ha, ha) that McCain is undermining his strategy of emphasizing experience. Juggler Chris Matthews (the very name makes me chuckle) asserts that Joe Biden is a brilliant choice while acrobats at AP (giggle) claim that a minor investigation of Palin that Mr. McCain knew about before the nod is going to become a serious issue (sic). Never mind Mr. Obama's repeated lying in his book and his association with a Weather Underground terrorist and felon Tony Rezko. I'm not up that early, but I heard CNN begins its broadcast day with "Ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages..."

I have no doubt that Mr. McCain's strategic choice of Sarah Palin is excellent. She's more experienced than Barack Obama (she has actually served in an executive role) and he's strategically undercutting the Democrats on several levels.

The chief obstacle the Republicans have to overcome is the stupidity of the Bush administration--the big spending, lack of leadership, lack of vision and commitment to failed, social democratic ideas. With a great VP choice like Palin, the Democrats are likely to become increasingly confused.

Here is a fundraising letter I received from John McCain:

I am honored to announce that I have chosen Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as my choice for the Republican nominee for Vice President. As a father with three daughters, I can't express how proud I am to choose the first female Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.

Sarah Palin is a trailblazer and a reformer. As the first female governor of Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and has been a tireless advocate for reform - passing a landmark bill on ethics reform. She has taken on the old politics in Alaska and reformed the state's energy industry. She rejects wasteful pork barrel spending. She's fearless - exactly the type of leader I want at my side and the type of leadership we will bring to Washington.

My friends, together Sarah Palin and I make the strongest presidential ticket and I know that she joins me in asking for your support as we head into our Convention week in Minnesota. We're shaking things up in this campaign - and Governor Palin and I are ready to bring real reform to Washington.

The polls indicate this will be a tight race as we head into the fall campaign against Senators Obama and Biden. I expect the polls to remain close all the way up to Election Day and that is why any help you can give today will go a long way to make history on November 4th.

You may already know that I have decided to accept federal matching funds for the final months of this campaign- keeping a campaign promise I made. But that means that August 31st marks the last day I can accept your primary contribution. Will you make an immediate donation of whatever you can give- whether it's $50 or $500 to ensure Governor Palin and I win in November?

You can be assured that as President and Vice President, Governor Palin and I will always put country before all else. We are ready to lead and I ask that you join our campaign today. Your support is deeply appreciated.

Image Blocked
John McCain

P.S. I have chosen Governor Sarah Palin as my running mate and today we held a joint campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio. I hope you'll visit my website to financially support our ticket as we head into next week's Republican Convention. Thank you.

The Beginning of Cafeteria Societies

John Locke's Second Treatise of Government* makes the case that governments are instituted by the consent of the governed and that governments are instituted in order to maximize human freedom. Much of Locke's thinking was influenced by the American frontier, and it is evident that the Founding Fathers adapted Locke's work in their thinking about government in part because they saw the Declaration of Independence as a compact to which Americans freely consented. Locke saw the colonies as emerging in this way too. In chapter VIII, "Of the Beginning of Political Societies" Locke discusses how someone can consent to being a member of a political society. He argues that owning land in a nation or living there does not make a man a member of the society:

"this no more makes a man a member of that society, a perpetual subject of that common-wealth, than it would make a man a subject to another, in whose family he found it convenient to abide for some time; though, whilst he continued in it, he were obliged to comply with the laws and submit to the government he found there."

Locke sees the freedom to leave one's country of birth and to pursue citizenship in a different state as possible because of the existence of the American frontier. If one can pick up and move to a Pennsylvanian wilderness, then one has a choice. But such wildernesses no longer exist.

The impetus to adopt the Progressive ideology occurred right at the time that the historian Frederick Jackson Turner claimed that the American frontier had closed. The nineteenth century American belief in laissez-faire psychologically depended on the existence of a frontier. Part of the response to the sense of loss from the closing of the frontier and the end of expansive growth and (mistakenly thought) the beginning of decline, were imperialism and intensification of racism. Thus, the Spanish-American War, Progressivism and intensification of Jim Crow laws all occurred at the same time. These were all the product of a win-lose mentality, a belief that freedom is possible only when physical expansion is possible. Wilson and other Progressives believed that foreign markets would be necessary to sell "overproduced" American goods. A little earlier, economists like DA Wells had argued that "overproduction" was an ongoing problem and that business needed to consolidate. Progressives focused on the need for government to control big business. This way of thinking is the flip side of expansionism. Both are win/lose psychologies.

In a win-lose psychology, one believes that in order to gain, something must be lost. That was a primary assumption of mercantilism, and so the laissez-faire of the American nineteenth century was a mercantilist laissez-faire. It replaced mercantilism's emphasis on community with Lockean individualism but it retained the win-lose psychology of mercantilism. Thus, Jacksonian democracy was racist and focused on land expansion and suppression of the Indians.

The question that intrigues me about Locke's contractualism is whether it would be possible in a non-mercantilist, non-expansionist laissez-faire framework. The expansion necessary for increasing human welfare is mental, not physical. It is not a win-lose process, but a win-win one, whereby technological genius and creativity increment human welfare. This process is possible in all phases of the economy.

But not all Americans agree with this potential. America has become divided into factions. We are no longer a single people. In the nineteenth century there were ideological factions as there are now. Likewise, there were geographic and economic ones. The Civil War was fought for this reason.

But for the most part, the factions of the nineteenth century were not mutually incompatible. This was in part because of the frontier, and in part because alternative modes of government were still possible in the various states. Federalism still permitted considerable discretion among the states. As well, the states diverged on a few key issues, such as slavery, but all Americans shared a belief in individual liberty.

Today, the basic foundation of American culture and government is splitting into the America of liberal collectivism and the America of individualism.

Unlike the nineteenth century differences between the commercial interests of Boston and the agrarian interests of Virginia, collectivism is incompatible with individualism. The most important reason is that the collectivists or Progressives insist on centralization. They have accomplished this through educational systems; creation of an elitist psychology that has enabled the Supreme Court to deviate with respect to values from a large portion of Americans; and emphasis on collectivist federal programs such as Social Security and the income tax that require participation. Most of all, the Progressives have emphasized centralization, and do not tolerate state-level deviation from the broad Progressive program and will violently quell any individual resistance.

Locke argued that citizenship depends on agreement. Those who do not agree with the collectivist program ought to have some rights. So far, they have allowed the collectivists to intimidate them, and have acquiesced in seeing their rights whittled.

What might be a better approach? One might be the creation of cafeteria societies. Might Americans be allowed to choose among several alternative social structures? Why must all Americans make do with the failed ideas that Washington has imposed. In industry, benefit plans have been adopted that give employees a choice. Why can we not have two or three competing social security, welfare, taxation and health insurance schemes? Those who prefer low taxes and less benefits might choose one state, while those who prefer high taxes might choose the other. Democrats and Republicans could each have the system that they prefer. The two systems would be conjoined through a common defense and tariff policy, but Americans could begin to have governments that they believe in.

John Locke's idea of contractual government might point the way to a future that is characterized by flexibility and choice rather than the heavy, violent hand of collectivist Progressivism. America needs to think about how to reassert the basic Lockean compact.

*John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Edited with an Introduction by CB Macpherson. Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Publishing, 1980

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Need for Power

It is normal for politicians to display a trait that the psychologists David McClelland and Henry A. Murray called the need for power. The power need is not problematic unless, of course, it is combined with anti-social or sociopathic patterns. Of course, many politicians display these traits as well. Mr. Obama has repeatedly struck me as a conscienceless liar. His association with Bill Ayers, an alleged felon, Rezko, and two outlandish preachers, Wright and Pfleger, raise red flags stamped with the letter "s" for anti-social.

I received two releases this morning that Obama has already been displaying embarrassingly excessive power needs. First, Bob Robbins forwarded a youtube link to an American Issues Project ad that questions Obama's link to terrorist and progressive educator Bill Ayers. Instead of answering the ad, reports Worldnet Daily, Mr. Obama:

"is warning TV stations and asking the Justice Department to intervene in an attempt to block the airing of an ad by a non-profit group that links him to an unrepentant domestic terrorist."

I wonder how Mr. Obama will react to criticism should he be elected president. Will we see a renewal of the Alien and Sedition Act?

As well, Andy Martin just sent this press release:

>"In my opinion, Obama has a character flaw that compels him to equate differences of opinion with threats to his personal security. He has manipulated the Secret Service into a form of Soviet secret police. To protect him from his imaginary demons.

>"Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote recently that Obama now has a "security bubble" larger than President Bush's. Obama only became the official candidate this week. Milbank aptly called Obama the "presumptuous candidate." The bubble will no doubt grow. If Obama is elected--heaven forefend--the bubble will in time come to encompass all of downtown Washington. Who knows what threats could lurk beyond the horizon against a "President Obama?" Better to lock down America than risk Obama.

>"Fear is now the driving force in presidential politics and the presidency. No security measure is too extreme to merit rejection by the Secret Service. Our leaders become more and remote from the led. Is this healthy?

>"When you combine Mr. Obama's paranoia about threats to himself, with his equally self-destructive passion for control and secrecy, we have the making of America's first dictator. An African-American version of Richard Nixon. Democrats were the party that battled President Bush over FISA, but Obama defected from his party and voted for FISA amendments that gave greater power to U. S. intelligence and security agencies, and the president himself.

When you combine Mr. Obama's odd secrecy and lying about his upbringing and adoption; his inclination to associate with fringe, lawless characters, his aggresive efforts to suppress anti-Obama advertisements, and the taste for lying expressed in his book, I am deeply concerned about the mainstream media's incompetent inability to ask questions about Mr. Obama's character. If Obama does shatter democracy, it will be because Americans have allowed their institutions, to include the media but also party politics, dominance by factions and special interest groups and excessive federal power, to rot and wither.

Mairi Isn't Going to Take It Any More

I just received this e-mail from Mairi. How far along the road to serfdom does the United States need to travel before more of us wake up to the farce formerly known as the "liberal consensus"? Going beyond Mairi's suggestion of background tests, I think that all candidates should be required to undergo POLYGRAPH tests on issues voted on by their constituents, with the results publicly posted.

>"My name is Mairi, and you may have seen my e-mail on some recent e-mails you have received.

>I think all of us have learned a VERY valuable lesson from this election. Our government is NOT working! There is no process that verifies the qualifications of candidates. If or when a candidate IS found ineligible, there is no recourse to remedy the situation without filing in court, ( an expensive and frustrating remedy in any event). Having seen the process really "close-up and personal" in this election, one has to wonder if there are others holding office who are legally unqualified to serve. How would we ever know? I think many of us are scratching our heads saying, "How can this be? There are laws, is anyone protecting them?" I believe now that the answer is, "NO!"

>"I believe in my heart that America MUST come up with a viable third party, but that should wait. I think before we go there, we MUST make certain that the process itself changes. We cannot expect our elected officials to step up to the challenge, so the weight of reform will have to rest on the shoulders of brave men and women in this Country, willing to do the hard work, and face the ugly threats and challenges that may accompany it!

>"I am willing to do the work, but it must fall to MANY, and from EVERY State. We need to have term limits initiated in EVERY State for Senators and Congress persons. We have to safeguard the passing of legislation. "By and for" special interest groups and "Big Money" is no longer acceptable. I hope you have read about MBNA and Joe Biden. Just the tip of the iceberg as well we know. The situation in our Capital is "progressively" getting worse. ( that where they have come up with their "We are Progressives"? terminology do you suppose?) We also MUST demand that all candidates have background checks run. This is an outrage that no one has assumed the responsibility to insure that each and every candidate is legally eligible to hold the office for which he/she is running! Every State must have a board of elections, that not only checks in petitions, but actively and thoroughly verifies the status of every candidate. That same board should have the additional capability to remove from office, any person found to have obtained an office illegally. I know it sounds like LOTS of work, but think what the alternative is.......

>"The use of the internet should help in any endeavor, but it should not be relied upon solely. I think each State needs to have committees set up to force term limits to referendum! I believe the American people are savvy enough to see what is happening in Washington, and I believe they should be allowed to voice their opinion on this horrible situation.

>"Change must start somewhere, and I am praying you are willing to claim, "Let change begin with me!" The cost of sitting back and allowing further injustice, is just too great."


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Has Joe Biden Used Public Monies for His Wife's Private Purposes?

ReUnionPI just sent me the following:

>"Joe Biden's Senate-paid personal assistant, Tonya Baker, uses Biden's Senate office for conducting business for Jill Biden's tax exempt entity. See page 19 of tax return and compare the email address, telephone numbers and street address for Tonya Baker to what is on the Senator's web site at the bottom of the page for the Wilmington office. Examine the history of the federal tax liens of Senate employee Baker"

JJC Corresponds with Philip J. Berg Re Add'l Law Suits

-----Original Message-----
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 5:08 pm
Subject: Re: Illinois Just Says No To Contrairimairi

Thank you for you comments. I can tell you the DNC and FEC have been served. We are still awaiting for Confirmation of Service regarding Obama. If you are planning to file suit in another state, please have the attorney call me and I will be happy to assist with the information we have.

Thank you for your email and kind words. Please keep up the great job and continue spreading the word. Together we can make a difference!

Philip J. Berg, Esquire
August 25, 2008

Mr. Berg:

I am inquiring about the disposition of the lawsuit placed in PA regarding the legal status and eligibility of Mr. Obama.

This is a challenging endeavor, made even more difficult as the burden of proof exists with the plaintiff. To date, despite many attempts, no information or documentation has been made manifest. So, what should be a trivial issue to resolve, instead has festered through the tool of obfuscation and obstructionism by the Obama campaign into an open sore.

It appears that there is genuine doubt as to the actual truth in this matter. These doubts must be laid to rest as the stakes are simply too high to continue. In the event that his eligibility is removed, it could precipitate a genuine constitutional crisis. No matter what political stripe, we are all Americans, and this risk must be headed off before it can create great difficulty for our nation.

All of this could be resolved with a little transparency, but it seems that will not happen.

Mr. Berg, what is the process to file this petition in other states?

Are there attorneys who would be willing to undertake this project?


KL's Thoughts on the Berg Law Suit

KL supports Hillary Clinton. Here are KL's thoughts on Philip Berg's law suit:

>"Some may paint Berg as a crackpot, but this II Amendment bombshell needs to be defused and settled now, during the convention. He WAS adopted by Soetoro and his name changed. When did he change it back to Obama legally and where is the paperwork? How did he get back into the country, under which name? He was registered as an Indonesian national in school. He did travel to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport, not an American one. That use shows that he claimed Indonesian citizenship. That makes him a citizen of Indonesia after the age of 18, not America, unless he can prove taking the citizen oath after that. I do not think he can. At any rate, I think that makes him ineligible.

>"Check out the "bona fide" birth certificate at

>"I would like to see one actually signed by the registrar and not just rubberstamped. That would hold someone personally accountable and liable then. Why wasn't this just produced in the beginning? I also want to see the actual vault certificate verified. There are a lot of ObamaManiacs in Hawaii who may be capable of being bribed. Anybody can make a rubber stamp nowadays or use the embossed sealer without permission. They have certainly had the time to so. The certificate still says "African" for fathers race. There are white Africans also.

>"Also, he did not allegedly register for the Selective Service till September 4, 1980. He was supposed to register on any of the six days beginning Monday, July 28, 1980. Why so late? His registration number is supposed to be 61-1125539-1. Could it possibly be someone else's. Perhaps that of someone who has died and cannot contest or claim it? Could it be the only one they could numerically find closest to his registration date? Why did it take so long to produce and can we really trust the records now? Just seeing this on the net is not conclusive to me. Where is the photocopy of the genuine document itself. I now want to see it checked officially. Why did Obama not produce this information when first asked considering his very eligibility depended on it? How hard would that have been. The real document should be checked by a document examiner. Obama has the kind of money to get things changed and altered."

Letter Re Obama Eligibility to Texas Secretary of State

Katy from Texas has e-mailed the following letter to Esperanza, "Hope" Andrade, the Texas Secretary of State:

Esperanza "Hope"Andrade Texas Secretary of State
Phone: (512) 463-5770
August 26, 2008

Reference: November 4, 2008 Presidential Ballot Eligibility

Secretary Andrade:

Congratulations upon your recent appointment as the 107th Texas Secretary of State. Best wishes are extended for great success in your governmental endeavors. Your attention is respectfully requested regarding a significant ballot qualification issue.

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, and Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States, in relevant part declare:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.

No person except a natural born Citizen shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States

Further, legal requirements under relevant US Statutes as referenced without limitation, on the official US Citizenship and Immigration Services relating to Children Born Outside the U.S. Out of Wedlock, and the US Department of State, related to birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent, respectively:

I hereby file a public, formal complaint with the Texas Secretary of State requesting verification of the natural-born U.S. citizenship, and other legal qualifications of Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II AKA Barry Soetoro, and rejection and/or revocation of the:

Presidential elector candidate nominations for the Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States, and

Texas Presidential Ballot name placement, registration and recognition of Mr. Obama’s candidacy for President of the United States if that citizenship is not verified as described below within 7 days of your receipt of this letter.

Should the above prayer be rejected, in whole or in part, I further pray that:

The name of the Democratic Party Vice Presidential Candidate or such other Democratic Party candidates for President, Vice President and/or Presidential Electors, as may lawfully be substituted, be entered into the appropriate Texas Presidential ballot positions.

Mr. Obama has not shown that he fulfills the Constitutional requirement for president, to be a “natural born citizen”, Article Two, Section 1.

The basis for this complaint is:

1. Mr. Obama’s failure and/or refusal to produce a physical certified, stamped copy of his birth certificate, with the Hawaii file number visible, upon repeated requests of myself and others.

2. Significant analysis of the electronically-displayed image displayed by Mr. Obama on his official campaign website indicates forgery and/or alteration of the certificate of live birth.

3. The electronically-displayed image displayed by Mr. Obama on his official campaign website has the Hawaii state birth certificate filing number blacked out, eliminating any objective information that links the image to an actual certificate on file (see

4. Such other irregularities, inaccuracies, contradictions, misrepresentations, errors, gaps, omissions, violations and/or alterations and the like, as may subsequently come to light.

If Mr. Obama produces a certified, stamped copy of the original birth certificate with all information visible, I request as the complainant to see that document in person to examine its authenticity, including electronically, before you finalize its response; and the opportunity to verify the authenticity with the issuing state official. This process should require no more than two business days, and may take place in at your office.

If the certificate is not produced in 10 days and verified by you and myself within another 5 days, this complaint requests that Mr. Obama’s registration as a presidential candidate be rejected by the State of Texas because he has failed to document his eligibility to hold the office of President.

I ask for expedited formal response and resolution of this request, given that the national convention furthering the candidacy is underway, and given that this document is easy to produce upon personal request of Mr. Obama to the Hawaii state government. Please note you can request it directly, as qualifying under Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18 has having “a direct and tangible interest in the record.”

This request is made with the utmost respect for Texas laws, the presidential election process and the candidates involved, in the desire to resolve this question quickly and confirm their integrity. If a similar request is appropriate to be made to all presidential candidates it must not slow down this specific request.

If you decide that you do not have jurisdiction in this matter, please respond within three business days of receipt of this complaint with the state agency or other governmental organization that is responsible for enforcing Article Two, Section One of the Constitution that requires natural-born citizenship for candidacy for the president of the United States. Please include the basis for such jurisdiction by that agency or organization.

Please provide prompt notification, should a fee be required for this prayer. Should any irregularity be found in this request, please provide me with an opportunity to cure such defect in a timely fashion. I am a Texas citizen and registered voter and therefore an interested party in this matter.

All American citizens share an abiding regard for the election process. Your diligent efforts to safeguard the integrity of this vital process are appreciated

Return Address

William Appleman Williams on Thomas Jefferson and the Federal Reserve Bank

Jefferson "worried lest the bank in time become an institution that cut across all regional and political lines. Doing so, he reasoned, it would subvert the authority of the states and hence replace or override them as an institution in the political economy. It would do so moreover, outside the constitutional framework. This would not only recast the entire balance of power that the constitution established, but the bank would effect the change as an institution which was not in any way directly responsible to the people. He feared the end result would be a kind of 'vassalage' imposed on both the individual and the government.

"...It was an astute analysis of the relationship between economic power and its social and political consequences, and our modern industrial corporations, together with the Federal Reserve Board itself have verified it."

----William Appleman Williams, Contours of American History,Chicago: Quadrangle Paperbacks, 1961, 1966, p. 190.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Progressivism: Motion as Substitute For Structure

The history of the American frontier reflects the mercantilist perspective that new markets and expansion are necessary to economic growth. Progressivism carried forward the mercantilist view in a number of ways: the corporatist view of the state; the view of planning as essential to economic growth; the attack on freedom of enterprise; and the view of the feudalistic arrangement of society whereby elites represented by Theodore Roosevelt would occupy the upper stratum and the peasant cum manufacturing masses represented by Samuel Gompers would be committed to reciprocally responsible relations. Progressivism substituted the expansion of government programs for the expansion of the frontier. But the expansion of government destroys rather than creates wealth, so that Progressive mercantilism is ultimately self destructive.

Nancy Calls for Fast, Divine Intervention to Protest Obamfuscation


On 9/4, 10/4 & 11/4 I would like to call a corporate fast and prayer for God to intervene on our behalf to stop BHO. We've done all we can possibly do to stop him and we need divine intervention now... Just looking for others who would like to petition the gates of Heaven to repent and ask God to restore our Judeo-Christian foundation.

Each fast would start at 6 a.m. on the 4th and end at 6 a.m. on the 5th (24 hrs.) Water and/or grape juice only to represent Jesus Christ's life and sacrifice.

I know some of the Old Testament prophets would call the entire population to fast for an extended period of time, sometimes 3 days. The more people we can get onboard, the better!

If President Bush would call a fast, this would be preferred but I don't foresee this happening... so it seems it's up to us, the grassroots!!!

Hope it sounds good to you! Please pass this invitation on to your friends and family!

Thank you very much!!!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Illinois Just Says No to Contrairimairi--JJC Responds

Contrairimairi is trying to clean out the Chicago yards, but Daniel W. White, head of steer on the Illinois dung hill, does not care. Were only HL Mencken alive.

Contrairimairi writes and JJC responds:

>"Please excuse any typos, but I am VERY angry at the moment! Just spoke to "Gary" at the Springfield Board of Elections. I asked when the filing would be for placement on the Illinois presidential ballot. For democrats, it is Aug. 29, 2008. must have filed any and all objections to a candidate being placed on the ballot in Oct. or Nov. of LAST YEAR! ( Gary wasn't exactly sure when objections had to have been filed.)

>I asked WHY a person was not removed from office if he was not legally qualified DESPITE the date to file objections. He said it's just the way it is. They do NOT check qualifications, only that petitions are filed legally and then only if there are no objections to the signatures on the petitions!

>We discussed the fact that Hussein may not even be a citizen, and he seemed dumbfounded. He didn't really have an answer to that situation. He said he thought Hussein was born in Hawaii and that was all that mattered. I told him that he was an Indonesian citizen in the 60's, had apparently used his Indonesian passport as an adult, thereby accepting that citizenship, and that there didn't seem to be any record of him ever renouncing that citizenship and taking an oath of citizenship in the U.S. He again seemed dumbfounded.

>My contention with him was, that all information about Hussein has conveniently been "lost" or "sealed" as in the CAC records. He said he had to admit he didn't know anything about Hussein either. I told him, that the question of citizenship has JUST surfaced, and that I believed that no matter where a person was in term of office, if they were found to be holding that office illegally, they needed to be removed! Seems Illinois just doesn't work that way, and he suggested that we seek answers through court filings. He also recommended that we check with our state senator or congressperson.

>I told him I was sick and tired of Illinois being second to the last in shady politics and being the laughing-stock of the rest of the Country. He just had nothing to say. I asked him to please let Dan White know I was VERY angry he had not answered my previous letter.

>Looks like the ONLY way to resolve this matter in Illinois, is to file a case as Mr. Berg has. Illinois apparently makes NO PROVISION to verify the qualifications of ANY candidate here. It IS all a "gentlemanly process" and the public be damned!

>Know any good attorneys in Illinois? Or is that one of those HUGE "oxymorons"?

JJC Responds:

>My commentary, for what it is worth:

>1) Illinois protocols are set up in such a way to make challenging a candidate being placed on a ballot rather difficult. Difficult in that it would require considerable lead time, and frankly advance knowledge and planning. Generally this is a good idea as it cuts down on potential chaos as we near elections. For the most part, we are ill served by having last minute filings and challenges that might delay an election.

>2) Berg's action is forceful, but only time will tell us what traction it will get.

>3) If someone has contact information, perhaps a question can be posed to Mr. Berg, to see if the filing can be duplicated in other states and ask for suggestions. I do not know of any attorneys who would be capable or willing to handle this, or I would have asked by now.

>4) Hence, perhaps a letter with the filings be copied and forwarded to the State of Illinois minority (GOP) leader. Keep in mind, these guys are sometimes part of the problem as well, and some are cowed by the crowd in Chicago.

>Ultimately, the Berg lawsuit has to be made known to the voters. The allegations, as fantastic as they might seem, as expressed in that piece of litigation have to be determined.

For the record, Mr. Berg's website is at and his e-mail is at

Philip J. Berg responds:

Subject: Date: Monday, August 25, 2008 6:24 PM
Re: Illinois Just Says No To Contrairimairi Size: 2 KB
Priority: Normal

Thank you for contacting us.
We are receiving an overwhelming number of emails and ask for your patience.
We will respond as quickly as possible.

Obama's Star Wanes

Bob Robbins just sent me the following American Thinker piece by Lee Cary.

Cary writes:

"As the battle with McCain tightens, his demeanor is morphing into adolescent bravado in the form of trash-talking. For example, he reportedly stated that John McCain "doesn't know what he's up against" in this election and challenged him to stop questioning his character and patriotism...Obama's three-legged campaign strategy is in deep atrophy..."

Read it here.

Nice. But remember Sun Tzu's admonition: things often turn into their opposites. We must not let Obama's sociopathic "inner child" make us overconfident.

Andy Martin in Denver

Andy Martin just sent me the following press release:


(DENVER)(August 25, 2008) Andy Martin, the author of "Obama: The Man Behind the Mask," is in Denver to sign copies of his bestselling book. Martin is also continuing his efforts as Executive Director of the Stop Obama Coalition to defeat Senator Obama.

Martin will be signing books at his news conferences, locations in downtown Denver to be announced, at the Democratic National Convention outside the Pepsi Center, and on a free-lance basis," Orange State Press Managing Director Linda Smith announced in New York.

"Andy will be signing books Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday he returns to New York for more personal appearances. We have made books available to satisfy the demand in Denver for impartial information and commentary on the Senator's history. We are handing signings informally. People who want a book signed can just call Andy and chat, or go to one of our arranged sessions.

"Andy is the gold standard by which all other Obama authors are judged for accuracy and integrity. His book is the only one that Barack Obama cannot challenge or attack for accuracy. The fact that serious questions have been raised about competing authors, and the fact that no questions or attacks have been directed at our book, give us confidence that Obama: The Man Behind The Mask will be the most influential book with voters in November. Our research shows that Obama: The Man Behind The Mask is attracting Democrats, Republicans and independents. Andy's tone is different. He's more believable because he's more accurate than his competitors. And, he is only Obama author personally in Denver to mix it up with supporters and opponents. Andy's not afraid.

"His book, moreover, is the only one by a Chicago-based author who understands the unique culture of corruption in which Senator Obama has flourished. Andy broke the extent of the Rezko story in 2006, not 2008. Andy was the first to focus on the 'sleaze factor' in Obama's rise to power.

To reach Andy Martin in Denver: cell (917) 664-9329
Hotel suite: Denver North Doubletree, Tel. (303) 427-4000 Suite 332,
8773 Yates Drive, Westminster, CO 80031

Book orders: Immediate shipment from the publisher or now available.

Barack Obama and the Inflation Lobby

There is a considerable degree of media deception about the causes of the recent run up in oil and commodities prices and decline of the dollar. The underlying cause of these phenomena is monetary expansion. Since the mid 1980s the Federal Reserve Bank has been increasing the money supply by about 8% per year. It takes a number of years for monetary expansion to affect prices. In this cycle there has been an additional factor: foreign central banks have supported the dollar in order to inflate in their own home markets. Thus, China now holds in excess of one trillion dollars as does Japan. Note that the entire US money supply is about the same amount, maybe slightly more. The Europeans and Saudis are also holding enormous amounts, as are smaller holders around the world. As a result, there is a possibility of a massive inflation, far greater than what we have seen this year. There is no mystery about it.

Nevertheless, I have not heard mention of this on television news except on the business and financial stations like Bloomberg and then in elliptical, deceptive terms. Secular increases in commodities prices across a range of commodities are not attributable to speculators, and even if there has been some speculation pushing up prices a bit, that factor will correct itself when the three-month and six-month futures contracts are settled (commodities contracts do not trade for ten years as I heard one of the media quacks say on television).

It is important to understand that there are beneficiaries from inflation. The chief beneficiaries are debtors. In the modern world, that would be large financial holding companies such as Time Warner and similar media conglomerates, as well as investment banks and commercial banks.

I have previously blogged that both traditionally Democratic investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and traditionally Republican investment banks such as Goldman Sachs have been backing Barack Obama. Investment banks benefit from inflation because increasing the amount of dollars lowers interest rates and boosts the stock market. Commercial banks benefit because they get to lend the new dollars to mortgage borrowers as well as large corporations. These interests: borrowers, investment banks and commercial banks benefit from inflation. Those who are net savers get hurt by inflation. Those without assets, the poor, also get hurt by inflation.

People sometimes remark that large investors like Warren Buffett and George Soros are left wing, and isn't this inconsistent with the supposed arrangement of political views, that the "left favors the poor" and the "right favors the rich". Obviously, that view of politics is ill-informed. The left in America has traditionally represented feudal (the Roosevelts) and socialistic (the Roosevelts) perspectives. The New York Times, for instance, favors the inheritance tax for people in the five million dollar bracket, but the owners of the New York Times, the Ochs Sulzbergers, have inherited the newspaper for four generations running. The Ochs Sulzbergers believe that the super-rich, such as themselves (last time I heard their fortune amounted to about $800 million, all inherited) should be protected from inheritance tax via family trusts, while up and coming entrepreneurs whose businesses might develop inter-generationally should be heavily taxed to eliminate potential threats to the feudalistic order. Naturally, the likes of George Soros and Warren Buffet have similar interests, as do the investment bankers at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Contrairimarie just forwarded a blog from No Quarters USA indicating that Barack Obama has chosen a lackey of MBNA, Joe Biden, to be his running mate. What a coincidence! Who was saying that the left favors the poor?

Just days ago Mr. Obama was claiming that Mr. McCain represents the rich. What concerns me most about Mr. Obama, besides the likelihood that he will perpetuate the inflationist agenda of the past quarter century, is that he is a conscienceless liar.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Community and Progressivism

Progressivism expressed the moral impulse of social Gospel Christianity and Populism as well as the social democratic ideas that late nineteenth century American university students brought home from the University of Berlin and other German universities. But the intent of morality is not the same as its execution. We can try to improve a bridge, but if the new bridge does not stand, then we have not helped. Moral action requires efficacy.

Progressivism emphasized large scale. In urban redevelopment, Robert Moses built roads, beaches, highways and public housing, but disregarded the effects on neighborhoods and personal networks within them. Jane Jacobs dissected his work on the Cross Bronx Expressway and New York City's public housing projects in her book Death and Life of Great American Cities. Progressivism aimed to improve efficiency and quality by increasing scale and applying a regularized pattern. But large scale often does not work. It is inflexible and difficult to change.

Robert Putnam has written an excellent book, Bowling Alone, about the decline of community. But the last thirty years has increasingly seen the failure of Progressivism, so it is not surprising that many Americans have chosen to shift from what Daniel Elazar calls the moralistic to the individualistic political pattern. Not only neighborhoods but the individual's relationship to the state, to his family, his employer and his economic future have been modified by the centralizing tendency of Progressivism, resulting in increasing distance from decisions and processes that modify his life. The classic example of this transformation is the Great Depression of the 1930s, which was the first major failure of Progressivism. Caused by a combination of inappropriate central bank tightening (Milton Friedman) or by President Hoover's mistaken attempt to cajole major employers into refusing to cut wages (Murray Rothbard), the Depression followed the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank by less than twenty years and the implementation of Wilson's World War I economy (in which Hoover played a crucial role as Food Administrator) by less than ten.

Increasingly, government has been centralized and inflexible and incapable bureaucracies have been established. The Progressives claimed that "experts" could solve problems, so a hierarchy of expertise was established, and citizens' opinions became less important. Americans allowed themselves to be convinced that experts knew better. The news media also centralized, in part in response to growing labor costs facilitated by the National Labor Relations Act and the advent of television. The centralized news media became an advocate for government by expertise, the wisdom of Keynesian economics and bureaucracy.

The Progressive policies of urban redevelopment led to near-extinction of urban centers and the subsidization of suburbs, which in turn led to increasing commutes. As well, since the abolition of the international gold standard in 1971, declining hourly real wages have led to increasing hours of work as Americans have struggled to keep up with the declining economic opportunity that central planning has caused. The pure exhaustion of multiple jobs coupled with the distraction of television and the need to decompress has increasingly alienated Americans from their communities.

Moreover, a sense of apathy has set in because the centralized, unresponsive firms and government bureaucracies that Progressivim has established seem to be beyond the efforts of most Americans. As a result, a society that is increasingly stratified between those who benefit from Federal Reserve and governmental subsidies and those who do not has been accomplished in the rhetoric of moralistic, Progressive reform. The dissonance created by the discrepancy between the ideology of Progressivism and its assault on human dignity and living standards leads inexorably to loss of community and economic decline.

John McCain Ad

Mairi just forwarded a link to a John McCain ad here. Mairi writes:

"The Very Best Ad For John McCain - Ever!
... and to my knowledge, the McCain camp didn't have anything to do with it (and if they did, they did a fantastic job).
The audio clips of the Obamas in this video - their own words, are stunning; the video itself vividly demonstrates the profound differences between the two candidates for president.

"Don't Tread On Me, Obama," by Miradena. Watch, and enjoy, every second of it."

Chris Matthews' Hard Ball's Soft Brains

I do not normally watch MS-NBC but I was flicking the channel and heard Matthews and one of his colleagues crowing about Obama's vice presidential choice of Joe Biden. Matthews or his colleague was saying that the Republicans would be worried about Obama's pick. What a laugh. MS-NBC doesn't know what the news is. Matthews is to television reporting what Dan Nakaso of the Honolulu Advertiser is to newspaper reporting. The Republicans aren't worried about Biden. They're jubilant. Biden is on tape calling Obama inexperienced. Does anyone actually watch MS-NBC? Maybe Matthews calls his show "Hard Ball" because he's trying to compensate for his soft brain.

American Thinker on the Obama-Ayers Relationship

American Thinker's Thomas Lifson has a great blog on the relationship between radical Bill Ayers and Barack Obama in the failed educational experiment, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (h/t Bob Robbins):

"William Ayers, unrepentant terrorist and education professor, is once again being tied to Barack Obama in the public mind. Controversy builds over the withholding of the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an expensive failed school reform effort headed by Obama and effectively run by Ayers, held by the library of the University of Illinois Chicago. Researchers who have gained access to a few documents recording the history of the project have found strong evidence of a very important working relationship between the two men on the project, Obama's sole claim to executive experience.

"Oddly enough, even though the project produced no measurable improvement in student performance according to its own final report, educators and administrators -- participants and grantees of the CAC -- were reported by outside monitors to be often "ebullient" about the activities. For insiders, it was an excellent adventure. For the pupils stuck in the failing public schools of Chicago, an ongoing, unrelieved disaster...

"Obama and his campaign long have gone out of their way to downplay, in fact distort, the long and evidently deep relationship between Ayers and Obama..."

Read it all here

Chicago Board of Elections Chief Accused of Conflict of Interest

After the response I got from Steven J. Sturm and Daniel W. White of the Illinois Board of Elections, ReunionPI sent me the following ABC Chicago link about the current Chicago Board of Elections chief:

"March 5, 2007 (WLS) -- The ABC7 News I-Team has learned that long-time Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal is facing accusations of conflict of interest. The allegations come less than a week after Chicago's mayoral election. Some of the charges are included in a federal lawsuit against Neal.

"The Chicago Board of Elections is the public agency that determines whether candidates are legal, composes ballots, manages election machinery and finally counts the votes. For 11 years, prominent attorney Langdon Neal has been chairman of the election board. Neal is now facing criticism because of his work as a private lawyer who does millions of dollars in legal business with government agencies. It is not criminal but, some say, is questionable."

What do you know? The Chicago Board of Elections has a sleazy history. I never would have guessed based on Steven J. Sturm's (of the Illinois Board) letter. I wonder if ABC waited the requisite five days after the Chicago election to break the story.

Thank You from Nancy


I'm very proud of you and you are definitely a SOMEBODY!!! Thank you for your relentless excellence!!! BHO will be defeated because of your invaluable contribution to his campaign's demise!!! DON'T EVEN THINK OF STOPPING NOW!!! You are a true American Patriot!


Speaker Pelosi--Hi Ball or Hi Jinx?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have a problem with property she may have bought from Seagram's (h/t ReunionPI). According to Web of Deception:

>"Our research into the land ownership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband revealed that the Speaker and her husband bought two pieces of property from Joseph E. Seagrams and Sons, the liquor company on March 25, 1999. Current records from the District of Columbia show that one of the properties is now back in Seagram's name but the address Seagram's is using is the address of the Paul and Nancy Pelosi Charitable Foundation."

>"A Pelosi spokeperson stated that the tax collector has been in error for 9 years as to who owns the property. For this to be correct, then the accountants and tax preparers for Pelosi or Seagrams (a contributor 5 months before the property sale) did not notice there was an error for nine years. The Pelosi's received a statement that showed another owner of their property for nine years. Conversely Seagram's did not receive statements from D.C."

Read the whole thing here.