Let's Hear It For Gridlock: "Hip, Hip, Hooray!"

We are hearing lots of moans and groans today, from those who think the government should solve every problem we have, about the "gridlock" in Congress.  Gridlock is supposedly a terrible thing, because the "people" want something done.  Many of the "moderates", i.e., those whose vote depends upon which way the wind is blowing, are resigning, leaving Congress to the "ideologues," who have that august body "gridlocked" so that it can't do anything. 

Well, let me tell you something, folks.  I'm all for gridlock, and hope we have more of it.  In fact, I hope Congress stays gridlocked until the Lord comes back.  Then they can pass whatever they want to in hell because I don't plan on being there.  And they'll probably make hell worse, because if anybody could do it, it's Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

There are two main reasons I'm for "gridlock" in Congress.

Number one, if Congress isn't doing anything, that means people have to take care of themselves, which is what they ought to be doing in the first place.  We shouldn't be looking to Congress--via somebody else's money which we haven't earned and doesn't belong to us--to provide our health care, we need to be finding ways to provide for our own.  Let's see if we can uncover some solutions to our "problems" that don't involve Congress passing a one-size-fits-all piece of legislation that will probably create greater problems than it set out to solve.  The members of Congress don't know how to solve my problems, only I do; and it's up to me to do it.  People who are looking to Congress to provide answers to their individual problems are going to be dependent all their lives.  And that's not fair to those who take care of themselves and provide for their own.

Number two, I love gridlock because every time Congress passes a bill, that means more money out of my back pocket, usually for something I don't want or need.  I can't remember the last time Congress passed a law that I thought was useful.  But I end up paying for it anyway.

So I say, "Hooray for gridlock!"

But, folks, do you realize that there really isn't any gridlock in Washington?  For all the hoopla we are hearing about it, it really doesn't exist.  The Democrats have huge majorities in both houses of Congress; they could pass any bill they wanted to and there isn't a single, solitary thing the Republicans could do about it.  Well, with the election of Scott Brown, they can filibuster, but only if all 41 Republicans hold firm on it.  If there is "gridlock" in Congess, it's not between the "ideologues" of Democrats and Republicans; it's within the Democratic Party itself, and it's pretty obvious why.  Most of those people want to be re-elected this year and they got their heads handed to them on a platter at the tea parties and town hall meetings last year.  And they know very good and well that if they pass that monstrous, convoluted, government-intrusive health care bill that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid want passed, that, after November, they are going to have to go out and get jobs in the real world.  And that's not going to be easy given what Barack Obama is doing to the American economy.

Let me tell you what's happened in this country the past two years.

In 2008--and for a few years before that--the major media worked the majority of pepole in this country up into a frenzied hatred of George Bush.  Now, George Bush was far from the best president we've ever had; but he was far from the worst, too.  But no matter.  He was very unpopular--for whatever reason--and America elected a man to the presidency whom they knew almost nothing about.  Barack Obama is a left-wing liberal, and some of us knew it and knew what it meant.  I don't mean to boast, but I knew exactly what the guy was and what he would do, and nothing that he has done in the year plus he has been President has surprised me in the least.  Folks, liberals like Obama are secular intellectual elitists who think they know better how to run your life than you do.  And that's exactly what they want to do--run your life--and they want to use governmental power to do it.  This is simply what history teaches, and our ignorance of it is destroying us.

But finally the people of this country figured out who Barack Obama really is.  And more and more Americans don't want anything to do with him.  That's why the health care bill has had so much trouble being passed--too many Congressmen are hearing from their constituencies, in no uncertain terms, that a vote for that bill means retirement next November.  It's the Democrats that are holding up health care, not the Republicans because the latter couldn't if they wanted to.

It's the first time the Democratic Party has done something I've agreed with in...I don't know how long.

So, yeah, more gridlock, please.  Oh, and there's one more reason I favor gridlock--the media and liberal elites are opposed to it.  That right there tells me it's the right thing to do.

Uh...Barack?...The Birth Certificate, Maybe?...

Check out the photo under "Oops!" in the right hand column.  According to the information I received, the sign is posted just outside Nairobi, Kenya.  It may be a joke, but if not, somebody has a wire crossed somewhere.

Thoughts On The Constitution--II: Church and State

Here's today's quiz:  Is the phrase "separation of church and state" in the United States Constitution?  Well, apparently the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU--I hate everything with "Union" in it) thinks it is, and thinks it means that every Christian should shut up and let the heathen run the country. I beg to differ and I have history on my side.  (We need an American Civil Liberties Confederacy....). 

If you answered "yes" to the quiz, then you flunk the course.  The phrase "separation of church and state" was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a Baptist preacher who was worried about the government interfering with the church, and Jefferson was writing to comfort him in that regard.  There would be a strict divide between church and state; the government will not interfere in religious matters.  The First Amendment was designed to protect the church from the national government, not visa versa.  What a novel concept, and quite frankly, in the 18th century, it was.

That First Amendment (relative to this article) reads:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  To understand the meaning, we must travel back to the 18th century and learn what "the establishment of religion" meant.  An "established" church was a state (government) supported church.  England had an "established" church--the Church of England.  Tax dollars were used to support it; so it did not matter if you were a member of the Church of England or not.  Your tax dollars went to maintain that  church.  An "established" church was a government/tax-supported church--"established" as THE church of the land.  And that's all it was.

Our Founding Fathers did not believe that a nationally-supported church was in line with their concept of freedom.  If, say, you are a member of the Baptist church, and Congress made the Catholic Church the "established" church, then you, as a Baptist, would be forced to support something you didn't believe in.  And, folks, if you are forced to support something you don't believe in, that isn't freedom.  The "establishment of religion" clause meant nothing more than Congress could not establish a national church--as England had--propped up by the people's tax dollars, most of whom probably wouldn't have been a member of that church.

Now, VERY important:  the First Amendment prohibits only Congress from establishing a tax-supported church.  It did not prevent the states from doing so, and several of the states did have tax-supported churches well after the Constitution went into force.  Massachusetts (of all places) had a state-supported church into the 1830s.  So the prohibition on "established" churches was limited only to Congress, not the states.  The states could do what they wanted to.  That's not true today, of course, but we can thank Abraham Lincoln for that.

There were those in America who opposed the establishment of religion clause and believed that the government had a vested interest in supporting the moral base that religion supplied.  This view is called "antidisestablishmentarianism"...always have wanted to use that word.  But what it means is opposition to the forbidding of a tax-supported church ("anti"..."dis"...).  And again, several states did have such churches for several decades after the Constitution was ratified.

Notice also that the amendment says that Congress cannot "prohibit the free exercise" of religion.  The people can practice it, or not practice it, as they wish.  And it's up to the people, on the state level and local level, to decide.  Congress can't do anything except not establish a national church, and not interfere with people's right to practice whatever religion they choose.  And the courts aren't even mentioned in the amendment, so what are they doing today deciding religious issues?

The First Amendment's religious clause did not mean our Founders were anti-religious.  In fact, John Adams made it very clear:  "Our Consitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  The purpose of the United States Constitution was to spell out exactly what powers the national government had--and there weren't very many.  It strictly limited the control government had over the people.  And if you limit government's ability to control people. you better have something else that does it.  Hence, Adams' quote.  It was a noble experiment on the part of our Founders--a country based on trusting its people to be virtuous and do the right thing without a tyrannical government forcing them to.  It was a noble experiment that, quite frankly, failed miserably.  All one has to do is look at Washington, D.C., today for conclusive proof of that.  You couldn't find in the Constitution 99.9% of what Congress does today if you read that document till your eyeballs fell out.  But we, the people, have only ourselves to blame for that.  If we would all live godly, virtuous lives, we wouldn't need much government, would we.  So, no, ACLU, the last thing we need is for the heathen to run the government; which, unfortunately, is pretty much what we have today.

I'm not even sure why we even bother mentioning or studying our Constitution any more since nobody in the national government pays the least bit of attention to what it actually means, as intended by the men who wrote it.  The document is an historical curiosity, I guess, that gives the Supreme Court something to lie about and ex-history professors something to write about on their blogs.

The 10th Amendment in my next article.  And I intend to start another Civil War, because the 10th Amendment is exactly what the first one was about.

Where Do They Find These Guys?

I've got to admit, I feel pretty lousy today.  And when I get to feeling this bad and need a good laugh to help me out a bit, all I need to do is find some liberal journalist somewhere and he's sure to say something utterly moronic to give me a good chuckle.

Found an article entitled "Governors Brace for More Economic Turmoil."  The left-wing media has been trying to tell us for months that the economy is coming back...coming back...coming back...when anybody with half a pea-sized brain knows it isn't.  But they've got to make their guy Obama look good, so give him credit for something that isn't happening and hope the wool can be pulled over enough eyes, like what happened in 2008 when the people of this country, plagued with a collective case of rampaging psychosis, put a man with less qualifications than Winnie the Pooh into the Oval Office.

So, the media tries to put a good spin on the economy.  But, occasionally....well, here's a quote from the article:

"While the national economy has grown in recent months, the situation is deteriorating in the states."

.............Do what?

I'm not Milton Friedman, so can somebody explain to me how the national economy "has grown" when the sitiuation in those 50 states that make up the national economy is "deteriorating"?  Maybe the economy in Rhode Island is lifting the national statistics.

And then this jewel of wisdom from the same article:

"There seemed to be unanimous agreement that job creation was the key to recovery in states."

Well, I do declare.  I thought for sure that we could get out of this economic recession without creating one single new job.

Where do they find these guys that write this stuff? 

Incidentally, after I had a couple of good laughs reading those two quotes, I sank back down into despair when I read the following.  This is from Ohio governor Ted Strickland:

"We need the administration and the Congress, members of both parties, to work to make sure a robust jobs bill is passed as quickly as possible so we can start seeing the benefits."

Where are my anti-depressant pills?  Hand me a couple of aspirin, too. Governor Strickland, if we are dependent upon the people who got us into this mess to get us out of it, then this country is in sad, sad--I would say "hopeless"--condition.  Particularly if our people keep electing politicians like you...

Thoughts On The Constitution—I

We do hear a lot of talk today about the United States Constitution, but what I have found in my teaching and studying career are two very important things: 1. Most Americans have never even read the thing, and 2. Very few people look at the historical circumstances surrounding the document. If we are going to understand the Constitution, we’re going to have to understand the mind and thoughts of the men who wrote it. I want to write a few articles about our Constitution, looking at some crucial aspects of it that are much misunderstood today.

When I say we have to “understand the mind and thoughts of the men who wrote it,” I do not believe I am speaking an impossibility. As I write these words, I am expressing my “mind and thoughts,” and I trust nothing I write is difficult to comprehend. But the point is, it is my mind and thoughts, and the words that I write mean what I intend for them to mean and not what somebody thinks or interprets them to mean. And the same is true with the Founders of this country. What does the Constitution mean? It means exactly what the men who wrote it intended for it to mean—and nothing else. And if it is “interpreted” differently from that, then our Founders have been abused, misused, and treated unfairly. And nobody wants their words twisted to denote something they never aimed.

Here is a simple example, but it makes the point. I tell my friend Joe, “Hey, Joe, let’s go eat at Red Lobster next Tuesday. You buy…” Joe, perhaps not being of sound mind or perhaps having some ulterior motive, reasons within himself, “Ah, what he said was ‘Red Lobster next Tuesday’, but what he really meant was ‘McDonald’s on Wednesday.’” That’s ridiculous, of course, but is it any more ridiculous than to take the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” to mean that we can’t put a Christmas tree on public property or have a prayer in public schools? That is not what the Founders meant. Now, if we want to understand what they did mean, we are going to have to go back to the 18th century and determine what “establishment of religion” signified, which I shall do in the next article of this series.  It’s not hard to comprehend, it had a very clear meaning and everyone at the time understood it. And some didn’t like it. But we don’t do the study of history that we should and thus we have allowed the courts, especially the Supreme Court, to convince us that only they have the final right of interpretation of the Constitution. And the document has come to mean whatever the Supreme Court says it means regardless of the Founders' intentions. That is disingenuous at best, and a total disrespect for the men who penned that great document. And if we’re going to let the Supreme Court do all the interpreting, then why even have a Constitution? Just appoint the nine judges as dictators of the land. At least we’ll preserve them from lying to us by telling us the Constitution means something that it doesn’t and was never intended to mean.

How would you like for somebody to take something you said and completely twist it to mean what they wanted it to mean and not what you said or intended? Words mean things, folks, and as long as we aren’t with Alice in Wonderland, words mean what the speaker/writer intends for them to mean and not what the listener/reader wants them to mean. Í hear often, “well, it’s just a matter of interpretation.” No, it isn’t. It’s a matter of discovering what the speaker/writer meant. And the only way we can determine that is by the words he uses! Otherwise, language means nothing.  I've discovered that 99.9% of the time someone says "It's a matter of interpretation," it means they don't like what the words actually say and want to wrest them to mean something palatable to themselves.  That's not being honest with ourselves or anyone else.

Incidentally, the Constitution nowhere gives the Supreme Court the right to be the final arbiter of what it means. Indeed, the judicial branch is not to make law at all. In our system—in fact, in any system, if words mean things—the legislature legislates (makes law), the executive executes (defends the law), and the judicial applies the law, i.e., “here’s how the law applies in the case of John Doe v. Sam Smith.” The law has been written and defined. The courts apply it. That’s all. Obviously, that isn’t our system today, and it’s one reason why all three branches of our government are in complete and utter disarray. Nobody knows what their job is any more.

Our Founders weren’t perfect, but they knew what they were doing. And the words they put into the “supreme law of the land” were intended to mean exactly what they, not our courts, intended for them to mean. Realizing changes would probably be necessary, they gave subsequent generations the right to amend the document. But they defined that process as well, and they didn’t give the right to the courts or the federal government alone (or to the courts at all). I shall discuss this more in future numbers.

No Wonder Scott Brown Won

Not even Massachusetts could resist this:


More Snow, More Government, and More Loonies

Let me re-post something from MSNBC regarding the snow earlier this week in the nation’s capital: "These Snowpocalypses that have been going through DC and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming.”

So, global warming is the cause of more snow. That’s nice to know.

But wait a minute. Not long ago, we were being told that LESS snow meant global warming. Here are a few quotes:

Robert Byrd, U.S. Senator, West Virginia in 2002: “We need a climate change strategy badly. Look at the kind of winter we've had here in Washington. One snow, three inches? What can we expect for the spring and summer seasons? What's going to happen to our crops, our livestock, our economy? This is serious. I've lived a long time, 84 years. Something's going wrong out there. I don't need a scientist to tell me that. We had better do something about it.”

April 22nd, 2008, in Washington, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, on the Senate floor. “I heard it from the head of our snowmobile association who testified at a forum that I had with our governor on climate change in January because they've seen decreasing snow levels. I hear about it from ice fishermen because they have seen that it takes longer for the ice to freeze and they can't put their fish house out.”

Barbara Boxer, California Ma’am, um, excuse me, Senator, 2009: “Looking at the United States of America, the IPCC clearly warned that unchecked global warming will lead to reduced snow pack in the western mountains, critically reducing access to water, which is our lifeblood.”

Diane Feinstein, California’s other Senator, 2005: “The Sierra Nevada snow pack is the largest source of water. The snow pack equals about half the storage capacity of all of California's man-made reservoirs. By the end of the century, the shrinking of the snow pack will eliminate the water source for 16 million people.”

Jay Inslee, representative, Democrat, Washington, on the House floor, 2005: “The ski industry in the Cascade Mountains in Washington essentially was shut down this year. My son's on ski patrol and he worked for three days this year, there was no snow. And having no snow is consistent with what the models will predict will become a significant problem for us in the future.”

Which is it? Does global warming cause MORE snow or LESS snow? You can’t have it both ways, but that’s what the environmental movement is trying to do.

Let me repeat something I’ve said more than once on this blog. The environmental movement, with its hatred of capitalism and industry, is where all Marxists went after the fall of the Soviet Union and the breakup of its empire. They didn’t give up their ideology, not at all. They can’t; it’s their religion. So they simply moved to the environmental movement because of the similarity of economic philosophy.

All the Marxists did was change colors from red to green. And they’ve got to have global warming, because it is the current major attack on the West and western industry. So whether there is not enough snow, or whether there is too much…it’s all caused by global warming.

Not that Byrd, Boxer, et al are Marxists.  They are simply what Vladimir Lenin called "useful idiots."

Addendum:  I want to give credit where credit is due.  The above quotes from Senators/Congressman were on the Rush Limbaugh Show on February 12.  Rush puts all his program, and a whole lot more, on his website:  http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/.  Worth looking at if you like Rush or even if you don't.

Snow, Government, and Loonies

As we all know, the federal government has been shut down for a couple of days due to the tremendous snowfall in the nation’s capital (let’s all pray for more snow). A few interesting tidbits:

--25% of Washington’s snow plows were out of commission and the city had a shortage of salt. What would happen to any private business that was run like that? Government, of course, will get more money.

--On Monday, Obama announced that a new agency was going to be established to study and report on “climate change,” aka, “global warming.” They had to postpone setting up this new office because of the snow.

--And this from MSNBC (no surprise there): “These Snowpocalypses that have been going through DC and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming.” Yes, you read that correctly. The record snowfall is being caused by global warming.

Don't Be Surprised At This

I won't comment on the following except to say it was checked out on snopes.com and ask.com and appeared in the Washington Times.  If anyone can show me where this didn't happen, I'll be happy to retract this post.

I'll also say that, if true, I'm not the least bit surprised.  The egalitarian far left hates the hierarchical military and always has.  It's just part of the philosophy. 

"Bad press, including major mockery of the plan by comedian Jon Stewart, led to President Obama abandoning his proposal to require veterans carry private health insurance to cover the estimated $540 million annual cost to the federal government of treatment for injuries to military personnel received during their tours on active duty. Obama admitted that he was puzzled by the magnitude of the opposition to his proposal.

"'Look, it's an all volunteer force,' Obama complained. 'Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn't compute...'

"'I thought these were people who were proud to sacrifice for their country,' Obama continued. 'I wasn't asking for blood, just money. With the country facing the worst financial crisis in its history, I'd have thought that the patriotic thing to do would be to try to help reduce the nation's deficit. I guess I underestimated the selfishness of some of my fellow Americans.'"

The Fatal Flaw of Liberalism

Since the end of the year, I have kept in fairly close contact with two of my former students, both of whom were in one of my classes last fall. I consider them both outstanding young men, intelligent, perceptive, and thoughtful—and increasingly good friends. They don’t always agree with me, but they are thinking, and that’s what I constantly told my students to do—“think for yourself.” Not many people can do that, but these two fellows can.

I received an email from one of them yesterday and responded last night, and in the course of my email to him, I wrote something that I thought was pretty brilliant. I don’t do that very often, so when I do, I want to share it with my readers. Here’s what I wrote to him:

“How many times did I say in class ‘think for yourself!’ You are capable of doing it; not many people are. But I've discovered, in my attempt to ‘think for myself,’ that a lot of what was thought of before by the ancients is awfully wise. I'm not so smart that I'm smarter than 1,000s of years of historical wisdom. That's one of the major, major flaws of liberalism. Think for yourself, but don't open your mind so wide that your brain falls out.”

The “fatal flaw of liberalism” is what I’d like to discuss in this article.

My biggest complaint with “liberalism” as a philosophy is that the only absolute it recognizes is that there are no absolutes. Modern, leftist liberalism is rooted in naturalistic theory, which holds that everything is in flux, everything is changing, nothing is fixed, final, permanent, absolute. Now, not everybody who claims to be “liberal” believes that; some people envision “liberalism” as a set of political, moral, and economic views, some of which they agree with, and some of which they don’t. Some people—and one of my buddies mentioned above castigated me for this—don’t even think we should use the labels “liberal” and “conservative.” And perhaps he’s right, as long as clear definitions of the two philosophies are not widely understood by the American people. But, philosophically, there is a doctrine called “liberalism,” and what I described at the beginning of this paragraph is a fundamental, cardinal feature of the secular, intellectual liberalism that dominates academia and the media today. This can be proven historically, showing exactly the roots of all this, giving names, dates, and places. Perhaps I should take the time to do that on this blog at some point, but it would take several articles.

Now, I personally do not believe in “liberalism” as a philosophy, because, as I wrote to my former student last night, there is a lot of wisdom among the ancients that would benefit us greatly if we would only pay attention to it. Liberalism is willing to accept that—but only selectively, and only if the “wisdom” it selects fits the moment. The prudence of the ages is there to be received or rejected wholly on the basis of modern, pragmatic notions of what liberal human reason believes is right. In other words, liberalism judges the ancients—and God—by its reason; it doesn’t believe that it’s possible that somebody else, or some other Being, might have some concept which should be honored and cherished, universally, for all times, peoples, nations, and cultures. That simply does not exist to modern liberalism. And the consistent “liberal” wants to decide what is to be accepted and what is to be discarded, and usually enforce that upon others via governmental diktat.

There is nothing wrong with “change,” indeed, at times it is necessary. But as Edmund Burke argued, any societal change should be rooted in the past, should consider carefully the structures and mores upon which the society has been built, and consider that change only in the light of what has gone before, of what history tells us is prudent and judicious. To simply divorce ourselves from the past because we believe ourselves superior to those who have gone before is…a fatal flaw of liberalism.

Or, perhaps I should put it this way. We need politicians today who stand up and speak of the imperative of returning our country to the values and traditions of the past that have proven down through the ages to be successful and wise. We need politicians who talk about virtue, righteousness, faithfulness, integrity, hard work, pure morality, God and family, trust, respect, reverence for the great minds and ideas upon which great societies have been built. We need men and woman to lift this country out of the moral gutter to which Hollywood and ethical subjectivism have led it. If Barak Obama wants to change this country, that’s fine. But let him do it by conserving the firm foundations of the past upon which success is built, and indeed, without which no society can exist for long. Let him do it by revering what has gone before, by admiring the wisdom of the ages, by exalting timeless truths which have supported mankind since the creation—and how about telling us about it, Mr. Obama? When modern man attempts to pass judgment upon God and history through no other means than his own unaided human reason…is it any surprise that a society swirls down into a bottomless pit of hedonism, filth, and self-absorption? Until we get leaders who lead us on the basis of a humble admiration of the tremendous minds and ideas that have preceded us, we will have no leaders at all. We must build upon the past, not tear it down. But to build upon it, we have to know it. It is imperative that we have the wisdom to discern between right and wrong, good and evil, progressive and digressive, what has worked and what hasn’t—and to know that those things are not matters of subjective opinion and human reason, they are matters of objective, historical, and—dare I say?—theological truth.

But such things will never be accepted by a liberal intelligentsia which thinks it is smarter than a God it doesn't even believe exists.

What I told my friend and former student last night was correct. People need to think for themselves and too many only listen, and believe, what somebody else tells them. But part of “thinking for oneself” is to realize that there have been a lot of people in the past who have thought for themselves, too. And they’ve produced some pretty good ideas that we would be wise to acknowledge. “Thinking for yourself” doesn’t mean you reject everything else and produce your own individualistic, self-centered world philosophy. Thinking for yourself means having the wisdom, the courage, the self-discipline, and the humility to recognize that there are others who have gone before who, through trial and error, successes and mistakes, accomplishments and failures, patience and perseverance, can teach us much that we need to learn. They can teach us truths that are practical, not because they just happen to work at the moment and can be discarded when we don’t like them any more. But truths that are practical because they are timeless and eternal, they are grounded in, and flow from, the God Who made heaven and earth. They are right, they always will be right, they always will be right everywhere, and they need to be conserved, not doubted and trashed. And any “progressive” “change” any politician proposes ought to lead us back to those timeless truths, not away from them.

When was the last time you heard a politician—“liberal” or “conservative”—use the word “righteousness,” and call our country back to that standard? Well, given liberalism…there really is no such thing as "righteousness." Or, if there is, it can always be changed and redefined tomorrow. That is the fatal flaw of liberalism.