Thursday, May 8, 2008

Flag Pin -- Constitution -- From A Liberal View

The answer, I think, is that the flag is about emotion, while the Constitution is about complicated concepts.

The flag is great for raising goosebumps at patriotic parades, but it’s the Constitution that gives us the right to speak our minds, to embrace the religions of our choice, to be tried in courts of law by juries of our peers, and to enjoy our many other hard-won freedoms.

That explains much of the foundation of liberal philosophy. The center of all is the government not the people that grant the government all of its power --

But the flag doesn’t give us the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. The Constitution does.

RRStar Applesauce Blog

My reply:

Strange thing is that the flag is a symbol of that constitution as well as the declaration of independence and everything since our founding.

Oh and not to quibble, but:

it’s the Constitution that gives us the right to speak our minds, to embrace the religions of our choice, to be tried in courts of law by juries of our peers, and to enjoy our many other hard-won freedoms.

Isn’t quite what our Founding Fathers understood to be, self-evident:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The Creator give the rights, the people loan the power to Governments to secure the rights and the Constitution is a contract empowering yet restricting that government.

Modern liberalism would just state that the rights come from the people, I am not sure what political belief says the Constitution gives anything.

The Constitution actually restricts the governments actions — and does not give anything. After all it says “Congress shall make no law,” never does it say, “This Constitution hereby grants the right.”

The government derives its power from the Constitution and Constitution derives its power from the the people.

As someone who has been in the news/talk industry, often as a columnist, most of my adult life he should know that the words we use matter.


Iraqi al Qaeda Leader Caught In Mosul

Iraqi sources report that al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri has been captured in Mosul. If this report is correct, al-Masri almost made it to his 2-year anniversary as commander. He took over al Qaeda in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed June 7, 2006 in a U.S. airstrike northeast of Baghdad.

As discussed in this post, al-Masri’s top two aides were killed in October 2007, including one who was in charge of foreign suicide bombers.

Apparently al-Masri is in Iraqi custody. Imagine the information al-Masri could share regarding plans for suicide attacks and the identities of possible suicide bombers. If he is turned over to the Americans, what interrogation techniques should be allowed to get information from al-Masri about planned attacks and personnel?

This may not be accurate, we have thought this before, but if it is it is another great catch in Iraq.
Patterico's Pontifications

How's Your Tea Mahmoud?

With Iran racing forward with its nuclear program, Israel now believes the Islamic Republic will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium on a military scale this year, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The new assessment moves up Israel's forecasts on Teheran's nuclear program by almost a full year - from 2009 to the end of 2008. According to the new timeline, Iran could have a nuclear weapon by the middle of next year.

Iran, a senior defense official said on Tuesday, had encountered numerous technical obstacles on its way to enriching uranium but was now on track to master the technology needed to enrich uranium within six months.

Israel is also concerned that Teheran is developing a cruise missile that can evade interception by the Arrow, the IDF's anti-ballistic missile defense system. Iran is suspected of having smuggled Ukrainian X-55 cruise missiles and using them as models for an independent, domestic project. A cruise missile, which flies at low altitudes to dodge radar detection and interception, could be used to carry a nuclear warhead.

Maybe Barack can have tea and crumpets with them in Baghdad, after they take it by force?
Jerusalem Post -- Israel: Iran could have nukes by '09

No Danger, No Freedom

When the Left promises us life without edges, what they really have in mind is life without freedom.

American Thinker -- Life Without Edges -- The Left's Seductive Promise

It's A Right -- You Don't Have The Right To Challenge It!

This genius proceeds to say, "It's A Right -- You Don't Have The Right To Challenge It!" I think it happened at UW Stephens Point. Has he ever read the constitution?

Slow Reporting Their Compliance Failure

The registry is required to demonstrate Canada's compliance with its 2012 emissions target and to participate in the Kyoto Protocol emissions cap and trade mechanism.

"The government of Canada is in the process of establishing (the registry), and has been in this process for some time," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, blaming the delay on a previous administration.

Canada had agreed under the international Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 6.0 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, but emissions have instead increased by more than 35 percent.

Last year, the government outlined a new plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent, based on 2006 levels, by 2020, saying the targets agreed to by the previous administration were unattainable.

It is currently impossible to meet the Kyoto requirements without changing our lives beyond recognition. That we recognized that rather then commit to feel good goals that just are not possible is a positive thing, no matter what the enviro-wacko's tell you.
AFP -- Canada rapped over Kyoto registry
Via Ace

McCain's One-Two-Three Fight Strategy

Obama cites vague success at getting people to work together on Chicago's South Side. But if that was a significant qualification to become president, we'd have tens of thousands of social workers qualified for the Oval office.

On the other hand, McCain is muscled-up to cite a major league record of bipartisan activism. While those examples will grate on those Republicans who have frowned on McCain's forays across the Senate aisle, they will illuminate Obama's claim of being a change agent in its true light -- which is nearly complete darkness.

American Thinker --A Fight Strategy for McCain

Democrats Are Slaves To The Far Left

What surprised me most was that the center of gravity in America was Center Right (RINO territory) according to Pew.
The moderate left died in 1968, when two of their most promising young leaders were assassinated. Since then, Democrats have only won three of the last ten elections. After the disaster of Jimmy Carter, Democrats never again won 50% of the popular vote in SEVEN attempts, while Republicans achieved that feat 4 times over that period (1980, 84, 88, 2004). This is a truly shambolic performance from the Democrats of the modern era. Jimmy Carter did more to ensure a generation of GOP dominance than Reagan, Gingrich, Limbaugh, or Rove ever could.

What does this mean for Republicans? One example is 401(k) plans:

Originally intended for executives, section 401(k) plans proved popular with workers at all levels because it had higher yearly contribution limits than the Individual Retirement Account (IRA); it usually came with a company match, and in some ways provided greater flexibility than the IRA, often providing loans and, if applicable, offered the employer's stock as an investment choice. Several major corporations amended existing defined contribution plans immediately following the publication of IRS proposed regulations in 1981. Hmmm. 1978. That would have been under Jimmy Carter with the Senate and House Democrat controlled. And 1984?
Ronald Reagan. With the Senate Republican and the House Democrat. Under Carter the plans were for the elite. Under Reagan they got expanded to the masses. Interesting. Verrrrry interesting.

So the question is. Despite the economic bump we are hitting will the electorate wish to punish business and raise taxes? I don't think so. So what should the Republicans promise? I think cutting taxes and cutting spending (including ending earmarks permanently) might work. So where do the candidates for President actually stand on earmarks based on their behavior as opposed to their promises? Well in the current Congress Hillary Clinton is a Champion among the Presidential Candidates at $340 million, Obama is in second place with $91 million, and poor old John McCain brings up the rear with $0. That is right a big fat zero. Way to go John.

I know who I'm voting for. Even RINOs have some Republican principles.

Rockford's own -- Power and Control -- Where The Voters Are

Accuracy of Less Then 1/3 Is Good Enough For Al Gore!

Monaghan and his team found that while climate models projected temperature increases of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius) over the past century, temperatures were observed to have risen by only 0.4 F (0.2 C). ”This is showing us that, over the past century, most of Antarctica has not undergone the fairly dramatic warming that has affected the rest of the globe,” Monaghan said. The gap between prediction and reality seemed to be caused by the models overestimating the amount of water vapor in the Antarctic atmosphere.
Watts Up With That -- Climate Models Fail at Antarctic Warming Predictions

This Would Reshape The Political Century

What's Wrong with Republicans? [Victor Davis Hanson]

On this great debate, I tend to agree with Mark Levin and others that conservatives should reach out with conservative principles better framed and presented, rather than change the message for the perceived advantage of the hour.

What the Republicans need is not an abandonment of conservative principles, but a smarter, more articulate defense of even more conservativism, not less.

E.g., Gas Prices? More nuclear power, hydro-, refineries, clean coal, drilling off coasts and in ANWR. And why? As a necessary bridge to next-generation cleaner and non-petroleum energy so that in the time lag, we don't empower our enemies, demand that others abroad who are less environmentally sound produce the oil we consume, and watch our hard-won way of life decline.

Taxes? Not hikes, since revenues went up, not down with past cuts, but more fiscal discipline to end the deficits. The problem was not tax-cutting, but wild-eyed spending that ran up debt and discredited tax cuts.

The border? Close it, not out nativism or racism, but out of respect for the rule of law, the tradition of national sovereignty, the need to promote integration and assimilation, the need to be more concerned with American entry-level low-paid workers, and a desire to help Mexico wean itself off remittances and make the tough-love decisions to modernize its archaic government and economy.

Judges? We need constitutionalists, because they alone follow the rules of the legislative branch and what is written in the Constitution, do not turn rarified, laboratory theory into the law that millions must suffer under, and bring respect to the judiciary sorely damaged by aristocratic elitists on the bench.

National Security? Not more U.N.ism, but careful explanations that both Iraq and Afghanistan have hurt jihadism, taken out odious regimes, and with patience will make the region safer.We need more reasoned and inspired explanation of just how the U.S. military allows the present globalized system of commerce and communications to survive, rather than asleep at the wheel reaction to cheap attacks on our foreign policy.

Ethics? Republicans by consensus in Washington need to be less tolerant of sleeze than Democrats, since conservatism and traditionalism are moral precepts. When they engage in tawdry sex, bribery, and influence peddling, they suffer the double wage of hypocrisy — in the manner supposedly men-of-the-people liberals like Kerry, Gore, Edwards, and the Clintons talk one way and live like 18th-century French kings.

In short, low taxes, secure borders, moral governance, sober government spending, ethical leadership, exploration and conservation of petroleum, and strong defense is what the American public wants — but those core principles have to be articulated hourly and can't be compromised. In an honest debate, Obama's alternatives to the above would be to turn toward more government, higher taxes, more bureacracies, more dependence of the individual upon the state, etc. And I can't believe the public wants a prescription that historically simply doesn't work.

I think in their depression, the Republicans fail to see that their problems were not in their principles, but rather in the sometimes sleezy and sloppy way they advanced them — and even more often in the manner that they abandoned them — and as a result, they are apparently eager to compromise on them.

To the degree McCain can articulate the above, he will win; to the degree that he either cannot or believes the latest gurus that he must abandon them, he will lose. Moving toward a lite version of the Obamian/European "bipartisan"and socialist view of government and calling it a new conservatism is a prescription for utter disaster.

No one can out-Obama Obama.


Victor Davis Hansen -- What's Wrong with Republicans?

Obama's Role Model -- Diplomacy That Nearly Destroyed The World!

 Update May 16, 2011 and repost to front page:  German Paper: Iran is Building Rocket Launch Bases in Venezuela.  As I said at the bottom of this post, "If this is what Obama has in mind, getting the hell beat out of him by Kim and Mahmoud I don't want anything to do with it! I should just start digging the shelter now!"

I really believe it is as if Obama believes the past 2000 years were an anomaly rather then the human condition.

Original post follows:...............................................

I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did.

Obama's supporters are too young to know any of this, but Roosevelt led the United States in the war against Hitler; the Allied policy was unconditional surrender, so there was very little for Roosevelt and Hitler to discuss, and in fact, the two did not meet at all (but they did exchange correspondence before the war).
So my guess is that Obama is thinking of the Yalta Conference with Churchill and Stalin as talking to "our enemies", although of course we were still allied with the Soviet Union against Germany and Japan at that point. Beyond that, is the Yalta Conference something Obama and his advisers view as a success worthy of emulation?
(Just One Minute -- Don't Know Much About History...)
Yalta was considered a diplomatic disaster that enslaved millions in Eastern Europe. Roosevelt, who called Stalin, "Uncle Joe," failed to recognize the evil that would lead to the deaths of 15 to 20 million Soviet citizens -- Time Magazine (13 April 1998) (Some estimates as large as 52 million with 30 million being the median estimate).

I can't recall when Truman talked to our enemies, other then perhaps their surrender after he dropped the atomic bomb . Truman lead the UN into Korea and did so without talking to our enemies -- they were boycotting the UN -- rather then talk he gave ultimatums and took action to remove our enemies from South Korea.

As a matter of fact Truman has his own Doctrine (The Truman Doctrine) that supported our allies financially and militarily against Soviet (our enemies) influence. This lead to what was known as the Domino Theory and formed much of the Cold War doctrine that lasted for decades (a variation of which Bush uses to push democracy).

Along with The Marshall Plan The Truman Doctrine helped feed the Soviet reaction that led to the Berlin Blockade. It was only the show of determination and strength -- redeployment of B-29's to England, the same bombers that dropped atomic weapons on Japan -- that prevented escalation of the conflict during the 11 months of the airlift.

Kennedy escalated Vietnam as a part of Truman's doctrine and while he did speak to Kruschev during the Vienna Summit it was considered a failure that caused the players (Kennedy and Kruschev) to push the world toward the most dangerous nuclear stand off in history -- The Cuban missile Crisis.

(About Vienna, Kennedy later claimed of Khrushchev, "He beat the hell out of me.")

If this is what Obama has in mind, getting the hell beat out of him by Kim and Mahmoud I don't want anything to do with it! I should just start digging the shelter now!

Update: Great minds think alike - points made by Jack Kelly here at Real Clear Politics.

Worsening Amazon Droughts -- Our Fault!

Curbing a notorious form of industrial pollution may ironically harm Amazonia, one of the world's natural treasures and a key buffer against global warming, a study released Wednesday has found.

Its authors see a strong link between a decrease in sulphur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and a rise in sea temperature in the northern Atlantic that was blamed for wreaking a devastating drought in western Amazonia in 2005.

University of Exeter professor Peter Cox and colleagues created a computer model to simulate the impact of aerosols -- airborne particles that, like sulphur dioxide, are also spewed out by fossil-fuel power plants -- on Amazonia's climate.

The aerosols, while a bad pollutant, indirectly ease the problem of global warming as they reflect sunlight, making it bounce back into space rather than warm the Earth's surface.

In the 1970s and 1980s, according to Cox's model, high concentrations of aerosols over the highly industrialised northern hemisphere had the effect of buffering the impact of global warming on north Atlantic surface waters, which led to more rain over Amazonia.

But tighter curbs on sulphur dioxide emissions from power plants led to a reduction in aerosol levels, causing these Atlantic waters to warm. This changed patterns of precipitation, leading to the 2005 drought.

We really have no idea what we are doing and we shouldn't be held hostage by a scientific-technological elite with a political and financial agenda.

AFP -- Cleaner air to worsen droughts in Amazon: Study

Making Up Controversy

But the question is, are his primary results really that different compared to what George W. Bush received after effectively wrapping up the nomination against McCain in 2000?

And the answer to that question is … no. After clinching the nomination against McCain, Bush’s numbers bounced around from 64% to 83%. In Pennsylvania, Bush scored an almost identical percentage in 2000 (72.47%) as did McCain in 2008 (73%). No one at the time considered that a protest vote against Bush, even though McCain in 2000 won a much higher percentage of the vote (22%) than did Ron Paul in 2008 (16%).


Hot Air -- No, there isn’t a significant vote against McCain in the primaries

Newt -- Without Change, Catastrophe

Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand

Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if they had the will to do so.

  1. Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by cutting domestic discretionary spending so that the transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a time when, according to The Hill newspaper, Senator Clinton is asking for $2.3billion in earmarks, it should be possible for Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could rally behind.

  2. Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the deficit.

  3. Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill which is coming to the floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security, pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

  4. Establish an earmark moratorium for one year and pledge to uphold the presidential veto of bills with earmarks through the end of 2009. The American people are fed up with politicians spending their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad. This is a real opportunity to show the difference.

  5. Overhaul the census and cut its budget radically. The recent announcement that the Census Bureau could not build an effective hand-held computer for $1.3 billion and is turning instead to 600,000 temporary workers to do a paper and pencil census in 2010 is an opportunity to slash its budget, shrink its bureaucracy, and turn to entrepreneurial internet-based companies to build an information-age census. This is an absurdity that cries out for bold, decisive reform (see my YouTube video "FedEx versus federal bureaucracy" for an example of what I mean).

  6. Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system. The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster.

  7. Declare English the official language of government. This real change is supported by 87% of the American people including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Latinos. It is an issue of national unity that brings Americans together in a red, white, and blue majority.

  8. Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot. The vast majority (around 81%) of Americans believe that American workers have a right to have a secret ballot election before they are forced to join a union. Last year the House Democrats passed a bill that would strip American workers of the secret ballot. A new bill should be introduced reaffirming that right, and it should be brought up again and again until marginal Democrats are forced to vote with the American people against the union power structure.

  9. Remind Americans that judges matter. Senate Republicans should mount an ongoing fight (including a filibuster of other activities if necessary) to get the American people to realize that liberals want to block all current judicial appointments in order to maximize the number of left wing radical judges they can appoint if they win the White House. This issue has three advantages. It reminds people that judges matter and that a leftwing radical Supreme Court would be bad for the values of most (70 to 90 percent, depending on the issue) Americans. It shows the Democrats are not engaged in fair play. It arouses the activism of those who have been disappointed by Republicans and have forgotten how bad a liberal Democratic Presidency would be.

What Is at Stake

No Republicans should kid themselves. It's time to face up to a stark choice.

Without change we could face a catastrophic election this fall.


Newt Gingrich -- My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License