Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Old & In The Way

Partisan politics aside, do you ever wonder how America climbed onboard this Hellbound Train, and why it seems so impossible to even slow it down, let alone stop it, with your vote every two years? I've written before about long-term leftist takeovers of education,culture and the courts, but we were designed as a constitutional republic with specific checks and balances that should allow some immediate course corrections if needed. So exactly why don't these seem to be working? How come our elected representatives don't represent anymore? Here's a few numbers that might shed some light:

11.0 12.9 98 92.8/67.3

The first is the average tenure of Representatives in the current (111th) Congress – in their 6th term
The second is the average tenure of Senators in the 111th – into their 3rd term
Ninety eight is the percentage of running incumbents reelected in 2000 – it's always 90%+++
Last is the percentage of all campaign funds raised by incumbents in 2000 and 67.3 is the percent of votes it bought.

See the pattern here? Once in Congress, never out. The only reason tenures are as low as they are is due to Congressmen moving to the Senate, and Senators to Cabinet positions, or either of them moving on to the Promised Land. Consider that Robert Byrd (D-WV) has served over 50 years in the Senate. He's 91 years old! My dear grandmother died last year at the age of 95. She was a woman of great integrity and common sense, but I didn't trust her to drive a car the last 10 years of her life, let alone run a country. No knock against experience and wisdom, but please- fifty freaking years??? The key number here is the amount of money incumbents are able to raise, and thereby overwhelm any potential opposition. I don't suppose that's by peddling their influence – must be their stellar records of accomplishment.

The whole charade of “free and open elections” is just that – nothing more than kabuki theater. The enactment of the 17th Amendment surely didn't help things in the Senate. Since they are no longer beholden to their state legislatures for reelection, they now cater to moneyed interests often far removed from their home states. At least House members have to stand for election every 2 years, but once established, enjoy the same powers of incumbency. Let's be honest. We're talking about 535 people out of a nation of 300 million – less than one one thousandth of a percent! Do you really think that they're the only ones in this country that can provide honest and effective representation?

The answer is simple – term limits - but getting there is not. It is obvious members will not voluntarily term limit themselves, so they must be forcibly retired. They are unlikely to propose a term limit amendment themselves, so two thirds of the states calling for a constitutional convention is the only option. It is open to interpretation that once called, the convention can be limited in what they propose. In the meantime, elect only those who will at least pledge to honor limited terms and work to implement them. Even if they renege, at least they paid some lip service to the idea. The other option is to recruit, encourage and elect fresh faces. If it means losing an Orrin Hatch (32 yrs in the Senate!) to get rid of a Teddy Kennedy (37 years) or John Kerry (25 years), it will be worth it. It's time for some young blood, and a swift kick in the arse to all those who are “old and in the way”!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Conservatives Don't Need GOP - They Need Us!

Every one has surely heard the famous quote from the British statesman Lord Acton:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

While this is clearly illustrated by infamous tyrants throughout history, have you ever considered that it applies equally well to institutions? In fact, I challenge you to name one institution, be it a company, a government, social organization or yes, even a church, that has not suffered from corruption at some point in its life.This can result from things as simple as neglect and decay, to systemic fraud and abuse. The larger and older the organization, the more likely it is to have experienced several wrenching periods of upheaval. Some self-correct and live on, while others cease to exist entirely. Certainly it is more than evident today in the political arena. Apart from your local police or fire department and maybe a church or civic organization, most Americans at least distrust those who govern them, and in many cases actively despise them. Removed from accountability, entrenched in their positions and literally addicted to power, they exist solely for their own benefit.

Nowhere is this more blatant than the Democrat Party, and by extension, the federal government itself. The Democrats are so wedded to the power of the state that their aims are, by and large, one and the same. Both exist to grow their power and control over ever-increasing segments of society. They function like the inhuman Borg of Star Trek fame, seeking to assimilate anything and everything in their path. But are the Republicans really that much different? Do they offer a clear alternative point of view that actually gives the voter a choice? Sadly, the answer is no, not so much. While there are a few truly dedicated conservatives in the party, it has fallen subject to the same kinds of corrupting influences that infest the rest of Washington DC.

Much has been written about the efforts to “rebrand” and “rebuild” the party. While I applaud a return to a principles-first philosophy, they are going to have to go a lot farther than they have in painting themselves, in the words of Ronald Reagan, in “bold colors, not pale pastels”. They'd better understand, really believe, that they need conservatives more than conservatives need the Republican party. I'll offer myself up as an example. I decided some time ago that I will no longer vote for “the evil of two lessers”. Candidates who only talk the talk will get no support from me in any fashion. I will no longer buy into the notion that a non-vote or a vote for a third party is a “wasted” vote. If the party will not take a strong stand, in writing, and quit playing politics in a time when we're at war for the soul of America, they'll go the way of the Whigs and I say good riddance.

There are lots of alternatives out there. Third parties have never had the power to be corrupted by it, so they exist on principle. I think I speak for a lot of conservative/libertarian/anarchists out there when I say that we will support those, and only those, who have earned the right to be trusted with "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor".

Republicans, we're watching and keeping score. The ball's in your court.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Target-Rich Environment

Well, let's see – we've got your baby killers, health care socializers, banking and auto manufacturing extortionists, gun grabbers, free speech censors, envirocultists looking to dismantle or tax away energy production, Federal Reservists printing money about as fast as the government can spend it, government school brainwashers, a Congress looking like a class of ADHD third graders with no teacher in the room, and of course the media hyping a non-existent pandemic for days on end. And that's only a partial list!! By the time the poor blogger/activist/conservative patriot can train his sights on one target, three new ones have popped up. Kind of like tribbles in the old Star Trek episode, except there's nothing remotely cute about this bunch.While it might be comforting to believe it's just collectivists run amok, I am coming to the conclusion that this is more orchestrated than it appears on the surface. This administration knows where it wants to go, and what kind of socialist paradise in America it wants to create, and is using a blitzkrieg of attacks large and small along with skillful media manipulation and distraction to achieve it. In addition to implementing their agenda, they also get a bonus by keeping us reactive and constantly on the defensive. It seems to be working well for them so far, right? While they have had their way on a lot of issues, it might not stay that way for long. Here's why.

I can tell you with great certainty that the Tea Party sentiment has only intensified since April15th. Even the Kansas City Red Star went so far as to devote the top half of page 2 to at least a tepid criticism of Obama's 0.5% “budget cuts”. So far as I can tell, this is the first even semi-critical analysis of the administration since the One appeared on stage at the Democratic Convention of 2004. Congressional Democrats are showing some signs of dissent on a number of Barry's pet projects. I can tell you that my own “Blue Dog” Democrat Congressman is starting to act nervous and defensive like never before, and I suspect there are a lot of others who are getting edgy about their reelection prospects in 2010. Every day more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that this administration is taking them to a place they really don't want to go. While I know several Obama voters who have turned into opponents, I challenge anyone to find me a single person who's gone the other way and now supports him. I'm not at all sure he'd win again if an election were held tomorrow. I know the Obama team is not unaware of some of this, but they've shown such immense hubris so far that I don't think they see the tsunami that's building up out of sight on the ocean floor of the real America.

What I see happening is unbelievable organizing, networking and activism in opposition to any or all of the pathologies listed above. While it seems amorphous and disconnected from a distance, there is an incredible amount of crossover and communication among all freedom lovers regardless of their main issues. In the short term this will greatly pressure vulnerable Democrats and squishy Republicans in Congress to balk at further implementing disasters like cap and trade and nationalized health care. In a little over a year from now it will be a powerful grassroots lobby that will make it impossible for politicians to run away from their voting records just to get reelected, and will empower true limited government candidates to mount challenges by providing communications, manpower and money. Think of it in terms of a vast guerilla resistance movement – hundreds and thousands of small cells across the country all actively fighting the power structure, who can't possibly neutralize more than a few at a time. This makes the collectivists vulnerable because they can only think in terms of organizations, personalities and power, and can't really conceive of or counter a large underground bound together by principles rather than class or party. Make no mistake people, the enemy (and that's how we need to think of them) is ruthless and must be ultimately wiped out. This requires all of us to be determined, vocal and increasingly active, but we have the will to take the country back. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “We must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately”. I don't intend to be the one on the wrong end of the rope! Let's roll!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tenth Amendment NOT Repealed!

While I am encouraged by the unprecedented grassroots activism sweeping across the country, I do realize that changing the political landscape on a national level is usually a long and laborious process. Freedom lovers in the Heartland, the Southeast, and the West have little (actually almost nothing!) in common with Northeastern liberals and the West Coast lunatic fringe. No offense to you good folks who are exiled in those places, but in broad brush terms it's true. Trying to overcome that entrenched opposition makes the challenge doubly difficult. There is, however, one avenue that can provide more immediate relief for the geographic majority of us- the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Thirty-five of the states are in the process of reasserting their rights under that amendment, which simply reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This is crystal clear and unequivocal - the federal government has specific limitations on what it can and can't do; citizens of each state are to have the ulitimate say so in how they're governed. Don't like the tax laws in Michigan? Move to Texas! Kansas alllows late term abortions – change the law or move to Oklahoma where life is respected. The one overarching problem we face in this country is simply the size, scope, cost and intrusiveness of the federal government. The founding fathers foresaw this over-reaching, and the tenth amendment was designed to check this. What they perhaps did not foresee was that the states would, over time, passively yield their authority to creeping federalism.

“But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm...But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. ” James Madison, Federalist 48

Madness, indeed! Insanity is where we're headed, so consider the general alarm sounded. A reassertment of state sovereignty is one way to exert pressure on Washington that is not dependent on a national consensus. While the federal government has shown no hesitation to use its vast (illegal) power to coerce, intimidate, or outright blackmail states into compliance with their schemes, there is evidence that more than a few states have had enough, and are willing to stand up to Washington in spite of their threats. Consider the enormous impact that Texas alone would have if they actually exercised their right to become the Republic of Texas once again! While Texas is unique in that respect, now imagine if they were joined in their resistance by Alaska and even a few other energy or agriculturally rich states. It wouldn't undo the insanity in DC, but could at least throw enough sand in their gears to slow them down while we work for a broader systemic and national change. Please urge your state's elected officials to press forward with this issue while we continue to press the battle on other fronts as well. Here is a link you should bookmark: