“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Liberals vs. Conservatives As Envy vs. Ambition

Lately, I've been giving a lot of thought to the differing core, underlying values and attitudes which must drive liberals and conservatives.

From my recent reading of Amity Schlaes' excellent book, "The Forgotten Man," current reading of Mark Levin's "Tyranny and Liberty," and frequent viewings of Glenn Beck's Fox News Channel program, it's been easier for me to reflect upon the circumstances surrounding the Founding Fathers' as they wrote the Constitution.

Nearly forgotten now is the struggle those men had in securing the freedom to engage in economic activity as they wished. In the mercantilism system of Great Britain of that time, colonies supplied natural resources and raw materials. Finished goods were largely prohibited to be manufactured. It's not well-recalled now, but in that day, machinery, machine tools and plans for machines were not allowed out of Britain to her colonies.

The Revolution which Americans fought against Britain was as much about economic freedom as it was about political freedom and fair representation to a taxing, governing authority.

In reading about the men who founded our country, there are various references to John Hancock as the colonies' wealthiest man. But you never hear him berated for that. Nor any speeches during the framing of the Constitution calling for punitive taxes on Hancock or his ilk.

Rather than attempt to take the wealth of men like Hancock, the new Republic's structure tried to allow for any other man to rise to similar levels of wealth. The concepts of opportunity and ambition vastly outweighed those of envy or jealousy.

Now, we seem to have reversed this. All we hear is that business people earning "too much" need to pay higher taxes. That the important issues are to provide income and health care to the poor.

No longer does anyone seem to recall that the minimalist Constitution was so written in order to allow everyone to realize the fruits of their own labor and best efforts. It wasn't to levelize incomes and redistribute the new country's total personal incomes.

In short, thanks to the past seventy years' of post-FDR liberal pressure, our Republic is now more focused on seeing envy of economic success given priority over each person's opportunity to realize their own economic and other dreams.

Ambition is given lip-service, while laws are crafted to carry out envy-driven wealth- and income-transfers.

If you can't keep the wealth you create in America, what motivation is there for the poor to improve themselves? Why would anyone labor if the fruits are evaluated and that declared 'excess' by some politician confiscated?

Truly, one can see much more clearly in the current environment that liberals are primarily governed by envy, rather than the individual's ambition to create her/his own better life through one's own labor and talents.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where Next for Sarah Palin?

This week marks the major media rebranding of 2008 GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin. Her own book, "Going Rogue," debuts, with support from a week of New York media appearances, including Oprah Winfrey's and Sean Hannity's programs.

Also carefully timed to this upswell of Palin publicity is Weekly Standard associate editor Matthew Continetti's book, "The Persecution of Sarah Palin."

What will all of this coordinated, concerted attention accomplish?

Probably not that much.

I read a friendly review of Palin's book in the Wall Street Journal this week, and it didn't exactly make me want to buy her book. The all-important 'next steps' chapter in the book was panned as a tepid campaign speech, full of platitudes but short of detail.

There's no getting by the reality that Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska prior to completing her term is a serious liability.

Fox News contributor and noted conservative columnist Mary Katherine Ham opined, on Bill O'Reilly's program, that Palin probably needs to win a House or Senate election in order to demonstrate some commitment to actually learning and grappling with federal-level issues, as well as provide some stability and length to her now-brief record of holding an important governing office.

Ham may be correct, but, unfortunately, two out of three of Alaska's Congressional delegation are already Republican, and the third, Mark Begich, just won election last year to Ted Stevens' seat.

So, there's really no room for Palin on that front.

Despite the many polls suggesting that Palin could improve her image and standing among independent voters, I personally just don't think Sarah Palin has the necessary experience to be seen as qualified for the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Yes, her values are solidly conservative. Yes, she has some valuable experience and perspectives on energy and environmental issues.

But having just suffered through one inexperienced president, it's unlikely Wonderboy's successful GOP opponent will be an equally-inexperienced candidate.

More probably, like Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin, in order to realize any presidential hopes, will have to be patient, take a longer, circuitous path, and win a nomination for election to the White House in something more like 7 or 11 years, rather than 3. And that means she has to find a worthy base from which to operate in the meantime, doing genuinely productive work while remaining close to, and occasionally, but not frequently, in the national political spotlight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Terrorist Warning: The Fort Hood Massacre

I haven't written anything to date on the Fort Hood massacre.

Initially, there really wasn't a lot to say. It seemed fairly straightforward. A Muslim US Army Major killed 13 and wounded many more in a zealous rage of terror.

It wasn't simple criminality. It was, once one heard the evidence that he yelled "God is Great" in Arabic, clearly a terrorist act.

The real story began with the Army's, media's and administration's denial of this fact. Their attempt to place political correctness above the primary mission of the US armed forces, which is the defense of our country.

But then it got worse. Much, much worse.

We learned last week that the Army actually had intercepted Hassan's phone calls to Al Queda operatives. That he had given a presentation contending that militant Muslims be released from US armed forces obligations, so they could return to sympathetic countries, the easier to wage war on the US.

It strains belief that this could really all be true. That our armed forces could be so badly managed as to know that an officer no longer believed his oath to defend our country, and was actually fomenting dissent in the ranks.

The Army let this continue, let the officer serve, and behaved as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

We now know we have serious problems. Perhaps on the scale of Britain's in handling its own Muslim population.

Much has already been written and spoken about the need to not paint all Muslims with a brush of suspicion. That's true. What is also true is that our armed forces must be purged of this focus on diversity at the expense of execution of its primary mission.

And the primacy of allegiance of all US service men and women to the country which they serve, above any other allegiance to any country, religion, or any other competing entity.

It appears that our nation's ability to defend itself is now vulnerable to this simply requirement being enforced in our military forces.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Look Who's Muzzling The EPA Now!

Remember when Wonderboy excoriated the Bush administration for imagined muzzling of EPA researchers?

How the liberals complained that the Bush EPA forbid staffers who believed in global warming from voicing their opinions?

Now we learn, from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial by Kim Strassel, that Wonderboy's EPA is doing the same thing, in reverse. And to a well-documented, much more extreme degree.

Specifically, Dr. Alan Carlin "offered a report poking holes in the science underlying the theory of manmade global warming."

According to Strassel, Carlin's superior complained that his work didn't support the new administration's party line regulating carbon, and told Carlin to "move on to other issues, and forbade him from discussing it outside the office."

Strassel notes that EPA's Lisa Jackson initially promised "fishbowl"-like transparency at the agency, but has quickly changed her mind on this. As Strassel observes,

"The goal now is to rush the agency regulations through as quickly as possible, squashing threatening dissent and deflecting troublesome questions."

Regarding Carlin, Strassel asked him how he was treated, when in dissent, by the Bush administration. He replied that

"years ago he actually believed the science was "correct"- a position that put him at odds with the Bush administration. Mr. Carlin knew one of his top supervisors back then disagreed with him. "At no time did he say don't work on it, don't express those views which are contrary to mine. And he in effect allowed me to work on climate change for five years...I had no problems until March of this current year."

Even a husband and wife team of EPA staffers, Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, were told to pull a video which, though supporting global warming and carbon-reducing policies, criticized Wonderboy's administration's support of the cap-and-trade bill.

So much for free speech in Wonderboy's administration. Fair enough, if that was consistent with his campaign promises.

But, of course, it's not. That was just another lie by the First Rookie, told to get elected.