Monday, July 26, 2010
It needs an all-out battle to stop the frauds who are destroying America
When will Republicans get it through their head that this in no longer a conflict of ideas played by gentlemen rules? The Obama/Pelosi/Reed triumvirate has already taken control of automotive, insurance, housing, healthcare, student loans, and finance industries. Soon they’ll take control of the energy and telecommunications industries. They’ve usurped state authority with unfunded mandates on an unprecedented level (heath care). They've wreaked state budgets with stimulus dollars that come with more strings than a marionette. And they even refuse to allow Arizona to take reasonable actions to protect itself against rampant illegal immigration. That giant sucking sound you hear is power being vacuumed up from all points on the compass to settle in Washington DC, so it can be ceremoniously transferred to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This cabal is intent on changing the country in a direction that will cause misery for generations of Americans. Socialism? No, I never feared that this administration would take us into a European-style socialist state. I believe that would be bad, especially for the people struggling to get a foothold on life, but it would not be the annihilation of everything I hold dear. No, my fear is closer to home, right here in this hemisphere. What they have in mind starts with crony capitalism and corrupt dealings between big government and big business. Once this is taken a few more steps, it's more properly called fascism—the government control of private enterprise and suppression of all opposition.
So, quit playing nice. These people are committed to winning, and they use Chicago-style tactics—rock you back on your heels, and then they embrace you in a warm hug. But make no mistake, as soon as they're done with you, they will viciously attack your character, beliefs, and faith until they destroy your will to fight. There are crucial battles ahead. You've lost a lot already, but the war is still raging. Open your eyes. Don't obsess on the current battle, and nip around the edges of their latest assault. Always remember the long string of double-crosses that have come before. See their intent for what it really is, not for what you hope it is. Your mantra must be to watch what they do, not what they say.
Here’s one piece of good news for you: The people have caught on. The bellicose accusations the administration throws at opponents are falling on deaf ears—at least out here in the real world.
Our salvation will only come when enough people stand with courage and yell NO! Instead of being intimidated, wear the Party of No badge with pride. Do not give in. Do not grant them legitimacy because they won the last election—they won under a false flag. The country did not vote for this, they voted for bipartisan, post-racial leadership that would extend wellbeing to more of our people while protecting the liberty of all.
Bernanke Says: Keep Bush Tax Cuts
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke favors the continuation of the Bush tax cuts, which would allow Obama to avoid implementing the biggest tax hike in history under his name.
The Obama, Reid and Pelosi power trip wants to raise taxes on "the rich," but fails to understand that those lumped into that category include small businesses, which employ over 70 percent of Americans. More taxes equals less money to pay more employees, resulting obviously in even higher unemployment.
The battle lines are clearly drawn. Obama, Reid and Pelosi on one side, Bernanke and small business on the other.
The failures of Obama and his Congressional poodles were inevitable
Most of the progressive criticism of the Obama Democrats seems to take-on one of either a couple different themes. First, there’s the theme that “Obama should have focused more on job creation” during his first two years in office, rather than spending so much time and energy on healthcare legislation. Progressive pundit Arianna Huffington has been sounding this alarm for at least the last nine months, recognizing before many others that, yes, even Barack Obama needs to preside over a flourishing economy if he’s going to retain any political clout.
The other theme of criticism among progressives is that “Obama hasn’t gone far enough.” His approach to “reforming” healthcare should have been to completely shut-down any private sector involvement in the healthcare industry and the medical profession, and to place it all under the auspices of government-run enterprise. Similarly, he should have put “big oil” in its place by now, and should have already legislated a reduction in petroleum consumption while “creating” a “green energy industry.”
Both of these lines of reasoning are fraught with naivety, and false assumptions. And they are both grounded in a enormous misunderstanding of basic economics, and human nature.
Consider the assumptions about economics, and human nature, entailed in these remarks from Paul Waldman, writing in the July 20th edition of the American Prospect: “It wasn't supposed to be this way. Remember when Barack Obama's presidency was going to wash over the capital like a cleansing tide, renewing both the government's ability to accomplish great things and restoring the people's faith in that ability? It seems so much longer than a year and a half ago…The broader frustration is with a system whose dysfunction and corruption seem worse than ever -- one that seems like it's designed to stop progressive change…”
Indeed, the corruption and dysfunction of the Obama Democrats are bringing so-called “progressive change” to a halt. But why would Waldman – and the progressives, generally – ever think that concentrating more and more economic resources into the hands of fewer and fewer people (this is what happens when government takes-over huge chunks of the private sector economy, as Obama has been doing) would NOT lead to more corruption?
Progressives lament the harshness and corruption of the private sector, capitalistic economy – insurance companies denying coverage or charge too much for their product are common grievances – yet they naively assume that as long as politicians and government bureaucrats control things, greedy and self-serving behaviors will disappear, and the “collective good” will reign supreme.
But there is no historical basis for this assumption. Indeed, most of the world’s roughly five-thousand years of history paint a brutal picture of government “rulers” and “ruling classes” of people, abusively lording their power over the poorer classes. This is to say that there is no one individual (not even President Obama), nor any one select group of people (like Congressional Democrats) that are so “moral” and “virtuous” that they will consistently set aside their own personal self-interests (self-interests like increasing their power and popularity), as a means of serving the collective good.
No, part of being human is to be self-interested, and the Obama Democrats have displayed in painful ways that they will do whatever they want with other people’s economic resources, so long as it makes them feel good.
This is why conservatives believe in the free-market economy. And not a free-market devoid of any and all forms of regulation (such economic systems only exist on paper). But rather, a free-market economy where market competition provides a check-and-balance to bad behavior.
DISCLOSE Act Assault on First Amendment Continues
For those of you who believe in bygone notions like free speech rights and the ability to criticize politicians when they do things like nationalize 1/5 of the U.S. economy, you better taken advantage of that while you can. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed for cloture on the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628, which is intended to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and impose burdensome new disclosure requirements. The cloture vote will probably occur next Tuesday in a move that avoids committee hearings. If Reid can get 60 votes, then the Schumer/Van Hollen Sedition Act of 2010 will proceed to a vote. At that point, he will only need 51 senators who believe Congress has the ability to circumvent and restrict the First Amendment.
Senator Schumer also introduced a new version of S. 3628 yesterday which differs slightly from the version passed in the House, H.R. 5175. For example, it drops the ban on political speech introduced by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) by holders of oil drilling leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, which is a slight improvement over the House version. But the differential treatment between corporations and unions is still present in the new, refined, and “improved” bill, as are all of the other worst provisions of the original version.
The Center for Competitive Politics estimates that the ban on government contractors engaging in political speech will apply to over half of the fifty largest companies in the United States. The “NRA exemption” from the burdensome disclosure requirements remains in the bill as does the prohibition on speech of American companies with direct or indirect connections with foreign corporations (although unions and NGOs with foreign members are not affected). So companies owned 80% by Americans that are headquartered in the United States and whose employees are overwhelmingly American will not be able to engage in any political speech.
If this bill passes, it will become effective within thirty days, which will cause such confusion and chaos only two months before the fall congressional elections that many corporations, both profit and nonprofit, and incorporated associations, will no doubt stay out of the election and stay out of grassroots activity on other bills and issues being considered by Congress before November. But then, there is little doubt that deterring such activity that could lead to criticism of the positions and votes taken by incumbent senators and representatives is an intentional objective.
The Framers of our Bill of Rights are probably rolling over in their graves as they contemplate what may be about to happen in the United States Senate. If Daniel Webster asked “How stands the Union?’ as he did in the famous story by Stephen Vincent Benet in The Devil and Daniel Webster, it would be hard to give him the answer he would want. When members of the United States Congress believe they have the power to violate the First Amendment with impunity and censor the political speech of those who they believe should not be able to speak, then the Union no longer stands “rock-bottomed and copper sheathed, one and indivisible.”
One Nation Under Arrest
If you did not know that you were supposed to affix a federally mandated sticker to your otherwise lawful UPS package, should you be arrested face down on the pavement by FBI agents training automatic weapons at you? Our hunch is that most reasonable Americans would respond with an emphatic ‘No!’ Today we are launching a series of posts based on case studies adapted from our new book, One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. The book includes stories of average Americans who have been arrested, prosecuted, convicted – and even imprisoned – despite the fact that they were doing their best to be respectable, law-abiding citizens. The UPS-sticker example is just one real world example we will be highlighting.
Heritage fellow Jack Park kicks off the series today. He relates how George Norris, a 67-year-old husband and grandfather, ended up spending almost two years in federal prison. Some of Norris’s paperwork for his home-based orchid business did not meet all of the technical requirements of an international treaty. None of his orchids were illegal to import, possess, or sell, but that did not stop the government from prosecuting and imprisoning him.
One Nation Under Arrest analyzes the causes of overcriminalization and offers solid proposals for reforming the law. To be solved, the problems of overcriminalization must be fully recognized and understood. Overcriminalization includes applying criminal penalties to activities that are socially and economically beneficial. Consider, for example, the obscure environmental laws that dictate what you can and cannot do in your own home even when they may not provide any clear environmental benefit.
Overcriminalization also includes creating offenses that are so vague and broad that they grant federal prosecutors a license to deem broad swaths of conduct “criminal.” The federal “honest services” fraud statute, for example, is so vague and far-reaching that even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has written that prosecutors could use it to convict and imprison Americans who call in “sick” to attend a ballgame.
Increasingly over the past few decades, the U.S. Congress has been callously disregarding the limits the Constitution places on the federal government’s authority to criminalize otherwise innocent conduct and engaging in similarly improper criminalization. This has partially succeeded in warping Americans’ collective understanding of what should – and what should not – be the subject of federal criminal punishment.
But most Americans still have not surrendered their sound judgment that criminal punishment should be carefully limited. If you buy or sell personal shares of stock and are unaware that you are technically violating some obscure trading rule on corporate mergers and acquisitions that are conducted via tender offer (whatever that is), should you have to face the possibility of paying for your lack of knowledge by spending time in federal prison with murderers, child rapists, and drug traffickers? Anyone who has traded stock yet is not intimately familiar with the hundreds or thousands of relevant statutes, rules, and regulations would again probably say ‘No!’
Congress and state legislatures increasingly view the criminal law as the tool of choice to “solve” every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making appropriate use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives. Criminal law should be used to redress only that conduct which Americans rightly and reasonably determine is deserving of society’s greatest punishment and moral sanction. As had been the rule for centuries, no one should be punished as a criminal unless he committed a wrongful act knowing that it was illegal or wrongful – that is, unless he acted with criminal intent.
Like the stories in this Foundry series, One Nation Under Arrest highlights how criminal law and punishment today frequently transgress these boundaries and harm the innocent. If you want to know more about how overcriminalization endangers you and other honest, respectable Americans, keep checking in on this Foundry series and click below to order a copy of One Nation Under Arrest.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:20 AM