Tag Archives: freedom

Colorful Metaphors

The only time that liberals start talking about civility is when we have them on the run.

For those who are just emerging from hibernation, I’ll fill you in on current events: A nutjob with leftist tendencies named Jared Lee Loughner recently went on a shooting spree in Arizona. Google his name and that should tell any hibernators anything else they need to know.

Of course, the left wasted no time rushing to blame this tragedy on conservatives. They (and their RINO buddies) called for “civility” in political discourse. They said that using any metaphor or illustration derived from firearms, war, et cetera was now verboten. Of course, they continue to use such metaphors freely and with impunity.

Anyway, my response is escalation (military metaphor). I will not retreat (another military metaphor). Seriously, no reasonable person believes that commonly-used metaphors are responsible for violence. It’s just an attempt to browbeat (violent-sounding phrase) conservatives into sitting down, shutting up, and letting our statist betters control the dialog. Comparisons (similies, metaphors, analogies, et cetera) are highly useful in conveying information. Comparisons derive from familiar things. I use metaphors from sports, the military, firearms, music, art, entertainment, pop culture, science, history, and many other areas.

I will not allow the left to make me be quiet about my conservative beliefs.
I will not allow them to deprive me of useful metaphors, either.

Yes, my fellow trekkies, the title is a reference to Star Trek IV. (That’s the one with the whales, for you heathens.)

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I Can’t Forget

I remember when the song “Have You Forgotten?” by Darryl Worley came out. The reaction from the leftists was predictable: “Of course we haven’t forgotten!”

In retrospect, I think they were right. They can’t forget that which they never learned.

On the other hand, I can’t forget. Though the impact on my life was minimal, I still felt like I had been punched in the gut (and I do know what that really feels like). My country was wounded. I doubt any of these pathetic trans-national, post-national, globalist, statist, progressive pigs know what that feels like.

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.

from “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”
by Sir Walter Scott

As midnight approached, to bring in the 11th, I felt increasingly somber.

Nine years later, 9/11 still makes me feel like I had the breath knocked out of me. I made it through most of the day fine, but I’m not ashamed to say that I did weep once.

I remember. I will not forget. I can’t forget.

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Foreign Laws

This was the second half of my last post. However, I think it stands on its own better than as a part of that one, so here it is again:

The idea of using foreign laws to influence American court decisions has always been repulsive to me. Foreign laws are made by foreign leaders using foreign methods to meet foreign needs. While there are certainly elements common to all humanity, there are also regional variations based on geography, culture, and other factors that cannot allow a cookie-cutter mentality toward shaping laws. This applies within the 50 United States. What works in Maine might not necessarily work in Arizona. It applies even more so from one country to another. Foreign laws are also made by foreign legislatures whose methods might be illegal in the U.S. We are bound by our constitution, not foreign constitutions.

Foreign law might work for foreign countries, but it often goes against our laws, our traditions, our culture, our Constitution, and our liberty. If people want to adopt an idea from another country, let them put it before the Congress, or the state legislatures. Let our legislators study them, debate them, and modify them as necessary to meet our needs. Using foreign ideas to influence American court decisions thus bypassing the people’s elected representatives is a subversion of the sovereignty of the people and is (in my mind) close to treason.

Besides, it just doesn’t fit. The culture, economies, people, traditions, and constitutions of other countries are sufficiently different from ours to render them functionally incompatible. Trying to use foreign law to render court decisions in the U.S. is like trying to play Monopoly using the rules from Risk.

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Limited Government – Fast Food Style

I’ve eaten at more fast food establishments than I can count. Some are quality and some are not. 

One of my favorites is Chick-Fil-A. Famous for their spelling-impaired cows, Chick-Fil-A has made a name for themselves by selling an amazing number of menu items that feature chicken. You can get it grilled or breaded and fried; patty, strips, or nuggets; on a bun, in a wrap, in a salad, or by itself. They even do chicken for breakfast! Chick-Fil-A basically does one main thing (with a variety of smaller things in the side) and does it well. 

In-N-Out Burger is another favorite of mine. This west coast establishment also has a “do one thing, do it well” philosophy. Where some fast food joints have over twenty combos, In-N-Out has three. (Of course there is also their “not-so-secret secret menu,” but that is just a re-arrangement of existing menu ingredients.) Missing is the bewildering array found at most fast food restaurants – there is a beautiful simplicity to their menu. I’ve watched employees in so many eateries have to look up seldom-ordered menu options. In my own (brief and fruitless) fast food experience, I had to look up things as well. At the well-oiled machine that is In-N-Out, I have never seen an employee bewildered at what something is. Their kitchen is open, so customers can see what is going on inside. A large window in the drive-through ensures that customers there can see in as well. Again, we see an eatery that does one thing, and does it well. 

Both of these culinary delights are quite popular despite not having the bewildering menu array we have come to expect from fast food restaurants. I would assert that the simplicity of their menus is a leading contributor to the quality that customers appreciate in their products. 

Now, contrast that with our government. Over the past century or so, the size and scope of our federal government has grown considerably, as have those of the states. Government is doing for us many things that we ought to be doing for ourselves. As a result, the bureaucratic intrusion in our daily lives has grown crippling to our liberty and the economy. Taxes, permits, fees, regulations, paperwork… the list grows rather than shrinks. 

In an attempt to “straw man” the concerns of conservatives, tea party activists, and others; those on the left have often accused us of wanting no government or even being anti-government. This is not at all what we want. We want what our Constitution mandates: a government limited to a few specific areas. Within those areas, the federal government has tremendous power and authority. Outside those, it has little to none. 

By seeking to do everything and taking authority away from the states, the people, private enterprise, private charity, and private organizations the federal government has bloated itself beyond reason. This is not just an argument against high taxes or high spending. The very fact that the government is trying to do things that is not designed to do, has no constitutional authority to do, and is not effective at doing is causing it to fail at it all. 

I would rather have the “lean machine” government that was both effective and respectful of the Constitution and the people. Eateries such as Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger are able to focus on quality through their relatively simple menus. The government would do well to learn from their “do one thing, do it well” philosophy. 


Hindenblog asserts that President Obama’s attempts to straw man fans of limited government opens the door for us to talk to others about just what limited government is all about.

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What is “historic”?

I’m sick and tired of hearing people blather on and on about how “historic” the health care takeover is. Historic doesn’t mean good.

9/11 was historic.
Pearl Harbor was historic.
Kristallnacht was historic.
the Alamo was historic.

That doesn’t mean they were good.

Passing something this blatantly unconstitutional and tyrannical against incredible public opposition is certainly historic. That doesn’t mean that this is a good thing.

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Audi’s Greenstapo Super Bowl Ad

Did you get a chance to see Audi’s Greenstapo Super Bowl ad?

Some people saw this as satire of the enviostatist fanatics, others were seriously creeped out. Put me down in the “creeped out” camp. Not only was the video an affront to me as a free man, it was scary.

When the Tripods Came
In this science fiction book for kids, the Earth is invaded by extraterrestrials in three legged craft. However, the aliens do not invade in the traditional manner. They use a pirate TV signal to broadcast “The Trippy Show.” The show begins as pure fluff entertainment, then gradually transitions to propaganda. In the beginning, there is a tripod character that dances in the background of the show. Eventually, the tripod transitions to a heroic character. This has the effect of slowly getting the human population used to the idea of the tripods. First, they are depicted as silly, then gradually as noble.

This technique can be quite effective: get the masses used to the idea by making fun of it, then gradually transition to treating it seriously and heroically.

The comments on the youtube video are illuminating. Some think this is a joke, others are creeped out, but then there are the others. Quite a few posters seem to think that the Envirosocialist police state depicted would be a good idea. People like that make me fear for the future of human liberty.

Hoard incandescents.

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Added Feb 10, 2009

Something else bothered me about the video and some people’s enthusiastic response to it.

I started thinking about the real horrors that people inflict upon each other: murder, rape, assault, molestation, kidnapping, abuse, armed robbery…
Can throwing away a plastic bottle come anywhere close to that?

Does using an incandescent light bulb equal selling cocaine to a child?

Is using a plastic grocery bag the same as robbery, embezzlement, or even kicking a dog?

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My Political Philosophy in a Nutshell

Here’s my political philosophy in a nutshell. Naturally, it’s a work in progress.

 

Our freedoms are a gift from God. Anyone who unjustly deprives another of liberty is guilty of sinning against that person and against God. The fact that someone isn’t living the way you want them to does not constitute just cause.

Law and government exist to protect the rights of the individual.

There should be enough government to stop or catch the bad guys and prevent foreign invation, but not so much as to burden the people with unnecessary taxes and regulations.

Government is best done as close to the local level as possible.

Government must be limited to prevent the damage that power-hungry people can do if they attain office.

The government is not our nanny to wipe our noses and kiss our boo-boos. Nanny state laws are like heroin to tyrants and tyrant wannabes.

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Questions We Should Ask About a Constitutional Convention

Updated 3/30/2010, 4/22/2010, 4/24/2010

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that an amendment to the US Constitution may be proposed by the Congress or by a Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution. Such a convention is called by Congress after two-thirds of the states petition them to call it. A Convention has never been called, as the threat of calling for one is often sufficient to force Congress to propose the desired amendment.

There have been some who have said that we need to call a Constitutional Convention to bring forth term limits, protect some right, or pursue some other worthy cause via Constitutional amendment. Of course, others have wondered if such a convention would choose to disregard our current Constitution and forge a new one, as the first Constitutional Convention did.  One then has to wonder what such a new Constitution would say.  However, all the speculation that I have heard ended there. 

Let us ask a few further questions:

Would the proceedings be open to public viewing or scrutiny?

Would the proceedings be in secret?

If such a new Constitution were produced, what means would be set to ratify it?

Would the drafting of a new Constitution nullify the old one, even if the new one were rejected?

Would the drafting of a new Constitution dissolve the union?

What about a new Constitution that was not ratified:
     How long would the possibility of ratification remain?
     Again, would the old Constitution be nullified or the union dissolved?

What about a new Constitution that was ratified:
     Would a state that refused to ratify be bound by the new Constitution?
     Would they be out of the union?
     Would they be forced to obey a Constitution that they rejected?

Before dismissing any of this as idle speculation or stupid questions, let’s remember that we are in uncharted territory here. Anything could happen at a Constitutional Convention.

These questions and others need to be considered before an action as drastic as a Constitutional Convention is considered.

Personally, I hope it never comes to that.


3/30/2010
I am not opposed to the idea of calling a convention in theory.
However. I am still not completely sold on the necessity of the idea. Also, I am still not sure that the outcome would be beneficial to the cause of limited government.

Satellite radio talker Mike Church is a major proponent of the Article V Convention and has planned a conference to discuss the issue on April 9, 2010. Linked article includes a summary of proposed amendments.


4/22/2010
Mike Church has made available the audio from the town hall conference on April 9, 2010.

Here it is.

I have listened to the audio. They have answered some of the questions that I have asked above.

I am not completely sold yet, but am more in favor of the idea than I was.


4/24/2010
I do believe that we need to amend the Constitution to safeguard our liberties, though. If things keep going the way they are, I should reach 100% support of this idea soon.


Other relevant posts of mine:

Term Limits Amendment


For more info:
Article 5 of the Constitution
Convention to propose amendments
State ratifying conventions
Forbes.com A Bill Of Federalism by Randy E. Barnett – proposed amendments

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Some Tidbits from CS Lewis

Here are some tidbits from CS Lewis:

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.” – Hyoi in Out of the Silent Planet

“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.” – The Problem of Pain

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  God in the Dock

 
Without risk, there is no reward; without the possibility of true failure, there is no possibility of true success. This is the danger of modern liberal and progressive thought. Schools give awards to everyone to preserve self-esteem and by doing so, remove the incentive for the gifted to excel and the average to beat expectations. The nanny state seeks to cushion us from the bumps and bruises, never realizing that they are discouraging excellence and breeding mediocrity. Through it all, they are eroding our liberty.

I am not the first to say it, and I sure won’t be the last.

 

Here are a couple more about evil:

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.” The Screwtape Letters

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The Screwtape Letters

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1787 US Constitution Flag

1787 Constitution Flag

1787 Constitution Flag

The Flag of the Alamo, also known as the 1824 Flag is believed to be the one that flew over the Alamo during the battle there.  The date 1824 references the Mexican Constitution of 1824, which the government under President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was not honoring.

 

The 1787 flag is a variation on the Unites States flag, with the date 1787 added, referencing the date of the adoption of the US constitution.  (Note: The U.S. Constitution was not finally ratified until 1788.)

Now, I have to say that by referencing the Alamo, I am certainly not advocating any kind of violence or revolution.  I designed this flag to represent my support for The United States Constitution and my desire that all elected officials would truly seek to honor and obey it.

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