Monday, December 31, 2012

The Play's The Thing! ... J. D. Longstreet

The Play's The Thing!
Home of the Brave -- or -- Lair of the Knave
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Definition of knave: 
A dishonest or unscrupulous man.
Synonyms:  rogue - rascal - jack - villain - scoundrel - scamp

I can't take credit for the title above.  I stole it from some positively ancient would-be playwright named Bill Shakespeare.  I understand there is some question, even today, as to the actual author of those words from Hamlet. So, to whomever wrote it, my thanks! You were -- and remain -- spot on!

As the so-called Mainstream Media continues its propaganda tsunami warning that we are all about to be swept over the fiscal cliff, it has begun to irritate me.  I have begun to question their motive(s) even more. 

The MsM (the Mainstream Media, the Press, the Non-Fox Media, the Democrat Propaganda Bureau, the Ministry of Propaganda, JUST PICK ONE!) has finally dropped its thin camouflage and it is now apparent the MsM is  one huge propaganda machine for the political left.  I trust nothing I hear, see, or read, that has the MSM as its source.

We told you during the early months of 2012 that the MsM would report the American economy as "improving" as we drew nearer the election.  They did. The same with unemployment. In fact, they painted a picture of an economy on the rebound. Of course, Obama's economic policies were hailed as the cause of the "recovery." 

But there was no recovery -- not even the hint of a recovery.  It was all sheer propaganda to assist their hero, Obama, reclaim his seat in the Oval Office from whence he could continue to plot America's fundamental transformation into a socialist/Marxist country.

If you visit my personal blog, "INSIGHT on Freedom," you will see that it is a site for conservative thought, opinion, commentary and analysis.  I make no bones about it nor apologies for it.  I'd like to see all news organizations be as up-front about their political ideology as that.  But, hey, I won't hold my breath! 

I have come to believe we have a knave in the Oval Office.  Oh, I'm pretty sure that as soon as the folks on the left have time to look up the word "knave" in the closest dictionary, I will be labeled a racist.  Never mind that one's skin pigment has nothing, whatsoever, to do with one's being a knave -- or not.

As noted above, a knave is: A dishonest or unscrupulous man.  Knaves exist throughout the government as they do throughout our society.  It is only the word "knave" we are unfamiliar with today.  The knave's actions are too well known to us. 

Knave is old English dating back as far as the year 1000. It's a good word, very descriptive,  and frankly, I wish it had not fallen out of use. But, then again, I am a man out of time and place as my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace,  never tired of reminding me.

Obama's knavish behavior is a dead giveaway.  The man lies.  I'd like to think that his administration will be remembered in the history books as the liers they are -- but THAT will not happen as the history books are mostly written by persons who share Obama's political ideology.

He's a flim-flam artist -- a con man.  Take the "fiscal cliff" (Puh-LEASE!).  His striving to save us from the plunge is all an act.  Obama has no intention of saving America from crashing to the bottom of that ravine.  In fact, in my opinion, that is exactly what he wants!

I find it amusing that Obama and his willing cohort of fellow socialist and Marxists in the Congress and the various alphabet agencies within his administration love America so much they absolutely MUST fundamentally CHANGE it!  Doesn't that strike anyone as, well, rather, uh, strange?             

Right-wing commentator Dinesh d'Souza said of President Obama:  "President Obama has an agenda for downsizing America that he dare not share with the American people because it would endanger his support."  He goes on by saying that Obama:  " ... wants America to have less wealth and power so that people in other countries can have more wealth and power."  SOURCE:

What Mr. d'Souza just described is wealth redistribution, or, as we like to call it -- SOCIALISM.

You may recall that Dinesh d'Souza released a film entitled  "2016: Obama's America" prior to the 2012 election.  The film was hailed by many on the right while simultaneously being denigrated by the political left as a "trashing" of President Obama.

As I write these words, the great melodrama over the avalanche of taxes about to sweep across America is playing out on our TV screens.  It is orchestrated, choreographed, produced and directed just like any other play.  And it is mostly pure bovine scatology.  And I, for one, have had a belly full.

It is clear to anyone, interested enough to look, that Obama's mission is to deconstruct America and rebuild it in the image of a socialist/Marxist state.  But first, he needs the old system to crash.  THAT'S why it is so important that the US go over that fiscal cliff and crash and burn at the bottom. It is from those ashes Obama and his Marxist allies intend to build the new Socialist/Marxist America.

One needn't have a crystal ball to foretell this future.  It's right out there for any and all to see. 

Ah.  But the play's the thing, right?  And it is the play to which our eyes are being directed.  Never mind the man behind the curtain (as they say) keep you eyes center-stage.

Unlike Hamlet's devised scripting of his play, we do not have to watch for the tell-tale flashes of guilt cross the faces of the audience members to discern the guilty party or parties.  We already know the identity of the knave.

Sadly, however, the audience clearly supports such machinations.  How else to explain the enthusiastic support at the polls in November for the knave's agenda of supplanting freedom with slavery?

How quickly we have become a nation of knaves and slaves.

© J. D. Longstreet

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

General Welfare and the Fiscal Cliff ... JB Williams

General Welfare and the Fiscal Cliff
By JB Williams
The leftist push to bludgeon “the rich” with targeted excessive taxes is not only a fiscally unsound strategy for solving our massive spending crisis, it will be a direct violation of the general welfare clause found in both the preamble and Article I – Section VIII of the U.S. Constitution regarding the enumerated powers of congress.
“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Affirmed in Article I – Section VIII, the enumerated powers of congress and/or the Federal Government, congress shall make no law which singles out any individual or group for treatment different than any other individual or group. All acts of the Federal Government must “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
By general welfare, the founders were not referring to food stamps, Medicaid or any other form of government assistance. Affirming Tenth Amendment powers, Thomas Jefferson wrote –
“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people. To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

In short, the general welfare clause found in our U.S. Constitution is not a blank check for elected servants of the people. One of the many limits placed upon our Federal Government is the general welfare clause, which requires that all laws treat all citizens of the United States equally, prohibiting the government from singling out any individual group, targeting certain individuals for special treatment. Positive special treatment for one group is an unconstitutional offense to another group.
Such a legislative act by congress is a bill of attainder, “A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.”
Democrats demand to “punish” the rich with excessive taxation in an effort to deal with the fiscal catastrophe created by excessive federal spending, is yet another illegal [Bill of Attainder] wholly unconstitutional act by Democrats and the Obama administration.
As Jefferson wrote many years ago, “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” But it was Samuel Adams who told us what to do about it – “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Although many in America seeking access to the earnings of others couldn’t care less about whether or not their actions are constitutional or legal, much less moral or ethical, even a French Court put a stop on the French governments effort to pass a 75% tax upon its wealthiest members of society and in France too, such an act is illegal.
American taxpayers have endured poor fiscal spending policies for decades now. But it is Barack Obama and Democrats who own the distinction of growing the federal government by 33% in four short years while driving the national public debt up by over 60% in one term, outspending all prior U.S. Administrations since George Washington.
Jefferson stated unequivocally in 1798 – “Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government . . . whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
This is the foundation for modern state initiatives to place the federal government back in check via Tenth Amendment efforts like The Balance of Powers Act. The federal government exists at the pleasure of the states and the people. The constitution greatly restricts federal powers and although the federal government has been acting well beyond its constitutional authority for many years, legally and constitutionally speaking, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
As our nation speeds toward the fiscal cliff created and caused by the federal government, specifically the U.S. Congress which holds all constitutional powers of the purse strings, it is vital that American patriots prevent the nations ruin by stopping the unconstitutional acts of a runaway tyrannical Fed.
Equally as important is the fact that Barack Obama has presided over the most fiscally catastrophic administration in American history and that his strategy for a second term is even more unsound than that of his first term.
This is not rocket science… Spending money you don’t have and can no longer borrow is unsustainable. Targeting “the rich” as is currently proposed by Democrats, won’t solve the spending problem or even buy any time to solve the spending problem.
If American millionaires allow themselves to be targeted for more excessive taxation, which many will not as some have already moved to foreign markets in anticipation of Obama taxes, the revenue generated by the increased tax rates on the wealthy would only fund the federal government for THREE DAYS at the current rate of spending.
In fact, if Obama taxed all American millionaires at a 100% rate, it would only fund the federal government for little more than a week. It’s the spending stupid!
Last, when you over-tax the rich, you remove the resources from the private sector once used to invest and create private sector jobs. This explains why over 70% of the dismal jobs “created” during the Obama administration have been government jobs, increasing the size of the federal government by 33% in four years, driving the nation an additional $6 Trillion in debt, all at unsustainable taxpayer expense.
There is but one way to solve America’s financial crisis and that is to slash the size and expense of the federal government to live within it means and constitutional scope or authority.
Obama and Democrats won’t do it and will in fact fight to the death against it, as they have demonstrated for decades.
That means the congressional Republicans will have to block Obama’s tyrannical tax plan aimed at punishing America’s most successful citizens, mostly for benefit of labor unions and democrat politicians.
Since the American people cannot count on congressional Republicans to do anything in the way of keeping their oath of office these days, the people themselves will have to block it at the state lines using a broad base solution like The Balance of Powers Act to protect state and individual rights, not only of the “target rich,” but of every citizen that the federal government wants to target to suit its own agenda.
“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.”- John Adams, 1774

Our Founders gave us the wisdom, but the current American generation will have to muster the courage.

JB Williams is a writer on matters of history and American politics with more than 3000 pieces published over a twenty-year span. He has a decidedly conservative reverence for the Charters of Freedom, the men and women who have paid the price of freedom and liberty for all, and action oriented real-time solutions for modern challenges. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, a researcher, writer and a business owner. He is co-founder of action organizations The United States Patriots Union, a civilian parent organization for The Veteran Defenders of America. He is also co-founder of The North American Law Center, a citizen run investigative legal research and activism organization preparing to take on American's greatest legal battles. Williams receives mail at:

A “Changed” America Is No Good ... J. D. Longstreet

A “Changed” America Is No Good
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Change is not always good.  This “changed” America is definitely not as good as the America we had before we decided to exchange freedom for socialism.

Today, Americans are beginning to awaken and learn the nightmare they are experiencing is not a nightmare one experiences during REM sleep.  In fact, they learn, to their utter surprise, they are NOT sleeping.  This nightmare is NO DREAM.  It is REAL.  And, Americans who THOUGHT they wanted, and yes, even NEEDED change brought it on.

Many of the votes that were cast for our current Presidential Regime for “change” were votes from young people who had no idea what they were trading and what they were getting for the trade. They are the product of a public education system in America now almost totally ruled over by the political left, which still seeks the Nirvana of Utopia through Socialism.  After 12, or more, years in the public education system, then 2 to 4 more years in those bastions of liberalism/socialism we refer to as colleges and universities, is it any wonder their Pavlovian response in the voting booth was to pull all the levers by the names of the candidates who were decidedly left-wing candidates? Hardly!  They were simply reacting to the stimuli implanted in their malleable minds as they made their way through an education system designed to do just that.

And now after the deed is done, we are just on the cusp of the avalanche of hurt coming our way as our country is about to collapse around us.

Those of us who knew socialism’s sad story of lies, deceit, and destruction are not surprised at America’s precarious position today.
  We knew it would happen. We have watched socialism from its birth.  We watched socialism’s struggle to grow while it murdered its host country all the while.  Like a physician trying to heal a patient, by draining the patient’s body of all its blood, socialism drains a nation of its life-giving force and leaves it a broken shell of its former self. Even as robust a nation as Russia required assistance from former enemies, just to survive, after throwing off the bonds of socialism a few short years ago.

Pope Pius XI once said: “It is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to the community at large what private enterprise and industry can accomplish.  So, too, it is an injustice, a grave evil, and a disturbance of right order for a larger and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.”

Now we are observing this “wrong,” and this “injustice,” Pope Pius XI warned of, play out right before our eyes here in America.

The “old” America was truly “something else!”  She was a dream.  She was a land of unlimited opportunities and horizons that went on forever.  She was the envy of the world!

Americans were optimistic people who threw themselves into the task of firing the furnace of the engine of democracy and delighting in the rewards of their own labor. The “American Dream” was so big and so multifaceted that no one could describe it! 

One British author, John Keegan, described America this way:

“Left to themselves, Americans build, cultivate, bridge, dam, canalize, invent, teach, manufacture, think, write, lock themselves in struggle with the eternal challenges that man has chosen to confront, and with an intensity not known elsewhere on the globe.

Bidden to make “War” their work, Americans shoulder the burden with intimidating purpose.  If I were obliged to define the American mystery, I would say it is the ethos - masculine, pervasive, unrelenting - of work as an end in itself.  War is a form of work, and America makes war in a particularly workmanlike way.  I do not love war; but I love America!”
  - John Keegan, author of “Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America” is a British military historian, lecturer, and journalist.

Mr. Keegan had it right  This is what America USED to be like. And for those of us who STILL remember her, as she was, today’s “changed” America  is a bitter pill to swallow!

J. D. Longstreet

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Is Every Single Animal and Reptile Endangered? ... Alan Caruba

Is Every Single Animal and Reptile Endangered?

Prairie Chicken

By Alan Caruba

If it sometimes seems to you that every single animal and reptile is endangered, you can thank that element of the environmental and animal rights movements that has spent millions to foster this absurd belief. Animals and reptiles, fish and birds, lizards and turtles, all are born in the wild and all are food for other species. Nature doesn’t pick favorites, but thanks to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), humans do.

I say “the wild”, but the wild is not some far off place, but rather, for example, it is the vast forested area along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia and beyond. The “wild” has become our backyards as suburbs have become the home of choice for most Americans.

As often as not, those creatures are simply pawns in the environmental movement’s effort to close off vast portions of the nation’s landmass to access from the energy industries, the timber industry, agricultural interests, and any form of development from new housing to hospitals.

Enacted in 1973, the ESA has become the most pernicious piece of legislation foisted on a public that loves animals, but usually only in the abstract except for those who are pet owners who enjoy the companionship, mostly of dogs and cats. Other species may co-exist in beneficial ways, but they don’t adopt one another, nor do they intervene in the way the ESA does.

A couple of recent news stories illustrate how a noble human emotion, empathy, results in some outcomes that don’t reflect good judgment. Take, for instance, the Tampa Bay, Florida woman who ignored signs prohibiting contact with manatees. Videotaped climbing on several of them, she faces a stiff fine against touching them. Florida wants to protect these gentle vegetarians and to ensure they can continue their lives while avoiding dangers from boats whose propellers can cut or kill them. That just makes sense.

Contrast that with an article in New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper about Clinton Township residents who believe coyotes killed a deer. One family reported that is common to hear coyotes howling at night. Ah, Nature! But New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey where its huge deer population thrives, often becoming road kill when a car crashes into them, endangering the drivers and passengers. A year ago the county in which I live had to authorize a deer kill in a reservation area, a watershed I have lived nearby my whole life. The deer were destroying it by eating the ground cover and any new trees. Where you find deer, you are likely to find clusters of Lyme disease since the ticks that are their parasites spread it to humans.

A large bear population requires New Jersey to have a hunting season for them. In recent years, this has been regularly challenged by those who have appointed themselves their guardians, but ask any Garden State resident that finds one in their back yard or on their porch and you will learn of the fear they generate. The state, like others, is home to Canada geese. Huge flocks of these birds befoul parks, golf courses, and other open areas they favor with their droppings. It was a geese collision that forced US Airways Flight 1549 to ditch in the Hudson River in 2009.

As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I can assure you that there is no lack of raccoons, opossums, rabbits, and other wildlife. We have been told for decades that the growth of the suburbs is adversely affecting wildlife, but you would not know that if you lived here. They adapt! The bears break into garbage cans, eat the seeds in bird feeders. The coyotes will make off with a family pet for a tasty dinner. The deer eat expensive foliage and the crops that our farmers raise. It’s not called the Garden State for nothing.

This phenomenon is so widespread that Jim Sterba has authored “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds.”  The woods that Dorothy passed through to get to Oz was filled with “lions and tigers and bears, oh my”, but throughout suburban America, they also include cougars, coyotes, deer, and bears.

In general, the ESA has been a huge failure. Only a handful of species of the hundreds deemed “endangered” have been restored to a larger population. The real purpose of the ESA is not about protecting creatures. It is about thwarting all manner of development, but most especially, access to areas where vast amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal exist, waiting to be extracted. The most endangered species in America today are the hundreds of jobs (and revenue) that this represents.

An example of this was described by David Porter in a recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “Playing Chicken in Oil-Patch Politics.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it will formally consider listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken—whose habitat includes some of the nation’s major energy fields—as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.” Porter identified this as “a desperate ploy by the Obama administration to further its campaign against oil and gas drilling.” The chicken is a ground-nesting bird native to portions of Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

The effort to list the prairie chicken is similar to an earlier effort to list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, overlapping the same area as the chicken. Fortunately it failed, but it drains revenue and time from those states that must invest both to resist such listings in the effort to protect access to the energy reserves beneath their ground.

By September 2011, the Associated Press reported that there were more than 700 pending cases to declare “endangered” everything from the golden-winged warbler, the American eel, and the tiny Texas kangaroo rat. Yes, a rat!

The U.S. Forest and Wildlife Service had “issued decisions advancing more than 500 species toward potential new protections under the Endangered Species Act.”

It is time to end the Endangered Species Act as a very bad piece of legislation whose intent has nothing to do with protecting these creatures whose populations are exploding everywhere and everything to do with harming the economy of the nation. They don’t need protecting. They are surviving in spades!

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

National ID Card Or A Number Tattooed On Your Arm ... J. D. Longstreet

Editor's note:  The following is one of our most popular commentaries.  It has been published and republished many times over.  We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it and offering it for your perusal.   ...   J. D. Longstreet
(March 2010)    
National ID Card Or A Number Tattooed On Your Arm?
By:  J. D. Longstreet
I read recently that a proposal for a National I.D. card for American citizens may soon be back on the table for consideration by US lawmakers. There are some who believe approval for a National ID card is growing. 

I have to ask: what is wrong with Americans?  Are we sheep to be herded by a National Shepherd?  Where is the individualism that won this country from the British and then stretched it across the entire continent to the shores of the Pacific?  Even the oceans could not hold back our burning desire, our passion,  for FREEDOM!  Yet, today, we are begging the federal government to take our freedoms away!  This is scandalous!  This borders on cowardice of the highest magnitude!

Are we so quick to give back the liberties bought with the precious blood of our forefathers, our ancestors, and in many cases our immediate relatives?  In cemeteries all over the globe lie the bodies of American men and women who put their lives on the line and shed their blood up to the "last full measure" to ensure you and I the freedoms we are now begging the Federal Government to take away! 

Some example we are setting for the rest of the world!  Look at the cowardly Americans.  They talk a good game but when the going gets tough they run to hide under the wings of the Federal Nanny! 

Our national motto is:  "In God We Trust."   Apparently it’s a lie!   If we truly placed our trust in God we would not be so hasty to misplace it in a government, which is already too big and intrusive.  

There comes a time when we have to stand on our own two feet.  Sure there is risk involved in living free!  That's why it's called freedom.  It means, simply, that you (you and I) take responsibility for ourselves!   Example:  If I'm afraid to get on a plane.... then I WON'T get on a plane!   We have to understand, as did our forefathers, that living free does not mean, necessarily, living secure!  To live free, it is required that we must live with certain insecurities, or risks.

There is also the thing called “respect” and “self-respect.”   Respect is earned.  You earn the respect of your fellowman, and the respect of the world, by standing on your own two feet as a man! You do not earn respect by leaning on others… and that includes leaning on the government. Modern day Americans have forgotten that. I am embarrassed, as an American, to find that I even feel I have to explain that to my fellow Americans!

Something profound has happened to Americans.  That steel in our character is gone. That “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” characteristic of American manhood is not there anymore. As a result, our way of life, our freedom, indeed, our nation is at risk.  American used to be known for sticking their finger in the eye of government. 

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just me.  I am proud of my ancestors who were bootleggers and smugglers.  They left me more than fond memories.  They left me with a strong distrust of government.  I think that distrust is healthy.  They left me something else as well.  They made me understand that the government is not responsible for me.  They taught me that a man is always responsible for himself.  They taught me that the more I depended on government the more dependence government would require until I had nothing left to give and then I would find that I was a slave to that government.

The historian Edward Gibbon had it about right when he wrote of ancient Athens "In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security.  They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all…  security, comfort, and freedom.  When the Athenians finally wanted NOT TO GIVE TO SOCIETY BUT FOR SOCIETY TO GIVE TO THEM, when the freedom they wanted most was FREEDOM FROM RESPONSIBILITY, then ATHENS CEASED TO BE FREE...AND NEVER WAS FREE AGAIN!

I agree that we need some government. But, I believe, as did our forefathers,  that the government, especially the federal government, was, and is, intended to be an agent of the states, and not the other way around! Our American Founders believed a federal government was answerable to the states… not the states to the federal government. 

I believe the government does some things well.... as it should.  One such thing is "provide for the common defense" with a well trained and equipped military.  I believe as did one of our founding fathers, Thomas Paine, one of the early “pamphleteers” (Most likely a “Blogger” today!) who said: "Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in it's worse state, and intolerable one."  (From: Common Sense). 

In this Constitutional Republic we call America; it is up to us, the citizens, to keep our government on a short rein.  Indeed, it is our duty, as citizens, to keep the tentacles of government out of our every day existence.  They have no business there.  We must be wary of "Knee-Jerk" responses to danger, real or imagined, such as I believe the National I.D. Card to be.  If the government wants to "Card" somebody, why not make every one not a citizen of this country carry one (an I.D. card) while inside our borders?

How dangerous is Big Government?  Well, I believe Alexis de Tocqueville summed it up nicely when writing of the dangers of big government.  Tocqueville said of big government: "it covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds, and the most energetic characters, cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.  The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting.  Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies people, 'til each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." (Alexis de Tocqueville on "Big Government".)  

Well, there you have it.  Animals with a shepherd!  

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be counted among the animals that need a shepherd.  I, like millions of Americans before me, will live free!   I do not choose to beg the government to take back the liberty my ancestors fought and died that I might have.  It's blasphemy!  

I want my grandchildren to live, and grow up, in a free country.  A country, which will allow them to be everything they are capable of being.  I don't want their prospects to be lessened by the intrusions of government.  I owe them that.  I owe them an America in which they can be FREE.   Free to succeed and, yes, free to fail!   I owe them an America my father, and my forefathers, placed in my safe keeping (as did yours) at my (our) birth.  To be worthy custodians of this nation’s freedom, we must insure that we pass it along no less free that when we received it!

As I look about me today, at modern day America, I have to conclude we have failed at the single most important task we have as adult Americans. That task is to preserve freedom in this country… to guarantee a future for our children in a free nation. A National ID card is much the same as a tattooed number on your forearm.  It is proof of ownership… by someone other than you.  Next will come the National RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip implanted at birth. It will broadcast a radio signal all the days of your life telling the government who you are, and where you are, at all times. National ID, of any kind, takes away one of your basic rights, the right to privacy.

It is time to get a grip, America!  Our National Anthem says: “…The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”  Well, don’t you think it is about time we began to act like it? A National ID card would say to the world just the opposite.

J. D. Longstreet

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Eat Your Veggies… Or Else! ... Eric Peters

Eat Your Veggies… Or Else!
By Eric Peters


NHTSA and the insurance Mafia want to see fines for not buckling-up jacked up to as much as $100 in order to “encourage” higher compliance with mandatory seatbelt laws.

Apparently, the $25 hit imposed at gunpoint that’s the current national average fine just isn’t sufficient. Neither are the DMV demerit points some states and (of course) the District of Columbia) assign if you’re found unbuckled and which the insurance Mafia uses as the basis for “adjustments” to your can’t-say-no-thanks, enforced-at-gunpoint insurance policy

Higher fines would improve “compliance” by 6 to 7 percent, according to (yet another) taxpayer-financed study of the obvious.

Threaten people with violence  and – surprise – they’ll  do what you say.

But the question more people ought to be asking is whether it’s right to threaten anyone with violence for such things as not wearing a seatbelt. And if that’s ok, then shouldn’t the system at least be consistent and hit people who don’t exercise – or who are grossly overweight – with fines as a well? Call it it the Tubby Tax. After all, the same reasoning applies.

Or at least, it ought to.

NHTSA and other buckle-up-at-gunpoint advocates argue that wearing a seat belt is “safer.” True enough. Just as it is also true that it’s safer to exercise regularly – and to not be grossly overweight. Why, then, aren’t couch potatoes and fat slobs threatened with violence by costumed goons? Is their “safety” of less importance than the unbuckled driver’s?

The beefy impose higher actual costs on society, too -  in the form of major health problems such as early-onset diabetes, arteriosclerosis, degenerative joint diseases  and so on than do unbuckled drivers – most of whom never impose any costs on anyone at all. Because most people don’t get into major wrecks, buckled or unbuckled. Which means, their seatbelt usage is irrelevant. Or at least, not necessarily “unsafe.” Being grossly overweight, on the other hand, all-but-guarantees premature death and significant health problems.

According to the Society of Actuaries, the add-on cost of obesity is nearly $300 million annually: $127 for medical care, $49 billion for productivity losses, and another $72 billion for  disability payments. Hasn’t society got a “right” to insist that Large Marges and Sloppy Sams behave more responsibly? That they be encouraged – at gunpoint – to behave in a less “risky” fashion?

Meanwhile,  a mere $8.8 billion might be saved if everyone buckled-up.

Chump change. It’s time for a War on Fat. A Crusade to the Gym. Daily physical jerks for all. Lower, Smith! You’re not trying hard enough! Anyone under the age of 40 is perfectly capable of touching his toes! Try harder, please!

Well, why not?

It’d be funny, except people – most people – miss the underlying point. This Piers Morgan-like, un-American notion of collective everything, always to be imposed at gunpoint. You’re not an individual, responsible for your own life – and so, free to decide how best to live it. You’re part of the collective. It owns you – and you own it.  No one is allowed to own themselves. Your actions affect others – even though this “affecting” is only possible as a result of coercive collective policies that cause us all to prey on one another like a pack of hyenas.

A pack of intellectually dishonest hyenas.

Because – hyenas who revel in selective persecution based on arbitrary criteria.

There’s no reason, for instance, that fat people shouldn’t feel the full force of the state – if the reasoning used to persecute seatbelt-avoiders applies generally rather than subjectively and arbitrarily. Anything the individual chooses to do that can be convincingly argued increases his “risk” – or which might “impose costs on society” – must be forbidden at gunpoint.

But of course, the system doesn’t do that – not yet. Instead, it selectively targets some people. And only certain personal choices.

The juggernaut is usually preceded by a propaganda campaign worthy of Dr. Goebbels – whose purpose is to marginalize and anathematize the new pariah group so that they may be shoved out from under the protective umbrella of “responsible” society. And then, targeted for special enforcement.

It happened to cigarette smokers – and with such vindictive ferocity that to light up today is sufficient, almost, to be treated as a pedophile.

Next came seatbelt scofflaws. Same tactics, too. Portray the unbuckled as reckless and stupid – people apart from the “law abiding” and “responsible.” It thus becomes so much easier for the average non-thinking American to feel no empathy for the person who is waylaid with heavy fines for having failed to “buckle up for safety” (even though it’s his safety, and so no one else’s business).

Much less anger toward the system that threatens a fellow citizen who has caused no one any harm with lethal violence.

The unthinking American only sees a non-person, different from himself, who has become an outlier for having failed to Do as He Has Been Told.

It almost never occurs to the unthinking American that perhaps some day, he, too, will become the object of some hairshirt crusade based on the “risk” his actions present – and hypothetical, generalized and utterly arbitrary assertions about the “costs” such actions may impose on “society.” He contents himself, instead, with a sort of low-wattage moral busybodyism that selectively focuses on actions he personally doesn’t approve of – or which he has been taught not to approve of – never grasping that there is nothing preventing the same mechanism being deployed against himself. That it is only a matter of some other busybody taking interest in his “risky” actions – and demanding that they, too, be outlawed or banned or fined into oblivion.

Once, a long time ago, America was about  the freedom to choose for yourself – and to be responsible for yourself. And to not be made responsible for other people’s choices.

It was a not-bad place to veggie

“Smith” has every right to be a fat slob – to eat whatever he likes and as much as he likes. What he doesn’t have is the right to force others to pay for the consequences of his choices. If he agrees to that, we agree to leave him to his triple angus Thickburgers.

Same thing as regards seat belts. Let people choose for themselves – and be personally accountable for any negative consequences.

That’s freedom – the opposite of this insufferably henpecky, busybody society congealing all around us, in which everything you do is everyone’s else’s business. And vice versa.

Where there’s no real choice, there’s no freedom. Your individualism is drowned in a sea of We.

That’s Option A.

Option B is what America used to be. You do your thing, I do mine. And we agree to leave one another alone. Our lives intersect on a voluntary basis only. I can’t force you to pay my medical bills – and you can’t force me to “buckle-up for safety.”

Which one sounds more appealing to you?

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a longtime car/bikes/Libertarian-minded journalist. His book, “Road Hogs,” came out June 2011.

Peters has been writing a weekly column about cars for almost 20 years now. He is the author of “Automotive Atrocities” and “Road Hogs” (MBI). He lives in rural SW Virginia with his wife and a polyglot crew of animals.

Friday, December 28, 2012

America's Faustian Deal With Obama ... J. D. Longstreet

America's Faustian Deal With Obama
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome every time is the definition of insanity.  

By that definition, the American electorate is stark, raving, mad!

We are streaking toward that fiscal cliff at supersonic speed with little, if any, chance that we will be halted before the final plunge.

... And WE did it!  You and I -- the voters did it.  

Too often we look around for some one to blame when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator.  But this time, dear reader, we need look only in the nearest mirror for the culprit.

Now, I am not excusing my own culpability, either.  I am just as much to blame as anyone.  I can't get past the feeling that I didn't do enough -- or do MORE -- to try and convince more readers that the path Obama and the democrats have this nation on is leading us straight to perdition. That's my personal burden to bear.

We had four years to evaluate Mr. Obama's agenda, which is pure socialism.  He has told us AND PROVEN, in so many ways, that he is a rabid "wealth redistributionist." He is a statist, and, I believe, a Marxist. 

But, the American electorate decided that it was time for America to give up its leadership role and join the mass mediocrity of the remainder of the world's nations. So, in order to facilitate that "fundamental change" in America, we reinstated the Socialist-in-Chief, Obama.

Many democrats grudgingly admit that Obama is a socialist.  Others in the Democratic Party happily agree that Obama is a socialist because they themselves are socialists.  Much of the Democratic Party is now socialist to the core.

I've never been under any illusion about Obama's brand of socialism.  His is the deep, dark, sinister brand of socialism that enslaves, and finally, murders nations.

Oh, you may argue that Obama's is "... a big-government philosophy that uses wealth redistribution to fund a massive nanny state of cradle-to-grave entitlements." SOURCE:

You'd be wrong.

See, Obama's brand of socialism is an "...  authoritarian socialism once seen in the Eastern Bloc countries (many of which are now free-market economies) and some nations in Central and South America. It’s used by harsh and oppressive authoritarian regimes that repress their people."  SOURCE:

Think I'm wrong?  Wait a few months.  You are about to see the "pig in the poke" America bought on November 6th.  Once America goes off the fiscal cliff, the hammer will be brought down.

I'm concerned we are just months away from a collapse of our financial system with the US dollar taking a dive into worthlessness.  We are already in the first stages of a nationwide battle to disarm American so that only the government has weapons. 

Gun owners are going to lose this fight.
  (At least partially.) I don't like it, but that is the way I see it.  The REASON of gun owners has no chance in an atmosphere that is charged through and through with EMOTION.  Emotion precludes clear thinking, the ability to weigh consequences -- both intended and unintendedEmotion demands satisfaction regardless of the cost and the severity of the self-inflicted wounds emotional decisions ALWAYS render.

Look.  It's not just a fiscal cliff we are approaching.  It is a sanity cliff.   America is about to go crazy. 

I've been writing for years now that there is an undercurrent of rage permeating American society today and it is nearing the surface.  One small fissure and it will boil to the surface with devastating results.  Another recession might do it, but frankly, I tend to think the left's move to disarm America will be the tipping point.

There are reports circulating now that the government has been preparing, for rather a long time, for another civil war within America.  Munitions and war fighting materiel have been prepositioned at strategic locations around the country in preparation for just such an eventuality.  

There was a time in the not so distant past when I would have laughed at such speculation.  But not any more -- not now.

It's really quite simple.  Half the country is willing, and even eager, to follow Obama into socialist ruin.  The other half will have to be forced to follow, in chains, if necessary.

I agree.  It sounds like a plot for a made for TV movie. But I am very afraid we are actually living in the early days of just such a breakdown in American society.  I have repeatedly reminded younger Americans that current events in America resemble the early days of Bolshevism in Russia, which, as we know, eventually became Soviet Socialist Russia and finally the Union of Soviet Socialist Russia. 

America is in a state of "becoming."  With Obama's leadership there can be no doubt that whatever America becomes -- it WILL be socialist/Marxist.

As I watched the subdued Christmas celebrations this year, it became obvious to me that we KNOW something is ending in America.  You can see it written on the faces of the crowds on the streets. There is a "melancholia" about Americans today.  It is a form of depression and the shrinks tell us depression is suppressed anger.  So, we are back to that anger I mentioned earlier.

As we slouch fearfully toward a new year and a new national identity, we are truly a house divided with each side locked in a marriage that is strangling the life out of both sides.  It is the nature of socialism.  It does that.  It murders nations.

A huge portion of America would happily leave the United States, and found a new country, even now, just for the opportunity to continue to pursue their dreams. But the socialists are hell bent on dragging us down into oblivion with them -- because they cannot allow us to prosper and put the lie to their promised Utopia.  Misery loves company, you know.

There can be no doubt the deal struck with Obama on November 6th is a Faustian deal.  We traded America's soul for a promise, a PROMISE,  mind you, of a collectivist's portion of a meager harvest where the workers are few and the shirkers are many.  It is an untenable deal doomed to utter failure -- and WE did it.

© J. D. Longstreet

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End the Wind Power Tax Credit ... Alan Caruba

End the Wind Power Tax Credit

By Alan Caruba
Like so much else that involves the absurd “renewable energy” scam—wind, solar power and ethanol—the public remains largely in the dark about its actual costs. They come straight out of their pockets in the form of higher costs for electricity and, in the cast of ethanol, lost mileage and engine damage.

At the end of this year, unless Congress does something spectacularly stupid—always a possibility—the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire. If extended for just one more year, it will cost $12 billion. If wind energy was (1) reliable and (2) economical, one could make a case for it, but it is the very opposite.

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, says “The wind industry claims a PTC extension will create 37,000 jobs. At a $12 billion price tag, that’s $327,000 taxpayer dollars for every job. But even with the PTC, the industry lost 10,000 jobs between 2009 and 2010, a 12% drop.” 

Another way the wind industry has stayed in business, but not in the competitive sense of other industries, has been renewable energy mandates that require state utilities to purchase wind powered electricity generation. Many states have opted out of such mandates as they realized the cost to consumers.

The wind industry in America, according to Pyle, has cost taxpayers $20 billion over the past two decades “and, today, the PTC is so lavish that wind producers are actually paying the electricity grid to take their power, just so they can collect more taxpayer money.”

All the economic advances America has made have been the result of the discovery and utilization of energy generation from oil, natural gas, and coal. If you want to harm America in the most fundamental way, you would attack these sources of energy and that is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing since it took power. For decades coal represented fifty percent of all the electricity used, but incessant attacks by the Environmental Protection Agency, using clean air regulations, has reduced this significantly.

The reality is that 94% of all electricity generated in America comes from traditional sources, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. America is home to century’s worth of inexpensive coal, is the largest producer of natural gas, and invented nuclear power.

The absolute least sensible way to generate electricity is wind power, followed closely by solar power. Since the wind does not blow all the time or with sufficient ability to turn the blades of the huge turbines, it would seem obvious that wind is a moronic way to produce electricity, but that has not kept those reaping taxpayer tax credits and benefitting from mandates for its use from lining their pockets.

It is a curiosity of the debate over wind power that its impact on bird and bat species is rarely, if ever, discussed or reported. In a recent article, Paul Driessen noted that “The impact of mandated, subsidized and ‘production tax credited’ industrial wind facilities on eagles, whooping cranes, bads, and other value species is horrendous, ecologically devastating, intolerable—and growing. In fact, it is infinitely worse than the widely quoted figure of 440,000 birds per year…the actual USA death toll is 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!”

The expert I turn to for information about wind power is John Droz, Jr., a physicist and a leading activist against its use whose website is worth visiting.

Wind power doesn’t meet any of the major criteria for the generation of electricity. Droz points out that it only produces about 30% of the power it allegedly can or should produce. This is because “it takes over one thousand times the amount of land for wind power” that a single nuclear power plant produces. Moreover, that land has to be located far from the cities and suburbs that need to access its power.

Is wind power reliable or even predictable? Compared to traditional power generators, it doesn’t come close compared to the standards set for them. Indeed, “when power is really needed,” notes Droz, such as hot summer afternoons, “wind is usually on vacation.” It most certainly cannot be depended upon to dispatch power to the grid on demand, nor can it supply power reliably to meet a 24/7 demand.

Along with the Wind Protection Tax Credit, the industry is subsidized far more than any conventional power source, Cost per megawatt-hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, is subsidized to the tune of $23 per megawatt-hour. Compare that with coal that receives 44 cents! Natural gas at 25 cents! Hydroelectric at 67 cents, and nuclear power at $1.59.

The advocates of wind power are the same charlatans who keep shouting about carbon dioxide (CO2) as the cause of global warming—and now “climate change—when CO2 plays no role whatever in causing or changing the climate. It is also touted as being environmentally beneficial, but tell that to the thousands of bird and bat species the wind turbines kill every year.

Allowing the PTC to expire at the end of the year will not mark the end of wind power, but it will surely make it even less competitive in the years ahead and, like other nations that bought into this fairy tale, those dependent on it are going to suffer some dire consequences, particularly as the current cooling cycle the Earth has been in for the last sixteen years deepens.

© Alan Caruba, 2012
Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 2 million page views. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. For information on his professional skills, Caruba Editorial Services is the place to go! You can find Alan Caruba on both Facebook and Twitter as well.