Friday, May 29, 2009

Thought for Today

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

~~~~~ Samuel Adams

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More from Thomas Paine: Open Letter to President Obama

Last month, I wrote about my old shipmate Bob Basso and his very popular series of Thomas Paine videos. Bob just dropped me a note about his latest effort. I watched it, and recommend it wholeheartedly. It's an outstanding video. As good as the previous three have been, I think this one is the best of all. Here it is:

Thought for Today

"One of the most important talents for success in politics is the ability to make utter nonsense sound not only plausible but inspiring. Barack Obama has that talent. We will be lucky if we escape the catastrophes into which other countries have been led by leaders with that same charismatic talent."

~~~~~ Thomas Sowell

Hat tip:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mark Steyn: Live Free or Die

This month's Imprimis from Hillsdale College features an essay adapted from a March, 2009 lecture by the indispensable Mark Steyn. For the title of his lecture, Mark used the famous motto of his adopted home state, "Live Free or Die."

Reading his lecture is a very sobering experience. As a native of Canada who has traveled widely all over the world, Mark has a greater appreciation of United States exceptionalism than most native-born Americans. He has seen first-hand the rapid decline of the once-great civilizations of Great Britain, France, Germany, and even, to a disturbing extent, Canada.

For several years now, Mark has been trying his considerable best to warn us that we, the last bastion of true freedom in the world, are headed down the exact same path as the formerly great powers of Europe. He sees us heading at breakneck speed for a cliff, and is attempting to warn us to change course before it is too late.

In his vitally important book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark discusses the disturbing demographic trends which, if unchecked, will leave us friendless and isolated in a hostile world. In this lecture, he points out that our new administration is trying its best to drive us over the same cliff over which our European and Canadian friends have already fallen.

Here's how he begins:
MY REMARKS are titled tonight after the words of General Stark, New Hampshire's great hero of the Revolutionary War: "Live free or die!" When I first moved to New Hampshire, where this appears on our license plates, I assumed General Stark had said it before some battle or other—a bit of red meat to rally the boys for the charge; a touch of the old Henry V-at-Agincourt routine. But I soon discovered that the general had made his famous statement decades after the war, in a letter regretting that he would be unable to attend a dinner. And in a curious way I found that even more impressive. In extreme circumstances, many people can rouse themselves to rediscover the primal impulses: The brave men on Flight 93 did. They took off on what they thought was a routine business trip, and, when they realized it wasn't, they went into General Stark mode and cried "Let's roll!" But it's harder to maintain the "Live free or die!" spirit when you're facing not an immediate crisis but just a slow, remorseless, incremental, unceasing ratchet effect. "Live free or die!" sounds like a battle cry: We'll win this thing or die trying, die an honorable death. But in fact it's something far less dramatic: It's a bald statement of the reality of our lives in the prosperous West. You can live as free men, but, if you choose not to, your society will die.

My book America Alone is often assumed to be about radical Islam, firebreathing imams, the excitable young men jumping up and down in the street doing the old "Death to the Great Satan" dance. It's not. It's about us. It's about a possibly terminal manifestation of an old civilizational temptation: Indolence, as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a republic. When I ran into trouble with the so-called "human rights" commissions up in Canada, it seemed bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of the alliance profess to be pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists; the other half are homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Even as the cheap bus 'n' truck road-tour version of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, it made no sense. But in fact what they have in common overrides their superficially more obvious incompatibilities: Both the secular Big Government progressives and political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential.

To read the rest, go here. You can also download the entire issue as a PDF here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don Feder: An American Credo

Don Feder has written an outstanding Memorial Day column, An American Credo. Here's how it begins:
On the day when we memorialize those who gave their lives so America would endure, we should ask what it means to be a citizen of this republic. Here are the thoughts of one American, a credo for the coming millennia.

I am an American. I was conceived at Plymouth, born in Lexington and Concord, and reached maturity at Philadelphia.

I went through the fires of Shiloh, Gualdacanal, the Chosin Resovoir, Khe Sanh and a thousand other battlefields, and emerged rededicated to the ideals on which America was founded.

I am an American. Ever ready to defend my liberty and independence, to make any sacrifice and bear any burden – still, I seek no quarrel.

To read the rest of this stirring tribute to American exceptionalism, click here.

Hat tip: Jewish World Review

Friday, May 22, 2009

Short-Circuiting the Constitution

Long-time Reagan staffer Peter Hannaford has a new article up at American Spectator discussing the Left's quiet attempt to short-circuit the Constitution by rendering the Electoral College irrelevant. The effect would be to surreptitiously change the Constitution without having to take the trouble to pass a Constitutional Amendment.

Their idea is to talk the State Legislatures of some of the most populous states into passing legislation requiring their electors to vote for the candidate receiving the highest number of popular votes nationwide in each presidential election, regardless of the outcome of the vote in their own states. Their idea is that if they can succeed in building a 270-vote Electoral College majority, they could control the outcome of all future presidential elections through a handful of states with a high number of electoral votes. Thus, they would effectively nullify the presidential ballots of all of the citizens of the less-populous states.

It would seem that the proponents of this scheme are not considering the influence of the Law of Unintended Consequences. For instance, if they were to fall short of their 270-vote goal, they might well be irrevocably committing their states' electoral votes in some future election to a very popular conservative candidate who wins a large enough proportion of the national popular vote to achieve an overall majority while still losing in their states. However, in the manner of Leftists, they intend to keep up the pressure regardless of any temporary reverses. Thus, in the long term, they believe they can prevail.

To get the whole story, read Electoral Blues – and keep a close eye on your state legislatures to be sure they don't pass this extremely ill-advised proposal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thought for Today

"George Orwell, in his vision of 1984, got it backward. We do not have to fear Big Brother watching us on TV. In times like these, we have to fear the effects of our watching Big Brother."

~~~~~ Mortimer B. Zuckerman

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Media Bias reminds us of this oldie-but-goodie media bias joke:
A Harley rider is passing the zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A New York Times reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says, "Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life." The biker replies, "Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right."

The reporter says, "Well, I'm a journalist from the New York Times, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page... so, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?"

The biker replies, "I'm a U.S. Marine and a Republican."

The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on front page:


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mark Steyn: "Israel Today, the West Tomorrow"

In "Israel Today, the West Tomorrow," an essay appearing in the May, 2009 issue of Commentary Magazine, Mark Steyn brings us up to date on the dramatic changes occurring in the nations of Western Europe, and even in Canada. Here's how he begins this very disturbing article:
On Holocaust Memorial Day 2008, a group of just under 100 people—Londoners and a few visitors —took a guided tour of the old Jewish East End. They visited, among other sites of interest, the birthplace of my old chum Lionel Bart, the author of Oliver! Three generations of schoolchildren have grown up singing Bart’s lyric:

     Consider yourself
     At ’ome!
     Consider yourself
     One of the family!

Those few dozen London Jews considered themselves at ’ome. But they weren’t. Not any more. The tour was abruptly terminated when the group was pelted with stones, thrown by “youths”—or to be slightly less evasive, in the current euphemism of Fleet Street, “Asian” youths. “If you go any further, you’ll die,” they shouted, in between the flying rubble.

It seems that in response to relentless pressure from the increasingly bold and aggressive practitioners of the Religion of Peace, governments all over Europe and Canada are caving in and allowing violent mobs to commit egregious acts of anti-semitism, assault, and destruction of property. He describes one such incident, boldly and proudly videotaped by the perpetrators themselves, in which a sizable mob dressed in identical green "Boycott Israel" t-shirts invaded and trashed a Carrefour superstore in France. You can see the video for yourself (dialogue is in French) – watch it and draw your own conclusions.

While the mob stripped the store of every item with a connection to Israel and terrorized the shoppers, no one lifted a finger to stop them.

When (not if) such incidents begin to occur here in the US, our first line of defense is our local and state authorities. Most of them – certainly those here in Tennessee – are equal to the task. That's very fortunate, because if push comes to shove – as it already has in Great Britain and the countries of Western Europe – how likely is it that Barack Hussein Obama would take any action to stop them?

Mark's article is both urgent and important. Unfortunately, it's a harbinger of things to come in the US if we continue to follow along the same suicidal path as our British, Canadian, and European friends. It may well be too late for them. We still have a little time – but none to waste. From this point forward, we must begin to enforce our immigration laws in order to keep undesirable elements out of the country and deport those who already live among us. If we fail to do so, we will seal our own fate – and we will deserve it.

By all means go read the whole piece.

Jennifer Rubin: "The Lawless President"

Jennifer Rubin is Pajamas Media's Washington, DC Editor, a blogger at Commentary Magazine's Contentions, and an attorney. She believes that we are rapidly transitioning from the rule of law to the rule of men – and that if we don't stop the process now, it will be much harder to correct in the future. Alarming stuff! Here's how she begins:
Candidate Barack Obama promised “change,” but few suspected one of the biggest changes would be an unparalleled attack on the rule of law orchestrated from the Oval Office. It is, to say the least, an ironic turn of events for a president who fancies himself a constitutional scholar and who rode into office excoriating George W. Bush for “shredding” the rule of law.
Later on, Jennifer has this to say:
Once the rule of law is lost it is hard to recover &ndash and the implications for Americans’ prosperity, freedom, and security will be serious and long lasting.
You'll want to read the rest of it here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thought for Today

"If you put garbage in a computer nothing comes out but garbage. But this garbage, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and none dare criticize it."

~~~~~ Anonymous