Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Taking Back America, Part Two

I grew up, sorta, in the 50's and 60's. when our youthful 'liberalism" is confronted with the reality, the facts on the ground, one of two things happen. Either you turn a blind eye, or you admit two things you learned as a youthful liberal were wrong: one, that Senator Joseph McCarthy was right, and two, the John Birchers were right also. The John Birch Society, in our youthful liberality, was sneered at - without a thought as to whether the Birchers were actually right or wrong. That's because we had not learned to think.

In my case, I had moved to New York City, country boy in the big city. In a most improbable scenario, I enrolled in New York University, Wash. Sq. One fall day when I was riding the 8th St Crosstown bus on the way to class, when someone outside shouted through the windows, "President Kennedy has been shot!"

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Fallacy of Tyranny

The American Thinker

March 06, 2011

The Fallacy of Tyranny

By Jed Gladstein
No matter how long a people may suffer under tyranny, their yearning to be free can never be permanently extinguished. That much should be obvious from the events we are now witnessing in the Middle East: a new generation of Iranians is defying the tyranny of the ayatollahs, and angry uprisings are taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. If the last hundred years have taught us anything, it is the fallacy that tyranny can succeed as a long-term social strategy.

But tyranny is not just about the iron-fisted rule of autocrats. It is about the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power, even when that power is wielded in a society devoted to democratic self-rule. That is the kind of tyranny we see in our country today, and many Americans are deeply concerned about what it means for a nation whose highest ideals are epitomized in the expression "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."

While the extension of federal control over health care sparked the Tea Party Movement, the flames of popular indignation are big enough to engulf a multitude of powers now claimed by the federal government. As the Canadian essayist David Solway recently said about the policies of the Obama administration:

... there can be little doubt that the attempt to impose an unpopular leftist program of Robin Hood economics, environmental thuggery, and transnational accommodation upon what is historically a free-market constitutional republic must release the demons of social dissension and cultural rupture.

But the aggrandizement of power by our national government is only part of the tyranny faced by Americans today. At every level of government, the expansion of bureaucratic power threatens people's personal freedom over how to live their lives. That expansion is taking place without the informed consent of the citizens. And for Americans who value freedom, it is important to understand why that is happening and what can be done about it.

In the broadest sense, the erosion of freedom in America is as much a result of ignorance and inattention as it is the product of cabal and conspiracy. A powerful few believe that limited government is too restrictive, and they are aided and abetted by an elite group who think that the constitutional limitations on government shouldn't be taken seriously. These people in power must work their will through a vast bureaucracy of government employees, and in order to do that, they must obtain the obedience of those bureaucrats. Of course, paychecks go a long way toward purchasing that obedience. But keeping the bureaucrats ignorant about the totalitarian nature of their activities is also important, for the elites know that it is easier to lead people out of error than confusion.

So, to ensure obedience, the cultural elites have deliberately mis-educated the last two generations of Americans to think that freedom in America is a fatuous narrative used to exploit unfortunate victim groups. Instead of teaching the value of self-reliance, personal initiative, and individual responsibility, the elites have propagated collectivist ideas that come right out of the cultural Marxist school of social engineering. Such notions reward conformity, not individual excellence, and their socio-political legitimacy depends upon the approval of little committees and groups of self-interested experts, not on the support of the people. Raised up in ignorance to unquestioningly accept elitist group thinking, it never occurs to today's bureaucrats that the activities of government must be rooted in the informed consent of the governed in order to be legitimate.

But the ignorance of government bureaucrats isn't the entire explanation for the loss of freedom in America today. The inattention of the people to the preservation of their own liberty has played a critical part as well. Although the desire for freedom is born in every human heart, political liberty can be lost in a single generation if the people don't prize it highly enough. As the noted Irish lawyer John Philpot Curran once said:

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

So what does "eternal vigilance" consist of in a republic like the United States, where political institutions are rooted in a free and democratically self-governing society? Does it mean abdicating to politicians and bureaucrats the governance of one's life? Or does it mean taking an active part in deciding what politicians and bureaucrats can and cannot do as they wield the awesome power of government? These aren't just academic questions; they are practical questions of the utmost significance for every freedom-loving American citizen. After all, when the power of government is not restrained by vigilant citizen supervision, it will spread like a cancer and consume the liberties of the people.

To regain the liberty usurped by government officials in America today, the people must take affirmative action to reclaim the rights vouchsafed to them by the Founders of the Republic. First and foremost is the right to be left alone, for that is the principal limitation on the exercise of government power. In each city and suburb, in every town and rurality, the people must act to limit government involvement in their lives.

Instead of accepting bureaucratic regulation as legitimate and inevitable, the people must insist that bureaucrats meticulously justify every policy and procedure that they propose. Rather than assuming that bills passed into law are necessary and proper, the people must demand that the government prove by clear and convincing evidence that every law is essential to the preservation of public order, or that it reflects the will of a fully informed citizenry. Only by enforcing such strict scrutiny and high standards can the people win back their own freedom.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FDR's Four Freedoms

The "Four Freedoms"
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Address to Congress January 6, 1941
Chapter 36

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception -- the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions -- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

From Congressional Record, 1941, Vol. 87, Pt. I.


It all sounds so very noble, doesn't it? Can't say we weren't fore-warned. In case anybody hasn't noticed, America is not the savior of the world. Never will be. In fact, the world doesn't need saving. But it's high time we started tending to the weeds in our own backyard.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Taking Back America

Sometimes I hate writing this blog. But I slog it out, year after year, knowing it will make an incremental difference in how we Americans perceive our liberties and the fight it will take to uphold and preserve freedom. If I just sit back and do nothing, then I have no one to blame but myself, as America slowly slides into destitution and ruin under socialist rule. I want to see America restored to her former glory, whatever the cost, so I do my part in saying no to the Leftist (progressive) policies of the last one hundred years.

What will it take? How do we do that? First, recognize that our constitution is being ignored; that our government needs a change of players who act in accordance with our US Constitution. We, the sovereigns of this country, must expect and demand all politicians to uphold and protect our constitution . That step has already been taken by some, but it can't stop there. Why?

Our schools have failed us and our children. They will continue to fail, and no obscene amount of money poured in will help. It is a failed system and it was doomed to fail right at the point when the states allowed the feds to take over. They have succeeded in only one respect: our children's education is in the tank. Schools have been usurped by globalists who have one educational goal: to produce a populace incapable of fighting back. We cannot allow that. It will be a costly and terrible fight, but it can't be avoided.

Convinced they are right, the Leftists aren't listening, and our schools have been taken over by "progressive" values. Our textbooks don't reflect our values. American Civil War history was redacted and distorted in order to validate a centrist government. And the lies keep on coming.

Do you even know what goes on in your kid's school? Oh, you know about the drugs, the gang violence, the lack of discipline. But have you taken a look at the "social studies" textbooks, the "history" books? The "language arts" courses? When is the last time you felt you had any meaningful influence in their school?

These are not rhetorical questions, they are real questions.

The attitude of the NEA and teacher's associations all reflect a globalist philosophy from the President (past presidents included) of the United States, down through the Department of Education, all working together with the teacher's unions to make our schools stink. The Eagle Forum headed by Phyllis Schlafly has been waging war on the NEA for years.

Officials and the medical profession are drugging our children in order to control them. Children are kept from praying or displaying any religious or patriotic values. They are suspended for flying the American flag.

Diversity. What that means is we give up our values, our ways of life, and worse we allow our children to be brain-washed and dumb'd down. They are taught that everyone is a winner, there are no losers. Of course the kids know better. Any kid who's spent 20 minutes on the playground knows there are winners and losers. The result? They are thoroughly confused, again this is deliberate policy.

Bullies are tolerated, officials are helpless against them, and having failed miserably on disciplining bad behavior and rotten attitudes, schools have created a spiritual vacuum; gangs are forming and taking over our schools. Violence and drugs prevail. School policies toward violence are now beginning to take a "zero tolerance" stance & expel or even have school children arrested for the most minor offenses.

Increasingly, harsh zero tolerance policies towards graffiti and other offenses in US schools are seeing grade school-aged children being treated with harsh adult-style police discipline inside the actual classroom. This problem was exemplified when, incredibly, this 12-year-old NYC girl with a spotless record was physically arrested in her classroom for doodling on her desktop this month:

Is this America we live in?

Our schools are a failed experiment in progressive education. Our children are not being educated. Isn't it obvious?

But you notice that when Americans fight back against this discrimination, the school officials tend to back down. We have to push back, and keep pushing back - just the way second amendment proponents push back against the gun-grabbers. We are winning on that front, but the education of our kids is something we don't want to tackle. We just want our kids to fit in. Our kids just want to fit in too, but they are kids. Where are the adults? Why do we let school officials bully us?

Consider this. Let's suppose somehow (not likely) you were allowed to sit in on your child's first day of school, and let's further suppose that the principle decided to gather all the kids into the school auditorium and give a short commencement speech. What do you think that principle would say, where would the emphasis be on starting a new school year?

Do you think it would sound something like this?

A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give
by Dennis Prager

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.

The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.

If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race- and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America, one of its three central values -- e pluribus unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America's values.

This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

If every school principal gave this speech at the beginning of the next school year, America would be a better place. -end of speech-

Not likely is it? What are you going to do about it?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hunting Rifles Are Not "Assault Rifles"

from the National Shooting Sports Foundation

The American Rifle

On an August afternoon in 1863, Christopher Spencer made his way to the White House with a rifle in hand.

The gun he was carrying, and which he had invented, was significantly different from traditional rifles of the time that could only be fired once before having to be reloaded. The new Spencer Repeating rifle could be loaded with seven cartridges in a tubular magazine and featured a lever under the trigger. When the lever was pushed down and then brought back up, the spent casing of the round that was fired was ejected and a new round was automatically fed into the chamber.

Upon arriving at the White House, Spencer, President Lincoln and a naval aide walked over to a small park near the Treasury Building where the aide set up a makeshift pine board target so that Lincoln could test the new rifle himself. Repeatedly hitting the target, Lincoln was impressed with the accuracy, rapid-fire and multi-shot capabilities of the Spencer and immediately recommended the rifle to the Army. Soon tens of thousands of Spencer rifles were being delivered to Union troops.

While the Spencer Repeating Arms Company foundered after the war, lever-action rifles, notably those produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, became tremendously popular rifles among pioneers, hunters and homesteaders for the very same reasons they were popular among the troops in the Civil War. More compact, lighter, and easier to handle, they offered the owner quick and multiple shots before reloading.

One of President Theodore Roosevelt's favorite hunting rifles was a Winchester lever-action Model 1895.

If the anti-gun movement had been active in the late 19th century, they well have labeled such rapid-fire, high capacity magazine rifles as the "assault weapons" of their day. And it would have been as inaccurate then as it is today to label a civilian sporting rifle an "assault weapon."

For well over a century, many of our most popular sporting rifles have directly evolved from a service rifle of a particular era. Battlefield requirements in a rifle such as accuracy, ruggedness, reliability and fast follow-up shots are features equally sought by hunters and target shooters.

The bolt-action centerfire rifle, for many decades America's classic deer hunting rifle, is a descendent of the First World War battle rifle, the 1903 Springfield. The bolt-action of the Springfield offered smooth and rapid cycling of the action and allowed for the use of a more powerful cartridge, the .30/06, accurate at ranges out to 1000 yards. More than a hundred years later, the .30/06 remains as America's most popular big game hunting cartridge.

The first semi-automatic (one shot per pull of the trigger) U.S. service rifle, the Springfield .30 M-1, popularly known as the Garand, saw service initially in the Second World War. Not long after the war, a wide range of semi-automatic hunting rifles as well as semi-automatic shotguns were developed by sporting arms manufacturers and have gained widespread popularity among both hunters and clay target shooters.

Today, the AR-15 looks like the M-16 service rifle that first saw combat in Vietnam. To be sure, the AR-15 does not look like a traditional sporting rifle. Neither, in their time, did the Spencer or the Springfield. What the AR-15 does look like is the latest iteration of a modern rifle that employs advanced technology and ergonomic design to produce an exceptionally reliable, rugged and accurate sporting rifle. Produced in different configurations and chambered in a variety of calibers, AR-type rifles not only can be used for, indeed are exceptionally well suited to, many types of hunting, precision target shooting as well as personal protection. In recent years, AR-type rifles have become among the most popular sporting rifles sold in the United States.

Unfortunately, some anti-gun organizations have worked hard to mislead the public by calling the civilian versions of service rifles, "assault weapons." This anti-gun strategy is a clever ploy, much in the same way that prohibitionists labeled alcoholic beverages, "demon rum." True "assault weapons" are in fact light machine guns capable of fully automatic fire. Machine guns of all types have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934.

While AR-type rifles do look different, they function the same way as models of semi automatic rifles and shotguns (one shot per pull of the trigger) that have been in the sporting marketplace for many decades.

From the Kentucky rifle to the most modern sporting arm, accuracy has always been the hallmark of the American rifle. Accuracy should too be the hallmark of any firearms debate.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

What Happens When Wives Stop Obeying Husbands

'The Father's Role in Society'

A Conference Address by Dr. Daniel Amneus (author of 'The Garbage Generation') (1995)

This conference was called by Governor Wilson because of the widespread concern about crime, educational failure, drugs, social decay, etc. and the perception that these are connected with family breakdown, in particular with the erosion of the weakest link in the family, the father's role.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead has emphasized that, unlike the mother's role, which is biologically based, the father's role is a social creation. Male dogs and cats have no reproductive importance after their minuscule sexual performance is over. The emergence of a similar male rolelessness in the inner cities was becoming apparent some decades ago and is now becoming obvious in the larger society.

At present the law appears to be less concerned with how to strengthen families than with how to provide for ex-families or fatherless families created by illegitimacy. It is becoming better understood that these fatherless families breed most of the criminal and underachieving classes. Many politicians think the problem is one of punishing the male criminals generated by such fatherless families--building more prisons, hiring more police, passing "three-strike" laws, squeezing money out of ex-husbands ("deadbeat dads") for the purpose of subsidizing ex-wives or ex-girlfriends and "their" children.

Success in providing for these fatherless families means there will be more of them, that fathers will become still less needed and less motivated, and in consequence there will be further weakening of families and more of the resulting pathology this conference is concerned about. The weakening of male motivation means less male productivity, less male willingness to undertake family responsibilities, more fatherless families, more fatherless children, more crime, less economic growth. A society which cannot motivate its men to be family providers will deteriorate, as ours is doing. A society which threatens husbands with a fifty percent divorce rate combined with virtually automatic loss of children and home and property is forfeiting this motivation.

It is too little understood how male motivation is related not only to family and social stability but to the economic growth of society. Thanks to family stability and the male motivation it created, the twenty years following World War II were a period of astonishing, indeed unprecedented, growth. America's industrial plant, already the wonder of the world during the war, doubled during those twenty years, the Gross National Product grew 250 percent and per capita income increased 35 percent between 1945-1960 —as much as it had during the previous half century. Joseph Satin could say, "Never had so many people been so well off." William Baumol could say, "The future can be left to take care of itself." That was when families were stable — and headed by fathers. America's prosperity was based on growth, not on trying to pinch budgets here and there, to squeeze one program in order to finance another, to borrow from next year's revenues.

As family stability eroded, so did the growth. In 1989, 'Sixty Minutes' ran a program called "New York Is Falling Apart", showing streets sinking into the ground, bridges collapsing, Mayor Koch closing the Williamsburg Bridge on the grounds that it is "better to be inconvenienced and safe than to be convenienced and dead."

Judith Wallerstein says only half of the male students she followed in her study of divorced families completed college, forty percent of the young men were drifting — on a downward educational course, out of school, unemployed. When so many of them have seen their fathers expelled from the homes they bought for their families, when they themselves face the same fifty percent chance of divorce and the loss of their children and their role, they wonder why they should work as their fathers and grandfathers did in the years after the War.

If you ask a man why he works at his job, he will bring out his wallet and show you pictures of his family. This motivation has been weakened even for the lucky fifty percent who still have families. Males have lost confidence that society wants them to be heads of families rather than providers for ex-families. This is what men hear when President Clinton tells them, "We will find you. We will make you pay."

Most men still would like to be fathers, but our society is giving them little assurance that they can have families — that they will be able to spend their own paychecks to provide for their own families rather than to subsidize ex-wives and pay for other things judges and bureaucrats deem proper.

Adults Created By Fatherless Families

A judge will try a divorce case in the morning and place the children in the mother's custody. He will try a criminal case in the afternoon and send a man to prison for robbing a liquor store. The chances are three out of four that the criminal he sends to prison grew up in a female headed household just like the one he himself created that morning when he tried the divorce case. He can't see any connection between the two cases. The reason he can't is the time lag. The children he placed in the mother's custody were perhaps toddlers who would not yet rob liquor stores or breed illegitimate children. But they will grow older. They will become teenagers, boys capable of committing crimes of violence, girls capable of breeding illegitimate children. And then the chickens will come home to roost.

In 1980, crime increased by a startling seventeen percent. L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates was flabbergasted. Nothing in the economy, he said, could account for such an increase. What did account for it was the huge increase in divorce and illegitimacy in the mid-1960s — plus the anti-male bias of the divorce courts which changed the father headed families into female headed families. The judges who placed the children in these families hoped they could force the fathers they exiled to subsidize the families they destroyed — to pay to have their children brought up in female headed households where they were more likely to be abused, neglected, impoverished, delinquent and sexually confused. They would like to blame the fathers for their own inability to create an alternative to the family.

The welfare system is equally responsible for subsidizing (therefore creating) female headed households. Like the divorce court judges, welfare bureaucrats would like to make biological fathers pay. They fail to understand what Margaret Mead explained, that fatherhood is not a matter of biology but a social creation. If these (merely) biological fathers are to pay, they must become (or be allowed to remain) real fathers in Mead's sense, men with a role such as that taken away from ex-husbands by the divorce court. They need to be given better motivation than "We will find you. We will make you pay." This latter motivation will not create real fathers. Real fathers must be created, as Mead says, by society. Our society is doing the opposite — destroying millions of fathers through its divorce courts and its welfare system.

Much of the social breakdown now going on is the result of the attempt to find taxpayer-funded alternatives and ex-husband-funded alternatives to fatherhood, the creation of which must always be one of society's primary responsibilities. The anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski said that if the family ever ceases to be the pivotal institution of society, we shall be confronted with a social catastrophe compared to which the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution are insignificant.

There is no substitute for it. We should stop trying to find one and recognize that the weakness of today's family is the consequence of society's failure to support the father's role, the role most in need of society's support. The biological weakness of the father's role is not a reason for throwing fathers out of the family but a reason for strengthening their role within it.

A Georgia judge named Robert Noland routinely places children in the mother's custody when he tries a divorce case, and justifies what he does by saying,

"I ain't never seen a calf following a bull. They always follow the cow. So I always give custody to the mamas."

The reason Judge Noland never saw a calf following a bull is that cattle don't live in two-parent households. If we want to live like cattle, Judge Noland has the right idea.