Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Heaven, Hell, Facebook, and.... ahem.

So this guy "Rob Westbrgr" (whom I don't know, but if you know him, give him a razberry for me) ... anyway, out of nowhere, he friends me on Facebook, then posts something that says that if you don't believe in the Virgin Mary, you don't know Jesus and are going to hell. I say that's not what the Church teaches and that by saying so he says Protestants don't go to heaven. He accuses me of "hostility to the truth" and immediately unfriends and blocks me. Same day.

Someone should tell "Rob Westbrgr" that assholes MAY go to heaven, but they need to cease being assholes first.

Geez. (Of course that's a lesson I need to work on too....)

Press '1' To Continue


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wonders of Modern Engineering

If anybody reading this is an automotive engineer for Ford or GM, pat yourself on the back. (And if you know anyone who is, pat THEM on the back.) I just saw a horriffic accident at Mound Road and West Utica in Shelby Twp.... Ford SUV travelling south on Mound saw a yellow and decided to try to beat the red. He didn't... and the little GM two door (Chevy perhaps) t-boned him from the west side, ca...using the SUV to double roll sideways and end up crushing the cab top 50%.

Both drivers walked away. The SUV driver scurried out from under the car with only a bleeding hand (and a bad case of the shakes) as injuries. The driver of the Chevy-perhaps wasn't hurt at all except for the aforesaid shakes.

God and the engineers were looking out for these two. I have no doubt that 30 years ago there would have been a single fatality at least, maybe a double. Lesson: DON'T BURN THE YELLOW LIGHT!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Andrew Cuomo, American Duce-bag


I make a point NEVER to watch broadcast TV even when I can (I live in a blessed broadcast bowl and can only get lousy PBS reception). But when I was having my late dinner tonight I caught some of Andrew Cuomo's speech today in which he called for gun confis... I mean control.

"NOBODY NEEDS ASSAULT WEAPONS! NOBODY NEEDS TEN ROUND MAGAZINES!"*

His body language was terrifying. His mode of address was terrifying. I have never seen anything like it in any modern politician. He postured and preened like Mussolini and shrieked like Adolph himself.

Then it struck me... THIS is the man we need to fear.
 
Obama doesn't have one tenth of this guy's testosterone, rage, or self-importance. He is the very image of the modern major fascist. And it's clear that if he can ram this abomination through his state legislature he thinks he'll be able to use it to step up to the White House.

Hillary is last year's fish wrap. Forget her.

But.


Watch this man. And be afraid. Be very afraid.

*(Sure we do, Mr. Cuomo. And you know why.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Food For Thought

‎'Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.'
 
- B. Obama's Fourth Inaugural Address 

No, Mr. Obama.

It does not.


On This Historical Day....

...I applaud and salute Barack Obama, who today makes a great achievement:

He is the only President other than Roosevelt to take the Oath of Office FOUR TIMES.

Great job, Mr. President.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On the Inaugural

Congratulations, Mr. President.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Greek word is 'Hubris'.....

...an overweening pride that cries out to the gods to send Nemesis to punish the perpetrator.


This is not the first time that they've used an image of a god to describe him.

I shudder and fear for him. Truly.

Friday, January 18, 2013

AWESOMESAUCE BANANABURGERS!



No more naked scanners at the airport! WOO HOO! Next to go: the poor schmoes who guard the front door of the McNamara Federal Building!!!!

(AFTER they are given new jobs somewhere else....)

Amazing But Twoo!

This old chestnut was forwarded to me on Facebook today.  I first saw it when I was a ten year old coin collector... the context was an advertisement for JFK half dollars. Anyway, goes like this:



Have a history teacher explain this if they can.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.


Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.

Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.

Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named "Ford."

Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln" made by "Ford."

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here's the "kicker":

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.

A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

AND...................:

Lincoln was shot in a theater and the assassin ran to a warehouse...

Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and the assassin ran to a theater...

Then I got ta thinkin'....

Lincoln had a birthday on February 12. Obama gives the State of the Union on February 12.

Lincoln had a bible. Obama gets inaugurated holding it.

Lincoln had a bedroom. Obama has friends who sleep in it.

The parallels... just amazing....

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Memory of Richard Nixon's 100th B-Day.....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It sez here.....



that archaeologists in Bulgaria have discovered an ancient temple to Priapus.

Friday, January 11, 2013

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #5

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #5

The Federalist Papers In Modern English

For more information about the #Publius Tweets, click here.

JOHN JAY

To the People of the State of New York:

We are not lacking in historical precedents that can assist us in our decision making. Let us take the example of the time that England and Scotland formed their Union. Queen Anne of Great Britain made certain observations on the formation of their national Union that are salient to our own: At one point, she said:
"An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: It will secure your religion, liberty, and property; remove the animosities amongst yourselves, and the jealousies and differences betwixt our two kingdoms. ... .... It must increase your strength, riches, and trade; and by this union the whole island, being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest, will be ENABLED TO RESIST ALL ITS ENEMIES." ... "We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion, being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness, and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies, who will doubtless, on this occasion, USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION."
As we mentioned previously, domestic weakness invites foreign danger. Union and good government shall do more than any other possibility to secure us from those dangers and from that weakness. We could go on and on concerning this subject.

We are, as a people, probably more acquainted with Great Britain's history than any other, and this history is full of useful lessons for our present situation. Let's learn from their mistakes so that we may not repeat them. It would appear obvious that a single island should give rise to a single nation. Nevertheless, that island of Great Britain gave rise to three mutually hostile polities and most of her history was spent in internal conflict between the three (as well as in conflict with neighboring France and Spain).

Furthermore, the most successful of the confederacies (or states) would be viewed with envy and fear by the others, lest they attempt to form an overarching empire over the others. Thus each of the others would fall on the leader, and like the leading player in a game of 'Hearts,' would be driven back into the pack by warfare by the others. They would pursue aggressive policies against that leader–whether militarily or economally–and thus they themselves would be deterred from pursuing peaceful policies that would benefit them all.

Looking at the nation objectively, it is clear that the northern states are currently the richest and most prosperous, and likely to be the strongest militarily. Regardless of the number of polities that are formed if the new Federal government is not put in place, the North should remain the dominant region for many generations.

If this were to occur the other regions would no doubt unite in their mutual hostilities against the North, much as the rest of Europe has united against its more powerful northern regions. It is also not unlikely that the northern region might take to raiding its neighbors to gain at their expense.

Neighboring confederacies would soon be transformed into hostile bordering powers. They would neither love nor trust each other; disorder and hostility would be their lot. There would be no mutual trust. We would become dangerous and formidable only to one another: a situation our foreign competition would surely love to witness.

Therefore it is clear that anyone who thinks that these confederacies might unite in their common defense are likely gravely mistaken. Furthermore, if they do unite, they would not unite with the same strength and vigor that a single national government would form. Furthermore, that inherent weakness would invite foreign hostility, invasion, and intervention.

When did England, Scotland and Wales unite to expel an invader? When did Aragon, Castille, or the Moorish lands unite to drive out an enemy? Only when they became united single states under a single government. Thus, we must know now, and let us not fool ourselves. Confederacies would become distinct nations, nothing less.

 Each of them would have commercial intercourse with other nations controlled via separate treaties, each with its own character, own set of treaties, own international interests. This would make them as distinct as any group of nations are with one another. International trade creates different economies, inviting separate relationship with foreign nations. It is an inevitable consequence of multiple states.

Thus, it would be likely that nations at war with (say) a united South would be friendly to a united Northern confederacy, or vice versa. It would be extremely difficult to form an alliance that undermines these mutual positions. Such an alliance would be subjected to treachery and would not necessarily ever be fulfilled in good faith.

Thus it would be much more likely that the neighboring confederacies in America would behave like neighboring nations in Europe and would, due to rivalries and different geographies, be found taking opposite sides to foreign enganglements and conflicts.

Let's then carefully judge whether confederacies would truly protect us from foreign intervention: it seems unlikely that they would.

JOHN JAY

//////

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Repost: Tattered Remnants #026: Gao Zhisheng


THE RESULT OF OUR SILENCE: CHINESE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY GAO ZHISHENG

(Read all about the Tattered Remnants by clicking {here}.)

Gao Zhisheng is a self-taught human rights lawyer. He resigned from the Chinese Communist Party in 2007 in protest to their treatment of the Falun Gong and of Chinese Christians, who continue to be severely persecuted under the rule of the Chinese communist party. He disappeared [in 2009].

He made a career, between 1989 and 2007, of first, defending individuals against incompetently run public companies, and later, defending individuals accused of participating in Falun Gong or Christian church-related activities.

Once more, Wikipedia:

Amnesty International alleged on January 17, 2006 that Gao narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, planned as a traffic accident ordered by Chinese secret police. On February 4, 2006, Gao, together with Hu Jia and other activists, launched a “Relay Hunger Strike for Human Rights,” whereby different activists and citizens fasted for 24 hours in rotation. The hunger strike was joined by people in 29 provinces, as well as overseas, though several participants were arrested for joining.

On August 15, 2006, after numerous death threats and continued harassment, while visiting his sister's family, Mr. Gao was abducted by the Chinese secret police without any legal proceedings. On September 21, 2006, he was "officially" arrested. On December 22, 2006, Mr. Gao was convicted of "subversion", and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended, and placed on probation for five years. The sentence also deprives him of his political rights - the freedom to publish or speak out against the government - for one year. He had publicly confessed to a number of errors. On his liberation, Gao recanted his confession and described torture he experienced during his 54 days in custody. He also said captors threatened he would be killed if he spoke publicly about the matter. In chapter 6 of his memoirs written in 2006, Gao criticised the CCP for employing "the most savage, most immoral, and most illegal means to torture our mothers, torture our wives, torture our children, and torture our brothers and sisters…". He formally renounced his membership of "this inhumane, unjust, and evil Party", declaring it "the proudest day of my life."

On June 2, 2007, Gao was beaten by a national security officer after he complained about officers assaulting his wife. On June 24, 2007, Gao was kidnapped by the Chinese government in order to prevent him from attending an award ceremony in the United States. The American Board of Trial Advocates selected Gao to receive the prestigious Courageous Advocacy Award; they had invited him to receive the award personally in Santa Barbara, California on June 30, 2007.

In the fall of 2007, Gao’s memoir A China More Just was published in English in the United States.

On September 22, 2007, after writing open letters to Vice-President of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott, and then to US Congress calling for a boycott of the Olympics,[17] Gao was once again taken away from his home, where he had been under house arrest, by Chinese secret police. A letter from Gao revealed he endured ten days of torture that involved beatings, electric prods and even toothpicks to his naked body, followed by weeks of emotional torture. Gao wrote that his torturers said his case had become personal with uncles in the state security apparatus after he had repeatedly publicised previous mistreatment.
A dramatic reenactment of what he endured follows. Warning: Not for children or the meek.



He disappeared again on February 4, 2009. He has not been seen since; his detention this long without charge is illegal even under Chinese Communist law--assuming he still lives. [The Chinese government announced in 2011 that he was serving a sentence of three years in prison for 'parole violations,' i.e., refusing to remain silent.]

You can find out more about Gao Zhisheng by {{{clicking here}}}.

Let us consider his final words to us:

"I leave you with this thought: the increased level of confidence of the Chinese Communist Party in the treating of its people with cold blooded brutality and cruelty is the direct result of our silence."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #4

JOHN JAY
THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #4:
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS IN MODERN ENGLISH

For more information about the #Publius Tweets, click here.

On Foreign Force, Influence, and The Dangers of Internal Division

To the People of New York:

Our last discussion gave a number of reasons why national security is best protected by means of a National Union: a Union that prevents war by preventing local foolishness from igniting us all in regional conflict. In short, we prevent war by acting in a manner more just, guaranteed by a single government. Mathematically, it's clear: one government can act foolishly far less often than can many, just as a single individual may be foolish on various occasions but is less likely on a single occasion than a large group of individuals each of whom can act independently of one another.

But that is not sufficient in protecting us from foreign powers. It is of course necessary not to give foreign powers the excuse to go to war with us through foolish acts. It is even more necessary not to invite attack through weakness and vulnerability. History shows that nations often go to war under pretense, saying the cause is one thing when it is in fact caused by another.

Human nature being what it is, nations tend to go to war if they'll gain from war. And monarchs and other absolute rulers have a bad habit of going to war over petty personal quarrels, or for "glory", or revenge for insults, out of ambition, or in support of relatives and/or other political allies.

As a result, wars often arise for reasons that neither serve the nation or the people, but only the personal vanity of the sovereign himself. But wars are not always caused by the caprice of kings. Sometimes they have other causes, arising from competition or other circumstances that arise between nations.

For instance, we remain highly competitive in the fish market with France and Britain, and can produce more fish for less investment than they, and thus our product is cheaper (notwithstanding tariffs or other barriers to entry to their markets).

We are of course fully aware that these may cause international conflict or war; those seeking an excuse for war against us will no doubt always find a reason for it.

A Federal government can bring together the talents, experience and wisdom of the elite of every state instead of each one being thrown onto its own intellectual resources. Great men (and women) are scarce, and one government can gather them together from many states far more effectively than each state can provide them on their own. A single government can institute uniform policies over all the states.... and can harmonize each of the states, and extend the benefits of a national government to each part more or less equally.

The interests of all states will be taken into account as regards treaties and international agreements, far better than where individual states make the same agreements: New York might make a trade agreement with England that would beggar, say, Massachusetts. A single government avoids this trap. A single government can defend the individual states far better than can each of the states themselves; a single state subjected to invasion would be supported by the resources of all the states. The military can be subjected to a single set of regulations; its officers, in one interest, under the President; they can be constructed to work together far more effectively than if divided into 13 states or three or four regional governments.

Imagine an alternate universe where Britain, with separate armies in England, Scotland, and Wales: would the latter states protect England against invasion? And if they did, would they work together more efficiently than that of a single British Army? Experience suggests that they would not.

The British Navy is famous and powerful; the day may come when our own Navy may gain the respect of the world. Note that the greatness of Britain's fleet would never have been a factor without a single Government there making naval strength a priority. Surely, three separate polities on the island of Great Britain would not have accomplished this.

OTOH, if they find our states poorly governed (or not governed at all), with each State doing its own will, or separate confederacies in hostile competition with one another, then America will be poor, pitiful, and vulnerable. We will be vulnerable to their contempt and aggression; and we will be vulerable, too, to a foreign strategy of divide and conquer.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Tattered Remnant in Action


His name was August Landmesser. He was a Nazi Party member until he married a Jewish woman and they had two children; he was expelled and eventually imprisoned for "race defilement". He was eventually drafted, sent into combat in Yugoslavia, and presumably died in October 1944. His wife was killed at a camp. Their two daughters survived.

In 1936, in Hamburg, the Nazis threw a rally to celebrating the launching of a new warship. Landmesser, having just been expelled from the party, decided not to go along with the gag.

THIS is the very definition of the Tattered Remnant.

Be This Guy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #3

(The Federalist Papers in Modern Language:
 For more information about the #Publius Tweets, click here.)

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #3

An intelligent and well informed people such as Americans do not lightly take a stand that is directly contrary to their interests. Thus, the view that the States should remain under a single, sufficiently powerful central government has a great deal going for it: the good will and good opinion of the American citizenry.

The more we consider these factors, the stronger that argument becomes.

Of all the questions we need to take into account, the matter of public safety is paramount. However, it should be noted that the issue of "public safety" is a very broad one, and that this issue resists being narrowly classified.

For purposes of this essay, I wish to consider only the question of national defense both against foreign invasion and against domestic uprisings. Let's take the issue of defense against foreign invasion first. It appears clear that a benign national government offers our best safety against foreign hostilities.

Wars have an unhappy history of taking place whenever there are sufficient causes to go to war, whether those causes are real or pretended then the reduction of the number of independent states each of which are subject to the decision to go to war can only mean that the Union would have the strongest single factor in the prevention of war both between the States and between the Union and other nations.

Wars, when undergone in justice, occur because of either violence on American troops or personnel or because of the violation of treaties. We have six treaties in place so far–five of them with maritime powers (the other being Prussia). Any of those five have the power to strike at us by means of their navies. We have trade with Portugal, Spain and Britain. These latter nations of course have a colonial presence directly on our borders.

If we are to keep the peace with all nations, we must observe international law, particularly towards those powers with the means to strike at us. It seems obvious that this is most likely to take place if we have a single national government rather than 13 separate republics or three or four regional authorities.

If we have a working national government, it will either elect or appoint the very best among our citizenry to hold office in that government. A national government will have the largest possible talent pool to draw from, and experienced individuals who might pass on appointment to State office would no doubt be eager to accept appointment to National office. Thus the Presidency, the legislative branch, and the judiciary will be controlled by much more qualified individuals than the individual States; and as such, as decisions are made by the wisest available, that will result in a dramatic increase in domestic security–and as a consequence, tranquility.

A single National government made up of a national Elite will make better decisions that the local officials of thirteen States or 3-4 confederacies. Mathematically, it's quite simple: the fewer governments, the fewer decisions to be made; with one government, the least possible number of decisions shall be made. Furthermore, with many polities, there will be many more incompatible laws. A single Government avoids this trap. A single Judiciary will do more than any other institution to prevent this difficulty, and the fact that the Convention foresaw this speaks to their wisdom and vision.

One or two states may have corrupt or venial Governments that are willing to choose war, but a single National government will act to prevent that difficulty, and the peace and good faith of the Government will so be preserved. Let's take Britain as a primary example and reason why we must pursue a single national Government.

It is also possible that some of the individual States, with their individual economies, may have a greater tendency to be drawn into conflict with foreign or other States than the norm. The government of said States may not be in a position to restrain and punish those pushing needlessly for war. The Union government however won't have that temptation, and will not be drawn into an endless round of saber-rattling and war-mongering, as the nation it represents is too large and diverse to have that tendency.

So long as we have a single government, the simple mathematical numbers of interactions that could lead to war are dramatically reduced to a mathematical minimum. This most favors the possibility of the greatest possible degree of national security.

Likewise, war arising from violent international incidents provide more security for the nation as a whole than would separate polities.

Such violence could originate from only one or two States. It is a greater insurance for all if all States were involved in the consequences. The Federal government under the Articles has never commenced a single campaign against the Indians; however, the States have often, through bad behavior or the inability to constrain it, acted as proximate causes of local/state Indian wars. This has caused many casualties, not merely among the instigators but also among the innocent bystander.

Furthermore, it is an obvious point that the Spanish and British borders only impinge on certain of the States while not involving others. This also places those particular States at risk. A national Government offers an effective balm to their fears of war with their neighbors. A National government will be the most effective possible deterrent to the border States to instigate trouble with our Spanish or British neighbors.

Furthermore, just as a single government reduces the number of possible conflicts with outsiders to a minimum, so it increases the power to resolve and treat with our enemies over solving them. The National government will be easier to deal with than individual States. States are like Men: they are prideful and quick to demand the righting of wrongs. A National government, being somewhat distant from the causes of conflict, will be less quick to start wars and somewhat more efficient in ending them.

Furthermore, a strong nation may be able to make deals and accommodations unreachable by a smaller, prideful polity.

Finally, let's remember the example of Genoa. In 1685 the Genoans offended King Louis XIV, the Sun King, in France. They undertook to try to appease the offended King. His solution? He made their chief of state and four leading Senators to come apologize to him. Personally. They had to do it to keep the peace. Needless to say a stronger Nation would never have offered such obeisance. Let this be a lesson to us all.

PUBLIUS.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

DAMN that Constitution!

Happy Birthday, President Nixon!



Today is Richard Nixon's 100th birthday.

Richard Nixon did something nobody else did. He performed an act of Biblical significance. For all his faults, and they were many, this man--this anti-Semite!--singlehandedly saved Israel in October 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, by sending weaponry, when nobody, even Kissinger, wanted to risk it. He sings with the angels. He endured Watergate, I think, as a divine rebuke to keep him from getting too proud of his greatest achievement. May he rest in peace.

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #2

(THE FEDERALIST PAPERS #2, IN MODERN ENGLISH)

We Americans have been called on to consider one of the great questions of history. We should pay close attention to it and think about it very carefully.

Whether we like it or not, government is necessary to human happiness. Like a lower intestine, we might not like what it encompasses, but we won't live very long without it. And for it to work properly, we have to concede some of our natural rights to it.

We have to consider, therefore, whether it is better for us to be a single nation, or to divide up into a group of smaller confederacies which would, in essence, each be its own nation. Either way, we will wind up giving some local power to another more centralized government. So which is better?

Up until recently, the idea that we should of course be a single nation under one government was universally accepted truth. Our best citizens have been working night and day to make that a reality. However, some politicians have recently come forward with the argument that we would do better to be divided into smaller groups of states, indeed multiple countries, rather than one single nation. This so-called "new idea" has been around for a while, and some who previously opposed this idea have recently changed sides. Well, it's clear that, whatever their reasons for changing their minds, it would be a good idea for the rest of us to carefully consider if this new idea of an America of multiple nations is really a good idea.

We've often considered with pleasure the fact that the United States are a single contiguous nation, and not made up of separate polities widely separated from one another. Its entire coast line is navigable, and many deep rivers well suited to barge and passenger traffic allow us to penetrate its interiors and to conveniently ship produce and trade goods to our ports.

We also have the great advantage of being a cultural unity: generally speaking we're all descended from the English; we all speak English; we all worship as the English do, and we also attach ourselves to the same principles of government that the English do. We've stuck together in defense of our lands, first against the French and their Indian allies, and then later against the crown. We have a common cultural base and, in spite of our widely separated settlements, a generally united single history. We've established freedom and independence without once degenerating into the kind of criminal battlefield behavior that has in the past characterized war on this continent.

The match between people and country is made in heaven. It appears that we were meant from the beginning to be a single nation. It would be more than a pity to dismember us into local polities, it would be a disaster and a crime.

We've all enjoyed the same rights and privileges and we've all enjoyed a common safety in our unity together. We've made war, we've won wars, and we've successfully acted as a nation state among the nation states of the world.

To this end, from the beginning we instituted a single federal government to exercise these powers. The fact that the government continues to be in existence after a decade is a wonder to behold, but the fact that it doesn't work well in its present form shouldn't surprise anyone.

We've thought about the problem and have decided that the present government needs reform. We're as fond of liberty as we ever were, but naturally, we put the business of war before the business of government reform. War having been won, we have rightfully seen to the next order of business, by calling a convention in Philadelphia to discuss the question.

Those men who met at Philadelphia were the best minds in America–patriotic, wise, and virtuous men all–took up the challenge of reforming the Federal government. Their discussions were carried out in a completely calm and contemplated state, without pressure from any outside influence–king, money or mob–and came to an excellent conclusion.

Note well, that this Constitution has been recommended to you: not imposed, nor blindly rejected. It was created in an intellectually calm atmosphere, and it should be considered in the same atmosphere, unmarred either by history or by histrionics. (Figure the odds of this happening, however! - for as mentioned before, History is Not On Our Side.) Let's not forget that the First Continental Congress was called in 1774 when the people saw a bad political moon arising. The Continental Congress came up with some very good and visionary ideas–and we haven't forgotten that no sooner were those ideas published that the papers were filled with rants objecting to the very things the Congress suggested. 

Many people worked to undermine the Continental Congress–self interested politicos, the overly fearful, those still too attached to the royalist system, and the nakedly ambitious. Many people were deceived–but not the majority, thank goodness, who never forgot that the Continental Congress was led by some men with enormous foresight, intelligence, and experience. The fact that they came from all over the colonies gave the Congress the ability to consider many viewpoints never before brought together. Over time, they managed to parse the best interests of the country–and did so while obtaining a remarkable knowledge of our nation's situation. Of course, they also thought with an eye to their self interest, but they at all times kept the larger picture in view, and they chose the path that seemed the most prudent for the general welfare and the public good.

Just as they trusted the Constitutional Congress, so the citizens of this nation have also trusted those making up the Constitutional Convention–some of the Continental Congress's wisest members also made up the Convention, bringing to it their broad vision and experience.

We should also note that every Congress has also supported the concept of a continued Union. Those making up both the Congress and the Convention have kept that in mind and today still to advocate for its continuation. So what's up with those who want to bring the Union apart? Why are three or four countries in place of our one thought to be better? I can think of many more reasons for Union than Against, and I'll attempt to bring them up in later discussions. Those supporting regional confederacies over one great Union during the Convention understand well that if our new Constitution is rejected, the Union itself is in great danger. I think that this is true, and I hope that everyone understands that if we were to say farewell to the Union we would say farewell, also, to all that is great about our nation.


=============

For more information about the #Publius Tweets, click here.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS: INTRO AND #1

The Publius Tweets: Intro and Tweet #01.


(Editor's Note: I have no intention of revealing how the following correspondence fell into my hands - RLK.)

INTRODUCTION
TO: THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FROM: JAMES MADISON, ALEXANDER HAMILTON, JOHN  JAY
DATE: 3 JANUARY 2013
RE: WTF?

 To the people of the State of New York and to the other States:

  Greetings to you all. We're sure you're wondering who we are. We are your spiritual forefathers sending you some Email using these nifty new servers they just connected to the Net.

  We are those known to you once as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, and we extend to you all our most humble greetings.

  You have surely heard of us, even after 200 years. James here is the fourth President of the United States; John is the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Alexander the first Secretary of the Treasury before an unfortunate incident on the bluffs of New York.

  Now we're sure you're all wondering what we mean. After all, we've all three of us been dead for almost two centuries, give or take a decade. And as you know, dead men tell no tales.

  We've been granted a small privilege, given the gravity of the current situation on Earth. We have taken a look at the state of the Union and we're not happy with what we see. So we applied to Upper Management for a special dispensation.

  We've accordingly contracted with a recent arrival hereabouts--I believe his name was Bart Bright, or some such, when he was with you all--and enlisted him to transcribe these message to you in a form of English more in keeping with the 21st Century: a time that from what we hear is both very alien and very familiar to us.

 And, of course, this writing style doesn't match at all that which we used the last time we were writing together. Given that we have to use Mr. Bright as our amanuensis, we have to use his voice and not our own. An annoyance really, but it has its advantages as well, which we'll discuss shortly.

  Now, this all started when Alexander recently completed his stretch in Purgatory and said he wanted to see what had become of our country, and we-–James and John--chose to join him for a little tour.

  We're not entirely pleased at what we see.

  Yes, we're very proud of how you have resolved many of the difficulties that marked our time. We're delighted that not only have you ended slavery but you've even overcome most of the dark habits we picked up imposing it. We're very proud about how you led the free world in fighting the monstrous regimes that took power over the last century. And we're delighted to see how your imagination and industry has created so many new instrumentalities of technology.

  But all is not well in this our nation.

  We're united in our dismay in seeing a serious breakdown in our system. You've locked in a group of representatives who seem intent on spending you all into the poor house. You've reelected a President who appears not to know what he is doing–although we are pleased to see his ethnic background puts paid to much of the old ways. We see the business district of New York which we helped create is being occupied by a group of economic luddites. We're even hearing talk about cancelling elections and "decreasing democracy"  and even have heard the current President doubts that the Supreme Court should even perform its Constitutional duty!

  We've discussed the situation, and we've come to the conclusion that something needs to be done.

  In short: You all need to become reacquainted with what the Constitution means and how we came to this point.

  So we're going to urge you to reexamine certain papers of ours. They're quite famous, of course; the Federalist Papers are still read regularly by your intellectual elites and attorneys.

  But there's a problem. We've been gone a long time, and the English language has changed. Not everything we said back then is going to make much sense to you; furthermore, it's heavy style deters many from reading it.

  What to do about it?

  Well, truth is, one of our delights in our recent visit was to see a stage play in New York, a light musical based on Shakespeare. The story's the same, but since the form and language is that of New York and not sixteenth century England, the people enjoyed it much more.

 In the alternative, we've seen that the art of reading intelligently has declined pretty dramatically since the day we were about.

  So this is what we're going to do.

  Mr. Bright has agreed to transcribe and transmit our voices. We're going to rewrite and republish the entire Federalist Papers series, but in a form of English that is more amenable to your generation. The meaning will remain the same, but the form will be a little lighter and, we hope, a bit more enjoyable.

  While the tone may be less heavy than in 1788, the idea is that YOU GUYS NEED TO READ THIS STUFF. If you can't read the original (and if you can, forget Mr. Bright and for God's sake, read it!) But if you can't, or would rather not, then read this version. It's lighter, it's easier to comprehend, and it still will get the message across.

  Because if you people can't get your stuff straight, all our efforts may be wrecked.

  But keep this in mind: although the language is the language of the 21st century, we ask you imagine that it's 1788 all over again, and that we're writing for that audience.

  So.

  Read on, MacDuff.

===========================

 THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #1

HAMILTON

 To the People of the State of New York:

  It's pretty clear to everyone now that the Articles of Confederation don't work, and that we've tried to fix it. Now's you're chance to judge our efforts.

  This is a big, er, deal, as your present Vice President put it so, er, eloquently. It covers whether we should be one country, and how safe those parts making up the country would be both under the new Constitution and independently.

  We are the subjects of a great experiment: whether people can pick their own government or not. This is something completely new–and History isn't on our side.

  This is the time and place. If we blow it, Mankind will suffer immensely.

  Patriotism and public spiritedness require that we pay attention to what is going on here.

  We need to pick carefully, and we need to choose dispassionately for what is really good for us as a whole and not necessarily what might be good for us as individuals.  (Figure the odds that this will happen, though. Again, History is Not On Our Side.)

  After all, this issue covers lot of territory, such as state and local governance and the effect the central government will have on them. These factors, and the effects they have on people at every level, guarantee that a lot of factors extraneous to the discussion will come into play.

  The most important obstacle facing the new Constitution is the fact that those in power already will do everything they can to prevent any change which lessens their personal power and/or income. Others, too, will fight it, as they would prefer to be big fish in a relatively small state pond than small fish in a large Federal lake. Many who would profit from disunion will lead the fight against Union.

  This series of essays, however, are not about this issue.

  It's of course unfair to equate all opposition to the Constitution to that of greedy men who want to maintain in power.

  It's possible that some of these men are arguing from legitimate reasons or from right intent. Much of our opposition will of course be made up of righteous individuals who, while holding wrong opinions, do so for correct reasons.

  We must remember that many good people will have mistaken opinions on this subject, and that their mistaken opinions does not diminish their inherent decency.

  We therefore should remember to be moderate in our criticism and modulate our tone, as we struggle to a great extent against our own.

  Furthermore we should also remember that many on our side of this constitutional question are not necessarily righteous in either their reasons or their intentions and bad motivations my be behind their good support. So let's be cautious and merciful in what we say.

  Furthermore, we all know that political intolerance occurs on both sides of the fence, and intolerance can arise in any political struggle and be far more destructive of the state than the questions that cause it to arise.

  In religion and in politics, conversion by sword point is a poor idea, and one usually can't eliminate a heresy by persecuting the heretic.

  I suppose that we should, nevertheless, expect it to arise in our present circumstance; and flamage and trollery will occur in this discussion as in so many others.

  Each side, we expect, will attempt to outshout the other. and the good guys will be accused of being power-hungry and enemies of freedom.

  Those who are careful to champion the people will be accused of being poseurs who want to be popular so that they can take advantage and those who have a passion for liberty may often harbor an obstinate hostility toward those they view as the enemies of liberty.

  We can't forget, though, that liberty can only be guaranteed by a sufficiently powerful government. These interests are inseparable. Beware, however: potential tyrants invoke "the people" much more often than they do a strong government.

  Advocates of "the people" have historically caused more despotisms than advocates of strong government; they often start as demagogues before they end up as tyrants.

 As you read these essays, we've tried to put you on guard against any politicized viewpoint, and we're attempting to give you as much information as possible based on truth, not spin. (Although I am sure you've already probably figured out that we favor the new Constitution indeed, we do....) we're convinced that this is the safest course for your liberty, your dignity, and your happiness.
 Nor will we give voice to any doubts that we do not actually have.

  We also won't pretend we're still deciding when we have indeed already decided.

  We're for the Constitution. Now we'll say why, as pretending to be evenhanded while being ambiguous betrays bad intent. (We're not going to tell you our personal reasons for supporting the Constitution, however; that business is strictly our own.) We're willing to lay this on the line, however, so that you can judge and we're going to try to speak the truth as best we see it.

  Over the course of this series, we're going to discuss the following subjects:

 WHY THE UNION IS A GOOD THING
 WHY THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION ARE A FAILURE
 WHY THE NEW GOVERNMENT FORMED ON THE CONSTITUTION WILL BE A DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT
 HOW THIS GOVERNMENT IS TRULY REPUBLICAN
 HOW THIS GOVERNMENT IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF OUR STATE
 HOW THE NEW CONSTITUTION WILL PROTECT LIBERTY AND PROPERTY.

  We're also open to questions and we'll try to answer them as this series goes on. Some may think that it's pointless to offer arguments about why the Union is a good thing–it should appear to most people to be a truth self-evident (to coin a phrase).

  But we hear from a lot of people that there are whispers going around–that one government can't handle an area so large, with so many different states of different sizes and characters, and that it is likely to be better if we were to have independent states in a few smaller confederacies. They aren't talking about it now, but they will later, because it's pretty clear that if this Constitution falls so falls the entire Federal union.

  So let's start by discussing the bad things that will follow if the Federal government should disappear.

  We will discuss this in our next. See you then.


=====================

jm/ah/jj:ab

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

UPHOLD, PROTECT, DEFEND:
THE CONSTITUTION UNDER THREAT

One of the primary characteristics of evil is that it is, occasionally, stupid.

Very stupid.

As on Monday.  We saw an extraordinary example of our new insect overlords removing their masks and showing their true faces: the faces of revolutionaries.

It happened when The New York Times tipped their hands, when I am sure the losers there--no doubt awaiting pinkslips and transport to the underground sugar mines--thought nobody was looking...

They actually openly proposed that the United States Constitution, an "evil" document, be disregarded and consigned to the ashheap of history.

Really.

I shi... um, kid you not.

Louis Michael Steadman, a 40-year law professor at Georgetown University, in his piece, referred to the Constitution of the United States as "the Constitution, with .... archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions" and stated that it was time to "give up on it" because it doesn't let him do what he wants.

As one Facebook friend of mine put it rather crudely but succinctly:

"Dafuq."

I mean, really.

They basically called for the Constitution to be ignored, treated as taffy or Play-Dough, to be twisted into whatever shape they want.

What they fail to take into account is that such an approach is a one-way exit ramp straight to Civilwarville.

Fellow lawblogger Clinton H. Wilcox made as deadly an assessment as could be made in one sentence: "Who needs "Patterns of Force" when we have John Gill wanna-bes among us here?" (To non-Trek-geeks out there, that was the episode where some idiot political science professor decides to introduce Naziism to a backward planet and finds, lo and behold, it puts, um, Nazis in charge.)  David Jaroslav, another lawblogger, remarked that "John Gill is but a fictional stand-in for all utopians, and thereby all statists: 'other revolutions went badly only because I was not in charge.'"

Yep.


Mr. Wilcox has done me (and all of us) a great favor in writing a straightforward Fisking (which can be found here), thereby saving me the time.


But.

One ridiculous op-ed, buried at the end of the year, is one thing.

But this is not just one example.

A few months back, Time Magazine, or its rotting corpse, ran a similar rant a few months, where they basically said, if we didn't give them socialism, then the Constitution had to go.

To put it simply:

The. hell. with. Them.

I mean, really.

THE HELL WITH THEM.

These intellectual vandals--not just Steadman, who seems to merely be engaging in intellectual onanism--but the NY Times, Time Magazine, Newsbeast, et all as a whole.... all seem unaware that they are removing the bricks from the bottom row of the wall of the Separation of Freedom and State, and if they're successful (God forbid!) the whole wall will crash down on them... and us.

No.

Not just no, but HELL NO.

The Constitution is real, it is actual, and it MEANS SOMETHING.

We cannot treat it as a "living document" that we can transmorgrify into whatever beast we (or they, more specifically) want. Calvin's Transmorgrifier was an empty cardboard box.  We must keep the Constitution as it is. To treat it as taffy is to buy civil violence, nationwide.... not some time in the future, but now.

But how?

It's clear that a new battle is before us. No longer are we merely fighting for the status quo as to traditional marriage, or fighting the expansion of prenatal genocide, or standing to prevent seizure of our means of self defense.

The new battle is for the whole enchelada: the preservation of the United States of America and its Constitution against enemies domestic.

Let us be clear: if the Constitution goes, we are damning future generations to endless war, strife, and civil disorder. Freedom of speech dies. Freedom to bear arms ends. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure ends. The sanctity of our homes, our papers, and (ahem) our hard drives ends. Expostfacto criminal prosecution, "interning" or "detaining" of "enemies" of the powers that be, the open persecution of those standing for the "old order": all become possible.

And I do NOT mean some time in the distant future.

I mean now. This year. Next year.

It is possible unless we man the ramparts: the US Constitution must be upheld, protected, and defended.

First we must arm ourselves for the coming struggle: armed with knowledge and understanding, for the struggle commences (and we pray only remains) one of words.

We need to reacquaint ourselves with the brilliant gem that is the United States Constitution, which has kept us steady and (with one exception) free of civil war for 219 of its 223 years. 

How? We need to read (or reread) the Federalist Papers.

All of us.

Now, the Federalist Papers are not exactly easy reading: so it falls to us to reintroduce it to the people, so that they can see, in modern language, what our forebears had in mind when they wrote, on only five pages, a framework to rule a continent that has kept us free.

What can we do?

I know what I *can* do.  And will. To paraphrase the less-than-immortal Allen Ginsberg, it's time to put my, um, straight shoulder to the wheel.

I am therefore rebooting a project I started last year: the Federalist Papers, in modern language. We NEED TO READ THE FOUNDERS.

Closely.

Ladies and Gentlemen....

The Publius Tweets.

To commence tomorrow.
=====================

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And A Blessed 2013!....


The Year of Our Lord* 2012 was a very unpleasant year, all fight and struggle, sturm und drang--with a final result that we have a government that hardly budged an inch. Friendships ave been battered, however, and many who once were friends no longer are. I can count among some of my nearest and dearest several who do not communicate with me at all any more.

So be it. These are times that try men's souls.

Some have left my life because of this blog. But. This blog has become a shell of itself. December was a hairy month for me workwise; I only blogged four pieces, all of them fluff and of little import.... and yet my readership was the second highest it has ever been. (November was nominally the highest, but that was because I got hit with a 'Blogger virus' and some webcrawler was attempting to post spam on my comments section.)

Nevertheless, it is clear that my blog is in need of a wider audience and I MUST post to it more. Insofar as the Tattered Remnant series seems to have run its course (I'll probably add to it a time or two, but for now, we're letting it rest).

Where to now then?

The answer is simple: THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

For the next 12 months, I will make upholding, protecting, and defending the Constitution of the United States the primary theme of this blog. We'll be looking at the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the Constitution itself, the Amendments, and the role that the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, plays in shaping its meaning.

Our first post on the subject commences tomorrow.

In the mean time.... Happy New Years, everyone!

*And yes, it was. Just like every other Year.....