Tyranny and the 5th Amendment

To the extent this implies that the government itself is hiding behind the Bill of Rights, this poster isn’t quite right. An individual in the government, rather than the government itself, is pleading the 5th. Just because one works for the government doesn’t mean one gives up ones rights as a citizen.

Nevertheless, I liked the poster because it’s a reminder that we currently have an exceptionally corrupt administration in Washington. Should we be able to switch to a Republican administration, Lerner will be followed by a long line of 5th pleaders:

Tyranny and the 5th

Hat tip: Caped Crusader

Living in a police state — Communist Czechoslovakia had nothing on modern Wisconsin

One of the scarier moments in my life occurred back in 1987, when I was traveling with my mother in still-Communist Prague.  We’d originally planned to stay there six days, but a three-day taste of Communism — the shabbiness, the sullen people, the dirty air, the vile food — was all we could stand.  We studied our map carefully, tried to make sense of the completely foreign street names, jumped in our car, and headed for Brno, on the road to Vienna.

Or at least, that was the plan.  What actually happened was that we got hopelessly lost on Prague’s confusing network of streets.  And once lost, we couldn’t reorient ourselves, ’cause we couldn’t make sense of those darn Czech street names.

Eventually, we realized that we were making a vast circle, over and over.  Mom finally had it.  “We’re going south,” she said, making a hard left onto a vast, empty street.  That was a mistake.  We ended up on a big plaza, deserted except for one small Lada parked on the far right side of the plaza.  This did not look right.

Things looked even less right when the Lada suddenly emitted a siren-like sound, blue lights flashed, and it accelerated towards us.  Mom pulled over.  The Lada pulled over behind us.  The doors opened and, out of this teeny car stepped two of the tallest, skinniest police officers I’ve ever seen.  Their combined age couldn’t have been much more than 40.  One came to the driver’s window, and one to the passenger’s.

Mom tried German.  Nothing.

Mom and I tried English.  Nothing.

Well, maybe something.  The police officer next to my Mom stuck out his hand, the one that wasn’t near his gun, and said “Passports.”

Gulp.

We gave him the passports.

And that was one of the most helpless feelings in my life.  There we were, in a Communist country, on a deserted street, sans passports, with two very young, armed Communist police officers staring down at us.

Mom and I did what we do best.  We fluttered.  We flapped our hands.  We practically clucked.  We were both small and blonde.  We radiated harmlessness.  And we kept saying, “Brno.  Brno.  Brno.”

The officers conferred with each other in rapid Czech.  They came to a decision.

Suddenly, we had our passports back.  The officers got into their little car and signaled that we should follow them.  And within about five minutes, they had us on the road to Brno, bless their hearts.  Mom and I were kvelling with delight.  We also realized how lucky we were, and how badly it could have turned out for us, violating some unknown law and finding ourselves in the hands of an unlimited police bureaucracy.

Maybe that’s why David Willoughby’s story resonated so strongly with me.  David is the U.S. Marine Vet who was arrested when he held up a protest sign in Wisconsin.  Here’s how David describes his experience:

My name is Dave Willoughby. I am the one in the video.

Without being told what I had done, I was handcuffed and escorted off premise. Placed in a squad car and taken to a police station. I asked if I should have my rights read to me and was told “You’re not being arrested.” My personal property was taken from me, I was fingerprinted, mug shot taken and locked in a dark jail cell (lights off) still handcuffed.

I sat in that jail cell, looking out of a meshed wire window, at a large American flag flying in the background. Where am I? How can this be happening? What did I do wrong? I prayed for strength.

When I swore the oath to protect and defend the Constitution, I never realized until recently, how vulnerable our precious freedoms actually are.

I did nothing wrong. There were literally hundreds of cameras at this event. I challenge all media to find one shred of evidence, which would support the actions of the Milwaukee PD officers.

Think about that: my Mom and I, in a Communist state, where we didn’t speak the language, fared better than an American veteran on American soil.  That he spoke the language made no difference:

As I was walking, I felt this arm grab me and I felt this fist and I turned around and it was a cop! He told me ‘You’re gonna get your ass kicked.’ All the while I was asking the police officer if he was going to uphold his oath to protect and defend the Constitution? He never answered me.” “The whole time I’m asking ‘What did I do wrong?’ No answer. They handcuffed me. They took me into a car. I asked ‘Am I being arrested?’ and they said ‘No, you’re not being arrested.’ But they handcuffed me, and put me in a dark jail cell, all the while not arresting me.”

Americans always feel “It can’t happen here.”  But it can.  It routinely happened to blacks in the Jim Crow South, and now it apparently happens to foes of public sector unions (unions that include police officers) in the American North/Midwest.  Even if this was anomalous, we must take it seriously.  If we don’t, it creates a precedent.

I have the highest regard for police officers.  They’re doing a sometimes dangerous job and an often frustrating one.  Every interaction I’ve ever had with a police officer has seen the officer being professional, polite and, usually, quite pleasant.  Nevertheless, police officers have a lot of power and, for some, power corrupts.  The way to keep that thin blue line entirely honest is to let the police know that, even though we respect them and their service, we’re also watching them, as citizens of a free state can and should do.

“I” conflicted

The Obama administration is headed for a big showdown with judicial accountability next year. Let’s look at the dance list thus far:

1. The “Fast and Furious” gunwalker scandal, involving potential collusion from the top of our government to funnel automatic weapons and explosives to drug cartels operating within and actively undermining a friendly government. Democrats lied, people died.

2. Solyndra: potential crony capitalism whereby more-than half a billion dollars of public monies disappeared and remain unaccounted for within a private company, actively supported by Obama administration officials, that went bankrupt. Who benefited? Where did that money go?

3. Lightsquared: a privately held company in which the President of the United States was a shareholder, that potentially benefited from tainted government testimony to implement a technology that may have put our defense systems at great risk.

Something tells me there will be other scandals to surface as well.

Put it all together and the Obama Administration may find itself in a maelstrom next year… just before election time.

As even major media outlets are acknowledging, this reeks of crony capitalism and the “Chicago Way”. Unfortunately, I fear that the details will go over the heads of most Americans, many of whom would prefer to avoid the facts altogether and worry about their personal economic lives.

Here’s my dilemma: if real crimes were committed, there has to be accountability. If not, crony capitalism and 3rd world corruption will become the new norm and, as Bookworm pointed out, we will inevitably evolve into a fascist state. However, to have accountability, we would need impeachment hearings to get out the truth.

The atmospherics for this would be terrible.

I suspect that most Americans are still emotionally and mentally exhausted from the Clinton impeachment hearings. Now, in the midst of a depression (let’s not kid ourselves otherwise) and a world spiraling into a new round of economic disasters and global conflicts, the American electorate would again be subjected to the divisive, gut-wrenching politics of impeachment hearings involving America’s first black president and attorney general.

Whether or not the Obama administration skates or we engage in impeachment hearings, I see either scenario as lose-lose-lose: for the Democrats, for the Republicans and for the country. We would end up at each others throats and it could tear our country apart.

Does anyone else see it differently? If so, please enlighten me, because I find this prospect to be so very depressing…either way.

Smoking gun pointing at ATF in Fast and Furious

I haven’t been following Operation Fast and Furious as much as I should have.  I have no excuse.  Bob Owens (aka Confederate Yankee) has been spelling it out with care and diligence.  I’m not going to rehash things here, but Doug Ross has dropped in a tidbit that really, really got my attention:  it seems as if at least one ATF agent was (jokingly?) toying with the idea of investigating Sen. Grassley in order to block the latter’s investigations into F&F.

The Obama administration will go down in history as an extraordinarily corrupt administration.  What will distinguish it from other corrupt administrations (Andrew Johnson, Harding, Nixon, etc.) is that it will be the only administration that saw corruption, not for personal enrichment, but for American destruction.  That’s an entirely new animal, and one I hope I never see again.

 

Nemesis and the elitism of the elites

Much has been written about playwright David Mamet’s coming-out as a conservative and his reasons for so doing, but there is still much gold to be mined from Mamet’s mind.

 

Today’s National Review Online revisits Mamet in this stellar piece by Matthew Shaffer that contains this one gem that perfectly encapsulates some of the alphabetized mindsets encountered and challenged on this blog:

“But liberalism, Mamet thinks, is dismantling culture. The problem is that “the Left today is essentially an elitist movement, and it has invested a lot of time and money in the idea that they know better.” Elites have been led to think “by getting the grades, and getting into good schools and think-tanks and government positions that they are fit” to reorder society more rationally. But this requires first demolishing the order produced by the organic processes of tradition, democracy, and markets — the culture. Why are some so susceptible to this fatal conceit? “They get out of elite schools being told nothing but, ‘You’re the best.’” Hubris — a dramatist’s area of expertise. (The liberalism of his own elite group, the literati, he blames on “devotion to fantasy — this sort of Manichean view.”)

 

You can read the entire article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270190/david-mamet-s-exodus-matthew-shaffer

 

Keep this in mind when considering the role that the Maryland school system has now openly assumed for itself as an indoctrination center for Liberal elitist belief systems, by requiring that all students must pass an “environmental literacy” test before being allowed to graduate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-board-of-education-approves-environmental-literacy-graduation-requirement/2011/06/21/AGW53xeH_story.html

 

To reiterate what I’ve posted before, there is nothing scientific about “environmentalism” or “environmental sciences”, just as there is nothing scientific about “political science”. It is indoctrination, pure and simple, targeted toward the destruction of prevailing belief systems and culture.

 

I think that this will backfire. Eventually forced to confront reality in the age of the internet, students will eventually realize when they have been corrupted and degraded by Leftwing ideologues and I predict that their reaction will be harsh. In the end, it is this narcissistic hubris of the Leftwing elites that will destroy them. I have no doubt that the students that today provide such ready fodder for indoctrination today will eventually turn on their teachers with the retribution of nemesis. It will be a cultural revolution.

The Business of China and U.S.

Given this blog’s recent flogging of the China versus U.S. (“us”) question, here is  a primary example of how China may surpass the U.S. by becoming more business friendly as it decentralizes while the U.S. risks having to learn the lessons of socialist history all over again as our over-regulated economy grinds down to a slow crawl.

In this linked article at the American Spectator, an entrepreneur compares and contrasts the difficulties of and disincentives for creating new businesses in our country, under our increasingly socialist, statist form of governance.

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/05/10/killing-manufacturing

Money quote: “Now, this is China so the government and the state share 30% of your business, but considering the ease of entry, increased in-country sales and helpful attitude, this is a small price to pay, especially considering America’s 35% plus corporate tax rates.”

Here, the author makes an excellent point: when the State demands 35% of a company’s earnings (I believe that Mafia shake-down artists usually demand a smaller percentage in protection money, but I may be wrong), the State de facto owns a 35% equity interest in the company…with only one major difference: it shares 0% of the risk borne by shareholders.

Is America on the road to becoming a socialist paradise like, say, Europe’s former Soviet Block during the 1960s? Naaah…don’t think so! Our future will not be one of mythical straight-line Progessive projections.

I predict instead that, given American individual initiative and creativity, our trajectory will be more like that of an Argentina – once a leading economic jewel, now a pathetic, tired, broke 3rd-world backwater. In such economic environs, two groups will prosper: the government-sanctioned nomenklatura and those clever and adept enough to profit from the inevitable underground economy.

Sad story!

The fallacy of the “everybody does it defense”

I have to boast just a little bit.  Despite driving for more than thirty years, I’ve never had a moving violation.  I have heard, however, that if the highway patrol pulls you over for speeding, it’s no defense to point to the traffic passing you and the officer by, while exclaiming, “But everybody is speeding.”  The officer’s appropriate response is “But you’re the one I caught.”

We all know this.  And we all understand intuitively that having a society with a critical mass of criminal violations doesn’t mean the law is no longer valid.  It may certainly mean the law should be revisited, because it’s damaging to have on the books a law practiced more in the breach than the observance.  Nevertheless, if the law is on the books, if you’re the one caught, well, tough.

Someone needs to teach this to the whiners in the White House, who, having had their hands caught in the swampy depths of the Sestak and Romanoff scandals, are now complaining that “Reagan did it too.”  Aside from the fact that Jake Tapper has exposed this “defense” for the blatant lie it is, the fact is that Reagan is dead and buried, and his alleged crimes, even if they had been true, are buried with him.  Attention whiners:  “We caught you.  Tough.”

The way to stop a culture of corruption isn’t simply to have a pretty boy candidate promise that he’ll have a transparent administration.  Nope.  The way to stop a culture of corruption is to slam people who are corrupt.  Let’s start slamming.

The excrement leaking from corrupt government may soon hit the fan

[Italicized text corrects a misstatement in my original publication, which implied that the Obama team planned the paint balls.]

Peter Ferrera has speculated that Obama may be forced to resign before the end of his term.  My email group rolled the idea around a little bit and then decided that it wasn’t likely.  News today, however, makes it more likely that Obama will be embroiled in a scandal that, in terms of ripeness, melds the Teapot Dome and the Iran-Contra affair.  The rot might seep beyond the tight lock the media has on the dissemination of really bad information (as opposed to their willingness to let their pique show at being ignored), and be sufficiently bad to outrage the public, drive in a Republican Congress, and open the investigation.

The Teapot Dome part is that yet another Democratic Congressman (this one from Colorado) has come forward to say that he was offered prestigious jobs in the administration in exchange for dropping out of the race:

The Obama administration dangled the possibility of a government job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forgo a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, officials said Wednesday, just days after the White House admitted orchestrating a job offer in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.

“Mr. Romanoff was recommended to the White House from Democrats in Colorado for a position in the administration,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said. “There were some initial conversations with him but no job was ever offered.”

The new revelation of a possible political trade again called into question President Barack Obama’s repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals.

You’ll notice that, in the last sentence I quoted, the AP coyly makes this sound as if it’s just an image issue, a backroom deal at odds with Obama’s long-ago broken promise of transparency. In fact, these allegations, if true, are major — and felonious — violations of federal law.  The end result that can that people close to Obama, or even Obama himself, take a nice vacation in Club Fed.  (And, just to get you sitting on the edge of your chair, I have it on very good authority that more stories such as this one are probably going to be breaking this summer.)

The Iran-Contra part of the coming scandals involves the fact that it looks as if the Obama administration was somehow connected to the flotilla fiasco.  Bruce Kesler raises the possibility that the insane paintball gun strategy that the Israeli commandos used as they boarded the ships resulted in part from pressure from the Obama administration.  Combine that with the fact that Obama’s buddies, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, helped organize this “terrorist on the sea” cruise, and, as Ricky Ricardo would say, Obama has some ‘splaining to do.

Steve Schippert unloads on the “Slaughter Option” & Jamie Glazov speaks of courage under tyranny

As everyone should know by now, House Democrats are contemplating doing away entirely with a vote on the Senate bill, and simply announcing that they’ve passed it.  After all, why shouldn’t the Constitution bow down before their overweening statism?  Steve Schippert, a veteran, has unloaded both cannons against this attack on core American values and governance:

Lose sight of what you are defending and defense isn’t all that important, is it?

This simple reminder compels us to shift focus for the moment from our combative enemies and onto that which we defend. We do not engage in such rigorous defense – in its many forms – simply to preserve soil or borders or lives. We engage in rigorous defense of ideas. Ideas embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. We do not defend simply the shores and borders and people of America. We defend – rigorously – so much more than that. We defend what it means to be American. We defend what it is that inspires so many countless others to risk life, limb and treasure to get to America even still.

And, to put it plainly, there is tyranny afoot and it must be confronted and defeated with confidence, determination and passion. The confrontation is not about health care or any other piece of legislation. It is not about politicians, politics or parties.

The confrontation is about process. The confrontation is about fidelity to the Constitution.

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter says she is “prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill.” She continued, explaining how House passage of a separate bill containing “changes” to the Senate version would lead House leadership to “deem” the actual Senate HealthCare Bill passed – without a direct vote.

This is not simply tyrannical in nature, it is absolute political cowardice.

Read the rest here.

Also, I suggest that, after reading Steve’s impassioned defense of Constitutional liberty against tyrannical demagoguery, you read Jamie Glazov’s remembrance of his parents, both of whom stood up bravely against the horrors of the Soviet Union.  Being Jewish, I’ve had the pleasure over many years to know so many refusniks and dissidents who stood up to the Soviet Union and made their way to freedom.  I always admired these men and women.  Now, however, I am reminded that their courage must be universal, or we may find ourselves living through the end of the noble American experiment.

Democrats: doing what it takes to create a one party system

I’ve got a matched set of posts for you today.  The first is an American Thinker article by John Gaski, in which he advances the argument that the Democrats are tuning out the American voters, not because they are blinded by ideology, but because they have a well-advanced system in place for permanent one party rule:

Apart from the troubling question of intent, or whether Obama-Pelosi-Reid just have a novel view of the public interest, the national Democrats are unnaturally and mysteriously sanguine despite growing backlash by the American people. Why? One reason:  The Dems don’t believe they will ever have to face a real election again.

[snip]

Dictatorship in a one-party state indeed seems to loom for us. As one prominent commentator has pointed out, the normal order of the human condition is tyranny, subjugation, and dictatorship, with only a couple of respite periods throughout history, including our time in the West over the past two centuries or so. It just took that long for the totalitarian types to gain near-total power in our country, which they are now consolidating over the coming year. What are the betting odds that they will ever let it go voluntarily?

I was inclined to give Gaski’s article a pass on the ground that it was just a bit too paranoid to be true.  I mean, it’s well written, and he advances a lot of facts (ACORN, SEIU, registering illegal aliens to vote, universal registration, corrupt Democratic Secretary’s of State, etc.), but I still didn’t seem them coming together in one coherent conspiracy whole.  My skepticism, however, took a big hit when I read that, even if Scott Brown somehow manages to pull a victory out of the special Senate vote in Massachusetts (which is unlikely given ACORN’s and SEIU’s contributions to the process before and during the vote), the Democrats will still act to block the will of the people:

It looks like the fix is in on national health-care reform – and it all may unfold on Beacon Hill.

At a business forum in Boston Friday, interim Sen. Paul Kirk predicted that Congress would pass a health-care reform bill this month.

“We want to get this resolved before President Obama’s State of the Union address in early to mid-February,” Kirk told reporters at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.

“Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”

[snip]

Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Gaski may well be right — the fix is in, and we’re all well on our way to being broken.

Do you care about corruption?

Some discussion in one of the comment threads prompts me to ask, do you really care whether your favorite politician is corrupt?  Sure, we’d all like our favorites to be pure as driven snow.  But, seriously, assume McCain is your man and you believed Obama would do serious damage to America (or assume the reverse; it doesn’t matter).  Would it matter to you to discover, beyond dispute, that your favored candidate was crooked as a three dollar bill and the opponent, who would ruin America if elected, is as upright as a saint?  Would you punish the individual at the expense of the country (the phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind)?

Okay, would it make a difference if the sins of your favorite were entirely personal (Monica, Whitewater) or actual misuse of power (Watergate)? 

We all love to point to the moral failings of the other candidate (gee, Obama provides lots of opportunities, doesn’t he), but does it really matter?  I submit there are a few voters who would punish their candidate at the expense of their country, but I’ll bet they are darn few.  For example, I doubt very many people at all who believe in Obama’s vision for America are going to be persuaded to vote against him because of the people he has associated with.  What do you think?  What would you do?