January 26, 2010

State of the Union Eve

Tomorrow will be Obama's first State of the Union Address. As I stated on Facebook, this address will be nothing more than a report of pending Government crime. We'll have a full report and analysis of the address. However, I'm going to put on my psychic hat and predict a speech full of more Government involvement in our lives. Just a guess, though.

January 21, 2010

Conservatism: The Choice Is Obvious

Throughout life, we as humans try to align ourselves with philosophies and ideologies that will identify us or at least help to mold what we really believe. Often religion and political/social views are the key factors in self-identification. Many grow up believing what they do because of the influence of their parents. Others’ beliefs stem from personal conviction or from the fear of being unpopular. Concerning the political aspects of our lives, why is it important to establish who you are and what you believe in? Do you find it interesting that Conservatives are incorrectly branded as hate-mongers but yet still stand up for what they believe in; and yet, Liberals, when shown for who they are and what they believe in, run from the title and try to hide under the auspices of “moderate” or “progressive.” Like cockroaches in a sudden burst of light, Liberals scamper off to find some dark corner to hide in while Conservative plant the flag of liberty firmly in the ground. Why is it great to be a Conservative? Allow me to illuminate who we are and what we believe in.

There are some clear reasons why people, even such as I, choose to be a Conservative. Certain fundamental items are important to every Conservative. These items are his foundation, his boundaries, and his freedom. When building a political/social foundation upon which to stand, Conservatives want a firm foundation. Conservatism is grounded in truth and facts. Truth is absolute. Facts remain unchanged throughout time. If truth is not absolute, then it is not possible to take a defendable stand on anything. Conservatives have no problem exclaiming who they are because when you’ve got the facts on your side, and you are reasonably well-armed with them, you have nothing to fear. Situational relativism is at the heart of Liberalism. Other than the typical Socialism that is offered by Liberalism, we often have no idea where Liberalism stands on anything. And, since the media has granted immunity to the Left, they are never held accountable for their “changing” positions. Don’t be fooled, however. These position changes are nothing more than twisting the facts based on the scenario they are facing in an all out effort to secure more votes. To be a Conservative is to know that truth stands when feelings betray us.

The second fundamental item of Conservatives is that they believe in self-reliance and personal accountability. Many today believe that the influence of other people forces them to behave, or not. All the influence the world has to offer can be placed upon each and every one of us, but we ultimately make the final choice of action. We are responsible for our actions, not society. Liberalism blames someone or something else for their problems. For example, McDonald’s is responsible for obesity and hot coffee spills (because coffee is usually cold); guns are responsible for murders; video games are responsible for violence; Capitalism is responsible for greed; Big Tobacco is responsible for teen smoking…and so on. Blaming everyone and everything else for our problems, breeds irresponsibility—and let’s set the record straight. It’s irresponsibility with food causes obesity; irresponsibility with human life causes murders; irresponsibility to self-control causes violence; irresponsibility with the desire for money that causes greed; irresponsibility of the individual to engage in smoking prior to the legal age. Liberalism believes in a victimhood driven society. Conservatism believes in the individual. Self-reliance and accountability, when we subject ourselves to them, they keep us in check legally, morally, politically, and socially.

Furthermore, self-reliance allows us to take our abilities and talents and see how far we can succeed in life. The Left portrays success as an evil hoarding of money by the few in society that have it. By the way, as of the numbers available from 2007, 7 of the top 10 richest senators pledge their allegiance to the Left. (http://insidertrading.procon.org/viewresource.asp?resourceID=001580). In reality, the policies of the Left stifle success and create more poverty than promoting people use their talents to achieve as much success as life will grant. Conservatives champion the individual and what the individual brings to the table.

The first fundamental is a firm foundation. The second fundamental is a set of boundaries. Finally, the third fundamental is the catalyst, freedom. One of the most precious things to any human is freedom. Without freedom, humans are bound and enslaved to the wishes and desires of the few elite that rule them (as we are experiencing more and more under das Obama Reich.) Liberalism constricts freedom and stifles achievement, thereby putting the power in the few elite—like Nazism. Conservatives treasure personal individual freedoms. Through this freedom, one can achieve anything as far as one’s imagination and capabilities can take them. I am a Conservative because I am free to be as successful as I want to be. I do not have to worry about being told what to do, or having my hand held through life. Conservatism ensures such freedom and that it will prevail because the iron bars and heavy chains of liberalism are no match for the soul that is set ablaze by the spark of freedom.

I’m a Conservative for the three fundamentals I’ve written about. Nobody in their right mind wishes to be babysat their entire life by Liberalism. Conservatism opens the door to humans yearning to reach their potential, while Liberalism hands you a tax bill then slams the door shut. History has proven it: Conservatism is responsible for the better life that America offers.

January 19, 2010

Another Victory For The Americans

Victory in Massachusetts! Scott Brown-R will take the Senate seat recently vacated by Ted "I'm surprised I still have a liver" Kennedy. This senate seat has been in the stocks for close to 60 years now but today freedom is granted and the seat is liberated. However, don't think this puts us on easy street. The attitude from the White House is to "double down" and work harder to "get things done."

Here's what we can expect in the coming days:

1. The Senate will try to push health care through without seating Scott Brown - which is against Senate rules and the Constitution.

2. Obama will expect political suicide in exchange for ultimate loyalty in him. Many of these Democrats know they want to get elected again this November and would normally start to move toward the "center" of the political spectrum. However, Obama, like many other dictators, will demand allegiance to him, even if it means losing their seat in Congress.

3. Obama is progressively getting angrier and will, like with the banks and the insurance companies, begin to take out his anger on the private sector yet again in attempts to render them obsolete.

4. Maybe not now, but don't be surprised if more democrats jump ship and join the republican party - although, I hope the republicans will not allow them to join without platform adherence.

But, let's just enjoy the moment - tyranny is now one fewer seat strong.

Check In On His Progress

Here is a great resource that chronicles the promises of Obama and their status. Did he keep the promises? Has he failed to keep his promises? What were the promises to begin with? It is amazing how many of these promises were nothing more than Socialism wrapped in the empty suit of Obama - and the American people voted it in.

This Thursday will mark the one year anniversary of the Obama Administration. We should have a full report by the end of the week on Obama's Victories and Failures for America.

January 16, 2010

The Dream Is Still Available, If You Will Have It

To ensure the importance and advancement of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his most memorable speech to thousands in Washington D.C. in 1963. His message was of harmony but he did not want to quench the smoking flax that burned in the souls of the hearers; for this desire would allow them to press on. Although this speech is well recognized by all humans alike, there are still sections of this speech that if spoken today would be very controversial. Dr. King’s Dream has been twisted into a nightmare—a nightmare that America needs to wake up from. Let’s examine some core truths of Dr. King’s speech and see how they hold up under what we experience today.

Dr. King was vastly interested in maintaining peace in the rallies and demonstrations either led by him or assembled elsewhere. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred" (King). It was bitterness and hatred that kept the South’s attitude inhumane in the years following the Civil War. It was bitterness and hatred that burned in the souls of the students who tortured the Little Rock Nine. It was bitterness and hatred that Rosa Parks struggled through to sit in the front of the bus. Dr. King passionately wanted to show “his people” in a better light. Along with this, Dr. King states, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” If this were spoken today, the people of LA and Cincinnati would either feel great shame or their anger would be kindled even greater. The sad fact is, the Civil Rights Movement has degenerated into a violence-hungry, racism promoting movement. We see the Movement’s zealous appetite satisfied by rioting, as well as its promotion of racism by indoctrinating its people to have distrust for whites and demanding the furtherance of the teaching and practice of their culture. However, this is contrary to what Dr. King believed when he said, “…must not lead us to distrust of all white people…we cannot walk alone.”

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In this statement, Dr. King provides the roots for racial equality. Being judged by the color of our skin is what every sensible American tries to avoid. Dr. King wanted his people to no longer live in a world where skin color mattered. Many would say that we’ve made great progress in this area of human society. However, are not Affirmative Action and quotas for employers simply programs that facilitate judging by the color of skin? Is not Federal funding for many “minority groups” for their cultural centers and clubs, judging by skin color? Is honoring one month of the year as “Black History Month,” not judging by skin color? Skin color is visible and well recognizable upon first glance. One’s character stems from their desire to be moral, decent, respectful, honest, trustworthy, diligent, with a good work ethic, etc. These characteristics are rarely observed at first glance because they are not visible to the eye, but visible to the hearts of those who encounter them. Judging by the content of a one’s character forces people to get to know each other and not to make hasty stereotypical assumptions.

This dream that Dr. King had was “deeply rooted in the American dream.” What is the American Dream? To understand the American Dream, one must understand the reasons for which America was created. The colonies were desperate to enjoy religious, social, and economic freedoms. They were starving for the feeling of success and over saturated with oppression. The American Dream was that by freedom and liberty, America could rise above the British Crown and allow success to be available to all whom inhabited her land. The American Dream that Dr. King spoke about was only a myth in the minds of the oppressed but he wanted it to be real to them. When something is real to someone, they are more willing to fight for it. All of these aspects of the American Dream are worth fighting for and preserving. That is true today as it was true for the Colonists who gave their lives for it. Many today have adopted an anti-American Dream for their lives. As social programs and government handouts flood our society, the American Dream fades. The constant recognition of minority groups based on their heritage, rather than their American culture, clouds the American Dream. The apathetic attitude towards school, work, and participating in society erases the American Dream—not only from so-called minorities, but from every single American. Complacency buried the American Dream for many and only a gravestone marks the spot where she lay. This gravestone is in each of us. It is our choice to keep it buried or to resurrect the Dream for future generations.

Dr. King was adamant to see the day when slave owners would sit down with slaves “together at a table of brotherhood.” To ensure that “all men are created equal,” Dr. King realized that racial titles are nothing more than racial barriers. To overcome this, his dream was that the once oppressed and once oppressors could live in harmony. I think Dr. King’s stomach would have churned if he witnessed the disharmony we see today. Many have fought for legislation to enact a plan of Reparations. These people feel that the descendents of slave owners today must repay a monetary amount to the ancestors of slaves. The fact is, Reparations have been paid. They’ve been paid by the many families risking their lives to help slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. They’ve been paid by the hundreds of thousands of dead Union soldiers. They’ve been paid by the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in 1865. They’ve been paid through the large amount of funding for education. “Even Bill Clinton, who as president signed legislation that appropriated $150 million for study-abroad scholarships, endorsed an increase in the number and “diversity of students” who participate” (Drive Thru U). These students could be diverse in the sense of class or wealth. The quote almost hints that white-rich students are the only one’s participating, however since it is not defined, it is open for debate on its meaning. I’m not saying this funding was in result of Reparations but it is a special monetary gift given to these minorities. Alas, it was not enough. The greed that fuels the people fighting for Reparations has shadowed the sacrifices that have been made in history. These people think that by focusing on the past, their future will progress. The fact is however, that no one progresses if one is constantly regressing.

Dr. King’s aspirations have degenerated into a violent, apathetic Civil Rights Movement bent on minority supremacy rather than American supremacy. There is not a day that passes where someone feels the rebuke of racism—whether by slang derogatory words or the constant promotion of anti-American cultures through programs that define a culture or race outside of American. When Dr. King’s dream is lived as it was spoken, then and only then can we as humans say, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Works Cited

Traub, James. "Drive-Thru U." New Yorker 1997.

Rpt. in Student Guide to English Composition 102. 3rd ed.

Eds. Margaret Lindgren, Kristin Czarnecki, and Molly McCaffrey. Boston: McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing, 2002. 85-91.

King Jr., Dr. Martin Luther. “I Have a Dream.” Washington D.C., August 28,


1 Down, 4 To Go

Just days after my 2010 predictions hit the blog, we have some fulfillment. Here is a brief recap of the 5 predictions made:

1. Universal Health Care will finally be agreed upon in both houses of Congress and will be sent to the President's desk by the summer.

2. Republicans will take back both houses of Congress in November.

3. We will sustain more terrorist attack plots like we did in 2009. With some happening while the terrorism trials take place in NYC.

4. Obama will further his plans to develop his own Waffen SS

5. If Health Care passes, these grass roots tea parties will put heavier pressure on the Government, in so much as we may see skirmishes break out.

#4 is our winner today! See my post on the Federalization of the National Guard (http://theconservativeanthem.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-chains-from-obama.html)

Concerning #2, don't expect the media to report on the attitude of the country. They will report what they want you to believe in hopes of swaying your vote. This country is angry! This Congress isn't off the hook yet!

January 14, 2010

Lock and Load

Ever heard of Glouchester City, New Jersey? Neither have I…but it’s one of the small town news outlets reporting on the US Agreement to a UN Gun-Ban


Here’s the NRA’s position


Here is the UN’s response (do you trust them to be honest? Do you trust the organization that praises Ahmadinejad and Chavez to be honest?!)


Either way, no matter if it is on a global level or a local level, whenever there are talks of “arms control” to “thwart crime” it only means one thing: disarming the victims. Criminals will always have guns. More gun laws have no effect on criminals because they don’t care about the law anyway (that’s why they are criminals). But, law-abiding citizens will follow the law – so you take the guns out of their hands, and they are sitting ducks.

Here is something else that is interesting. An anti-gun state senator found out just how beneficial guns can be:


Here is a post from July of 2009. It gives a quick overview of the fallacy of gun control.

The US Senate this past week (Week of July 20th, 2009) couldn't even pass a bill that will allow right-to-carry across state lines. I'm not sure why we are wasting time on this since the 2nd Amendment already exists--there's your right-to-carry. But, since the Supreme Court has been allowed to legislate from the bench, we shouldn't be surprised the 2nd Amendment isn't recognized as a basic right of the people. Let's take a few minutes and examine the myths posed by the anti-gun crowd.

Myth: If everyone had guns, crime/gun-related crime will increase.
Truth: Criminals don't obey laws. That's why they're criminals in the first place. Gun laws only remove the self-defense ability of the law-abiding and makes them sitting ducks for criminals. Look at cities that have the strictest of gun laws and their gun-related crime is the highest in the nation. Now, look at cities that have little to no gun laws and their gun-related crime rates are very low. (See the NRA's report on Right-to-Carry with stats and figures supplemented by the FBI http://www.nraila.org/Issues/factsheets/read.aspx?ID=18)

Myth: If we had guns in the home, we would have more accidental murders.
Truth: I love this one -- accidental murders? Murder is PREMEDITATED by definition. You can't accidentally premeditate something. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support this. In cities that have fewer gun laws, you'd expect to find more of these homicides, but we don't. But, this also means that guns carry responsibility. Accidents will happen-with guns, with knives, with trampolines, with firecrackers - should we ban all of these as well?

Myth: Guns promote violence.
Truth: Violence promotes violence. A gun can't think or act on its own. The very existence of a gun doesn't cause one to be violent. How many guns existed during the violence of the middle ages? How many guns existed during the Greek and Roman empires and their conquests? None, exactly. No matter what the "tool" is that is used in a waring fashion, the tool didn't cause the violence, the person wielding it did. "But if the tool wasn't available, then the person wouldn't have used it." OK flapjack, then you have stiff penalties for intentional misuse of the tool. Remember, if the tool wasn't available, you couldn't defend your sorry carcass from an intruder in your home. Good luck swinging a bat in the dark when the gunman is 10 feet away and in one pull of the trigger you're spitting gum out through your forehead.

Myth: If we totally outlawed guns, we wouldn't have this problem.
Truth: Guns would still exist in the black markets and would still be used by criminals--again, they don't care what the law says. This is the same logic that would have to agree that the "illegalization" of drugs has removed all drugs from this country. Faulty logic can't stand up to the evidence!

Myth: Only police and law enforcement should carry guns.
Truth: There isn't enough to protect each individual. It is my right to bear arms so I can remain a free citizen and not a subject of the government.

Remember, we rose up and fought of the greatest military of its day during the Revolution. If our Government becomes that oppressive again, without guns, we have no way of stopping it. Don't be naive--it can happen here just as it does around the world.

January 13, 2010

More Chains From Obama

In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany and began to “fundamentally change the country.” Many of these changes were made based on an idea of what Germany and Germans should be. One of the ways Hitler made sure of his intentions was to establish a force outside of the German military that would do his bidding on the home front. After eliminating any threat from the Sturmabteilung (SA) on the Kristallnacht (Night of Long Knives, June 30, 1934) by executing nearly all of its leadership, the Waffen SS made their way to the forefront as Hitler’s State Police. Hitler said, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

Now, we all would read this and say that Hitler was obviously just trying to make the citizenry powerless against him and the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeitpartei). Total domination is much easier without resistance. However, the quote above would fit nicely coming from Hitler’s lips, expect he didn’t say it. During the 2009 Presidential Campaign, a certain candidate made that exact statement. That candidate is now our President. You might ask, “Ok, big deal – when do they ever keep their campaign promises?” Well, when it comes to expanding liberalism and raping American’s freedoms, this President will keep his promises. On Monday, an executive order was signed establishing this concerning the federalization of the National Guard: “When appointed, the Council [of State Governors] will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities” [emphasis mine].

The lobster is in the pot, folks and the water temperature is slowly increasing. Let’s recall a bit of American History and see why our National Guard is important to the States. This piece comes from http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/RR/mgr2.html.

RED RIVER BRIDGE CONTROVERSY. The Red River Bridge controversy between Texas and Oklahoma (sometimes called the Red River War) occurred in July 1931 over the opening of a newly completed free bridge, built jointly by the two states, across the Red River between Denison, Texas, and Durant, Oklahoma. On July 3, 1931, the Red River Bridge Company, a private firm operating an old toll bridge that paralleled the free span, filed a petition in the United States district court in Houston asking for an injunction preventing the Texas Highway Commission from opening the bridge. The company claimed that the commission had agreed in July 1930 to purchase the toll bridge for $60,000 and to pay the company for its unexpired contract an additional $10,000 for each month of a specified fourteen-month period in which the free bridge might be opened, and that the commission had not fulfilled this obligation. A temporary injunction was issued on July 10, 1931, and Texas governor Ross S. Sterling ordered barricades erected across the Texas approaches to the new bridge. However, on July 16 Governor William (Alfalfa Bill) Murrayqv of Oklahoma opened the bridge by executive order, claiming that Oklahoma's "half" of the bridge ran lengthwise north and south across the Red River, that Oklahoma held title to both sides of the river from the Louisiana Purchase treaty of 1803, and that the state of Oklahoma was not named in the injunction. Oklahoma highway crews crossed the bridge and demolished the barricades. Governor Sterling responded by ordering a detachment of threeTexas Rangersqv, accompanied by Adjutant General William Warren Sterling, to rebuild the barricades and protect Texas Highway Department employees charged with enforcing the injunction. The rangers arrived on the night of July 16. On July 17 Murray ordered Oklahoma highway crews to tear up the northern approaches to the still-operating toll bridge, and traffic over the river came to a halt. On July 20 and 21 mass meetings demanding the opening of the free bridge were held in Sherman and Denison, and resolutions to this effect were forwarded to Austin. On July 23 the Texas legislature, which was meeting in a special session, passed a bill granting the Red River Bridge Company permission to sue the state in order to recover the sum claimed in the injunction. The bridge company then joined the state in requesting the court to dissolve the injunction, which it did on July 25. On that day the free bridge was opened to traffic and the rangers were withdrawn.

Meanwhile, a federal district court in Muskogee, Oklahoma, acting on a petition from the toll-bridge company, had on July 24 enjoined Governor Murray from blocking the northern approaches to the toll bridge. Murray, acting several hours before the injunction was actually issued, declared martial law in a narrow strip of territory along the northern approaches to both bridges and then argued that this act placed him, as commander of the Oklahoma National Guard, above the federal court's jurisdiction. An Oklahoma guard unit was ordered to the bridge, and Murray, armed with an antique revolver, made a personal appearance in the "war zone," as the newspapers labeled it. No attempt was made to enforce the Oklahoma injunction, but on July 24, with the free bridge open, Murray directed the guardsmen to permit anyone who so desired to cross the toll bridge. On July 27 Murray announced that he had learned of an attempt to close the free bridge permanently, and he extended the martial-law zone to the Oklahoma boundary marker on the south bank of the Red River. Oklahoma guardsmen were stationed at both ends of the free bridge, and Texas papers spoke of an "invasion." Finally, on August 6, 1931, the Texas injunction was permanently dissolved, the Oklahoma guardsmen were withdrawn to enforce martial law in the Oklahoma oilfields, and the bridge controversy was laid to rest. The bridge was dynamited on December 6, 1995, to make room for a new one.

Notice that the Governor of Oklahoma maintained his sovereignty by usurping the authority of the Federal system. Alfalfa Bill understood the importance the State National Guard played in keeping a state protected and sovereign. Therefore, by federalizing a state’s National Guard, Obama will effectually ignore the sovereignty of the state. And, this is just the beginning of what an executive order like this does. After the Civil War, there was a federal law signed known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. This act revolved around limiting the federal government’s ability to use the military for law enforcement measures. Under this act, “uniformed” service men (today would be the Air Force, Navy, National Guard, etc.) were prohibited from normal law enforcement, policing and peace officers when they were elevated to a federal level. This is only to be otherwise where dictated by the Constitution or Congress. But, when you have an anti-American agenda, then what’s the point of following American law and knowing your own Constitution?!

This is interesting, yet connivingly curious. With your state National Guard under the Federal Government’s control, who is left to defend your state’s sovereignty and indeed yourself? Yes, you have your guns, but for how long? Stay tuned – the next post will deal with the UN Small Arms Treaty as it relates to American having to give up ALL of their guns. Stock the ammo boxes while you still can!

January 10, 2010

An Eye Opener About Taxes

(Click on pictures to see larger image. Also, click on the Taxation link at the top of the blog to see the actual numbers from the IRS.)

Remember when Bush cut taxes and Al Gore was running around talking about how the tax cuts only benefited the top 1% of wage earners in this country? Well, aside from being a flat out lie (it was an across the board tax cut), the numbers would show there is a reason the top 1% "benefited" more than the rest. It is because they pay more! According to the IRS, the latest numbers (as of 2007) show that the top 1% of wage earners are paying a very hefty part of the income tax bill for all Americans. But, is it right that they benefit more, in the sense that the tax cuts were designed to solely give the rich more money? Well, let me create a scenario.

(For the purpose of our scenario, we will assume a 15% tax bracket for Person A and a 35% tax bracket for Person B; we will also assume a ficticious tax cut of 10% across the board as well as each person filing as single). Person A makes 20k a year while Person B makes 350k a year. Before the tax cut, Person A would owe $3,000 in income tax for the year. Person B would owe $122,500 in income tax for the year. Even before we enact the tax cut, we obviously see Person B is paying much more in taxes. However, for our argument, let's cut taxes!! The bells of heaven just rang and doves are flocking all around. Spring is in the air and the economy is roaring - yes, all because we cut taxes! So, now Person A has a 5% income tax responsibility and they now owe $1,000 for their income tax. That's a $2,000 savings! Person B has a 25% income tax responsibility now (remember, we cut taxes 10% across the board) and they owe $87,500 for their income tax. That's a $35,000 savings!

OK - question - who benefited more? In pure tax savings, who benefited more? The rich did! Were these tax cuts designed to help out the rich? No - they were fair and even. But, naturally, if one person pays more than the other, any tax break would cause the person who pays more to feel more relief. So, yes, it is fine to say they benefited the Top 1%. But, that's an analytical approach, which is foreign to the mind of Gore. He was twisting this to make a political pander to the less fortunate that he claims he fights for.

But, notice the second chart. 97% of the TOTAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX BURDEN is carried by the Top 50% of Wage Earners. Half of the wage earners in this country are expected to shoulder 97% of the tax burden. On the flip side, a wimpy 3% of the Federal Income Tax burden is shared by the Bottom 50% of wage earners. And, a good number of the Bottom 50% don't pay taxes anyway! Now, if you were in college and had a lecture class for Biology and the class was 200 people. Let's say the grade was determined by an entire class effort. In other words, you didn't receive a grade based on your individual work, but you received a grade based on the work submitted by the entire class. If you were in the top 100 students, how would you feel if you had to shoulder 97% of the work? You'd probably feel like you were being cheated and would promptly expect the Bottom 100 students to pick up their share of the load. Why then, do we not expect the same in the world of taxes?

Just remember this when you are filing this year. It should make it much more enjoyable of an experience!

January 7, 2010

Economic Stimulus Wrapped in Crime


According to CNN.com, a study finds that if we just legalize all illegal immigrants, it will boost the economy. Of course, if we let all of the criminals out of prison, that will help with our prison over-crowding issues too. However, the real problem is being avoided in favor of a very short-term political cure. This has its roots in the idea that there are too many illegals now to round up and ship back so we should just legalize them. Now, to put the pressure on, it is being suggested that by legalizing these sovereignty-ignoring folks we can have a positive impact on our economy. Notice cutting taxes doesn't even cross their minds. Let's examine the so-called results that this study is putting forth.

With the legalization of 11 million illegals, the study is suggesting that wages would increase. First of all, it is illegal for companies to higher illegals, so there shouldn't be any wage info to even make that claim from. Secondly, people will work for what it takes to take care of themselves and their families. Just making someone legal doesn't automatically increase their wage. Now, let's assume that all 11 million illegals are currently not working and that making them legal would put them into the job market. With the roaring Obama economy flailing about like a fish out of water, a sudden influx of 11 million (assuming these 11 million are all of age to work) would have what effect? Right now, the demand for jobs is high and the supply is low. So, a flood of 11 million would increase demand rapidly. What happens when demand outweighs supply? The price of the good, in this case the salary, goes up. So, this is the answer they are hoping for. But, here's the problem. Jobs and the ability to pay a salary depends on the company's needs and financial strength. If there is no money for new employees, it doesn't matter how much the demand increases, no one is getting a job! Secondly, there is an influx of teenagers each year into the work force – does that mean McDonald's is now hiring cashiers at $20/hour?! No. Again, it still rests in the hands of the companies.

The second proposition is that by legalizing these illegals it would cause an increase in consumption. I guess this is based on the first theory that there would be higher wages, therefore, more money circulating in the economy. The majority of the illegals that work in this country are working for a family...and that family is often quite large. Therefore, the consumption that is taking place is already relative to the amount of illegals in the country. Secondly, with many of them already enjoying Government handouts at our tax dollar's expense, what would be the incentive to move away from that? Heck, once they are legal, there is so much they could get from the Government. Therefore, the majority of any increase in consumption would be subsidized by our tax dollars.

The last idea they propagate is that this will create many new jobs and increase tax revenue. Now, before I'm accused of believing that illegals are only valuable for a certain line of work, forget it! I do not hold to that position. However, based on where you find them working, it is reasonable to assume that they will not fall into a taxable bracket anyway – so, no increased tax revenue. Secondly, job creation is again at the mercy of the company. Just because there are people available for work doesn't mean there are jobs available to put them in.

This whole idea, again, is not about boosting our economy. (Tax cuts and decreased corporate regulations would do that). This is about pardoning criminals on a grand scale – probably just to secure more votes. This also smacks the faces of all those who went through our citizenship process legally. There is only one thing to do with illegals – send them back and tell their Government that we will take action to defend our boarders and if you want your citizens to remain happy, then encourage them to come here the legal way. (Not hand out maps of secret routes across the boarder as President Fox did in Mexico). At any rate, expect Obama to jump all over this one.

January 5, 2010

The First Amendment Defended: The Freedom Of Religion, Pt. 2

I've compiled some comments and rebuttals I have received on this topic. There are quite a few, so I wanted to get them into a main post on the page. This is great reading, folks! If you haven't read the initial post by Chris, read it here first: http://theconservativeanthem.blogspot.com/2009/12/first-amendment-defended-freedom-of.html

FROM DOUG INDEEP: The phrase “separation of church and state” is but a metaphor to describe the underlying principle of the First Amendment and the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution. Some try to pass off the Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. That letter, though, played but a small part in the Court's decision. Indeed, the Court mentioned it only in passing after stating its conclusion based on a lengthy and detailed discussion of the historical context in which the First Amendment was developed. The metaphor was but a handy catch phrase to describe the upshot of its conclusion.

Perhaps even more than Thomas Jefferson, James Madison influenced the Court's view. Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to "[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government." Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that old habits die hard and that tendencies of citizens and politicians could and sometimes did lead them to entangle government and religion (e.g., "the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress" and "for the army and navy" and "[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts"), he considered the question whether these were "consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom" and responded: "In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion."

When discussing separation of church and state, it is critical to distinguish between the "public square" and "government." The principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square--far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment's "free exercise" clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views--publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion.

As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment's constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

The First Amendment embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to transform our secular government into some form of religion-government partnership should be resisted by every patriot.

December 31, 2009 11:19 AM

FROM CHRIS DUMFORD: The Aspects of the limitations of the First Amendment to the Constitution regarding the Government's role in religion is not one without precedent. The 1963 decision was one borne out a change in cultural ideology, not one based on the historical precedent of the forefather's understanding of the 1st Amendment. To define the writings of the forefathers outside of their experiences and belief system is one of revisionism. The underlying background to the forefathers’ writings was that of a European model, not a modern secular model. Their writings reflected their separation, if you will, from a national Sect (i.e. Episcopalian or Catholic control of the religious hierarchy in league with the Government, or in some cases control of the government itself). Most of their early writings were influenced by practices such as forcing people to pay taxes to support certain churches such as the British model. Madison's detached memoranda cannot be quoted without its historical context. Notice that Madison is referring directly to this ideology when he writes, regarding Virginia's religious liberty act of 1786 which removed the requirement of Ministers to be licensed by the state and removed the requirement that a tax be paid in order to support Christian churches. In the fourth paragraph, Madison refers directly to this aspect of the Virginia law when he states that there was an attempt to require a tax in order to support Christian churches. Again, in a later paragraph, Madison refers to the various Christian charities openly supported by public taxation in Great Britain. What they saw at stake, was neither the recognition by the Federal Government of religion, nor an allowance of public religion to be expressed in a public or even a government forum. Notice when he discusses the issue of Congressional Chaplains, he does not imply that the Congress be purged of any recognition of God, if you will, but rather that the support of one sect above another is wrong, that is that instead of the Government being secularized, and completely dissected from religion, he refers to the inclusion of all sects. Madison's two caveats regarding Congressional chaplains and Military chaplains appears also to be one of financial support as refers to individual congressmen paying out of their own pockets for such means as chaplains.

Albeit, though Madison may have disagreed, there are still military chaplains paid for by taxpayer’s dollars. Though Madison felt that the public issue of a day of thanksgiving should not occur, even he appears to be somewhat radical in his view of the reach of the 1st amendment since as stated above, the Federal Government to this day pays chaplains in the military with public taxpayer's dollars, they still recognize a national day of prayer, they still have national holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, both of which are largely Christian in their origin. They still open congressional sessions with prayer, they still have a national motto of In God We trust, they still recognize that God is the protector and Sovereign within the body of that Motto. What the Supreme Court did in 1963, was to placate a single complaint in which the justification for the ruling was at its worst completely at odds with historical precedent and previous court rulings as to the role of the government in openly supporting public worship and expression of such, and at its best, is hypocritical in regard to the practice of the other branches of Government, in that Congress can open in prayer, but a public school cannot. A chaplain can quote the Bible in a Prayer breakfast sponsored by the Executive branch, but a public school teacher cannot. The president can openly invoke the blessing of God in an address to Congress, but a public School teacher cannot. The government can print In God We trust on its currency, but cannot permit the display of the 10 commandments on a courthouse lawn, while swearing in a president on a Bible, a Governor on a Bible, or a witness within the same courthouse. Thus, what the Supreme Court did, was apply their ruling of Separation of Church and state selectively and ultimately, hypocritically. Thus, I agree that the Federal Government should not overtly or covertly support one sect over another (as was the traditional, historical argument), but I also believe that the removal of all forms of religious expression within the Government itself is also not the intent or historical application of the 1st Amendment. The current fear is that the idea of religious fundamentalism is inherently evil(especially in today's environment)and that somehow Christian fundamentalists have some covert idea to usurp the Government and establish some form of theocracy. On the contrary, most Christian fundamentalists only seek to have the historical freedom to express their religious views as they have since the foundation of the country and would be revolted at the idea of a theocracy as violating the very principle of priesthood of the believer.

January 1, 2010 10:47 PM

FROM DOUG INDEEP: Thank you for your thoughtful response. While disagreeing with your constriction of Madison's meaning, I agree with you that the available historical evidence falls short of definitively revealing the founders' intent and leaves much to interpretation. Wishful thinking leads some in different camps to declare, with unfounded certainty, that the founders' intent to separate church and state is a "myth" or plain as day; it is neither. It is such issues and such conflicting evidence that the Supreme Court is supposed to resolve in our system of government. The Court did just that in Everson v. Board of Education. The Court's reading of the First Amendment in this regard was unanimous; all nine Justices agreed on that much, but split 5-4 on whether the Amendment precludes states from paying for transportation of students to religious schools (the majority considering this okay).

Madison touched on the conflicting historical evidence in his Detached Memoranda, inquiring what should be made of the various actions (e.g., appointment of chaplains and thanksgiving proclamations) already taken in the nation's then "short history" inconsistent with the Constitution. Ever practical, his answer was not to demand these actions be undone, but rather to circumscribe their ill effect: "Rather than let this step beyond the landmarks of power have the effect of a legitimate precedent, it will be better to apply to it the legal aphorism de minimis non curat lex [i.e., the law does not concern itself with trifles]: or to class it cum maculis quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum cavit natura [i.e., faults proceeding either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature]." He concluded it was "[b]etter to disarm in [this] way, the precedent of [such actions] than erect them into a political authority in matters of religion."

The Supreme Court, in effect, has followed Madison's advice, though not his suggested legal theories. The Court has confirmed the basic constitutional principle of separation of church and state, while also giving a pass to some governmental statements or actions, e.g., appointment of chaplains, sometimes with the explanation that they are more about tradition than religion per se. As you can imagine, those more interested in championing their religion than the constitutional principle commonly seek to exploit and expand such "exceptions" even if it requires they fake interest only in tradition. One consequence of the Court's approach has been, as you note, the seemingly disparate results of various cases in which some things are allowed and others are not.

Evidently not satisfied with that approach, you suggest, I gather, that the First Amendment should only prevent the government from overtly or covertly supporting one sect over another and allow the government some forms of religious expression. While not sure what you would encompass by the latter part of that suggestion, I think any such interpretation of the First Amendment would raise so many problems that I tire at the thought of listing them (perhaps I'm just feeling holiday laziness). For instance, where and how would one distinguish sects or groups of sects? While no expert on Christianity, I understand that it comprises dozens or even hundreds of sects depending on how one draws the lines. And why stop with Christianity since there are other monotheistic religions? Would it be okay for the government to support Islam as long as it refrained from choosing the Sunni or Shiite sect? And even if one wished to stop with Christianity, how does one draw the line around that? For instance, some question whether Mormonism "belongs" in Christianity. A more fundamental question, naturally, is from whence does one derive any such interpretation of the First Amendment? While the founders were, no doubt, confronted with the need to address competition and conflict between a variety of sects, largely but not exclusively Christian, it is a non sequitur to suppose "therefore" that they intended merely to stop the government from favoring one "sect" (however defined), but leave it free to favor some (also undefined) grouping of sects (e.g., "generic" Christianity or perhaps monotheism, or theism, or deism, or some such).

The adage to be careful what you wish for comes to mind as well. Recall that to the extent "religion" in the establishment clause is reduced to a reference to one or more sects, "the free exercise thereof" is similarly reduced and rendered problematic.

Finally, you assert that the "current fear" is that evil religious fundamentalists want to establish a theocracy but say that "most Christian fundamentalists only seek to have the historical freedom to express their religious views as they have since the foundation of the country." I think this misses the mark.

The fear (historical and current) is that any religion may use the government to establish its position in society. This is not about Christians wanting "freedom to express their religious views." They have that freedom, and they use it prolifically. This is about Christians wanting to use the government to endorse their religion with its imprimatur and thereby permanently "establish" Christianity as the dominant religious influence in our society. In my view, under the First Amendment, Christians are free to strive to maintain and even increase their sway in our society; they simply cannot enlist the government as their ally or tool to that end. I think, though, some Christians fear their influence is waning and, out of fear, grasp at any means, even co-opting government, to hold on to Christianity's "traditional" dominance.

January 2, 2010 2:40 PM

Here is the latest post from Chris Dumford. Check the comments section for any additional reading

In regard to your last post, I am thankful for your information and the spirit by which you are discussing this issue. What I intended by my previous posts, was not some overt missive to establish Christianity above other religions (and I will confess that I am an ordained minister of the Gospel and personally would like to see Christianity propagated throughout the world), but rather to support the notion that the 1963 court ruling was one which overturned the previous precedents of the Federal Government in it's support of religious expression, especially in both the written, spoken expression and the open propagation of religion, and from my view an expression which mirrored the largely Christian practices within society. Here are several examples, which did not lead to the establishment of a Theocracy, nor threaten the free exercise of religion as practiced for almost 200 years prior to the court ruling. The issue at stake is whether the intent of the 1st Amendment was for members of the Government (I.e. including school teachers et,al) being restricted in either the open expression of religion, or the promotion of the practice thereof as so-called representatives of the state as I understand your argument. I contend as I have previously that this intent (and I am only expostulating my opinion that the court ruling was not in keeping with the original framers intent, nothing more, and nothing less) was not the case when penned by the framers. This is borne out by the implementation of prior policies openly supported and practiced by the Federal Government.

One of these indications was the 1803 treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians in which the Federal government under article 3 of the treaty agreed for 7-years to pay the salary of a Catholic priest and to provide funds for the erection of a church:
Excerpt from Article 3:

"The greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic church to which they are much attached, the United States will give annually for seven years one hundred dollars towards the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for the said tribe the duties of his office and also to instruct as many of their children as possible in the rudiments of literature. And the United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church. The stipulations made in this and the preceding article, together with the sum of five hundred and eighty dollars, which is now paid or assured to be paid for the said tribe for the purpose of procuring some necessary articles, and to relieve them from debts which they have heretofore contracted, is considered as a full and ample compensation for the relinquishment made to the United States in the first article..."

Now it can be argued that the Government was only assenting to the current culture of the Kaskaskia Tribes and this under the contemporary framework of viewing Indians as heathen and Christianity being a tool to "civilize" the Indians. The actual truth may be this case, but it indicates that the Government was a reflection of the cultural ideas of the day and saw no problem with supporting and propagating those ideas.

It is common knowledge that Jefferson approved holding church services in the capitol building on Sundays and the Marine Corps band was utilized to provide music during the services as attributed by his biographer. The approval of the Capitol for church was given by both the House and the Senate, with House approval being given by Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and Senate approval being given by the President of the Senate, Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly, Jefferson approved the decision as president of the senate, and though still Vice President, had been elected president previous to the Congressional Approval. The Capitol building had been used as a church even for years before it was occupied by Congress. The cornerstone for the Capitol had been laid on September 18, 1793; two years later while still under construction, the July 2, 1795, Federal Orrery newspaper of Boston reported: City of Washington, June 19. It is with much pleasure that we discover the rising consequence of our infant city. Public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o'clock by the Reverend Mr. Ralph.

Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural address in 1864 could be preached in any church today. Lincoln accedes to the Bible being the predominate guiding force of both the US and CS populace. He both quotes scripture and applies it to Government policy regarding the prosecution of the war.
I am an avid military collector and amateur historian and in my collection is a Bible distributed by the federal government to US soldiers in France in WWI with an introductory letter in the fly leaf by Woodrow Wilson extolling them in their Christian faith.

By precedent, we have the Congress negotiating treaties and openly supporting the propagation of the Catholic faith among the Indians, we have the Congress and Senate approving the use of Federal public buildings for religious worship, we have the executive branch referring to the Bible as the standard for prosecuting the war between the states and openly promoting the distribution of religious materials to the military. It was lawful and legal for prayer and Bible reading in public schools prior to 1963. None of these practices resulted in forcibly bringing people to be required to worship God or any religion for that matter, it only indicates that the Supreme Court ruling in my opinion over-reached it's authority to narrowly define the intent of the 1st amendment in the face of all previous historical precedent to the contrary.

I do understand that the Constitution has within its body the allowance for the Constitution to be amended to provide for changes in culture. A supreme example would be the question of slavery. Prior to the Civil War (and you being an attorney are much more versed on this decision than I am), The Dred Scott decision ruled that slaves were property and not subject to the rights granted under the Constitution. If the Civil War had occurred in our modern age, the Court would most likely have simply ruled that the right of former slaves to vote and the right to be free were implied under the "We the People" clause of the Preamble. Not so for the Court in that day. They tackled what was then a decisive question regarding the cultural ideologies of their day by amending the Constitution. This implies that former courts were very careful NOT to read into the Constitution more than what was intended by the framers, especially based on former practice. This same principle occurred when the Court addressed Women's suffrage.

As I previously stated, I believe that the current social understanding of the separation of Church and State is not the historical understanding. Converse to this, I do not advocate that the 1st Amendment be stretched beyond the historical precedents into some ideology that the Government should carry the banner of religion, only that the Government itself, and the individuals that are representative of such Government be permitted the same freedoms of expression that private citizens have outside of the auspices of the Government, as was practiced up to 1963.

As with any Court ruling, this ruling has been used to filter down to state and local governments. In some cases the courts have upheld religious freedoms, but in the majority of cases which have stemmed from this ruling, there is a continuing erosion of those freedoms due to the court kicking open the door if you will. This can be seen in the current 2nd amendment debates, the apparent overreach of the Department of the Interior, the Government reach regarding environmental policy, the debate over the 10th amendment, and a whole host is issues which would constitute another series of blog debates which I do not have the desire or energy to enter into.