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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Scalia Affair

It seems a bit more than coincidental that Justice Scalia passed away so soon after striking down President Obama's overreach once again. To liberals, Antonin Scalia was an anachronism. He was a man who read the Constitution the way it was written in the late 18th century. He believed, as the New York Times begrudgingly admitted, that words have meaning. He believed in an unchanging truth, and lived that truth as he saw it. He was an orthodox Roman Catholic who had as many children as God gave him and saw abortion as the evil that it is, although he defended limits on abortion on Constitutional grounds instead of using moral reasoning. To the totalitarian liberal agenda, Antonin Scalia was a major impediment.

Perhaps this is why there is so much speculation as to whether his death was due to natural causes, as is claimed. Why was there no autopsy? Was Scalia found with a pillow over his face? Why didn't a trained medical examiner even look at the body? Why was he buried so quickly? These and other questions lead many to suggest that perhaps the death was not just an elderly man dying in his sleep, but an assassination.

Donald Trump isn't backing away from this question, and it's a good thing. Somebody has to bring it into the national spotlight. Justice Scalia was a brash and intense voice for Strict Constructionism, the idea that the Constitution actually means what it says. He revived the theory and brought it into the political mainstream, forcing judicial activists to argue against the very words of the Constitution in order to ignore its guidance.

And President Obama is chomping at the bit to replace him with an arch-liberal activist similar to Justice Sotomayor, someone whose opinion in favor of gay "marriage" had nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with her politics. He may even nominate a member of his own cabinet notorious for blind liberalism in defiance of the law.

The Senate has a duty to uphold the Constitution. This duty includes limiting the power of a runaway president. All Obama needs is one vote to claim the powers of a dictator, relegating Congress to the purely symbolic role of Russia's Duma. Perhaps this is why he is so friendly to the Fidel Castro regime--he wants to be just like Fidel, a tyrannical overlord. While this statement may seem a bit extreme to some readers, the president's actions of late certainly do not rule out that possibility, do they?

I will miss Justice Scalia. I will miss a courageous and outspoken defender of the wisdom of our Founders. I pray that he will be replaced with a much younger ideological clone.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

In Search of Candor - Why Trump and Sanders Are Winning

The word politician has become synonymous with the word liar in recent years. Time and time again we hear empty promises no one means to keep, false impressions and explanations given, and artifice used to mask real intentions. America is tired of the masquerade. We are in a state of revolt from a class of people we have come to distrust. So-called moderates, we have learned, are extremists who hide it well until they are elected.

 We would rather people simply honored our intelligence enough to say what they think. We may not agree with all of it, but we appreciate the honesty. We know for a fact that Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants to nationalize the health care and oil production sectors of the economy, among others. He isn't hiding this fact. He wants to tax those who produce a great deal of value, in exchange for which they are given money, at ninety percent. While he has backed down from this number, he still concedes that he thinks the rich (set at an unnamed limit that will most likely exclude his income) should pay the overwhelming majority of their compensation in taxes. He wants to expand the welfare state so that college is free, which helps him attract college-age voters. In short, he is a classic 1960's era Marxist.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a rich businessman who believes that America's interests should (no pun intended) trump all other concerns in U.S. policy matters. He wants to balance budgets by raising revenue and would lower taxes overall, but increase the percentage of taxes paid by the middle class (where most of the money in the economy is made anyway). He would end unfavorable trade deals made with countries with which the balance of trade is tipped decidedly in their favor, allowing for tariffs and other protectionist measures. He would close the border with Mexico and control the flow of immigration to a level that would favor U.S. workers trying to earn a decent wage. He is brash and sometimes offensive, so much so that the United Kingdom has considered banning him from the country for Islamophobia or some such nonsense. (If only they would ban immigrants who practice Christianophobia!) He doesn't back down under criticism, however, but fights back. He could either be the worst president America has ever had or the best; it's hard to predict. Still, he's bold and frank, two qualities that are sorely missed in American politics.

Why have these two candidates taken over the primaries? Americans would rather vote for an honest person with whom they partially disagree than a candidate whose opinion shifts with every new poll. We face a showdown between two extremes--America as an imitation European Union or America as an aggressive competitor on the world stage. The voters will decide. Frighteningly, they may choose Sanders. Who knows? I, for one, highly doubt it. What makes America unique is the dream of accomplishing success and reaping the rewards. Sanders would punish success by stripping away the rewards. That's a tough sell for a nation of ambitious people.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why Hillary Can't Win the Presidency

It should be obvious to anyone who happens to have read this blog that I vehemently disagree with the vast majority of Hillary Clinton's policy positions. Raising taxes on business will not raise federal revenue; it will reduce it by reducing the profits on which taxes are paid. Generous social welfare programs harm the family unit by making many fathers economically obsolete. Gay marriage is a government assertion that behavior which deviates from the designs of nature is equal to behavior that maintains the human species. Immigration should serve the interests of U.S. citizens. It is not a right for any who desire entrance into the country. On these and many other issues, my beliefs are at odds with Hillary Clinton.

The disclaimer portion of this article being over, I will now analyze why it will be almost impossible for Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Simply put, she is a criminal who has demonstrated that she can't be trusted with state secrets. More than twenty of her unsecured private emails  contained state secrets. Some of them put our CIA operations at risk, providing information about how we have conducted drone strikes, for example. Not only this, but the entire affair and her cavalier attitude regarding it betray both a lack of appreciation for the importance of maintaining state secrets and a nonchalance about breaking federal law.

If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democrat nominee, this scandal will follow her throughout the campaign. Imagine ads showing Hillary's face with iron bars superimposed. Imagine ads featuring her inability to handle matters of state in such a way as to keep the nation secure. Imagine her tag line being " this point, what difference does it make?" Hillary is a political punching bag. She comes with a host of readily-available targets for easy attack. Whether the Republican nominee is Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio or any of the others, no holds will be barred.

Worse yet, it is entirely possible that Hillary Clinton will be indicted sometime during the campaign. If this occurs after the nomination process and she is the winner, Democrats will have no choice but to run with a candidate who is in the middle of a criminal court proceeding.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is a fairly easy target as well, especially during debates. He has the intellectual capacity of a parrot--all he can do is repeat tired socialist propaganda points that will be easy to counter for anyone with even a basic understanding of economics. The challenge to name even one communist country that has prospered without engaging in trade with capitalist nations would end him. Moreover, most Americans love the idea of being free to pursue their own success without being punished for achieving it. It is an essential aspect of the American ethos. Nevertheless, Bernie Sanders would be a better nominee for Democrats than Hillary Clinton simply because he is not guilty of any crime except being stuck in a 1960's-era political time warp.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Suicidal Tendencies of the Left

As many socially observant people have realized, liberals hate themselves. Not just as individuals, mind you, but as a group. Nobody but a liberal will tell you that they believe that they themselves are racially inferior. Yet many a liberal will agree with assertions that the "white man" has destroyed the earth, made the world a less benign place. For example:

I, for one, consider the races to be equal and, in my humble opinion, essentially unimportant and ambiguous designations. As Jared Diamond pointed out in Guns, Germs and Steel, there is more variation within races than between them. He also pointed out that conquest was a function of the availability of technology. The Egyptians conquered the Hebrews thanks to the chariot. The Romans conquered Europe thanks in large part to superior metallurgy. Europe conquered much of the world thanks to gunpowder. People do not conquer one another because one race is superior to another, nor do they fail to conquer because one is more benign than another. People conquer, by and large, because they can.

The technological advances made by Europe thanks to the development of the scientific method and innovations in industry have been of benefit to the entire world. When I see strings of racist comments about the inferiority of the white race I am amused by the fact that these comments are being made on computers using silicon chip technology and running on DC power, both innovations made by European-descended people. The selfsame people who claim that modern medical care is a basic human right ignore the fact that advances made largely in Europe have made these technologies possible. (Not to ignore the significant contributions made by African-Americans such as Dr. Ben Carson.)

The Left wishes to abandon the traditions and philosophy of the West while basing that desire on precisely the same reasoning Western philosophy promotes. Open-minded inquiry and self-examination are cultural traits that originated during the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, both of which are developments that occurred in Europe. China and Japan had closed themselves off from outside contact at that time. The Islamic world was out of its Golden Age of scientific discovery. The West took that mantle and ran with it. The world's knowledge and technology have advanced at rocket pace ever since.

The good that has come from Western culture and the spread of European influence should not be ignored. If we fail to appreciate it, we stand a significant risk of losing all of the gains we have made. The Left, whose ideas are anathema to many of the cultures they so adore, would be the first to fall under a non-Western regime. Do they realize this? It seems hard to believe that they don't, but they don't seem to care either. Western culture, or "the white man" as bigots would label it, has been a boon to the world, even though the process by which it occurred has admittedly been a messy one. Nevertheless, the world will be much worse off if the tenets of our culture are lost, replaced by the intolerant cultures we are ironically expected to tolerate in our midst.

The lunacy of the Left never ceases to amaze me!