Archive for the ‘public education’ Category

Perfection Is Unnecessary; It’s the Constitution That Counts

March 10, 2013

Forgive me if I’ve restated the obvious, or RE-restated the obvious that has already been stated recently, but I want to emphasize that

(1) No candidate is perfect; and

(2) A perfect candidate is not necessary.

Government is an aggregate effect, as is an economy. An economy is the aggregate effect of millions of millions of individual transactions (or refusals to transact). A government is the aggregate effect of millions of laws, regulations court decisions, bureaucratic actions or inactions, law enforcement actions and decisions, and abuse and neglect at all levels, including in the  decisions, or the lack thereof, of individual citizens and non-citizens, voters and non-voters.

A perfect president is desirable, but not required. A perfect legislator is desirable, but not required. A perfect judge is desirable, but not required. If.

If we have a Congress whose majority understood and respected the Constitution, NO president could get away with what presidents have been getting away with for the last hundred years, or so.

If we have a lazy Congress whose goal seems to be making itself irrelevant to the operation of government, as Congresses have appeared to be for that same, hundred-year interval, an extremely disciplined, Constitutional president might temper or even thwart the negligence and corruption of a Congress.

Either a Constitutional Congress, or a Constitutional president, could thwart or reverse an overreaching federal judiciary.

That is the lasting beauty of our checks-and-balances system — if and when it is applied.

If the aggregate legislator, judge and chief executive are Constitutionalists, the evil or stupidity of a few individuals is cancelled out by the actions of the whole.

To get a Constitutional government, and keep it, requires a vocal, relentless and determinedly Constitutional electorate. The aggregate effect of a Constitutional electorate outweighs the efforts of the stupid and corrupt few — or, of the corrupt many, if the Constitutionalists are sufficiently relentless and vocal.

Again, forgive me for any redundancy, or for re-stating the obvious, but there it is. Perfection in government is unnecessary, if the aggregate effect is Constitutional, and if the aggregate voter keeps it that way.

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College Degree? Great. What Can You DO?

August 23, 2012

Any pug can go to college, but don’t bet on impressing employers unless you can do something they need.

As a college-educated retiree, I can tell you that a four-year college degree is not now, and for decades has not been, a reliable path to high-paying employment.

The scandal of tuition inflation (fueled in part by government subsidies) is only compounded by the lack of capacity for independent research and analytical thinking a typical graduate has when the cap and gown get tossed into the closet, and the grad gets tossed into the job market.

(To be fair, most of them enter college without those skills, or with those skills seriously underdeveloped, because their K-12 public education has concentrated on sociopolitical indoctrination at the expense of basic skills — reading, writing, math, reasoning and research.)

The rapid pace of change in Information Technology, and its pervasive effect at every level of everyday life, certainly changing the way business is done, means that a specific skill set that is in demand halfway through a college student’s four-year education track, and which may influence his choice of major, may well be obsolete by the time that same student graduates.

In fact, a technology in high demand when this year’s crop of freshmen graduate from college in 2017, may not even have a name, now, much less a defined curriculum that makes a grad attractive to a prospective employer. How many incoming freshmen in the fall of 2007 thought they should be learning how to write smart phone apps?

While the four-year graduate is still flying a touch-screen cash register for Apu, at the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart, living in Mom’s basement, and wondering where the money to pay his hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans is coming from, his more-adaptive contemporary, a student who left college in his sophomore year — or even with high-school diploma — has entered the job market with the ability to adapt as the job market changes, and to TEACH HIMSELF new skills ,as well as to absorb new developments in his existing skills.

By the time the “dropout” is a successful entrepreneur, or well up the ladder in a thriving business, the college grad will just be showing up on his doorstep, asking for an entry-level job, and not bringing much to recommend him. And, his student loan payments will still be due.
While he works nights in Apu’s emporium, he will need to struggle through some shady online college, incurring even more student loan debt,  and hope that he can use those skills before they go obsolete, to make better money, someday.

 
“So, you’ve got a BA in Poly Sci, with a minor in Women’s Lit? Great. Set me up for $30 on Pump 4, will ya? Is that coffee fresh?”

Kwik-E-Mart

“So, college grad, huh? Hang up that cap and gown, and get me some coffee.” (Photo Courtesy of The Simpsons at Wikipedia — Thanks, Apu!)

CPR for America — ABC!

January 25, 2012

Here is where we are:

We walk into the room, and find our country, the United States of America, down on the floor, unconscious, not breathing, and with no pulse. Death is imminent.

Triage is in order. Treat the immediately life-threatening conditions first. Then fix the underlying problems.

The mnemonic used in CPR training, “ABC” (Airway, Breathing, Circulation), focuses on the order of importance of things in first-responder emergency care. Rescue breathing, for example, can’t happen without an open airway.

Circulation, including cardiac compressions and stopping bleeding, is irrelevant if there are no airway and breathing  to get  oxygen into the blood.

Get the airway open, deliver some breaths if needed, and then do cardiac compressions, if needed.  After the ABCs are taken care of, tend to the bleeding.

Fractures, pain control, swelling, infection, and other, important, but less urgent conditions come later. They cannot be neglected, but they come after ABC.

Same with our country.

Yes, we need a conservative president, and the more conservative, the better. However, any president who is not an America-hating, hard-core leftist,  is a life-saving improvement over Barack Obama. He has our national airway blocked. He will kill our country in another four year term.

Elect a president who will fire the “czars,” sequester the insane spending on pointless, destructive bureaucratic regulations, and take the government’s choking grip off the economy’s airway.

Airway open.

Get the air moving in the lungs. Tell Congress to repeal the stupid laws that gave these bureaucracies imperial power over Americans. Make the Justice Department administer justice, and not the political whims of the White House.

Breathing established.

Elect succeeding generations of strict constitutionalists to the House and Senate, so that any president who wants to rule like a king is hogtied and impotent, and impeached and removed, if necessary. Federal judges who want to write law from the bench will be returned by a Constitutionally responsible Congress to the private sector, or to prison, if they have done wrong in office.

Stem the government’s endless appetite for power and property by stopping it from doing the endless things it has no business doing. Abolish unconstitutional agencies, and fire their employees.

Circulation restored, and bleeding stopped.

Then, fix the deeply-rooted, abusive practices of a government that have had generations to fester and swell.

This process will take several election cycles, but it can work, if we don’t turn our backs on politics after the next election.

A, B, and C. Each is vital, but none is enough, without the others.

The best president in history is only a temporary fix, without a Congress and a judicial branch that will do their constitutional jobs.

None of this can happen without an electorate that is educated on the founding documents, and involved for the long haul — not just for 2012, but for every election from now on, and for every day in between.

We may put off our country’s imminent death, but we will have done nothing to forestall its progressive, degenerative decline into third-world, bankrupt, crippled irrelevancy — and death is still the ultimate result.

ABC.

A presidential election is a beginning, but it is just a beginning. It’s not a long-term job; it’s a never-ending job, and it’s the voters that have to do it.

First, ABC.

Guns and Firewater — The Magical Bloodbath That Didn’t Happen

August 16, 2011

The Kinman Bar, courtesy of Wikipedia. What Leftist "Journalists" picture when they think about letting concealed carry permit holders carry into places that serve alcohol.

As Old Lodge Skins said in the classic movie, Little Big Man, “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Remember those blood-soaked gunfights in places that sell alcohol, when Tennessee allowed us permit holders to carry concealed into them? You don’t? Perhaps that’s because they didn’t happen.

When Tennessee legislated to allow concealed carry holders to carry into places that sell alcohol, The Tennessean promised us that there would be a bloodbath because of voodoo. Yes, voodoo. The presence of two, inanimate objects in the same space — alcohol and firearms — was magically supposed to trigger carnage and wholesale death.

While Tennessean “journalists” may think alcohol is OK, we know that 99% of them find firearms to be inherently evil. Since we also know that these same “journalists” believe in magic, we are not surprised that they imbue inanimate objects with magical power.

We heard plenty about the “pouring gasoline on a fire” outcome that was clearly ahead, when we allowed law-abiding gun owners to carry their evil objects into public places. So, where are the stacks of reports of gun violence since the law passed?

Well, of course, not being dependent on magical thinking allowed the rest of us to understand that the predicted mass killing by firearm was no more likely before the law went into effect than after. As has already happened in dozens of other states, nothing new happened.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=334117

Guns are NOT inherently evil.

Alcohol is NOT inherently evil.

Objects are NOT inherently evil.

BEHAVIOR may certainly be evil (though it may be impossible for Tennessean “journalists” to wrap their tiny minds around that), but inanimate objects are… inanimate objects.

Irrational fear of firearms is… irrational.

Thanks for letting me clear this up. The “journalists” at The Tennessean may now resume their magical thinking.

A Jury of Peers; A Jury of Idiots

July 7, 2011
Caylee

Rest in Peace, Caylee Anthony

Why do “juries of our peers” render idiotic verdicts? Because they are our peers.

Is anyone surprised that a jury of Casey Anthony’s peers acquitted her of murder? 

I confess, I didn’t follow the case. There were approximately 16,272 murders reported in the USA in 2008

I would like to know what caused the media (especially CNN, apparently), to focus on this particular tragedy. However, the explanation for this obsessive focus is a topic for another day. What matters to me is the flash of outrage I’ve seen on the Web against the verdict.

Really, why is anyone surprised? Why was anyone surprised that O. J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman?

Did any of us honestly expect that the quality of juries would have improved since then? Why? Have our peers gotten smarter over the last sixteen years? Hardly.

The dismal and deliberate failure of the public education monopoly was bound to result in the failure of any system that relies on the integrity, discernment and decency of the individual, for that system to function properly.

We saw in ’08 what it did to the electoral system, and now, not for the first time, we are seeing the toxic effect of institutionalized ignorance on the principle of “a jury of one’s peers.” This failure is nothing but more evidence of the success of Cultural Marxism.

How did the “public education monopoly” get so bad, despite the billions of local, state and federal tax dollars that have been spent on it? Because it was meant to fail. Cultural Marxism has as its goal the destruction of American society, so the former United States of America can be turned into a socialist utopia, and, eventually, into a communist dictatorship. This goal outlasted the Soviet Union, showing us how patient and dedicated the Cultural Marxists are.

One of the pillars of the Cultural Marxists’ plan, along with co-opting religion, the family, feminism, the arts and the media, is the dumbing-down of Americans. By removing the study of substantive subjects from the curriculum, and substituting political indoctrination, aggressive sexualization, and discrediting parental authority, Cultural Marxists, working through university teacher certification programs and teacher unions, have been largely successful.

A jury of one’s peers, these days, includes a lot of people who never were taught the classic “Three Rs,” or rigorous analytical thought. In other words, they were deprived of the ability to reason and reach conclusions based on facts they could find on their own.

Why? Because, as Forrest Gump was wont to say, “stupid is as stupid does,” and stupid people are more easily manipulated than skeptical thinkers who are capable of finding out the truth on their own. In other words, they are reliant on government and media to understand and deal with their world. In other words, they are ready-made Democrat voters and government dependents.

When you randomly select twelve of these products of public education to serve on a jury, you are likely to get people who can’t think for themselves, and will believe whatever emotional manipulation, lies and half-truths they heard last, most often, and loudest.

You are likely to get the OJ and Anthony verdicts. You are likely to get a majority of voters who are persuaded to support “Hope and Change,” because the words are nice, and because they mean whatever voters want them to mean. You are likely to get big audiences for “reality” television and sensational criminal trials. You are not likely to get people who will turn off their televisions and ask their children, “You learned WHAT in school today?!

Rest in peace, Caylee Anthony.

LAUNCELOT
Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son
may, but at the length truth will out.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene II


WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?

June 3, 2011

Where are the leaders?

Where are the leaders – the people who can and will lead the United States of America out of the open grave we have been thrown into by the “leaders” of the last fifty years?

Where are the passionate, honest and humble men and women who know that government running every aspect of our lives is a recipe for misery and slavery?

Where are the men and women who will place themselves under the media spotlight without a crippling need for acceptance, because they understand that the media do not share, and will never share, their values?

Where are the men and women who will laugh in the faces of liberal hacks and counterfeit intellectuals with their cries of “racist” and other cheap, cowardly epithets, and call them out as the frauds and liars they are?

What follows is the speech I want to hear from a candidate who believes himself to be one of the real leaders – one who will help us to climb out of that open grave, rather than throwing in smaller shovelfuls of dirt, and telling us everything will be fine, if we just relax and embrace the darkness.

My fellow citizens:

I want to save this country. I can save this country. I need to save this country.

We are sinking into serfdom. Our government has broken the bonds the Founders wisely put on in our Constitution, and it is becoming our master, rather than our servant.

In the unending effort to buy permanent power, our government has plunged us into debt and inserted itself into every aspect of our lives.

While it pursues permanent power, our government neglects its most urgent and legitimate responsibilities. It fails at protecting the weak against the strong, and at protecting our nation against foreign and domestic enemies. It fails at protecting our rights and property against unlawful seizure and against unlawful restrictions on what we may do in and with our own property.

In fact, government has aggressively pursued the destruction of our right to own property, and to do with that property what we wish, thus rendering the right to own property nearly meaningless.

I must tell you, my fellow Americans, that once government has rendered meaningless the right to own property, we all become the property of government. The most important difference between a slave and a free person is the right to own property and to do with it, while protecting the rights of one’s neighbors, as one wishes.

I will reverse this endless expansion of government power.

I will nominate judges to the federal bench and to the supreme court, who will treat their oaths to uphold the Constitution literally. I will ask Congress to impeach judges who violate this oath.

I will pare down drastically the bloated regulatory bureaucracy that is choking off our freedom and our ability to prosper.

On my first day in office, I will fire “czars” that are unaccountable to the people and who are openly hostile to freedom, and who have no basis for authority in the Constitution.

I will ask Congress to abolish entire executive branch agencies and departments that have no basis in the Constitution, and no goal but their own self-perpetuation and expansion of influence.

The unborn, the sick and the elderly – the weakest and most innocent among us — are fortunate, these days, if we allow them to live. The fortunate survivors are those who were not killed because they were inconvenient, embarrassing, expensive, or evidence of a crime.

Our government has, instead, made these innocents legitimate prey for the predators who will make themselves rich and advance their lethal, utopian ideals by killing them.

I will sign legislation that makes abortion and euthanasia illegal under federal law, and I will speak unflinchingly to the States, from the bully pulpit that is the presidency, urging them to do the same. I will ask Congress to send me a bill that removes taxpayer dollars from any program, foreign or domestic, that funds abortion or euthanasia. I will sign that bill into law immediately, before American taxpayers can be forced to pay for one more innocent’s death.

A citizen’s life is a citizen’s property, and the right to own that property is basic, without which no other right matters. The right to life subsumes the right to choose one’s own medical care, and to pay for it as one wishes. The current level of government interference in this right is intolerable, and illegal.

I will revoke any executive orders intended to advance Obamacare, and I will consider the federal court ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional as binding. I will immediately revoke the authority of any executive branch agency, board or other bureaucratic structure put in place by preceding administrations to support or enforce this law.

I will instruct Congress to send me legislation repealing Obamacare completely, and I will then ask Congress to begin structuring legislation that will unleash the private sector to revolutionize health care while dramatically reducing costs and increasing the range of options available to consumers.

I would expect this legislation to include a gradual transition over several years from government-funded — and government-restricted – health care for the aged and for those who are incapable for providing for themselves. Medicare must be replaced incrementally with private medical care that patients who are capable of it can pay for themselves, as medical care was dispensed for hundreds of years before this bloated, self-destructive program came into existence. The indigent and disabled must be protected, and they will be. Those who can pay all or a share of their health care costs, though, should do so.

Contrary to the lies you are being told by the Left, this does not mean my administration would throw the sick, the elderly or the indigent out in the street to die uncared for. That is a lie, and the liars know it. What the liars are not telling you, is that Medicare and Social Security are both utopian schemes that bought a lot of votes in their day, but their day is over. We simply can’t pay for them any longer.

Let me say that again: Medicare and Social Security are both about to run out of money. If we shut our eyes to this stubborn fact, Medicare and Social Security will still be out of money very soon, and our nation’s sorry financial state will soon prevent us from borrowing any more from Communist China to keep them afloat.

Tell me, my fellow Americans, what will happen to the sick when our government-driven health care system no longer has money to care for them? Rationing. It is happening now, in every country that foolishly believed it could nationalize its health care and not face the same, inevitable consequences.

Care is being withheld, and patients are being allowed to die from neglect and by the withdrawal of basic life support. They are starving and dying of thirst in their unchanged, soiled beds. If their families do not bring them food and change their linens, they lie in their own wastes and die, slowly and in great discomfort. This is the fate of those the Left is supposedly defending against their allegedly greedy, heartless critics.

Those who are so often vocal in their expressions of compassion and concern for the sick, are the liars who cannot face the consequences of their own lies. The helpless victims, however, face those consequences daily. This is what happens when government takes away the property right of citizens to care for their own lives. They become slaves.

What government gives, government can take away – including life, itself.

This nation has a history of decades of government encroachment into our lives, decades of spending money we do not have, decades of gradually surrendering our sovereignty to creditors and to those who think we should not have borders, decades of growing generations of government dependents, decades of failing to educate our citizens in basic skills, history and analytical thinking.

We cannot reverse this disastrous course overnight. But, we must begin immediately, shouldering the burden and working against the pain that will result, because if we do not change course, we will die as a nation, just as surely as the sick will die under national health care.

We must change course. And we will.

I want to save this country. I can save this country. I need to save this country.

But, I cannot do it alone. I must have your help and support. Now, and after the election, I must have your support and your trust. With your help, and with the Lord’s guidance, we will save this country. We must save this country. We owe it to ourselves and to our posterity.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your attention. Now, let’s get to work.

May God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Hey, Stupid Party! Anybody Home, in There?

March 30, 2011

“Give us money, so we can re-elect spineless leaders to ignore you until next election.”

I just got an email from the RNC, begging for money, again. I get them all the time, but, as I sometimes do, I will respond to this one in an “open letter” format.

The immediate trigger for this open letter was reading the following paragraph:

Nothing would make The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post happier than printing articles in April that the Republican Party is finished because the RNC’s Federal Election Commission first quarter report showed us lagging behind in donations from our nationwide network of conservative grassroots supporters.

Herein we find one of the stupidest things the Stupid Party believes: That we should give a damn what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post thinks.

A pathetic and pointless desire for approval from these left-leaning media hacks is one of the most glaring weaknesses of the Stupid Party “leadership.” This “leadership” has brought us to this precipice, over which is a socialist autocracy in which the Constitution is an irrelevant, historical curiosity.

If the “leadership” had rejected the $105 Billion land mine in the continuing resolution that funds the implementation of the obscenity known as Obamacare; if it had rejected the taxpayer subsidy for killing unborn children to be handed to Planned Parenthood; if it had rejected taxpayer funding of the government’s left-wing propaganda organ, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, there might be a whisper of a chance I would give the RNC a dime.

Of course, none of that happened. The “leadership” in the House won’t even come down firmly in favor of not raising the debt limit – let alone on introducing the kinds of spending cuts that would really make a difference in the long run, and that would signal to American taxpayers and the world that there is any seriousness about getting us out of debtor-nation slavery.

What sorts of cuts am I talking about? How about defunding Obamacare, the Department of Education, the EPA’s “cap and trade” scam, the FCC’s initiative to regulate the Internet and shut down talk radio, all foreign aid to countries that routinely fund terrorism and discriminate against Christians, and – yes, I’m saying it – the Cowboy Poetry Festival. That is just a tiny percentage of the wasteful and self-destructive government activity we can do without.

Individual Republican candidates may see some small change from me, if there is any left over after buying gas and inflated groceries, but RNC, don’t hold your breath.

If you care so much about what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post think, ask them for money.

DEFUNDING NPR — A GOOD START!

October 23, 2010

 

No More NPR

Like the punchline to that classic lawyer joke, it would be a good start — but only that.

Coming on the heels of the dismissal of commentator Juan Williams from National Public Radio (NPR), is an initiative by some Republican legislators to defund NPR. Can they do that? Yes, they can! Will they? Probably not, but anything’s possible, if there’s enough backbone to get it done. Big if.

The Constitution (Article I, Section 7) explicitly ascribes the power to spend money to the House of Representatives. Of course, that has been the case since the Constitution was ratified, in 1787, but even in the most Republican-dominated years after the “Republican Revolution” of 1994, the House has never had the backbone to pull funding from NPR, the National Endowment for the Arts (remember “Piss Christ”?), the Department of Education (“No Child Left Behind,” and countless other, anti-education outrages), or the Environmental Protection Agency (killing California farms to save bait fish, etc., ad nauseam)…

Add your favorite, destructive federal entity in need of a funding diet, and the House didn’t defund it either. If the GOP wins big on November 2nd, will they actually go at starving these destructive federal parasites? Sad to say, I’ll have to see it to believe it, and even then… will they keep it up when their “leadership” tells them to sit down and shut up?

Here’s hoping that the Tea Party movement and organizations like Votility.com. keep the pressure on the congressional “Class of 2010” to starve these grasping, destructive parasites into obscurity, until they can be abolished altogether. Let’s hope socialized health care is already on the endangered species, list by then.

Then, maybe after we peel off another layer of calcified RINOs and socialist hacks (including their Dear Leader) in 2012, they can go after some of the “enemies within” that infest our State Department and Pentagon bureaucracies, making a career of destroying our country from their entrenched, unelected positions of power.

Now, that really would be a good start.

“Extreme Circumstances” and Republican Surrender Monkeys — How to Make Nice and Lose a Country

May 17, 2010
Chamberlain

Senator Jon Kyl (L) leaves a meeting with Obama Adminstration representatives concerning the Kagan nomination... oh, wait! that's something else.

“’The filibuster should be relegated to the extreme circumstances, and I don’t think Elena Kagan represents that,’ said Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”—AP article carried on breitbart.com

Will someone please point out to me a Republican with a spine, anywhere in a senior position of responsibility in Congress?

Senator Jon Kyl clearly is not one. Senator Kyl, if intercepting this left-wing hack of an Obama nominee on a clear trajectory to a lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court is not “extreme circumstances,” what the hell is?

It’s only the judicial entity you and your colleagues have negligently entrusted with the power to say the United States Constitution is whatever they say it is at a given moment, that’s all. What little public record she has includes hostility to the military and free speech, and a fondness for abortion. Will you be astonished if she is also hostile to the Second Amendment and the other nine articles of the Bill of Rights? If you are, you are as clueless as you are spineless.

Does anyone understand why a Republican “leader” would roll over and play dead on such an issue even before hearings have begun? Is anyone surprised that the Tea party people and other grassroots conservatives and constitutionalists have turned their backs on the Republican Party “leaders?”

These eunuchs will make nice while the Socialist Democrats guide our country into the twilight, as a failed, post-constitutional, pseudo-European socialist state with no history and no future, and a debt to the Chinese that will make us their wholly-owned subsidiary.

Nah, no “extreme circumstances,” there.

2010 — Last Exit Before the Obamaland Socialist Utopia

January 11, 2010

My fellow Boomers will remember the family road trips we took as kids. Those of us who grew up in urban areas and the suburbs remember marveling at how spread-out things were, Out There.

Before the Griswolds were even an idea,  billboards on deserted stretches of pre-Interstate-era, US highways warned, “Last Gas Next 150 Miles,” or words to that effect. Dad glanced at the gas gauge, and Mom took an informal poll of passengers as to how far we could tolerate going before our next bathroom break.

These days, we wonder if we will survive the grand social experiment that is the Obama era. Is there an exit from this nightmare before our freedom is gone? Are we stuck in the fast lane to a haven for foreigners who hate us and our way of life? Will our country grovel before the oil-producing dictatorships around the world, while we freeze in our homes, and other countries develop our domestic energy and sell it to us?

What will those of us collecting or about to collect Social Security do, when the money runs out? If our medical problems rise above a certain level of expense, will we be invited to visit the local suicide clinic? Will the Department of the Interior decide our retirement homes are a danger to the habitat of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick, and put us in the street, or will the local government decide, as in Kelo v. New London, that our homes need to be bulldozed so a pharmaceutical plant can be built there?

It may be too late already, if the aging radicals who currently run things have their way. Every illegal alien, convict, corpse and cartoon character in the world will get the right to vote in the 2010 election, if these aging hippies and Mao-worshipers get their wish. All of those new voters will automatically vote absentee as Democrats, since the Democrats will promise to give them the income, homes and cars of all those people who earned them.

Out of completely unfounded optimism, I will assume for a moment that this last step in the takeover will run into problems. Fictional characters, and residents of Cuba, Venezuela, the Gaza Strip and Iran will not get to vote in this year’s American elections.  Real people who can read and write English, understand the Constitution and do not agree that it is obsolete and irrelevant, will get to vote.

I know, it’s crazy talk, but let’s brainstorm. This applies to the Eighth Congressional District of Tennessee, (where I happen to live), but there is a similar situation near you. Find it, and deal with it.

My district has been “represented” in the US House by a self-described Blue Dog Democrat (in fact, he is credited with helping to found the Blue Dogs), John Tanner. I wrote on Center of Mass  about a “Telephone Town Meeting” Tanner had last August, which I sort-of attended, if you could call sitting at home, listening to the meeting go by, attending.

I waited through the meeting to hear Tanner address my questions, which had been submitted at the beginning of the meeting, but, of course, they weren’t answered. As he invited us to, I wrote up my questions, and emailed them to his office. I got not even an acknowledgment of receipt, and certainly no answers.

Tanner claimed to be a conservative, but it’s hard to tell from here how often he voted for the Constitutional way, and how often he caved to Comrade Pelosi when the blinds were drawn and roll call votes were not required.

Did he, like a couple of nominal Republicans in the senate, vote for the procedural steps that allowed leftist bills to advance, and then vote against them when Pelosi had secured enough votes from other Dems to be sure of passage? That way, he could come home to our district and claim, honestly, that he had “opposed” this or that anti-Constitutional power grab, or this or that confiscatory tax or regulation.

Nice arrangement, if that’s what he did. However, and this may be “damning with faint praise,” Tanner is seen by the political establishment as one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. Regardless, it’s all irrelevant.

It’s irrelevant because Tanner announced on December 1st that he has decided not to run again.

The vacuum is being filled, of course. Two Republican candidates for the primary have surfaced, with an interesting move being made by one of them.  Stephen Fincher is a farmer and gospel singer from (no kidding) Frog Jump, which is a not-necessarily-officially-incorporated community in Crockett County.

Copied directly from his “On the Issues” page is this bullet-pointed, somewhat vague list of Fincher’s positions:

STEPHEN FINCHER ON THE ISSUES

Stephen stands strong with Tennesseans on the issues:

  • Stop runaway spending in Washington that is bankrupting America’s children and grandchildren
  • Never vote to raise taxes, and I will fight to end forever the death tax and marriage penalty
  • Stop any health care plan that fails to protect America’s seniors, families and our right to make our own medical decisions
  • Protect Medicare and Social Security, and all the promises we’ve made to our seniors
  • Recruit jobs and businesses that will thrive in rural and small town Tennessee
  • Develop a comprehensive energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and grow markets for our farmers
  • Honor our veterans and keep the promises we’ve made to those who serve our country
  • Defend traditional marriage, the Right-to-Life and the Second Amendment
  • Keep America strong, safe, free and secure

[end of excerpt]

I sent an email to Mr. Fincher’s contact address on January 8th, asking for some details to flesh out the bullet points, and to see if he identifies with any of my bullet points:

I was glad to see that a Tennessee businessman with real, private sector experience is thinking of running for the seat to be left vacant by John Tanner’s resignation.

However, after visiting the “Issues” page, I still don’t know where Mr. Fincher stands on some issues of importance to me.

Some examples:

Constitutionality tests for new legislation: Will Mr. Fincher commit to vote against legislation that violates the United States Constitution?

Regulation without Representation: Will Mr. Fincher commit to supporting and voting for legislation that removes funding for federal agencies, such as (but certainly not limited to) the EPA, the BATFE or the FCC, when their regulations violate the Constitution?

Term Limits: Will Mr. Fincher commit to serving no more than two terms in the House of Representatives in a row, and will he support and vote for legislation that sets term limits?

Taxes: Will Mr. Fincher commit to supporting and voting for legislation that abolishes the IRS and the progressive income tax, and to the adoption of the Fair Tax?

That is just a start, but it is a good one. Please let me know where I can find more information about Mr. Fincher’s position on these issues.

Thanks,

Thomas D. Cox

[etc.]

Will somebody from the Fincher campaign reply, with enough specificity to convince me that Fincher is not just another plug-in Republican, but also a committed follower of the Constitution? Not as of January 11, three days later

I’m standing by.

I’d also love to know what Mr. Fincher has to say about a speech given by the namesake of his home county, Colonel David Crockett, regarding the confiscation of one man’s wealth by government, to be given as “charity” to another?

Here is a small excerpt, but the entire speech is required reading for anyone who wants to see the most common-sense argument ever made against the “redistribution of wealth”:

I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

What does Mr. Fincher think about the simple but profound truth expressed in Colonel Crockett’s speech?

Stephen Fincher is not the only Tennessean to step up and state he wants this Congressional seat.

Donn Janes, another West Tennessean, navy veteran and networking engineer, has also stepped forward. Janes declared his intentions in June.

The big news about Donn Janes is that he just announced that he was separating himself from the national Republican apparatus and running as a Tea Party candidate. The text of his press release, which I received as an email, is reproduced below in its entirety:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                    January 11, 2009

Contact 901-482-6705

Donn Janes announces he will run as a Tea Party Candidate; pulls out of Republican Party primary.

BRIGHTON, TN –  This past Saturday, Donn Janes, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Tennessee’s 8th District spoke in Paris, TN, to an estimated 300 Tea Party activists from the West Tennessee area.  There he announced, As of today, I am no longer going to run for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican. …we need to change the way we elect our representatives. We continue to rely on the two-party system to provide us with different choices; but thanks to this corrupt system, there is little difference between the two of them. Both parties voted to increase the size of our government; both parties voted to trade your freedoms for security; and both parties are responsible for our monstrous debt, our failing economy and the exporting of our jobs overseas.  I will be running as an independent Tea Party Candidate, a candidate who doesn’t answer to or work for party leadership, but a candidate who will work for the people of West Tennessee.”

When asked about what led to this decision, Mr. Janes stated that the National Republican Party continues to aggressively support candidates who lack depth on issues and conservative values, but instead focus on candidates who are able to self fund or raise large sums of money.

During the extended question and answer portion following his speech, Mr. Janes was asked if he thought his running as an independent would split the vote. “I intend to.  I will be asking for votes from both Democrats and Republicans, many who are fed up with their party’s refusal to adhere to their respective party platforms. Over the course of my traveling within the 8th District, I believe there are enough conservative Democrats and right-minded Republicans who will enable me to win.”

Janes was asked about the Proposed “Contract From America”.  He replied, “We’ve had a ‘Contract From America’ for over 200 years.  It’s called the Constitution of the United States.  That’s the only contract we need.”

Donn first attended a TEA Party event in Memphis, TN, on April 15, 2009.  He later challenged the views of ACORN founder, Wade Rafke, at a University of Memphis Lecture.  Janes participated in a “Pink Slip” TEA Party event in Nashville on November 7, 2009, to protest the currently proposed health care legislation.  Last month he attended the FCC meeting in Memphis to challenge the expansion of its responsibilities.

Donn Janes is a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District. A Navy veteran and businessman, Janes is an outspoken critic of how both Republicans and Democrats have continued to ignore any calls for fiscal responsibility, causing the United States to plunge deeper into debt.

[end of release]

I just revisited Donn Janes’s Issues page, and there is a lot more meat there than one finds so far on Fincher’s site. From browsing the whole site, I get the impression  that Janes is positioning himself as more of a Constitutionalist than the average Republican, and certainly much moreso than the average Democrat, Blue Dogs included.

I haven’t spoken or corresponded with either candidate, but as of now, having seen all I could find on the positions of both on Constitutional issues, I am inclined to vote for Janes in the primary and general elections.

The Republican establishment needs to understand that we will no longer settle for Republican candidates and officeholders who are indistinguishable from Democrats when it comes to their actions, as well as their public stances.

This may well be the last exit before the Obama Socialist Utopia. It’s where we need to get off.