Friday Follies, Government edition: Your rights or their mandates?

February 21, 2014
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Your rights or their mandates?  This is one Friday Follies I wish I had never needed to write. Never in my decades of following politics and our federal government have I witnessed a week as I did just this past.

I grew up in an America that no matter how radical the politician, the Constitution and the rule of law was there to stop the disaster before it could ever get started. The actions and thoughts highlighted in this weeks Follies however show just how close we are to losing the freedoms and individual liberties granted us by the Founders and fought and died for by every generation before us.

I warn you up front, this post is long, perhaps even tedious at times. But I also warn of this: If more of us do not make more time to learn of and study on the plans and actions coming out of Washington D.C. at this point in time then the only thing we’ll have left is time.

Time to ask ourselves why? Why did we not ask the questions? Why did we not write the letters, make the calls, knock on the doors? Why did we allow a wealthy and well-connected few to dismantle the foundations of the American ideal? Why did we sit silent as history marched right on by? Why, when the time came, when it was all right there in front of us, why did we not stand upon that First Amendment and shout with the loudest and strongest of voice: NO!

So yes, you can click the X and close the window, I understand, you just don’t have the time. To which of course I must ask, why?

I have forgone the toad brain intro this week because quit frankly the levity of that opening just doesn’t fit with the seriousness at hand this week.

Without further delay, your Friday Follies, Government edition for February 21, 2014:

#5 We start off this week with a reminder as to just how dangerous the modern day line of “liberal” thought is to the Bill of Rights and the checks on government power the Founders enshrined in the Constitution. Former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens has a new book coming out,“Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution”.

And of course in true liberal fashion, Bloomberg Businessweek gives a a flattering opening:

Known for his bow ties, brilliant legal mind, and striking transformation from Midwest Republican conservative to hero of the political left, Stevens remains an intellectual force to reckon with. In his latest book, the forthcoming Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, he offers a half-dozen stimulating ideas for altering, and he would say improving, our foundational legal document.

And one of those amendments that Stevens wants to see changed is not surprisingly the 2nd . Stevens would change our right to bear arms from:

 A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

 To this:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.

His reasoning? Well of course there is the usual, generic liberal argument that militia at the time of the Framers clearly references the national guard of today and ergo the right to arms does not extend to the individual on his own.

Never mind the pages, and pages containing the thoughts and ideas of the Founders themselves as they drafted the Constitution and the subsequent 2nd amendment. No where in those debates do they imply the right to arms as only reserved for those actively serving in a militia. The militia of their time was one neighbor joining another using their own personal weapons at hand, hence the necessity to ensure their right to KEEP those arms for the SECURITY of a FREE state.

For such a supposed “brilliant” legal mind, Stevens shows such a small understanding of that history:

To support the change, he argues: “Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands.”

 Modern liberalism 101. “Emotional claims”, “distort intelligent debate”, “wisdom”, “minimize slaughter”. The entire sentence wreaks with every trigger word (couldn’t help the pun) the left can muster (sorry again) to paint those who support the 2nd amendment as written, as dumb ol hicks who just want to slaughter innocent children.

 I’ve come to expect such rhetoric from Obama and crew, but to hear it from a former justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America makes this a very, very sad day indeed.

 #4 Flat Earthers UNITE! Ever since I first heard the reference by some lefty politico years back I’ve long held that it was the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fanatics and their more recent cousins, the cult of the Church of Climatology that were the “Flat Earthers” of our day.

 Hiding behind their publicly funded “studies” that produce the “results” that require more “study” to produce even more dire predictions based upon the “most recent results”, a “consensus” of money hungry Church elders treat any skeptic, no matter his/her own scientific credentials, as but a heretic to be hustled out as quickly as possible to the nearest stake, tied, and burned before their words can be heard, their thoughts discerned.

 Enter John Kerry in Indonesia this past Sunday spewing forth the following:

“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,”…“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,”…“Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,”….“We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society,”

Notice the Alinsky tone? The mocking, the personal attacks? Rather than admit that there are actual real, live scientists, meteorologists, physicists and various other professionals who while acknowledging the Earth is undergoing some sort of climate change they don’t subscribe to the Kerry Chicken Little theory that we need to keep millions in economic misery in order to make billions for the few wealthy and well-connected lefties who are tired of waiting for their payback for putting Obama in office.

While the networks and the solidly left mainstream media will toe the Kerry/Obama line, more and more skeptics are not.

And two of those skeptics, Richard McNider and John Christy, professors of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama-Huntsville put it in writing in the Wall Street Journal with:

But who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today’s scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round?

The consensus community uses this to push the view that “the science is settled” and hold up skeptics to ridicule, as John Kerry did on Sunday…..”Consensus” science that ignores reality can have tragic consequences if cures are ignored or promising research is abandoned.

We should not have a climate-science research program that searches only for ways to confirm prevailing theories, and we should not honor government leaders, such as Secretary Kerry, who attack others for their inconvenient, fact-based views.

Forbes put it another way with their headline John Kerry’s Climate McCarthyism Demeans Science where contributor James Taylor opens with:

If you put John Kerry, Barack Obama and Tom Steyer in a room together, you would still yet to have a single scientist there. Even so, the three are hypocritically leading a campaign to demonize climate scientists at NASA, NOAA, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, etc., because the three political kingpins don’t agree with the scientists’ conclusions about global warming.

Everyone needs to bookmark the website www.climatedepot.com. You’ll be amazed at just how articulate and scientific “Flat Earth” skeptics can be.

#3 In yet another move to control the lives of every American and limit their ability to exercise their freedom to purchase a vehicle of their choice, Obama smugly declared Tuesday that he was directing “his” EPA to develop even more MGP regulations for medium and heavy duty trucks.

Forbes points out that:

American truckers are saving with more fuel-efficient vehicles, but could end up losing money because their costs are mushrooming from the accompanying onslaught of federal energy regulations, Forbes reported.

According to Forbes’ Detroit bureau chief Joann Muller, a veteran of the auto industry beat, President Obama’s tough stance on new fuel efficiency standards on vehicles ranging from heavy-duty pickups to 18-wheeled semi-trucks is bound to have a steep price tag.

And Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a trade group of small trucking companies and drivers said in the same article:

“We’re not talking about some 60-watt light bulbs here where poor performance or premature failure is a minor inconvenience. Large trucks are vital tools, essential to our economy and our way of life, and most trucker operators are small-business people just getting by.”

And that’s the way it is with EVERY Obama/EPA mandate. The cost up front is real and comes from the pockets of each and every hard working American while the “savings” are always projections on paper that never materialize as promised.

The attack on personal liberty is bad enough but when he claimed that his new rules would save $8,000 a year in fuel costs every news outlet in the country should have led that day with a huge HA HA HA HA HA!

First, the regs supposedly aren’t even drafted yet so how in the hell can anyone know what the supposed “savings” will be? And second, how much do you have to be spending already on fuel to “save” the President’s mythical 8 grand a year?

We don’t even have to wait for the final regulations to be published to know that this promise can be filed away with that $2,500 a year in insurance premium savings we’d all see from his takeover of the health system.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that driving around in those cracker box size “smart cars” ain’t really so smart but unless Congress grows a pair in the next couple of years that’s about all that’s going be left for you to “choose” from. Unless of course you’re a rich liberal who can ignore the regs and use a limousine.

#2 Can’t afford your heating bill? The EPA couldn’t care less. With the EPA driving heating bills higher and higher each year through their war on coal, more Americans are turning to wood stoves to heat their homes. Private citizens using a simple solution to solve yet another government created hardship.

Yet to the ideologues running this EPA there is no such thing as simple or private. Since even they realize they can’t patrol EVERY house on EVERY lot just yet, they did the next best thing. They just re-wrote the regs so those terrible Americans just trying to keep warm with the least cost possible won’t even be able to BUY a wood stove.

Cheryl Chumley’s newsmax article shows just how damaging the new rules:

The EPA tightened restrictions in January on the level of fine airborne particulate emissions that wood-burning stoves can emit, from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to a maximum of 12 micrograms.

The EPA restrictions would ban the production and sale of the kinds of wood-burning stoves that compose 80 percent of those currently in use in the United States, Forbes reported.

Yep, don’t like how the American people are living, just drop by 3 micrograms and destroy another industry AND force higher heating bills. A win-win for every statist loving loon

First they came for Edison’s light bulb, then Franklin’s stove, what’s next?

#1 FCC commissioner Ajit Pai brought light to yet another dark side of our federal government when on February 10 he penned a Wall Street Journal opinion piece questioning why the agency was embarking on something it called a “Multi-Market study of Critical information Needs,” or CIN, that would send FCC contractors into newsrooms across the country.

Byron York, writing in the Washington Examiner further exposes the administration’s latest attempt to trample the Constitution:

The initiative, known around the agency as “the CIN Study” (pronounced “sin”), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. “This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced,” says Ajit Pai, one of the FCC’s five commissioners (and one of its two Republicans). “I’ve never had any input into the process,” adds Pai, who brought the story to the public’s attention in a Wall Street Journal column last week.

Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. “This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens,” said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year. The FCC, Clyburn said, “must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation — be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other.” (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn’s home state, South Carolina.)

 The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is “critical” for citizens to have. The scholars decided that “critical information” is information that people need to “live safe and healthy lives” and to “have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities,” among other things.

The study identified eight “critical needs”: information about emergencies and risks; health and welfare; education; transportation; economic opportunities; the environment; civic information; and political information.

It’s not difficult to see those topics quickly becoming vehicles for political intimidation. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t. For example, might the FCC standards that journalists must meet on the environment look something like the Obama administration’s environmental agenda? Might standards on economic opportunity resemble the president’s inequality agenda? The same could hold true for the categories of health and welfare and “civic information” — and pretty much everything else.

Newsroom participation is supposedly “voluntary” but with each broadcaster beholden to the FCC every 8 years for its license renewal there isn’t enough Obama Kool-Aid left to make anyone with a brain actually buy that b.s.

The FCC commissioner pushing this affront on the First Amendment is none other than the daughter of left wing House Democrat James Clyburn. Here’s a quote from Breitbart.com that lets us in on just why she feels such intrusion is needed:

“This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens… [the FCC] must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation – be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other.”

Combine all the above with the fact that this “study” was never even put to a vote of the full FCC board and you begin to see just how far the left is willing to go to ensure that Mr. Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America entrenches itself into the life and behavior of every single American for generations to come.

And unless more of us speak up, push back, refuse to submit, it WILL happen.

 

EPILOGUE

Please take just a moment to absorb the 5 Follies you just read. Think about your own life.

Can you EVER in the years of that life, however few or many they have been, remember a week with more calls for intrusion into your personal life and your individual choices than this one?

Have you EVER seen a federal government more fiscally and ideologically out of control than this one?

Did you EVER imagine that the rights and liberties you have enjoyed all your own life would be scoffed at and ridiculed by so many without even a thought as to the danger of what they demand?

Our rights and liberties are not guaranteed to pass from generation to generation. It is each generations responsibility to secure them in their time that their children and grandchildren enjoy them in theirs.

Each generation has had its time to do its part.

“Freedom is not Free” is more than a phrase, it is a fundamental truth known to every patriot of every era of this great nation’s history.

This is our era, restoring Constitutional balance is our challenge.

It is to put it simply, our turn to step up and pay up.

The anger that eventually sparked the American Revolution simmered for over a decade as one edict after another was handed down to the colonists by an out of control government thousands of miles away.

Finally exploding in the “shot heard round the world” as colonists defended their arms and ammunition stores against British confiscation

The thread that tied it all together was “taxation without representation”.

The thread that ties the Tea Party and so many other Americans together today is the “administrative regulatory complex” issuing one order after another without a single review or vote from the people’s representatives in Congress.

 A few isolated cubicle clones with an agenda are writing regulations that tell each and every American how they will eat, how they will light and heat their homes, what kind of car they can drive

The left justifies it all by claiming that there IS representation via the election of the President that runs the executive branch and Congress that has oversight power.

On paper it’s true. But in practice it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

 What’s worse is that the worst of the new EPA regs are coming from the bureaucrats themselves giving grants to left wing environmental groups who turn around and sue the EPA to get a court order from liberal judges that in turn “orders” the EPA to act. It’s called “sue and settle” and it is a bypass around Congress and YOU the American citizen.

A complete perversion of the original intent of the department’s functions and a complete slap in the face to the Founding Fathers but to the far left that now controls these agencies there is nothing more important than to implement the agenda.

I couldn’t disagree more strongly.

I DO feel there are things more important. Like the Constitution and the individual rights to live w/o undue government interference that Obama and crew couldn’t give a crap about.

I would apologize for the length of today’s Follies but when I stop and think of just how much the federal government is taking from us each and every day, and how little recourse we have to defend ourselves, I do believe a couple thousand words here and there trying to expose it all isn’t too much to ask.

After all many, many before us gave much, much more.

As always, thank you for reading, have a great weekend and I’ll see ya round the Corner.

UPDATED: 2/22/14 Friday afternoon the news came down that the FCC was backing off the CIN study and its plan to monitor news rooms across the country. Looks like the First Amendment has survived to fight another day.

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One Response to Friday Follies, Government edition: Your rights or their mandates?

  1. A Nonny Moose on February 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    T’was an aggravating week, to be sure. I keep waiting for them to finally take that one step too far, to ignite the flame of the passion of the people. Then I remember the majority were educated in government-run, union-led public schools, and likely have little interest and even less understanding of why any of these things is a bad idea, let alone wrong or even unconstitutional. Sigh…

    Still, I’m not much worried about #5. If you asked anyone on the street who John Paul Stevens is, and the majority would say “who?”. Those who ventured a guess would say “weren’t they part of the Beatles”, and the remainder who thought themselves students of history would either say “the bassist for Led Zeppelin!”, or smile and scream “I have not yet begun to fight!”. In other words, “who?” is probably the most correct answer. The man would argue that the court shouldn’t overturn its own precedents, yet he voted again his own on affirmative action. Apparently he blew a driver’s side front tire at some point, because he veered hard left and kept going that way. In short, the book might cause a stir among the liberal elites, but it won’t amount to a fart in a hurricane in the grand scheme of things.

    #4 always has and always will piss me off. Not necessarily because of the topic, but because of how it contradicts exactly what they’re claiming. If they were truly interested in the scientific method, they would never say the science is settled. If they were that confident they were right, they would welcome scientific challenges, so they could watch their detractors beat their heads against brick walls and fail to make a dent in the AGW theories time after time. Science wants challenges, as each one, if it fails, serves to reinforce the original theory. Theories have to be tested to be accepted, in real science. But then, what they’re passing off isn’t even close to real science. No, they’re aware of how wrong they are, how tenuous the “science” they used is, and how easily they could be exposed as money-grabbing frauds if they allow the scientific debate to continue (see Mann, Michael – Hockey Stick… but not too closely or he’ll find some hilariously farcical reason to sue you. Just ask Mark Steyn and National Review). The more they scream “THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED!”, the more it shows just how untrue that statement is.

    #3 is classic political distraction. It’s the usual political ploy to move the press focus (and to some extent the public as well, since most stare blankly at Brian Williams or Scott Pelley at 5:30 Central and absorb whatever crap he spews) with “Whaaat? Obamacare is what? Well, I never…. Hey! Look! I’m going to make trucks get better gas mileage! Who wants a treat? Who’s a good boy?! Who’s a good boy!? Go get it, boy!” It works, but since politicians are never able to clean up their dirt as quickly as they think they can, the new shiny toy always loses its luster before the problem they’re trying to distract from goes away, so the focus will come right back to where it belongs.

    #2 is just the latest in a long line of things that would make a conspiracy theorist really believe this administration wants to cripple the economy. Regulations which on their face seem so innocuous can cause so much hardship. Notice they never go after things most people use. For example, they don’t issue regulations that big screen TVs can only use but so much power when they’re “off”. No, that would raise the price on those, and people would scream bloody murder. Plus, those are made in Asia and Mexico, so that really wouldn’t impact the economy enough to balance the political headaches. No, it needs to be something they can slip in quietly, that will impact a few but not enough to cause a huge uproar. Then when that settles down, stab the next one. Death by a thousand paper cuts, economic-style.

    #1 made me sit up and pull a Sheila Broslovsky style “What What WHAT?”. It flies in the face of what I just said above about quiet, small little stabs. Of course, this one isn’t economic, it’s way of life. Someone in the administration apparently thought if they made a huge, audacious move, people would be so stunned as to believe they had misheard what was said. The very idea of the government stepping in to media outlets to, ahem, “check” on whether they were telling the right stories (e.g. government press releases, but only if the government is run by Democrats), or their office demographics were such that the government would approve (e.g. NO CONSERVATIVES,especially white males), or that they were meeting the needs of their listeners/viewers/readers (e.g. stories the government has determined they must be fed) is a complete anathema to the American way of life. Granted, a majority of major news outlets wouldn’t have minded all that much, since they already meet the government mandated criteria. I’m sure the honchos at the NY Times weren’t sweating it, nor were the big three networks and their news divisions. But while the breath of most of those working at those outlets smells like Obama’s procologist’s finger, we Americans at least like to pretend we have a press free of government influence. This one was doomed as soon as it started. Thank God for the internet, however. I can’t imagine how much easier it would have been for them to do this in, say, the 70s, where the only ones who could have told us about it (the big papers and the TV networks) wouldn’t have deemed it necessary. Perhaps it was just a probe, kind of like when the dentist sticks you in the gums to see if the Lidocaine has taken effect. “What? They yelped? Okay, too soon. Table that one for awhile, and let’s get back to numbing them some more…”

    Lastly, you ask “First they came for Edison’s light bulb, then Franklin’s stove, what’s next?”. I’d say based on your five follies from this week, it’s Madison’s addition to the Constitution. (Why Madison? http://www.apsanet.org/imgtest/jamesmadison.pdf ) The whole document hinders the far left wing of the Democrat party on a daily basis, but those first 10 that Madison played such a role in crafting really annoy them. Well, okay, the first nine. The tenth they stopped caring about long, long ago.

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