"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Obama's Biggest Assault on the Constitution Yet

If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is tried in a civilian criminal court, he must be granted all the protections an accused citizen is provided under our Constitution. If we are to hold ourselves to this standard, then based on the very essence of his apprehension and detention, Mohammed must be released. The damage to our civil liberties and the very fabric of American jurisprudence would be devastating should we decide to overrule these rights to rig a verdict against one man, no matter how evil. Since our courts are ruled by tradition and procedure, doing so would set a dangerous precedent that puts every American's equal protection under the law at risk. We cannot allow martial law to enter our civil courtrooms.

KSM was not read his Miranda rights. He was not protected from testifying against himself. In fact, we gained key knowledge about Al Qaeda's operations by subjecting him to enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding. KSM has never had access to all the evidence gathered against him since much of it is classified. Given these circumstances, were he not mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack but instead a common purse snatcher, we would have no choice but to set him free. There would be outrage over his treatment and the law enforcement responsible for his capture would be chastised. But KSM wasn't captured by law enforcement. He was captured by the US military. He isn't a common purse snatcher. He is responsible for the deadliest act of war on US soil. Given these simple facts, facts that cannot be denied or disputed by even the most radical leftist, the only place KSM can receive a fair and just trial is a military tribunal. In fact, the Constitution allows for just such military tribunals in order to protect civilians.

Instead, Holder and Obama have decided to bring martial law into our civil courtrooms. This is a huge mistake, not because we should fear that KSM or other enemy combatants tried in civil criminal courts might be found innocent, but because it's likely the deck will be stacked against them so that there's no way they can be found not guilty. The president has even suggested that KSM will not be released no matter the outcome of the trial. Is this not double jeopardy? Rather than demonstrate to the rest of the world how fair and transparent our system, this kind of tinkering with the judiciary does the exact opposite. Those who view our country unfavorably will not be persuaded that KSM was given a fair trial, and even those who believe we have every right to take the life of this madman, trial or not, will wonder why we turned our justice system upside down to do so.

What we are seeing put into action is a show trial. We have seen how these show trials work in third world countries and Communist states. That the Obama administration would bring Stalin-esque show trials to America reveals the president's continued contempt for the Constitution and our Founders, not to mention the dangers that a large, federal government with unlimited powers (one that takes over private institutions, disregards private property, and changes the rule of law to achieve their desired outcome) poses to the Republic.

President Obama's decision has put more than our nation's security at risk. It has put our liberties at risk, all of which could have been avoided by keeping this affair in a military court. Compounding this mistake is the fact that other enemy combatants will be tried in front of military tribunals, making the decision to grant some of them civil trials seem arbitrary at best and sinister at worst.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Dangerous Precedent: KSM Trial Puts Our Civil Liberties at Risk

The Obama administration's devastating decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a drawn-out civilian criminal trial instead of a military tribunal raises a lot of concerns about the security of our nation, but perhaps one angle being overlooked is the danger it does to our civil liberties. No one states this better than Shannon Love at chicagoboyz.net:

For over two hundred years we were careful to keep a firewall between civil and martial law. We did so because civil and martial law are polar opposites. Civil law is focused on protecting the rights of the accused against the overwhelming power of the state. When there is doubt, the accused walks free. Martial law is focused on imposing a minimal order on bloody chaos. It was focused on allowing the military to complete its mission and win wars. When there is doubt, the accused is presumed guilty.

Now, Obama wants to bring martial law into a civil court room in Manhattan. In order to let a civil conviction of KSM stand, the higher courts will have to overturn almost all the current constitutional protections of the accused.

The Founders were smart enough to draw a distinction between civil and military trials, providing the language to create exceptions during times of war. By ignoring or eliminating that distinction, Obama and Holder have blurred the line between civil and martial law, creating the precedent to hold all Americans captive without due process. Shannon continues:
Our system of justice relies on precedent and equality of procedure. The same rules apply to every civil trail. We can’t say that it’s okay to deny the right against self-incrimination in one person’s trial while saying it’s okay in another. If the courts overturn the rights of one individual accused, it must overturn the rights of all of them.
In other words, if we overturn these rights for KSM (and they'll have to or he'll go free), they can technically be overturned for anybody. Our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are being put in jeopardy to legitimize the rights of enemy combatants and terrorists never meant to be protected as the Fifth Amendment explicitly states. In a way, this is similar to the Left's desire to overturn our right to bear arms in order to prevent criminals from owning guns, only in reverse. Time and time again we see that the only liberties the Left and ACLU are concerned about are those of our enemies. This proves the true motive of the Left has never been about protecting civil liberties. It's about weakening America.

Shannon summarizes:
Obama has unleashed something in America far, far more dangerous than any excesses Bush might have committed. He has taken all the horrible compromises we must make in war and driven them into the heart of the civil legal system.
This is a dangerous precedent. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How about a "Listen to the People Forum", Mr. President?

Last week, President Obama announced a "Jobs Forum" to solicit ideas to help put unemployed Americans back to work. This would be fine and dandy if we were talking about a student council proposal. Meet and have cookies, discuss possible themes for the prom, and maybe sign everybody up for a leadership conference or two. But when the President of the United States of America starts suggesting brainstorming sessions and team-building exercises to jump-start the economy, you know he is completely in over his head.

Not that we should be surprised. If you've spent your entire political career running for office and never been held accountable for actually running an office, holding a "Jobs Forum" probably seems like the perfect solution to pretending to do something about a problem you have no desire or idea how to fix. When unemployment is expected to reach almost 11% and one in six Americans is said to be looking for more hours of work, you have to at least act like you're concerned. Such antics might work in an election, but it's a terrible way to lead a nation.

Not only can't the government create jobs without stealing resources from the private sector (thus killing private sector growth), but every policy the president has pushed so far can accurately be described as a "Jobs-Killing Forum." From the stimulus boondoggle to handing control of car companies over to the unions, from cap-and-trade energy schemes to state-run health care, from protectionism to higher taxes, President Obama has all but declared war on free enterprise.

Rather than let the invisible hand of the free market correct the economy, the Obama administration has cut it off and inserted their own heavy hand in its place, picking winners and losers and threatening regulations at every turn. Private companies now change their behavior to meet the federal government's whimsical desires, often at the expense of innovation and job creation. What good is a forum when the best ideas to come out of it will be ignored if they don't support a larger, more intrusive bureaucracy?

Of course, the purpose of the "Jobs Forum" isn't to turn the economy around. It's to protect and insulate the Obama brand from the political fallout from his statist policies. To turn the economy around, Obama would have to abandon his Far Left agenda, shrink government, lower taxes, and listen to the will of the people. That's not going to happen. Meanwhile, so long as we're aimlessly brainstorming, why not hold a "Peace Forum" to solve Iraq and Afghanistan.

The only forum that Obama doesn't seem willing to hold is a "Listen to the People Forum." He has all but ignored the results of this year's elections in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in which Republicans, left for dead nine months ago, won handily. He has ignored the polls, demonized the Tea Party protesters, and vilified news organizations that oppose his policies.

Only the most callous person would continue to push an unpopular ideology at the expense of everyday Americans, but it's become clear that Obama holds in contempt those who wish to succeed without relying on the state.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The World Has Gone Mad (but Let's Not Jump to Conclusions)

A known white supremacist went on a shooting spree in a predominantly minority neighborhood on Sunday, wounding several people before police were able to apprehend him. The shooter, Eddie Ray Charles, a 40 year old white male, drove a Ford F-150 pick-up truck with a bumper sticker that said "Sportsmen for Hunting Obama" and was often overheard using racial epithets and threatening "to kill the n**gers and Jews ruining this country." He had talked favorably about the "good ole days of America when the KKK was in charge" and was a known blogger on several racially charged websites, including Fox News. Authorities raided his residence and seized a computer, but couldn't point to any motive for the shooting.

"We are completely perplexed," said Detective Dee Versity, one of the first officers to arrive on the scene.

Neighbors described Charles as a private man who sometimes attended neighborhood functions, finding it awkward when he would chant "white power" at little league games or refuse to be photographed with minorities. One time he stormed out of a children's birthday party because a pinata was present. His brother, Sonny Ray, said his sibling complained that he was often teased for his views, that people would call him "Ray Charles" to make fun of the name he shared with the legendary African-American musician. And the fact that he was legally blind.

"He called me a wetback several times and I'm Welsh-Irish," said pizza delivery boy Colin Jones. "But I never gave him back correct change so I guess we're even."

A police report from earlier this year noted that Eddie Ray's truck had been keyed, and someone removed a confederate flag decal from his windshield. Whether such incessant teasing and intolerance could have played a role in pushing Charles over the edge is anyone's guess.

"It could have been anything really," a psychologist at the nearby university told reporters. "What's important is we don't jump to conclusions. Maybe his belief in exterminating nonwhites to form a purer race had something to do with this and maybe not. Who knows for sure?"

Wayne Casper, a spokesman for the Aryan Nations, reiterated the peaceful nature of his group. "There are a lot of white supremacists who are able to hate without resorting to violence," Casper told only the white reporters in the room. "It would be unfair to indict our beliefs on the basis of one nutty guy's actions, who none of us has certainly met."

Co-workers mentioned how tense Eddie Ray Charles had been at work lately, especially since coming under the supervision of a new boss, who happened to be Jewish, although non-practicing. Job related stress is responsible for $26 billion in medical and disability payments, with lost productivity from stress estimated at $95 billion. Could it have played a factor in the deadly shooting?

"We may never know what the motive was or who the real victim is here," one local was heard saying.

It's a trend that seems to be catching on. The past two months have seen a record number of hung juries around the nation, as people are hesitant to make judgments that may not be politically correct.

"People are realizing how difficult it is to try and draw conclusions of any kind," explained Paul Svengali, a Democratic strategist. "And if you do, you don't want those conclusions to be to the detriment of anyone, real or perceived. That's one thing this president and his law enforcement officials have been cognisant of, not acting rashly, or sometimes not acting at all. What's the best course? Maybe no course. Maybe just deliberate longer and people will forget about it."

In a related story, police are trying to determine whether alcohol played a role in a drunk driving accident yesterday morning in which the driver who ran a stop sign was said to have a .19 blood alcohol level.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pelosi's Legacy: Worst Speaker Ever

That sound you heard coming out of Washington last night around 11 pm was America's freedom being strangled. Speaker Pelosi was able to manhandle enough blue dog Democrats to ram her state-run health care through by a narrow-thin margin of 220-215. This is hardly a surprise given the huge Democratic majority in the House and only proves what we already knew. This legislative body would pass a trillion dollar sack of rotten potatoes if the president asked. I would argue he has done just that, twice now if you count the stimulus bill.

It's a strange thing for a nation's leaders to face a dire economic crisis with the second highest unemployment rate since World War II, and literally ignore doing anything to solve it. Under the leadership of Pelosi and Obama, the Democrats have instead remain fixated on passing their ideological and statist agenda, the same exact legislation they ran on when the economy was booming. Now it's busting, and they haven't changed their priorities in the slightest. They haven't examined or tried to solve what caused the bust in the first place, and they have blinders on when it comes to the history of recessions and the best way to climb out of them - let the wage earners and job producers keep more of their money.

Since Pelosi took over, she has put this nation on the fast track to the slaughterhouse. She inherited a deficit of just under $300 billion in 2007, which she has personally managed into a $1.4 trillion shortfall for 2009. In the last year alone, her caucus is responsible for ramming through $700 billion in TARP money, a $787 billion stimulus which has failed to produce stimulus, the $411 billion omnibus bill with nine trillion dollars of earmarks, a cap-and-trade bill that will cost American families $1700 a year in higher energy costs, and now the health care fiasco, sure to raise rates for everyone who buys health insurance.

The ethically challenged Charlie Rangel and Henry Waxman both praised the speaker as possibly the greatest in the history of the House after the bill passed last night. If bankrupting the nation and raising taxes during a recession is what it takes to be the greatest, count me out of ever wanting any such praise from them. If history has show us anything, raising taxes during a recession is the fastest way to lengthen it and perhaps enter into a great depression. This will be Speaker Pelosi's legacy, assuming Democrats keep up the bad work.

Why the Democrats are hell bent on making every American dependent on the government, rather than capable and independent individuals, I cannot say. I do know that if it's about power, such a strategy worked to make Hugo Chavez dictator for life in Venezuela. Of course, what's good for the authoritarian regime is never good for the people.

Pelosi's bill still has a long way to go. Something has to come out of the Senate, be reconciled with the House bill, and then be voted on again in both chambers of Congress. That's why it's more important than ever to keep pressure on your senator and representative and thank those like Democrat Chet Edwards of Waco for crossing the aisle to take a stand against this kind of tyranny.

This is still a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people... but just barely.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Murdering Economic Recovery in the Womb

New figures show unemployment has hit 10.2%, but that could be far from the bottom. This from today's Washington Examiner:

As Examiner columnist and practicing economist Irwin M. Stelzer notes in today's edition, some of the traditional signs of recovery look positive. But businesses aren't investing in new jobs, they are instead hoarding cash, waiting for the next shoe to drop in Washington on such issues as health care reform, cap-and-trade, and federal taxes, spending and deficits. "There is a nagging fear among those who closely watch not only the economy but government policy that these nascent economic forces might be murdered in their crib by the current administration," Stelzer notes.

It's time for Obama and Democratic congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to step back from their radical plans to vastly expand federal power, spending, deficits and taxes, and instead reach out to conservatives in both parties who understand how to make the economy grow with tax cuts, reduced bureaucracy, and lower government spending. In other words, stop playing ideological games and get serious about restoring economic growth before millions more jobs are lost.

Democrats will argue that reforming health care is part of the economic recovery, but nothing could be further from the truth. The economy didn't tank because of the costs of an MRI. I don't know of one economist making this nonsensical argument, unless Keith Olbermann counts as an economist. Of course, I'm surprised he even counts as a TV personality. Leave it to progressive kool-aid drinkers to blame the economy on tax cuts (instead of out-of-control government spending) and a health care system that 8 out of 10 Americans are satisfied with.

If PelosiCare or ObamaCare passes, health insurance will get more expensive, making the economy worse, thanks to the thousands of tax hikes and fees proposed on everything from the uninsured to the overinsured, from doctors who order too many tests to medical device manufacturers, all passed down in the form of higher premiums. Not to mention the draconian regulations and price controls on private insurers.

Add in the crap-and-trade boondoggle to create green jobs (i.e. government jobs producing inefficient energy subsidized on the backs of cheap, profitable, and efficient energy), the unavoidable inflation on the horizon, the possibility of a Copenhagen treaty on climate change that punishes US industrial growth, and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and you are looking at a deadly cocktail that will destroy jobs and increase the odds for a great depression.

I wouldn't argue that Dems are killing the recovery in the crib, however. That would suggest the recovery is further along than it actually is. The recovery is still in the womb, and Obama and company are in the process of aborting it in the name of bashing capitalism. No surprise given the Left's fanatical devotion to the procedure. If the sanctity of life isn't worth protecting, what would make free enterprise worth saving?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Barack Performs Miracle: Saves 935 Jobs Where Only 508 Work

Jesus fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Obama is employing 500 in Georgia using millions of taxpayer dollars. Except Barack claims he created 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council where only 508 people actually work. Hmmm. Maybe Obama really does think he's the messiah. Either that, or he learned to count working with ACORN.

Don Surber
has the full story on the fuzzy math of the stimulus.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

For First Time Ever, Obama Says 'Don't Believe My Hype'

Should the Democrats lose the three big races of this election cycle (Virginia, New Jersey, and NY-23), the White House will distance themselves from the results faster than you can say "Rev. Wright." They will throw their candidates under the bus faster than the NFL brass did to Rush Limbaugh. They will claim that these are state and local races with their own issues that have nothing to do with Obama. But that would suggest voters are happy with the direction of the nation as a whole, satisfied with 10% unemployment and massive new deficits. Polling shows otherwise, but we have even better evidence linking these elections to the president - his own efforts.

In Virginia, where Democrat Creigh Deeds looks to lose by double digit points in a state Obama carried just one year ago, the president sent out this mailer:

Does that look like a mailer for Creigh Deeds or Barack the Magnificent? I needed a magnifying glass to even find the gubernatorial candidate's name on it. The president appeared at a rally for Deeds last week, but already Democratic operatives are acting like he hasn't been paying attention to Virginia for months. Pity the truth. At that rally, the president said this:
You know, when I was -- right in the last week of our campaign, back in Iowa, it was when a lot of you still couldn't pronounce my name -- (laughter) -- a lot of people were still convinced there was no chance that a guy named Barack Hussein Obama could even win -- could even win a caucus, much less the presidency. (Applause.) No, no, no, no. You guys know this. Some of you all didn't think I was going to win. (Applause.) Everybody says now, oh, I knew it all the time. No. No. Right before Iowa -- I'm not talking about after Iowa, I'm talking about before Iowa, some of you all -- see, they're all high-fiving over there. Yeah, girlfriend, I saw you. (Laughter.)

There were a bunch of people who didn't think in that last week we were going to win. When Tim Kaine was running, there were a lot of folks who said, well, you know, I don't know, some of his policies are too liberal and he's too principled. And I'm not sure that he can win in the state of Virginia. Do you remember a week before Tim Kaine -- I was out here campaigning for Tim Kaine. (Applause.) A whole bunch of folks said, I'm not sure he can do it. So now here we are a week away.

Does this sound like a stump speech for Deeds or for The One? He's literally selling himself as the reason Tim Kaine (the previous governor) got elected. He's talking more about himself than he is the candidate. No surprise, given the Fauxbama's huge case of narcissism. But if he wants to take credit for the wins, he's going to have to take the blame for the losses. Or find a way to blame Bush, his scapegoat czar, as Mark Steyn pointed out. I seriously wouldn't be shocked to hear Axelrod and company spin it as "We couldn't fix the mess we inherited fast enough, people are hurting and they lashed out. This vote is a mandate for Congress to work faster to pass the president's health reform." In other words, they voted against us because they liked us so much. Well, at least Chris Matthews might buy it. Puke.

Should Republican Chris Christie pull off a win in New Jersey, the closest of the three races, Obama would be responsible for even more of the blame. He appeared with Corzine five times and sent his own strategists to the state to take over Corzine's campaign, running billboards like this:

Again, I had to do a double take before I realized it was a campaign ad for the governor. I thought it was one of those wonderful signs telling us how well Obama's stimulus is working (25,000 jobs created so far. Keep it Going!) Even in NY-23, according to Politico, the White House worked behind the scenes to win Scozzafava's endorsement of the Democratic candidate once the RINO dropped out. I guess there's no better way to prove yourself a RINO than to leave the Republican Party the day after your credentials are challenged. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has a narrow lead going into election day.

If Democrats lose all three races (and I have my doubts about NJ - I think the Democrats' infamous ballot stuffers will find a way to win or force a recount), what does that reveal about the so-called "radical fringe" progressives like to talk about? It says these conservatives aren't in the fringe. They're in the mainstream. Maybe someone other than Fox News will finally notice the Tea Parties for what they are - a grassroots movement against massive government spending, tax increases, bailouts, and endless infringements on our liberties coming out of Washington.

I would expect to see Bill Maher sign up for an eharmony account before I'd expect to see a progressive Democrat concede that Tea Party members actually represent the voice of the people, and that on this election day the people have spoken. If the elections go the conservative way, get ready for all out Democratic spin to avoid admitting such truths. And get ready for Obama to utter four words he's never spoken before. "It's not about me."

Monday, November 2, 2009

How ObamaCare is Like the iphone

Everyone knows the iphone commercial with the familiar trademark, "There's an app for that." Today it occurred to me that the Democrats' health care legislation could be described in much the same way. Except with the passage of ObamaCare, it's "There's a tax for that." Pelosi and Reid's proposals will raise taxes on almost everything that has to do with health care:

If you don't have health insurance, there's a tax for that.

If you don't have the "right kind" of health insurance, there's a tax for that.

If you have too much health insurance, there's a tax for that.

If you're a small business with a payroll (payroll - not profits) exceeding $500,000, there's a tax for that.

If you're a medium or big business that doesn't cover a minimum of 75% of the employee's health insurance cost, there's a tax for that.

If you're a doctor who orders too many tests, there's a tax for that.

If you're a patient that relies on medical devices from breast pumps to dialysis machines, there's a tax for that.

There's a tax for just about anything... Only with ObamaCare.

This isn't a health care bill. It's a massive tax hike. You don't make health care more affordable by taxing every aspect of it. And anyone who visits a doctor or uses a hospital in their lifetime, i.e. everybody, is going to have to pay. Sadly, even with all these taxes, it still may not be deficit neutral. Which means more tax increases down the road. Now tell me one good reason why an American citizen should support such a boondoggle.