Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is a Right?

Walter Williams explains a Right.

Top 10 Violations of the Constitution by Obama and the 111th Congress

By Paul Skousen
Published Here: 6:14 PM 12/27/2010 | Updated: 6:41 PM 12/29/2010

At the close of the 111th Congress, America is deeply in the bog of Thomas Jefferson’s prophetic warning: “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” Unfortunately, the broken chains of the Constitution have failed to contain the federal government.

By way of review, let’s take a stroll through the junkyard of constitutional violations that have been painted fresh by President Obama and the 111th Congress. Here’s my top-ten list, highly abbreviated for length.

#10. — 9/11 Responders Relief Fund: We love and honor those who put themselves in harm’s way for our security. However, giving the 9/11 first responders money after the fact violates the Constitution. Article 1.8 gives Congress the right to expend funds for all the purposes itemized, provided it is done for the general welfare, NOT for individuals or preferred groups. The states may reward heroes if they so choose.

#9. — Checks and Balances Failure: The Chairmanship of the UN Security Council: Where was Congress when President Obama became the chairman of the powerful UN Security Council in 2009? The normal monthly rotation for that chair goes to the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. because Article 1.9 of the Constitution forbids the president (and all other office-holders) from accepting any present, foreign office or title from a foreign country or a foreign potentate unless it is specifically authorized by Congress. The Founders wanted to prevent deal-making, corruption, and foreign influence from affecting America’s internal affairs.

#8. — Net Neutrality: The government is trying to stop Internet providers from blocking or slowing some web traffic and prevent providers from showing favoritism. The FCC thinks it should be able to regulate the Internet like it regulates utility companies. This violates the property rights of Internet providers and interferes in the market’s free choice of which services receive funding. Article 1.8 makes it clear that the FCC is not constitutionally authorized to pass laws, especially those disguised as regulations.

#7. – Czars: The moniker for appointees who report to no one but the president has taken on a new and eerie resemblance to the dusty Russian tsars of old. Article 2.2 grants the president leeway to appoint managers, but those managers may not have any regulatory, legislative or law-making powers — such powers are reserved to the legislative branch. Today’s “czars” have the power of cabinet members without having to go through a vetting process or the confirmation process prescribed for cabinet members. Czars are unelected and untouchable political decision-makers — in violation of Article 1.1.

#6. — Cap and Trade: The Clean Energy and Security Act mandates greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, 42 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and 84 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. By 2020, this tax will extract an estimated $160 billion from the economy, or an average $1,870 per family. Once again, had the chains of Article 1.8 not been broken, America would be spared such tomfoolery. Cap and trade masked in any disguise whatsoever cannot be justified as a general welfare activity.

#5. — Cash for Clunkers: The government offered $4,500 rebates to people turning in their clunkers for more fuel-efficient vehicles. When the first program quickly ran out of the $4 billion allotted to it, another $2 billion was added. Follow-up analysis showed the program did nothing to stimulate the economy and put many people into additional debt by encouraging them to purchase cars that they otherwise would not have bought during these hard economic times. The government has zero authority to selectively give individuals tax
money for purchases of vehicles, according to Articles 1.2 and 1.8 — and common sense.

#4. — TARP Funding: The original 2008 act authorized $700 billion to bail out banks and other institutions. The government has no business rescuing private financial institutions from bad judgment and risky ventures. Article 1.8 excludes permission for Congress to grant financial aid or loans to private companies. Any use of Treasury funds must go toward the general welfare, not to specific groups.

#3. — Illegal Immigration: Arizona is being invaded. When that state passed SB 1070 to stem the flow of violent illegals into its sovereign territory, a derelict federal government turned around and sued. At issue was the Feds’ failure to control the border, so Arizona took it upon itself to do just that — to uphold existing federal immigration laws. It didn’t add new laws; it simply gave local authorities the power to enforce federal responsibilities. The federal government claims the right to manage immigration, but when it refuses to carry out that obligation, thereby jeopardizing the security of border states, it is derelict in its duties. Arizona should haul the federal government before the Supreme Court for malfeasance. Article 4.4 clearly states that the U.S. shall protect states from invasion — more than 400,000 illegal aliens (est.) in Arizona is, by definition, an invasion.

#2. — Economic Stimulus Bill: The $814 billion stimulus is the most backward-thinking proposition to come along since human sacrifice. Dumping borrowed money
into an over-fed, bloated and out-of-control ogre doesn’t solve anything, it simply temporarily props up with blocks of melting ice cream a failed and failing government of extravagance. Not only does it illegally take money out of the economy that could be used to provide jobs, but it’s using borrowed money — with interest due.

And the worst violation of the Constitution over the past two years is …

#1. — Health Care Reform: Health care reform was the last lever needed to lift the lid off the pot of American gold and empty it out for socialism. It required all Americans to have health insurance whether they wanted it or not. Earlier this month, Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson said that the government has no power “to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.”

The string of constitutional violations supporting the judge’s rejection is long and shocking:

For purposes of regulation, Congress invoked Article 1.8 and claimed insurance may be controlled because it falls under Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. But insurance is not interstate commerce — you can’t buy insurance across state lines.

Language in the bill says the health care law may NOT be changed or amended by anyone once signed into law. This violates the role of Congress. Article 1.1 makes it clear that only Congress is authorized to make law, meaning it has every right to alter, amend and change the health care law. To restrict Congress is to change its constitutional duty. The 111th Congress must think it can change the Constitution without amending it — a violation of Article 5, which outlines the amendment process.

The health care bill also violates the 10th Amendment because it coerces states into complying with a new national program that reaches far into state jurisdiction.

So, what do you do when you’re navigating through a blizzard of political white-out where visibility is reduced to zero, the road is slick and slippery, and disaster is strewn about in all directions? You come to a complete stop — and put on the chains.

Paul B. Skousen is a former analyst for the CIA, an intelligence officer in the Reagan White House, and staffer for Senator Orrin Hatch. He has interviewed on Fox News and was featured by Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story about smuggling Oliver North’s shredded secrets from the White House. He is a journalist and published author, and the son of W. Cleon Skousen, author of The Five Thousand Year Leap. He is a national Constitution Coach and senior editor with PowerThink Publishing, LLC. Website: Email:

The original publication of this article is here at The Daily Caller

A Short Trip to Economic Freedom

Or, I should say, "A short trip to the world of economic freedom and the intellectual understanding of how it works."

View Larger Map

The destination is the Ludwig von Mises Institute's campus in Auburn, Alabama, 110 miles from Atlanta, home of this blog. This would be (I haven't gone there yet myself) an interesting and worth-while pilgrimage. It is a journey into the world of civilization itself - an order that rests on man's individual nature rather than one that herds him as an animal, with no respect for what he is, let alone who he is.

Explore this website. They have a bookstore and offer their courses and lectures not only in Auburn but at various sites around the country.

Another resource for a free market viewpoint of economics is The Foundation for Economic Education. You can access them at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Remember America

The Moral Base for Political Liberty, i.e., Capitalism

Freedom and Capitalism are not dead. If anything, people are seeing more than anytime in my lifetime the threat that government can be to every aspect of what it is to be human. Freedom and capitalism (capitalism is the system that naturally results when people are free) have never had the proper moral base even though it, right before our eyes, provides the things that people need to live whereas the non-free, socialist, controlled societies fail dramatically or limp along in damaged condition compared to what they could be. And because this moral base has not been present, people still think that to be GOOD, one must sacrifice himself to the group and other people on all scales of social living from the widest to the private interactions with friends rather than pursue his own best life whereupon all benefit from this excellence.

Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute makes this case on this video. Judge Napolitano does not interview Yaron until 6:35 minutes into the video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Two People Talking About Atlas Shrugged

Getting Back on Track

Here is a great little video relating to Atlas Shrugged.

Quit Apologizing for Capitalism

This column was created by David Limbaugh and posted on his blog. Here.

December 13, 2010

Memo to Conservatives: Quit Apologizing for Capitalism

Everywhere we turn these days, it seems, leftists are undermining and attacking capitalism on moral grounds. Their criticisms are directed not at merely certain corrupt corporations or individuals who abuse the system, but at the system itself.

Sadly, few conservatives, even conservative Christians, are willing or prepared to defend capitalism's virtues. Rather than tout it in terms of liberty, they sheepishly apologize for its allegedly inherent greed.

It's a testament to the power of propaganda and the appeal of emotion over reason that a system that has produced the greatest prosperity in world history is castigated on moral grounds, while those systems that have proliferated abject misery, poverty, tyranny and subjugation are hailed as morally superior.

Granted, most leftists don't openly confess their hostility to capitalism, but they come close, especially in their endless waging of class warfare.

Surely you've heard Obama say, preposterously, "A free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it." No one actually supports this straw man argument. American capitalism has always been subject to the rule of law. Even the fiercest free market proponents don't defend the license to steal or economic anarchy.

Hidden in Obama's statement (and more apparent in some of his other statements) are unmistakable implications that those who thrive in our system are immoral and don't deserve it and that the less successful have been cheated out of their just desserts. This doubtlessly proceeds from his leftist view of the relationship between government and the people.

The left doesn't seem to comprehend the indispensability of private property to liberty or the necessity of liberty to achieve prosperity. To them, it is not individuals operating in a climate of liberty who produce prosperity. Government produces (or magnanimously permits) the creation of wealth and is the most appropriate vehicle for distributing that wealth and delivering the greatest good to the greatest number of people.

America's gross national product first belongs to the government, and only that portion the government allows you, in its beneficence, to keep after taxes is your money. But even then, it is not wholly your money, for you are not free to transfer it by gift (lifetime or death) to whomever you'd like without penalty. And interest you earn on it will also be taxed.

Leftists pay lip service to America's founding ideal of equality of opportunity but honor instead the un-American idea of equality of outcomes. They fully intend to use the power of government to rectify America's inequitable distribution of resources. Don't forget that at one time, at the hands of the left, the top income tax rate was higher than 90 percent or that it was 70 percent before the Reagan cuts.

Indeed, it's ironic that leftists depict conservatives as hyperbolic and extreme for sometimes using the terms "socialist" and "Marxist" to describe Obama. They don't offer a substantive defense against the claim, but use the same argument they offer against all charges about Obama's radical behavior, namely that an elected American president couldn't possibly be a radical or a socialist and certainly couldn't be a Marxist. That's the stuff of spy novels.

Never mind Obama's actual background, his associations, his statements, his radical appointments and his unprecedented policies. Those who describe him in terms that accurately capture his extremism and divisiveness are the ones written off as extremists or divisive.

This irony is compounded by the fact that it is leftists who are guilty of hyperbole -- even paranoia -- in their attack on conservatives, their patriotism and their free market advocacy. Consider the bizarre rant of Obama's spiritual adviser, Jim Wallis, in trashing America's "conservative media" to a group of Britons.

Wallis said: "We now are controlled by the right-wing media, Fox News and all the rest, and this is the media that has an ideological point of view that America is best and the rest of you don't even count, that the rich are our salvation. ... When I say the 1 percent of the country has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, they say that's a good thing. ... You just keep feeding the rich and the poor with their little tin cups hoping the rich are good tippers; that's a good thing for the economy."

Talk about the stuff of fiction. Conservatives don't believe foreign countries "don't count." Nor do they believe that the rich are anyone's salvation or that they are glorified benefactors of the economically less fortunate.

It is yet another irony that liberals accuse Christian conservatives of subordinating their theology to their politics, when it is their "social justice" brethren who are guiltier of conflating their politics with their ideology, idolizing redistributionism and, in my humble opinion, distorting the Gospel to conform to their political predispositions.

Posted by David Limbaugh at December 13, 2010 05:25 PM

I am completely amazed at how immoral the Left is. They justify their programs as helping people and invariably they destroy them and mire them into lives of sloth where they are unable to learn what they need to thrive.

Capitalism, which has never existed in its fully effective and consistent form and is an ideal for the future, always provides the goods. The poor in a capitalist country are rich by the standards of the poor in non-capitalist countries. The fact that a conservative or a Republican would apologize for the moral superiority and incredible boon to mankind of capitalism is as immoral as is the Left. They give all the moral fire (the energy of life) to their destroyers.

I hope, in my lifetime, to see a shift in this incorrect moral orientation. The moral, by the way, is that which produces thriving, happy human beings. The immoral on the other hand causes losers, people incapable of independence and much suffering, unhappiness and envy.

Give me capitalism or give me death. SCB

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is My Life!

Obama Presidency, An Obituary

Well, it happened. Obama stopped carrying the bucket. He kicked it.


We see Bill at the podium arguing for the tax deal that O put together, since he did something similar during his Presidency. Obama then says the First Lady is calling him (to get ready for the Christmas party) and he turns the press conference over to Bill. Bill takes the reporter's questions with a greater sense of authority than O has ever had via teleprompter. The more I think about this, the more astonished I am about what happened.

I saw a comment saying, "I knew it. Obama is not an alpha male." That's one way of expressing what happened although that isn't cognizant of the magnitude of what happened. Obama does not and has never owned the presidency in the full sense of what that means -at least in a democratic country. Instituting an agenda at the expense of people's legitimate concerns, going through the motions of the president, enjoying the benefits of the presidency and spending an outlandish amount of money because he can is not constituting oneself as The President, the creator of the "space" and quality of the Presidency.

Obama's creation - a stunted, mangled, force-fed, crying baby of a Presidency - has been by default, a default largely fashioned by a anti-capitalist, socialist agenda that requires deception to institute (see Radical-in-Chief by Stanley Kurtz for a well documented account of Obama's socialism and how it operates) and the required victims (underdogs by race and class) which socialist rhetoric must create in order to exist (I thought I would vomit if I heard another sob story - especially around Obamacare), combined with showboat arrogance surfing a tide of arranged audiences. Obama has never taken responsibility for the office and its perception by ALL the people - the entire body of Americans whose judgments he lives/dies politically by. I remember more than once, the Tea Party went to Washington and Obama went somewhere else.

By nature of community organizer, he, along with his mentors and advisers, thinks in terms of enemies and hatred.* Governing "ALL the people" is out of the question when a number of them are enemies. In a country known, believe it or not, for its integrative power which is a product of political freedom and individual rights, his thinking is immature and narrow, nowhere close to the possibility that most Americans think in terms of. I cannot help but think he is an example of how Affirmative Action and political correctness ruin people who try to gain credit they don't deserve rather than earning it on merit. He operates as though Affirmative Action provides him something when in fact it is an impediment. Knowledge is knowledge. Producing results is producing results. Being one's own moral authority is being responsible for one's choices and actions. Those do have value and they are earned. No short cuts!

Once a "leader" declares himself and shows himself to be the leader - which Obama did to a degree when he ran for and won the Presidency - people align or non-align in degrees with him. It's a matter of concern, normally held in the background, as to what the leader is initiating and calling people to participate in. (As long as his actions fall within normal bounds, those concerns remain in the background like a guardian. If things go outside those normal bounds, then those concerns growl like a guard dog - which is what has happened to Obama.) No matter what, a leader is central to the energies of the body of which he is the leader - which, in this case, is our entire country. To default on that fact of his position and what it means for the country and his future is a huge fail, probably the ultimate fail as a leader. I think Obama essentially ended his presidency, i.e., any real influence granted by his position, at this press conference.

A lot of people thought Palin did the wrong thing when she resigned as Governor of Alaska. Regardless of what you think of her decision, she did it the right way - she owned that she was governor and was fulfilling that leadership role and then she delivered her communication that she was ending that role. She gave her reasons. People may have not liked it, but she was straight with them and with herself. She honored herself as her word. Consequently, she has gone on to be a powerful influence in the politics of the nation, as demonstrated by the last election.

Obama, on the other hand has defaulted by not owning himself as his word and not owning what he has implicitly created - a spiritual/moral space in which we all live. His integrity registers zero. We have seen things all along which have raised questions about what he is doing with his presidency. He has appointed many, many socialist/communist czars whom he ran by no one to check their "bonafides". He has spent millions keeping his past hidden. He has belittled America outside the country. Rather than treat all men as equally respected as leader of their respective states, he chooses to bow - low in some cases - to show obeisance. He will stand for an underdog who cannot produce a nickel, and not stand for a person fighting for his right to exist as a free man. He will sell out anyone and everyone useful for a second. All of these matters are part of his putrefied presidency. But now it is confirmed. The Obama Presidency is over. "The Country? I don't have time for it. Yes, Michelle honey? Be right there." Talk of a lame duck? He's a broken-legged duck and he broke his own leg.

I am now clear that there is no real threat from the Progressives and the far Left although they can be very costly and fool some people a while longer. Because their politics is anti-man and anti-human life, as demonstrated everywhere it has been tried, they cannot tell the truth. They build their power on deception and as a consequence, are unable to build trust. Integrity is essential for building trust. Their word is no good on principle. For this reason, they will, although they have themselves set up in a kind of infiltrating guerrilla war mode, at least in some cities where they've had all the ACORN and SEIU groups, are increasingly unable to win over the hearts and minds of the people.

Whatever power they attempt to have now will increasingly have to rely on physical force - and that will send them completely over the edge. Moral account? Overdrawn. Political capital account? Overdrawn.

*Community organizers spend weeks listening and talking in a community to find out what the people hate and want to fight against. Usually it is turning some area in their community into a landfill or something similar. It's the anger that is the key. Later the access to that anger plus the bonding via political activism is turned into a force which the organizer uses to forward his agenda which is usually to go after bourgeois capitalists.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Atlas Shrugged: The Documentary

A trailer for the upcoming Atlas Shrugged: The Documentary.