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Posts Tagged ‘Founding Fathers’

I read a piece by Ken Hoagland at the Daily Caller today and wanted to share it, word for word. It speaks eloquently to the very core of American values and the political philosophy of the great Founding Fathers, from which it came. [Link]

Enjoy:

Our Constitution is designed to allow citizens to both limit and empower their government. Citizens were given this power because the Founding Fathers were thoughtful scholars of history. They understood that, throughout history, concentrated power has always sought more power.

But the last seven years of the Obama administration has fundamentally changed the agreement between citizens and their government. Congress, the elected voice of citizens, was designed to share a co-equal role in governing. That is no longer true. The citizen’s role in defining our government has now been reduced to the popularity contest between candidates. The absence of any effective GOP remedy to this violation is the root cause of the fracture of the GOP.

Federal agencies now routinely refuse Congressional oversight and hide or distort reports on their activities and spending. The laws that define the duties, work and goals of agencies are now amended, exceeded or ignored without Congressional approval and without consequence. Rules that govern every aspect of American lives are adopted without public comment or by simply ignoring public opinions.

The media, when they even bother to pursue stories, is consistently misled. And, the Freedom of Information Act, as we’ve learned from the State Department and Hillary Clinton, is routinely frustrated or simply ignored. This has gone so far that for the “greater good” (to stop Trump) some journalists now astoundingly argue that erasing public documents is really no big deal.

The president’s National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, felt so comfortable with lying to reporters and editors that he later crowed about it as did ObamaCare architect Johnathan Gruber who bragged about the value of misleading a “stupid” populace (and a complacent media). Years now go by while responsible media outlets petition our courts to enforce unambiguous laws that require disclosure to the public of what public servants are doing.

The Constitution forces accommodation both between the branches of our government and often widely divergent views in the population. But in the name of “getting things done” Barack Obama has run over the Constitutional limits that require such accommodations. Even agreements with foreign nations that are pregnant with consequences like the Iran “deal” or release of terrorists from US custody are now beyond citizen input through their Members of Congress.

Indeed, even standing laws and normal practices have been ignored in the name of some greater good. One can’t help but conclude that FBI director James Comey traded away, “all equal before the law”, a bedrock American principle, so that the nation’s highest law enforcement agency would not interfere in the Presidential election. He granted participants in the investigated crimes immunity and “client-lawyer” protections that are never granted to lawyers who act in furtherance of the investigated crime. He then substituted “intent” for the “negligence” that is the central element of the violations of national security laws.

We risk all by easing or erasing the rules and laws that govern a civil society. When laws are ignored, when the people’s elected body is bypassed and when knowing lies from our highest officials are excused as justified (because of their popularity and and their goals) we risk never returning to standards of principle and virtue that over time maintain the fidelity of our national experiment.
Similarly, when the media that is essential to keeping the powerful honest decide that the stakes are so high that journalistic principles of fairness and even handed adversarial coverage should be abandoned we have thrown ourselves down a slippery slope that has no bottom.

Those who pay the price are those who have lost the power invested in them by our nation’s Founders—our citizens. Our fates will now be increasingly decided by those with greater and greater power. Their agenda’s will be beyond the reach of American citizens–exactly what the Founding Fathers feared.

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All of life on earth ebbs and flows. This is the rhythm of the place, and human history can be explained as a series of movements back and forth between various extremes. Sometimes these swings take decades and sometimes centuries, and although we may feel as though we are living in a stable time, the good fortune of any era can never be taken for granted. The urgent truth is that the glorious American experiment is in trouble. How did we get here?

As Americans, our particular good fortune is that the Founding Fathers created a system of government that fostered a kind of golden mean of human societal organization and management: not too loose (the Articles of Confederation decentralized power to a fault) and not too autocratic (no sense replacing the deposed King with another one).

They realized that the pendulum usually swings too far in both directions, and that more often than not, it swings to the autocratic and dictatorial side (even in the great historical republics, which inevitably sunk into fascism).

But even they were not counting on the rise of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan and their attendant two world wars, all of which caused the United States central government to grow, and grow, and grow.

The Pendulum Swings

And so in answer to the question, how did we get here? I offer a recent history of the United States in a few simple pictures.

Pendulum of Government Regulation

As you can see, party affiliation is of little consequence: Republican presidents are in a few surprising places, and so are Democratic presidents.

Beginning in the late 1960s, the pendulum stands at one end with stifling, sclerotic government regulation of industry and its attendant economic contraction — Lyndon Johnson (Great Society) / Richard Nixon (wage and price controls) / Jimmy Carter (triumph of bureaucratic indecision). Beginning with Jimmy Carter’s deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 (one of Jimmy’s rare achievements) and continuing in earnest with the election of Ronald Reagan, it begins to swing back towards the middle, creating an era of economic liberation and growth yet still within the bounds of reasonable regulatory oversight. After Reagan, the pendulum begins to swing too far the other way, particularly during the two terms of the Bill Clinton presidency. Mr. Clinton, along with his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, abolished the Glass-Steagall banking law that had protected the American financial system from crises for 60 straight years.

Let me repeat this last fact, as it is occasionally forgotten (blocked out?) in Liberal circles: Bill Clinton (D) and Robert Rubin (D) repealed the Glass-Steagall banking law and allowed investment banks to once again co-mingle investment banking, commercial banking, and proprietary trading all under one too-big-to-fail umbrella.

Likewise, Barney Frank (D) and his fellow Democrats in Congress chose to ease the regulatory burdens on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the 1990s and 2000s despite innumerable calls for greater oversight, leaving these institutions to ultimately hang themselves and all the nations of the earth in the 2008 economic catastrophe from which we are still trying to recover.

If you are a Democrat, or a Liberal, you may be feeling a kind of cognitive dissonance when faced with these facts, but this is a good sign: it shows that enough of the truth is getting through to you to cause you some discomfort, and how can you not be upset? I am upset with my own party and have been on many occasions: Richard Nixon (R) imposed wage and price controls, a fact that gives me quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, as such controls are the ultimate expression of anti-American central planning. Likewise, George W. Bush (R) is on one of the extreme ends of the pendulum swing above, and he must share the blame for not doing more to stop the momentum bequeathed to him by Clinton. So let us not be blinded by the Democrat and Republican schism in American politics and focus more instead on each leader and what he actually did and did not do.

To return to the narrative: as the world economy entered free-fall in 2008, the American electorate wanted the pendulum to swing back the other way and was ripe for a Manchurian candidate who would usher in a “change” in America.

But the pendulum always swings too far.

Enter Barack Hussein Obama, a man who was raised in Indonesia by parents and friends who espoused an anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, and anti-American set of philosophies and principles that in fact are wholly outside of the normal ebb and flow of American political and economic principles.

He has used the failures of capitalism as an excuse to plunge us into socialism and fascism, just as Karl Marx and Nikita Khrushchev foretold.

The Pendulum Breaks

Pendulum of Govt Regulation swings to Obama fascism

A short but potent list of his actions while in office is sobering, and alarming: He has effectively nationalized health care through the imposition of a punitive tax regime on businesses and citizens to be (selectively…) enforced by the IRS, particularly against those who are young and healthy; He has, through Obamacare, created a new star chamber of federal bureaucrats (the IPAB) who will become the unelected politburo for decision making around health care for the elderly (for those who think the term “fascism” is over-reaching, I urge you to read about the IPAB, and about selective enforcement of byzantine laws, as starting points);  He imposed drilling bans on federal lands and in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill, damaging further an already devastated region of the country; He has initiated selective, unilateral changes to existing laws in direct violation of the Constitution, including those involving health care, immigration, and energy regulations; and he seeks to dramatically weaken the second amendment to the Constitution, again using crisis events as an excuse to expand state power.

The cherry on top of this sundae du merde is that Barack Obama chose NOT to re-regulate Wall Street after the crisis; he chose NOT to prevent Wall Street firms from paying bonuses with tax-payer money (they didn’t miss even one year of bonuses); he chose NOT to push for prosecution of financial crimes.

At first this seems hard to understand, until you remember that Barack Obama does not want to save capitalism, he wants to destroy it utterly and completely (break the pendulum, once and for all) for the purpose of creating a permanent state control of the economy.

Leaving banks as Too-Big-To-Fail, which, to this day, they very much are, constitutes a doubling down by Barack Obama on the reckless endangerment Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times has written about ad nauseum.

Failure of whole industries allows central government fascists the opportunity to walk in and take over. For example, here is what just happened in Venezuela, where a decade of fascism and socialism have destroyed private businesses and led to shortages:

(CNN) — When you’re running low on toilet paper and getting desperate, what do you do?

If you’re the Venezuelan government, you take over a toilet paper factory. On Saturday, Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced the “temporary occupation” of the Paper Manufacturing Company’s plant in the state of Aragua. The aim, he explained, is to review the “production, marketing and distribution (of) toilet paper.”

“The … People’s Defense from the Economy will not allow hoarding or failures in the production and distribution of essential commodities,” the vice president said. By the “People’s Defense,” Arreaza was referring to a government agency created on September 13 by President Nicolas Maduro to “defeat the economic war that has been declared in the country,” according to a report from state-run ATV. This group is charged with looking at inefficiencies across various industries in the nation, including foods and other products, and taking action presumably in the South American nation’s best interests. <source>

This example is almost too perfect: a government fascist, Hugo Chavez, nationalizes whole industries in his country (in the name of the “people”), which of course plunges the economy into economic ruin. Then, when shortages occur, as they always do and as they soon will in American health care, the central government “temporarily” takes over a private company in order to “ensure supply” against a paranoid fantasy of plots to under-supply the market, further demonizing private industry and glorifying the government bureaucrats…

So what did Barack Obama do to repair the financial industry, and our country, and insulate it against another financial crisis?

Nothing.

And what do you think Barack Obama will do when another major bank is on the brink of failure?

Conduct a “Temporary occupation.”

This is fascism, brought to America via a man who expertly and cruelly used the sentiments of so many citizens who wanted nothing more than the pendulum to be made to swing back the other way.

If you voted for Barack Obama, you must now confront the truth, which is that a world-class demagogue used you in order to do something quite different, and something he is accelerating on in every possible way.

Soon he will ask you for your vote in the mid-term elections so that he can remove the final obstacle (Republican control of the House) to the achievement of the full extent of his vile ambition. Will you be sympathetic to his siren song, now that you know the truth?

In Summary

The pendulum is always swinging between too much, and too little, government regulation.

We cannot afford the sclerotic and stifling central planning of LBJ/Nixon/Carter.

Neither can we afford the anarchy of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

And we most definitely cannot afford the fascism and central planning of Barack Hussein Obama, a man whose formative years had nothing whatsoever to do with the American experience.

We must elect leaders who will set a course toward the golden mean, as Reagan did, and as Teddy Roosevelt did when he broke the trusts in the early twentieth century to curb the abuses of capitalism so that he could save capitalism.

And we must survive the malignant reign of this man, Barack Obama, who operates not in any way to preserve capitalism, but instead to destroy it and all that we hold dear in the American civilization.

May God save the Unites States of America these next three years, and may a plurality of voters make the right choice in 2016.

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In order to fully appreciate the great fortune of American citizenship, we must till the soil of self-knowledge over and over again, building a deeper and deeper connection to the country’s divine inspiration and way of life and government.

The challenge inherent in the human mind is that familiarity tends to defeat true comprehension of experience, both because it lacks context and because it provides a template of expectation that is stronger than actual experience. A great tool to break through this is to look outside oneself to others and then see oneself with new eyes.

India is currently undergoing a transformation that reminds me very much of the Novus Ordo Seclorum (new order of the ages) that the Founding Fathers of the United States sought to render incarnate in the American experiment. A recent story in the New York Times magazine about a successful Indian entrepreneur is an interesting testament to a shift in consciousness among the “lower caste” of India:

Umred was just another small town in the middle of nowhere, dusty and underwhelming. But Umred had begun to dream, townspeople told me, because of television, because of cousins with tales of call-center jobs and freedom in the city. Once Umred contracted ambition, blackouts became intolerable. A psychological revolution, a revolution in expectations, had taken place.

This ‘revolution in expectations’ is quite simply the belief that one’s life can be better in the future than it is in the present. This stands is sharp contrast to the long history of India in which one did not dare to dream about transcending one’s lot in life; on the contrary, Indian culture and even spirituality taught acceptance of “what is” and avoidance of imagining that one’s fate can be altered.

And the “fate” of the lower caste is no easy life, as anyone who has experienced India can attest:

His family lived in a three-room house with concrete walls, an outdoor latrine and a thatched roof. They had no land to cultivate, just a small yard with some anemic trees. His father worked as a laborer, loading foodstuffs on and off trucks. His mother was a farmhand. Neither parent advanced past fourth grade; they spoke Marathi but not Hindi. “We are daily-wages people,” Misal said, betraying elements of the old thinking that he hadn’t wholly shaken: daily wages as social identity, not economic circumstance.

How does this relate to the history of the United States? This description could easily describe the English serf of the middle ages, who by virtue of his “low” birth toiled in the mud in the service of a “Lord” who held property and power by virtue of his “noble” birth. Monty Python’s “Search for the Holy Grail” is a hilarious send-up of this miserable state of existence.

King Arthur: “I am your King!”

Peasant: “Well I didn’t vote for you..”

King Arthur: “You don’t vote for Kings!”

Peasant: “Well how’d you become King then?”

Just as in India, Western religion in the Middle Ages reinforced the notion of acceptance of incarnate misery, but with a carrot thrown in: heaven in the afterlife as a reward for good behavior (e.g., shovel another pile of shit and don’t complain about it).

A central idea in the founding of America is that “all men are created equal,” and that therefore all are entitled to pursue life, liberty and happiness regardless of social status. Another central and related idea is that the American government would be of, by, and for the people as opposed to being for the capricious, sadistic, and murderous child-play of a Tyrant.

The conscious removal of artificial limitations on whole segments of the population, along with limited government, anglo-saxon ethics, and a culture of self-reliance, produced the wealthiest and most powerful country in the history of civilization.

India’s current transformation of consciousness has a similar flavor:

Misal embodies the type of person who will truly transform India: not an engineer or a financier, but an average person who refuses to be satisfied with the status he was born to. I began to see self-invention as a theme of India’s unfolding drama. Misal, the shoeless son of a porter, was the manager of an Indian roller-skating team, was going to Hong Kong, was teaching at six colleges and was building a house.

With this kind of energy and growing freedom, India’s strength is going to increase and it should continue to provide a powerful counter-balance against the Communist and expansionary Chinese government.

A final thought on American culture and the similar vibe in India right now: it can produce a hollow experience of existence in that a constant striving for future success and “upward mobility” can cause you to miss your entire life. The beauty in every moment, that is right under your nose, can go unnoticed or ignored, as you obsess over acquiring MORE. This affliction is a terrible byproduct of the American civilization, and the great irony is that just as India increasingly emulates the American way, America could do well on a spiritual level to emulate some of the Hindu and Buddhist way of living in the NOW.

As the ancient Greeks counseled, a healthy life was distinguished by everything in proportion, nothing in excess, and so we best blend in some mindfulness with all that hunger for advancement.

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