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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

"People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous." — Edmund Burke

The greatest mind-trick in the left's entire arsenal is politicizing emotion. Once they accomplish that, there is no limit on a government's mandate to take action, since there are no rational limits on emotion.

Consider the welfare state. Is it right or wrong to help a poor person? What about providing for children's education? Or making sure that everyone has health coverage? These things appear self-evidently right, and therefore the cost doesn't matter to the left. Scarcity and how resources are employed don't enter into the equation. Voluntary or involuntary, it doesn't matter how these things are done. So it doesn't matter if government forces people to do something or not.

Now consider the case of gun control laws, which have no factual evidence to back up their effectiveness, given real-world constraints. Guns cannot be un-invented — only taken away and put into some people's hands, but not others. But since guns make leftists feel uncomfortable, it's best to have the government make them disappear.

Since so many on the left are dominated by feelings, and not animated as much by concern for facts and reason, most don't care about the consequences of their actions. They just hope that things will get better if government can spend enough money or pass more regulations. This is not to say that left-wingers are stupid; they are rather expert rationalizers and sophists. They put the cart before the horse — emotion before reason.

Today's typical totalitarian leftist is thus not a jackboot-wearing thug, but an overly sensitive, cardigan-wearing milquetoast, whose obsessions about feelings make him immune to rational argument. The danger of granting the government endless power to do good, like everything else, is rationalized away or dismissed by the leftist, since even the thought of making peace with an imperfect world makes him uncomfortable. This is why the left will never learn from history: the past is only prologue to the coming utopia, which will be perfectly just and fair.

Leftists are convinced they are on the side of right. They don't care about the cost; they care about humanity. Due to their preoccupation about humanity, they don't particularly care about individuals (ask any leftist what he thinks about the tens of millions killed by avowed socialists). This does not mean that leftists are hard-hearted; rather, they tend to be hyper-sensitive stars in their own imagined melodrama. And furthermore, their emotion-centrism does not rule out calculation and cunning, since their entire thought process is focused on effecting power, which they believe will be used for good. The ends justify the means.

Left-wingers tend to be crusaders who love everyone so much that they are willing to stick others with the bill for any cause they deem fit. Save the planet, even if that means some people suffer. (See malaria and DDT; ethanol subsidies and world hunger; fracking and man-made global warming hysteria, etc.) Wage an endless and self-defeating war on poverty, meanwhile impoverishing the nation. Rationalize away human nature, as if punishing productive behavior and subsidizing idleness will not damage an economy over generations. We are equally poor, but the left feels better for having tried.

Earlier today, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the ongoing discussion and debate surrounding gun control. Rather than relying strictly upon the legislative process, he said that Obama “is going to act” — and potentially without Congress’ blessing.

Before meeting with gun safety and victims’ groups, the vice president told reporters that “executive orders” may be an avenue that the administration will use to take swift action on firearms.

“There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken,” he said. “We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

As the Weekly Standard notes, Biden stressed the importance, in his view, of taking action to curb gun violence. He also said that he is convinced that the government “can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way” — pending officials “act responsibly.”

First and foremost the President of the United States has no authority of the Bill of Rights. He cannot limit free speech or command a state religion. He cannot void the Second Amendment. He cannot order soldiers to be housed in your home without permission. He cannot order seizure of your papers, and effects without a court order. He cannot suspend the right of Habeas Corpus — Lincoln tried this in the Civil War and it was ruled unconstitutional. Only Congress an take these actions, and then they would be subject to judicial review

Over the years executive orders have been used by past presidents for political and phony national security issues. Just look at the 100,000 American citizens who were interred in relocation (concentration) camps during World War Two by an executive order by Franklin Roosevelt. These people were interred for no reason except that they were of Japanese ancestry.

Now we have a president who believes he is above the law of the land and is threating to use his executive powers — powers not granted in Article II of the Constitution. Of course the liberal progressives and Democrats believe he does, but only for causes they support like gun control, conservative speech, and abortion. This all emotionally based.

I’m not trying to be mean and no I don’t have a cold heart but I’m getting a wee bit tired of Mark Kelly and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Look, I know she has gone through a great deal since the Tucson shooting, to say I know what it’s like to be involved in such a tragic event would be a lie. But I also understand the line between the unfortunate details of what she and others went through, and the line approaching self-promotion and pushing an agenda. Mark Kelly and Mrs. Giffords are using her experience as a tool for self-promotion and to promote anti-gun legislation.

I know it’s politically correct to hail the former Congresswoman and her astronaut husband as heroes but are they really? And if they are, most heroes I know from the various books I’ve read growing up tend to shy away from constant adulation and the limelight. Perhaps I’m wrong about this whole thing, if so what explains the USS Gabrielle Giffords? It’s an upcoming Independence-class littoral combat ship that will be named after the former Arizona Congresswoman. As pointed out by folks on Twitter, the irony of Mark Kelly and Mrs. Giffords crusade against the second amendment and her having a warship named after her, not to mention her having armed guards is quite glaring I must admit.

Kind of like how the editor in chief of the Journal News looked into hiring armed guards after posting an interactive map detailing the information and addresses of legal gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York.

I have no doubt that Mrs. Giffords is a nice person and likely means no harm in what she and her husband are trying to accomplish. I believe they believe no one should be allowed to own a gun; just as I believe liberals in general oppose the idea of gun ownership altogether. They say semi-automatic weapons and assault weapons but they really mean guns in general. The way they go about it is a creeping effect where measures are put in place there by giving them a green light to categorize any gun under the banner of “Assault Weapon”. Today the AR-15 is an assault weapon, tomorrow it may be your everyday Bass Pro Shop hunting rifle. The category is what gives them a pathway to their ultimate goal which is complete confiscation of all firearms.

But in keeping with my take on Gabby Giffords, where are the warships for the other Tucson shooting victims? How about we name a warship after Dawn Hochsprung? She was the principal who went after Adam Lanza as he cut down those little children. She doesn’t have a story to tell, at least not in her own words because unfortunately she’s no longer with us. I’m not saying Mrs. Giffords isn’t a hero but to me Dawn Hochsprung is the most authentic example of that word outside of law enforcement, and our soldiers fighting overseas. She threw caution to the wind and her life along with it because her love for those students proved stronger that day. If anything she deserves a warship before Gabby Giffords. But she was not a politician who had a memorial service at the University of Arizona — and after all she is a Democrat and we know all Democrats are heroes.

Liberals are always preaching to us about acceptance and tolerance, diversity yet they’re the ones who control the propaganda used to tell young girls and young people in general that if they don’t dress, talk, think, or act a certain way that acceptable to the hierarchy of cultural liberalism then they aren’t worthy, not pretty enough, not worth the time of day because they don’t “fit in”. From Hollywood to the fashion world it’s all liberal and it defines what acceptable is. So when you have young people committing suicide because they don’t feel good about themselves, or young men cold to violence and destruction, teens rebelling against their parents because the liberal music industry and MTV tells them its “like totally cool” to flip the bird to authority, perhaps you should stop lecturing us about the second amendment and start focusing on what you’ve done to the culture. Or maybe we should play your game and start looking at the first amendment which gives liberals a license to poison society with filth they call entertainment. But oh no, that would be unconstitutional

As George Mason said in a speech at the 1788 Virginia Ratifying Convention:

“When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, — who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.”

As for the militia, Mason, the co-author of the Second Amendment had this to say; “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.”

Mason, like Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and Madison believed that arms in the hands of the citizens were not for hunting, but to prevent tyranny from the government and the protection of the citizen. Liberals just don’t seem to get this one simple fact. Every tyrant in history has begun their reign by taking arms away from the citizens — and that’s a fact.

It is also a fact that according the FBI’s annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle. This is an interesting fact, particularly amid the Democrats' feverish push to ban many different rifles, ostensibly to keep us safe of course.

For example, in 2011, there were 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

However, it appears the zeal of Sens. like Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) is misdirected. For in looking at the FBI numbers from 2005 to 2011, the number of murders by hammers and clubs consistently exceeds the number of murders committed with a rifle. I guess we need to ban , or at least license, hammers and clubs.

It the left wants to talk about violence and murder of children they should consider that 333,964 babies were aborted in 2011. That’s the figure proudly released by Planned Parenthood Federation of America in their report delineating how many abortions they performed in fiscal 2011. Doing some simple math reveals that the number of abortions performed equates to one abortion every 94 seconds 24/7.

And Planned Parenthood can be pleased with their progress: the number of abortions they performed in 2011 was up from 2010, when they snuffed out 329,445 lives. And the U.S. government can carry the banner high with the abortion provider; Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in government health services grants and reimbursements,” including payments from Medicaid managed care plans. If Obama wants to issue an executive order how about defunding Planned Parenthood.

Kenneth Bennight writes in American Thinker:

“Would-be gun controllers argue that guns are different from other dangerous commodities. Guns are uniquely are designed to kill, they say, and therefore lack the utility of other dangerous things. Take automobiles, for instance: automobiles kill more people than guns, but automobiles' primary use is peaceful, and automobiles are not designed to kill. Why, gun controllers ask, should we tolerate guns, which are dangerous and have no material utility other than killing?

Gun-rights defenders sometimes argue that guns have innocent uses such as hunting and target-shooting. Those uses, they argue, justify widespread gun ownership. But what other widespread toy is as potentially lethal as guns? It's poor argumentation to refuse to acknowledge the obvious: the function of guns is to kill. That is incontrovertible. Non-killing uses of guns are incidental.

Does that make the gun controllers right? No. If we are to preserve our Second Amendment rights and our freedom generally, we must accept the possibility of legitimate killing in two circumstances: defense against violence and resistance to oppression.

Self-defense is a natural right of all persons, one not limited to non-lethal force. f gun controllers concede that, they proceed to parse finely the degree of allowable lethal force. (No one needs more than a three-round magazine.) But any such calculation necessarily assumes unknowable things.

Why is it that those who know the least about guns have the strongest opinions on how much lethality is legitimately necessary? And gun controllers would not impose those limits on the Secret Service or the bodyguards of other prominent people. What has become of America if the law holds that the lives of such people are more worthy than the lives of the rest of us?

“No doubt the founders accepted the natural right of self-defense, but that was not why they proposed the Second Amendment. They had just prevailed in a war won largely with civilian-owned firearms. The shot heard round the world was fired to resist a British attempt to disarm Americans. The British army, accustomed to an unarmed British countryside, was surprised by an armed and largely hostile American populace. The founders wanted to protect Americans' ability to resist oppression. If we wish to retain our freedoms, we must retain that ability.”

Human beings don't need coercion to do what's right for themselves, but coercion is needed for human beings to force others to sacrifice on their behalves. The way to make the world better is simple: people should stop using coercion to make others serve them, and people should serve themselves. Economy and society should be free and respectful of individuals. This is what the market system is about: serving oneself by serving others, and specifically, by offering goods and services in exchange for money.

Oh, but that's so heartless!

"But what is the conservative's response to all the world's suffering?" the leftist screams. "What are we to do about [name the anecdotal case of misfortune]? Do conservatives really want to do nothing?"

The best answer is captured by Frederic Bastiat.

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

The principled answer to the leftist who believes he is on the side of right, and therefore that the means to his ends are inconsequential, is that no one is born into this world owned by anyone else, including the abstract concept of "society." An argument against such reasoning is implicitly an argument for the enslavement of some human beings to others. Since this is anathema to the state of nature and is self-evidently a grotesquery, all rational justification for omnipotent government is ruled out. A human being's life is his own means and end-in-itself.

Since civilization flourished due to reason and not pure emotion, as agricultural and productive organization allowed human beings to employ resources in the environment to better their situation, the politicization of emotion, or the use of force to back feelings, leads to anarchy and social destruction. Leftists should consider this well before believing that any particular misfortune obligates the socialization of suffering, forestalling but never removing accumulated ruin — whether through the means of debt or through the mass wreckage of human lives.

Running counter to this history of social disaster, the Constitution is the pinnacle of reasoned political science and the legal barricade against the mob mentality that drives majoritarian democracy. Demagogues arise under such a system of government, because they promise the majority the spoils of government looting, meanwhile stoking the flames of populist passions. The rule of law and the scientific method were developed precisely to protect human beings from the hazards of acting on raw emotion and ignorance. Democratic politicians and left-wing activists, on the other hand, thrive on these human vulnerabilities.

Alexis de Tocqueville stated in his 1848 Critique of Socialism:

“Democracy and socialism are not interdependent concepts. They are not only different, but opposing philosophies. Is it consistent with democracy to institute the most meddlesome, all-encompassing and restrictive government, provided that it be publicly chosen and that it act in the name of the people? Would the result not be tyranny, under the guise of legitimate government and, by appropriating this legitimacy assuring to itself the power and omnipotence which it would otherwise assuredly lack? Democracy extends the sphere of personal independence; socialism confines it. Democracy values each man at his highest; socialism makes of each man an agent, an instrument, a number. Democracy and socialism have but one thing in common—equality. But note well the difference. Democracy aims at equality in liberty. Socialism desires equality in constraint and in servitude.”

Control over the House is a powerful platform. Republicans must be prepared to utilize that power to its fullest extent this year. If Obama and his progressive statists want to talk about using executive orders to trample on the Bill of Rights and violate the Constitution it is time for Speaker Boehner to begin using the “Impeachment” word. It’s time for true Constitutional Conservatives to stand against the progressive left and their emotional means to governance.

Never let a good crisis go to waste. The left never does.

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