"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Logical Fallacies in Atheism's Model of the Universe

Will Malven
12/23/2011

Another long one, I fear.  Sorry, but sometimes I just have a lot to say.

Time once again to tackle the untackleable, to ponder the imponderable and to kick a little atheist butt.  While this is an eternal argument and one that cannot be resolved, it does pose interesting challenges in logic and philosophy and it does hold real world consequences in how it is embraced--or not--by those in positions of power, such as our politicians and judges.  The inculcation of atheism into our culture and especially in our schools has led to a gradual social and moral degradation of our society.

I don't intend for this to be an exhaustive examination, it is just a collection of random thoughts and some of the comments I have made on the subject in various political forums (so much may be familiar to some readers).

In an article which appeared in the Jakarta Post/ANN entitled Is It Rational to Believe in God?, the author, Giovanni Serritella, challenges the assertions of such luminaries of the atheist world as Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking by challenging their logic.

According to Mr. Serritella, Professor Hawking in his latest book, The Grand Design, posits:
"Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing ... Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we are here".
The article is an interesting read and it asks legitimate questions about the world of Dawkins and Hawking and their elected explanation for our existence.  Since their scientific approach doesn't allow for the supernatural, Hawking's argument of a self-creating universe from a law which could not have existed prior to that creation is logically inconsistent.

I prefer to take a slightly different tack by pointing out the flaws, acknowledged by Hawking in his model and arguing from that point.

Stephen Hawking's model for the "spontaneous creation" of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" [thank-you Douglas Adams] as laid out in his television series "Stephen Hawking's Universe" contains a number of self-admitted "accidents" which he then chooses to fluff off under the broad heading of "random chance." A few of them I can think of off the top of my head:
  • The existence of gravity--The fact that there is a law of gravity through the mechanism of which matter was able to coalesce.
  • The rate of expansion of matter after the big bang--fast enough to prevent an immediate collapse and slow enough to allow matter to coalesce.
  • The right amount of matter--too much and again the universe would have collapsed, too little and matter would not have coalesced.
  • The non-uniform distribution of matter after the "big bang" which allowed particles to interact through gravity and thus coalesce.
  • The balance between the pressure in a star's core to expand, and the force of gravity trying to collapse it.  This balance allowed the coalescing matter to collapse into a star, but not continue collapsing into a singularity.  It allowed the matter to collapse enough to build sufficient pressure and heat to initiate fusion and yet not fly apart as the result of an explosion.
  • The fact that stars function as factories for the manufacture of the heavier elements.
  • The coalescence of matter at exactly the right distance from the sun to form a planet whose conditions allowed liquid water to exist so that life could form
  • The existence of just exactly the right mix of pre-life organic molecules in the "primordial goo."
  • The coming together in exactly the right combination of those molecules.
There are several more that I can't recall, but this is sufficient. As I watched his genuinely fascinating series, I remember laughing when he began his narrative of how life could have come about without God while ticking off "accident" after "accident."  The truth is, I was rather stunned at the number of coincidences he simply assumed happened.

"Accidents?"  Really, Mr. Atheist Scientist, you're talking about "accidents?"  I've heard of "scientific accidents," but they usually refer to something which happens in a laboratory which leads to some discovery.  I've never heard of a scientist describing a causative chain of events who invoked an accident in the middle of that chain.  It sounds a whole lot like "magic."
Hawking:  "Well, this happened, and that caused this to happen, which led to this happening, and then an accident occurred, then 'poof' here we are."

Audience:  "Uh-huh, okay . . . wait . . . what?  What's this 'accident?'"

Hawking:  "Umm . . . well . . . we don't really know, it just sort of happened and we don't understand why it happened . . . but . . . isn't it convenient?"

Audience:  "This sounds suspiciously like magic. Can you explain this "accident?"

Hawking:  "Uh . . . no, but we know it isn't magic.

Audience:  "How do you know it's not magic? Can you explain it?"

Hawking:  "Uh . . . well we have this theory that sort of sounds sort of reasonable, kind of, but . . . we know it's not magic."

Audience: Let me get this straight. You've got this process, but you don't know how it happened. You 'know it's not magic,' but you can't explain it and you want us to trust you when you say it's not magic?  Sounds curiously like you want us to have faith in what you tell us.  Isn't that pretty much what religion tells us?

Scientist: "Uh . . . yes . . . I mean NO! No it's definitely NOT magic, we just can't explain it."

Audience: "If you can't explain it, then how do you know it's not magic?  Go on, pull the other one."

Uh . . . yeah, it sounds a lot like magic to me as well. This is the old joke: "Well you start with this and you add this and then "stuff happens" and you get this."

Professor Hawking, you might as well wave your wand and say "abracadabra." When you say "accidents" happen, you are invoking magic.

It's always amusing to see these scientists and learned men struggling to disprove the existence of God by suggesting mechanisms and concepts far less likely than the existence of a Supreme Being to do so.  The more they attempt it, the more extreme and bizarre their hypotheses become.

In his attempt to explain from where gravity (or the law of gravity) came, Hawking suggests the theory multiple universes--universes coexisting in which one, the one in which we reside, had all of these "accidents" take place, in others, he posits, the law of gravity does not exist, in another hydrogen doesn't fuse.

Yeah, Stephen, I saw that episode of "Star Trek: Next Generation" too.  This is just gobbledy-gook--double speak--to explain away something his precious science cannot account for.  You see, without an "Intelligent Designer," science must delve into realms of improbability which are, simply put, laughable.

Atheists tell us "Just because we don't know the origin, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or that we will not eventually find it."  That is a perfectly valid argument, but it in no way negates the possibility, or even probability, of there being a God who is that origin.  What they are telling us is "I don't know what the source is, but it isn't God, because God doesn't exist."

It's a circular argument, "God doesn't exist, because I say he doesn't exist." If you don't know how the universe came into being--you don't know the origin of this chain of events which led to our existence--then . . . how can you know that the original source isn't God? 

The fallacy inherent in atheism [Hint:  It's a religion]

Religion believes in the supernatural, the mystical--allows "magic," relies upon "magic"--God is ever existing, the infinite mind.  That is its premise. He is his own origin. We admit that we cannot explain from where He came, because He is a spiritual, mystical, supernatural being. God exists because He has always existed.

If you're an atheist, that dog just won't hunt. You must have a non-supernatural, non-mystical source for everything that happened and invoking "accidents" when it comes to a chain of events sounds more like magic than science.  Hawking's claim that there could have been an infinite number of universes and this one just happened to have gravity is double speak for "magic."  But . . . only a religion allows for magic.

Thus the atheism that Dawkins and Hawking are espousing is just a religion--a godless religion--but a religion nonetheless, because it has to rely on "magic" for an originating phenomenon.    It demands that one have faith that science has an explanation for all of those accidents.  Mumbo Jumbo.  "It's not God, because I say it's not God."

The atheists' claim that they don't need any religion to live a moral life

When atheists claim that they have no need of religion (usually Christianity) to behave morally. They ignore that they are products of a Judeo-Christian culture, the morals to which they lay claim are products of that culture. Everything they have experienced informs them what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral. Their assumed independent morality is based in that same culture.

Hitchens, Dawkins and their colleagues can no more separate that world and its influences upon them from their intellectual posturings than they can change the fact that their native language is English. We are creatures of our culture. Whatever they claim to believe the source of their morality, society shaped those values.

Asserting that they don't need religion "to live an ethical life" when their very beings are steeped in a culture that has preached those values for thousands of years is like asserting that you don't need to tell yourself to breathe in order to inhale.

Got magic?

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tone Deaf Republicans

How to Lose An Election by Fighting the Wrong Battle on the Democrat's Timetable

Will Malven
12/21/2011

"Payroll tax cut," even the title is a lie. "Retirement income funding cut" would be more accurate. I'm tired of these left-wing euphemisms and the MSM's relentless use of them in their campaign to keep Democrats in office.

This battle was one which should have been won back six months ago.

I don't know what it is about Republicans that every year they allow these sorts of emotionally charged paycheck issues to be postponed until Christmas time and then suddenly they decide that it's time for them to "show a little backbone."

Everybody who is paying attention knows that "the pay roll tax cut is actually a reduction in the amount of money going into the Social Security "trust fund" (in itself a lie).

This battle is not about helping the working families of America (with Democrats, it never is), it's about using some emotionally charged issue as a club with which Obama and the Democrats can beat Republicans about the head during a season of the year in which money for families is always tight.

Checkmate: At Christmas time, you can't win the battle between reason and "compassion"

The Republicans have been caught playing a fool's game on the fool's turf, by the fool's timetable and now they have been played right into the hands of Democrats and the White House.

House Republicans have got to be the most politically tone deaf people in the world. When they should be standing firm, they roll over and when they should be flexible, they plow forwards like a ship sailing into a hurricane.

How can anybody be so unaware of how this debate is being played out in the press and the eyes of the electorate??? This battle is not solely about what is right or wrong, it is about how the fight is seen by the voting public.

Most people are not spending their days reading political blogs, surfing Drudge and the alternative news web pages, or participating on debate forums, they are catching a half-hour of news in between taking care of their kids, preparing dinner, shopping for Christmas, and working their jobs.

Republicans had two paths to certain victory, both of which would accrue not just to their benefit, but to the benefit of the American people. Problem is that Republicans needed to be fighting this battle six months ago, explaining the issue in terms simple enough and clear enough that the electorate could understand.
  1. First alternative, come out four square against the "tax-cut" by blasting it as a threat to the retirement of the elderly and endangering everyone's social security.

    That is a winning argument. Make it strongly, make it clearly, and make it repeatedly in the public arena, you can't lose it. Combine that with a push for a REAL tax-cut and attack the President's hypocrisy for opposing the Bush tax cuts while promoting a cut to the funding of our social security--you've got victory.

    Hammer the message home. Repeat the description and the message over and over again. Force Democrats to use the language of truth, the payroll tax cut is a threat to the continued existence of a Social Security system that already faces a grave fiscal future.
  2. Their second alternative was to agree to a one year extension of the payroll tax cut "in the spirit of cooperation and bi-partisanship" combined with an implacable demand for the Keystone XL pipeline "so we can get Americans working again."

    Again, hammer the message home. Continue to make the identical argument over and over again and if the Senate Democrats don't pass it, send the exact the same proposal to them again . . . and again--always blaming them for high unemployment and accusing the President and them of "pandering to special interest enviro-wackos at the price of jobs for America's unemployed." Make the Democrats vote down the Keystone XL pipeline over and over again. Another certain victory.
But no, Republicans sent over a one-year bill with the pipeline, the right first move. But then, in the Senate McConnell instantly folds like the cheap suit he is. He compromises with a "kick the can down the road" 2-month extension, with a promise that required Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within that 60 day window, in effect hanging the House out to dry. Then, without a whisper, McConnell allows Reid to close down the Senate and go home as though the whole issue was solved.

Once more Mitch McConnell has proven how weak and ineffectual he is. Spineless hardly suffices for this go-along-to-get-along, "collegial fellow," inside the beltway politician. Where was the fight to the last man, Mitch? Where were the press conferences held on the steps of the capitol demanding Democrats pass the House bill? Where was . . . any effective leadership whatsoever?

At the point that McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate capitulated, the House Republicans' only choice was to agree to the Senate bill--because it did have a requirement for a decision on the pipeline included in it.

Apparently Boehner, Cantor, and crew are too tone deaf to realize when they've been out maneuvered. Instead of licking their wounds and learning the lessons from this episode, they pigheadedly vote the Senate bill down--without voting for an alternative.

They actually did have one possible path to victory. They should have had the replacement bill prepared and ready to go with another one year extension, the Keystone pipeline, and the unemployment compensation extension. Then they could have set the debate rules--as the Democrats repeatedly did--so that they could pass the second bill within a day, and send it back to the Senate.

If you're going to play hardball, make sure you have the team ready to play and a winning game plan. Boehner and McConnell should have had this all planned out and coordinated so that the onus was instantly placed back on the shoulders of the Democrats in the Senate. Let them go home defending the fact that they had a second chance to pass their beloved "payroll tax cut" and turned their backs on it.

By defeating the Senate plan without having an alternative bill ready to go, House Republicans are fighting a battle they've already lost. They have been routed in the battle for public opinion and we will pay the price in the next election.

We cannot afford to be playing spur-of-the-moment chess in this battle for our economic survival and we can't afford to be out maneuvered by our own side's unwillingness to face down Democrat political ploys.

Republicans are right on the issues. This was a battle Republicans could have and should have won, but, once again, they have allowed themselves to be flanked by the Democrats and the President and portrayed as "Grinches" who are stealing American workers' paychecks.

The Republican leadership has got to do better and we deserve better from our representatives.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Democrat, MSM, Establishment Republican All Out Full Court Press to Stop Newt

Will Malven
12/19/2011

Well, no doubt about it, the long knives are out for Newt Gingrich now.

Democrats hate him, because of what he did to their amoral King designate, former President Bill Clinton (accused serial molester and accused rapist) as Speaker of the House. They also hate him, because he is smarter and more knowledgeable about our nation, our Constitution, and out history than the whole party put together.

The MSM hate him, because he dares to challenge them when they resort to cheap-shot politically charged and/or inane questions. Too, they hate him, because the responses he gives are too complex and well laid out for them to comprehend and that don't edit very well to a ten-second sound-byte.

The Establishment Republicans hate him, because he's Newt. He's arrogant, smarter than a whip, and (apparently) abrasive in manner when dealing with those who aren't quick enough to follow his lead. More importantly, they hate him, because they live their entire lives in fear of a repeat of the 1964 Goldwater election and they believe that nominating Newt will lead to such a political route.

That last is really amusing given that since 1976 these same Establishment Republicans have never gotten a single presidential election right. I've laid out my argument in a previous commentary here (link).

Having supported the wrong candidate for seven of the last nine elections (we'll ignore the 88/92 elections since we all went with Bush for various reasons), they are now blindly determined to nominate another "approved," moderate Republican candidate in Mitt Romney, a man whose political past, whose stance on the issues, is so checkered, every time I see him, I think another NASCAR race has begun.

Mitt Romney will, at best, give us another lackluster "go along to get along" President and at worst deliver us into the hands of this Narcissist in Chief for another destructive four years.

I guess living in denial of one's own consistent record of failure is only human nature, but these establishment types sure embrace it with enthusiasm.

Anyway, back to the long knives. This week we have had a series of attacks, endorsements and cheap-shot, dishonest, guilt by association smears against Gingrich--many from quarters who not too long ago were singing his praises (as did Michele Bachmann in 2008, but who in the last debate made a number of dishonest charges and attacks against him.  Funny how one's political ambitions will change one's views).

Last week Joe Scarborough blasted Newt Gingrich as an unreliable leader (of course Joe surrendered his conservative bona fides the same time he surrendered his manhood, when he joined that nest of liberal vipers on Morning Joe) .

Representative Peter King, a man normally for whom I have great respect has come out attacking Newt for "his leadership style."  Again, he asserts "it's not personal," but I have found that any time someone qualifies his comments by opening with "it's nothing personal," it is invariably "personal."

Then Senator Tom Coburn came out saying that he would "find it difficult" to support Newt--apparently, because Newt was rude to him, or dismissive of him, or impatient with him--all of which are possible--but hardly a reason to be against him.  With Coburn, as with "Morning Joan," it is strictly personal.

Nest former Oklahoma Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards also came out against Newt, but his reasoning was different.  Apparently he was happy for Republicans to remain the minority party in the House.  He was upset that Newt was confrontational.  As the Republican Whip, Edwards says that Newt:
". . . made it far worse because it’s one thing to say that we don’t want the Democrats to be in charge because we have ideas of our own and we want to be able to advance those ideas. But, Democracy is about progress. And our process is based on the separate institutions--and how those institutions work.

“What Newt brought to the table was destruction of the institutions. Destruction so that more and more people who followed his model would come to Washington thinking of themselves as Republicans, not as members of Congress."
Poor Mickey, looks like Newt "harshed his mellow."

I mean the very idea of elected representative going to Washington D.C. as members of a party rather than as members of Congress was unheard of before Newt . . . I guess poor Mickey doesn't remember the Senate hearings on Judge Robert Bork.

I think what upset the former congressman is that he was under the impression that only Democrats were allowed to be partisan.

Yesterday, we had the National Review lash out at Newt Gingrich in an unprecedented and thoroughly hypocritical way (as they conveniently ignored the glaring shortcomings of their preferred candidate Mitt Romney)

But . . . there appears to be a backlash to this attempt to destroy Newt.

Today:
  • Andrew McCarthy blasted his own National Review for their unwarranted, one-sided attack against former Speaker Gingrich. 
  • J.C. Watt, who served along side Newt in the House announced he would be endorsing him for the nomination.
  • The TEA Party Patriots announced the results of their straw poll showing Newt Gingrich in the lead (31%) with Bachmann coming in a strong second (28%), followed by Romney (20%) and Santorum (16%).
  •  Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen announced his endorsement of Newt Gingrich
  • Thomas Sowell issued an editorial in Investor's Business Daily defending Gingrich and asking if Newt's baggage (which is mostly personal) is sufficient to cause us not to vote for him, faced as we are with the dreadful possibility of a second Obama term.
  • The Clemson Palmetto poll in SC Now shows Gingrich with a commanding and growing lead in South Carolina

But the assault continues. These scaredy-cat establishment types will not yield easily.

The Wall Street Journal continues its attack against Newt with another editorial "Newt and the Independents" again banging the drum of fear--the independents won't vote for him.  These weak-kneed pseudo-conservatives who live their lives in the "twenties" (the 20%er theory of elections) and are consumed by fear of a 1964 repeat, also  live in denial of the truth of Ronald Reagan.

Reagan proved it beyond any doubt; given a true leader who can espouse genuine conservative principle clearly and unapologetically, those "independents" those "20%ers" will flock to him.

CBS is proclaiming the imminent demise of Newt in their article Newt Gingrich Stumbles, and Mitt Romney Sighs Relief proclaiming Newt's downfall as the result of his attack on the judiciary (an assertion not supported by the data which show that Newt's decline began a week ago as the result of the massive amount of negative campaign ads being run and the distorted press coverage of his statements).

There is no doubt that the precipitous rise of Newt Gingrich frightened a boat load of people--both cowardly Republicans and those of the Democrat Party/MSM machine.

One can only hope that Newt can weather the storm.  So far he has been reticent to attack any of his opponents; a level of restraint that none of them have shown.  It's amazing how many people claim to hate negative advertising yet respond to is like moths to a flame.

Well Newt has announced a new flurry of campaign ads beginning tomorrow and running through Monday next.  We will see how the campaign shakes out.

I'll vote for Romney if I absolutely have to, but I would prefer Newt or Perry.

If you are truly interested in why I like Newt or if you just want to be an informed voter, read Newt's white paper on the judiciary.  It is a long difficult read, but it is as powerful an argument and as well grounded in history and the Constitution as any thing I have read in a long time.

Bringing the Courts Back Under the Consitution:  Here is the link to it.

READ IT, PLEASE. You owe it to yourselves to see just what real vision is as compared to the cookie cutter, 10 second sound-byte, sloganeering ideas that the other candidates are throwing out there.

Newt is the real deal, and just as I was supportive of a possible bid back in 2008, I am very much in his corner again this year.

He simply would be the best President we have had since Reagan--baggage and all.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Liberty We Are Allowing to Slip Through Our Fingers

Will Malven
12/15/2011

I am not one of those alarmist types who sees a threat to our liberty and freedom every time the winds of congressional whimsy lead to the passing of a conceivably dubious law, but I am joining in with those who are shouting from the rooftops today:

"DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! DANGER!"

The FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which passed the House yesterday (283-136) and now, the Senate by a horrifying 86-13 margin, may be the biggest blow to our Bill of Rights in the history of the Republic.
Interestingly enough, the Senate passed this bill on the 210th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.
My protest here is moot now as the bill moves to the desk of President Obama for signing--which he will most certainly do as it appears to grant him and the military unheard of authority to indefinitely detain U.S. Citizens without any of their inherent rights to due process.

Hidden down in Title X-General Provision, Subtitle D Counterterrorism, Sections 1021-1034, which cover the arrest and handling of "enemy combatants" and those who have been incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility is the following two sections both of which are disturbing in their expansive grant of power to the President and their lack of any protections for our citizens.
SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED  FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
  1. IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
  2. COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
    1. A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    2. A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
  3. DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:
    1. Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    2. Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
    3. Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
    4. Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
  4. CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
  5. AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.
  6. REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2).
SEC. 1034. AFFIRMATION OF ARMED CONFLICT WITH AL QAEDA, THE TALIBAN, AND ASSOCIATED FORCES.
Congress affirms that—
  1. the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;
  2. the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 23 1541 note);
  3. the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
    1. are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
    2. have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in sub-paragraph (A); and
  4. (4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 11 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.
You will note that there is NO exclusion of U.S. Citizens in this wording.

You will also note that it leaves to the discretion of the President to designate those "persons who--" in #3.

This omission, if indeed it was an "omission," has been the source of much consternation by civil libertarians, not all of whom have been liberals. Yes, the ACLU has objected to the bill, but so have many conservative parties.  Anyone who holds our liberties dearly must be concerned by the passage of this bill.

"Relax," we are told by those Republican's in Congress, "there is an exemption of the 'requirement' for American Citizens." In fact, the House Armed Services Committee published a "fact sheet" that highlights that language.
REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY FOR FOREIGN AL-QAEDA TERRORISTS. In cases such as the Christmas Day Bomber, where a foreign terrorist is caught in a plot to attack the United States, establishes a new requirement for military custody. This provision only applies to individuals who are part of, or substantially supporting, Al Qaeda or associated forces AND have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners. It is vital that terrorists bent on waging war against American freedom are treated according to the laws of war, not treated like simple criminals.
  • Provides a waiver for the Secretary of Defense when such a requirement is not in the national security interests of the United States.
  • Facilitates greater intelligence gathering from foreign terrorists.
  • Explicitly exempts U.S. citizens from the requirement.
The AP reported on Wednesday:
Specifically, the bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. There is an exemption for U.S. citizens.
So, you ask, what's the problem? After all, they say there is an exemption for American citizens in residence . . . problem is, that is not true.

Senator Carl Levin, in the well of the Senate stated that the section which specifically precluded applying such protections was removed from the bill "AT THE REQUEST OF THE ADMINISTRATION" (as can be seen in this video).

Under any circumstances, this would be "concerning," but in an administration whose DHS has issued bulletins identifying such "rightwing" threats as "returning veterans" and using such ambiguous terms as “antigovernment,” “hate-oriented,” “paranoid,” “dangerous,” it becomes terrifying.

In the Obama Administration's own Department of Homeland Security bulletin, one finds in this statement:
Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
Get it? American citizens are the enemy.  Not just "rightwing" extremism, but all strongly motivated political groups, be they "rightwing," or leftwing, can be classified by exactly the same language.

Should we all not be nervous when an administration which sees nothing improper about targeting one segment of our citizenry as "dangerous" and "a terrorist threat" then later explicitly requests that language protecting our citizens from arbitrary, warrantless detention by the military or civilian authorities be removed prior it's passing and being sent up to the President?

One of my favorite "go to" websites for understanding of legal documents and legislative actions, is the Volokh Conspiracy, a website frequented by legal experts, law professors, judges and those who are simply interested in legal issues. The point is that you get some very knowledgeable sources analyzing various legal issues. Of specific interest to this thread is the discussion which was begun November 30, 2011.

Defense bill will allow President to indefinitely detain American citizens
by David Kopel

The individual identified as "Steve" essays to explain why the claimed "exemption" in the bill is not exemption at all. Steve says:
The blog you linked cites section 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” The blogger thinks this is game, set and match that the issue has been overblown, but he is wrong because section 1032 actually addresses something different. The key word in that quote is the word “requirement.” In addition to giving the President the AUTHORITY to detain terrorist suspects in military custody, section 1032 says the President is REQUIRED to keep any such person who is captured in the course of hostilities in military custody. In other words, this is designed to prohibit people like the Guantanamo detainees from being transferred to civilian custody. So the quoted language simply says, if the person we’re talking about is an American citizen, the “requirement” of military custody no longer applies and it is up to the President whether to commit him to military or civilian custody.
So, there you have it, the only "protection" provided by that language is that there is no "requirement" for the military to be the sole custodians of such prisoners. Citizens in residence can still be held, they can be held by the military, or they can be transferred to civilian holding facilities.

If you have any doubts as to the arbitrariness of these laws, look at the Uyghurs who were held at Guantanamo from the time of their capture in 2002 until they were granted habeus corpus in 2008 and five of whom remain in detention today. They were fighting for their rights against China, not against American troops nor Afghan troops, yet they were designated an "associated group" and held at Guantanamo solely because they were being trained by the Taliban.

Note further that this law allows for the:
"Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force."
That, folks, is an open-ended authorization, which means that even U.S. Citizens can be held indefinitely without trial, or formal judicial hearing--no judge, no habeus corpus.

A U.S. citizen who donates to a charitable organization  which later becomes radicalized and is identified by the President as one of those covered organizations, could subsequently be identified as having given "substantial aid" to a terrorist organization and zipped off to prison with no recourse. Or perhaps a blogger (a subject near and dear to my heart) who dares to criticize our government and perhaps in the course of doing so praises some "suspect organization" is suddenly declared as having given "substantial support" to a "terrorist organization" and could suddenly find himself imprisoned, without recourse of counsel or even knowing why he has been arrested.

It is a slippery slope down which our members of Congress have led us.

It is one thing to have a President, like FDR or Bush arbitrarily pull a Korematsu, Ex Parte Quirin, or a Padilla and be willing to brave the rebuke of the Supreme Court, but it is an entirely different matter for Congress to put its imprimatur on such actions. Does this not add weight to any subsequent government's argument justifying its actions?

Admittedly, I am talking worst case scenario, but isn't that precisely what our Founding Fathers sought to warn us against?  As Benjamin Franklin admonished us:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither."
Our nation prides itself on elevating individual liberty and freedom above the interests of the state. We stand as a "shining city on the hill," a beacon of freedom in a world of nations which, historically, have proven themselves hesitant to allow their citizens the rights which we Americans have enjoyed since our nation's inception.

We revel in the fact that our citizens enjoy "unalienable" rights, rights which, not only cannot be taken from them, but which are so inherent to their being that they cannot even be surrendered voluntarily (see "inalienable" vs. "unalienable").

Now, as with many of the limitations on the power of our government our Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution and that have now been ignored or exceeded, the protections they saw fit to include in the Bill of Rights, those specific proscriptions aimed at further limiting its power, are being eroded.

Ill considered Supreme Court decisions such as "Kelo" stand as clear evidence of the assault by government on our liberties. Our rights and privileges are threatened by men and women who no longer understand or believe in those "self-evident truths" which were so readily apparent to those who built our great nation.

We are being governed by men and women who are not grounded in the works of Burke and Smith and who have not read the writings of Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Paine and Adams; people who have never read de Toquevilles "Democracy in America" and as a consequence do not even understand the nation they serve.

They are vain men and women who place their priorities on the inconveniences of the moment rather than the interests of our future and the rights of our citizens. They are more concerned with going on their Christmas vacations than in protecting their constituents.

We are governed by people who hold our Constitution in contempt as an out-dated restrictive document which prevents them from doing what they "know" is best for our citizens. Our current President famously lamented that
"the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf."

Is it surprising that some of us are disturbed that a man who could say the above about our Constitution has now been granted almost unlimited powers of internment of citizens he or his administration deems to be a threat?
"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government."
-- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ron Paul, A Hypocrite Accusing Other Candidates of Hypocrisy

Will Malven
12/06/2011

Ron Paul's newest fusillade in the Iowa caucuses campaign accuses Newt Gingrich of serial hypocrisy. In some ways, he may be right. I guess it depends on how you define hypocrisy, but one thing is certain, Ron Paul is no stranger to hypocrisy himself.

Hasn't Ron Paul's entire career in Congress been characterized by hypocrisy?
  1. Ron Paul has served a total of 12 2-year terms in the House. Okay, so did you know that Ron Paul has proposed term limit legislation four times during his tenure? I guess what's good for everyone else isn't good enough for Ron Paul.

    From Meet The Press, December 23, 2007:
    MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask this. Term limits. You ran on term limits. "I think we should have term limits for our elected leaders." You've been in Congress 18 years.

    REP. PAUL: But I never ran on voluntary term limits. There's a big difference. I didn't sign a pledge for a voluntary term limit. Matter of fact, some of the best people that I worked with, who were the most principled, came in on voluntary term limits. Some of them broke their promises, and some didn't, and they were very good people. So some of the good people left. And it's true, I, I didn't run on that, Tim, you're wrong on that. I support term limits. You know, I, I, and I voted all--we had 16 votes one time on term limits, and I voted yes for them.

    MR. RUSSERT: Yeah.

    REP. PAUL: But voluntary term limits is a lot different than compulsory term limits. It's good to have a turnover, but that isn't the solution either. It's the philosophy of government that counts. It's only...

    MR. RUSSERT: But if you believe in the philosophy of term limits, why wouldn't you voluntarily...

    REP. PAUL: Well, it's, it's one of those, it's one of those things that's not on--I mean, you don't see that out I'm campaigning on that. I mean, I don't think it's--I don't think it's the solution. Philosophy is the solution. What the role of government ought to be, so if you have a turnover and the same people come in and they believe in big government, nothing good is going to come of it.
    Way to rationalize Congressman Paul!!!

    Isn't that just a little bit hypocritical, Ron?
  2. In 1987, as I have previously mentioned and linked to in the "Must Read Articles" column, Ron Paul resigned from the Republican Party. He did so with a big splash posting his resignation letter to Frank Fahrenkopf in the newspapers--his "Dear Frank Letter."

    In fact, in the 1988 Presidential election, Ron Paul ran for the presidency on--you guessed it--the Libertarian Party ticket. He received, well, it's sort of embarrassing, 0.5% of the popular vote.

    So . . . exactly why is Ron Paul, Libertarian, running in the Republican Presidential Primary? I suspect it has something to do with the results from his run as a Libertarian. I mean, principles are one thing, but access to a larger pool of voters and face time in front of the cameras is something else entirely.

    Running for the nomination of a party with which you have fundamental and irreconcilable differences . . .

    Isn't that just a little bit hypocritical, Ron?
  3. Ron Paul claims to be a fiscal conservative yet he is the king of pork-barrel spending among his peers in Congress. Mr. Paul asserts that "earmarks" (monies set aside for specific pork-barrel projects) are actually a good thing, that we need more earmarks so that the bureaucracies in Washington have less flexibility in where and how the allocate appropriated funds.

    Very well, let's take him at his word. He certainly has garnered his fair share of pork for his district . . . all in the interest of protecting tax-payer interests, I'm sure. But, if it is so honorable to earmark monies for your home district, then why is it that Mr. Paul always makes the requests in appropriations bills which are guaranteed to pass--and then votes against those bills, secure in the certain knowledge that he will get his pork?

    Why are you voting against the very appropriations that you requested?

    Why then do you parade around bragging that you have never voted for an earmark?

    Again from the December 2007 Meet The Press:
    REP. PAUL: You got it completely wrong. I've never voted for an earmark in my life.

    MR. RUSSERT: No, but you put them in the bill.

    REP. PAUL: I put it in because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back. But it doesn't cut any spending to vote against an earmark. And the Congress has the responsibility to spend the money. Why leave the money in the executive branch and let them spend the money?

    MR. RUSSERT: Well, that's like, that's like saying you voted for it before you voted against it.

    REP. PAUL: Nah! Come on, Tim. That has nothing to do with that.

    MR. RUSSERT: If, if, if you put it in the bill and get the headlight back home...

    REP. PAUL: No, I, I make the request. They're not in the bills.

    MR. RUSSERT: ...and then you, then you know it's going to pass Congress and so you, you don't refuse the money.

    REP. PAUL: Well, no, of course not. It's like taking a tax credit. If you have a tax credit, I'm against the taxes but I take all my tax credits. I want to get...

    MR. RUSSERT: But if you were true...

    REP. PAUL: ...the money back for the people.

    MR. RUSSERT: If you were true to your philosophy, you would say no pork spending in my district.

    REP. PAUL: No, no, that's not it. They steal our money, that's like saying that people shouldn't take Social Security money.

    MR. RUSSERT: For...

    REP. PAUL: I don't advocate that.

    MR. RUSSERT: All right, let me ask you this...

    REP. PAUL: I'm trying to save the system, make the system work.

    MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask you this...

    REP. PAUL: But no, I think you have it all mixed up. Now, you're confused.

    MR. RUSSERT: All right. It's all facts.

    REP. PAUL: You're confused.

    MR. RUSSERT: This is The Wall Street Journal. You load up the bills with special projects...

    REP. PAUL: I--no, no, no. No, you don't.

    MR. RUSSERT: You do. You do. You deny that you have, you have...

    REP. PAUL: How many of them ever got passed? But the whole point is, we have a right and an...

    MR. RUSSERT: They pass. You vote against them, but you take the money.

    REP. PAUL: You don't quite understand.

    MR. RUSSERT: OK.

    REP. PAUL: They take our money from us, and the Congress has the authority to appropriate, not the executive branch. And I'm saying that I represent my people. They have a request, it's like taking a tax credit, and I put it in--the whole process is corrupt so that I vote against everything.

    MR. RUSSERT: All right, let me ask you this. But if...

    REP. PAUL:
    I vote against it, so I don't endorse the system.

    MR. RUSSERT: But when it passes overwhelmingly, you take the money back home.

    REP. PAUL: I don't take it. That's the system.

    MR. RUSSERT: The system.

    REP. PAUL:
    I'm trying to change that system. To turn it around and say I'm supporting this system, I find it...

    MR. RUSSERT: Well. Well...

    REP. PAUL: ...rather ironic and entertaining.

    MR. RUSSERT: Well, when you stop taking earmarks or putting earmarks in the, in the spending bills, then I think you'll be consistent.
    After all, we need earmarks, according to you, Mr. Paul. Earmarks are a good thing, according to you, Mr. Paul. So why are you bragging about never having voted for one?

    Isn't that a little bit hypocritical, Mr. Paul?
  4. Mr. Paul makes much of being a "strict constitutionalist." He brags about his fidelity to the Constitution and attacks those who do not follow his lead.

    So, Mr. Paul, exactly where in the Constitution can earmarks be found? I guess my copy of the Constitution must be faulty, because no where in it can I find any reference either to pork barrel spending, or to earmarks. Doesn't the Constitution grant the Executive Branch discretion in exactly where and how it spends the "Appropriations made by law" by Congress? After all, it is the "Executive" authority. Isn't that among the varied duties of the various departments in the Executive Branch? Shouldn't that responsibility fall within the purview of the Cabinet Secretaries?

    Claiming strict fidelity to the Constitution . . .

    Isn't that a little bit hypocritical, Ron?
  5. Just one more. Did you know that Mr. Gold Standard, has much of his personal wealth--somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 Million (nice neighborhood, Ron)--invested in gold mining stocks?


    Let's see, a member of Congress who is heavily invested in gold mining stocks and in gold advocating for a return to the gold standard. I'm not sure, but doesn't that qualify as a conflict of interests?

    Mr. Paul likes to talk about the corruption of some of his fellow members of Congress . . . about "insider trading" . . . but isn't a member of Congress campaigning for our nation to switch to a gold standard while standing to make a huge profit from the investments he's made in gold mining stocks comparable to Congressional insider trading?

    Isn't that a little bit hypocritical, Ron?
Is it not the height of hypocrisy for one to accuse another of hypocrisy when that one is guilty of the same?

Isn't that a little bit hypocritical, Ron?

Long Live Our American Republic!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why Newt's Immigration Policy Makes Good Sense

Will Malven
12/03/2011

Newt Gingrich stirred up quite a hornet's nest when he made his suggestions on how America should deal with the question of illegal aliens.

Included in his plans was the selective, case by case review of long-term resident illegal aliens with an eye towards granting limited amnesty--not citizenship--to those illegals who have:
  1. Broken no other laws than their initial transgression of entering the country illegally.
  2. Established solid roots within their community.
  3. Worked hard and not been a burden on the tax-payers of our nation
  4. Paid their taxes.
The level of horror with which this was met by some of his fellow candidates was both amusing and offensive. Offensive, because it entailed a dishonest and distorted interpretation of what Newt had said. Amusing, because it demonstrated just how shallow the other candidates are--with the exception of Rick Perry who has probably spent as much time as Newt on this concern.

None of the other candidates has devised an achievable, rational solution to our illegal immigrations problem. They are uniformly given to feel good bromides which usually include some form of "amnesty," or the unreal and unachievable "throw them all out of the country" temper tantrum.

The mass expulsion of illegals from our nation is simply not feasible.
  1. It will never pass through any Congress
  2. It would be a public relations nightmare for the party that enacted it.
  3. It flies in the face of the "pro-family" assertion that all Republicans make of their party and themselves.
  4. It would cause untold damage to those industries which rely on the largely illegal migrant work force.
  5. It is not a reasoned, well thought out, rational approach--which is what America needs.
These people live here in such great numbers for a reason. They have been intentionally ignored and their presence tacitly approved of for decades. How can you blame a person for taking advantage of a system which outwardly bemoans the presence of illegal aliens, while privately availing itself of their cheap labor and their impact on the market and the revenues that sales taxes and property taxes (paid indirectly through rent) bring in?

America has ignored it's immigration laws for decades while this problem has grown and grown. No matter how much we citizens who observed this problem with growing alarm complained and demanded enforcement and a solution, we and the problem have been studiously ignored by our government.

So now America is faced with a huge problem. Officially, the number of illegal aliens the government admits to is around 11-12 million, but in actuality, that number is probably closer to 20 million. A great many of those 20 million, perhaps one-quarter to one-third have resided her for over a decade.

They have raised children, joined churches established long term residences, built friendships and work relations with their neighbors and become part of the community. They have abided by our laws and are just as eager to be secure in their homes as any citizen. They have become a significant contributing part of our communities.

It would be both cruel and self-defeating for us to simply uproot all of these people from their homes and transport them back across the border to a country which because of their long time residence here would be alien to them. They have become, whether we like it or not and whether they intended it to be so or not, an essential part of our population and culture.

Many of these people still live in a "cash and carry" economy. Wouldn't it be better to bring them in out of the cold and get them paying taxes?

Why is it that rapists, bank robbers, and every other criminal barring murderers, have a statute of limitations on the crime of which they may be guilty, but coming to America illegally does not?

If a bank robber escapes detection for a sufficiently long time, then charges cannot be filed against him even should his identity become known. This is true even if he has been living off his ill-gotten gains for the entire time and retains a large sum of money from his original crime.

Yet in an analogous situation, an illegal alien who has live here for a decade or more--undetected and for that matter unsought--has established solid roots in this society, paid his taxes, broken no further laws since his first transgression (which occurred with at least the tacit approval of the government that has steadfastly refused to enforce the laws) is subject to immediate imprisonment and expulsion for something he did long ago.

Newt Gingrich's solution is not only "compassionate" for the long term resident and his family, but it is rational and just--if we are to judge by the way we treat more violent and serious crimes.

The "red card" solution is not "amnesty," it is not permission for permanent residence, it is not a path to citizenship, it is a temporary work permit attached to a specific job. Once that job is over, the holder must re-initiate the procedure for obtaining a card and must have already been hired for another specific job.

First secure the border. Every candidate in the Republican field--with the exception of Ron Paul--has made that their first priority, including Newt. Once that has been accomplished, then the solution to how we deal with those already in-country can be dealt with rationally and methodically.

The solution Newt has suggested is rational, and achievable. Unlike those who might suggest the immediate expulsion of all illegals, Newt's plan actually has a reasonable chance of becoming law.

Simplistic, poorly thought out solutions may be emotionally satisfying, but rarely can they be accomplished or enacted into law. They are cheap feel good slogans and nothing more.

While it is true that some states have managed to pass laws that, by their effects, have driven large numbers of illegals out of the state, it is very unlikely that such laws will be passed in a sufficiently large number of states to drive even a significant portion of illegals out of our nation.

It seems that Newt's solution offers one very realizable alternative. Limited, selective "amnesty" for those long term residents who meet certain requirements, combined with a new bracero program--as set out in the Krieble Foundations "red-card" proposal may simply be the best solution to the problem.

One thing Newt has been ver clear about and very insistent upon is that we pass a law establishing American English as our official language. Nothing will do more to force the integration of these people into our society.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

Tired of the "He Can't Possibly Win" refrain from the "Insiders."

Will Malven
12/02/2011

Well it's time for the "Washington insiders" to tell us how nobody but Mitt Romney can possibly win and how, absolutely, Newt would be unthinkable.  Here is their sage advice from straight from the horse's mouth in the National Journal--Hotline On Call:
Insiders Not Sold on Gingrich

December 2, 2011 | 10:07 AM

The Gingrich Moment has yet to catch on with National Journal's Political Insiders. Despite former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's surge in the Republican presidential nomination contest, overwhelming majorities of both Democratic and Republican Insiders still say former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has the better shot at beating President Obama in 2012.

For some of the Insiders, Romney's well-oiled campaign and potential for moderate appeal gave him the edge.

"He almost beat a liberal icon in a blue state and went on to win the governor's race," said one Democratic Insider. "He is a very strong general-election candidate."

"Mitt Romney is better positioned to speak to independent voters," said another Democrat, "including key voting blocs like swing unmarried women." A Republican strategist agreed. "Romney is more acceptable to moderate voters, especially female voters."

Oh my!  What a quandary!  Whatever shall we do?

These "insiders," we are told are all knowing and all wise when it comes to politics.  We simple souls have no clue as to how wise they are and we ignore their advice at our own risk.

Well . . . let's see what history says of the accuracy of the recommendations of these "insiders."
  •  In 1976, we all wanted Ronald Reagan, but in their infinite wisdom, the "insiders"--being all knowing and all wise said "No! It must be Gerald Ford!"

        --Jimmy Carter was elected President.

  •  In 1980, we again wanted Ronald Reagan and they wanted GHW Bush, because Ronald Reagan "can't possibly win."  We ignored their advice and chose Ronald Reagan in spite of their advice. 

        --Reagan won by one of the largest landslide victories in history.

  • In 1988, GHW Bush finally got his chance, because everyone believed he would be a 3rd Reagan term.  We went from "No new taxes," to tax and spend ala Democrat.  Nice guy though Bush 41 was, as soon as the electorate got a chance to replace him, they did.

        --In 1992 we got Bill Clinton.

  • In 1996, running against a severely damaged President Clinton, these oh so wise "insiders" gave us Bob Dole, because "it's his turn." 

        --We got hammered (by that severely damaged and vulnerable Bill Clinton).

  • In 2000, they wanted McCain, but we wanted GW Bush.  We didn't take their sage advice and "Who knew?"

        --George W. Bush defeated the incumbent Vice-president Al Gore.

  • In 2008, the "insiders" wanted McCain again and this time, we foolishly acquiesced and they finally got him.

        --We got Barack Hussein Obama, a man who had to be the easiest target in history.
Democrats ran a man with no record of achievement, no experience, no understanding of our nation or our culture; nothing but a pretty face and a seductive but empty rapp--and the wisdom of these "insiders" couldn't even select a candidate to beat him.

Now, here we are again.  The "insiders" are once again telling us who we should select to carry the Republican banner against this Clown Prince Narcissist in Chief.

Do Republican voters really want to listen to what these "insiders" are telling us??? They might be right--after all, they are "insiders," but their record of accuracy (or should I say "inaccuracy") leaves a lot to be desired.

I recommend that we ignore the advise of these "insiders" like the plague.  They don't have a clue.

A man of principle, who runs as an unapologetic conservative and who can articulate what conservatism stands for and why it is preferable to the liberalism Democrats offer, will win hands down. 

A compromiser and "moderate" who makes insiders "feel comfortable," has little to offer different from what the liberal Democrats offer.

You want to lose, follow the "sage" advice of these "insiders" and pick Mitt.  You want to win, go with Newt, or Perry, or Bachmann.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!