Friday, July 3, 2015

Why Believe? A Quickie Rumination

     Among other things, July 3 is the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle, he who at first doubted the Resurrection of Jesus:

     But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
     The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
     And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them, then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood ion their midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
     Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.
     And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
     Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
     [The Gospel According To John, 20:24-29]

     As with the rest of the events narrated in the Gospels, there is no secular account of this encounter between Thomas and the risen Christ. Of course, it’s told to have happened in a closed, locked room. However, the reader should be mindful that all history of that time and place arises from religious scribes...and those of the non-Christian variety were biased against Christ and His New Covenant, just as the Gospelers were biased toward it.

     But that’s not all. Thomas, he who had to experience the Resurrected Christ personally to believe, was martyred for his faith:

     That Saint Thomas, after the dispersion of the Apostles, went to India, where he labored and died at Meliapour, is a certain fact of history. The Roman Breviary states that he preached in Ethiopia and Abyssinia, as well as in Persia and Media. Surely his was a remarkable history, reserved for the inhabitants of Christ's glory to see in its fullness some day.

     Before he died in Meliapour, he erected a very large cross and predicted to the people that when the sea would advance to the very foot of that cross, God would send them, from a far-distant land, white men who would preach to them the same doctrine he had taught them. This prophecy was verified when the Portuguese arrived in the region, and found that the ocean had advanced so far as to be truly at the foot of the cross. At the foot of this cross was a rock where Saint Thomas, while praying fervently, suffered his martyrdom by a blow from the lance of a pagan priest. This happened, according to the Roman Breviary, at Calamine, which is in fact Meliapour, for in the language of the people the word Calurmine means on the rock (mina). The name was given the site in memory of the Apostle's martyrdom.

     I’d say Thomas’s doubts were more than adequately dispelled, wouldn’t you?

     May God bless and keep you all...and all those who suffer martyrdom for their faith in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and Redeemer of Mankind.

A Day Between Storms

     Independence Day weekend is just ahead! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Fire up the old barbecue grill! Let’s have a hot dog or two in commemoration of our glorious history!

     Uh, no, sorry. Actually, Independence Day was yesterday, July 2. The Continental Congress voted unanimously for independence from Britain on July 2, 1776. Approval of the draft of the written Declaration of Independence – which, incidentally, does not contain the words “declaration of independence” – took place on July 4.

     Imagine the thoughts that percolated through the minds of the Congressmen after that vote. They had unanimously agreed to revolt against the strongest military power in Europe. Their names were known to all and sundry, and would not escape the notice of the British authorities. Those who had seen the draft of the Declaration knew how radical and uncompromising it was. The aftermath would surely ratify the fears of many of those whose names would appear on that world-shaking sheet of parchment.

     Thus, July 3, 1776 was a day between momentous events: a day for the Congressmen to reflect on what they had done, and on the storm that would surely follow.

     We stand at exactly such a pass today.

     In November 2008, American voters raised a glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity – a man reared by Communists to be a Communist; a man with no substantive accomplishments to his credit; a man whose rise to federal office was based on his skin color and the backing of the incredibly corrupt and vicious Illinois Democratic Party – to the presidency. Given the tens of thousands of well-documented cases of vote fraud from the November 2012 election, whether that mediocrity truly won re-election is open to question. The two midterm elections of 2010 and 2014 make the answer more probably no than yes.

     Our day between the storms has lasted for six years and more. Have we reflected? Have we come to understand what we did and how it has cost us? Who among us who voted for that glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity regrets his decision today? Indeed, who of that number fails yet to grasp the price we will be required to pay to undo all the damage he has done?

     I’m not of the “we’re doomed” school of thought. I still harbor hope for these United States, though the most promising course forward seems no longer to be that of a politically unitary nation. But all hope of any shape is premised on the reflection and repentance of those who committed the original sin: they who allowed a Marxist Government Uber Alles type to occupy the highest office in the land. This is no longer a nation where a 10% rebellion can throw off a Potsdam tyrant.

     It might not take all of us...but it will take more than 10%.

     “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” – George Orwell, 1984

     The conscious adherents of liberalism progressivism the all-encompassing State have characterized themselves as many things, including “tolerant,” “compassionate,” and “reality-based.” The facts do not support those bits of self-praise; indeed, they never have and never will. But facts cannot be made to sway those who have elected to subscribe to a totalitarian ideology. They want absolute, unbounded power over you. They might say it’s “for your own good.” They might chant (along with the glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity) that “we’re all in this together.” They might harbor all sorts of unadmitted motives – motives they daren’t admit even to themselves – but their object is power, and no other end will be permitted to obstruct it.

     Erick Erickson told us that two years ago:

     The left will allow no fence sitting. You may not believe me. You may think me hyperbolic. But the history of the world shows this. Events ultimately come to a head. They boil to their essence. And at that point you must choose....

     The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care.

     You will be compelled to accept the Left’s dictates.
     You will be made to mouth the Left’s slogans.
     Should you dare to dissent even with words alone, you will be made to suffer.

     For the object of power is power...and there is only one way to ensure that you obey the will of those in power:

     “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?”
     Winston thought. “By making him suffer,” he said.
     “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?” Ibid.

     I hardly need to ask O’Brien’s question of any regular Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch. What about the rest of America – that is, the rest of innocent America? Do they begin to see? If not, what will it take to remove the scales from their eyes? How much longer will it be before they repent having elected a glamorous, openly Marxist mediocrity on the supposition that “a black president would be good for the country” – ?

     There is a possibility – and I no longer believe it to be a small one – that Barack Hussein Obama will attempt to prolong his time in the White House beyond its Constitutional limit. There’s a movement in progress to repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment for exactly that reason. It’s unlikely to pass; too many people are already disgusted by career officeholders and an eternal, unchanging “government class.” But something worse could eventuate...and the foundation has already been laid for it, under the paradigm of “national emergency.”

     Do I hear the chorus chanting “It can’t happen here” – ? Are the usual naysayers, pooh-poohers, and well-compensated acolytes of the status quo laughing the idea aside? Does anyone else remember Franklin D. Roosevelt running for and winning four terms as president on the grounds of “national emergency” – World War II, wasn’t it? – and claiming that it was “good for the country?”

     Don’t kid yourself. Obama might do the same, or worse. Besides, he’s ignored the first ten Amendments; why assume that he’ll respect the Twenty-Second, especially with a compliant Supreme Court and an opposition that’s behaved so spinelessly to this point? Are you quite sure that, were a national election to be held today, he wouldn’t get a third term – one way or another?

     Don’t leave all the weight on the shoulders of us few vocal ones, Gentle Reader. Ponder what you should do. Ponder how and where you should raise your voice, and to whom. Ponder what you’re willing to say...what you should be ready to say. Above all, ponder what preparations you should make for the possibilities we can all foresee.

     That’s what a day between storms is for, isn’t it?

Attention to the basics.

The evils of capitalism do not prove socialism to be good . . . .[1]
That's just simple logic. If you're unhappy with your wife, that luscious babe at the gym is not necessarily a solution to that problem. As one astute fellow observed, no matter how fantastic some woman may look on the street, there's bound to be some other guy somewhere who's got to put up with her b******t.

Consider that a metaphor for how socialism works out in practice even though the write-up is great.

Ok. . . .

We have to be wary of the modern use of the term "capitalism," of course. What passes for "capitalism" now is a bastardized version of its former self with heavy regulation of business, the Marxist goal of progressive taxation deeply embedded in our economic life, heavy taxation, wage regulation stupidity, and even hostility to enterprise.

Mr. Neal correctly points out that we have, in short, a "corporate-backed synthesis of capitalism and socialism" and that it is "the dominant power in the world." And it isn't capitalism.

CONSEQUENTLY, if aspects of modern American life distress you, Pilgrim, is your hostility something that should be directed at "capitalism," or is it massive state intervention that is interfering with your life?

We're here to help.
Genuine capitalists don't go around obsessing about what new way they can find to require you to live in the "proper," correct, government-approved way. They obsess about finding new ways to create or deliver products and services to you at prices that are lower than those of other such people who are also investing their scare resource and taking substantial risks to do the same thing. Tomorrow morning, at 0300 hrs. in Haver, Montana, or Culpepper, Virginia, some convenience store clerks will be stocking shelves or sitting around in the off chance you will come into that store because you need gas or a chili dog.

Who then, may I suggest you ask, are these interfering pricks who think they know (1) how you should live your life and (2) how your hard-earned money should be spent? What exactly are they doing to make your life easier? We can be thankful for how beautiful, educated, and compassionate they are. Of course. But other than that signal contribution to your life, what exactly do they do that improves it?

[1] "The Canadian Jeremiad On Its Golden Jubilee." By Gerry T. Neal, Throne, Alter, Liberty, 7/1/15.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Told-You-So Edition

     You can get away with anything as long as you say you’re doing it for somebody else. -- Robert Gore

     It’s always gratifying to be agreed with, even if the substance is something...disagreeable.

     I’ve been screaming – figuratively, of course – about power being the highest – indeed, the only – priority of politicians and aspirants for so long that I can no longer remember when I started. It’s baffled me that something so obvious should have confounded so many for so long. But then, George Washington baffled his contemporaries by refusing the crown of America, and again by declining to accept a third term as president.

     For a while, back then, it seemed to many as if the new Republic had succeeded in creating something new twice over: first, a government founded on popular sovereignty and delegated authority; second, a political class that genuinely agreed on the pernicious nature of power and did not want it for its own sake. But as we Christians have been saying for quite some time, God is not mocked: the dynamic of power would eventually overwhelm the truly public-spirited among the Founders. All it takes is time...and the ascension of the Roosevelts and Woodrow Wilson proved that time enough had passed for the dynamic to triumph.

     What brings this to my mind today? So glad you asked:

  • The same people who told us 30 years ago that “marriage is just a stupid piece of paper” now insist that it’s a “human right.” -- Kathy Shaidle
  • The Battle of Mount Soledad -- Mark Pulliam
  • It's always a mistake to expect first principles from the left. In Turkey President Erdogan famously explained that democracy is a train you ride until the stop you want to get to - and then you get off. That's how the left feels about "rights". There are no principles, only accretions of power. -- Mark Steyn
  • No cookie will ever satisfy [social-justice warriors]. Our politics will only get uglier, as those who resist this agenda realize that compromise is just another word for appeasement. – Jonah Goldberg
  • 90% of the left's attempts at social control are simply attempts to outlaw behaviors they perceived as favored or engaged in by 'traditional" "conservative" "old-school" "white" etc. people. -- Zombie
  • The left does not care about social justice. It cares about power. That is why no truce is possible with the left. Not on social issues. Not on any issues. -- Daniel Greenfield

     Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for these blinding flashes of the obvious. And on we go.

     In his book For A New Liberty, the late Murray Rothbard noted that regardless of what it seizes upon as a “problem” to be “solved,” the Left always proposes the same solution: more government with more power over more areas of human life. Regardless of whether the “solution” involves banning, regulating, taxing, or otherwise decreeing, the ultimate effect is the expansion of the State and its powers, such that what’s done, if it’s allowed, is done by permission. I wasn’t the first to say it – the origin is probably classical – but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when the “problems” are infinitely variable but the “solution” is constant, the proponent wants the solution and nothing else.

     The recent foofaurauw over same-sex marriage, an idea so fatuous that only toddlers and idiots could possibly find an argument for it, provides an example. Kathy Shaidle’s observation above is the key. The point was never “marriage equality;” it’s always been the arrogation of power over marriage by the federal government. Compelling us to accept “married couples” of the same sex, who cannot produce children and routinely violate their “vows of fidelity” in the name of “polyamory,” will of course bring about the destruction of this oldest and most vital of all human institutions – which proves that “marriage equality” is totally beside the point.

     Why would power-mongers want to destroy marriage? It’s simple: the marital bond is private, even more so than the family. It’s massively resistant to intrusions by the State. It’s stood off all attempts to insert law or regulation into it. It’s even survived heavy tax penalties. But it cannot survive being reduced to a laughingstock by federal decree...and thus another bastion of wholly private life will fall.

     Learning to look beyond the present, and beyond the nearest-term consequences as well, is the key to developing a true habit of critical thought.

     True marriage is intimately linked to the Judeo-Christian moral-ethical tradition, which is itself founded on Natural Law. Christianity in particular is under the power-mongers’ crosshairs, for it constitutes a bastion against arbitrary assertions of authority:

     All genuine progress results from finding new facts. No law can be passed to make an acre yield 300 bushels. God has already established the laws. It is for us to discover them, and to learn the facts by which we can obey them. – Wheeler McMillen
     I asked one of the members of Parliament whether a majority of the House could legitimize murder. He said no. I asked him whether it could sanctify robbery. He thought not. But I could not make him see that if murder and robbery are intrinsically wrong, and not to be made right by the decisions of statesmen, then similarly all actions must be either right or wrong, apart from the authority of the law; and that if the right and wrong the law are not in harmony with this intrinsic right and wrong, the law itself is criminal. – Herbert Spencer

     Thus, it’s entirely consistent for the power-mongers to assail those religions, not out of their pretended concern for the tender feelings of atheists, but because alternate sources of moral and ethical guidance are anathema to their aims. Christianity has long been the staunchest of all barriers to the totalitarian program, which is why the great totalitarians have all hated and attempted to destroy it. Even during the era of Throne and Altar, when Church and State were supposedly allied, the Church acted as a brake upon the ambitions of the State and its rulers. The key was and is Christianity’s assertion of the Natural Law: i.e., the laws God has written directly into the natures of His creatures, especially Mankind.

     Natural Law is the First Principle, from which all other reliable principles must derive. It cannot be repealed, amended, or abridged. It simply is. It is self-enforcing, though the penalty for a violation may take years to become visible. Nothing we can imagine could pain a power-luster quite as gravely.

     Natural Law acts itself out most visibly under freedom. Consider the animals of the wild; observe how their natures manifest themselves in every action, at every moment. Thus also with Man: when we are free, we do that which conduces to human flourishing, and to the sort of society best for that purpose. Yes, there are criminals and deviants – free will is like that – but free societies have always succeeded at making them suffer for their sins. Only when the State intrudes, opposing the Natural Law with legislation, do we suffer for sins other than our own.

     I called this piece the “Told-You-So Edition” because at long last significant commentators and analysts with audiences larger than mine are beginning to get the point, and to say it where others can hear. Perhaps the message isn’t too late. Perhaps it will spread swiftly enough, and resonate with enough Americans, that we can halt our pell-mell rush toward destruction. There can be no certainty; there is only hope.

     But I’ve said that before too, haven’t I?

Avoid this man.

Prince Prospero

Prince Prospero is a white cis gender Swedish male and responsible for all suffering throughout history.

When not oppressing minorities, women or purposefully destroying the environment, he enjoys reading, writing and exploring his new home, far, far away from Sweden.

Follow the link above for yet another reason why one can only use the term "lunatic Sweden."

Seek out this man.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Racial Madness

     It would seem that we haven’t seen the last of it:

     Gangs of blacks are targeting Walmart departments stores and other outlets all across the country in targeted attacks while terrorizing shoppers and perpetrating retail theft and property damage, police say.

     The latest black mob was a planned attack on a Walmart in Macon, Georgia on Tuesday where shoppers were injured — including a disabled man in a motorized wheelchair — merchandise was destroyed and stolen, and at least one arrest was made.

     The group of about 50 blacks ransacked the Macon Walmart causing an estimated $2,000 in damage, all in an effort to “see how much damage” they could wreak.

     During the 1:45 AM attack, mobbing blacks pulled a disabled man from his wheelchair and threw him to the floor.

     A black suspect who was later arrested reportedly told a Walmart employee: “This was a planned event, and that they had planned to see how much damage they could cause.”

     Have you heard of any rampaging mobs of white teenagers trashing shopping centers or terrorizing passers-by, Gentle Reader? I haven’t.

     I have a few other questions:

  • According to The Telegraph, the mob originated at a nearby party. Who owns the location of that party?
  • Were there any adults at that gathering?
  • Why has only one suspect – an idiot who returned to the store to retrieve his dropped cell phone – been arrested?
  • Will the Bibb County authorities pursue the identities of the other rioters vigorously, that restitution may be extracted from them, or will they leave it to Walmart’s insurers to cover the destruction?
  • Apparently, the aforementioned idiot has a mother and a father, who came to collect him after his arrest:
    • Are they Christians?
    • Are they married to one another?
    • What responsibility will they take for having reared the criminal pictured below?

     I imagine that the store’s managers and other staff will have questions of their own.

     Incidents such as this are the fruits of several converging influences:

  • The destruction of the Negro family by welfarism (69% of Negro children are born out of wedlock);
  • Racialists’ incitement of resentment and entitlement syndrome among American Negroes;
  • Failure to enforce the law and to prosecute lawbreakers when race is a factor;
  • The weakening of parental authority over minor and adolescent children;
  • The loss of influence among religious authorities.

     In many ways, the last of the above factors is the most important one. Hearken to Clay Christensen in the following brief video. Trust me; it’s worth your time.

     Rose Wilder Lane made approximately the same point in The Discovery Of Freedom. It’s not the fear of arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment that safeguards life and property, but the near-to-unanimous respect for those things that Americans feel...or perhaps we should say, in light of the developments of recent years, that Americans once felt. Such respect can be acquired in only two ways:

  • By symmetry arguments and perturbation analysis, a tough intellectual journey;
  • By the inculcation of moral norms as sacred precepts.

     In a nation of approximately normal intellectual distribution, widespread respect for the sanctity of life and property depend heavily on the power of religious convictions...and sad to say, the distribution of intelligence in these United States is no better than normal.

     The Left has deliberately set out to create racial divisions. Its mouthpieces have repeatedly told American Negroes that they’re “owed,” that “Whitey” is determined to “keep them down,” that they’re not responsible for their own condition – and that their young are not responsible for their own deeds. How could we have expected any results but the ones before us? Even if all the contentions above were true, which they most assuredly are not, the resulting resentments and lack of respect for moral and social norms would have eventuated exactly as we have seen. Sowing the wind always reaps the whirlwind.

     Factor in the halving of so many Negro households, the weakening of parental authority, and the disdain for religious authority so many youth exhibit. Is it not clear that we’ve been sitting on a huge sociological bomb – a bomb that might be in the process of exploding as we watch?

     Daniel Patrick Moynihan pinned it many years ago:

     In a paper prepared for the Progressive Policy Institute, Elaine Ciulla Kamarck and William A. Galston wrote that "if the economic effects of family breakdown are clear, the psychological effects are just now coming into focus." They cite Karl Zinsmeister:
     There is a mountain of scientific evidence showing that when families disintegrate children often end up with intellectual, physical, and emotional scars that persist for life. . . We talk about the drug crisis, the education crisis, and the problems of teen pregnancy and juvenile crime. But all these ills trace back predominantly to one source: broken families.

     As for juvenile crime, they cite Douglas Smith and G. Boger Jarjoura: "Neighborhoods with larger percentages of youth (those aged 12 to 20) and areas with higher percentages of single-parent households also have higher rates of violent crime." They add: "The relationship is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and time again in the literature; poverty is far from the sole determinant of crime." But the large point is avoided. In a 1992 essay "The Expert's Story of Marriage," Barbara Dafoe Whitehead examined "the story of marriage as it is conveyed in today's high school and college textbooks." Nothing amiss in this tale.

     It goes like this: The life course is full of exciting options. The lifestyle options available to individuals seeking a fulfilling personal relationship include living a heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual single lifestyle; living in a commune; having a group marriage; being a single parent; or living together. Marriage is yet another lifestyle choice. However, before choosing marriage, individuals should weigh its costs and benefits against other lifestyle options and should consider what they want to get out of their intimate relationships. Even within marriage, different people want different things. For example, some people marry for companionship, some marry in order to have children, some marry for emotional and financial security. Though marriage can offer a rewarding path to personal growth, it is important to remember that it cannot provide a secure or permanent status. Many people will make the decision between marriage and singlehood many times throughout their life.

     Divorce represents part of the normal family life cycle. It should not be viewed as either deviant or tragic, as it has been in the past. Rather, it establishes a process for "uncoupling" and thereby serves as the foundation for individual renewal and "new beginning

     Need I say explicitly how important the loss of respect for religious authorities and precepts has been to family dissolution?

     A race war has been in progress for some time now: at least a full year. Catalogue the “knockout game” attacks of black youths on white passers-by. Chronicle the “flash mobs,” always uniformly composed of black teens and young adults. Consider outbreaks of racial violence such as we’ve seen in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. Ponder the full significance of the trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin and the hounding of Officer Darren Wilson out of his job and career for killing Michael Brown, in both cases in defense of their own lives.

     But don’t stop there. Go on to survey and comprehend the reactions of black racialists and how the media has kowtowed to them. Ponder the wholly gratuitous intrusions into these affairs of Barack Obama and Eric Holder. And try to imagine how things could possibly get better, rather than worse.

     We’re in for some dark times. Prepare accordingly.

The gutless, spineless, sell-out, left-wing Republican Party.

When the so-called “conservative” party in American politics undercuts and sabotages just about every conservative principle they are supposed (and were purportedly elected) to defend, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on.

The simple answer is that in the US today we have two revolutionary Leftist parties on the national level: one that wants to advance the Revolution quickly, and the other—led by folks like Jeb Bush—that insidiously pushes more or less the same agenda, but does it quietly, even surreptitiously, while–with a straight face—protesting that it opposes that radical agenda.

For the past thirty plus years grass roots traditional conservatives have been taken for one immense and intense “ride”—fooled, bamboozled, and tricked by unkept, in fact never intended to be kept, promises by the “loyal opposition.”

The Neoconservatives, those intellectual descendants of Leon Trotsky and his ideas of global revolution and “equality,” now dominate the leadership echelons of the GOP and control FOX News, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, the National Review. Increasingly they demand that we acknowledge that same sex marriage and open borders are here to stay and now must be fully baptized as conservative.

"These Bushes Are Poisonous." By Boyd D. Cathey, The Unz Review, 3/3/15.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The SCOTUS Goes Rogue

There will be much written about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) most recent King v. Burwell decision regarding the Orwellian named, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”  Derisively named “Obamacare” by its critics, it was aptly renamed “SCOTUS-care” by Samuel Alito who wrote a stinging dissent to the bizarre and lawless decision by the six partisan lawmakers in black robes masquerading as Supreme Court justices.  

The reason for the exact wording that the 6-3 majority deliberately chose to ignore was plainly disclosed by Jonathan Gruber in many of his arrogant lectures.  The subsidy (“free money”) was to only be available to those who "enrolled…through an Exchange established by the State..."  Some 34 states, primarily led by Republican Governors, chose not to establish State exchanges.  The left intentionally crafted the bill to incentivize states to create exchanges and punish those who didn’t.   

On January 18, 2012, Gruber, an economist who was paid millions of dollars as a consultant on the ACA, said, "What's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits."  On January 10, 2012, Gruber said, "... if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you're losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens."  It was by design and codified in the law.

As the number of illegal invaders and ignorant Americans in our country rise faster than the temperature of a swine flu patient, the cost of health care will correspondingly explode.  As Ronald Reagan is often quoted as saying, “If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.”  Only Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the other lying liberals could come up with a plan that manages to get the worst of both worlds -- subsidies creating inflation of prices and taxes to make less low-cost care available.   Not to mention, the less you earn/work, the greater your subsidy – a completely perverse incentive.

Some of the increased taxes to pay for this disaster include: “higher Medicare taxes, new annual fees on health insurance providers, fees on manufacturers and importers of brand-name pharmaceutical drugs and certain medical devices, limits on tax deductions of medical expenses, a new 40% excise tax on "Cadillac" insurance policies, and of course a 10% federal sales tax on indoor tanning services (or as Obama calls it, “the white privilege-tax”).

While it’s true it costs money to buy snake oil, and smart people usually have money, smart people don’t usually fall for the snake oil salesman’s pitch.  Stupid people, who might otherwise fall for the snake oil salesman‘s pitch, normally don’t have the disposable income for snake oil, or if they do, it’s not a lot of money; hence, the price of snake oil stays low.  But now, thanks to Obama/SCOTUS-care, the price of snake oil is about to explode, and those with money are about to fork out the money to buy it for those without. 

This is markedly different from the Georgia lottery. The lottery serves largely as a tax on the ignorant.  In the case of this government scheme, the state lures the uninformed and ignorant in to spend money they don’t have a lot of in the hopes of winning millions that they almost assuredly won’t.  The profits from this immoral but legal scam are then transferred to the children of the smart in the form of Hope Scholarships so that the cost of college tuition can continue to explode.  Easy-to-get student loans are similarly fueling runaway college costs.  The colleges know all-too-well that the parents are getting this “free” money, so they jack-up their prices accordingly.

If you thought health care or college is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.  Like the “cash for clunkers” program, Obamacare uses other people’s money to co-opt partakers into participating in the destruction of something that was actually working fine for many.  Like the lottery example above, the car dealer knows you got cash for your “clunker”, and you can bet he’ll get “his share” of that money.  The net result of cash for clunkers: a shortage of used cars for consumers that needed them and the complete destruction of those thousands of serviceable vehicles. 
The true destructive nature of Obamacare is yet to be fully realized.  Before you know it, the Supreme Court will rule two men can marry each other.  Truly, words have no meaning anymore.

This article was also appears in the 1 JUL 2015 Upson Beacon

Urbanity And Faith: A Quickie Rumination

     One of the nicest parts of being retired is the opportunity to attend Mass daily. I avail myself of it whenever I’m physically able. In so doing, I’ve learned more than I expected.

     Today is the Day of the Martyrs, on which Catholics pray for the souls of those killed for their Christian faith. The world is awash in the blood of martyrs today, and I pray most sincerely that each such shall be awarded the “martyr’s crown” of immediate and unconditional admission to eternal bliss. It makes quite a contrast to Islam’s claim that dying while on jihad will earn the jihadist admission to Paradise.

     Martyrs aren’t being slaughtered in America as far as I know, though given the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, such a day might yet come. We face a different threat: the urbanity that tempts to secularism.

     It’s the urbane, “politically correct” thing to do to express genteel derision of us unreconstructed types who, though we strive to tolerate those who disagree, refuse to accept same-sex marriage, or abortion on demand, or flagrant homosexuality, or any of a number of other modern practices that nineteen centuries of Christian thought have all ruled unacceptable. The urbane of the Left chuckle at us over white wine and Brie, we poor rubes who simply “can’t keep up with the times.” Their veneer of worldliness and sophistication is sometimes enough to seduce the weak of conscience into abandoning their faiths and the convictions that accompany them.

     A book that received less attention than it deserved, Jeremy Leven’s Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S., noted that in our times it takes far more courage to believe than to disbelieve...and a key to understanding why this is so lies in the derision of the urbane.

     Urbanity appears to promise several rewards. Some of them are material; others include admission to circles frequented by “the right people.” Still others are commercial or academic in nature. The temptations can be severe.

     By all means pray for the martyred, both those of today and those of times past, but pray also for those weak of conscience who are in danger of being seduced by contemporary urbanity. They need it too...possibly more than we know.

The Ultimate Manifesto, Part 3: The Omnipotent Executive

     Have you ever read about the curious case of Worcester v. Georgia, Gentle Reader? Virtually no one has, yet it’s among the truly seminal Supreme Court cases of the early Republic. It concerned a Christian missionary, Samuel Worcester, who had moved onto a Cherokee reservation in Georgia, and had started a newspaper there. Georgia had a state law that required non-Amerinds who wished ingress to an Amerind reservation were required first to purchase a license to do so from the state. Worcester was convicted under that law and imprisoned. The case above, for which Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the decision, established that the relationship of the Amerind tribes with the U.S. is a nation-to-nation relationship. Therefore, no state could make laws that impinge upon any Amerind tribe.

     President Andrew Jackson was unhappy with the decision. He refused to assist in the enforcement of the decision against Georgian resistance, even though by implication it asserted a federal prerogative, which would seem to mandate federal enforcement. The apocryphal saying “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” derives from that decision. (There is no record of Jackson’s ever making the neatly phrased statement attributed to him, though he was of approximately that opinion.) Georgia eventually freed Worcester, but only after he had struck a deal with the state to leave Georgia permanently, which he honored.

     It was the first significant case of the Executive refusing to accept the authority of the Judiciary. It underscored the Judiciary’s lack of an executive arm of its own, the reason for Alexander Hamilton’s characterization of the Judiciary as “the least dangerous branch” of the federal government:

     Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

     Today, Hamilton’s assumption that the power of the purse would be sufficient for Congress to ensure that the Executive would not defy it seems a bit naive.

     I’ve written on other occasions about the difference between law de jure and law de facto. In essence, the law as it genuinely affects the lives of Americans is that subset of the de jure laws – i.e., the laws passed by Congress or the state or local legislature – which is effectively enforced: the law de facto. Why, after all, would anyone care overly much about unenforced laws?

     (In point of fact, there is a reason to concern oneself about an unenforced law: it’s available to be used against those the political elite dislikes. Consider that before arbitrarily dismissing unenforced laws such as Andrew Cuomo’s “SAFE Act.” However, in practice only those laws that are actively enforced are pertinent to the private least, as long as he keeps his head down.)

     The Executive branch of the federal government comprises the presidency, all the Cabinet departments, and the entire federal bureaucracy: the “alphabet agencies,” to which Congress routinely delegates quasi-legislative power. The Cabinet, of course, includes the Departments of Justice and Treasury, which have overt enforcement arms: the FBI and the Secret Service. As Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces, the president also wields American military power, which would constitute a truly fearsome enforcement agency were it to be used within America’s borders.

     (Numerous bureaucracies have been arming their field personnel. Full auto weapons. Armor-piercing ammo. Mustn’t forget that.)

     Congress has its Sergeant-at-Arms. The Supreme Court and lesser federal courts have their bailiffs.

     Given all the above, who decides what the laws of the United States, de facto, really are?

     Worcester v. Georgia reminds us that the loose-cannon ways of the Obama Administration, while extreme, are not without precedent. Indeed, Lincoln’s assumption of dictatorial powers during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson’s peremptory imprisonment of various peace activists after the U.S. entered World War I, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s freewheeling “New Deal” capers should constitute a dramatic reminder that when the Executive decides to defy and ignore the Legislative and Judicial branches, it can do so with impunity. The other branches cannot effectively discipline a lawless Executive, at least while its myrmidons remain loyal and obedient to it.

     Consider the recent Supreme Court decision striking down EPA overreach under its specious interpretation of its powers under the Clean Air Act. The White House announced immediately that it was going forward with its environmental regulatory program – a program which threatens to raise the price of electrical power by a factor of three – even so. What can the Court do about it? For that matter, what could the Court have done, had it decided King v. Burwell differently, were the White House to instruct the IRS to continue granting ObamaCare subsidies to persons who enrolled through the federal exchange in defiance of the ruling?

     The Obama Administration is exceptional only in its brazenness, its “you can’t stop me” attitude toward Congress and the judiciary. The core problem has been with us since the ratification of the Constitution. Indeed, it might be insoluble: there will always be a single commander for any enforcement agency, and the men with the guns will be inherently disposed to do as he says, other voices notwithstanding.

     I think I’ve come to the end of the “Ultimate Manifesto” series. Hard thought indicates that “the system” as we understand it possesses inherent dependencies that can and have failed us. Specifically, it depends upon the willingness of the three branches of the federal government to respect their Constitutional bounds. When that respect dissipates, as it appears to have done, the remaining remedies lie solely in the hands of the citizenry. One of those remedies, the electoral process, has proved insufficient. The other involves a great amount of blood and destruction.

     What, then, must we do?

Quickies: A Taste Of One’s Own Posterior

     One of the reasons many persons choose one political allegiance over others is an affinity for the persons therein. In other words: If Smith, who is acquainted with both liberals and conservatives, likes and admires the conservatives substantially more than the liberals, it increases the probability that Smith will self-identify as a conservative.

     This has significant implications for trends in “political migration.” At any given time, sociological distributions will influence the net flow of persons from one political alignment to another, often rather strongly. That’s part of the reason the Left tries so hard to characterize persons on the Right as being closed-minded, puritanical, and bigoted: the truth is the exact reverse, and “liberals” who learn it first-hand are more likely to migrate from liberalism to conservatism.

     With that as a backdrop, have a gander at this brief piece:

     Via TV Newser we are learning that Fox News Channel has terminated its relationship with Bob Beckel the left-leaning, suspender-wearing, mumbling, grumbling, drug-addled co-host of The Five....

     A month after Beckel left the show the cable channel announced to viewers that Beckel had undergone major back surgery. On April 30, 2015 TV Newser reached out to Fox after learning that Beckel was being treated for addiction to prescription pain medication before and after his surgery....

     The embedded tweet below almost makes one sad. Almost.


     It’s not sad, not really. It’s illustrative. There are simply more nice people on the Right than on the Left – many more. It’s why you almost never hear of a conservative public figure migrating to the Left; the personalities on the Right are far more congenial. As a rule, we extend good will and behave courteously even toward persons who’ve drenched us in venom...something that can be fairly and accurately said about Bob Beckel.

     A quick morning snack for thought.

That which must never be acknowledged.

The Marxists are intent on rewriting or destroying history to erase any mention of human behavior prior to around 2007. Or should I say any behavior by non-whites prior to 2007. The savagery of the American Indian tribes, the savagery of Central American Indian tribes, the cannibalism throughout the New World particularly in the Caribbean and Central America, the barbarity and cannibalism throughout Africa and Australasia, all must be erased from memory. Whites were the evil oppressors who forced innocent and pure natives to do evil things. Whites are all bad and everyone else is saintly, period.
Comment by Stan D Mute on "RIP Oz 'Aborigine Elder' Bob Randall. A White Guilt Classic From THE ECONOMIST." By John Derbyshire, The Unz Review, 6/19/15.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Quickies: I Am SERIOUSLY Pissed Off By This Clown!

     I wish I could say “I can’t believe he really said that,” but we’re talking about Barack Hussein Obama here:

     Earlier this week, Harvard professor Robert Putnam did a Q&A with Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein, headlined "Have faith groups been too absent in the fight on poverty?" Here is Putnam's answer to that question:
     The obvious fact is that over the last 30 years, most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for. This is the most obvious point in the world. It’s been entirely focused on issues of homosexuality and contraception and not at all focused on issues of poverty.

     ....Putnam also recently appeared on a panel at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University discussing this very topic with columnist E.J. Dionne, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, and, yes, Barack Obama. The president himself joined in the mendacious chorus:

     “Despite great caring and concern,” [Obama] said, “when it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what's the defining issue, when you're talking in your congregations, what's the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, that this”—fighting poverty—“is often times viewed as a 'nice to have' relative to an issue like abortion.”

     Obama has been Christianity’s worst enemy, virtually since the start of his first term. He’s repeatedly turned a blind eye to the genocidal pogroms against Middle Eastern Christians and other Christian populations menaced by Islamic militancy. In every domestic case involving the religious freedom of Christians, he’s been in opposition to it. His “Affordable Care Act” hasn’t just increased the cost of medical insurance; it’s also severely increased the burdens on Catholic health care providers, especially Catholic hospitals. His administration has even persecuted orders of nuns that sought to be exempted from ObamaCare’s requirement that employers provide contraception and abortion insurance to their employees.

     But that’s only half of it. Pat Fagan and Rob Schwarzwelder have the numbers for you:

     Broadly speaking, American churches are incredibly generous to the needs of a hurting world.

     As noted by The Philanthropy Roundtable:

     “In 2009, overseas relief and development supported by American churches exceeded $13 billion, according to path-breaking calculations by the Hudson Center for Global Prosperity. (This includes not just evangelical churches but also Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations, and covers both direct missions work and donations to private relief groups.) That compares to $5 billion sent abroad by foundations in the same year, $6 billion from private and voluntary relief organizations apart from church support, and $9 billion donated internationally by corporations. The $13 billion in religious overseas philanthropy also compares impressively to the $29 billion of official development aid handed out by the federal government in 2009.”

     In 2012 alone, the evangelical relief group World Vision spent “roughly $2.8 billion annually to care for the poor,” according to World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns. “That would rank World Vision about 12th within the G-20 nations in terms of overseas development assistance.”

     But according to Obama, Christianity is all about fighting abortion, contraception, and homosexuality.

     Why do we tolerate this man? Why hasn’t he been impeached and at least compelled to stand trial before the Senate? For being an arrogant asshole, if nothing else?

The Ultimate Manifesto, Part 2: Legislative Irresponsibility

     We saw one inducement to it in Florida, in the chaos after the 2000 presidential balloting. The state legislature had made it a requirement that election returns be certified no later than seven days after the balloting. The Florida state supreme court ruled that seventeen days must be allowed...and the legislature did nothing.

     We saw an egregious case of it in the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, a darling of the odious John McCain that purported to reduce the influence of “big money” on elections. The proponents could not have failed to know that their bill was unConstitutional. For that matter, President George W. Bush, who signed it, said as much but signed it anyway. It was left to the Supreme Court to strike it down. Its legislative proponents merely shrugged and continued onward.

     We saw an eruption of it in New York State’s Orwellian “SAFE Act.” That act, as written, outlaws the use of detachable rifle or pistol magazines that hold more than seven rounds. Many supposed defenders of the right to keep and bear arms voted for that bill...realizing only afterward that it criminalizes the use of virtually every firearm owned by anyone in the state, as no magazines that small are available for most such rifles. Yet the legislature did nothing, instead allowing Andrew Cuomo to decree, by “executive order,” that the ban would not be enforced just yet.

     We saw a major explosion of it in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), as legislators openly voted to pass a bill of whose contents they were utterly ignorant. When it developed that a key provision of the Act, expressly designed to induce the states to erect “health care exchanges” by the open admission of one of its chief architects, failed to produce the desired conformity among the states, not one of the bill’s legislative proponents stepped forward to say “Yes, we meant it to operate this way.” Instead they allowed John Roberts et alii to claim telepathic powers and rule on what they “intended.”

     Congressmen and United States Senators take oaths to the Constitution, which defines their offices. State legislators take similar oaths to their states’ constitutions or charters. Then they proceed to violate those oaths, serene in the knowledge that nothing will be done to them for doing so. As icing on this distasteful cake, they routinely pass bills that delegate, de facto, lawmaking power to unelected bureaucrats: persons who can’t even be turned out of office electorally.

     Federal legislators receive salaries of $175,000 per year for their “labors.” That’s apart from their franking privileges, travel privileges, office budgets, the salaries of their staffs, and so forth, which easily total to eight figures once all the bills are paid. State legislators are remunerated less opulently -- $79,500 per year in New York, exclusive of expenses – but still well above the average salaries of their constituents. At those prices, you’d think that you have a right to hold them accountable for their performances.

     You’d be wrong.

     It is the case, apparently immune to “wave elections” or similar upheavals among Us the People, that a legislator, once elected, can reasonably expect to remain in “his position” until he chooses to retire. They’re harder to get rid of than an infestation of roaches, a species with which they share more characteristics than that one alone.

     I hardly need comment on the many documented cases of felonious behavior among legislators. Those tend to make headlines, at least in certain fora. The ones that involve sexual misconduct are especially salacious, but the ones that involve sale of access and influence have far more serious impact upon our notions of governmental integrity. After all, we can’t help but wonder: For every one we catch, how many others do we miss?

     Ferdinand Lundberg put it most memorably: is a settled conclusion among seasoned observers that, Congress apart as a separate case, the lower legislatures -- state, county, and municipal -- are Augean stables of misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance from year to year and decade to decade, and that they are preponderantly staffed by riffraff, or what the police define as "undesirables," people who if they were not in influential positions would be unceremoniously told to "keep moving." Exceptions among them are minor. Many of them, including congressmen, refuse to go before the television cameras because it is then so plainly obvious to everybody what they are. Their whole demeanor arouses instant distrust in the intelligent. They are, all too painfully, type-cast for the race track, the sideshow carnival, the back alley, the peep show, the low tavern, the bordello, the dive. Evasiveness, dissimulation, insincerity shine through their false bonhomie like beacon lights....

     As to other legislatures, Senator Estes Kefauver found representatives of the vulpine Chicago Mafia ensconced in the Illinois legislature, which has been rocked by one scandal of the standard variety after the other off and on for seventy-five years. What he didn't bring out was that the Mafians were clearly superior types to many non-Mafians.

     Public attention, indeed, usually centers on only a few lower legislatures -- Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois -- and the impression is thereby fostered in the unduly trusting that the ones they don't hear about are on the level. But such an impression is false. The ones just mentioned come into more frequent view because their jurisdictions are extremely competitive and the pickings are richer. Fierce fights over the spoils generate telltale commotion. Most of the states are quieter under strict one-party quasi-Soviet Establishment dominance, with local newspapers cut in on the gravy. Public criticism and information are held to a minimum, grousers are thrown a bone, and not many in the local populace know or really care. Even so, scandalous goings-on explode into view from time to time in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and elsewhere -- no state excepted. Any enterprising newspaper at any time could send an aggressive reporter into any one of them and come up with enough ordure to make the Founding Fathers collectively vomit up their very souls in their graves.

     [The Rich and the Super-Rich, 1968]

     Somehow I doubt that Lundberg, were he still among the living, would continue to except the United States Congress, especially considering how gaining a seat in that body seems guaranteed to make its occupant wealthy. Rare is the U.S. legislator whose net worth is less than $5 million; I cannot name one whose net worth is less than $1 million. The usual derisive dismissal is to comment that “we have the best legislators money can buy.” Whose payrolls they occupy is left to the hearer’s imagination.

     Now that the courts, both state and federal, appear willing to rewrite their laws for them, what more can we expect? Considering that they normally continue in office despite any and all departures from integrity – does anyone else remember the censure of Charlie Rangel, long a ranking member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means committee, for not paying his taxes? – what prospect is there of compelling them to walk the line?

     When irresponsibility among those with authority goes unpunished, it tends to increase. It’s certainly increased among “our elected representatives” in the decades since World War II. So has the average tenure in office of those...persons, a phenomenon for which We the People bear the odium. After all, isn’t “turning the rascals out” our responsibility?

     Of course, there is what H. L. Mencken said:

     The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government. They have only talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good only by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage and every election is a sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

     At each election we vote in a new set of politicians, insanely assuming that they are better than the set turned out. And at each election we are, as they say in Motherland, done in.

     How about it, Gentle Reader? Do you still think your vote matters? Do you still believe that “elections have consequences” – consequences of the sort you would favor? Would you still vote to return “your” Congressman or Senator to office on the grounds that “he’s better than the other guy” or that “we can’t afford to lose his seniority?”

     More anon.

Vild und crazy guys.

Always remember one thing: Merkel's Grosse Koalizion may genuflect in front of the US at every turn, but compared to the SPD they are Nigel Farage, Beppe Grillo and Marine Le Pen all rolled into one when it comes to the EU.
Comment by MauroCella on "Top German Politician Blasts Nuland & Carter: 'F##k US Imperialism'." By ZeroHedge, 6/2815.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Ultimate Manifesto, Part 1: “Judicial Restraint”

     We heard rather a lot from John Roberts, during his confirmation hearings, about the importance of judicial restraint. It’s one of the shibboleth phrases of the Right, to which obeisance is paid but seldom is more than lip service given. Just this past week, Jeb Bush, now a candidate for the Republican presidential nod, echoed the phrase when he was asked about how he would select federal judges were he elected.

     So what do these worthies think it means? Not the dictionary meaning, mind you, but the meaning its most conspicuous users put to it by their actions.

     One interpretation of the phrase is found in the judicial doctrine of stare decisis. That’s rough Latin for let the decision stand. Its black-robed users mean by it We defer to earlier decisions of this body, feeling it would be wrong to overturn them. Wrong why? Sometimes there is no reason other than stare decisis itself: the unwillingness to overrule an earlier decision, sometimes because subsequent law and government action might have been founded on it, sometimes out of an unarticulated fear that it might somehow reduce the authority of the Supreme Court.

     Viewed thus, judicial restraint protects tyranny quite as well as anything else.

     The role of the Supreme Court as stated in the Constitution seems relatively simple and straightforward:

     The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State; —between Citizens of different States, —between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

     In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. [Article III, Sections 1 and 2]

     The most important of all the authorities – note that I do not use the word “powers” here – the Supreme Court has undertaken, “judicial review” of the law for Constitutional fidelity, is conspicuously absent from that list. It was arrogated to the Court by Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, and has never been seriously challenged.

     Let’s stipulate for the purposes of this tirade that “judicial review” is an authority somehow implied to the Supreme Court by the Constitutional phraseology. Inasmuch as judges routinely claim the authority to proclaim the law – anyone who’s ever sat on a jury has heard a judge say to that jury that “I am judge of the law; you are judges of the facts” – it’s as well established de facto as any other authority ever claimed by a court. Is it even conceivable that “judicial review” includes the authority to rule against the text of a law on the basis of the Court’s notions about what its drafters and those who voted on it intended?

     The most extreme extension of the notion of “deference to legislative authority” could not possibly embrace this assertion of judicial telepathy. Yet that was the foundation for John Roberts’s execrable majority opinion in King v. Burwell, his most recent rescue of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare:

     It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner. See National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U. S. ___, ___ (2012) (SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., dissenting) (slip op., at 60) (“Without the federal subsidies . . . the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all.”). Congress made the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements applicable in every State in the Nation. But those requirements only work when combined with the coverage requirement and the tax credits. So it stands to reason that Congress meant for those provisions to apply in every State as well. [From the majority decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts ]

     This, then, must be taken as consistent with John Roberts’s conception of “judicial restraint.” In his masterpiece The Vision of the Anointed, the great Thomas Sowell wrote:

     Those who argue for this view of the judge’s role – for “judicial restraint” – often say that judges should follow the “original intent” of laws in general and the Constitution in particular. Yet ironically, this very phrase has been seized upon by opponents and given meanings far removed from that of those who use it. Professor Ronald Dworkin, for example, argues against original intent on grounds that “mental events” in the minds of legislators or writers of the Constitution are difficult or impossible to discern. But of course, nobody voted on what was in the back of somebody else’s mind. What was enacted into law were the meanings of those words to others – in short, the public meaning of words. As Justice Holmes put it, the relevant question was “not what this man meant, but what those words would mean in the mouth of a normal speaker of English, using them in the circumstances in which they were used.” Those who have urged judicial restraint have been very explicit that they did not mean to delve into the psyches of lawmakers, but to begin with the public meanings of the words the lawmakers used, as of the time they used them....

     Far more is involved here than a mere misunderstanding. Power is at the heart of the dispute. Although New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis wrote of the Constitution’s “expansive phrases that would be given contemporary meaning by each generation,” generations do not vote on the constitutionality of laws. Judges do. Thus the current generation’s decisions are not replacing those of a previous generation; judges’ decisions are replacing those of the current generation by imposing their own revision of what a past generation has said. The replacement of historical meanings by “contemporary meanings” is a major transfer of power to judges, not only from other branches of government, but from the people. It is an erosion of self-government and an imposition of the social vision of judges in its place.

     When I wrote just yesterday that law and the rule of law no longer exist, this is exactly what I meant. Today, black can mean white if five “Justices” of the Supreme Court decree it to be so...and no one can do a damned thing about it.

     There is no longer law; there is only the will and whim of those in power...and they have made it their top priority to own the courts, from the lowest to the highest. What, then, of the citizen’s supposed duty to obey the law? Upon what is it founded?

     More anon.