Category Archives: energy

Warning: U Turn or Crash

U-Turn to right permitted

U-Turn to right permitted

For a very short time in the history of the world, America was an oasis of liberty in a global desert of humanistic oppression. That era is rapidly coming to an end. Furthermore, it appears more evident each day that we may have passed the point of no return. No matter what decisions our leaders make in the next few months, we cannot defy the laws of economics and math. Eventually, we will end up in financial bankruptcy and social chaos. At that point, based on the lessons of history and the law of cause and effect, order can only be restored to the chaos by draconian government intervention.

When that happens, we will have lost all hope of ever returning to a constitutional republic. America will lose its place as the “leader of the Free World”. We will no longer be the “policeman of the world” helping to maintain world order. The disorder and confusion we now see in the Middle East and Europe will continue to spread until chaos extends throughout the world, requiring the same solution, draconian government intervention. Conditions will then be ripe for establishing the long sought after goal of humanists, socialists, communists and other left wing groups, for a one-world government; the “New World Order” spoken of by George H.W. Bush many years ago.

Many of my readers are probably thinking to themselves, “The old man has finally lost it”. In 2008 when I first began to write about the dangers of an Obama Presidency, the most common response from my friends was, “that could never happen here, the American people would never stand for it.” I was also chided by my friends when I labeled Barack Obama as a socialist when he first appeared on the political scene. For some reason, I do not hear those criticisms so much today. Anyway, before you click off this page, let me assure you these thoughts are not original with me. They are gleaned from political philosophers, news accounts of current events, and the writings of commentators on political and religious history. For example, the modern progressive goal of a one world government dates back to the utopian thinkers of the twentieth century as a means for ending war, curing world hunger and furthering the socialist idea of “social justice”.

A number of groups have long sought to bring global trade, finance, transnational businesses and natural resources, under international control. The vehicle through which they hope to exercise control is the United Nations. The most active of these groups are the American Humanist Association and the Unitarian Universalists Association; both recognized United Nations NGOs with consultative status on a number of UN committees. The ultimate goal is a secular federated world government as stated in the 1973 doctrinal statement of the American Humanist Association.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

If we understand this, we are closer to understanding those who work for open borders, amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, not to mention such UN programs as Agenda 21 and the Kyoto Protocol. It also helps to explain the thinking of those who advocate the power to tax for the UN. Our national sovereignty is being attacked and slowly chipped away by the UN, issue by issue, and with the full support of too many in Washington; much in the same manner as the federal government has worked for years to destroy the sovereignty of the states.

America is on the verge of social and economic collapse. Once that happens, it will be a simple thing to surrender our sovereignty to the “democratic” protection of a world government. A large segment of our population — perhaps even a majority — have already been conditioned to accept it, through amoral secular education and the alluring promises of humanistic socialism. Any reform or reversal of our current trend must take place before we reach that point. Once we allow a societal collapse, through apathy or avarice, there will be no hope of returning to the America past generations sacrificed so much to build and preserve. As we prepare for the struggles ahead, it would be well to remember that our battles are not only fiscal and political; they are spiritual as well; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12.

This nation was founded by the Providence of God and it can only be salvaged by the Providence of God. Our government must return to our plainly written founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our churches must return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures if we are to see true reformation. A Biblical passage that has been quoted so frequently lately, that it has almost become a cliché, is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Cliché or not, it is a promise from God that America cannot afford to ignore.

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The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for America

By Corliss Lamont

In this segment Mr. Lamont presents a hypothetical plan for the establishment of a central planning system for the entire nation. While this was written in 1939 and obviously did not materialize as he planned, the Lamont plan is only one of many that have been produced, over the years, by different socialist organizations like the Socialist Party USA, The Communist Party USA, The Democratic Socialist of America, and others. None of these plans have been realized in their entirety. The ones coming closest are Education and now Health Care. Tentative steps toward banking and manufacturing control were made with TARP and the GM bailout. You will notice, however, that the vast bureaucratic shadow government that manages our economy has many of the same characteristics as those foreseen by Lamont.

If Barack Obama is reelected to another four-year term, there is no doubt he will keep moving the nation in a direction similar to that advocated by Lamont.  The process of transitioning from capitalism to socialism will not be as smooth or as peaceful as that pictured by Lamont but in the end will be just as thorough, unless the trend is reversed by the American people. The hypothetical election date of 1952 chosen by Lamont could very well turn out to be 2012, with the first four-year plan ready to go into operation by 2016 or 2020. The two assumptions mentioned by Lamont, Congress and the Supreme Court do not look nearly as farfetched today as they did a few years ago. Think about that as you read the article.

Socialist Planning for America
To make the picture of Socialist planning more concrete, let us visualize how it would work out in a definite country. And let us take as an example our own U. S. A. Suppose that in the elections of 1952 or sometime thereafter the American people elect a President and a substantial majority in Congress [2008] pledged to establish Socialist planning throughout the country. Let us assume, furthermore, that the Supreme Court declares the legislative measures of the planning Party constitutional [Obamacare] or that they are promptly made so through amendment of the Constitution at [FOAVC] special state conventions. Leaving aside for the moment a discussion of the necessary transitional steps and without pretending to any finality, let us see what the pattern of American Socialist planning would in general be like.

Apart from the political field, the key organization in the American planning system, as in any other, would be the National Planning Commission, with headquarters at Washington, D. C. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, chooses the eighteen members of the Executive Council of this Commission, including its Chairman, who sits as a member of the Government Cabinet. The appointments are non-political and are made from among experts especially qualified by wisdom and experience to deal with broad social and economic problems. The Commissioners are to regard themselves as trustees of the public interest. They will each receive salaries of $15,000 a year, except the Chairman, who will draw $20,000. [in 1939 dollars]

Each of the Commissioners heads one of the eighteen different Divisions into which the Commission is organized. These Divisions, together with some of their more prominent Sections, are as follows:

Heavy Industry,
Steel
Machinery
Housing
Timber, Etc.
Light Industry
Clothing
Footwear
Furniture
Motor Vehicles
Finance
Banking and Currency
Capital Investment
The Budget
Taxation
Transportation
Railroads
Motor Transport
Air Transport
Shipping (Domestic)
Communications
Telephone
Telegraph
Radio [TV, Internet]
Post Office
Distribution
Retail Trade
Storage
Co-operatives
Consumers’ Needs
Social Welfare
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Public Health
Recreation
Education
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Technical Institutes
Colleges and Universities
Culture
The Arts
Motion Pictures
Science and Invention
The Press
Fuel and Power
Coal
Oil
Electricity
Gas [add bio, solar, nuclear, wind, etc.]
Agriculture
Cotton
Wheat
Dairy
Livestock
Conservation & Reclamation
Forests
Soil
Sub-soil Deposits
Flood Control
Foreign Trade
Exports
Imports
Merchant Marine
Foreign Exchange
Defense
Army
Navy
Air Force
Munitions
Labor
Wages and Hours
Workers’ Safety
Employment Exchange
Women Workers
Statistics & Research
Industrial
Agricultural
Population
Social Trends
Organization
Education of Planning Experts
Personnel
Coordination
Inter-Divisional Problems
Public Relations

The functions of all but the last two of the Divisions are clear enough from their names. The Organization Division has charge of managing and selecting the personnel of the Commission, which employs as trained statisticians or technical experts at least a thousand persons, as well as thousands of ordinary clerical workers. Appointment to a responsible position on the Planning Commission or the numerous subordinate commissions throughout the country is on a civil service basis. Only men and women who have fulfilled certain definite requirements are eligible for appointment. And one of the chief tasks of the Organization Division is to ensure the proper training of planning experts in a special Government institution or in already existing colleges and universities, which will establish special courses or graduate work for those who are aiming to enter the profession of planning.

The Co-ordination Division, the head of which is always the Chairman of the entire Commission, has the crucial task of constructing and synthesizing the final National Plan from the figures and projects submitted by the other Divisions and by the various sub-commissions throughout the country. It also oversees the relations between the National Commission and the Government, and through its Public Relations Section takes care of all publicity work for the Commission.

The Plans drawn up by the National Planning Commission and its subordinate commissions, while tremendously important and influential, are by no means final. Bills embodying the National Plans must be passed by Congress and signed by the President. They are subject to debate, criticism, and amendment like all other measures brought before the Senate and the House of Representatives*. Since, moreover, the Commission is not an administrative body, its different Divisions, except those of Statistics & Research and Organization, must be matched in the national Government by corresponding administrative Departments, each of which has a planning board within it as one of its Bureaus. This naturally entails a considerable amount of reorganization in the structure of the Federal Government. The Departments of State and of Justice alone will retain their present set-up. *[Ed. Note: We know by our experience with the bureaucracies and the President’s tzars how this will work]

Each of the forty-eight states in the Union has its own Planning Commission, of which the ten members are appointed by the Governor. Each of the territories and dependencies, such as Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and the Canal Zone, also has its separate Planning Commission; and in addition there is a special Regional Commission with responsibility for them all. There are also nine regional Planning Commissions covering various states as groups according to the following arrangement:

New England Region
The six New England states; Headquarters at Boston
Middle Atlantic Region
New York down through West Virginia; Headquarters at New York City
South Atlantic Region
Maryland to Georgia, including Kentucky and Tennessee; Headquarters at
Atlanta
Gulf Region
Florida west to Louisiana and Arkansas; Headquarters at New Orleans
Great Lakes Region
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan; Headquarters at Chicago
Great Plains Region
Wisconsin in the east to the Dakotas in the west and Missouri and Kansas in the south; Headquarters at Des Moines
Southwest Region
Texas to Arizona Headquarters at Dallas
Rocky Mountain Region
Six mountain states with Montana in the north, Colorado in the south and Nevada in the West; Headquarters at Denver
Pacific Region
California, Oregon and Washington; Headquarters at San Francisco

Within the states each county and each city has its own Planning Commission. And in the more sparsely settled agricultural districts every unit of population amounting to 10,000 or more has a commission.

There are also Planning Commissions for each industry as a whole and for each sub-division of each industry. For instance, the entire steel industry as a unit has its Planning Commission; the various regional steel trusts, of course publicly owned and operated, likewise have their separate commissions; as does each substantial producing unit within each trust. Finally there exist planning committees in each factory and even in each shop of each factory.

Thus, all of the workers [unions] in a steel factory combine to put through a plan for that unit; all the factories in a certain district combine to put through a central plan for the steel trust of which they are part; all the trusts combine to put through a plan for the steel industry as a whole; and then the steel industry itself, the coordinating centers of which are a Division of the Planning Commission and a Department of the Government, combines with every other industry and economic activity to put through a balanced Plan for the entire country. The geographical planning bodies operate on the same principle, that is, from the smaller up through the larger. The cities’ plans fit into that of the county, the counties’ into that of the state, the states’ into that of the region, and the regions’ into that of the entire country.

Planning under Socialism is, then, a complex process embodying three different but intimately related aspects. All of the plans are, in the first place, plans over a definite period of time. Taking the presidential term in America as an appropriate time-span, our Commission adopts for the nation a First Four-Year Plan, a Second Four-Year Plan, a Third Four-Year Plan and so on. Inside these Four-Year Plans there are one-year, quarterly and even one-month plans.

In the second place, there is the geographic aspect of the plans. Besides the country as a whole, each region, state, county and city has its own four-year and one-year plan. In the third place, there is the functional aspect of the plans as applied to each industry and its sub-divisions. These three fundamental aspects of planning the temporal, the geographic and the functional are thoroughly integrated by the National Planning Commission in each big Four-Year Plan.

It is this Commission that welds together in one vast, integrated, long-range Plan all the minor plans and reports of all the various regions, states, counties, cities, industries, factories, distribution units, and cultural organizations throughout the entire United States. It is this Commission which takes the thousand and one estimates pouring in from all parts of the country and correlates them into the considered and rational whole which constitutes a National Plan.

It is this Commission at Washington which from week to week, from month to month, from year to year, casts its all-seeing eye over the economic activities of the nation and shifts the schedules within the Plan to keep pace with new and unforeseen developments. America’s First Four-Year Plan will need careful and extensive preparation before it can be put into effect. If our planning Party is victorious in the national elections of November, 1952, it will have two months of leeway before the new President and Congress come into office in the first week of January, 1953. Accordingly, it can be expected to have ready for action by Congress bills empowering the Government to take over at once a few key enterprises such as the railroads, communications, fuel and power, and most important of all the banks. Provision will be made for appropriate compensation of the owners over what must necessarily be a long period of years. The planning Party will also submit bills establishing the general structure of the planning system and giving very general estimates of what is to be accomplished during the First Four-Year Plan. I expect that the complete functional activation of existing capacity will be the main productive goal of this period.

Eight months later, September 1, 1953, the National Planning Commission will be ready with a preliminary draft, giving detailed figures and measures for the First Four-Year Plan. During the next three months this draft will be published abroad throughout the land and given the widest kind of publicity in newspapers, magazines, radio programs, public meetings, educational institutions, scientific institutes and other organs of public opinion. At the same time the Planning Commission will send out to all subordinate planning organizations the provisional quotas to be fulfilled in the geographical or
functional sectors for which they are responsible. Thus, the preliminary Plan will be discussed and criticized from one end of the country to another both by the public in general and by the specific planning, economic, and cultural agencies concerned in translating it into actuality. “How can we improve the Plan?” will become a nation-wide slogan.

By December 1, the various planning units, after careful consideration and in light of whatever suggestions have been made, will return revised drafts to the Planning Commission. During the next six weeks the Commission will proceed, after receiving all available information and criticism from its sub-commissions and other sources, to draw up a final Plan for presentation to Congress in the middle of January, 1954. Congress will then thoroughly discuss the Plan according to its regular procedures and will undoubtedly amend it to some degree. We can probably count on having the President’s signature on the final congressional planning bill by May 1, 1954, so that it can become definitely operative at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

This means that the First Four-Year Plan (ending June 30, 1957) will be in operation as a completed and functional whole for only three years out of the full period. There is no way of avoiding this, however, for the first National Plan ; but the second will overcome any time-lag and will go into effect July I, 1957. All of the Plans will begin and end with the regular fiscal year. The Planning Commission will release its preliminary draft of the Second Four-Year Plan (1957-1961) on July 1, 1956, to run the gamut of public opinion. Its final version it will have ready promptly on January 1, 1957, for submission to Congress. The Commission will not wait for the formal completion of one Four-Year Plan before starting to draw up estimates for the next; and this preparatory work will ordinarily begin a full year before each Plan is due for presentation to Congress.

The standard-of-living goal for each family of four at the end of the First Four-Year Plan will be an annual minimum of $5,000 [1939$] in consumers’ values, including those made available by the extension of free government services. This goal will be achievable through the full utilization of our present labor supply, taking in the able-bodied unemployed but totally ruling out child labor, on the basis of a seven-hour day, a five-day week and a yearly holiday of three weeks. The minimum mentioned would be even higher if the new regime were able to eliminate America’s soaring defense and armament expenditures.

In any case, my $5,000 estimate by no means adequately represents the advantages which the American people will enjoy under Socialist planning. For it is impossible to evaluate in financial terms even the physical gains which will, for instance, accrue to the urban masses when they all live in houses or apartments which have plenty of room, good light and fresh air. And it is also out of the question to put a definite money value on the immense psychological boons which Socialism will bring, especially through insuring everyone a job and eliminating the chief economic worries of the present.

One of the most important problems that our planning experts will have to face is that of procuring trustworthy data on the capacities and needs of the various areas and of the country as a whole. It is not possible even to start planning without some such data; yet it is not possible to obtain complete and reliable data until planning is well under way. For only an organization like the National Planning Commission, with its hundreds of subordinate agencies in different localities and economic enterprises throughout America, is equipped to gather in and organize all the necessary statistics. The Commission’s own Division of Statistics & Research plays a central role here. Thus as planning makes headway, we shall see a steady improvement and enlargement of the statistical base, making the intricate network of economic forces more and more measurable and bringing about what has aptly been called by economists complete economic visibility.

In regard to this important matter of statistics, Socialist planning in America will not, as in Soviet Russia, have to start almost from scratch. For there already exist here a number of agencies, both public and private, which are constantly building up the kind of statistical knowledge that planning demands as a foundation. In the public field the most useful of these is the National Resources Planning Board, formerly called the National Resources Committee, which has published a number of volumes particularly pertinent to the subject of planning. Then we have the reports of the numerous local planning organizations, there being in the U. S. A. at present [1939] no less than 42 state planning boards, 400 county and over 1,100 municipal all with very limited powers, of course.

In addition, each of the main Departments of the Federal Government carries on vital fact-finding activities, outstanding in this respect being the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Standards, both under the Department of Commerce; the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the U. S. Public Health Service, both under the Treasury Department; the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Department of Labor; the Bureau of Home Economics, under the Department of Agriculture; and the Geological Survey, under the Department of the Interior. There has also been established recently at Washington a Central Statistical Board to render information and advice in the working out of inter-departmental problems. Under private auspices we find the substantial studies issued by the Brookings Institution and the Russell Sage Foundation, the reports of well-known research bodies such as the National Bureau of Economic Research and the National Industrial Conference Board, and the regular publications of organizations for the protection of the consumer such as the Consumers Union.

A huge aggregate of carefully organized and up-to-date statistics is as essential for the carrying out of a Four-Year Plan as for its preparation. For the National Planning Commission must keep informed on the progress or lack of progress that is being made throughout the country. For this reason the vast network of sub-commissions send into it frequent reports, at least once every two weeks. And the Commission has the duty, which is also an opportunity, of constantly revising the Four-Year Plans in the light of the specific situation at the beginning of each year, each quarter and each month. Whatever changes the Commission recommends to the Government Departments empowered to put them into effect, must of course fit in with the general perspectives laid down by the original Four-Year Plan, but need not conform exactly to the original figures.

These periodic readjustments are essential because in large-scale and long-range planning there are sure to occur both under-fulfillments and over-fulfillments. Then, too, it is perfectly obvious that a Planning Commission, even if composed of the wisest men in the world, is bound to make some miscalculations. Moreover, there exist certain factors which the most flawless technique of planning can hardly anticipate: weather conditions, for example, affecting the fortunes of crops throughout the country; new inventions and new discoveries of mineral wealth, affecting the progress of industry and agriculture; the movement of world prices, affecting payments for needed imports; and the whole international situation, affecting the day-to-day psychology of the people and the proportion of the industrial plant which has to be geared to defense. All of these reasons combine to make intelligent flexibility a natural and fundamental principle of social-economic planning in the dynamic and ever-changing society of today; the notion that Socialist planning implies some sort of strait-jacket thrown over the life of the people is very wide of the mark.

It is most important to note that the planning procedures which I have in mind make ample allowance for local initiative. The idea behind Socialism is not to set up a group of dictatorial supermen who sit in Washington and hand down orders to the rest of the country, but to provide for continuous and democratic interaction between the local planning units and the ones higher up, between the organizations on the circumference and those at the center. Within the framework of the National Plan it is possible and indeed highly desirable to give a good deal of leeway to the lower planning and administrative agencies in working out the details for their own particular sectors and in making final decisions on matters of primarily local significance. The National Planning Commission or the Federal Government steps in only if decisions seem to violate or disturb in some way the objectives and schedules of the National Plan.

Naturally enough, our Socialist planners are going to take full advantage of that bigness and concentration which is so marked a characteristic of American industry; and of the collectivism which objectively exists today in the form of mass concentration of workers in the factories, of extensive trade-union organization, and of the far-flung collective controls of corporate enterprise. A Socialist regime would find many problems solved in advance if it proceeded, for example, to take over the steel industry. For steel in the U.S.A., with a handful of monopolies ruling the roost, is already unified to such an extent that the step to total unification required by Socialist planning would be comparatively easy. And the same point holds true for a number of other basic industries. Indeed, if the present managements of these industries could be trusted to administer them faithfully on behalf of a Socialist commonwealth (and this is a very big if), they could be left substantially in charge.

Undoubtedly, in some cases concentration has already gone too far for the highest efficiency. There is such a thing as administrative breakdown from sheer bulk. But the unification intended by Socialism does not rule out decentralization in production. The over-concentration of industries in urban areas, resulting in crowded living conditions, bad air and lack of decent recreational facilities, is one of the first things which Socialist planning aims to rectify. The principle to be followed throughout is that of the greatest possible degree of decentralization and autonomy consistent with nation-wide co-ordination.

The final guarantee that local initiative will flourish under Socialism is that in the last analysis the drawing up and execution of any social-economic plan depends on individuals. The extent to which the beautiful blueprint of a Four-Year Plan is written into concrete material and cultural achievement rests upon the initiative and intelligence and energy of the workers and farmers, the technicians and professional people, throughout the length and breadth of America. Without their unceasing co-operation and support every Plan must fail. Hence the Public Relations Section of the National Commission has the vital task of educating every category of the population on the fundamentals of planning and of arousing their enthusiasm concerning the objectives and possibilities of the Four-Year Plans.

It must bring to every individual an understanding of his part in the total planning set-up and the connection between his own function and that of others. And this in itself constitutes one of the outstanding benefits of Socialist planning, since everyone in the community becomes able to see how and why his job fits into the larger scheme of things and to feel a significance and dignity in his work that was seldom present before. In this way central planning for the whole nation brings central planning into the activity of each person, pulling together the conflicting strands of his nature and making of them a
potent unity.

Socialist planning, carried out in America in the American way, will present to the citizens of this country the greatest challenge they have ever had. Limited as war planning was in the U. S. and destructive as was its objective, it did show that the theory and practice of nation-wide planning is not something entirely alien to the American genius. It is my firm opinion that under Socialism all the idealism and practical engineering technique for which America is so noted, freed at last from the shackles of the profit system, will have unprecedented opportunity for fulfillment in projects of almost unlimited scope and grandeur. There will be no lack of tasks to appeal to the imagination and ambition of new generations. And the American people in their boundless energy will sweep forward to conquer new heights of economic and cultural achievement.

Also See
Introduction to the Progressive Mind
The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Social Planning for Abundance

Does Pace expect $7.90 diesel fuel?

By W C (Bill) Augustine,

The Chicago suburban Pace bus system has purchased new diesel-electric hybrid buses because they hope the buses will be more cost-effective over a 12-year life span according to Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski.

The hybrid buses, which are made in Canada, cost $525,000 each as opposed to regular diesel powered buses which cost $288,000.  According to manufacturer Orion the hybrid buses will save over their lifetime 30,000 gallons of fuel.

If the manufacturer’s fuel saving estimate is correct, over the lifetime of a hybrid bus the 30,000 gallon fuel saving will need to offset the $237,000 higher purchase price.  Given these assumptions, in order for the hybrid to be “cost effective” diesel fuel costs must average more than $7.90 per gallon over the life of the bus. The diesel break-even price would be even higher if we added the expected six-year battery replacement cost (research shows the expectation optimistic)  and a present money value consideration to the equation.

Simple calculations show other considerations than cost saving must have driven the decision to purchase the hybrid buses.  “We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint” said Kwasneski.

Pace’s projected 2012 operating expenses are $321 million of which riders pay $66 million or 21%.  Are riders willing to pay higher fees to reduce their carbon footprint?  Has anyone asked them?

Are taxpayers willing to increase $255 million in public funding for PACE’s meager contribution to an agreed ineffectual remedy to avert possible global warming?  Perhaps we should be straight forward and ask them.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

The Death of Federalism

Federalism is dead in America; its Constitution on life support. With Barack Obama in the White House and progressive democrats in control of Congress, the left’s centuries old goal of a consolidated government has finally been realized. With federalism gone, the Constitution becomes little more than an interesting historical artifact to be marveled at by historians and academicians. The experiment of enumerated powers and state sovereignty no longer has any relevance in American politics.

For over two hundred years, the one defining characteristic of the American psyche has been a desire for independence and its natural twin, liberty. It was to secure and maintain this independence that the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were written and published to the world. Thomas Jefferson, writing what he considered to be “an expression of the American mind” wrote in the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these words:

“We, therefore, the  Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”

For more than a hundred and fifty years, the Colonies had considered themselves as independent colonies, governed by laws of their own making, under the protection of the British Crown. Their relationship with the British government as expressed through its Parliament had always been tenuous at best. It was the increasing encroachment on the colonies independent status by Parliament that eventually led to the break with Great Britain and the Revolutionary War.

It is interesting to note that in the original copy of the Declaration of Independence on display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, D.C., and in most published copies of the Declaration, the word “united” in the first line of the final paragraph is not capitalized. It is “united States of America” not “United States of America”. The significance of this minor detail is in the type of union the Colonies envisioned. Also, notice that states never appears in the singular, always the plural. Compare the plural word “states” as used in our founding documents with the singular title, “State of Great Britain”. The colonies were “united” in their independence from England and they were “united” in defense. They did not consider themselves to be, and did not contemplate becoming a single consolidated “State” government.

The government later established under the Articles of Confederation was anything but a united, state government. In fact, the Articles were primarily concerned with mutual defense and international commerce. Article Two specifically precludes any type of central authority over the states other than the few specified.

Article Two
“Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.”

This spirit of independence held by the states was carried over in the Constitution and was the principle underlying the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution and the prohibition of encroachment by the national government on the liberties of its citizens, by the Bill of Rights, especially the Tenth Amendment. The states would never have ratified a Constitution calling for a central consolidated government. The highly venerated Federalist Papers were written primarily to convince the inhabitants of the various states that such a consolidated government could never develop under the Constitution. As it turns out, Hamilton, Jay and Madison severely underestimated the ingenuity of politicians on a quest for power, and the fears of the anti-federalist who opposed the Constitution have been proven by history, to be valid.

The difference between a “federal government” and a “national government” is more than just a matter of semantics. The national government envisioned by the present administration, regulating a centrally planned economy and regulating the private and collective lives of American citizens cannot be accomplished without uniform national laws and despotic enforcement. This fact has been made manifest by the recently passed and proposed regulatory bills of this administration concerning health care, finance, manufacturing, energy, etc. It is further manifested in the ongoing court cases in Arizona, California, Virginia and some dozen other states concerning immigration, gay marriage, energy production, etc.

The Constitution is a static document. Its words do not change with the calendar. If we are successful in taking back control of the government in the next two elections, there is hope for the restoration of limited constitutional government. However, federalism is dead. Nationalization of the central government has advanced to the point it can never be restored to the status of a federal government without major social upheavals that would never be condoned by the people. The best we can hope for is a modified national government with the gradual elimination of some if its more egregious encroachments.

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Why Left Fears Hitler Comparisons

The left cannot afford to have Obama compared with Hitler

Last week, a two hundred-member Iowa Tea Party group erected a billboard in downtown Mason City, Iowa, depicting three people under the headings of “National Socialism”, “Democratic Socialism” and “Marxist Socialism”. Underneath the headings were pictures of Hitler, Obama, and Lenin. Immediately the left went into attack mode because, according to it, the billboard compared Obama to Hitler. There were no complaints about comparing him with Lenin and there is a good reason why not.

After more than a hundred-and-fifty years of the abject failure of socialism all over the world, it is essential that the left deny the lessons of history, in order to sell its failed policies. As its grip on America’s education system grew during the last half of the twentieth century, the left began to revise American history in education curricula at every level. Contexts and facts concerning important historical characters and events important to the development of America were changed to present them in a negative light. Since World War Two, the left has worked diligently and successfully to place Hitler to the right on the political spectrum in the minds of the American people.

Historically the American left has shown an admiration for socialism as it gained strength in other parts of the world. In the late nineteenth century, it worked to spread the teachings of Marx and Lenin in America. After the communist revolution in Russia, many Americans traveled to Russia to study its social and government structure, returning to America with glowing reviews. During the Great Depression, a lot of the American Left transferred its admiration from Communist Socialism to the National Socialism of Germany.

After World War Two, the left again switched its high regard for socialism, this time to Asia. The left’s love affair with socialism and communism reached its height during the Viet Nam era. It was during that period that the left adopted the doctrine of “politically correct speech” from Communist China as an effective means for controlling political and social debate in America. Self-respecting socialists of the sixties and seventies delighted in quoting passages from Mao’s “little red book”.

National Socialism as practiced in Germany fell out of favor with the American left during and after World War Two because of the genocide and cruelty of Germany’s concentration camps. Germany simply went too far even for the most dedicated American Socialist. Since then, the left has worked to convince the American people that the atrociousness and brutality of Nazi Germany were the product of right wing political policies. Aside from the revulsion toward Hitler in the American mind, there is another reason why the left cannot afford to have Obama associated with German National Socialism.

During the twentieth century, communism and socialism spread throughout Europe, Asia and to a limited degree, South and Central America. Totalitarian socialism, for the most part, has been spread through revolution or military conquest, with one major exception: Nazi Germany. Only three totalitarian socialist leaders of any consequence have risen to power through the democratic process. Hitler, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Barack Obama. Admittedly Chavez and Obama are still works in progress, and the outcome for Obama is far from certain, however, the similarity in their rise to power cannot be denied other than by closing our eyes to history.

With each passing news cycle, it is getting more difficult for the national media to camouflage the true agenda of the Obama Administration. In order for American socialists (progressives) to reach their ultimate goal of a Socialist America, it must accomplish three major objectives, the dismantling of our capitalist economy, the fragmentation of our common culture and the destruction of our Constitution. In the eighteen months Obama has been in office, he has made amazing progress toward all three of these objectives.

Marshalling the socialist elements that have been growing in government for the past seventy-five to one-hundred years, Obama has focused single-mindedly on getting the nation to a point of no return during his four years in office. Following the Marxist-Alinsky playbooks, so succinctly summed up in Emanuel’s famous quote, “never let a good crisis go to waste”, he has used the EPA, the Justice Department, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Treasury Department to inflict, what may be irreparable damage on both the Economy and the Culture.

Nowhere is the Obama agenda more transparent than the events surrounding the Gulf Oil Spill and the lawsuit brought against the state of Arizona over its immigration law enforcement bill. His exploitation of both these events to fracture our culture and damage our economy cannot be denied. Even after losing two consecutive lawsuits concerning his moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, he refuses to accept the court’s decisions. Rather than accept the federal government’s constitutional requirement to protect our borders, he chose to file a lawsuit against Arizona to prevent it from protecting its citizens from the effects of a foreign invasion across its borders.

The damage already caused by the Obama policies will take years and maybe generations to heal. The only good news in the gloom brought about by the election of Obama is the slow but sure awakening of the American people. In less than four months we will find out if America is capable of recovery, or if we have reached the point prophesied by Benjamin Franklin, becoming so corrupted as a people that we cannot be ruled by any means other than despotism.

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Conservatives Line Up to Join Progressive Lynch Mob

Administration continues its attacks on BP, while stalling on cleanup operations.

It is frightening to see how many conservatives have climbed aboard the progressive bandwagon to “bash BP”.  At this point, no one knows the amount of culpability British Petroleum has in the Gulf oil spill. That will only be known after future investigations whose results will be tried in court.  Propaganda from Congress, White House and the media, far exceeds the facts available to the American people. However, we do know that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. When we cease to be a nation of laws, we also cease to be a nation of liberty.

Following the strategy of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Obama Administration has seized on the Gulf catastrophe as an opportunity to ramp up its attacks on capitalism and increase its power over the American people. The rhetoric of Obama since the spill has been the rhetoric of a dictator, not a President. He has brazenly defied the restraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution and appointed himself as the judge, jury and executioner of British Petroleum.

America has not witnessed a political climate like today’s anti-big-business one, since the turn of the Twentieth Century, when progressive politicians attempted to ride the populist tide against the “Robber Barons” of industry into elective office.  For many, that strategy proved successful, however, it ultimately culminated in the market crash of ’29 and Great Depression of the thirties.

This week Obama arrogantly announced he had ordered BP to place 20 billion dollars in an escrow account to cover the cost of mitigating the damage caused by the Gulf oil spill.  When a reporter asked a member of Congress whether there was legal authority for the demand, she answered, in effect, “if not we will pass a law”.  In addition, Pelosi is pressing for legislation to remove the liability cap on oil companies.  Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act currently in place, oil companies are obligated to pay all cleanup costs, but liability for damage to local economies, natural resources and livelihoods is capped at $75 million.

The threat of retroactive laws and laws targeting a particular party violate a number of constitution prohibitions.  Article 1.9.3 forbids the passing of ex post fact law or bills of attainder. Amendment 7 guarantees the right to a trial by jury, and Amendment 14.1 forbids the taking of private property without due process of law.

While Obama has been bullying BP and its executives for political points, his administration seems to be doing everything in its power to obstruct clean up efforts.  The latest example occurred on Thursday when the Coast Guard pulled all the tankers used in skimming oil from the water, off the job for inspection. Believe it or not, the inspection was to make sure the tankers met specifications for the number of life preservers on board.  If there were any doubt, it would have made more sense for the Coast Guard to load up a boat with life preservers and distribute them to the tankers, where necessary.

Obama’s obvious attempt to use the Gulf spill disaster for political advantage could prove to be his biggest mistake to date.  In trying to deny Gulf Coast governors any credit in controlling the damage caused by the spill, he is alienating the American people and increasing the political stature of his number one political threat, Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana. His administration has stalled on Jindal’s request for permission to build barrier islands, for request for more booms to contain the oil, and now the incident with the Coast Guard.

Obama’s actions place Jindal in the position of “underdog” in a David and Goliath type of struggle. The American People love underdogs. The more Obama resists the efforts of Jindal the less popular he becomes and the more Americans who are rooting for Jindal. Every event of history has its own time. Now is the time for action, not finger pointing and foot dragging.

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A Call for Truth in Political Labeling

Inspiration for this post comes from Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain and Rush Limbaugh, talk show host.  Back in March of 2009, during an interview on “Larry King Live” in response to a question, Meghan McCain proudly announced that she was a “progressive Republican”.  Today a caller to Rush’s show wanted to know why he insisted on using the word liberal instead of progressive.  Rush’s answer was basically because the term liberal in recent years has picked up a negative image while progressive still carries the positive image of being forward looking and modern, and he uses liberal because he likes to tweak Democrats.

I am a fan of labels, particularly in the political arena.  The use of a truthful and accurate label to describe someone’s political philosophy is an efficient way to identify one’s approach to the issues that affect our lives.  However, in modern times, the use of labels has fallen into disfavor and using one leaves one open to the accusation of “name calling”.  In addition to that, a major problem with labels is that adherents to an unpopular political philosophy will attempt to hide their true beliefs by applying a misleading label to themselves.  Conversely, they will adopt a popular label in order to hide their true political philosophy. For example, virtually every Republican politician today, from Mark Kirk to John McCain to John Boehner refer to themselves as “conservative”.

Democrats, who for the most part, support a socialist agenda, insist on calling themselves “progressives”.  The result is that the average voter has a difficult time distinguishing a Republican from a RINO or a liberal Democrat from a socialist.  This confusion of labels is what causes many Americans to throw up their hands and declare “a pox on both your houses”, you’re all the same; which brings us to the question, what is the difference between a socialist, a progressive, a Republican and a conservative?

To understand these differences properly we have to look at the history of the terms.  Socialism, as an organized political philosophy began in the mid-nineteenth century, primarily from the teachings of Karl Marx in Germany. Its stated ideals of social and economic equality, a popular democracy and its opposition to the inequities of some segments of capitalism quickly won favor with many Americans.  However, Americans are different from Europeans so these socialists doctrines had to be Americanized. During the last decades of the nineteenth century, the American version of socialism adopted the label, “progressive”.

Political leaders of that era, which ended in the Great Depression, used many of the same tactics used today by the Democratic Party.  One that stands out is the demonization of capitalism. Leading capitalists were labeled “robber barons” and their financial empires were broken up or destroyed amid the cheers of the general public. Theodore Roosevelt became one of America’s most popular progressive leaders, earning the nickname of “Trust Buster” for his success in breaking up some of the largest capitalists institutions of his day.

The twentieth century dawned with progressivism being the most popular political philosophy in America.  The Presidential Election of 1912 featured four progressives vying for the office, representing four different political parties.  William Howard Taft, the incumbent ran as a progressive Republican, Woodrow Wilson as a progressive Democrat, Eugene Debs ran as a Socialist and Theodore Roosevelt ran on the new Progressive Party ticket.  Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote giving the election to Wilson.

The 1912 election was the beginning of the end for Constitutional government in America.  No matter who won the election the American people would have elected a progressive President. The one thing all four candidates had in common was the advocacy of a progressive income tax designed to facilitate a more equitable redistribution of the nation‘s wealth. A second similarity of the 1912 candidates was the belief in government’s ability to manage and eventually solve all of the country’s problems, if only its institutions were made more “democratic“.  In 1913 two progressive amendments were added to the Constitution, the Sixteenth, establishing a progressive income tax and the Seventeenth, requiring the popular election of Senators.

Socialism in its Americanized version, progressivism, was instrumental in bringing about the Great Depression.  America was slower than Europe in emerging from the Depression because of the twelve plus year reign of the Democrat Saint of Progressives, Franklin Roosevelt. Today, while the progressives make up the base of the Democrat Party, progressivism also exercises a strong influence on the Republican Party.

Progressive Republicans label themselves as “moderates” or sometimes as “fiscal conservatives”. It pains me to point this out, but many of those in the popular tea party movement would be more properly classified as “progressive conservatives”.  If that seems on the surface to be oxymoronic, let me clarify the term. Many self-identified conservatives are perfectly content with unconstitutional spending by the federal government as long as it is limited to things they perceive as being of personal benefit to them.  Education, infrastructure, and health care for example. They are content with unconstitutional taxation as long as it is not too oppressive to them personally. The same can be said of government regulation of businesses.  Unconstitutional regulations are considered Okay by many conservatives as long as they perceive it to be in their personal best interest.

It is difficult to define true conservatism today because there are so few examples to point to. To understand it properly we again have to go back in history to the first conservatives. During the early-post revolutionary period, the conservatives were known as anti-federalists.  After 1891 and the ratification of the Bill of Rights conservatives were popularly known as republicans.  The identifying characteristics were defense of the Constitution, rule of law, intolerance for government corruption, love of liberty and the sanctity of private property. Conservatism prevailed in America until the progressive era.  The last bulwark of conservatism was lost when the Supreme Court was successfully politicized by President Roosevelt in the mid-nineteen-thirties.

Since that time, conservatives have been in the minority, as they are today. A recent Gallop poll is being touted as evidence that conservatives are the largest voting block in America today.  Forty percent of those polled identified themselves as conservative, thirty-six percent as moderate and only twenty percent as liberal.  Before you break out the Champagne, consider the fact that most of those who identified themselves as conservatives were simply expressing their dissatisfaction with the excessive progressive policies of the Obama Administration not an ideologically understood preference for true conservative principles.

No one can rightfully claim the label of “conservative” who tolerates and often encourages the wanton violation of the Constitution by their elected officials whether they considerer themselves as fiscal conservatives, social conservatives or blue dog Democrats. When I hear self-proclaimed conservatives call for bipartisan federal solutions to things like health care, education, alternative energy and so forth, I fear for my country.

Progressivism is the American version of socialism.  Socialism and our Constitution are mutually exclusive. Constitution based conservatism cannot compromise with progressivism. It must defeat it or perish.  The call for bipartisanship is nothing more than a call for surrender, one battle at a time and can only lead to despotism. True conservatives do not want “smaller government”; they want a constitutionally limited government.  They do not want “lower taxes”; they want constitutionally authorized taxation only. They do not want a “less intrusive government”; they want the federal government out of their personal lives, period.

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