I lost count of how many times I’ve heard that the cause of all or our country’s problems is the fact that we have two parties that are at political extremes, leaving most of us, who are moderates that inhabit political middle, unrepresented.  The proposed solution to this is the formation of a political party that occupies the middle ground between both extremist parties.

It would seem, based on the heated arguments, the endless bickering, and the fact that nothing gets accomplished, that the two parties do operate at the extreme polar opposites of the political spectrum.  That is not true at all.  Only one party, the Democrat Party, has veered off into one of the political extremes.  The Democrats now inhabit the extreme left.  Don’t take my word for it.  Here is what Senator Bernie Sanders had to say about his political party in this video.  Rather than inhabit the extreme political right, the Republican Party now operates slightly less far to the left when compared to the Democrats.  If you don’t agree please explain to me the latest Omnibus spending bill, their push for amnesty, their failure to repeal ObamaCare, their watered down tax cuts, and their efforts to eradicate true conservatives from leadership roles.

Why are so many convinced that each party operates on an opposite end of the political spectrum?  Why are so many convinced that the policies of the political right are harmful and against everything this country was built on or stands for?  It is because of a phenomenon known as the Overton Window.  Here is how Wikipedia describes this phenomenon:

The Overton window is an approach to identifying which ideas define the domain of acceptability within a democracy’s possible governmental policies. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to persuade or educate the public in order to move and/or expand the window. Proponents of current policies, or similar ones, within the window seek to convince people that policies outside it should be deemed unacceptable.

The media, which is very left leaning, controls the narrative that forms the boundaries on either side of the window.  They focus on the political spectrum in reference to how the two political parties exist today leaving out how both parties have slowly moved toward the left.  What is left out by this narrowed window is how the two parties are now so far from the original position that was supposed to have been set in stone by the Constitution.  The media, academia, and the Democrats paint the ideals of the Founding Fathers along with those individuals as being outdated, deeply flawed, and racist.  They describe the Constitution and its principles using similar language.  The media also uses the deeply inaccurate political spectrum that equates Fascists, Nazis, and conservatives,

Unfortunately the Republican Party abandoned the Constitution and the principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government a long time ago.  Those in the party that still adhered to these principles are marginalized, ridiculed, and stripped of committee chairmanships.  The media paints these individuals as dangerous extremists while championing those with extreme liberal beliefs.

The Constitution, which was supposed to limit the size and scope of the federal government, was abandoned many decades ago by both parties.  The principles of federalism and limited government, which are enshrined in the Constitution, built this nation into the freest and most prosperous nation that ever existed.   Rather than a party that occupies a narrow niche between two parties on the political left, we need one that reclaims a constitutionally limited federal government and free market economics.  Can the Republican Party be reformed so it once again follows our founding principles, which are hallmarks of the true political right?  I now believe the Republican Party is irredeemable.

Instead of shifting the media defined Overton Window back to the right; we need to smash it entirely so everyone can view the political spectrum in its entirety.  This will be extremely difficult since the media is mostly controlled by liberals, along with social media.  Next we need set the record straight about our Constitution and founding principles.   Finally we need to start a new party that embraces these principles.  Once we do this we can solve all of our problems.

All across this country college students are being indoctrinated into believing a philosophy called “white privilege.”  The term seems rather innocuous but the philosophy is not.  This indoctrination has begun to spread down to the high school and grade schoo levell.  Like all race based philosophies, white privilege is a creation of the political left.  Like most creations of the political left, white privilege is based on fundamental mistruths.

Here is how white privilege is defined from this Wikipedia article.

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people whom society identifies as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. Academic perspectives such as critical race theory and whiteness studies use the concept of “white privilege” to analyze how racism and racialized societies affect the lives of white or white-skinned people.

The Wikipedia articles offers many other definitions, here is one, which was quoted from this source:  Pulido, L. (2000). “Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers

White privilege is a form of racism that both underlies and is distinct from institutional and overt racism. It underlies them in that both are predicated on preserving the privileges of white people (regardless of whether agents recognize this or not). But it is also distinct in terms of intentionality. It refers to the hegemonic structures, practices, and ideologies that reproduce whites’ privileged status. In this scenario, whites do not necessarily intend to hurt people of color, but because they are unaware of their white-skin privilege, and because they accrue social and economic benefits by maintaining the status quo, they inevitably do.

Here is one example of what constitutes white privilege from the same Wikipedia article:

Williams and Rivers (1972b) showed that test instructions in Standard English disadvantaged the black child and that if the language of the test is put in familiar labels without training or coaching, the child’s performances on the tests increase significantly. According to Cadzen a child’s language development should be evaluated in terms of his progress toward the norms for his particular speech community. Cadzen, C.B. (1966)

To me, this example is racist because it is implying that nonwhites are less capable of learning Standard English than whites.  Other subjects such as math have been declared examples of white privilege yet the irony escapes those making the declarations.

Here is another definition of white privilege from the article called “On Racism and White Privilege” located on the website Teaching Tolerance.  This was the most popular Google search result.  I encountered many different articles with similar definitions.

White skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose. Unlike the more overt individual and institutional manifestations of racism described above, white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with “perks” that we do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us. White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world.

Theses definition illustrate one of the fundamental lies of the philosophy of white privilege, that white people are inherently racist.  According to this philosophy, we have built this all encompassing structure that keeps everyone with nonwhite skin down because we dislike people with skin that is darker than our skin.  Underlying this philosophy are the mistaken beliefs that the United States is still a deeply racist nation and that racism is at the root cause of all of the problems nonwhites face.

Crime statistics are one popular proof of white privilege.  Here is an example I found in this  article

While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men…we are left with only one conclusion: White, European Americans enjoy a wide range of privileges that are denied to persons of color in our society.

Are higher incarceration rates the product of systematic racism or something else?  The answer is found in this Daily Signal article.

More black babies are born out of wedlock today (72 percent) than into married homes. That’s dramatically worse than when Moynihan initially raised the issue (when it was 23 percent)—thanks to fifty years of encouragement by the Democrat Party.

The Moynihan Report mentioned in that article was the justification for President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.  This Front Page Magazine article documents the carnage caused by those deeply flawed programs.  Here is one quote:

The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had on American family life, particularly in the black community. As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.

Thomas Sowell, an African American economist and philosophical rock star among conservatives, echoes these conclusions in this article called The Legacy of Liberalism.

The results of welfare policies discouraging marriage and family were dramatic, as out-of-wedlock birthrates skyrocketed among all demographic groups in the U.S., but most notably African Americans…The devastating societal consequences of family breakdown cannot be overstated. Father-absent families—black and white alike—generally occupy the bottom rung of America’s economic ladder.

Thomas Sowell also documents the carnage in this article A Painful Anniversary.  Here is a quote:

The War on Poverty represented the crowning triumph of the liberal vision of society — and of government programs as the solution to social problems. The disastrous consequences that followed have made the word “liberal” so much of a political liability that today even candidates with long left-wing track records have evaded or denied that designation.

White Privilege has a close cousin called White Guilt which is also being crammed down the throats of impressionable college and high school students; here is how Wikipedia defines the topic.

White guilt is the individual or collective guilt felt by some white people for harm resulting from racist treatment of ethnic minorities by other white people both historically and currently in the United States

It is fine if individuals want to feel guilty based on their own conduct; however we are only responsible for our own actions.  Collective guilt is an alien concept in the United States where our entire constitutional and legal system is based on individual rights and guilt.

The subtitle of this book, Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American left, is the only thing I dislike about this book.  The statement is accurate but incomplete because it is missing the word modern when referring to the American left.  Progressivism in America predated the Nazi party and was more closely influenced by Italian Fascism.  Actually, the fascism of Italy and the progressivism of America closely influenced each other and are very much related.  That is well documented in this book.  A much more accurate subtitle would be: The incestuous relationship between American Progressivism, Fascism, Socialism, and Nazism.

This book begins with a discussion on transference which is accurate but dull.  It gets much better after that.  The opening chapter  documents the explosion of calls that President Trump and conservatives are Fascist and Nazis, and how these accusations have been used as justification for acts of violence against Trump supporters at rallies and against speakers on the political right.

The Big Lie most correctly points out that fascism, Nazism, progressivism, socialism, and communism are all related and on the political left.  D’Souza uses two authors that I have read extensively to back up this claim – FA Hayek and Jonah Golberg.  Here are three quotes, the first is from page 23 and the other two are from page 24:

Hayek identified Fascism as a phenomenon of the Left, a cousin of socialism and progressivism

Golberg traces innumerable links between progressivism and fascism, spelling out the left wing laundry list in both the platforms of Mussolini and Hitler, and then showing their parallel in modern progressivism.

Hayek and Goldberg are the starting point for my book. But I go much further and delve into areas of inquiry untouched by them.

D’Souza documents how the Nazis actually learned very negative lessons from the American left.  Here is one from page 27

Forced sterilization and euthanasia aimed at eliminating racial “defectives” and producing a “superior” Nordic race were two additional schemes the Nazis got from American progressives.

Chapter 2 is devoted to the distortion of the political spectrum.  D’Souza documents how the political spectrum used by most journalists and the general public is meaningless because it was based on seating arrangements during the French revolution, where those who supported the ideals monarchy sat on the right and those who opposed it sat on the left.  He discusses a more accurate political spectrum which is based on the components of the political philosophies and the effects they have on the size and scope of the government that implements them.  Here are quotes from pages 31 thru 34 page which illustrate the differences between conservatives, which are on the actual political right, and progressives, which are on the political left.

The American Revolution was characterized by three basic freedoms: economic freedom or capitalism, political freedom or constitutional democracy, and freedom of speech and religion.

By limiting state power conservatives seek among other things to protect the right of the people to keep the fruits of their own labor

The left in America is defined by its hostility to the restrictions placed  by the founders on the federal government.  That’s why leftists regularly deplore constitutional restraints on government power, proclaiming the constitution woefully out of date and calling to adopt instead a living Constitution…

.,,progressives distrust the free market system and want the government to control and direct the economy, not necessarily nationalizing or taking over private companies, but at least regulating their operations  and on occasion mandating their courses of action.

Also in this chapter D’Souza introduces readers to Giovanni Gentile of Italy, who was the father of fascism.  His principles of fascism included: opposition to individual rights, the belief that he State is far more important than the individual, there is no distinction between private and public interests, and control of businesses through regulation.   Discussed in great detail is how Mussolini implemented fascism.

Chapter 2 finishes up with a discussion how the original platform of the Nazi party resembled the platform championed by progressives.  Here is a quote from page 60.

The Nazi party at the outset offered a twenty-five point program that included the nationalization of large corporations and trusts, government control of banking and credit…universal health care and education.

Chapter 3 discusses how Mussolini transitioned from socialist to fascist, which is common because of the failures of socialism, including the fact that it did not happen in wealthy nations

Chapter 4 documents American progressive ideas that inspirited Nazis.  Discussed and documented is the fact that the Indian removal under Democrat Andrew Jackson served as a model for the Nazi Lebensraum.  It was noted that slave plantations in the Democrat controlled  US South were similar to Nazi work camps, but there was no documented link.

Chapter 5 is titled  The Original Racists.  This chapter opens with the following quote. which is from Racism a Short History by George Fredrickson.

it was with the passage of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 that Germany became a full fledged racist regime.  American Laws were the foreign precedents for such legislation.

Here are two quotes from this chapter which are found on page 132 and 133:

Racism, of course, preceded the Democrat Party but the Democrats, in a sense, invented political racism in the early 19th century to defend slavery.

Even after slavery ended , Democrats found racism to be very useful…They constructed a whole ideology, and structure of white supremacy in order to establish their political domination of the south.

This chapter also documents the similarities between the KKK and brown shirts including the fact that the Brown Shirts and Klan considered themselves to be champions of social justice

Chapter 8, Politics of Intimidation, illustrates the Nazi roots of modern American progressivism.  D’Souza documents on page 202, that political correctness is the progressive equivalent of Nazi Gleichschaltung, which was the “doctrine of political uniformity and social control.“   The most damming evidence that modern progressivism has its roots in Nazism is centered around this quote on page 204

Ever since the publication of his opus, Being and time, Martin Heidegger’s philosophy has been widely influential.  Specifically, it provides intellectual grounding for a whole series of progressive causes.

D’Souza discusses how this work inspired the leftist academic movement called deconstructionism.  Heidegger was an environmentalist, anti- capitalist, and founder of identity politics.  This work also inspired the belief that freedom of speech is a myth and offensive speech should be met by violence.  As you can see, Heidegger, who was a Nazi, provided the intellectual basis for political correctness and Antifa.

In the chapter Denazification, D’Souza discusses how the big lie, blaming conservatives for the sins of leftists, was created and spread by academia, the news media, and Hollywood.

This book is extremely well documented and well written.  I have encountered all of the subject matter many times before.  I only take issue with several solutions to the Big Lie that D’Souza  shares in the final chapter.   His solutions are based a bit too much on anger rather logic and principle.  It is a book most definitely worth buying and reading more than once.

The internet exploded into a veritable excrement storm when Senator Dick Durbin accused President Trump of referring to some countries as shitholes.  It is still not clear if President Trump actually uttered that phrase, but the storm that ensued was rather intense, with members of the liberal media and liberals on social media immediately decrying those remarks as racist.  That phrase is not racist, however it is politically incorrect.  A great many confuse the two, which is actually harmful, because overuse and distortion of the meaning of the term has greatly lessened the impact of justified accusations of true racism.

It is a well established fact that some nations are extremely poor and the people living in those countries suffer greatly.  Referring to them as shitholes may not be the most elegant or polite phrase, but it is accurate.  Poor nations are spread across the globe and are not limited to nations of just one race.  In fact nations of all races are included in the list of the poorest nations in the world.

The one unifying factor the links just about all of the poorest nations is that they now suffer from, or have suffered from, bad governments.  These bad governments can take on many forms but they all steal the wealth from the individuals living in those countries and mismanage the resources.

Countries with communist and socialist governments almost universally produce dreadful living conditions and very poor people.  Here is what one of my favorite authors, Thomas Sowell, has to say on the subject “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”  Venezuela is perfect example of what happens to a country when it transforms into a socialist nation, and so is Somalia.

If a country experiences frequent political upheaval it will become poor.  That is what happened in Haiti, and so many other countries.  Most often this upheaval will result in autocratic dictatorships, which micromanage the economies, and also leads to rampant corruption.  Concentrating political power always results in countries with poverty and corruption.  Governments always try to concentrate power in the hands of the few.  Distributing power throughout the people of a nation is the only cure for this.

Economies of nations are far too complex for one individual or a group of individuals to manage properly.  Any attempt to manage an economy will begin a downward spiral into poverty.  Letting a perfectly free market economy manage itself is the only way to guarantee long term prosperity for a nation.  Even nations with very limited natural resources will prosper with a free market economy.  Hong Kong is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Introducing any type of socialism into a free market economy will result in a downward spiral toward poverty.  Building a welfare state forces the increase of taxes, which will curtail business activity, which will then increase the need for more welfare, which will then result in the need for higher taxes.  That is the route Scandinavian countries are on now and the route Greece has traveled for a longer period. The Scandinavian nations have not traveled this route long enough to produce disastrous results, but it will. The United States has been traveling this route since the New Deal, and accelerated on this path with President Johnson’s Great Society.  The negative impacts of the United States transiting into a welfare state have been well documented but ignored by so many.  Free market economies produce the most universal prosperity.  Some are always left behind by any economic system, while the numbers are much lower for a free market economy.  Private charity has proved to be successful in taking care of those left behind and the widespread adoption by the people of a religion such as Christianity, of which charity is a major component of, is also most beneficial.

Governments interfering with the free market through regulations will always create a downward spiral into poverty for a nation.  Once regulations are introduced, the free market will begin to falter.  The almost universal response to this phenomenon is to introduce more regulations, which will result in more negative consequences.

The authors of the US Constitution produced the perfect recipe for a successful nation.  Unfortunately we have abandoned this recipe and have suffered increasingly negative consequences ever since.  Their recipe had four key ingredients.

The first ingredient was to distribute all political power throughout the entire population.  They created a government of the people who elected political servants. The political power was distributed through five distinct levels with each level up having less power and authority.  The first was the individual, who had ultimate control over all levels of the government.  The next level up, local governments, had the most political power and authority.  This level was granted the most power because the people could exercise the most control over it.  County governments coordinated local governments while State governments coordinated county governments.  The federal government was granted a very limited number of clearly defined, or enumerated, powers.  The federal government was only granted the power to keep the States from squabbling with each other and to negotiate with other countries as one nation.

A firm belief in individual rights, the second ingredient, is an essential component to the peace and security of the people in any nation.  Protections of individual rights and private property are the most important building blocks of the US Constitution.  The Bill Of Rights was added because it was believed that the Constitution did not go far enough.

Thirdly, the US Constitution prevented the federal government from interfering with the free market economy, which resulted in a prosperous nation, The Commerce Clause only granted the federal government the power to regulate the large scale movement of goods between the States, not the economic activity inside of the States.

Lastly, tt was believed by the authors of the Constitution, and those that ratified it, that a widespread adoption of various Christian sects by the people was essential to maintaining a free and stable nation.  They created a government that left the people free to regulate their own affairs.  They believed Christianity was a perfect method for the people to regulate their own behavior.  They also believed Christian charity was the perfect way to help those in need.  Any belief system will work as long as it has an emphasis on individual rights and self control of one’s behavior.

Alexis de Tocqueville documented the prosperity and tranquility of the United States, and examined in great detail the root cause, which was the system of government created by the Constitution, when he wrote Democracy in America.

As far as pilgrimages go, my annual trip to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro Massachusetts was not an epic journey.  It involved a five minute walk then an hour long bus ride on a luxury motor coach.  On the way we stopped at Wright’s Chicken Farm, which I most highly recommend.  They serve all you can eat chicken and french fries.  Both are outrageously good.

If you’re planning on visiting, I would recommend taking a bus trip.  The shrine is hard to find and the traffic is very bad this time of year.   For those who want to drive there, arrive early and use a good GPS device.  The traffic into the parking lot usually starts to build around 3 pm so I would try to arrive before then.  By 5 pm the traffic is bumper to bumper for miles each time I visited, which was always the Saturday two weeks before Christmas.

There is plenty to do if you arrive early.  They have a nativity museum with over 2000 nativity sets from around the world. The grounds are very peaceful with Christmas music playing over church bells.  At 3 pm they usually have an Christmas concert in the church followed by a mass at 4 pm.

At about 10 minutes to 5 there is a candlelight procession to the large outside manger where a brief prayer service is held.   At exactly 5 pm the lights are turned on.  That is an amazing sight.  This year they have over a half million lights spread over a large area.  The pictures I’m posting only show a very small fraction of the entire display.  It is well worth the trip.

Merry Christmas everyone !!!

If the Supreme Court still followed the letter and the spirit of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution there is only one possible decision they could reach in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Because this case involves freedom of speech and freedom of religion they would have to rule that they have no jurisdiction over this case.  The purpose of the Bill of Rights is specifically to restrain the federal government from involving itself in any in matters involving rights protected by the Bill of Rights.   The framers of the Constitution believed if the federal government had jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights they would ultimately abuse this power and strip us of our rights.

The states alone have jurisdiction over God-given Natural Rights.  The Bill of Rights of the Unites Sates does not apply to the states.  The states have their own bills of rights to protect the rights of those living in the states.  I know this may seem controversial to a great many readers of this article.  That is only because the true meaning of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution has been distorted by so many institutions of this country.

Academia, the federal government, and the media are responsible for advancing these distortions.  They only preach the modern belief that the Supreme Court can overrule the Sates on cases involving the Bill of Rights.  There is no proof of this located anywhere in the actual text of the Constitution, the text of the Bill of Rights, or the transcripts of the writing and ratification of those documents.  There is abundant evidence supporting my claim that the Bill of Rights prevents the Supreme Court from ruling on cases involving the Bill of Rights.  In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions, in 1798.  The full text has been reproduced here.  Resolution 3 is proof that the Bill of Rights prohibits the federal government from interfering with rights protected by the Bill of Rights and prohibits the Supreme Court from ruling in cases involving those rights.

Resolved, That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitutions, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, our prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people: that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom, and how far those abuses which cannot be separated from their use should be tolerated, rather than the use be destroyed. And thus also they guarded against all abridgment by the United States of the freedom of religious opinions and exercises, and retained to themselves the right of protecting the same, as this State, by a law passed on the general demand of its citizens, had already protected them from all human restraint or interference. And that in addition to this general principle and express declaration, another and more special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”: thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press: insomuch, that whatever violated either, throws down the sanctuary which covers the others, arid that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religion, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals.

During the ratification of the United States Constitution there were numerous calls for a Bill of Rights that would protect our most important rights by preventing the federal government from interfering with them.  There were few, if any, calls for additions to the US Constitution that would restrain the states in any way.  During the writing of the Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives seventeen amendments were written.  Sixteen of the amendments applied to the federal government alone.  The seventeenth amendment, written by James Madison, did specifically apply to the states.  Here is the debate involving that amendment, which took place on August 17, 1789

Article 1, section 10, between the first and second paragraph, insert “no State shall infringe the equal rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech or of the press, nor of the right of trial by jury in criminal cases.”

Mr. Tucker.–This is offered, I presume, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, but it goes only to the alteration of the constitutions of particular States. It will be much better, I apprehend, to leave the State Governments to themselves, and not to interfere with them more than we already do; and that is thought by many to be rather too much. I therefore move, sir, to strike out these words…

This transposition being agreed to, and Mr. Tucker’s motion being rejected, the clause was adopted.

This amendment was one of seventeen passes by the House of Representatives.  Here is the list.  That amendment was not passed by the Senate.  Here is the transcript of the joint resolution of the Bill of Rights that passed both houses.  It does not include the amendment that applied to the states.  It was also missing from the Bill of Rights that was ratified.

I know the fact that the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states distresses a lot of people because they believe the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution alone grants all rights to every single individual in this country.  That is untrue because all rights are granted to us by God.  The Bill of Rights only protects our rights by preventing the federal government from interfering with them in any way.  Every state has a bill of rights to protect the rights of those living in the states.  The people of the states are the ultimate defense against the states encroaching on their rights.  This is far better than leaving these monumental decisions in the hands of nine unelected individuals, who are essentially appointed to the Supreme Court for life.  The Constitution created a bottom up government not a top down government.

The Supreme Court, the rest of the federal government, and a great many individuals have been operating under the delusion that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights down to the States.  I discuss this at length in this article,

It is wrong that the state of Colorado is forcing individuals to violate their right of conscience, which is one of the most important God-given Natural Rights.  It would be a far greater wrong if the Supreme Court stripped the right of conscience from every individual in this country by ruling incorrectly on this case.  That is why the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights never granted the Federal government jurisdiction over our rights

On November 21st FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent shock waves throughout the internet when he released this Statement announcing an end to President Obama’s misguided and disastrous Net Neutrality.  Here are the opening paragraphs from that statement.

For almost twenty years, the Internet thrived under the light-touch regulatory approach established by President Clinton and a Republican Congress. This bipartisan framework led the private sector to invest $1.5 trillion building communications networks throughout the United States. And it gave us an Internet economy that became the envy of the world.

But in 2015, the prior FCC bowed to pressure from President Obama. On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake.  It’s depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.

When I read the statement I was quite elated.  I knew all of my liberal friends on Facebook would not share my joy, they would be angry and they would express their anger in the form of memes which bore little resemblance to reality.  My response was to leave them alone and to share articles setting the record straight about Net Neutrality, which was President Obama’s attempt to make the internet into a socialist utopia.

From the beginning Net Neutrality was misguided because it was based on a lie.  In a speech, which was quoted in this Breitbart Article, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai described this lie when he said:

Number one there was no problem to solve; the internet wasn’t broken in 2015. In that situation, it doesn’t seem me that preemptive market-wide regulation is necessary. Number two, even if there was a problem, this wasn’t the right solution to adopt. These Title II regulations were inspired during the Great Depression to regulate Ma Bell which was a telephone monopoly. And the broadband market we have is very different from the telephone market of 1934. So, it seems to me that if you have 4,462 internet service providers and if a few of them are behaving in a way that is anticompetitive or otherwise bad for consumer welfare then you take targeted action to deal with that. You don’t declare the entire market anticompetitive and treat everyone as if they are a monopolist.

There was no evidence of widespread price gouging, censorship by ISPs, or other harmful practices prior to the enacting of Net Neutrality.  Regulating the internet as a utility was the most overbearing form of regulating the Obama administration could implement.  Why did the Obama administration take over the internet through executive fiat? This American Thinker Article sheds light on the primary motivation:

President Obama feared the free flow of information as a threat to his power grabs and attempt to fundamentally transform the United States. Just as cable news eliminated the old guard network’s role as gatekeepers of what we saw and heard, the Internet freed information consumers to seek the truth and speak their minds in an unfettered environment.

Under net neutrality, the FCC took for itself the power to regulate how Internet providers manage their networks and how they serve their customers. The FCC would decide how and what information could flow through the Internet, all in the name of providing access to the alleged victims of corporate greed.

Net Neutrality was all about social justice not eliminating harmful practices.   According to this Investor Business Daily editorial, Obama’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated purpose for Net Neutrality was:

Genachowski insists net neutrality is designed only to prevent communication giants such as Comcast and Verizon from blocking some websites while favoring others, particularly their own, with higher speeds and better quality. The poor and minorities are shoved aside in the name of profit….

…In the name of providing access to the alleged downtrodden victims of corporate greed, the FCC proposes to take unto itself the power to regulate how Internet providers manage their networks, how they serve their customers. The FCC would decide how and what information could flow through the Internet.

According to the same article, Obama’s FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wrote:

Net Neutrality Is A Civil Rights Issue.  Unfortunately, the powerful cable and telecom industry doesn’t value the Internet for its public interest benefits.  Instead, these companies too often believe that to safeguard their profits, they must control what content you see and how you get it

The free market, which is the most mighty economic engine yet devised, built the internet.   What fuel does the free market run on?  Profits are the fuel.  It was the quest for higher profits that created the most revolutionary communication medium that ever existed.  Competition was what regulated the internet.  Government regulation only hinders and destroys.  The free exchange of money for goods and services is the most color blind form of social interaction that ever existed.

Net Neutrality has had very negative effects on the internet.   Free State Foundation President Randolph May describes these negative effects in this Breitbart article

The FCC’s current regulations, put in place at President Obama’s direction in 2015, constitute a misguided act of regulatory aggression leveled at the dynamic broadband Internet marketplace. It is none too soon to repeal them. Already, there is persuasive evidence that applying a public utility regulatory regime to Internet service providers has slowed investment in new facilities. As demand for Internet services continues to grow exponentially, the nation can ill-afford to risk deterring investment in new high-speed networks.

The moment FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released his statement a wave of outrage swept over individuals from the political left.   Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute described the outrage in this Fox News Article

There’s plenty of scaremongering around steps broadband providers could take in the absence of neutrality regulation — blocking off certain sites, or charging extra fees to access certain services — but not a ton of reason to think they would do these things, which would antagonize customers, be technically tricky to enforce against sophisticated users, and invite the re-imposition of regulations.

Major Internet Service providers do make convenient villains in all of this Net Neutrality debate because they are not popular with their customers.   A great many believe their ISPs provide lousy customer service and many feel they are overcharged for the service they receive.  Why are ISPs able to get away with these unpopular practices?  Government regulations at the federal, state, and local levels effectively grant these companies monopolies on the local level.   This article from Wired documents how these monopolies are granted and how they limit competition.  Repealing Net Neutrality is just the first step to truly freeing the internet.  Regulations at all levels must be repealed.

Whenever I hear about a mass shooting, the first thing that pops into my mind is, what a shame there weren’t armed people there to stop the tragedy.  I know a lot of individuals immediately shout out that the only way to stop these shootings is to enact gun control.  There is an inherent flaw in the gun control arguments–there is no way to prevent bad guys from acquiring firearms.  Criminals do not obey laws in general.  Gun laws are no different.  Prohibition of any kind has never worked.  Why would it be any different with guns?  If guns are outlawed then only criminals would own guns.  Law abiding individuals would be completely at the mercy of armed criminals.  It is no coincidence that 92 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones.  That statistic is from this study by The Crime Prevention Research Center.

Almost on a weekly basis, I come across articles chronicling how good guys with guns have saved lives by killing bad guys with guns, thus limiting the casualties.  Because these incidents shine a favorable light on guns, they are buried by the media.  They are also buried by Google.  I made the mistake of trying to use Google to research this article.  When I typed in the search “good guy with gun stops bad guy with gun” I first received an avalanche of completely one sided search suggestions before I even finished typing in my search.  The search results were even more biased towards a distorted progressive agenda.

Here are excerpts from three articles I encountered, just through my usual browsing, in the past two weeks.  These articles chronicle incidents where good guys with guns have stopped mass shootings.

This Daily Caller Article  Sept 24 2017

A Nashville Police Department spokesman said the shooter entered the church after 11 a.m. CST wearing a neoprene ski mask. One woman was shot in the parking lot before the shooter entered the church and opened fire on about 42 people still inside.

One church member, 22-year-old Caleb Engle, confronted the shooter before being pistol whipped in the face. Engle then went to his car to retrieve a gun, which he has under a concealed carry license.

Engle returned to the church to confront the gunman again. The gunman shot himself in the face when the man returned, possibly by accident.

Here is the result — Samson is being charged with murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in the attack that killed one and left at least seven other people injured at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, a town just south of Nashville, Tenn.

This Article from American Thinker

Guns in churches seem like some sort of grotesque oxymoron but in the right hands a firearm can be the ultimate peacemaker. Many were thankful that day in 2007 that Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, had easy access to a gun when Matthew Murray entered the east entrance of the church and began firing his rifle. Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Assam, who worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon, shot and killed Murray. Had she not done so, more than two would have been killed at the church that day.

Investor’s Business Daily Editorial

Before the tragedy in Connecticut, a shooter at an Oregon shopping mall was stopped by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit who refused to be a victim, preventing another mass tragedy.

In the target-rich environment of the Clackamas Town Center two weeks before Christmas, the shooter managed to kill only two people before killing himself. A far worse tragedy was prevented when he was confronted by a hero named Nick Meli.

As the shooter was having difficulty with his weapon, Meli pulled his and took aim, reluctant to fire lest an innocent bystander be hit. But he didn’t have to pull the trigger: The shooter fled when confronted, ending his own life before it could be done for him.

Here is what NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre had to say about this subject, as quoted in this Breitbart article

Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk….

…The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

It is safe to say that I’m a very voracious reader.  My primary passions, when it comes to fiction, are science fiction, horror, fantasy, and political thrillers.   I never discriminate when it comes to the political views of authors, even when their political views color their work.  Being a Libertarian, I much more closely identify with libertarian and conservative authors.  When I read books by liberal authors who infuse their views into their work I find myself debating with the author and the characters in my head as I read. This can be distracting, which is why I enjoy reading books by those on the right more.  Here are my favorite fiction authors that also happen to be on the political right:

Dean Koontz

Over the years I’ve read over thirty of his novels. There is no author whose work I enjoy more and there is no fiction author who I agree with more when it comes to political views.  Dean Koontz is very much a libertarian and those views permeate just about every one of his novels.  The heroes pretty much all expose libertarian views while the villains are most often progressives.  The central theme of most of the novels that I’ve read is– individual freedom will triumph over the forces of collectivism.

Here is how Wikipedia describes Dean Koontz:

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is an American author. His novels are broadly described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.

I completely agree with that description.  His books are thrillers and horror stories.  He uses his political views to color his novels.  They are not works of political fiction.  Dean Koontz is a very vocal Catholic.  His Catholic faith also permeates his novels.  Good versus evil is very often a central theme.

If you are thinking about checking out Dean Koontz, I would very much recommend “Watchers” and “Strangers.”  Those are the two novels that first got me hooked.  His “Odd Thomas” series and his “Frankenstein” series are also fantastic, along with so many of his stand alone novels.

Tom Clancy

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread his Jack Ryan series.  It is probably north of a dozen times.  Tom Clancy novels are political and military thrillers. The main character in the Jack Ryan series starts off as an analyst for the CIA.  Tom Clancy was very much a Reagan Conservative and he lets that shine thru very clearly in all of his novels.  In the novel “Executive Orders” President Jack Ryan discusses his political views in great detail.  They are a mixture of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Clancy was a Catholic and so was his main character, Jack Ryan.

Tom Clancy was a very prolific author who wrote many different series of novels.  I’ve only read the Jack Ryan series.  The first ten novels in the series were all fantastic.  After the novel “The Bear and the Dragon” this series was nowhere as good.  If you’re interested in starting the series then “Patriot Games” is the perfect novel to start with.  His standalone novel “Red Storm Rising” is one of my all time favorite novels.  This book is about a nonnuclear world war between the US and the USSR, which takes place in the mid 1980s.

Suzanne Collins

A few months ago I came across an article listing libertarian works of fiction.  Featured in this article was the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Before that article I had not given those books much thought.  I heard the name of the books but considered them to be just for young adults.   After reading the article I decided to give that series a whirl.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed the series so much that I read it three times and have watched all of the movies.

The author of the article was correct about this series having a libertarian message.  The series is set in the future where the part of the world that used to be the United States is now part of a country called Panem.  This country is made up of twelve districts which are oppressed by an extremely tyrannical central government.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, accidently ignites a rebellion then becomes a central figure in the rebellion.  Overthrowing an oppressive government and restoring individual freedom is the central theme.  During the third book Katniss overhears a discussion between two central characters about who should lead the government after the oppressive capitol is defeated.  Here is the answer

“Everyone,” Plutarch tells him. “We’re going to form a republic where the people of each district and the Capitol can elect their own representatives to be their voice in a centralized government. Don’t look so suspicious; it’s worked before.”

There is one line in the book that has a slight pro global warming message but no book is perfect.  The line mentions that a lot of the land has been flooded by rising seas.  There are no details. Man made global warming is never mentioned.  The series takes place in the distant future after many wars have been fought so this rise in the seas could have been caused by anything.  .

The political nature of the Hunger Games has been hotly debated by all sides.  Usually a few lines are pulled out from here and there to claim victory by a liberal or a conservative blog author.  After reading the entire series this libertarian stands firmly behind the conclusion that this series has a strong libertarian message.

There are so many other right leaning fiction authors I’ve read.  I may make this into a regular series of articles if there is enough interest.  If anyone would like to recommend an author please do so in the comments section.

On Friday, October 6th President, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, released sweeping religious liberty protections.   Contained in these protections is a reversal of ObamaCare’s conception mandate.  Most of these religious liberty protections are nothing new at all.  They are contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  Unfortunately that clause has been ignored completely by those promoting the mythical constitutional provision called the separation of church and state.  Here are excerpts from the new guidelines:

Religious liberty is enshrined in the text of our Constitution and in numerous federal statutes. It encompasses the right of all Americans to exercise their religion freely, without being coerced to join an established church or to satisfy a religious test as a qualification for public office. It also encompasses the right of all Americans to express their religious beliefs, subject to the same narrow limits that apply to all forms of speech. In the United States, the free exercise of religion is not a mere policy preference to be traded against other policy preferences. It is a fundamental right.

Attorney General Sessions is mostly correct in this statement.  I’m not sure exactly what limits he is talking about.  The Free Exercise Clause demands that the federal government refrain from meddling in the exercise of religion in any way.  Any restrictions of religious practices were left to the individual States where the people living there can keep their government from abusing this most sensitive power.   The States, rather that the federal government, have the authority to ban such harmful practices as human sacrifice, ritual mutilation, and polygamy.

The Free Exercise Clause protects not just the right to believe or the right to worship; it protects the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs. Federal statutes, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”), support that protection, broadly defining the exercise of religion to encompass all aspects of observance and practice, whether or not central to, or required by, a particular religious faith.

Attorney General Sessions is correct on this particular protection, which dates back to the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Constitutional protections for religious liberty are not conditioned upon the willingness of a religious person or organization to remain separate from civil society. Although the application of the relevant protections may differ in different contexts, individuals and organizations do not give up their religious-liberty protections by providing or receiving social services, education, or healthcare; by seeking to earn or earning a living; by employing others to do the same; by receiving government grants or contracts; or by otherwise interacting with federal, state, or local governments.

The Free Exercise of Religion Clause prevents the federal government from interfering with the religious beliefs of anyone.  This includes all individual and all groups of individuals.  There are no exceptions to this clause so the Attorney General is correct with this statement,

RFRA protects the exercise of religion by individuals and by corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies. For example, the Supreme Court has held that Hobby Lobby, a closely held, for-profit corporation with more than 500 stores and 13,000 employees, is protected by RFRA.

The right of conscious has always been a key component of the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  It is one of the God=given Natural Rights protected by that clause.  Because of the First Amendment, the Obama Administration was absolutely wrong when it tried to force individuals, companies, and religious organizations to violate their religious principles.  Sessions was right to set aside the contraception mandate however his justification was flawed when he cited the RFRA as his sole justification.

A careful examination of the drafting of the First Amendment will prove that the Attorney General’s guidelines are all contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  Here is an excerpt from the Virginia Ratifying Convention for the Constitution, when the Free Exercise of Religion Clause was proposed.  This took place on June 27, 1788.

20th. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established, by law, in preference to others.

Here is an early Draft of First Amendment by James Madison.  This passage is from the House of Representatives transcripts from the drafting of the Bill of Rights, June 8 1789

Fourthly. That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

Here is a later Draft from August 15, 1789, which was read by Mr. Doudinot, who was sitting as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole

Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert “no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.

Here is the discussion that followed that reading:

Mr. [Daniel] Carroll.–As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, of peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the Government than almost any other amendment he had heard proposed.

Mr. Madison said, he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience.

As you can see from this excerpt, the right of conscious is an integral component of the Free Exercise Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  This has been repeatedly ignored by the federal government for over almost 100 years.  The guidelines issued by Attorney General Sessions simply restore this clause back to the original meaning.  Unfortunately a future president can simply ignore it and return us back to where we were before its release.  We the people need to insist the federal government follow the original meaning of this extremely important clause.