Archive for February, 2009

Nationalize the Fed

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

If the US Government is going to nationalize any financial institution at all, it should be be the Federal Reserve, which is a privately owned bank. Let\’s start there and see if it is even necessary after that to nationalize any other private banks. It may in fact cure the whole problem we currently face.

The Shot Heard \’Round the World

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

By the rude bridge that arched the flood
their flags to April\’s breeze unfurled
once the embattled farmers stood and
fired the shot heard \’round the world.
-R.W. Emerson

Who fired the \”Shot heard \’round the world\”? What were the thoughts of the first farmer to show up at the Concord Bridge that Spring day; April 19, 1775? How long did he stand there alone wondering when the others would show? What did they say to one another as they stood, rifles in hand, waiting for the Redcoats to appear? Did lumps rise in their throats, did their hands sweat, did their hearts pound, did their knees tremble or were they stiffened in resolve as they saw the smoke rising eastward from the village? What would compel a rag-tag band of civilians, independent of any authority, to stand against the world\’s most powerful military machine? It was not a death wish and certainly not avarice, hatred or lust; it was the compelling recognition that the freedoms that remained to them were imperiled. You may well be able to imagine how they felt and fully appreciate what they were thinking because you are feeling and thinking the same way this day.

The smoke that rises signaling that the Redcoats have arrived is metaphorical in our circumstance and time but the Redcoats are nevertheless real. What is to be done?

\”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-\”

We have had this answer all along, at least since 1776. Is it not again time to seriously address the issues, initially brought forth in the Declaration of Independence, in our day? Has the government become \”destructive of these ends\”? Has the government exceeded its constitutional mandate and breached the limits of its authority? Is the government the servant of the people or has it become the master? Has the government violated or limited the unalienable rights of its citizens? Has the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness been circumscribed by the ever evolving powers of government? Is there reason to hope for improvement given the course our government has taken? Is the rapid growth of government on all levels cause for grave concern? Will waiting for a better moment for a redress of grievances relieve us forever and altogether of our opportunity to do so?

With this in mind, I recommend the Branson, Missouri economic revival project; \”Operation Redress Rehearsal.\”

There are 19,000 rooms and 458 restaurants in Branson, perfectly located in the center of the nation, with theaters and halls much in need of audiences in these blighted and benighted times. Why not kill too birds with one stone and call upon all concerned citizens of like mind to meet in Branson, say– sometime like May Day, for the purpose of discussing the problems that government has created for its citizens and what to do about them? I have never been to Branson but I would imagine that Branson would be happy to see the likes of like-minded citizens. The citizens of Branson would probably roll out the carpet (not red, please—and probably not blue either, thanks) for our little convocation. We could have a general (wholly non-partisan) meeting to begin with to get the conversation going and then return with our friends around Flag Day for Act Two where we all meet in different venues, by state, to further discuss the issues and to vote for representatives from each state who will participate in Act Three, preceding and leading up to the 4th of July, when the will of the \”Citizens\’ Congress\” will be expressed in the document it produces.

The time between the first and last meetings will be filled with lectures, debates, seminars and forums on the Constitution, the Federalist papers, the intent of the Framers, the roll of state governments in the process, the grievances and associated problems, restoring the doctrine of separation of powers, the role of NGO\’s, economic/monetary policies, the way forward, political theatre and comedy (as if Al Franken wasn\’t enough), etc. A host of entertainers (but not Al Franken) would be invited and doubtless be delighted to participate. Experts on every relevant subject could be induced by an appeal to their patriotism to show up in the Show Me State to share their talents and expertise with the public and the delegates. Street fairs with vendors focusing on preparedness products and information would provide additional valuable goods and services. Good people and good ideas would compete for attention and reflection. We will be doing something positively positive; happily and anxiously engaged in a good cause.

Post convention interest would reverberate though the community, and hopefully the nation, for months, years, decades or centuries.

All private citizens are welcome to come to Branson but only those who will sign a sworn statement that they have read the Constitution and then demonstrate their knowledge of its contents by taking a short test (open book) will be permitted inside the various venues. Those currently serving as elected officials in local, state or federal office, including any and all who serve on the state or federal bench, may serve as panel members or witnesses but will not be accorded deference to their respective office or the right to vote, as this would represent a clear conflict interest and would be incompatible with the purposes of the process.

It would be made clear to all participants and visitors that appeals to violence or violent revolution of any kind will not be tolerated in this setting. All political party affiliation and activity must be left at home or at the city limits. This should be an open and honest conversation among concerned citizens who should be free to express their own personal principles, nothing identified with a political party or ideology. The Framers were not encumbered by partisan considerations. They were only concerned with \”what\” was right. We have a great advantage in having the template they designed and will be concerned only with what is constitutional. The purposes for this gathering are to air and appropriately articulate our constitutionally justifiable grievances with the intent and certitude that these be redressed, not reviled, by our seated government representatives. They will show us what we need to know. Should they fail to take seriously the recommendations of the citizens\’ congress, further conferences can be convened to discuss appropriate responses.

What can we really accomplish? Consider this; only 4% of the 2,500,000 residents of the colonies actively participated in the Revolution. They were aided by Providence every step of the way. A band of 900 private citizens marched over the mountains from Tennessee to Kings Mountain near the border between the Carolinas, intercepting and destroying the left wing of the British march on Virginia causing the abandonment of that campaign and subsequently subjecting the British to an overwhelmingly significant defeat at the Cowpens. Those 900 \”over the mountain\” men, independent of any authority, acting in the greater good, turned the tide of the Revolution. It was \”down hill\” for the British from that moment, on. What can we accomplish? We are Americans, aren\’t we? We recognize our duty, don\’t we?

If you believe this idea has merit, Show Me please, by forwarding it to any and everyone you know. I will see you in Branson but you probably will not see me (not because I\’m afraid to show my face. For evidence please see the preceding post.) I will be there, but as anonymous and unrecognizable as the farmer that fired the shot on Patriot\’s Day, 1775.

Three Degrees of Separation

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

It was over before it began. The stage was set, the event was choreographed, the show went on. The audience was behaved. The CA Assembly Judiciary committee chairperson called the \”hearing\” to order precisely at 10:30AM. The first order of business of the new committee season and session was not the impending fiscal implosion of the Golden State. No, the first order of business was to hear and vote upon a resolution to encourage the CA Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8.

I arrived early; 7:00AM, and laid solitary claim (it was raining hard enough to ward off the competition) to the entrance to the underground garage where the members park their cars, reminding them with my small yellow sign as they arrived, that both Obama and Prop 8 received 53% of the vote on that long ago November day. From their frowns I knew that they understood the point. At 9:30, I went inside to the committee room and claimed first place in a line that exploded to hundreds within minutes. The next three people were, like me, opposed to the resolution but we were about it for the first 200 or so people in line. I was beginning to feel like a Bronco fan at a Raiders\’ home game. I was very happy they weren\’t selling beer. Approximately 1000 supporters of the resolution were on hand and were stashed in rooms all over the capitol.

One woman pressed to the front of the line and asked me if she could take my spot in front because of some knee problems she was having, and I naturally obliged. When her wife arrived, we were properly introduced and I discovered that this woman (Robin) was some legendary lesbian activist from LA. While Robin\’s wife spoke to me, Robin called Gloria Allred on her cell phone and directed her to that spot. The Sergeant at Arms then arrived to bow and scrape before the Grande Dam (Robin, not Gloria), assuring her that all was well and that everything has been prepared for their comfort. We were led into the hearing room. I could have seated myself with them but I couldn\’t muster the necessary progesterone. I am not uncomfortable around homosexuals having worked with many over the years but I was uncomfortable with Robin, who was directing everyone hither and thither and using her wife as a prop. I felt bad for her wife but she is probably used to it.

New Assembly member, Tom Amiano (from SF, of course) was asked to introduce his resolution. He claimed, as previously anticipated here, that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional as it was a revision of the Constitution, not an amendment. He then dwelt for a few minutes on the emotional side of the issue and handed off the remainder of the presentation to his three sidekicks who were equally unable to make a legal argument. One question was asked by one of thee Republican Assembly members to which no coherent answer was proffered. The fix was in.

A solitary witness was brought forward to oppose the resolution. She stated the case rather well, noting that the electorate had the absolute right to amend the Constitution. That Prop 8 was not a revision. She also pointed out the existing law treats all Californians equally, which it does. (I am also prohibited from marrying a man, though I could have gotten some mileage by proclaiming that my first wife\’s name was Kevin—another story—\”she\” was born on St. Kevin\’s Day to a devout Irish Catholic family.) At this, the snivels and snickers percolated to the surface causing the chairperson to ask for respectful silence. To their credit, the audience behaved in a refreshingly civil manner (unlike the days immediately following the election), apart from a kind of 4th grade giggle and undertone that rippled through the room from time to time. I\’m sure they had all been warned not to tease or terrorize the animals. No members questioned the opposition witness.

20 minutes was then allotted to the proponents and then the opponents in attendance. Any interested person was permitted to express their \”feelings\” in approximately one minute segments. I was surprised by the number of opponents to rise (many were apparently ushered in from other rooms). I had considered speaking up but because the speakers were being lead out of the room after each had spoken, I decided to stay and listen to the end. The public testimony can be reduced to this; on the proponent side it was \”Please save the Constitution from the intolerant right-wingers and end this cruel discrimination\”. From the opposition rose the chorus of \”The voters have approved this measure twice. What is it that you people don\’t understand about democracy?\”

A few Democrat members then spoke, yammering canned pleasantries about love and tolerance and equality. Two Republicans asserted that Prop 8 was a proper amendment and that it was not the Assembly\’s job to instruct the Judiciary. The Chair then made these points, which will be the talking points for the next month or two; Prop 8 changed the Constitution by violating its equal protection provisions (a real stretch, as marriage, love and sexuality are not addressed at all in the Constitution), and that it also violated the separation of powers provision, usurping the powers of judiciary in it\’s role as sole \”revisor\” of the Constitution in the absence of a Constitutional convention. The vote was then recorded; 7-3, along strict party lines. The Proponents cheered and clapped. Most in attendanace lined up outside the Senate hearing room where the farce would be replayed at 12:30 to the delight of all those who wore the blue \”I Do\” buttons.

As I wandered off, too disinterested in the sequel to want to sit through another two hours of muddle and mush, I wondered what this was really all about. No legal issues were discussed. No real arguments were made, apart from specious and frivolous allegations and the well-rehearsed appeals to emotion. Nothing of slightest substance was accomplished. This matter was exclusively in the hands of the court. This resolution, in view of the doctrine of separation of powers, had no effect whatsoever. Then it came to me in a flash! Yes, this really was about separation, but not separation of powers! This was all a show designed to separate the homosexual community from their money. This was nothing less than a well-orchestrated scam to shore up the coffers of the Senate and Assembly Democrat campaign committees; nothing more than a grand fundraiser! The state of California and its fiscal crisis be damned—-as long as the Dems can rake in the campaign cash!

The hurry in all of this now seems apparent; the Democrats in power are not confident that the Supremes will overturn the Proposition. Their legal challenge is very weak, at best. As the legal argument will not sway the judges, an appeal to their egos and emotions is the last resort. It is doubtful that this will do the trick. At least one of the justices that overturned Prop 22 will support Prop 8. This is all that is required. Then, fully frustrated at the failure of their efforts in the political arena and the failure of those to whom they paid good money to deliver the goods, the generosity of the members of the homosexual community will abruptly end. Homosexuals as a source of political milk will udderly dry up. All that will be left is Sean Penn on DVD. The CA Democrat party chose to act now to extract as much additional funding as possible from this interest group because after the Supremes rule there will be little or no interest in continuing to fund the socio-emotional extortionists in the CA Democrat party. (The Republicans are the real girlie men in all of this. While they are willing to show a little testosterone on tax issues, they have been completely cowed on the social and cultural front, not willing or emotionally able to deal with the PC backlash from the harpies in the media.)

I was encouraged by these thoughts for a moment but then felt a strange sadness for the \”I Do\” people. Their tender hearts will be broken again by the empty promises of the political class who use them as a cash cow and then, doubtless, joke about them and their gullibility in their absence. But I am certain that they treat all their victims equally.

There really ought to be a law.

PS. The next morning.
The rain stopped long enough this morning for a rainbow to appear in the direction of downtown Sacramento. While some will view this as an omen of good report for their cause, it would be well to remember the original meaning of this sign; not by flood. Not this time.

Apologies

Monday, February 16th, 2009

To my readers:
I am not able to allow comments on this site owing to the unsavory among us; not those who disagree with the views of the frog but with those who use the comment section to post advertising for everything from credit cards to viagra. This they do without paying, as WordPress is a free site. At one time I had so much of this (literally hundreds of thousands of ads) that it shut down the server. I was unable to delete them fast enough though I spent countless hours trying. While I am always interested in communicating, this must remain a one-way street. If you agree with what is written here, please forward the link to your friends. If you don\’t like what is written here, please forward the link to your enemies.
Thank you for your understanding.
The Frog (not yet fully poached)

The Public Good

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The California Senate and Assembly are holding committee hearings this Tuesday to determine whether or not to support virtually identical resolutions to ask the California Supreme Court to once again reverse the will of the majority of California voters by striking down Proposition 8; 14 words added to the constitution defining traditional marriage as between one man and one woman. The rationale for co-opting the inherent power of the electorate is an obscure CA Supreme Court case titled Livermore vs Waite (1894) in which the right of the electorate to amend the Constitution was re-affirmed and in which a decision was rendered clarifying the distinction between an \”amendment\” and a \”revision\”. An amendment, according to the ruling court, is a modification \”within the lines of original instrument\” whereas a revision alters or reforms the government and is limited to the circumstance \”when the public good may require\”.

Apart from being a real stretch, legally, this mind-numbing attempt at logic ignores some basic realities. First, sexuality is not defined in the constitution; neither is marriage. Prop 8 is within the lines of the original document in that it merely validates the historic definition of marriage. It does not change it. Because it does not change anything it therefore does not alter or reform government and cannot be held to be a revision. Marriage is an institution which predates all secular law and is derived from religious observance. Any attempt to alter the traditional definition of marriage is, in fact, a violation of the First Amendment.

Where law does historically address the make-up of families we find that it is clearly illegal for Johnny to have two mommies. Ask the polygamist communities. All citizens are accorded the same rights under the laws regarding marriage; each is free to marry a person of the opposite sex and each is prohibited from marrying someone of the same gender. Where then is the discrimination that critics claim as the basis for their complaint? Where is love addressed in the Constitution?

As regards the \”public good\”, it is more than abundantly clear that a home with a mother and a father is healthier for a child than a home with one gender missing. Studies of this subject are legion and virtually unanimous in their conclusions that children fair better with a mother and a father. Is this benefit to the child in the \”public good\”? Further, there can be no \”public\” or public good without a mom and a dad. The European nations that have approved homosexual marriage have seen marked declines in their respective birth rates and the holes in their populations are being filled by the adherents of Islam. Sharia law is now approved in Britain. Is this in the \”public good\”?

Lastly, the politicians voting on this resolution (and running for re-election) would do well to remember this: minority populations overwhelmingly supported Prop 8, and this; Obama-53%: Proposition 8-53%. Invalidating one necessarily invalidates the other.

Why Wait?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Now that the Supreme Court has validated the long-held understanding (of rational people) that the Second Amendment is a \”private and personal\” right to keep and bear firearms (co-existent with the right of self defense), the anti-Americans among us are pursuing a different path to subdue the populace to their will; they are attempting, through state legislatures, to ban all ammunition that does not bear the markings they intend to place upon each bullet and casing that identifies its origins. Under this proposed legislation the new ammo is supposed to be made available this year (accompanied by a $.05/bullet tax) and all existing ammunition is supposed to be surrendered to government authorities beginning in 2011. My questions are these; if they really want our ammo, why wait? Why not let them have it sooner rather than later?

Please check this site:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h45ih.txt.pdf

Please contact the legislators in your state and ask them if they really want your ammo.

NO THANKS!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

As previously noted here, depressions are the result of continued investment in bad or outmoded ideas (see socialism) and technologies (see buggy whips). While this is true, recessions are more apt to become depressions when the government rides to the rescue, as was the case in the 30\’s. It would be nice to be able to say \”NO THANKS!\” but it is no longer possible. Who will rescue us from the government? When? How?

Chuck Schumer, in a radio interview yesterday, said that the extra trillion or so dollars in stimulus spending mentioned by Geithner was not public (tax payer) money but rather the Fed\’s money. When asked where they got a trillion dollars, the NY Senator stated that they have gold reserves and that they would use these as leverage to fund their stimulus contribution. The next question was not asked. \”Where did the Fed get a trillion dollars worth of gold?\” Where did the IMF get the 403 tons of gold they are planning to sell? We might also wish to ask about the last audit of the gold reserves of the US Treasury. Do we still possess gold reserves? If not, what happened to our gold? Hmmm.

I suggest you call your elected representatives and ask them to \”show us the money\” in Fort Knox. If they cannot, we have much bigger white collar criminal issues to deal with than Bernie Madoff\’s paltry peculation.

Wall Paper

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The \”stimulus\” package is designed to accomplish two purposes; first to paper-over the Fed\’s failures and felonies. The package is also designed to buy the next election for the Democrats. It is not much more complicated than this but it will not work; in fact it will only make matters worse. The disaster the new president fears is that the truth will be revealed before he can get this thing sowed-up. Beware! Call your Senators and Congressmen.

Good News!!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

There is good news amidst the hue and cry over the economy. As legislators debate stimulus packages (aka, future taxes) while simultaneously discussing tax reductions, we who can read between the lines have discovered that we don\’t really need the tax breaks! We already have them! We are not required to pay taxes unless we are nominated to serve in the Federal government, at which time we can apologize and pay without repercussions or consequences of any kind. Who knew?!

The Bong Show

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

James Harrison\’s 100 yard interception return for a touchdown as time expired in the Superbowl\’s first half would have been the stuff of legends had he not later behaved in hideous fashion, throwing an unprovoked punch at a much smaller member of Cardinals\’ team. .

Plaxico Burris might have dramatically imporoved his own team\’s fortunes if he hadn\’t shot himself in the foot.

Obama\’s administration might be the stuff of legends if it had not been immediately tainted by the rot of scandal from Geithner, Holder, Daschle and several others not worthy of their high offices.

Michael Phelps\’ 8 gold medals in the Peking Olympic Games would have been the stuff of legends had he not foolishly chosen to engage in reckless behavior.

The world is full of imperfect men and we should forgive them but permitting them to remain in the game without consequence or sanction, apart from a few alligator tears and an artfully sorrowful snivel, only breeds greater imperfections in the generations that follow. Is this is the way the world ends; not with a bang but a bong and a whimper?