Constitution 101 (2)

Lesson 2: The Declaration of Independence

Study Guide

 

Lesson Overview:

The soul of the American founding is located in the universal political principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The meaning of equality and liberty in the Declaration is decisively different than the definition given to those principles by modern liberalism.

Liberty is the right to be free from the coercive interference of other people. It is derived from nature itself, and is a natural right—something possessed simply because one is a human being.

Equality means that no one is by nature the ruler of any other person. Each human being is equal in his right to life, liberty, and property, which the Declaration calls “the pursuit of happiness.”

Equality, liberty, and natural rights require a certain form of government: republicanism, based on the consent of the governed. Legitimate government, based on the consent of the governed, must accomplish three things: the establishment of civil laws that protect man’s natural rights; the punishment of those who infringe on others’ natural rights; and the protection of natural rights through a strong national defense.

The people themselves also play a vital role in protecting their rights. They must be educated in “religion, morality, and knowledge.”

Modern liberalism uses the same language of “liberty” and “equality” as the Declaration of Independence. Yet modern liberals mean something other than what the Founders meant by those words. For the Progressives, “equality” means equal access to resources and wealth, while “liberty” means the ability to utilize a right, rather than the right in itself. Both of these ideas necessitate government programs that help mankind liberate itself from its “natural limitations.”

The Declaration of Independence and modern Progressivism are fundamentally opposed to each other. The modern misunderstanding of “equality” and “liberty” threaten not just the Declaration of Independence, but the whole of the American constitutional and moral order.

 

My Opinion, Sandra Fluke and Contraception

By now, everyone is familiar with this poor poor woman spending $40,000 per year at Georgetown Law & can’t afford her $1000.00 per year contraception bill. It’s not fair she should have to pay for her own birth control out-of-pocket despite the fact that she knew ahead of time that her  health insurance through Georgetown, a Catholic University, would not cover contraception.

This thing regarding the testimony of the Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke is a dodge. It has been a set up from word go.

 Don’t get me wrong. I give credit for the redirect to the Obama handlers, the democrats and the zombies in the mainstream media. (I guess that’s a bit redundant. The media are the Obama handlers).

 It has been established long ago that the media gets their marching orders directly from the White House and it’s surrogates.

We should have seen this coming from the time George Snuffleupagus, asked Mitt Romney if States should be able to outlaw contraception. The question came seemingly from out of nowhere.

But, of course, it didn’t come from out of nowhere, nor was the question fashioned by the moderator or anyone else in the news (stenography) business.

It came directly from someone in the Obama administration, or from one of the many organizations that walk in lock step.

Yes, I know. I, like you, am shocked to learn that a respected journalist (you may chuckle if you’d like) such as Stephanopoulos would agree to posit a question merely to advance the administration’s agenda.

So, what’s the agenda, the dodge, the redirect? It’s twofold. First is to get the media, the candidates and the public to concentrate on something other than the economy. Second is the female vote. Obama has been losing support of women for quite sometime. The abortion issue is not playing the way it used to. Something had to be done to bring women back to the dems and Obama. Just like magic, a new issue appears.

Evidently, they’ve decided that contraception is their battle cry. On behalf of helpless damsels everywhere, they will bring the fight directly to the evil Republicans, those who would deny women the right to  contraception. Huh?

Well, that’s the way it’s been framed, has it not?

Now, anyone who has a thought in their head, would realize, as Mitt Romney stated, no one is going to take away a woman’s contraception, nor is it even a healthcare issue. That matters not to the left. Their only concern is the advancement of the agenda at any cost.

I was going to say that the left are masters at forcing an issue to the fore. At redirecting the conversation away from what is truly important in this country today. I stopped myself due to the realization that they don’t have to be masters. They have every major TV (save Fox), print and Internet outlet to do their bidding. I’ll give them kudos for coming up with idea, but advancing it is easy.

And, as always happens, we conservative dolts play right along.  Let us not discuss domestic energy policy, more bankrupt solar companies, European meltdown or the Middle East blowing up. Surely our heroes getting killed in Afghanistan are not worthy of discussion.

I am only writing of this to show how wearily trivial it is and to demonstrate how easy, with a complicit media, a topic can be advanced. 

Even Rush Limbaugh was sucked into this. For days he belabored the topic of Fluke and her testimony before Pelosi’s committee. What a waste of valuable airtime. It was great for the left. They had every excuse to hammer on the subject, even getting candidates to denounce Limbaugh. Our people naturally oblige them and appear content to play along.

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know I’m no fan of Newt Gingrich. However, one of the things I do appreciate about Gingrich is his eagerness to take the fight to the lefties. He will call them out when he sees their attempt at advancing propaganda .

Like Newt, we need all conservatives to stand up & say, enough. This topic is a Trojan horse, & we will not discuss it anymore. We know what you’re trying to do and we will no longer play along.

Arrested for a Drawing

A Canadian father was arrested and strip-searched Wednesday after his 4-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun in her kindergarten class.

Ontario dad Jesse Sansone told the Toronto Sun his little girl’s drawing was supposed to be him, getting monsters and bad guys. Her teacher apparently thought differently, and the school contacted child protective services. When Sansone arrived to pick his daughter up, three police officers were waiting to take him into custody.

“I’m picking up my kids and then, next thing you know, I’m locked up,” he told the Waterloo Region Record. “I was in shock. This is completely insane.”

Police questioned Sansone’s daughter and his other children, who gave a “detailed description” of a firearm supposedly located in the house and easily accessible to them, Inspector Kevin Thaler of the Waterloo Regional Police said, according to the Calgary Herald.

“The kids were scared,” said Thaler. “It is a 4-year-old that we’re taking the information from, but the fact is that this disclosure was very descriptive and very alarming to the officers investigating this.”

He said the arrest was made “because it was the end of the school day” and officers felt they needed to “secure and locate the firearm.”

When Sansone got to the school, he was told only that he was being arrested for possession of a firearm and given no additional details. At the police station, he was forced to remove his clothes for a full strip search. While he sat in a jail cell, police even brought his pregnant wife to the station for more questioning.

This selfless dedication to public safety really paid off:

Sansone said police searched his house and found a plastic toy gun that shoots foam darts.

The cops didn’t find any bad guys or monsters either, at least until they went home and looked in the mirror.

Attributions: The Blaze, The Daily Caller

Constitution 101 (1)

The following is Lesson One in a Ten Part program presented by Hillsdale College on understanding The United States Constitution. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we understand our founding documents, particularly the Declaration of Independence & the Constitution.

Lesson 1: The American Mind

You may feel free to simply watch or follow along with the attached Study Guide

Lesson Overview:

America’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of “the American mind.” Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration—to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator.

The word “constitution” means “to ordain and establish something.” It also means “to set a firm thing strongly in place.” It is linked to two other words: statute and statue. All three words—constitution, statute, and statue—connote a similar idea of establishing something lasting and beautiful.

The Constitution, then, is a work of art. It gives America its form. To fully know the “cause,” or purpose, of America, one must know the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, its author, mentioned four thinkers for their contribution to molding “the American mind”: Aristotle, Cicero, Algernon Sidney, and John Locke.

Studying these philosophers is a wondrous task in itself, and it greatly helps our understanding of America, just as it informed the statecraft of the Founders. Knowing the meaning of the Declaration and Constitution is vital to the choice before us today as to whether we will live under a Constitution different than the one bequeathed to us.

Say the Word and We’ll be Free

I’ve heard from many sources, even conservatives, who say the price of gas is no longer in our control. Maybe it never was. Blaming the president is good politics, but that’s all it is.

It is said, there is nothing Obama can say or do to effect the price of gas at the pump. This is a global problem. There are many more competing factions for a finite amount of oil. China, India, etc. They need oil like they have never needed it in the past. We have to compete with them. That drives up the price. Makes sense, I guess.

Then there are all the problems occuring in the Middle East. That whole region could collapse at any moment. That too, is driving up the price. Again, sounds logical.

It is also said by many that we can’t simply drill our way to lower gas prices.

So, I guess we’re just stuck. Or are we?

Before looking for a solution, let’s first take a peek behind the government’s regualtory curtain.

Time for some history.

In 1972 Congress passed the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act , which provided for the establishment of National Marine Sanctuaries. Oil and gas drilling are prohibited in these areas.

In 1982, the U.S. Congress directed that no federal funds be used to lease federal tracts off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, or central and northern California. Over the years, buried in appropriations bills,  Congress was able to add other areas until the prohibited area included all the east and west coasts, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Congress repeated the effective ban on offshore drilling in these areas every year until September 2008, when an appropriations bill passed the House and Senate without the ban. We’ll cover 2008 in a bit. It’s an interesting year.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush issued an executive moratorium restricting federal offshore leasing to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Alaska. The moratorium banned federal leasing through the year 2000 off the East Coast, West Coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico (offshore Florida Gulf Coast), and the Northern Aleutian Basin of Alaska. In 1998, President Bill Clinton extended the moratorium through 2012.

In 2002, Congress imposed a moratorium on drilling on or directionally beneath the Great Lakes. The ban was made permanent by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Part of the central and most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico was declared off-limits to oil and gas leasing until 2022 by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

The bottom line is, thanks to our government, drilling for our own energy is prohibited virtually everywhere. Now there’s an energy policy we can all be proud of.

Ok, so we’ve established that America’s domestic energy policy is suicidal. What was so exeptional about 2008?

In the summer of 2008, President George W. Bush announced that he would veto any appropriations bill that maintained the Congressional moratorium. Without the votes to override his veto, Congress subsequently let the drilling moratorium expire.

 In July 2008, President George W. Bush also rescinded those restrictive executive orders that had prevented oil & gas drilling.

So what. Politicians say many things and nothing changes. Everyone knows they never mean it. Spoken or written, these are just words. What effect could these policy changes have had?

Well, you be the judge.

Just prior to ‘W’s’ July, 2008 proclamation and action, a gallon of regular gasoline, on average, was a staggering $4.11. By August it was $3.69. A drop of over $0.40 in a month.

Not impressed? How about this. By the end of December, 2008, a gallon of regular plummeted to $1.61. and a barrel of oil went from a high of $147.00 to $30.28.

Am I saying that this precipitous drop was due solely to Bush’s actions. No, but I guarantee it played a big part. Why? Because the rest of the world knew someone in this country finally meant it. They knew Bush was serious about domestic drilling.

It’s human nature. When the worlds oil producing nations concluded we were actually serious, I mean really serious about exploiting our own resources, the price of a barrel of oil would naturally plunge. They simply couldn’t afford for us to produce most of our own energy. Foreign oil would drop just to price out domestic production.

The evil speculators, you know, the ones that always get blamed for jacking up the price of oil. Those same speculators would drive the price down so fast it would make your head spin.

Now, I am not an oil or energy expert. I am neither a foreign policy expert, nor an energy speculator. I don’t have to be.

 This is not about oil or gas or market speculation. As I said, this is about human nature, which is quite predictable.  It happens everywhere & in every industry. With competition comes lower prices. It’s really that simple.

So, why didn’t the prices stay low, you ask? Well, we had an election and Barack Obama won. He reinstated all the moratoriums and here we are again, at the mercy of foreign suppliers and subject to Middle East upheaval.

Attribution: Government/Senate Archives

Joke of the Day

A Burley Biker is riding his Harley by the zoo in Washington, DC when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage.


Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.  


The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.


Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her
to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.


A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.”

 
The Harley rider replies, “It was nothing really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted accordingly.”


The reporter says, “Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page…So, what do you do for a living and what is your political affiliation?”


The biker replies, “I’m a U.S. Marine and a Conservative.”


The journalist leaves.


The following morning the biker buys the paper to see news of his actions, and there on the front page is:

U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS
AFRICAN IMMIGRANT
AND STEALS
HIS LUNCH

 

Newsflash: PETA Lies

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have always been against the cruelty or abuse of animals.

They have fought to ban all laboratory use of animals and for that matter, any use of animals. They swear to being vegan or vegetarians.

They won’t use any products made from animal material such as leather, furs or feathers. Some of the members of PETA go so far as to abdicate the necessary extinction of mankind so that animals will be free of our cruel treatment.

PETA is supposed to be the most animal friendly organization in the world.

However, this may be one of the most animal cruel and hypocritical organizations in the nation. The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a non-profit organization, obtained.
documents from the Virginia Department of Agriculture that sheds an entirely different portrayal of the animal rights group.

According to the documents received by CCF, they show that PETA, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, has killed more than 27,000 animals since 1998.

Those animals killed by PETA represent nearly 95% of those that were supposedly rescued by the group. CCF said that last year PETA found homes for only 24 pets while killing nearly 2,000 cats and dogs.

PETA dubiously claims it does not run a “traditional animal shelter” and that it puts down animals that are too sick or injured to survive.

But reports indicate that nearly 85% of the
animals rescued by PETA are destroyed within the first 24 hours and before they can even try to locate a new home for them.

PETA picked up dogs and cats from animal shelters in North Carolina and killed them before they even left the state.

A 2003 report showed PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals it took in, finding adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and the Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent.

In a 2005 interview, Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko said,  “PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year alone, but apparently it couldn’t spare any money to care for the flesh-and-blood animals entrusted to its employees. It’s ironic — If anyone else were caught red-handed with 31 dead dogs, PETA would be holding a press conference to denounce them.”

In 2005, two PETA employees, Andrew Cook and Adria Hinkle, were arrested by police who observed them throwing the dead carcasses of dogs and cats into a dumpster in North Carolina. It was learned that the animals had been killed in the back of the PETA van before being dumped.

In 2007, the two employees were tried for 21 charges of felony animal cruelty, seven counts of littering and three counts of obtaining property by false pretensesin North Carolina.  Evidence presented during the trial showed that PETA employees killed animals they considered “adorable” and “perfect.”

During the trial witnesses testified that PETA told them they “shouldn’t have a problem at all finding homes” for dogs left in their care. Other North Carolina shelter personnel testified that they were under the impression PETA would find homes for the animals they handed over to PETA. These impressions were incorrect.

Thanks to Superior Court Judge Cy Grant the charges were reduced to eight misdemeanor charges before the jury began to deliberate. They basically got off scott free.

PETA has an annual budget of about $37 million and while they may advertise for donations to care for and find new homes for rescued animals, one has to wonder exactly what they do use their millions for.

Since they are a non-profit organization and they obviously are not using their donations for the purposes stated, someone in Virginia needs to investigate them and bring them to justice for fraud and cruelty to animals and have their non-profit status revoked.

Attribution: Godfather Politics, The Center for Consumer Freedom