"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conservatism From The Brit Perspective

A writer on the UK conservative blog CentreRight has posted the beginnings of his list of precepts that define conservatism. It's interesting to see how much I find to agree with. Here's the list:

  1. No insignificant person has ever been born.
  2. Economic liberalism needs social conservatism (and, 5pm addition, Iain Murray emails me to say and vice versa)
  3. The presumption should always be in favour of life
  4. Government should be as small as possible but as large as necessary
  5. Multilateral organisations transfer power from people to politicians
  6. Private choices have public consequences/ Policymakers have an interest in 'private choices', at least so long as they have consequences for taxpayers
  7. Conservatism is a creative coalition between security, economic and cultural conservatives
  8. A welfare state that feeds-and-forgets isn't compassionate
  9. Politics is less important than ideas, culture and religion
  10. Free enterprise and big business are not the same
  11. Taxation has dynamic effects
  12. Pre-emption is the best response to many of today's security threats
  13. There is such thing as society, it's just not the state
  14. Man is a fallen creature
  15. Decision-making powers should be as close as possible to those affected by those decisions
  16. Private ownership is nearly always preferable to common ownership
  17. A strong society is built upon the vigorous virtues of courage, ambition, creativity, self-sufficiency and enterprise.
  18. Love of country is fundamental to all conservatism.
  19. Social liberalism can be destructive of social justice.
  20. Conservative reform is usually preferable to radical revolution. Conservatism must deal with its own enemies within.

I especially like his point that free enterprise does not necessarily equal big business, in light of our government's inability to distinguish between the two. Bush's attempts to save big business are in danger of seriously hurting free enterprise. I fear that will only get worse under the Obama administration.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Best of the Best Of

Check out all the totally useless, yet highly amusing, "Best Of 2008" lists.

I don't think I made one of them. I'll try harder in '09.

Our State Is A Mess

If you're sick of all that holiday cheer and were looking for something to complain about, Chad Adams at the John Locke Foundation's Squall Lines blog has a list for you.

He hits some, but surely not all, of the bases, including the North Carolina probation system, mental health system and transportation department. He even points out the sad fact that governments can't even run liquor sales at a profit. Good Lord.

Hamas Needed Bombing

Just in case you were inclined to feel a bit sorry for Hamas having to deal with a modern air force dropping bombs and missiles on it for days on end, Little Green Footballs brings us this from the Jerusalem Post.

It seems that just before Christmas, the Hamas legislature passed a new criminal code for the Palestinian Authority that legalizes crucifixion. How nice.

And these are the people that the Jimmy Carter "peace now" crowd wants Israel to negotiate with. There are some people, and Hamas falls into this category, that to dignify them with negotiations would be a step backwards for civilization.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Count Your Blessings

As we prepare for another Christmas in the most free nation on Earth, let's remember those who have to deal with more than a few ACLU lawyers to celebrate their faith.

Joseph Morrison Skelly writes at National Review Online about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran minister who actively fought against the Nazis from inside Germany. He is an example of the many men and women who risk their lives and freedom to celebrate Christmas.

Skelly reminds us of a few of these:

At Christmas time in 1942 Bonhoeffer had circulated a long letter to his closest colleagues assessing a decade of resistance, later reprinted as the essay “After Ten Years.” In it he asks the question, “Who stands firm?” Today, there are Christians who quietly stand up to tyranny. On the morning of December 25, they will acknowledge the day’s significance. In Beijing, a husband will wish his wife “Merry Christmas.” In Havana, a family will exchange gifts. A minister in Riyadh will read the Gospel. A priest in Pyongyang will silently say Mass. These men and women, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, resist without fear. They grasp a fundamental fact about the intersection of freedom and faith, as true for Christians as it is for men and women of all religions. They understand that to be human is to know God; to be human and free is to know God fully.
God Bless them.

I Blame Global Warming

If a blizzard hasn't knocked out your electricity, you can read this fun list of The Top Ten Things Global Warming Is Responsible For.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas In Iraq

The world's only Arab democracy allows the celebration of Christmas. The Interior Ministry even sponsored an event in Baghdad featuring Santa, a band, a decorated tree and a hot air balloon with Jesus Christ on its side.

That would get a town or city sued in this country. I probably shouldn't even say that, if any US funds we somehow involved, the ACLU is probably already at the courthouse.

On a happier note, does this mean we won?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Southeastern NC To Be Awash With Roadkill

North Carolina DOT announced it will layoff most temporary workers by early next month, in a cost-cutting attempt. One of the jobs performed by these unlucky souls is roadkill clean-up. Being laid-off is bad, but being laid-off from a job picking dead possums off the side of the road...maybe not so much.

Surely, the state wouldn't create make-work jobs for officials' friends and relatives, so I'm afraid this move will have dire consequences. How we we keep from being drowned in the carcasses of dead critters? My wife suggested that perhaps the vultures would step up, but can we count on Mother Nature to perform a job that is so obviously the proper role of Government?

Only time will tell, but I for one, am buying hip waders.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Very Toothy Christmas

Researchers in Scotland will try to answer one of the world's most burning questions: Do sharks like Christmas music?

After it was learned that fish could recognize a melody, this was the obvious next step. I'm not sure I'd want to be around to see a great white's reaction to Wham's Next Christmas, but good luck to the Scots!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Real Human Rights President

I'll bet you didn't read about this in your newspaper. President Bush recognized International Human Rights Day by hosting a round table with bloggers and journalists from countries where they are being oppressed. Bush met with men and women from Cuba, Iran, Belarus, Burma and China to discuss how each person has been able to use technology to shed light on the abuses suffered in their home country.

Val Prieto on the Babalu Blog (great name, by the way) introduces the participants and tells what the opportunity means to him, and his father. Thanks to Jay Nordingler's Impromptus for the link.

Ironic, isn't it, that Jimmy Carter never tires of telling the world he's the Human Rights President, while happily meeting and kissing up to the very thugs who make these journalists' lives miserable. Let's hope President Bush gets a bit more credit from historians than he gets from his contemporaries.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sign Up For The Global Warming Freaks' Poo-poo List

An anonymous global warming fanatic (comment #45, if you follow the link) thinks that all those who deny the Gospel Of Al Gore should have their names put on a list so future generations can heap shame upon their memories.

Here's your chance at history. Sign the list.

Obama Finds Himself And Staff Innocent

Never fear Americans! Obama and his staff have investigated themselves and found themselves to have committed no wrongdoing in their conversations with Gov. Blagojevich about Obama's senate seat.

Imagine the money and time the country will save over the next four years by having a chief executive so pure and wonderful that he can carry on investigations into his own behavior. I imagine him in front of the mirror saying, "Self, did you do anything wrong? No? Well good, that settles that."

Illinois would save a ton of time in money if it just asked Blagojevich to investigate himself. Watergate would have been much less painful for the country if Richard Nixon had been in charge of the investigations into his administration.

Monday, December 15, 2008

RNC Goes On Offense

The Republican National Committee has produced this video ad highlighting the unanswered questions about the relationship between the Obama transition team and Gov. Blagojevich.

John McCain, meanwhile, is criticizing the RNC for attacking the incoming administration when they should be "working together." I guess it's back to the old "maverick" days. That didn't take long.

Can we please find a Republican to run for president in four years?

It's A Very Barney Christmas

The White House Barney-cam rules!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Corrupt Does Not Equal "Crazy"

The brazen behavior of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has led many main stream media apologists to suggest the man is out and out crazy. As such, he is not a symbol of corrupt Democratic politics, but a sideshow freak. He's interesting and horrifying, but not indicative of any larger problem. Some have even managed to lay blame on the man's hair.

This reaction shows either a total disregard for the intelligence of the news consumer, or a complete ignorance of the nature of political power in human society. John Locke wrote that humans are born with the right and desire to be free. Governments are set up as a necessary evil to ensure that one man's freedom doesn't infringe on that of another. History records an unbroken string of men given power over other men by government over stepping their bounds. It's the reason our founders installed so many checks on the power of the federal government in total and on each branch individually. It's also why the first amendment was designed to keep the government's hands off the news business.

Without constant vigilance, the actions of Blagojevich are the natural way of things. It's not crazy, it's human nature.

Here in Brunswick County, we had a similar situation. Our long-time Sheriff was running his department as a personal fiefdom, and when he was investigated, was recorded trying to obstruct that investigation. Ronald Hewett was at one time a very admired man in this county, and to some he still is, though he sits in prison today. He was a young man put into a position of power as part of a Democratic party that was used having all things political and legal as they wished. Our county has changed a lot recently, both demographically and politically, and Sheriff Hewett was unprepared for and maybe unaware of that change. Some here tried to blame his behavior on alcoholism and prescription drug abuse, which was part of the problem, but it went far beyond that. Having grown up in the political and social climate he did, Hewett acted as a man with his morals and character would be expected to act.

Hewett and Blagojevich were wrong, but the hubris and power-hunger they demonstrated have been a part of the human struggle for as long as we've banded together into societies. Forgetting that we have to keep up a constant watch for this in our leaders will ensure further abuses of power.

Senate Republicans May Be On The Right Track

Let us hope that the Republican senators' refusal to cave in to the United Auto Workers' union signals a return to principle that will continue into the new congress seated next year. The Wall Street Journal editorializes to that effect here.

Here's a part:

Thursday's showdown marked an important political moment for the Republican Party. By refusing to write a blank check to Detroit, Senate Republicans have started to reclaim some credibility on fiscal policy and the role of government in the economy. They did so standing up to a Republican President who doesn't want any more bad headlines, as well as to Democrats who will blame the GOP if the auto makers collapse.

They also stood up for the right reasons. No bailout will ever restore the car companies to profitability without a restructuring. Yet an explicit UAW goal is to use the bailout to avoid any such thing. The union and their Democratic protectors want to avoid the discipline that a bankruptcy could impose under Chapter 11. A government-directed salvation would also give environmentalists huge leverage over the cars Detroit builds, a power they and Democrats have wanted for decades.

Friday, December 12, 2008

So Far No Bail Out

It seems that the negotiations to win some Republican support for the automaker bailout plan have fallen apart.

The unions will not, as Sen. Corker demands, give a date certain for reaching pay parity with foreign car makers' US plants. Big surprise, huh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Never Fear, Obama Team "Gathering Facts" About Itself

Trying heroically to remain outside the Illinois Senate seat/Rod Blagojevich cesspool, Obama today assured reporters that his staff was "gathering facts" about its contacts with the Illinois governor.

Apparently, once Obama and his underlings figure out what they did or said, they'll let us know. I'm sure it will most enlightening.

Senate Republicans Preparing To Compromise On Bailout Bill

Stephen Spruiell at National Review Online reports on Tennessee Senator Bob Corker's negotiations with Sen. Reid on the auto bailout bill. He's looking to give the proposed "car czar" much of the authority of a bankruptcy judge, forcing the companies to cut labor costs and deal with bond holders. Bloomberg.com has a story on the negotiations here.

Spruiell's point that a bankruptcy judge would be better than a "car czar" trying to act like a bankruptcy judge is well taken. The courts are the proper venue for this restructuring and congress should step aside. The GOP seems unable to learn that being the Democrat-lite party is not the path to success.

Senator Jim DeMint thinks the American people have about had enough. He's predicting "riots" if even more select people are bailed out with money from taxpayers who aren't exactly sitting pretty themselves. Here's the video.

Maybe riots are a bit counter-productive, but I would like to see the American people stirred up in defense of the free market.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NCAA Footbal Playoff Simulator

ESPN has a simulator on their web site that allows you to seed 16 teams then have them fight through simulated playoff games to reach the national championship. Too cool! Give it a try.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The hideous automaker bailout bill just passed the US House of Representatives, which is bad.

Our very own Representative, Democrat Mike McIntyre joined just 19 other Democrats in voting "Nay," which is good.

Thanks Mike. Keep it up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Standing Athwart The Bailout

It looks like South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has joined John Ensign and Jeff Sessions in threatening to filibuster the Democrats' proposed auto bailout bill. I wish there were more Republican voices speaking out strongly in favor of free markets and against nationalizing American businesses, but I suppose we've got to start somewhere.

This latest idea of government appointed "Auto Czar" is mind numbingly stupid. One wonders where such a person has been while the Big Three were floundering away. The idea that one individual, selected by the incompetents in the US Congress, can solve all of Detroit's problems should have been laughed out of the Capitol building.

This Is Going To Be A Fun Four Years

The man charged with filling Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat was arrested today for trying to sell it to the highest bidder. Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich was charged by federal prosecutors with all manner of corruption after years of investigation that produced some really entertaining wiretap transcipts.

Apparently the Gov' has a bit of a potty mouth.

Despite the fact that he is recorded calling our President-Elect a "mother(bleeper)," Blagojevich and Obama come from the exact same political culture. Don't think this is the last time we're going to see corrupt Chicago-style of politics over the next four years. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

High School Book Censorship Silliness

These people should all have there teaching certificates revoked. Then their voting rights, just to be safe. From the Hot Air blog:

Robert Cox reports on a curious outbreak of missing pages from a New Rochelle High School library. The same pages disappeared from every copy of the book Girl, Interrupted, which explores author Susan Kaysen’s experiences in the 1960s as a young woman self-committed to a mental health hospital. Vandalism? Only of an official kind:

Students at New Rochelle School High School are going to find it difficult to complete their next assignment: comparing the film adaptation of “Girl, Interrupted” to the best-selling book. In the book, Kaysen recounts her confinement at a Massachussets mental hospital in the 1960’s.

Pages from the middle of the book have been torn out by the school district after having been deemed “inappropriate” by school officials due to sexual content and strong language. Removed is a scene where the rebellious Lisa (played by Angela Jolie in the movie) encourages Susanna (played by Winona Ryder) to circumvent hospital rules against sexual intercourse by engaging in oral sex instead.

“The material was of a sexual nature that we deemed inappropriate for teachers to present to their students,” said English Department Chariperson Leslie Altschul, “since the book has other redeeming features, we took the liberty of bowdlerizing.”

At issue are pages 64-70 of the book, a chapter called “Checkmate”. It deals with a dialog between the girls in the facility about having sex with visitors and avoiding getting caught by the nurses during their five-minute room checks. The language is frank and realistic, and anyone with an Internet connection can read the first three pages of the section by using Amazon’s search function. New Rochelle High School apparently didn’t realize this or the curiosity their crude censorship would create, nor did they consider the strange message their actions would send to the students.

One does not, under any circumstances, tear pages out of books. It is just uncivilized and wrong. Period.

England Abandon's English

The latest version of the Oxford University Press' Junior English Dictionary drops words referring to Christianity, Britain and nature in favor of more "modern" computer and pop-psychology terms. The changes have traditionalists up in arms, and rightly so. Take a look at the Telegraph's listing of what's in and what's out:

Words taken out:

Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe

Dwarf, elf, goblin

Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar

Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade

adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.

Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow

Words put in:

Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue

Celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro

Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph

I understand the dictionary's need to be relevant to today's children and remain small enough to be practical to them, but this is still scary. Lots of attention has been drawn to the deletion of Christian terminology, especially in the comments to the original article, and they are all valid points. But look at the list of removed words and see what really sticks out. Mother nature is taking it on the chin!

Great Britain is surely losing much of its countryside, but do they have to lose all the language that goes along with it? Humans are products of their environment, whether they ever see it in its natural state or not. A child who grows up seeing only concrete and steel and plastic loses the appreciation that man is not supreme.

In a man-made world, man makes the laws. This is easy for a child who knows no better to believe, to his own detriment. We are children of Nature and Nature's God who has endowed each of us with rights that no man can take away. To understand that on any real level requires a vocabulary that recognizes nature. If we take away the words, we take away the reality for all too many.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

Not only was the crooked Democrat William Jefferson of Louisiana booted from his seat in congress, the people of his New Orleans district replaced him with a 41 year-old Vietnamese-American Republican.

Anh "Joseph" Cao won the largely black and democrat district in voting yesterday that had been delayed by Hurricane Gustav.

He joins an Indian-American Republican governor. Gotta love those backwards, racist Southern Republicans, huh?

Sunday Night Twain

"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live."

--Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pirates Are Cooler Than Terrorists

The possibility of a struggle the likes of which the world hasn't seen since Godzilla took on Mechagodzilla in 1974 looms on the East African coast. Al Shabab, a Somali Islamist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, has moved into a coastal town with plans to retake a super-tanker from Somali pirates.

It seems Al Shabab considers piracy against the rules of Islam. Good for them, right? One little problem--it's only contrary to the Koran's teachings to pirate a ship belonging to other Muslims.

Oh well, I guess you have to start somewhere.

Not surprisingly, some American liberals are more than willing to support terrorists in the fight against pirates.


Poor Choice Of Words?

Jon Favreau, recently named director of speechwriting for the Obama White House, posted the above photo on his Facebook page. All in good fun, of course this is what you get with 27 year olds in senior positions.

The best part, though, is the transition team spokesman's responce:

Asked about the photos, Favreau, who was recently appointed director of speechwriting for the White House, declined comment. A transition official said that Favreau had "reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology."

"Reached out" indeed. The next four years are gonna be AWESOME!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tragedy On Oak Island

Since man has been digging through mountains and spanning rivers for many years, we easily forget how dangerous these projects still are. Here on Oak Island we've been reminded.

On Wednesday a concrete girder fell from a new bridge being constructed across the Intracoastal Waterway, killing one man and injuring two others. Jose Montalvo, a Sumter, SC resident and father of three, lost his life working on a project we here on Oak Island have been clamoring for for decades. We tend to forget how much risk is still involved in the huge pieces of infrastructure that we've come to take for granted.

The accident will be investigated and the project will continue, but I hope all of us will feel a bit more humbled by the work and sacrifices of the engineers and construction professionals that make our convenience possible.

The State Port Pilot has a link to video of the collapse.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just In Time For Christmas

It's a "Lego" Terrorist!!!! Complete with bomb belt!!!

(not approved by Lego, of course)

Capitol Odor Eater

The new US Capitol visitor center may have taken eight years to construct, come in $356 billion dollars over budget and completely misconstrued the Constitution, but it was all worth it. Now Harry Reid doesn't have to smell the stench of constituents at his work place. From the DC Examiner:

The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore.

"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

But it's no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.

And that's not all. "We have many bathrooms here, as you can see," Reid continued. "Souvenirs are available."

$621 million well spent.

If they don't confiscate all of my money to pay UAW workers to sit in a lounge, maybe I can afford deodorant.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bailouts and Jet Envy

Well, now I guess we can feel good about "loaning" tens of billions of dollars of OUR money to three poorly run automakers with no profits and a market cap of under $7 billion. See, their executives drove there own bad selves from Detroit to Washington DC.

In hybrids. Oh joy!!!

While showing up for a bailout hearing in private jets was bad PR, the stink raised over it has been disgusting. Americans are outraged over the mode of transport and the salaries of corporate executives, but don't blink an eye about having their government seize their money to buy itself into private-sector businesses. That's called socialism, look it up.

While the auto makers have racked up a huge debt and made unrealistic promises to their employees, the US Congress is hardly in a position to lecture them.

As of September 30th of this year, the United States national debt stood at $10,024,724,896,912.49. That's ten trillion twenty-four billion seven hundred twenty-four million eight hundred ninety-six thousand nine hundred twelve dollars and forty-nine cents. The debt wracked up by GM, Chrysler and Ford is chump change compared to that.

The Social Security system will begin breaking down in the 2020's and be totally bankrupt soon after.

The people responsible for our national debt and fraudulent retirement plan are demanding oversight of the Big Three auto makers as they use our tax dollars to recover from their troubles. How comforting.

And the American citizen is fixated on an airplane.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Run Away! Run Away!

A relatively small US cruise ship outran pirates in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen after being fired upon with small arms. The pirates, in two small boats, couldn't keep up with the cruise liner carrying almost 1,000 people. The cruise was on its way from Egypt to Oman via the Suez Canal when it was attacked in an area patrolled by international anti-pirate forces.


Standing By India

Christopher Hitchens writes a passionate piece today at Slate.com arguing for standing by India as an important ally. India is more multi-ethnic and religiously diverse than many of us realize. They are becoming much like the United States in that area of the world. That may be a large part of the reason they find themselves under attack by jihadists.

With Europe on in inescapable decline, maybe India is just the ally we should be cultivating.

Mr. Hitchens also does the great service of explaining why Bombay is now called Mumbai:

When Salman Rushdie wrote, in The Moor's Last Sigh in 1995, that "those who hated India, those who sought to ruin it, would need to ruin Bombay," he was alluding to the Hindu chauvinists who had tried to exert their own monopoly in the city and who had forcibly renamed it—after a Hindu goddess—Mumbai. We all now collude with this, in the same way that most newspapers and TV stations do the Burmese junta's work for it by using the fake name Myanmar. (Bombay's hospital and stock exchange, both targets of terrorists, are still called by their right name by most people, just as Bollywood retains its "B.")

I hate name changes. I'm not real fond of changes at all, really.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New U.S. Capitol Building Misinformation Center Opening Tomorrow

The Capitol Building's new visitor center opens tomorrow, presenting a very modern view of the relationship between your government and the Constitution. That is to say a view entirely inconsistent with the document the framers produced almost 220 years ago. Matt Spalding with the Heritage Foundation toured the new facility at the recommendation of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and reports on the twisting of our country's Constitution away from the vision of its creators.

Wrong, Mr. Madison. Congress’ new Visitor Center decrees the Constitution isn’t a list of powers but rather of “aspirations” Congress is expected to define and realize. The exhibit specifies six:

  1. Unity (as in “a more perfect Union” in the Preamble, which grants Congress no power).
  2. Freedom (based on the First Amendment, which begins with the words “Congress shall make no law …”).
  3. Common Defense (from Article I, Section 8).
  4. Knowledge (authority to promote public education, support arts and sciences, fund extensive research).
  5. Exploration (to justify funding “curiosity and boldness” — like 4, this comes from a convoluted reading of the clause granting Congress the power to issue patents).
  6. General Welfare (found in Article I, Section 8’s restriction of the taxing power, but taken here to mean “improving transportation, promoting agriculture and industry, protecting health and the environment, and seeking ways to solve social and economic problems”).

At first I thought I'd be sure to skip this monstrosity on our next trip to DC, but on second thought maybe the best use of this is as an example to our children of what can happen if we don't guard our liberty from those in power, whether elected or not.

I think I'll take my son here after reading the Constitution ourselves, or maybe bring a copy along, and let the elementary school brain of his pick apart the work of our present political leaders.

That shouldn't take long.

Great Reporting on the Indian Terror Attacks

The Wall Street Journal has a great report on the Mumbai terrorists and the Indian security forces' response. It's really scary how easy it is for a small group of highly motivated men to cause such havoc in a major city. Sure the government response could have been better and they could have been better prepared, but this sort of thing is impossible to stop in a free society. Let's hope this brings home the wisdom of George Bush's strategy of fighting the terrorists in their homes instead of ours.

Lest we forget that this is MUSLIM terror, religiously motivated and carried out by true-believing Islamists, read this excerpt from the WSJ's story:

On the 20th floor, the gunmen shoved the group out of the stairwell. They lined up the 13 men and three women and lifted their weapons. "Why are you doing this to us?" a man called out. "We haven't done anything to you."

"Remember Babri Masjid?" one of the gunmen shouted, referring to a 16th-century mosque built by India's first Mughal Muslim emperor and destroyed by Hindu radicals in 1992.

"Remember Godhra?" the second attacker asked, a reference to the town in the Indian state of Gujarat where religious rioting that evolved into an anti-Muslim pogrom began in 2002.

"We are Turkish. We are Muslim," someone in the group screamed. One of the gunmen motioned for two Turks in the group to step aside.

Then they pointed their weapons at the rest and squeezed the triggers.