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From the Washington Times:

English: President Barack Obama addresses a jo...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

… under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt can rise as much as Mr. Obama and Congress want it to, until the Feb. 7 deadline.

Get ready for your household to owe more in taxes. Thanks Congress. Thanks Mr. President.

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Posted: March 26, 2013 by ShortTimer in Uncategorized

ShortTimer:

It’s right there in … plane… sight.

Originally posted on Ethics Alarms:

ralph_waldo_emerson

I hear Ralph was good with a knife.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, who uttered the title above, would have loved the Federal government, for which consistency in logic or policy is often alien indeed. In the midst of a mass effort to disarm the American people of guns with the dubious logic and arrogant presumption that they don’t need powerful weaponry since, after all, the government will save us, the TSA, it has been revealed  to me by my observant son, has secretly adopted exactly the opposite position, using polar reasoning.

My son, who likes knives almost as much as he likes guns, showed me several potential weapons in his collection that would legally pass through the new air travel regulations. He notes that officials defending the lifting of the ban on blades that could do as much damage as the box cutters of 9/11 have pointed to the self-reliance of…

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Merry Christmas

Posted: December 24, 2012 by ShortTimer in Uncategorized

Whereever this holiday season may find you.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”

One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

Directly from SCOTUS:

Excerpts from the Introduction of the Dissent:

What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power—upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States. Whatever may be the conceptual limits upon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to tax and spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal programs….”

As for the constitutional power to tax and spend for the general welfare: The Court has long since expanded that beyond (what Madison thought it meant) taxing and spending for those aspects of the general welfare that were within the Federal Government’s enumerated powers…. Thus, we now have sizable federal Departments devoted to subjects not mentioned (my emphasis) among Congress’ enumerated powers, and only marginally related to commerce: the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development….”

The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting States all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative….”

On the Individual Mandate:

If this provision “regulates” anything, it is the failure (their emphasis) to maintain minimum essential coverage. One might argue that it regulates that failure by requiring it to be accompanied by payment of a penalty. But that failure—that abstention from commerce—is not “Commerce.”

The Government presents the Individual Mandate as a unique feature of a complicated regulatory scheme governing many parties with countervailing incentives that must be carefully balanced. Congress has imposed an extensive set of regulations on the health insurance industry, and compliance with those regulations will likely cost the industry a great deal. If the industry does not respond by increasing premiums, it is not likely to survive. And if the industry does increase premiums, then there is a serious risk that its products—insurance plans—will becomeeconomically undesirable for many and prohibitively expensive for the rest.

So they seem to say that insurance cost will sky-rocket, but if I remember correctly, our President said that wouldn’t be the case and we all no he NEVER tells a lie.

Congress has impressed into service third parties, healthy individuals who could be but are not customers of the relevant industry, to offset the undesirable consequences of the regulation. Congress’ desire to force these individuals to purchase insurance is motivated by the fact that they are further removed from the market than unhealthy individuals with pre-existing conditions, because they are less likely to need extensive care in the near future. If Congress can reach out and command even those furthest removed from an interstate market to participate in the market, then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power….

Unlimited power. This is what it’s about folks, total government control over people lives. As conservatives we need to get more involved in the political process by getting in touch with candidates running for office and current incumbents and let them know that we will not tolerate any more attacks on individual liberty. It is time to start finding statesmen who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law.

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That’s every election day in Chicago, but interestingly also the case in Florida.  Florida’s Secretary of State has been working to get the dead voters (and illegal aliens and criminals ineligible to vote) off the voter rolls:

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Can you be in the grave, but still have a pulse to vote? The answer is yes, in South Florida.

Using a new data base, the Florida Department of State found nearly 52,000 dead people still listed as active voters. So far, Broward has pulled out 4,482 names of dead voters from the rolls; Miami-Dade has dropped 4,860 dead voters from the rolls, according to Chris Cate, the Communications director at the Florida Department of State.

Seems like a reasonable thing to do to prevent voter fraud, right?  Take the dead off the rolls so no one can claim their vote.

Except:

A simple way to help prevent voter fraud and election abuse is for states to purge voter rolls. What does this mean? Getting rid of names on voter rolls of people ineligible to vote such as illegal aliens, dead people, duplicates, etc. For nearly a year, Florida election officials have asked the Department of Homeland Security for access to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement database in order to take illegal aliens and non-citizens off Florida voter rolls. Not surprisingly, DHS has been dragging its feet and has yet to comply with the request and now, the Department of Justice is stepping into the purging process and ordering Florida, a vital swing state, to stop.

The Justice Department sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner Thursday evening demanding the state cease purging its voting rolls because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act, TPM has learned.

Yeah, the DOJ, which never prosecuted anyone for the Black Panthers hanging out at a polling place in 2008, is now pushing to make sure the dead can still vote.  From Katie Pavlich at Townhall:

But who is really behind the letter? Mean radical DOJ attorney Elise Shore. Christian Adams has more:

What do we know about Elise Shore from the installment about the Voting Section?

    Elise Shore. Ms. Shore came to the Voting Section by way of the “Southern Coalition for Social Justice,” where she worked as a legal consultant focusing on “voting rights, immigrant rights, and other civil rights and social justice issues.” The far left-wing positions of this group are nicely summarized on its website. Ms. Shore also made a $1,000 contribution to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

    Before joining the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, she worked for more than two years as a Regional Counsel for MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund]. There, she was an outspoken critic of Georgia’s voter ID law and well as its proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration (which, incidentally, have been found to be non-discriminatory by a federal court) and described how heartened she was that the Civil Rights Division had objected to the registration law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Of course, not letting the dead or illegal aliens vote is so totally racist and stupid and racist or something.  From some imbecile leftist at The Ledger of FL:

Research has shown time and time again that there is no widespread voter fraud in Florida or the nation. Not enough people care to vote, let alone let alone getting caught committing a felony, in order to cast a vote.

Throughout our history, there have been efforts to keep citizens from exercising their right to vote, whether it was property ownership, poll taxes, the ability to interpret Bible passages, or out-and-out intimidation.

We know these were blatant efforts to keep poor people, African-Americans, Native Americans, women and now Hispanic people from voting.

Florida is at it again, as if we don’t already have an abysmal record of keeping citizens from voting, Florida has begun purging voter records of the dead and illegal registrants. Certainly voter records should be up-to-date and accurate, but dead people can’t vote and illegal people are afraid to. They are more concerned with being deported and the less contact they have with government the less likely they are to be.

That’s a whole lot of ideological idiocy in one short section there, and plenty of grasping at straws… or straw men.  Dead people and illegal aliens vote all the time.  If their names are on the rolls, their vote can be cast.  Voter ID laws are constantly attacked by leftist Democrats as being “disenfranchising”, which is code for “we break the law all the time so don’t enforce it or we’ll throw a fit and then lose”.  The dead person won’t show up, but someone else will vote in their place.  The illegal alien, promised handouts, will show up – and the Democrat party’s constant attack on voter ID laws will mean that they won’t be deported even when they’re in the process of negating a citizen’s sovereign franchise to vote.

More here on dead voters and the Florida purge from Gateway Pundit.

To start, for those who didn’t get to see the hearings on June 15th, here are videos of the hearings courtesey of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s youtube channel (be warned, volume may be VERY loud):

Part 1   —   Part 2   —   Part 3

Then today from David Codrea at Examiner and by Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars:

“ATF served Special Agent Vince Cefalu with termination paperwork today.”

That’s the word from Jay Dobyns, himself a subject of Bureau retaliation, in a post on CleanUpATF.

Gun Rights Examiner reported on Cefalu in May of last year–He was the agent assigned to do nothing because he came forward to complain about ATF mismanagement.

To put a face with a name:

Cefalu was the subject of a CNN story in May of 2010.

He said ATF managers turned against him after he reported in 2005 what he said was an illegal wiretap plan in a racketeering case. Records show ATF disputes his claims of the planned illegal wiretap. But he said that started a series of retaliatory measures that ended up in 2007 with him in a desk job. His only negative evaluation, he said, was the year after he criticized the planned wiretap.

“Had I not exposed some unethical, potentially criminal clearly outside policy conduct and actions by law enforcement that I was working with, none of this would have happened,” Cefalu said. “I would still be working in the field.”

Jay Dobyns, meanwhile, is this high-profile guy:

He infiltrated some bad biker gangs (including Hells Angels, Mongols, AB, MS-13) and after sending several of them to prison, was subsequently threatened by the gangs.  His family was threatened and his house was burned down.  “Some law enforcement sources” even blamed him for setting fire to his own house, and there are plenty of folks skeptical about him in general.  He’s written a book, filed suit against the ATF for not protecting him, and generally has made enemies of the govt and biker gangs.  Quite the character.  But here at least, even being a character doesn’t change the ATF’s actions.

But then, nothing’s really a surprise with the ATF.  They’ve been a good ol’ boys club of unaccountable bureaucrats for a while, tasked with regulating Constitutionally protected goods and private property.

Now to our next character, ATF Director Kenneth Melson:

Recent news suggested that ATF Director Kenneth Melson was about to resign.  The same day, Sipsey Street said that wasn’t the case.  Fastforward to today and Kenneth Melson is refusing to step down.  Looks like Issa’s staffer was right:

A spokesman for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller the congressman expects his investigations into the Justice Department’s gun walking programs to point to a much higher political appointee than acting ATF director Kenneth Melson.

So Melson’s standing pat.  From the LA Times story:

“He is saying he won’t go,” said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ “

ATF’s Fast and Furious and Operation Gunwalker go much higher than the ATF.

One more face – Congressman Issa, the congressman who was running the House Oversight committee, and was stonewalled by the DOJ to begin with, by being given page upon page of “redacted” files related to the ATF’s Fast and Furious project:

He’s now going to Mexico to find out what’s happening down there, as a prominent Mexican attorney was just killed with guns walked by the ATF.  That may well turn up a lot more info on what’s happened, as well as Melson talking in the next few weeks.

Nate Beeler’s Washington Examiner cartoon pretty much sums it up (as stated on Sipsey Street Irregulars):

The only question left is exactly why/how did people above the ATF director come to the conclusion that guns should be smuggled by the US government in order to undermine the security of the nation, creating an artificial crisis and demand for crackdown on citizen rights.  And above the ATF director, there really aren’t that many people left.

There’s just the guy who called the US “a nation of cowards” and supported a total ban on guns in DC, nationwide registration, and was instrumental in the paramilitary assault on Elian Gonzalez’ home and the other guy who told John Lott “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.

Remember, Eric Holder authorized this:

The basis was that one or more of the members of the household had a concealed carry permit, or else had owned guns – that a member of the household had gone through state background checks, training, and paid fees to be able to carry a firearm for personal safety – jumping through legal hoops to ensure his own 2nd Amendment rights.  So BORTAC team of operators, the equivalent of a federal SWAT team, stormed the house, on the basis that someone who went out of his way to be a law-abiding citizen had a firearm (BORTAC was the same type of group that murdered BPA Terry was part of many years later – but chasing rip crews rather than 6 year-olds).

It seems like Holder has spent his whole career trying to ruin the lives of hispanic people, firearms owners, and Border Patrol Agents.  But this ain’t over by a long shot.

I probably won’t be posting much for a couple weeks – there are fish that need catching, and I’m sure there will be a lot of news in the next couple weeks if Melson talks.  Like I said over at JawaReportDavid Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh are names you need to remember. They’re the Woodward and Bernstein of Gunwalker.  For those of you who want to keep up on it, you may want to hit up their blogs and of course check back here for updates, too – JBH may well run with some more politics, economics, or a Gunwalker take of his own.  In a couple weeks I’ll probably have another big update to catch up on all the happenings of this story, then some economics posts and a palate-cleansing hot chick or two.

From Chapter 11: The End of Truth

The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends.  To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that hte people should come to regard them as their own ends.  Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants.  If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian governments succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to.

This is, of course, brought about by the various forms of propaganda.  Its technique is now so familiar that we need say little about it.

Choice architectureNudge.  A velvet glove on the iron fist.

Hayek elaborates on pg 174:

The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized before.  The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct had always told them but what before they had only dimly seen.  And the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning.  Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regime are expressed.

The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word “liberty.”  It is a word used as freely in totalitarian states as elsewhere.  Indeed, it could almost be said – and it should serve as a warning to us to be on our guard against all the tempters who promise us New Liberties for Old – that wherever liberty as we understand it has been destroyed, this has almost always been done in the name of some new freedom promised to the people.  Even among us we have “planners for freedom” who promise us a “collective freedom for the group,” the nature of which may be gathered from the fact that its advocate finds it necessary to assure us that “naturally the advent of all planned freedom does not mean that all [sic] earlier forms of freedom must be abolished.”  Dr. Karl Mannheim, from whose work these sentences are taken, at least warns us that “a conception of freedom modelled on the preceding age is an obstacle to any real understanding of the problem.”  But his use of the word “freedom” is as misleading as it is in the mouth of totalitarian politicians.  Like their freedom, the “collective freedom” he offers us is not the freedom of the members of society but the unlimited freedom of the planner to do with society what he pleases.  It is the confusion of freedom with power carried to the extreme.

A simple example is universal single-payer health care.  It’s to provide freedom from the evil insurance companies.  It provides “freedoms” as quoted here in remarks by a speaker at a press conference by Nancy Pelosi:

The new law has not only given me the freedom to stay covered, but has also freed me and my family from the fear that an insurer could drop me at any moment or limit me to go without treatment.

The “freedom to stay covered” is at the expense of someone else – at the expense of the individuals who make up an insurance company, or at the expense of the individual taxpayer.  Their freedom is traded for this patient’s priviledge.  Being “free” from “fear” that he could be dropped means that the insurer, or taxpayer, is now enslaved to his treatment.  He is now a guaranteed recipient of the labor of individuals, whether those individuals who also purchase insurance from a company, and now face increased premiums because of this government-protected claimant, or he is dependant on the taxpayer to cover his bill.  Ultimately, he is “free” only insomuch as he takes from someone else.

He is not free to choose a less expensive company, or free to go to a non-profit charity that would look out for his special case and would desire to help him – he is “free” by shackling others to his needs.  That is not freedom – that is parasitism enforced by the state.  Person A now must pay for Person B’s medical needs because Person B is “free” from the costs.

Hayek continues on pg 175:

In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared by a long line of German philosophers and, not least, by many of the theoreticians of socialism.  But “freedom” or “liberty” are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda.  We have already seen how the same happens to “justice” and “law,” “right” and “equality.”  The list could be extended until it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.

This is a major, major point.  This is why “liberals” today are intolerant, closed-minded people.  Virtually every aspect of who they are is the exact opposite of what they are.  They fight for “social justice” which is just redistribution, they fight for “human rights” that include health care, and even food – which cannot be rights – as they come at the expense of others.  They call themselves progressives, but they don’t progress towards greater liberty for the individual, they progress towards greater power for what the state “must do on your behalf“.  This is regressive, towards the totalitarianism of dictatorships and kings, not towards the greater well-being of the individual.  Liberal in Hayek’s day meant closer to what libertarian or even conservative means today.  Not what libertarian or conservative is demonized as by the political left/progressives, but what they actually are.

It is for this reason that conservative author/radio host Mark Levin refers almost exclusively to the left as statists, as their main function is to expand government to their own ends.  Also note that there are right-wing, or socially traditionalist/conservative statists, who are often simply a different brand of moralist from the leftist statist.  The leftist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking for your health and because it’s good for you, the rightist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking because it’s “fiend intemperance”.  The leftist statist will force you to drive a hybrid car because of his Gaia-worship, the rightist statist will force businesses to close on Sunday to keep the Sabbath holy.

A major difference is that a rightward traditionalist in America, a mindset which often goes hand in hand with the moralist, can still be reminded that a reason the country was founded, and indeed the 1st Amendment was written, was to escape state-mandated religion.  The leftist, by contrast, believes that history started last week, and will reject the past as outmoded and obsolete in their own quest for power and The Greater Good.  As Thomas Sowell writes in his book “The Vision of the Anointed”:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

Returning to Hayek, pg 175:

If one has not one’s self experienced this process, it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of this change of the meaning of words, the confusion which it causes, and the barriers to any rational discussion which it creates.  It has to be seen to be understood how, if one of two brothers embraces the new faith, after a short while he appears to speak a different language which makes any real communication between them impossible.  And the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continuous process, a technique employed conciously or unconciously to direct the people.  Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, and words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.

To sidetrack a while from the explicitly political, using a pop culture reference as an example, you can see how freedom has changed.  Most of the readers of this blog will know who this is.  On the off chance we have some very young readers or very old readers, this is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots – the good guy Transformers.

His motto: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Now consider this online discussion amongst a group of Transformers fans.  Here are a few lines from the discussion, starting off with forum member “Octavius Prime” (hereafter OP) citing a movie review that had this line:

(Movie Review): And when Optimus Prime, the chief good Transformer, declares that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings,” we know we’re in a Bush-era universe.

(OP): if the reviewers had done maybe 10 minutes of online research (say, on the Teletraan-1 wikia), they’d know that Prime has been spouting his line since before Bush’s dad was president. Moreover, what is so bad about freedom being a basic right? Isn’t that in the hugging Declaration of Independence? What is so quintessentially “Bush” about it?

(SD): Pretty much a case of people shooting words off before doing proper research, and an annoyingly over-liberal mindset. I mean, I don’t care for Bush, to put it lightly, but I also don’t wedge my political views into whatever I type/write.

(S): I can see how that line might be used by the likes of Bush to justify a war like Iraq (the lie that the war is all about human freedom rather than oil).

(PTP): Technically we were in a Regan-era universe when it was written, which isn’t all that much better…

(OP): Maybe, but I still don’t see how the motto that encapsulates democracy would be reduced to represent someone’s biased view of the Bush administration.

(D): I’d be hard pressed to vote for a president who didn’t believe in the basic right of freedom.  I mean there’s liberal, and then there’s blindedly liberal. Gah.

(TNG): I don’t really get why anyone would think that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings” is a particularly conservative viewpoint. Definitions of exactly what freedom means may differ within the political spectrum but I don’t think you’d find many democrats arguing against freedom as a basic human right.

Liberals=progressives=statists, specifically here, anti-Bush statists, who are competing for the same space as state controllers.  Thus Freedom=Bush talking point.  Freedom=bad, to liberals, who are really progressives, who are really leftist-statists.  Also thus the word liberal, which is supposed to mean accepting of others, is now explicitly anti-freedom (even just in this discussion).  Liberal has gone so far as to also include Reagan and all non-leftist statists, thus even the original quote by Optimus Prime waaay back in about 1984 is rejected as being related to Reagan, Republicans, and therefore to a Liberal is a Bad Thing.

According to the leftist-statist, when Bush says freedom, it means ruthless oppression, even if it is freeing a nation from an actual ruthless oppressor.  Don’t bother them with the facts.  Criticism of a poor operational plan and shoddy intelligence (that leftist-statists agreed on) turned into a rejection of freedom in its entirety.  Leftist rejection of Bush-era domestic policies (that pretty much only targeted terrorists, but that should definitely be questioned in Constitutional interests) including the Patriot Act turned into Bush hates freedom.  This year when the Patriot Act was renewed by Barack Obama, without any of the reforms that were complained about during the Bush-era… well, Obama is still a good-guy to the leftist-statist, because he’s their guy there for The Greater Good.

Liberal is anti-freedom, freedom is oppression, progressive is statist.

Even the notions of left and right are reversed.  In France in 1789, at the French Assembly, the rebels who resisted the state sat on the left, while the supporters of the state sat on the right.  Except the French state was a monarchical state that didn’t represent the people, and had subjects, not citizens.  A rebel to the French state would be resisting tyranny.

The United States, by contrast, were formed by the people, for the people, and of the people.  The government was explicity designed to respond to the citizenry, and to be accountable to the citizenry.  The Constitution itself was a charter document designed to constrain any government to the initial agreement that the citizens had made when they settled on a government.  Consider first that the Declaration of Independence was a rejection of tyranny that called for the people to institute a government from the people, then consider that a government, instituted by the citizenry who choose their government, is how the democratic republic set up by the Constitution was designed.

Thomas Paine explains in concrete terms what a Constitution is:

But it will be first necessary to define what is meant by a Constitution. It is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we must fix also a standard signification to it.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established,  the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

The Constitution is static.  It is what the government is based on, and the laws that the government, in order to remain legitimate and existing upon the consent of the people, must adhere to.  Being on the left in the US and rejecting the established Constitutional order is rejecting a truly classically radical liberal document that enshines the rights and liberties of all citizens.  Being on the left is pushing for statism.  Being a conservative who wishes to conserve Constitutional principles is being a classical liberal, a radical libertarian – one who is opposed to the idea of a controlling state.

Religious liberalism and conservatism became injected into political liberalism and conservatism, as well as social liberalism and conservatism – but there is a wide gulf between what one preaches in one’s private or even public life, and what one inflicts through force of government.  Conservative has come to mean statist-religious, liberal to mean statist-humanist/statist-Gaia-or-Science-worshipper.

In this, the leftist-progressive-statist has changed the entire discussion by changing the meaning of words.  For another example: the religious-statist who would use force of government rather than persuasion has changed the word conservative to also mean moralist authoritarian – a term the leftist-statist is very much willing to embrace, as it drives people into their camp – to accept the “freedom from religion” that then turns into trying to destroy the religions of others – which is explicitly illiberal.  Another example: fascism was a brand of statist totalitarianism wherein the economic means of production were controlled by the state, but not always wholly owned.  Communists attacked fascists, with whom they were competing for the same leftist anti-capitalist statist-totalitarian space on the political spectrum, and accused fascists of being capitalist.  Fascism, descended from national socialism as opposed to communist international socialism, suddenly became its opposite, when the two are nary a hair’s breadth apart.  Yet the modern leftist-statist who favors socialism as an economic means to his Greater Good, will accuse someone who opposes them of being a national socialist.

Paine set up concretely what a Constitution is.  Those who support it, must support it for what it is.  It is a compact between we the citizen and those citizens we choose to serve us.  Words do mean something.  Our Constitution was established as a document that can change through the amendment process, but it is not to be manipulated until freedom means slavery.  But that is precisely what the leftist-statist has embraced (as well as the rightist-statist to a lesser degree).  George Orwell summed much of this up with his coining of the term “Newspeak” in his book “1984″ several years after The Road to Serfdom had been published.  As Orwell says in “1984″:

By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Sadly, Orwell himself was a democratic socialist, basically a theory of benevolent socialism, but that can be the subject for another tl;dr post.

Lest I forget, the other Hayek:

Eventually I’ll just end up with pictures of chicks from Vienna to represent the Austrian School.