March 15, 2010

The Plague of Locusts Presidency

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“We must disenthrall ourselves.” – Lincoln

Whenever humans seek to perfect the imperfect world either progress or regress may be the result, but regardless of result evil ensues. Whenever a class of people, self-anointed, seek to impose Utopia on the world, evil ensues. Whenever a group of people seek to arrogate the power of the people to themselves, evil ensues. It is not that power corrupts but that some people are compelled to corrupt democraticly distributed power through statist centralization. If the age of kings was the age of rule by one monarch, the current age drifts towards the rule of many smaller kings acting in unison. This is the age of the Multi-Monarchists; of rule by the faction of “Little Hitlers.” Their accoutrements are not uniforms and stark symbols, but cap & gown, press passes, and union cards. Their collective policy is plague.

All faction, no matter its origin or ideals, is in the end Fascist. The Founders knew Faction and feared it. Much of the Federalist Papers is taken up with the problem of suppressing Faction and the Constitution is the carefully wrought attempt at a solution to it. Of course, the Founders also knew that Faction as Facism is never finished except by fire and fire alone. This is why, in the Founders founding document, the Declaration of Independence, they included this provision,

"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."

As the Founders knew from their own experience, this is much easier said than done. Sustaining such a government was even harder. Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic," Franklin replied, "if you can keep it.”

Daily I read of new usurpations of power as the current matched set of “ruling elites” takes a new section of the Constitution into the outhouse and emerges without it. Ursurpations of the power of the people come in multitudes, in sizes large and small; from taxation disguised as “fees”, to legislative legerdemain in which bills of economic attainder will be "deemed" passed without a vote, to meddlesome intrusions into trout fishing in America. Indeed, it seems that there is little in American life that has not, in the past year or so, had some appointed group of malign Faction assigned to it for purposes of some dubious transformation. And in doing their work of transformation these Factionists devastate the public purse at the same time they feed at the public trough. The party that struggled for decades to “Keep the government out of your bedroom,” now seeks more and more ways in which the government can wander your home and your body and count your cups and calories.

Doug Ross outlines only a smidgen of the evil arising from this party of Faction Uber Alles in The only 'Green Jobs' this President will save or create are in the rice fields

The modern Democrat Party is little more than a slightly evolved pack of locusts, moving from one state to another, destroying everything they touch. By 2020, the U.S. debt -- even without socialized medicine -- will exceed $20 trillion. This means the annual interest payments will hit nearly $1 trillion, or about one-third of the entire U.S. budget.

The President and his Democrat sycophants in Congress are literally eradicating the economic fabric of the United States. All we've worked for. What our parents and grandparents fought to defend. It doesn't matter what industry you work in -- coal, gas, electric, insurance, finance, pharma, telecommunications, health care -- it doesn't matter whether you're in a union or not -- the Democrats are targeting your jobs. They've said so: they relentlessly condemn the very profits that pay your salaries. Because they despise free enterprise and individual liberty. They want control; and your business stands in the way of their bureaucrats taking the reins. Orchestrating the economy, doling out favors, punishing enemies, rewarding friends and stealing more and more of your private property in the form of extra-constitutional taxes. They want Chicago-style Democracy, only across the entire United States.
H.L. Mencken, no stranger to real politik in the United States once put it this way, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

An American president during the shooting phase of the last Civil War put it this way:

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
-- Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugural Addressß

And deeper still into history we can remember another time of great plagues:

And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. -- Exodus 10

In both instances the only solutions that could be found was not greater control of the people by the faction, but greater freedom for the people from all faction. And until they found that freedom again, the plagues only continued.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 15, 2010 12:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

On the current Mencken quote:

Fine: Think 'weregild - man-price'. Money paid upon ajudication of fault to forestall a blood feud.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at March 15, 2010 3:35 PM

As an side (forgive me for getting wordy).

A couple of years ago me, my older bro, and a friend went to DC where the little bro was to celebrate his first child's b-day. We went into Washington in August and were at the Lincoln Memorial, and I was reading the Second Inaugural Address when I heard a commotion. A pair of asshats protesting something climbed on the Lincoln statue and chained themselves to it.

We all scanned the crowd and identified the supporters. One left and the little bro and the friend kept an eye on her; I stayed with the older bro watching the others. When the Park Police got there the older bro (a deputy sheriff) assisted with the arrest of the others. The little bro and the friend (and eventually me - when I caught up) followed the one leaving and pointed her out, photoed her, and brought other Park Police over to her.

All in all, a good days' work for them (I was mostly observer).

When we left we saw a Parks truck with a ladder going to the Lincoln Memorial. And on our way down the Mall, I spotted a little round Greco-Roman style temple in a copse. We went to it; it was neglected, stained. It was a Memorial for the WWI dead. Speak of a forgotten war - forgotten here.

The neglect was obvious - and telling that no US Representative's or Senator's Golden Pyramid can spare the funds to make that little temple and copse a clean, quiet place.

http://www.wwimemorial.org/about/about.html

Posted by: Mikey NTH at March 15, 2010 4:03 PM

That scene on the beach is like monday mornings at my house.

Posted by: flannelputz at March 15, 2010 4:09 PM

I think it is a little ironic that you chose to quote Lincoln in your essay. He was the first of the great centralizers and destroyers of the Constitution. Of course, it was all for a 'noble' social purpose (take your pick as to which one), so the ends justified the means. Lincoln paved the way for Roosevelt, Roosevelt paved the way for Johnson/Nixon, who, in turn, paved the way for Clinton/Bush/Obama.

Posted by: Quent at March 15, 2010 5:37 PM

A think that with nearly a century between the paving stones of Lincoln and Roosevelt we can put paid to the notion of causation between them. I also note that, for the most part, Roosevelt was merely carrying forward the policies of Hoover.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 15, 2010 6:35 PM

It's the Constitution, not a suicide pact.

Wilson loaded the revolver. Roosevelt picked it up.


And Obama is going to pull the trigger.

Posted by: TmjUtah at March 15, 2010 8:25 PM

Dear Quent: Can you tell the class about Adams I and the Alien and Sedition Acts? Jefferson and the impeachment of Samuel Chase? Polk and the Mexican War? Quent? Quent?

Mr. Vanderleun: Nope, Hoover started some things, notably higher tariffs and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but FDR advanced the tempo of statism to the point where it's a different beast altogether. Social Security had no predecessor in Hoover, for example.

All those who sigh for the Constitution: what's your opinion of the 16th Amendment? Or Article III section I's "good behavior" clause?

Posted by: Gregory Koster at March 16, 2010 2:03 AM

Hey, Greg, been hiding out here, huh, well the RFC
was TARP without the unhelpful Smoot Hartley tariff, plus there was nothing like the tea parties
to slow the progression, the Liberty League doesn't cut it

Posted by: narciso at March 16, 2010 6:41 AM

Yes indeed, Lincoln's War led to a great change within the country contrary to the vision of the founders. But they also knew to a man that they had left a time-bomb to be resolved which they themselves could not diffuse. Jefferson himself revealed he was terrified of it when he wrote the Declaration's first draft.

What happened to us was going to happen in any event, if on another timetable.

I spoke to a Frenchman yesterday who is an accountant for a multinational road building corporation. He was posted for a three year hitch in America ten years ago and surprised everybody when he asked to stay here with his family. The French, he said in a thick accent, do not do so well outside the culture. But he loved America; said he was bouyed by the hope he found here. Sure turned me around. I didn't argue, just told him he made my day.
Our ruling classes are very powerful, but confidence is not courage. I think they will crumble if we make the effort.

Posted by: james wilson at March 16, 2010 9:04 AM

"It was a Memorial for the WWI dead. Speak of a forgotten war - forgotten here.

The neglect was obvious - and telling that no US Representative's or Senator's Golden Pyramid can spare the funds to make that little temple and copse a clean, quiet place."

Mikey NTH - I just came back from a vacation to Washington DC last week and I saw the Memorial to the WW1 dead. They are now restoring the memorial.

Posted by: mmack at March 16, 2010 9:13 AM

"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."

Stirring words. I happen to disagree with at least one clause there, but never mind. I have been looking into this, and many authorities seem to think that the Declaration is second only to the Constitution as part of American law, and maybe even equal.

Many Americans, perhaps most of them in the South, thought that this sentence applied only to white men. (Some still do.) And perhaps that difference of opinion was part of what the American Civil War was about.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at March 16, 2010 9:41 AM

mmack - that's good - and about time.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at March 17, 2010 7:49 AM

I believe, that the "factions" that the founding fathers deplored, are what we would call political parties. Is that correct? They assumed that politics would be organized around the states and their interests. Political parties were considered undignified.

In the end the founders were wrong about that. American politics organized by parties.

Posted by: soccer dad at March 17, 2010 10:25 AM

Quent: You forgot Wilson. Don't forget Wilson. He was the first of the true "I Will" presidents.

I did a wordle analysis of an array of SOTUs going all the way back to Washington in 1791. With Wilson the usage of "I" as in "I've" and "I'll" and so forth steps up tremendously and becomes by far the dominant word and theme in the SOTU. While random others used "I" a lot before that, almost all since have done so consistently.

Posted by: O Bloody Hell at March 20, 2010 1:01 PM

> Many Americans, perhaps most of them in the South, thought that this sentence applied only to white men. (Some still do.) And perhaps that difference of opinion was part of what the American Civil War was about.

Actually, many of them did not. Slavery was not favored by the FF's but the fragile economy of the USA after the War could not tolerate the sudden loss of the assets they represented and stay functional. As it was, the new government nearly went under (see the meaning of the term "Not Worth A Continental"). So they did what they thought was the next best thing, which was to bar the importation of new slaves after a certain date, which they assumed would result in the gradual end to the vile institution. To the dismay of all sensible people everywhere, the measure failed to produce that result, as slavery became institutionalized and hereditable -- the children of slaves became slaves. The confluence of cotton and the cotton gin at just that time also contributed to the rise of "King Cotton".

But the intent of the FF's for the most part was clear -- they intended for slavery to end, and, unfortunately for all, substantially miscalculated the South's response to the importation ban under King Cotton's influence.

Further, the vast majority of the South, while steeped in a measure of it (they also, arrogantly, thought less of Chinamen and Jews, too -- so it wasn't a "black" thing, it was a "my group is special" thing, something common today in just about every group BUT white people, and hardly unique to America in any way, shape, or form)

Posted by: O Bloody Hell at March 20, 2010 1:42 PM

you put you first. the plague elegant s to the republic first be for god whats wrong with you people.and then this health care reform passed we are looking at an hole ''new world war'' after all so here we come let put us first one more time use your dam head and steed of your ass. mum let's thank whats going to happen to the us if it worked like it stared it wood be great but i don't know cuz you put you 1st
YES I AM FREE TO SEEK PLEASE DON'T TAKE THAT RIGHT A WAY FROM US GORGE WASHINGTON WOOD TURN OVER IN HIS GRAVE IF HE NEW WHAT YOU WAS DOING TO HIS FREE LAND ITS NOT SO FREE NO MORE

Posted by: Charles M James at March 23, 2010 7:18 AM