October 22, 2014 5 Comments
Sorry guys, I’m neck-deep in a project, and the water keeps rising. But here’s Bill Whittle’s current Firewall.
What’s that? Yep, I agree with everything he says here.
The view from the Prairie, with an emphasis on Energy
October 14, 2014 15 Comments
So are you panicking over the Ebola virus? No, of course you’re not, like me, you understand the utter futility of panic. I imagine also, like me, as well, you find it worrisome, it gives the TV folks something to talk about, nor would it hurt if someone in the government was in charge. The thing is, there is. There is a federal bureaucrat (and agency) specifically charged to take care of this kind of stuff.
So of course, that is the one person who hasn’t had anything to say about it. But Mollie Hemingway thinks we should meet her, and she’s right. This woman is the head of a multi-billion dollar agency tasked to protect us from things like Ebola, and biowar, and stuff like that. She, and the agency, appear to be totally corrupt as well. (Wait, why would that surprise you?)
Mollie found a video from the administrator about the agency, here it is.
You did note that her highest priority is to support the President, right? I would have thought it was to carry out the agency’s mission but, I’m old fashioned like that.
As the Ebola situation in West Africa continues to deteriorate, some U.S. officials are claiming that they would have been able to better deal with the public health threat if only they had more money.
Dr. Francis Collins, who heads the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told The Huffington Post, “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.” Hillary Clinton also claimed that funding restrictions were to blame for inability to combat Ebola.
Or did they?
See, in 2004, Congress passed The Project Bioshield Act. The text of that legislation authorized up to $5,593,000,000 in new spending by NIH for the purpose of purchasing vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack. A major part of the plan was to allow stockpiling and distribution of vaccines.
Just two years later, Congress passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which created a new assistant secretary for preparedness and response to oversee medical efforts and called for a National Health Security Strategy. The Act established Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority as the focal point within HHS for medical efforts to protect the American civilian population against naturally occurring threats to public health.
Of course, you realize that incompetent Washington politicians and bureaucrat (redundancy alert) will throw more of your hard earned money (that they stole from you) at the problem. It will also be ineffective.
Because they’re corrupt as well as incompetent.
October 12, 2014 11 Comments
Daniel Hannan has an outstanding article up on the Telegraph yesterday. He is talking about how to defeat the young Brits that wish to be jihadis. The thing is, you never defeat something with nothing, he’s right.
British history, like its niece American history, is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to individual liberty. In great measure, it is a story that is one of the most attractive in the world. But we have allowed it to be corrupted, by those who use it for political ends, who have convinced many that Britain, and America, are evil incarnate. We, like the Brits, have allowed this to creep in, unnoticed, over the years until this evil nonsense is what is being taught to our children as our history.
There are things in our histories that are cringeworthy, but that is true of everyone’s history. There is also the fact that of all the peoples in the world, the Anglo-Americans have done more for the individual, than anybody else.
And in a related matter, our young people are looking for something when they join the jihad, or even when they convert to Islam. I think they look for certainty, a system that knows right from wrong, good from evil. Islam is a system that is flawed of course, It reflects the flawed nature of its founder, and is easily corrupted to evil, if it is not evil in itself.
But, one knows that there is another system in the world that does the same thing, it offers a choice, and a stark one, between good and evil, but unlike Islam, it while rooted in antiquity, has grown. The wisest men of the last 2000 years have contributed to it, and enriched it.
But it, like Anglo-American history, has been greatly maligned and diluted, both from within and without. But also like our history, the record is still there, and accessible, we merely need to read, learn and share it.
A Polish friend, an MEP of my sort of age, was telling me the other day about how his life changed when Pope John Paul II toured his home country. The papal visit set in train the events that led to the Gdansk protests and, in due course, the unravelling of the tyranny. But my friend added a detail that I had never before appreciated. “The Holy Father never directly condemned the Communist authorities,” he said. “He didn’t need to. He was offering something better”.
When you put it like that, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Offer something better. It worked during the recent Scottish referendum. For months, Unionists had warned of the horrors that would follow from separation: companies leaving, markets collapsing, Scotland left without a currency. The more frenetically they warned, the further they fell behind in the polls. Only in the closing days did the “No” campaign make the positive argument it should have made all along: the UK was doing pretty darned well, Scots were prospering within it, and it was silly to discard a precious thing. That was when the polls turned.
Continue reading The way to defeat British jihadis is to offer something better
And that is the thing that I find so frustrating, Anglo-American history is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to freedom, and its sharing all over the world. It is one of the most remarkable and uplifting stories ever writing, and written in blood by the common man.
And the other story that I referred to above is even greater, although the two are intimately entwined. Because the story of Christianity is also a story of free will, and enlightenment. It has justly been called The Greatest Story Ever Told, and it is. It the story of man’s civilization, from a violent past. Only Christianity has developed, and lived by a ‘Just War Theory’ . The rest still live by the rule of the most powerful, while we live by the ‘Rule under and through the law’ and apply y it not only to ourselves but even to those who presume to rule us.
That is what President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Pope (St.) John Paul II used to defeat the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.
It is a wonderful uplifting story. Because something always defeats nothing, and humanism, and Islam, are nothing, Simply the rule of the powerful.
October 10, 2014 Leave a comment
In some ways, I’m cleaning out my files today but, you’ll find these are connected. In each case they involve the author telling the plain unvarnished truth as they see it. I find it very refreshing. You may or you may not agree with everything each author says, as it happens, I mostly agree with them. But then, I make no claim to be completely objective. I think you can learn from each of them.
Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)
His scorn was withering. . .He had described his foes in Parliament as “good, honest men who are ready to die for their opinions, if only they knew what their opinions are.” Of Baldwin’s government, he said: “So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift…all powerful to be impotent.”
– Leo Rosten, on Winston Churchill**
Well, I read that last night and thought, were Churchill around here, he might rerun those sentiments about Obama and the Congress. He might also note with great sadness that upon the world political stage, there is currently no great leader, no one person capable — when the world is crying out for focus, as it is, today — of stirring a people to greatness by exchanging partisan postures for a larger, sharable vision and for decisiveness.
We are pursuing ISIS with the heart of Bartleby-the-Scrivener, who would prefer not to. Even as evidence mounts that they are here, and likely on every continent.
SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop!
As you know, not to long ago Bp. Howard Hubbard was retired from his looooong tenure as Bishop of Albany. He was succeeded by Bp. Edward Scharfenberger.
Recently Bp. Scharfenbeger gave a speech to an interfaith group in Albany. At least one Protestant didn’t like what he had to say.
From the Times Union of Albany, NY.
Rev. Sam Trumbore
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany[Unitarian Universalist... what is that, I wonder.]
Bishop Scharfenberger’s after dinner speech last night at the Capital Region Theological Center Fall fundraising dinner seriously missed his audience and likely ruffled a few feathers in the interfaith, largely Protestant audience of about 230 community leaders.
Many of us in attendance were very interested to hear the recent replacement for long serving Bishop Hubbard, to hear what his message to the interfaith community might be. The Capital Region Theological Center is a wonderful ecumenical organization founded by the collaboration of the founding partners: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Reformed Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. [...] Their values welcoming and supporting all faith communities seeking peace, justice and a more sustainable planet and a spirit of collaboration, discussion over judgment, and diversity rather than uniformityline up well with the values of my Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Speaking Truth To Wussies.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
Great Satan’s avuncular Veep spoke truth and really p.o.’d some of our valuable fickle on again off again ‘Allies” and have hurt their feelings LOL
“What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
“Now you think I’m exaggerating? “Take a look! Where did all of this go?”
“All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because [of] this outfit called ISIL [or ISIS], which was Al Qaeda in Iraq,” said Biden. He sketched the organization’s history: it was “essentially thrown out of Iraq” but “found open space in territory in eastern Syria,” then it worked with the al Qaeda subsidiary al Nusra, which the United States “declared a terrorist group early on.” And, still, according to Biden, “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden — I don’t want to be too facetious — but they have seen the Lord, [and] the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.
The following only reflects my position and not necessarily that of my party Liberty GB.
Islam has been distorted by Western politicians and media to such an extreme point that this doctrine is almost completely the opposite of what is being described as.
It is not a “religion of peace”: it is a non-religion of war.
It is not a religion in the sense that we in the West understand, through the experience of our own religion: Christianity. It doesn’t make human beings better, but worse.
Whereas Christianity establishes a separation of powers between church and state, Islam is a political ideology. Men’s laws are imperfect and should be rejected. Only God-given law, Sharia, should rule the state. Notice that “law” here doesn’t mean “moral law”, but the country’s legislation. Sharia has to be enforced with all available means, peaceful or violent, democratic or totalitarian.
Islam’s holy scriptures say – and real Muslims believe – that the world will be a much better place for human beings to live in if Islam and its law govern the whole planet. Under Islam’s domination, there will be justice, equality and all the good things that communists have also promised humanity. And in both cases (Islam and communism), followers are prepared to cause mayhem and slaughter to attain this utopian “paradise on earth”.
So there you are, around the world in about a thousand words, telling the truth, as the authors see it.
August 21, 2014 Leave a comment
This one has been around since 2010 but, nothing has changed, except that Breitbart has multiplied
The origin of Political Correctness, from 2012
July 29, 2014 14 Comments
We have talked several times about the rise of administrative law and it’s almost exact similarity with the King’s Prerogative. You can find those articles here, here, here, and one here at Jess’, nearly all of those articles also have links, if you’re interested.
Today we are going to speak of how the Obama administration and its Democratic sycophants are defending it. In the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare, and other less complimentary names), it states clearly and unequivocally, that to receive a subsidy one must purchase through an exchange established by a State.
In fact that was one of the major inducements included to try to force the states to establish exchanges. A majority of the states, being more attuned to the people than Washington is, refused. And the matter came to the DC court last week, which ruled that the words meant what the words said. That was what the Democrats had campaigned on back in the effort to pass the law, but now, they find it most inconvenient, since it means that many Americans will have to pay the full price of the overpriced, not very good insurance available on the exchanges.
So now, not understanding apparently, that we were listening (and that You-Tube exists) they are now saying that what they meant was an exchange established by a state or by the administrative bureaucracy of the federal government. Most of the administration, legislature and judicial officials owing loyalty to the Democratic party are supporting this nonsense, and some courts will no doubt rule accordingly. And so we are likely to end up at the Supreme Court again.
On Sunday Angelo M Codevilla wrote on the Library of Law and Liberty on this. Here is a bit of it.
[...]America has moved away from the rule of law in recent decades, as more and more of the decisions by which we must live are made by administrative agencies in consultation with their favorite constituencies and judges rather than by the people’s elected representatives. More and more, statutes passed by Congress are lengthy grants of power to administrative agencies, the content of which is determined by complex interactions between bureaucrats, special interests, and judges aligned with either. Hence House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement—that the ACA’s meaning would be determined only after its passage—was true of it and most other modern legislation as well. This is the rule of men, not of law.
But the transition away from the rule of law has been masked by the (ever thinner) fiction that the administrators are merely filling in the interstices of laws. Were they to prevail, the administration’s arguments for casting aside the ACA’s explicit provision because it conflicts with its will and its clients’ convenience would mark the dropping of the mask. America’s transition from the rule of law to the rule of the sovereign, largely accomplished some time ago de facto,would now be fulfilled de jure. Openly, this President and his partisans would have trumped law by will. Thereafter, continuing to pretend that America lives by law would be a mockery.
The importance of this is difficult to exaggerate. The nation’s slide into something foreign to its past would accelerate.
Barack Obama is not the last President America will ever have. Sooner or later, someone will come into the presidency representing a majority of Americans who—rightly or wrongly—may be aggrieved by what they feel are measures that the previous administration and its partners have shoved down their throats. They may be eager to engage in retaliatory activity with lots of compound interest. The administrative machinery, the legal arguments, and the political precedents would be ready for them.[...]
You really need to read it all
This morning Robert Tracinski also wrote on The Federalist on this. He shows that this type of legislating is what we increasingly do. Here’s a bit of that:
[...]But the big question is: why do they think they can get away with this? Why do they think they can write something into the law, go around for a couple of years explaining that provision to audiences, and then pretend later that it wasn’t there at all and it’s patently ridiculous for anyone to think it ever was?
Partly this a measure of crass partisanship, and partly it’s a measure of desperation. Without the subsidies, what happens to ObamaCare? And without ObamaCare, what does their messiah have to show for his presidency?
But this also fits into a larger context. They think they can get away with rewriting the law on the fly because of the way we legislate now. For more than a century, it has become increasingly common for Congress to write laws that declare a broad, vague goal without clearly defining the specifics of its implementation—and then leave it to bureaucrats in federal agencies to fill in the blanks.[...]
Again, you should read his entire article
But the main takeaways here are that the legislative authority in our system is vested in the Congress, and only the Congress. One of the results of this mispractice is that Congress can evade their responsibility for what the legislation says, and simply blame HHS or EPA or whatever bureaucracy is concerned. That is not what the Founder’s intended. The bureaucracy (and the executive generally) were established to enforce the laws the Congress passed, essentially without comment, although it wouldn’t do any harm if the Legislative and Executive branches were to occasionally remember that they also have sworn to uphold the Constitution.
In truth this practice is not measurably different that The Statute of Proclamations (1539) that allowed Henry VIII to rule as a despot. This allowed the King to issue proclamations which had the force of an Act of Parliament.This essentially did away with the need for Parliament. And that is pretty much what we are seeing with Obama’s reliance on his “pen and a phone”. I should note that very soon after Henry’s death that Act of Proclamations was repealed, although all the way to 1689 English Monarchs kept trying personal rule under various guises.
This was one of the abuses that the Constitution was specifically written to prohibit. We’ve let it sneak back in, in the guise of administrative law.