President Obama Already Has An Ebola Czar. Where Is She?

NIH logo

NIH logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Via President Obama Already Has An Ebola Czar. Where Is She?.

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.

Our government at work.

Greedy Capitalists v Ebola; Going Where Government Won’t

There’s not much to say about this story, it’s about a private company looking out for its own, and doing what governments and NGOs can’t–stopping Ebola in its tracks.

Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, and likely because it needs its employees, but mostly because it the right thing to do, I suspect.

But the other thing here is, Firestone didn’t spend their time whining about funding and equipment and a myriad of rules. They simply got to work, and took care of business, in my life we call it Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. It’s something we learned from the Marine Corps, and it’s highly effective at getting things done, often superlatively.

While governments and nonprofits have been stymied in their efforts to stymie the spread of the Ebola virus, Firestone Tire & Rubber has apparently succeeded among its 80,000 Liberian employees and their families. When a wife of a Firestone employee showed up ill after caring for an Ebola victim, the staff of the evil capitalist corporation leaped into action.

“None of us had any Ebola experience,” he says. They scoured the Internet for information about how to treat Ebola. They cleared out a building on the hospital grounds and set up an isolation ward. They grabbed a bunch of hazmat suits for dealing with chemical spills at the rubber factory and gave them to the hospital staff. The suits worked just as well for Ebola cases.

Firestone immediately quarantined the family of the woman. Like so many Ebola patients, she died soon after being admitted to the ward. But no one else at Firestone got infected: not her family and not the workers who transported, treated and cared for her.


More at The PJ Tatler » Greedy Corporation Stops Ebola Spread in Liberia.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The King’s Prerogative

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Nothing new under the sun is there?


That Was the Week That Was

thobamaSo, it’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? And we haven’t even got to the ‘Government by Blog Post’ Friday document dump yet. So we’ll see what else can go wrong.

I don’t ever tell people how to vote but if I was a Mississippian, I would not vote for Cochran, this kind of despicable conduct has no business in America, let alone in a so-called principled party. And yes, that does mean that I have no use at all for the national republican party. I think it to be no more than the sort-of right facing part of the party of government, and not an iota different from the democratic party. Here’s a couple of stories about it:

Here’s The Worst Part of Thad Cochran’s Victory


Then there is the Mexican (used to be) border


Then there is the piece of the world formerly known as Iraq. It hard to see how there could have been a worse foreign policy debacle, short, I suppose, of surrendering to the Soviet Union. It’s bad, it’s going to get worse, and I don’t have a clear idea of what, if anything we should do.

Why an Isis caliphate is no more than a pipe dream

That’s sort of reassuring, isn’t it? Then there is this:

The Mouse that roared

I frankly don’t know which of them is right, if either but. If I had to bet, I’d bet on an American Marine before I bet on any sort of reporter. If he’s right, we are in for a very long and bleak few years, and if I was a European, I would think very strongly about whether I wanted to place my entire defense in the hands of the American led (sort-of) NATO. Because by the time we get ourselves sorted out again, Europe is very likely to look like it did in late 1941, except the Turk is far more bloodthirsty than Hitler ever was. Of course, it probably doesn’t really matter since Europe is committing suicide by abortion anyway.

Then there is the Veteran’s Administration

VA Flags “Disgruntled” Vets

Obamacare anyone, or would you prefer the NHS?

And the Internal Revenue Service

Lies, Damned Lies, and the IRS

And that is pretty much the news from ‘Chicago on the Potomac’

The Age of Mafia Government

Pretty depressing round-up isn’t it? But you know this is still America, and we (most of us, anyway) are still Americans who remember a free country. So let us join with Bill Whittle to

He’s right you know, we built it, with sweat, and blood, and tears, and we can damned well rebuild it as well, and laugh at the losers while we do.

Since you hung around through all that crap they’re throwing at us, you deserve a treat. How about this.

And a hat tip to Big Fur Hat at I Own the World for reminding me that we need some cowbell in our life.


Managing for Results Against the Employees Interests

The Battle of Terheide (1657), commemorating t...

The Battle of Terheide (1657), commemorating the Battle of Scheveningen on 10 August 1653 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, yesterday we talked about the abysmal mismanagement and non-leadership Obama has provided, and how our system got the way it is. I’m not going to review it again today, it’s too depressing, especially since we extended his contract in 2012.

Then we featured an Article from Ace of Spades that told you a lot about bureaucracy and what their goals are. Hint: It ain’t customer service. Ace says these are their goals:

  1. Protect our phony-baloney jobs.
  2. Protect the Phony-Baloney Jobs of Our Fellow Government Workers.
  3. Do as little work as possible.
  4. Expand turf, power, and responsibilities.

I see nothing to argue with there, and I note that in all cases the priorities are directly in line with human nature

I also note that the Civil Service Act, as amended (or not) does absolutely nothing to counteract these tendencies, in fact, I think it reinforces them. But then it was passed in the beginning of that time when we thought human nature was an uplifting moral force who would work its fingers to the bone for others advantage. We should have looked back to an earlier age, like the enlightenment and especially the writers of the Constitution, who knew perfectly well than men would be avaricious, lazy and seek power, and sought to write a document to keep that from happening. It worked too, as long as we ran the country according to it.

But there was an organization, 200 hundred years ago it was the largest in the world, that took the attributes of mankind, and designed a system that made men work for the organizations goals, even to the detriment of theirs. What was that organization? The Royal Navy in the age of sail.

Think about this, if you were the captain of one His Majesty’s ships in 1814, once you got out of sight of land, you became essentially God. You could fight your ship, or not, if you did, you could pick your targets, you could just about do anything you wanted, and still get paid. So how did the First Sea Lord maintain discipline, when his ships were out of reach.

Naval officers were paid a salary, in fact a fairly good one, when they were at sea. They served for the duration of the mission and then the ship was paid off. And here is one of the clues.

There were always more Captains and Admirals in the RN than there were berths at sea. If you weren’t attached to a ship, you got half-pay, which is exactly what it sounds like. Kind of like unemployment compensation. But here’s a kicker, in 1812 there were 1017 ships and vessels in the Royal Navy but there were 1531 commanders, captains, and admirals. The surplus were on half-pay. And the RN could use any captain it chose, although seniority had some weight, but in truth, if the admiralty distrusted you, likely you would be on half-pay for life.

And that further meant you would never figure in on the wealth making part of the service: prizes.

And that was what motivated everybody from the powder monkey to the admiral commanding. Why? Because you could get rich. A merchantman might be worth £300,000, of which the Admiral would get ¼, the Captain would get ¼, the officers would get ¼, and the crew the rest. (These numbers weren’t cast in stone, sometimes the admiral commanding, or the captain would alter them, but this is close usually. And remember this is the old uninflated, worth its weight in silver, pound sterling. A prize could set you up for life.

But that’s not the answer either, the privateers, that were common in all wars in the age of sail could do commerce raiding as well, maybe better, than the RN could, and they did without expense to the crown. Pure private enterprise. The navy needed to blockade ports, fight warships and all the other things that navies did, and still do. The British did. Why?

First the Fighting Instructions. In 1652 Blake was defeated by the Dutch under Tromp, although Blake was outnumbered he blamed his captains for not engaging. This led to several things bearing on our inquiry. First because it was very easy in a meleé atmosphere, which was the common naval tactics at the time, for a captain to hang back and not closely engage, and thus reduce his personal danger, which was considerable. the solution was the line-of-battle, and that solution persisted as long as there were battleships. The other thing was the Admiral commanding was stationed in the middle of the line, and often there were subordinate admirals stationed in the van and rear. Obviously if a ship gets out of line it is fairly easy to notice by the admiral, and will not redound to the captains credit, to be court martialed for cowardice. And it happened too, about twice as many captains and above were court-martialed as killed in battle.

The other part of that was that the Fighting Instructions required the British to seek the weather gage, that is to start the battle upwind of the enemy, this made it very difficult for the captain to non obviously avoid combat, and so the problem was more or less solved. Parenthetically, only the British and Americans sought the weather gage, not incidentally, both were and are offensive minded. Although it was solved in a manner that made the fleet fight in a suboptimal formation much of the time .

British Captains were also required to attack any enemy ship that they crossed paths with. They were not too likely to be censured for not attacking a ship of the line with a 30 gun frigate, but they routinely attacked anything up to twice their own size, if fact,

The fateful meeting between the British Guerriére and the USS Constitution on August 19, 1812, demonstrates this reputation. Though the Guerriére was smaller (38 18-pound guns to 44 24-pounders, 1092 tons to 1533, 244 men to 460), in need of refitting, leaking, and recently hit by lightning, its Captain Dacres engaged rather than flee, with the inevitable result of defeat. In England the loss, the first of five ship-to-ship defeats against the Americans and the first loss in 9 years, caused massive media attention and the calling for heads.

The British public was as shocked at the news of the loss of the Guerriére as the American public was delighted. . . . The Press displayed uncalculating annoyance and dismay. There was even a hint of condemnation for Dacres because he had surrendered and had not gone down fighting. . . . Even the more sober press was startled and disappointed. The measure of the public interest is displayed in the amount of editorial comment devoted to this one frigate action at a moment when events of immense importance were happening elsewhere.
(Forester, 1960, pp. 56–57)¹

Which is all well and good, but how was the admiralty going to find out? A couple of ways, if you remember reading Hornblower when you were young, you know something about how the promotion system worked. When a boy was 12-15 years old he would sign on with a captain, who was usually a family friend, patronage is important all through this story, by the way. After five or six years, if all went well, the captain would let him sit for the Lieutenants exam, if he passed he would become (I think the term was) a passed midshipmen, and when his number came up, or he distinguished himself he would become a lieutenant. Then in something like 3-6 years he would be qualified to promotion to Post Captain. But there are two things about being a lieutenant, first the captain could not, unlike the other lower officers remove him from the ship, and second, he could spend the rest of his career as a lieutenant, further promotion was not automatic. In addition there had to be an opening, so one of the methods was “fleeting up” where your superior officers were killed or removed from command in one way or another. Once one was promoted Post Captain, if you lived long enough you would “rule the Queen’s Navee” promotion above captain was automatic.

And that’s important to the story as well. because in the age of sail almost anything at sea could be blamed on the wind, and nobody who wasn’t there could really disprove what you said.

But the lieutenants were charged by the Admiralty with maintaining a signed log of their own and turning it in at the end of the cruise. They were required to report all the details of the cruise for themselves and especially the first lieutenant who the captain was charged with taking completely into his confidence. Obviously, it would be difficult to maintain a conspiracy to defame the captain and so gain promotion, particularly since the master, who was usually close to the end of his career, had little to gain from it, and one can imagine how hard it would be to be promoted if you were caught trying to unfairly remove the captain, because he had a lot of influence on one’s promotion at all times.

And so the Admiralty designed a system that forced officers to work against their normal best interests, in the King’s best interest, while leaving them more than enough chance for improving their fortune to make sure that they worked diligently.

I probably should add that the penalty for almost any violation of regulations in this period was “death”, often without any choice.

He asked who the stout man was who had just been so ceremoniously disposed of. “He was an admiral,” they told him. “But why execute this admiral?” he enquired. “Because he had not enough dead men to his credit,” was the reply; “he joined battle with a French admiral, and it has been established that their ships were not close enough to engage.” “But surely,” exclaimed Candide, “the French admiral must have been just as far from the English as the English admiral was from the French!” “True enough,” was the answer; “but in this country we find it pays to shoot an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.”


Admiral Byng understood

Admiral Byng understood

And so now the question becomes how do we devise a system that just as efficiently forces an unaccountable bureaucracy such as the Veteran’s Administration to do our will, instead of following Aces’s ‘rules of bureaucracies'; because truly that is the trouble, and just firing political appointees is shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. We need a systemic solution, or we need to put these functions back in the private sector, where they truly belong, even if we merely have an open bid for coverage with private insurers’ every few years. That would, I think, be the ideal solution.

¹ And most of the information as well, in this article derived from “The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail” (PDF) by Douglas W. Allen.

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Cliven Bundy and The Rural Way

I said yesterday we were going to look at the confrontation between Cliven Bundy and the BLM today, and we are. But first I want you to read Victor Davis Hanson on it, so here it is:

Works and Days » Cliven Bundy and The Rural Way

I’m sure that Cliven Bundy probably could have cut a deal with the Bureau of Land Management and should have. Of course, it’s never wise to let a federal court order hang over your head. And certainly we cannot have a world of Cliven Bundys if a legal system is to function.


So Mr. Bundy must realize that in about 1990 we decided to focus on the misdemeanor of the law-abiding citizen and to ignore the felony of the lawbreaker. The former gave law enforcement respect; the latter ignored their authority. The first made or at least did not cost enforcers money; arresting the second began a money-losing odyssey of incarceration, trials, lawyers, appeals, and all the rest.

Mr. Bundy knows that the bullies of the BLM would much rather send a SWAT team after him than after 50 illegal aliens being smuggled by a gun-toting cartel across the southwestern desert. How strange, then, at this late postmodern date, for someone like Bundy on his horse still to be playing the law-breaking maverick Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) in (the David Miller, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Abbey effort) Lonely Are the Brave.

But the interest in Mr. Bundy’s case is not about legal strategies in revolving fiscal disagreements with the federal government.

Instead, we all have followed Mr. Bundy for three reasons.

One, he called attention to the frightening fact that the federal government owns 83% of the land in Nevada. Note that “federal” and “government” are the key words and yet are abstractions. Rather, a few thousands unelected employees — in the BLM, EPA, Defense Department, and other alphabet soup agencies — can pretty much do what they want on the land they control. And note, this is not quite the case in Silicon Valley or Manhattan or Laguna Beach. The danger can be summed up by a scene I see about once a month on a Fresno freeway: a decrepit truck stopped by the California Highway Patrol for having inadequate tarps on a trailer of green clippings, just as a new city garbage truck speeds by, with wet garbage flying over the median. Who will police the police?

Two, this administration has a long record of not following the law — picking and choosing when and how to enforce immigration statutes, depending on the particular dynamics of the next election; picking and choosing which elements of Obamacare  to enforce, again depending on perceived political advantage; and picking and choosing when to go after coal companies, or when not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, or when to reverse the order of the Chrysler creditors, or when to allow Lois Lerner to destroy the credibility of the IRS for partisan advantage.

In other words, the Obama administration regularly breaks the law as it sees fit. So we wonder why a federal agency sends out swarms of armed security agents to the empty desert on behalf of a tortoise, when it could just as easily storm Jay Carney’s press conference and demand that the president promise to enforce the Affordable Care Act. Or start apprehending those who are not just violating immigration law, but also serially signing false federal affidavits or providing employers with fraudulent identities.

via Works and Days » Cliven Bundy and The Rural Way.

And that’s the real story here, isn’t it? Cliven Bundy is the old American ideal, doing what he has to do to earn a living in a hard world, asking neither for our help nor tolerating our intrusion. He may be wrong legally (by all accounts he is) but by Anglo-American history he is very nearly the ideal. A man who completely understands what Augustine of Hippo meant when he said, “An unjust law is no law at all”. I can’t speak for you, but I was raised to be a moral, upright, and just man, and so was Cliven Bundy. Crusty and hard to get along with he may be but, he is a real man, as we have understood it since at least the time of Henry VIII.

Now let’s talk about the BLM and Bundy.

I’m not sure that I have heard anyone claim that Bundy is in the right, in court he’s going to lose, and badly but that is not why he got so much sympathy. He got that sympathy mostly from people who believe deeply in the Rule of Law and he got it because the government badly overstepped it proper role. Just like Parliament did in the run up to the revolution.

First, I’m old enough that I remember when we referred to the police as “peace officers,” their role was to protect the peace and fight crime, and to do it legally within the constitution, and they did it superlatively. In that context, the government would have gotten an order from the court and the sheriff would have gone out and done what was necessary, whether it was seizing the land and cattle, or arresting Mr. Bundy. It might have come down to an armed confrontation, or it might not have, either way it would be a local story and almost instantly forgotten.

But now, what we saw was a paramilitary federal force invading like an occupying power with armored vehicles, air support, snipers, and all the appurtenances of modern war, to effect a civil settlement. The means were far beyond the object, and people reacted as Americans always do, against the overreach of arbitrary government power, and so like in Lexington, 239 years before almost to the day, an opposition gathered. And like that day, the government caved, at least for the moment. I also suspect more than a few BLM agents wondered what they were doing there but, that’s another story. And parenthetically, so did the British Regulars on that day.

That’s one thing that must always be remembered, American are very jealous of our freedom, and even the appearance of infringing it brings an immediate reaction. I found it quite telling to see the pictures of the opposition, with not only the national colors flying but, also the colors of every armed service of the country. These were men that know what it is to fight for freedom, and are far better trained than paramilitary federal forces. In the old phrase that has come down from the Civil War, “They have seen the elephant”.

I have said before that America is very tense, right now, and it is. It feels very much like the prairie does before a big thunderstorm. If the government is wise, it will do whatever it must to reduce those tensions. Given the isolation of the government from the people, which is hardly less than that of Parliament was from the colonies, I have little hope of that.

And thus after a long detour we come back to Sen. Reid’s comment. I and many like me see Mr. Bundy as wrong on the issue but right to resist. In truth, we see the government as acting like an occupying power, and are beginning to think of the government as the enemy of the people.

It is hurtful to the peace of the realm when government officials attempt to make us “the other” because that status (and we know this) removes any liability for anything done to us, it also works in reverse, and that is inimical to peace.

What we really have here is the clash of cultures. One is the old traditional do-it-your-way, mostly rural America, where men are men, and not interested in your forced government charity. The other is the progressive nanny state, which looks a lot like France. This is the baseline battle in our culture, and on it depends the future of America, the free world, and liberty itself.

The real endangered specie here is not some tortoise,

it’s the American.

[Update: Dan Miller has some very good thought on this as well, here.

and Kevin D. Williamson has a very good article at NRO on it as well]



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