IN LIGHT OF THE EARLIER DISCUSSIONS about Mumbai and the value of an armed citizenry, it’s worth noting that India apparently has strict gun control laws that, as usual, don’t seem to have kept guns out of the hands of killers.
Bill of Rights
Over at The Liberty Papers, Stephen Gordon has the story of what seems to be a report from the Department of Homeland Security entitled, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Environment Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, that targets some conservatives and most libertarians.
The report says (emphasis mine):
The group, Judicial Watch, has filed charges on behalf of Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, alleging that Ohio state officials conducted investigations into his past after his tête-à-tête with then Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama.
MSNBC-According to a subsequent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General, on October 16, 2008, just four days after Mr. Wurzelbacher questioned Obama, Jones-Kelley, Williams and Thompson held a meeting and specifically discussed “Joe the Plumber.” Following the meeting the defendants authorized and instructed agency personnel to search confidential office databases to retrieve information about Mr. Wurzelbacher. All three defendants are believed to have been supporters of Obama’s presidential campaign.
I believed, long before election day, that Barack Obama would be our next President, but I didn’t despair as many other Republicans did. In fact, I often said that he would be the best thing that could happen to the Republican Party (providing, of course, that our country survives his socialist agenda), because I believe his presidency will provide the impetus we need to once again become the fiscally conservative party.
One thing I did not foresee, however, is how Obama would spur states into affirming the sovereignty guaranteed to them by the Tenth Amendment. The recently passed “spendulous bill”, full of unfunded mandates that will ultimately demand funds from already beleaguered state budgets, has caused state governments across the nation to finally say, “Enough!”.
The Tenth Amendment states:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
James Madison reiterated this ideology in The Federalist Papers:
The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.
Patrick J. Deneen at the American Conservative magazine has an article on the resurgent patriotism among the American Left, a quality largely absent on their side since the Vietnam war:
There’s been alot of hubbub over the murder of a pinned, unarmed man by BART police in Oakland. Bloggers over at Reason magazine have been relentless, posting the citizen-shot video of the murder, which firmly illustrates the police were totally out of line.
The offending police officer has now resigned. Brian Doherty noted a San Francisco Chronicle article in which Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff said, ”These things normally take weeks rather than days, but I am trying to expedite this and get it resolved as quickly as we can.” Doherty correctly asks whether it would really “take weeks” if this were an average citizen pinning an unarmed man down and shooting him in the back and not a police officer. Working for the government gets you special privileges, like the ability to destroy lives with no repercussions.
I’m not one of those people who thinks the personal lives of public figures should be up for display. I find what happens with Bristol Palin and her boyfriend or Bill Clinton and his interns on the whole, irrelevant, and media coverage of it to be a breach of their right to privacy.
However, I take exception with those that publically preach against a type of lifestyle, while all the while participating in it. Take for example evangelical Ted Haggard, who preached Biblical condemnation of homosexuality:
I am amazed at how easily Americans, both conservative and liberal, ignore the infringement upon the liberties of “other groups”, while giving little to no thought in the ultimate ramifications of doing so. The late German pastor Martin Niemöller said it better than anyone in “First they came…”-
“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
Congressman Ron Paul, in his most recent Texas Straight Talk column, draws attention to some very important lessons from the recent terrorist attacks on the city of Mumbai in India. India happens to have very draconian laws restricting gun ownership. One of his points is that violent attacks tend to happen in places where guns are not allowed, such as schools, while such aggressive, terrorizing attacks are almost unheard of in places such as gun shows and military bases.
It is natural, in an age of bailouts and government intervention, to denounce the actions being taken “for our own good” by the President and Congress, and write at length about what we shouldn’t be doing. It is my view that people look entirely too much to the government in general and the President in particular to solve problems and fix things. However, with the prevelance of that mindset, I would like to submit some ideas, for a change of pace, about what positive things a new President of the United States could and should do, given how little power under the Constitution the President has to make bold changes in policy. We can call this “what I would do if I were the new President”.