PostHeaderIcon Two Things That Are Driving Me (More) Crazy

There are many things one hears/sees via the media that can damage one’s thought processes. However there are two that I hear over and over that have an especially damaging effect on my mind – and both of them I have blogged about in the past (and promise to continue to blog on until they or I go away):

The first is totally trivial. It is the constant use of the phrase “The Proof Is In The Pudding”. The “proof” of what is in what pudding? The very phrase is so incoherent that I would much rather listen to long finger nails dragging across a chalkboard than to hear it even one more time. Of course, the traditional phrase was “The Proof Of The Pudding Is In The Eating” which, surprise, actually conveys a complete, meaningful thought or idea. I have long given up on the idea that ordinary Americans might understand way-out things like: their own national history, elementary geography, basic economics (hell, I would settle for basic arithmetic), constitutional government, etc. But, is it too much to ask that we get one of the simplest phrases in our lexicon correct? To quote my hero John Stossel, give me a break!

The second is anything but trivial but it is of dire import to our continued existence as a Constitutional Republic. That is the widespread misunderstanding of Enumerated Powers spelled out in our Constitution versus the several “Clauses” (the “Commerce Clause”, the “General Welfare Clause”, etc.), and, no Virginia, there is no “Santa Claus” in our Constitution although you could never prove that based on the actions of our Federal Government.

I make no claim to be an expert on our Constitution (although, I have studied it, and the words of our Founders, albeit informally, for decades). However, even as rank an amateur as myself can easily understand that the “Clauses” are statements of intent (“mission statements” if you prefer) while the “Enumerated Powers” are those specific powers delegated by the States to the Federal Government for achieving those statements of intent (or “missions”).

To take the position that the “Clauses”, by implication, grant whatever powers the Federal Government thinks it may need to achieve any of the stated intents (or “missions”) is nothing short of absurd. Yet, generations of Executive administrations, Legislatures and Federal Courts have taken exactly this position and have used this absurd interpretation of our Constitution to grow the Federal Government into an all-powerful, all-consuming behemoth that threatens the very rule of the Constitution it pretends to follow, with all the dangers to We-The-Sheeple that such entails.

The sad part of this sorry tale is that the States and WTS have sat by and allowed this to happen. Somehow we seem to have accepted that the Federal Supreme Court will protect us from the predations of an ever growing Federal Government. EXCUSE ME! Was I not taught in our own institutions of indoctrination (aka, public schools) that the Supreme Court is one of the three primary branches of the Federal Government? If it is true that all governments seek limitless expansion, at the cost of liberty (and all experience demonstrates that this is true), then what ever would lead a rational people to think that one branch of the monster, a branch whose power also expands with this limitless growth, could somehow be entrusted to check or limit that growth. Might we expect that a wolf’s tail would wrap itself around its own muzzle with the message “don’t eat that lamb”? Of course not, for we know that the tail benefits as much from a nice meal of lamb as does the muzzle, the legs or any other part of the wolf.

Well you ask, if the Supreme Court is not the final arbiter of the Constitution, then who is? Does it strike none of you as foolish that such a question could even be raised? Who, indeed, could it possible be???

Well, let me try a simpler question: who wrote the damned thing to begin with? It could not have been the Federal Government or any branch therein because such were created by the Constitution, therefore could not have been there before the creation.
Well what do you know? Maybe the States created and established our Constitution. That is, the States and the People who constitute them.

So, need I ask again who is the final arbiter of our Constitution? It can only be its original creators, the States, respectively, and the People.

So, if we (the States and the People) do not like the way our Federal Government exceeds those Enumerated Powers, the way it is expanding such that it consumes us all, then why don’t we (the States and the People) simply put a stop to it? The Founders left us many ways to do this: Nullification, a Constitutional Convention, Secession, or, through our second Amendment, resort to arms should it come to that.

And, no, secession is not unconstitutional. In its simplest form our Constitution is a contract between the Federal Government it created and the the States and the People. And, when any party to a contract violates its terms and conditions, the other parties MUST retain the right to declare the contract null and void or there is no point to contracts to begin with.

So, my friends, the essential question that lies before us is not “when are the branches of the Federal Government going to step up to their responsibilities?”. That has a simple answer. They will do so when those they are responsible TO insist that they do so, and not before.

The better question is “when are the States and the People going to step up to our responsibilities”?
Many people (and I was once among them) urge you to contact Federal officials and tell them your opinions. I now say, give this up. Most of them are simply not listening because they do not have to.

Instead, constantly, repeatedly contact local and State officials and demand that they, in our names, and as our employees, start taking action to reign in the Federal monster. Yes, I clearly understand that both the States and the People have become political prostitutes to federal handouts, but we MUST start to realize that we are being bought by our own money. And that, even if you think you are being bought with the other guys money, you MUST start to realize that what you are giving in return is your liberty and your dignity and your very honor. Have we gotten to that tragic point where these no longer have value to you?
Think about it. Then try to do what is right, even though it may already be too late.

(BTW, some of you may wonder why I am suddenly so much more active in this blog. Simple answer — Texas summer drives us out of the garden and inside under the AC.)

Troy L Robinson

42 Responses to “Two Things That Are Driving Me (More) Crazy”

  • Troy says:

    After re-reading this, it occurred to me that an example might help explain my attitude between Enumerated Powers and the several Clauses in our Constitution. Imagine, if you will, the following fictional scenario:

    The City Manager (CM) of a small village notices that there are a lot of cars parked on Main Street whose parking meter times have expired. CM, being clever of mind, thinks, quite reasonably, that, while a fully-trained police offer might cost more than the enforcement of parking fees might deliver, given the simplicity of the task of walking up and down Main, noticing which cars were parked at meters with the red flags showing, checking a couple of boxes on a simple form, then placing such form under the windshield of the offending car could well be done by a minimum wage “Meter Watcher” (MW) with a net increase of village revenues. So, CM interviews and hires what seems an acceptable MW, equips the MW. with pad and pen and then instructs MW that he is to place a ticket on every offending car, no exceptions. MW is then turned loose on an unsuspecting village.

    At the end of the first week of operations, CM calls MW into his office and the following conversation ensues:

    CM: How have you done with the ticketing project?

    MW: Great, I don’t think I let a single one get away without a ticket.

    CM: Wonderful! Were there any problems?

    MW: Well, there was one. This guy’s car clearly had the red flag showing, he saw it and I saw it about them same time. So, the driver jumped in the car and tried to drive away before I could complete the ticket. So, I had to shoot him.

    CM: You had to what?? I gave you no authority to shoot anyone!

    MW: Well, not directly, but, your instruction that I was to give the tickets “with no exceptions” implied that I could do whatever I thought needed to get the job done.

    Now, this may (and ought to) strike you as silly. But, is it any more silly that some of the crap our government has pulled on us while claiming that the provisions of the Whatever Clause empowered them to do so?

    Troy

  • Greg says:

    Well, the Civil Rights Act was passed using the Commerce Clause. So that’s a “stupid” and roundabout way to use the clause, but it had a greater good, which was for civil rights purposes. At the same time, thanks to John Roberts, we’ve learned that Commerce Clause can be used when applying to BUSINESSES ONLY, which is (in my opinion) the correct way to use it.

    Now, what’s interesting is there’s one clause that seems to be overlooked in so much legislation recently. I forget what article it is, but:

    “All powers herein not granted to the Federal Government are hereby reserved to the states OR THE PEOPLE” (a little paraphrase there, but this is the gist of it). Unfortunately, so many state/local/federal laws overlook this whole “personal choice” thing. It irks me. The way the health care law should be written is this: “If [citizen A] chooses to get healthcare, he gets [benefits A],” but “if [Citizen B] chooses not to, they have to pay for their healthcare, full-price at the hospital [benefits A] would apply here as well).” Like the current bill, my idea is not perfect.

    For full disclosure purposes, for those of you who check out my blog, you’ll notice a lot of concepts, like “Socialized Education.” These are by no means nearly as complete as your thoughts, rather they are what comes to my mind. I’m still learning to “cogitate” as Dave here puts it and get a congealed idea. With that in mind, the theoretical healthcare law thingie I just put up there is just that: it is a concept that I thought up for the purposes of illustrating an example. Nothing more, nothing less 🙂

    (caps are uses for emphasis here, not yelling, in case someone got the wrong idea 😉 )

    • ◄Dave► says:

      That is the Tenth Amendment, Greg. It is routinely ignored. The States lost their power with the adoption of the 17th Amendment. The People abnegate their power by reelecting fools.

      You are getting gun shy. Don’t be. The only stupid question is the one never asked. You are also free to make silly remarks. I expect them. Sure, I’ll box your ears when you mess up, and will probably be grinning while I do; but that is a small price to pay for the cogitation skills you are acquiring. 😀

      Speaking of the cogitative process, sear this tool into your thinking muscle. We think with words. Without language, we wouldn’t even be conscious. The more words we own, the easier it is to think. The more complex ideas and abstractions we can automatically distill into a single word, which leaps instantly to mind, the more efficiently we can cogitate.

      Since reading, thinking, and writing are my greatest pleasures, I have made a life-long effort to constantly improve my vocabulary. I delight in encountering new words, and make a serious effort to never read past one I don’t fully comprehend, without looking it up in the dictionary, to insure that I truly apprehend the author’s intent. Then, if I find utility in having it in my own lexicon, I look forward to an opportunity to use it in my own writing.

      I might revisit it in the dictionary frequently over time; but the more I employ it, the more it becomes a part of my cogitation tool kit. It only amuses me when shallow thinkers occasionally accuse me of using 50¢ words for affect. rather than effect. I use these words to think with, and thus they naturally flow out of my keyboard. I am seldom engaged in writing for mindless sheeple, and ubiquitous dictionaries are instantly available to all, in the modern digital world, usually with no more effort than a mouse click.

      I usually put a fair amount of effort into my writing; if a reader is too lazy to look up an unfamiliar word, he is not the caliber of thinker I am hoping to reach. I have better things to do with my time, than waste it writing additional sentences or paragraphs, to express a concept that can be conveyed with a single elegant word. I do hope you grok the goodwill behind this unsolicited pedagogy, and discern the sapience thereof. 😉 ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      Greg,
      First, I dispute the notion of a “greater good” out of hand. Such reasoning suggests that whatever is good for one must be good for all and that is never the case.

      Second, I think the Civil Rights Act was a (possibly) well-intended disgrace whose unintended consequences still keep racism on the front burner of American life. Indeed, the whole racial situation that existed in the 1950s was made infinitely worse by government social tinkering.

      At this point, let me assure you that I know that people of color (and not just so-called African Americans) were treated horribly in those days and for much of our history. And, nothing I have to say here tries to excuse that.

      Yet, take just a single example of what happened… our national government, driven mostly by the courts, correctly reasoned that the “separate but equal” school systems were long on “separate” and quite short on “equal”. Fine. Then the morons took a totally illogical step and decreed that ALL grades in ALL schools should be immediately integrated, soon to be followed by the even more illogical step of busing to achieve better “racial balance”.

      Think about the implications for a moment. If children in the separate-but-equal schools were receiving inferior education, how could an upperclassman from one of those schools possibly keep up when suddenly thrust into a far better school? What of the long-time social relationships that had developed between students from both sets of schools that were torn asunder, first by forced integration of all grade levels at once, then again by busing? Not to mention the fact that busing destroyed much of the adult community’s involvement in the schools affected.

      What might have been done instead? I offer a common sense alternative. What if they simply integrated kindergarten on year 1 of integration, kindergarten and first grade one year 2, and so on until all levels were integrated? The playing field is level for the newly integrated, few long-term social relationships are destroyed, plus the most significant change, for the children, is initially taking place at the age where they have yet to learn the fine art of bigotry. The objection to such a plan? Why it would take 13 years to complete and people want action NOW! So, we all got action NOW. And, 60 years later, the net situation is little better than it was then except that we have achieved a sort of equality by destroying what little good there was in our public education system back than.

      Today, thanks to the Civil Rights Act, we have far fewer African American children growing up in two parent families, African Americans who lived on the land and in small communities in the 1950s are now crammed into inner city ghettos that are unfit for wild animals to inhabit, much less human beings; many are addicted to government support because the progressives convinced them they could not make in on their own; we have government-approved, institutionalized racism (consider the Congressional Black Caucus as just one example – then mentally substitute “White” then tell me how long such would be tolerated in the halls of Congress).

      I hope you begin to see my point.

      Troy

  • Greg says:

    Thank you! I’m glad I don’t have to be afraid of what I say on here. But yes, too often the clause in our Constitution that says we have free choice (within acceptable boundaries, of course–no killing, for instance) is so often overlooked. And we can apply to so many things, too! If you don’t want gays to marry–don’t marry someone who is gay. That seems, to me, to fit under the 10th amendment, rather than be a whole, big, blown-up legal battle.

    Further, to expand on Troy’s point up there and keep this concept of free choice going (I think it was Troy? Maybe yours?), if you don’t like how the government is run–don’t elect the same people again and again. It’s like “What were you expecting? *facepalm* ”

    Also, by the way, the “class” I run will be going into its next topic 3 weeks from now. I spend 5 weeks at each source, for the record. Check the syllabus I posted for more information. Each unit (including fun detours!) lasts 5 weeks. (Only reason I brought this up is because you inquired and I’m not sure if you saw my comment or not 🙂 )

    • Troy says:

      …if you don’t like how the government is run–don’t elect the same people again and again. It’s like “What were you expecting?

      I think a large number of pollsters, media talking heads and just plain citizens miss a very crucial point. Certainly the overall Congress has an approval rating lower than child molesters. But that does not mean that each citizen who is disapproving of Congress in general also disapproves of his/her own representative or senators.

      One of the chief complaints one hears about Congress is “wasteful spending”. We accept this without stopping to think that the definition of “wasteful” simply means “spent in a district other than my own”, or, perhaps, “spent on a program of no direct benefit to me”.

      For instance, while I angrily denounce the idea of a “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, a similar program in my home district may look more like “a lot of good jobs and I might snag one of them”.

      I was listening to a “what next if the GOP wins?” discussion regarding the future of Obamacare. It seems that a lot of folks, so-called conservatives among them, like many parts of Obamacare. Preexisting conditions being allowed, children staying on parents plans until age 26, contraceptive coverage; to name but a few.

      What none of the morons who like these things seem to realize is that all this could be in existing insurance plans today — IF THEY WERE WILLING TO PAY FOR THEM. The deception inherent in Obamacare is the impression that such things can be mandated without increasing costs. And, sadly, even many who should know better still like them because they think that those increased costs can somehow be shifted to some unidentified OTHER rather that raising their own costs and reducing both the quantity and the quality of the overall coverage they receive.

      We have become a nation of 320+ million individual “special interests”.

      Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      “If you don’t want gays to marry–don’t marry someone who is gay. That seems, to me, to fit under the 10th amendment, rather than be a whole, big, blown-up legal battle.”

      That is nonsensical. Perhaps you meant to say something like, ‘If you don’t like/want gay marriage, don’t marry a gay.’ Specifically on the issue of gay marriage, I commend you to my recent article, Marriage Should be Reframed – Not Redefined. You are misconstruing the purpose and intent of the Tenth Amendment. To properly understand it, one must be familiar with the notion of individual sovereignty, with which our Founders were so enamored. De-programing takes time and effort; you may need to occasionally revisit my Sovereign Rights essay. 🙂

      “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.” -Tenth Amendment

      I would submit that at least 90% of what the Federal government does is a flagrant violation of the Tenth Amendment. To give an obvious indisputable example, the entire Department of Education, and everything that it does, is a direct violation of it. It is important to understand whence came the Tenth Amendment. The Constitution is essentially a free trade agreement (think EU – Common Market) and mutual defense pact (think NATO) between 13 sovereign nations. Our Founders were the representatives of those nations, hammering out the compact agreement in lengthy, competitive, tough, negotiations. I.e. it was a compromise.

      They were not at all engaged in an exercise of designing an idyllic society and government, such as Troy and I are currently amusing ourselves with in the A Possible Solution comment section. They already had a weak confederacy of 13 small nation states, with well-defined social structures. They were about the task of federating them into a more powerful and competitive entity, for engaging in world commerce as an equal among empires. Jealous of their autonomy and sovereignty, and having just several years before fought for their independence from an oppressive tyrannical empire, they were not at all interested in creating another one.

      Thus, the Constitution they wrought, very specifically limited the powers of the federation to just a few essential functions, which they carefully enumerated. They meant it to have no other. To further preclude the amassing of tyrannical power, in a horizontal separation of powers, they divided it into three coequal branches. Then, to make sure their States would be equally represented and somewhat in control, they created a bicameral legislature, with the upper house consisting of two Senators appointed by each of the individual State legislatures, and serving at their pleasure. (The  Seventeenth Amendment, purportedly ratified in 1913, was a tragedy that radically changed the nature of our republic.)

      The Constitution was drafted in 1787 and went into effect replacing the Articles of Confederation in 1789, after sufficient States had ratified it; but only then because there was an agreement to add the Bill of Rights as the first Amendments, as soon as Congress met under its jurisdiction. Several of the States refused to ratify it otherwise; because they wanted it made absolutely clear that the Federal government lacked the power to do anything not enumerated in it. From the Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

      “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

      Notice how adamant they were, from the opening line of the First Amendment:

      “Congress shall make no law…”

      Now, if they had had the good sense to stop right there… we would all have a lot more freedom today! 😉

      After being ratified by 3/4 of the States, the Bill of Rights finally became part of the Supreme Law of the Land in 1791. So, since the Constitution is a compact between States, why does the Tenth Amendment say:

      “… or to the people.”

      Or? This is where the vertical separation of powers and individual sovereignty enter the picture. It is instructive to review the Ninth Amendment, which gets a lot less attention than it deserves:

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. -Ninth Amendment

      I emphasize the word ‘retained‘ to point out that our Founders understood and championed the concept of individual sovereignty. We the people of America, are each on par with any monarch and, like them, acquire our rights and prerogatives at birth. We are not subjects, vassals, serfs, or chattel. For the benefits of living in a cooperative community, we agree to relinquish some of our birthrights (most notably the right to initiate force), to the local county government established by us to maintain law and order.

      It is not the other way around. Government can grant privileges and licenses; but it cannot grant rights. We already have and retain all of those, which we did not agree to relinquish. Thus, the Founders had to say ‘or‘; because they were representing the States, under the limited powers delegated to them, and had no authority to negotiate any of the rights retained by the people. The vertical separation of powers in America, is the hierarchy of power derived from those relinquished rights. It goes thusly:

      The individual sovereign, the county government, the State government, and lastly the Federal government. Please grasp that the power pyramid is inverted. At the top, is all the people as individual sovereigns. For the benefit of community, they each loaned some of their sovereign rights to their county government. For the benefit of universal laws over a wider territory, the counties passed a portion of those sovereign rights down to a State government. Finally, for the benefit of free trade and mutual defense, with great trepidation, the States passed some of what remained of those sovereign rights, down to a deliberately and severely limited Federal government.

      Yes, the Federal government is expected to behave as a powerful sovereign power, among other sovereign nations, whatever form of government they have; that is its primary reason for existence. It represents a nation of sovereigns on the world stage; but it cannot legally exercise that power against the people, counties, or States, who created and outranks it, and for whom it serves. Fully grokking and internalizing this, is essential to unraveling the gruesome muddle, which our national government has become in America. If every voter understood this, much mischief would die aborning from the outrage.

      That is why the Progressive public schools no longer teach our history and Constitution, and why it is so difficult to awaken those convinced our Founders created an authoritarian democracy, to rule over its subjects. This, in turn, explains why most Liber-T-Party types are old fogies like me, who learned this stuff back when they still taught the Constitution in junior high school, clause by clause; and lauded our Founders as the brilliant young Patriots they were, rather than dismiss them as bigoted old white men.

      Please let me know, when the scales begin to fall from your eyes. This is important. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    Well to clarify, Troy, would you say that aim of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was LAUDABLE, but the execution (as it usually is in most everything passed in Congress) was lacking? 🙂

    • ◄Dave► says:

      I’ll let Troy answer the question; but I will say good intentions are beside the point in politics. The ends never justify illegal and/or unconstitutional means. Robin-Hood’s intent may have been laudable; but he was still a reprobate thief. ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      Greg,
      I would say that nothing in our Constitution authorizes the federal government to tell communities, businesses, or individuals how to live their lives, including who they must/must not associate with.

      I believe that most of the positive change that occurred in the 50’s and 60’s came from the black community simply deciding they were no longer going to settle for second-class status.

      As to the fire hoses, dogs, beatings, and even murders, I offer several answers:

      First is that some people, thankfully a minority, are simply no damn good. The rural South seems to have been blessed with more than its share of them.

      Second is that the worst of the racial bigots were and are ignorant as blocks of wood, ergo, true education is the answer, not force. Force never changes minds but it does stoke the fires of negative passion.

      Third is that most reasonable white people (my family among them) were horrified at what they saw being done and were willing to see changes, albeit not as severe or as fast as what what happened. Indeed, many whites were just as afraid of the brutes who ran many local “law enforcement” agencies and were as happy as any Black to see them go.

      Fourth is that it is human nature to resist giving up any advantage one group has over others. We are now finding that equally true of the Blacks who pitch a fit when we try to sunset dumb programs like affirmative action, hiring preferences, etc.

      Last, I actually have enough faith in human nature to believe that many communities would have worked this stuff out, more peacefully and more quickly, given that many of the problems are still with us today and may even be growing worse thanks to the bigot in the White House.

      I grew up in Arkansas and was a junior in high school when the infamous Central High School issue ensued. While I did not live in the Little Rock or attend that particular school, I did have friends who were directly affected. I will NEVER forget the pictures on TV and in the local papers of UNITED STATES TROOPS OCCUPYING MY STATE! Real soldiers, carrying real weapons! Our State and its people got a ruined reputation from that episode that will take generations to overcome. And not a single major media outlet to my knowledge) ever ran a story about how Arkansas had ALREADY, VOLUNTARILY, integrated its public colleges and universities. My distrust of both the federal government and the major media started then and there.

      I think the true legacy of the CRA and all the other government intrusion that went with it is a level of bitterness, on both sides, that will last for generations.

      Having said all that, most of the truly abusive things being done to Blacks was already against existing laws. As for the instinct to not racially mix, that existed (and still does) on BOTH sides and it will only dissipate after generations of living side-by-side and slowly getting to understand that our differences are really only skin deep. However, this dissipation is being slowed by government programs that actually encourage Blacks to cling to a false, dysfunctional culture rather than embracing the mainstream culture of the nation.

      Troy

      • ◄Dave► says:

        I concur, Troy. As you know, I too was born in Arkansas; although I lost my accent, because I moved away when I was six-months-old. My parents were born and raised in the South, yet one of my earliest memories as a tyke was being spoiled by my dad’s colored Army buddy, every time they visited.

        My widowed grandmothers and an aunt with several cousins to play with, all lived across an unpaved street from each other in a small Arkansas town, and we always took our vacations there in the ’50s. We sure had no trouble playing with some of the colored kids about our age in the neighborhood, and our parents certainly didn’t object to having them around.

        My dad being in the Army until I was in the third grade, and then a union construction worker ‘tramp’ after that, there were always a few colored kids in my school classes growing up. Kids have to be taught to hate, and I never encountered a negative racial experience in school until I was a junior in high school in Las Vegas, where 25% of the student body was black. That is when I discovered that ghetto culture was different to mine. Those kids were uncouth, disrespectful of girls, inclined to violence, carried switchblades, and very prejudiced against white kids. It was only prudent to steer clear of them, so while the school was ‘integrated,’ the kids and culture were not. Quite the opposite.

        This was during the time of the LA riots, which only reinforced my new-found caution. Too bad, huh? Left to their own devices, kids could probably put this whole sordid history in the rear-view mirror, and get on with productive lives; but the race-baiters and poverty-pimps are making way too much money, and enjoying far too much power, to ever permit the problem to actually be solved. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    Well, there’s a difference: If you think the intent of the Civil Rights Act was bad… I’m going to disagree with you–and also on the constitutionality question -especially since, according to a court, all the was happening was regulating the businesses, ergo constitutional. However, what is not constitutional was the busing. Did you know that the Supreme Court did not actually agree with busing? They said it was “totally unnecessary.”

    • Troy says:

      Greg, if I “intended”, William Tell style, to shoot an apple off someone’s head but shot them between the eyes instead because my aim was poor, would that excuse the result? Or, might it be more reasonable to conclude that I should never have attempted such a thing to begin with??

      BTW, my face is quite tan (I live in Texas) and I reserve my name calling for members of the federal government. And, I have never attempted to deny anyone the right to openly disagree with me. If we were all in agreement, the net value of this blog would be less than 0.

      Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      What difference? Why?

      I said no such thing. Are you experiencing a bit of difficulty with your reading comprehension? I implied precisely the opposite:

      “…I will say good intentions are beside the point in politics. The ends never justify illegal and/or unconstitutional means.”

      I have no interest in discussing the merits of the motives behind the CRA; but it was a clear violation of the Tenth Amendment, not the least of which was the Feds meddling in the affairs of local schools. Have you bothered to read my explanation of the Tenth Amendment above? What don’t you understand about it? Or, do you believe it to be in error? If so, how so?

      The use of the Interstate Commerce Clause to try to regulate every avenue of our lives has become a national joke. It does not give the Feds carte blanche to regulate all “business,” only commerce that crosses State lines. At least back in the ’60s, they were still pretending to find a nexus with interstate commerce to justify using it for social engineering. E.g. they reckoned they could coerce integration of lodging facilities, because they were used by folks engaged in interstate commerce. A bit of a stretch, I’d say, from the perspective of original intent; but certainly not as egregious as current efforts to use it, to force socialized medicine down the throats of a clear majority, who want nothing to do with it. ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      according to a court, all the was happening was regulating the businesses, ergo constitutional

      As I read our Constitution, I see the stated goal “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

      In this context, “regulate” means to make regular. That is, to establish fair and consistent rules for trade between the entities listed.

      It says NOTHING that can be rationally construed to mean that Congress was to interfere with the internal operations of a business or of any other enterprise. Indeed, it cannot even be construed to mean that Congress has any responsibility to interfere with the relationships between businesses or other enterprises WITHIN a given State.

      If the Commerce and General Welfare Clauses were actually intended to grant the unlimited powers that are currently claimed by an out-of-control government, there would have been no need for any other enumerated powers or for a Bill of Rights.

      Troy

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Exactly, Troy. Well said. Greg, please take careful note of the connotation of the term ‘regulate’ as used by our Founders. It is important, because it is often misconstrued by those opposing the 2nd Amendment too, as calling for something akin to a bureaucracy to make rules and issue edicts. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    ^ That was written in a bit of anger. Let me slow down and explain what I mean before we get red in the face and start calling each other racists, or worse >…< ), etc. so that they are "equal under the law?" I think we both can agree that that would be a good thing, right? 🙂

  • Greg says:

    What the heck happened to my post? Let’s try this again.

    That was written in a bit of anger. Let me slow down and explain what I mean before we get red in the face and start calling each other racists, or worse. >.<

    Here's my problem: In the 1950s, going up to and including (to a lesser degree) after the CRA of 1964, there were overt displays of racism towards the African American community. We are talking fire hoses being turned on them, etc. etc. etc.

    I do not know about you, but I do not wish to return to that time. Instead, I wish for everyone, regardless of race, creed, mental capacity (I have autism), and so forth to be regarded as "equal under the law."

    So I'm going to propose a hypothetical: Let's assume the CRA of 1964 never existed. What would be in its place?

    • ◄Dave► says:

      We? Red-faced jousting at full gallop, spewing ad hominem to bludgeon an opponent, is not my style. I prefer the keener point of a rapier, employed with a bit of finesse, to deftly flay a clumsy aggressor. I particularly covet the extra points earned, when the hapless fellow doesn’t even realize he has been nicked. 😉

      Racist? It disappoints me greatly that such a charge even occurred to you. Perhaps I misjudged you; but I had credited you with being a cut above the typical mindless fool on the Left, who sees bigotry behind any dissent from their orthodoxy. Am I now consigned to only appreciate that you have a bit more self-control over your tongue?

      Reading a few of my posts over the years, would disabuse most rational thinkers of the notion that I am a racist:

      October Surprise II
      Mind Power
      Freedom Fighting Terrorists
      Malleable Morality
      Dark Ages II

      There was no ‘African American’ community in the ’50s, I was there. There were (mostly) proud American descendents of slaves originally purchased in Africa; but they would have been offended had anyone referred to them as ‘Africans.’ Just as they were offended at the time when anyone called them ‘black’; they preferred to be referred to as ‘colored’ folk in the ’50s. In any case, they had not yet been organized into a victimhood community, by the Marxist ‘civil rights’ agitators.

      (Hmm… an interesting thought just occurred to me: When I emigrated to Africa in the early ’70s, did that make me an American African?)

      The fire hoses were used on contumacious rioters (black and white), mostly outsiders bussed in to deliberately disturb the peace with well-planned ‘civil disobedience’ demonstrations. At that time in our history, they would have turned the hoses on an unruly crowd of all white OWS protesters, with equal disdain. Sure there was tribalism involved, there always has been and always will be; but then, as now, it was more class-based than race-based. As no less an expert than ex-KKK leader, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, famously said in a TV interview a few years ago, one didn’t have to be black to be a ‘nigger.’ There were legitimate grievances on both sides (outsiders vs. locals); but let’s not try to rewrite history.

      Without the CRA and the new industry of race-baiting poverty-pimps it spawned, I suspect society would be infinitely more amalgamated by now. The trend toward integration was well under way, as was the trend toward white guilt over what our ancestors had done to theirs. I encountered little racial animosity in the Army in the early ’60s, even with all the rioting that was going on in the ghettos. One thing is absolutely clear; the blacks themselves would be infinitely better off. They wouldn’t be mired in the cycle of dependence, drug abuse, and violence that so many are now, as a direct result of altruistic programs meant to atone for past wrongs.

      They would have fewer children without fathers, and would still have the dignity of being able to support their families with honest work. Black unemployment in 1950 was 6.3 %, slightly higher than whites; but nothing like the disparity now. Then, as now, all anyone stuck in a ghetto needed to do to escape their plight, was to buy a bus ticket in any direction for at least 50 miles. Then get off, apply for a job, and start life over with dignity and self-respect. Opportunity abounds in America for anyone willing to work hard to get ahead, whatever their skin tones. Most employers are far more interested in an employer’s character, mind or back, ability, and reliability, than their ethnicity. I have no time for victimhood. ◄Dave►

  • Troy says:

    Greg, I forgot to add that I am mildly autistic myself. The effects were much more pronounced when I was a child, especially the tendency to take everything literally (one day, perhaps I will explain how the combination of ignorance and autism led to the beginnings of my enlightenment, even though my lights may still be dim by some standards).

    When I left home, joined the military, then went on to employment in the private sector, I found that my symptoms, however mild by comparison with the devastating cases, were limiting my ability to advance in the world. So, I forced myself to start learning coping techniques. The technique that worked best for me, in any situation whether private, public or business, was to find a person who functioned well in such situations then imitate their behavior. I know that, in some ways, this makes me phoney as a $3 bill, but it has served me well over the years and has even helped me to almost become that which I seek to imitate. (On this blog, I seek to imitate a sage.)

    Troy

  • Greg says:

    Oh, I don’t think you’re racist at all, Dave and Troy :). I’m saying that what was said troubled me greatly the first time I wrote that. Hence why I slowed down and went from “What do you have against black people” to “Okay, what did you mean by that?” 🙂

  • Greg says:

    Now, to further clarify what was said above:
    You both think that anyone, regardless of race, gender, etc. SHOULD have equality under the law. What you seem to be highlighting (and correct me if I am wrong) is that laws such as the CRA of 1964, and possibly, had it passed, the Equal Pay Amendment, while it SEEKS to level the playing field; in actuality, it creates disparities artificially and leads to even greater inequality amongst everyone? Am I understanding this correctly?

    Also, as to the leftist/mindless fool… eh… yeah, that was one of my weaker moments. I can be like that at times and I do apologize. For the record, in my opinion, I do not necessarily think that everything (example: the Zimmerman case) points to racism. I also do not think that everyone on the left is correct… in fact, they are just as bad as the right when they artificially create wedge values–such as what I just fell prey to >..< ) is that, before one jumps to conclusions, one must first seek to understand.

    • Troy says:

      What you seem to be highlighting (and correct me if I am wrong) is that laws such as the CRA of 1964, and possibly, had it passed, the Equal Pay Amendment, while it SEEKS to level the playing field; in actuality, it creates disparities artificially and leads to even greater inequality amongst everyone? Am I understanding this correctly?

      Greg, That fairly well sums up my attitude. I think there are several factors in play with this sort of thing.

      First is that politicians, however well meaning they may seem to be, are, politicians. This means there is a "pander factor" in everything they do — a factor that may have greater effect on the law proposed than any good intention on the part of the pols.

      Second is that, even where new rules/laws may be needed, these need to be enacted at the level of government closest to the problem to be solved. This makes it more likely that the laws are implemented by people who might actually understand the problems. Plus, when things are addressed more locally, it is easier for those who really disagree to vote with their feet. Moving to another village a few miles down the road is not nearly the same as abandoning the nation of one's birth, ergo national laws cause the most denial of flexibility and options.

      Third, as stated elsewhere, force is rarely the best solution to any problem. And, make no mistake, government is force. Government may legally take your freedom, your property and even your life. Such power should be used very sparingly.

      You seem to have wanted to ask what I have against Black people. If so, I do not mind answering. The answer is that I have nothing against the fact of someone being Black.

      That said, I do disapprove of the actions of many Black individuals and groups. For instance, I thinK that professional racists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have a vested interest in keeping racism going as long as possible. Increasingly so does Obama. I think the members of the New Black Panthers who threatened voters in the 2008 elections should have been sent to prison, just as I think a group of Klansmen should and WOULD have been in the same situation.

      I also have a problem with Blacks who reject main-line American culture in favor of that dysfunctional crap that passes for "culture" in some Black groups, especially in the inner cities.

      On the other side of the coin are people like Thomas Sowell and Walter E Williams who I consider among best thinkers in the nation. Both, especially Sowell, have had a profound effect on my thinking.

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Well said, and ditto on Sowell and Williams et al. A man’s appearance means little to me (I don’t even mind if he occasionally likes to dress in a skirt. 😉 ), it is the quality of mind and character, by which I judge others; and I make no apologies whatever for being judgmental! ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    Also, Dave, why is your blog eating my posts? The above is NOT what I wrote O.o

    This is what was supposed to be there, 2nd paragraph:

    Also, as to the leftist/mindless fool… eh… yeah, that was one of my weaker moments. I can be like that at times and I do apologize. For the record, in my opinion, I do not necessarily think that everything (example: the Zimmerman case) points to racism. I also do not think that everyone on the left is correct… in fact, they are just as bad as the right when they artificially create wedge values–such as what I just fell prey to. One of the things that I have learned, as I should have practice above (>.< ) is that, before one jumps to conclusions, one must first seek to understand.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      It is there in the second paragraph…???

      Try refreshing your browser… ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        No that didn’t work. Hmm…

        This is the correct version from the one right above you.

        One of the things that I have learned, as I should have practice above (>…< ) is that, before one jumps to conclusions, one must first seek to understand.

        Note how it cut off a sentence ?.?

        • Troy says:

          Dave has installed a special “Greg filter” that is programmed to pick on you. There is another “Troy filter” that inserts typos in my offerings (they could not possibly be my fault!).

        • ◄Dave► says:

          Nope, that sentence is complete here. Try looking at this page. ◄Dave►

        • ◄Dave► says:

          I am Sooo tempted at times to fix your typos, but I have remarkable self-restraint. 😛 ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          Also the error is still there.

          • ◄Dave► says:

            The problem is on your end. I have tried three different Windows browsers, and four different iPad browsers and the comments are complete in all of them. As you should have seen if you followed the link above to the RSS page, they are there complete. All I can suggest is that you try another computer, to convince yourself that you have a computer problem. It is not the server or blogging software. ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          Weird… the feed shows the problem, as does another browser. Very weird. Anyway, it doesn’t much concern me. From now on, I’m going to assume that unless you point out something as incomplete, that it’s all there 🙂

  • Greg says:

    “…That said, I do disapprove of the actions of many Black individuals and groups. For instance, I thinK that professional racists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have a vested interest in keeping racism going as long as possible. Increasingly so does Obama. I think the members of the New Black Panthers who threatened voters in the 2008 elections should have been sent to prison, just as I think a group of Klansmen should and WOULD have been in the same situation.”

    I sort of agree and sort of disagree.

    The part that I agree with is this: Al Sharpton, JEsse Jackson, and the New Black Panthers… their gut reaction ANY time someone who is African-American (black? Again, I forget which is less offensive >.>) gets killed (See: the Travis Martin case in Florida), their gut reaction is to drive the communities (that Dave and you have outlined so succinctly above) into a frenzy about how “Race was behind it.” 9 times out of 10, it’s not. If I kill someone of a different race because they cheated on my wife (hypothetical here… I have no wife :p ) … this is not racism. If anything, it is sexism– unless you can prove that I somehow found it MORE offensive that he was Black/Asian/what have you. Since Sharpton and co. have no access to this information (unless someone in their organization is a cop investigating said crime), it does the general public a disservice to jump to this conclusion.

    The point I disagree with is: sometimes it IS about Racism. And, well, Sharpton and co. are somewhat useful in driving a dialog. However, they go about it the wrong way most of the time because of the above. But that one time out of 100 that it is about race, it is good to at least be a dialogue starter in my opinion.

    As a final point here before I digress below: It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to think of a black person as a “black person.” I would much rather them to be thought of as human (not even nationality), just like everyone else on this planet 🙂 . If you viewed everyone as human, you’d suddenly realize that we are all in this together. The sooner you realize that, the better everything becomes. [/hippie] >.>

    Also Troy, I didn’t think that you had anything against them. I was just saying that that was a gut reaction before I asked for clarification. It is amazing how much time and energy would be saved just by asking, “What did you mean by that,” is it not? 🙂

    Finally: LOL at both. Thank you; you have given me a laugh. I needed that ^_^

    • ◄Dave► says:

      On balance, it is a good thing we have this noisy young shepherd in our midst, who incessantly seeks attention by falsely crying “Wolf.” Oh, sure, he keeps us constantly riled up, obsessed with our ever growing ‘wolf problem,’ and jumping at the sight of a benign pet dog. But, hey, what about that one time in a hundred when he actually does spot a rare undomesticated canine? Without him to get us revved up and sputtering about it, we might just pass it off as the insignificant occurrence of an anomaly that it actually is. Wouldn’t that be a tragedy? ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        You just summed up my point above much better than I could. That was my point exactly. Most of the time, it is false crying “Wolf,” but once in a long while, he is right. However, it does lose its effect after about the first 20 times you see him speak :p

  • Greg says:

    “It says NOTHING that can be rationally construed to mean that Congress was to interfere with the internal operations of a business or of any other enterprise. Indeed, it cannot even be construed to mean that Congress has any responsibility to interfere with the relationships between businesses or other enterprises WITHIN a given State.”

    Oh absolutely. I am referring more to a company with bases in many states, rather than the small business I have worked for.

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