Scientists Were Once Among the Most Trusted Figures in Western Public Life

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November 29, 2009
Global Warming Fraud and the Future of Science
By J.R. Dunn

The East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) revelations come as no real surprise to anyone who has closely followed the global-warming saga. The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) thesis, to give it its semi-official name, is no stranger to fraud. It is no real exaggeration to state that it was fertilized with fraud, marinated in fraud, stewed in fraud, and at last served up to the world as prime, grade-A fraud with nice side orders of fakery and disingenuousness. Damning as they may be, the CRU e-mails are merely the climactic element in an exhaustively long line.

A short tour of previous AGW highlights includes:
The Y2K Glitch. This episode involved the NASA/GISS team led by James Hansen, possibly the most fanatical and unrelenting of all warmists — a man who makes Al Gore look like a skeptic. (Among other things, Hansen has demanded that warming “deniers” be tried for “crimes against humanity.”) While examining a series of NASA temperature graphs, Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, himself not so much a skeptic as an anti-warming Van Helsing, uncovered a discontinuity occurring in January 2000 that raised temperatures gathered over widespread areas by 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit. McIntyre had no easy time of it, since Hansen refused to reveal what algorithm he’d used to process the data, forcing McIntyre to perform some very abstruse calculations to figure it out.

Once notified, Hansen’s team promised to correct the error, stating that it was an “oversight.” When the corrected figures were at last released, they rocked the church of warming from bingo hall to steeple. Vanished was the claim that the past few years were “the warmest on record.” Now 1934 took precedence. A full half of the top ten warmest years occurred before WWII, well prior to any massive CO2 buildup.

No explanation has ever been offered. We have a Y2K glitch that behaves like no other computer glitch ever encountered, uniformly affecting a large number of sources distributed almost nationwide. Although the incident trashed all recent data and raised uncomfortable questions about the warming thesis as a whole, NASA itself made no effort at an investigation or inquiry. All that we’re ever going to hear is “oversight.” I guess that’s how they do things at NASA/GISS.

The Arctic Ice Melt. We’ve been informed for the better part of a decade that Arctic ice was melting at an unprecedented rate, and that the North Pole would be ice-free in twenty, thirty, or forty years, depending in the hysteria level of the media platform in question. In truth, ice thinning was due to a cyclical weather pattern in which winds blow ice floes south into warmer water. Everybody involved knew that this cycle occurred, everyone had seen it happen previously since time out of mind. But it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Worse yet, when the weather returned to its normal pattern two years ago, large numbers of scientists put in considerable effort to suggest that the “new” ice was thinner than usual and would vanish in a flash as soon as the temperatures went back up. The media went along with the joke. The Germans have a phrase to cover such eventualities: “this crew should be stripped of their trade.” (Several expeditions setting out for the Pole to “call attention” to the coming Arctic catastrophe had to stop short due to icy conditions. In one case, both women involved suffered serious frostbite.)

The Poor Polar Bears. Closely related is the saga of the polar bears, staring extinction in the face due to warming, while somewhere beyond the aurora, Gaia weeps bitter tears. This was evidently inspired by a single photograph (you’ve seen it — the entire world has at this point) of a woebegone polar bear crouched on a melting iceberg. That bear had to be sulking over allowing a nice, juicy seal to escape, because it was in no danger. Out of the twenty major polar bear populations, only two are known to be decreasing. Estimates of bear population (there are no exact figures) have increased over the past forty years, from 17,000 to 19,000 to the current number of 22,000 to 27,000. The bears are becoming pests in municipalities such as Churchill and Point Barrow (as clearly shown here). Despite all this, the bear was put on the U.S. “endangered” list just last year.

The Hockey Stick That Wasn’t. The “hockey stick” is a nickname for a chart prepared by Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University professor and leading warmist. The chart purports to show temperature levels for the past millennium, and consists of a straight line until it reaches the late 20th century, when it suddenly shoots upward, creating the “hockey stick” profile. This chart was a major feature of International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports on global warming and is a commonly used media graphic.

This chart creates immediate doubt in anyone knowledgeable about the climate of the past millennium, which more resembles a roller coaster than a straight line. It developed — in yet another impressive McIntyre takedown, this time with an assist from Ross McKitrick — that Mann was utilizing an algorithm that would produce hockey sticks if you fed it telephone numbers. (Mann is the “Mike” mentioned in the CRU e-mails, and this is one of his “tricks.”) Despite this disclosure, Mann has never withdrawn the chart, offered an explanation, or made a correction. The chart remains an accepted piece of evidence among warmists.

Tree-Ring Circus. Due to the fact that direct temperature measures for past epochs are lacking, climatologists utilize “proxy measures,” such as tree rings, glacial moraines, and lake sediments. Tree rings have played an important part in the warming controversy as evidence backing the claim that temperatures have been consistently lower worldwide until recently. A crucial series of measurements utilized by Mann, among others, involves trees located on the Yamal peninsula in Siberia. How many trees were measured, you ask? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?

The answer is twelve: a number perfectly adequate to trigger international panic, overthrow the capitalist system, establish Green totalitarianism, and completely turn Western culture on its head.

But it turns out that further measurements were in fact made in the area, involving at least thirty-four other trees. And when this data is added to the original twelve, then the warming evidence disappears into the same branch of the Twilight Zone as the grip of Mann’s hockey stick. Another “oversight”, you understand.

We could go on to mention the automated U.S. weather stations chronicled by the tireless Anthony Watts, which were conscientiously placed next to air-con vents, atop sewage plants, in parking lots, and in one case, in a swamp (as many as 90% may be giving spurious high readings). We could mention the glaciers that are vanishing worldwide…except where they aren’t, or the endless papers demonstrating that the coral reefs — along with various birds, animals, insects, and plants — are facing extinction even though no warming whatsoever has occurred for twelve years. (And in the thirty years before that, the total rise was 1.25 degrees Fahrenheit, easily within normal variation.) Powerful stuff, this warming — it maims and destroys even when it’s not happening.  

It’s within this context that the East Anglia e-mails must be judged. The vanishingly small number of  legacy media writers who are paying attention behave as if the messages comprise some kind of puzzling anomaly, with no relation to anything that came before. In truth, they stand as the internal memos from the East Anglia branch of the Nigerian National Bank, which can save us from the horrors of global warming after payment of a small up-front fee.

There is always a deeper level to the damage caused by fraud. It strains social relationships, generates cynicism, and debases standing institutions. What has suffered the most damage from AGW is faith in the scientific method, the basic set of procedures — it could be called an algorithm — governing scientific investigation. These procedures embody simplicity itself: you examine a phenomenon. You gather data. You construct a hypothesis to explain that phenomenon. And then…
Well, first, let’s cover what you don’t do.

You don’t manipulate data (as CRU chief scientist Phil Jones stated he was doing in the now-famous “Mike’s trick” e-mail, not to mention throughout the now-famous source code).
You don’t fabricate data (as one CRU scientist did while compiling weather-station data. Running into problems, he states, “I can make it up. So I did.” He adds an evil smiley face.

This e-mail has gone under radar up until now. It can be found in the comments on James Delingpole’s blog.).

You don’t deny data to other investigators (as Hansen, Jones, and, it appears, everybody else in the warming community has done at one time or another).

You don’t destroy evidence (as the members of the CRU did following a Freedom of Information request).

You don’t bury contradictory data (as Jones and several colleagues did in an attempt to undercut the impact of the Medieval Warming Period).

You don’t secretly manipulate the argument from behind the scenes (as the CRU staff did with the website Realclimate.org., screening comments to allow only those that supported the warming thesis).

You don’t secretly undercut your critics (as Mann advised the CRU to do concerning the scientific journal Climate Research: “I think we have to stop considering ‘Climate Research’ as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.”).

You don’t try to get a journal editor critical of your case fired (as the CRU staff evidently succeeded in doing with an editor for Geophysical Research Letters).

What you do, if you are a serious scientist operating according to the established method, is attempt to thwart your hypothesis. Test it to destruction; carry out serious attacks on its weakest points to see if they hold up. If they do — and the vast majority of hypotheses suffer the indignity embodied in a phrase attributed variously to Thomas Huxley and Lord Kelvin — “a beautiful theory slain by an ugly fact” — then you have a theory that can be published, and tested, and verified by other scientists. If you don’t, you throw it out.
None of this, amidst all the chicanery, fabrications, and manipulations, appears to have been done by anyone active in global warming research, the CRU least of all. From this point, we are forced to conclude that AGW is not science, and that any “consensus” that can be drawn from it is a consensus of fraud. 

(The late-breaking revelations of temperature manipulations at New Zealand’s NiWA institute — another one of Mike’s tricks? — merely underlines the lesson of CRU. Now that the dam has busted, we’ll be hearing dozens of stories like this over the weeks and months to come.)

The West is a technological society. Science is as responsible for making us what we are as any other factor, including our democratic system of government. The two are in fact complementary, each supporting and encouraging the other across the decades since this country was established. (And yes, I am aware that Britain and Germany were both centers of scientific progress, both of them nations liberalized by the example of the United States. Even the utterly authoritarian Bismarck was forced to heed the voice of the people despite his inclination to do anything but.)

The technology developed from scientific research has created a world that would be unrecognizable to our forebears of even a century ago. Technology has transformed diet, health, communications, and transportation. It has doubled lifespans in advanced countries. Prior to the modern epoch, few ever caught a glimpse of the world past their own farming fields. India, China, and Africa were wild myths, the Pacific and Antarctica utterly unknown, the planets and stars merely pretty lights in the sky. Technology opened the world — not just for everyday men and women, but for invalids, the disabled, and the subnormal, who once lived lives of almost incomprehensible deprivation. Technology was a crucial factor in the dissolution of ancient empires and the humbling of aristocracies.

As Paul Johnson has pointed out, a technological breakout appeared imminent at a number of points in the past millennium. Consider the anonymous Hussite engineer of the 15th century who left a notebook even more breathtaking than any of Leonardo da Vinci’s, or the revolutionary English Levelers of the 17th century who dreamed of flying machines and factories. If a breakout had occurred at those times, the consequences would have been unimaginable. But the Hussites were destroyed by the German princes, the Levelers by the reestablishment of the English crown. It required the birth of a true democratic republic in the late 18th century to provide the setting for a serious scientific-technical takeoff, one that after two hundred years has brought us to where we stand today, gazing out at the galaxies beyond the galaxies, with the secret of life itself within reach.

It is this, and no less, that scientific fraud threatens. This is no trivial matter; it involves one of the basic elements of modern Western life. When scientific figures lie, they lie to all of us. If they foment serious distrust of the scientific endeavor — as they are doing — they are creating a schism in the heart of our culture, a wound that in the long run could prove even more deadly than the jihadi terrorists.

Such failings are not relegated only to climatology. The apparent success of the climate hustlers has infected all areas of research. Over the past decade, stem-cell studies have proven a hotbed of fraud. Recall Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, the South Korean biologist who claimed to have cloned various higher animals and isolated new stem cell lines to worldwide applause. Suk was discovered to have faked all his research, prompting the South Korean government to ban him from taking part in any further work. Nor was he alone. Researchers throughout the field have been caught fabricating and manipulating data, and at least one large biotech company has developed a habit of announcing grand breakthroughs to goose its stock prices.

A number of factors are responsible, among them the grant-making process, which rewards extravagant claims and demands matching results, and the superstar factor, in which media adulation creates a sense of intellectual arrogance — as in the case of Dr. Suk — unmatched since Galileo’s heyday. But the major problem lies in politics, specifically as involves ideology.

In both major recent cases of fraud, science had become entwined and infected with ideology to a point where its very nature was transformed. It was no longer science in the classic mold, boldly asking basic questions without fear or favor. It had become an ideological tool, carrying out only such research as met with the approval of political elites. Stem-cell research became enmeshed with the abortion question. Embryonic stem cells, obtained by “processing” aborted babies, received the lion’s share of funding and attention despite their showing no potential whatsoever. Adult stem cells, obtainable from bone marrow, skin cells, or virtually any other part of the body, were shunted aside despite extraordinarily promising research results. This bias permeated the entire field and distorted all perceptions of it — one of the reasons Dr. Suk was so wildly overpraised was his willingness to attack Pres. George W. Bush for limiting embryonic stem-cell exploitation.

The climatology story is no different. Environmentalist Greens needed a threat — one that menaced not only technological civilization, but life on earth itself. They have promoted an endless parade of such threats since the 1960s — overpopulation, pollution, runaway nuclear power, and global cooling — only to see them shrivel like old balloons. They required a menace that was overwhelming, long-term, and not easily disproven. With global warming, the climatologists gave them one. In exchange for sky-high funding, millennial scientists — the heirs of Bacon, Copernicus, and Einstein, men who bled and suffered for the sake of their work — continually inflated the nature and extent of the CO2 threat by using the sleaziest methods available, as we now know. The result has been complete intellectual degradation. 

Scientists were once among the most trusted figures in Western public life — similar to bankers, priests, and doctors, but in a real sense, standing above them all. Scientists were honored as truth-tellers, aware that their reputation for veracity and seriousness was their only real asset. And while exceptions existed (read the story of Blondlot and his N-rays, for one example), the public took them at their own valuation.

That has ended. The concept of unblemished scientific integrity is now one with the scholastic monasteries and the academy at Athens. Scientists today are well on their way to becoming an amalgam of the cheap politician and the three-card monte dealer. They are viewed by the less educated as a privileged class making alarming and impudent claims for their own benefit. The better-informed find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of being unable to defend something we once admired.

The next set of questions in physics cannot be answered without equipment costing billions at the very least, and possibly much more. Will a disbelieving public pay for that? We are facing serious dilemmas concerning breakthroughs in biology, not only in stem-cell technology, but also in neurology and synthetic biology — breakthroughs that threaten to distort the very nature of humanity itself. Should we leave the solutions up to people who want us to pick a card, any card?

The collaboration between science and democracy is one of the great achievements of human history. It is now threatened by the behavior of people at the very heart of that collaboration. If it is destroyed, a treasure of unparalleled value will have vanished. This treasure will be nearly impossible to replace. If the Western world wishes to continue its magnificent upward journey, then we have to save science from itself. An errant and corrupt climatology is the place to start.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/global_warming_fraud_and_the_f.html at November 30, 2009 – 10:22:10 AM EST

Kill the Bills. Do Health Reform Right

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Kill the Bills. Do Health Reform Right

Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 27, 2009

WASHINGTON — The United States has the best health care in the world — but because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.

Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes — such as the 118 new boards, commissions and programs — is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony.

The result is an overregulated, overbureaucratized system of surpassing arbitrariness and inefficiency. Throw a dart at the Senate tome:

— You’ll find mandates with financial penalties — the amounts picked out of a hat.

— You’ll find insurance companies (who live and die by their actuarial skills) told exactly what weight to give risk factors, such as age. Currently insurance premiums for 20-somethings are about one-sixth the premiums for 60-somethings. The House bill dictates the young shall now pay at minimum one-half; the Senate bill, one-third — numbers picked out of a hat.

— You’ll find sliding scales for health-insurance subsidies — percentages picked out of a hat — that will radically raise marginal income tax rates for middle- class recipients, among other crazy unintended consequences.

The bill is irredeemable. It should not only be defeated. It should be immolated, its ashes scattered over the Senate swimming pool.

Then do health care the right way — one reform at a time, each simple and simplifying, aimed at reducing complexity, arbitrariness and inefficiency.

First, tort reform. This is money — the low-end estimate is about half a trillion per decade — wasted in two ways. Part is simply hemorrhaged into the legal system to benefit a few jackpot lawsuit winners and an army of extravagantly rich malpractice lawyers such as John Edwards.

The rest is wasted within the medical system in the millions of unnecessary tests, procedures and referrals undertaken solely to fend off lawsuits — resources wasted on patients who don’t need them and which could be redirected to the uninsured who really do.

In the 4,000-plus pages of the two bills, there is no tort reform. Indeed, the House bill actually penalizes states that dare “limit attorneys’ fees or impose caps on damages.” Why? Because, as Howard Dean has openly admitted, Democrats don’t want “to take on the trial lawyers.” What he didn’t say — he didn’t need to — is that they give millions to the Democrats for precisely this kind of protection.

Second, even more simple and simplifying, abolish the prohibition against buying health insurance across state lines.

Some states have very few health insurers. Rates are high. So why not allow interstate competition? After all, you can buy oranges across state lines. If you couldn’t, oranges would be extremely expensive in Wisconsin, especially in winter.

And the answer to the resulting high Wisconsin orange prices wouldn’t be the establishment of a public option — a federally run orange-growing company in Wisconsin — to introduce “competition.” It would be to allow Wisconsin residents to buy Florida oranges.

But neither bill lifts the prohibition on interstate competition for health insurance. Because this would obviate the need — the excuse — for the public option, which the left wing of the Democratic Party sees (correctly) as the royal road to fully socialized medicine.

Third, tax employer-provided health insurance. This is an accrued inefficiency of 65 years, an accident of World War II wage controls. It creates a $250 billion annual loss of federal revenues — the largest tax break for individuals in the entire federal budget.

This reform is the most difficult to enact, for two reasons. The unions oppose it. And the Obama campaign savaged the idea when John McCain proposed it during last year’s election.

Insuring the uninsured is a moral imperative. The problem is that the Democrats have chosen the worst possible method — a $1 trillion new entitlement of stupefying arbitrariness and inefficiency.

The better choice is targeted measures that attack the inefficiencies of the current system one by one — tort reform, interstate purchasing and taxing employee benefits. It would take 20 pages to write such a bill, not 2,000 — and provide the funds to cover the uninsured without wrecking both U.S. health care and the U.S. Treasury.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

A Progressive Constitution

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/a_progressive_constitution.html
November 25, 2009
A Progressive Constitution
By Larrey Anderson

I don’t begrudge the progressive left its political power. They won. They are far from ashamed to say it, and I am not afraid to admit it. What I do mind is the left’s obvious neglect and disregard for the Constitution as it is written.

If the left is going to change America, first they should change the basic rules set down to guide (and limit, and in some cases prevent) their proposed changes to our country’s laws and legal procedures. With that in mind, I have decided to put together a progressive guide for rewriting the Constitution.

Most of the problems the left has with the Constitution are in the Bill of Rights. But let’s start with the body of the Constitution. The progressives need only make a couple of changes there. (My second recommended revision for the articles of the Constitution will come later.)

Six changes are needed to give us a progressive Constitution. (In case I missed some progressive modifications, American Thinker readers are invited to add your proposed amendments to the Constitution in the comments section to this article.)

Here are my six proposals:

1) Article I, section 8 of the Constitution lists 17 specific powers granted to the Congress. Progressives believe that the “general welfare of the United States” clause, in the first line of section 8, gives congress power outside of its 17 enumerated powers. I don’t. I think the Constitution means what it says and says what it means.

I have already shown that the general welfare clause of section 8 applies only to the day-to-day functioning of the federal government, and not to the citizens of the United States. But the left can fix all of that with one amendment:

Article I, section 8 of the Constitution is hereby repealed. Article I, section 8 shall now read: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States and the citizens of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Progressives should feel free to leave in the italics so the message is clear. The words in italics are not in the Constitution as it is now written. With the ratification of this amendment, the Congress could constitutionally enact national health care legislation, national education “reform,” national energy mandates (like telling us what light bulbs we can use), etc.

2) Let’s move on to the Bill of Rights. The left often claims that the First Amendment erects a “wall of separation” between church and state. (I have demonstrated elsewhere that it does no such thing.)

What the opening clause of the First Amendment says is this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … [Emphasis added.]

Progressives have been ignoring the actual words of the Constitution and have focused on one obscure line in a letter from Thomas Jefferson instead. (That’s where the “wall of separation” comes from.) So the first clause of the First Amendment of our new progressive Constitution should be amended to read:

Congress shall build a wall of separation between church and state.

This clause is, of course, nonsense. What wall? Where? With the ratification of this amendment, leftist jurists and lawyers would be free to figure it out. The First Amendment would now mean whatever progressives want it to mean. (And they wouldn’t have to twist the evident meaning of “make no law.”)

3) It is crystal clear from the dissenting opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller that progressives do not believe that the Second Amendment provides the individual citizen of the United States a right to bear arms. (By the way, they are wrong about this.) Wrong or right, this one is easy to fix:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution is hereby repealed.

Done…and done. America will be progressive, safe, and hip — just like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

4) Moving to the Fifth Amendment, the “taking clause” at the end of the amendment states, “… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” [Emphasis added.] Progressives on the Supreme Court (in the 5-to-4 decision in Kelo v. New London) held that “public use” really means “public purpose,” which means…well, whatever the government declares a “public purpose” is a “public use.”

The Kelo decision had a very progressive outcome. The lower-middle-class riverfront homes that were torn down in New London, Connecticut are long gone. The lots those homes sat on are empty and overgrown with weeds because the giant pharmaceutical company decided to abandon its plans for building on the property in New London. Now that’s a progressive “public purpose.”

In keeping with this utopian attitude, the new “taking clause” of the Fifth Amendment should read:

… private property may be taken for any purpose whatsoever, with just compensation.

The “with just compensation” verbiage is optional for our new Constitution. Progressives may choose to omit “with just compensation” at their discretion — and property owners would be able to contribute to the left’s “greater good.”

5) Let’s proceed to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. These were, after all, written by a bunch of dead white guys who actually believed that people should be free to make their own decisions whenever possible and that the states should be free to respond to the particular desires and needs of the citizens of each particular state.

The Ninth Amendment essentially says that the rights specifically granted (“enumerated”) to the central government in the Constitution do not “disparage” or “deny” the rights reserved by the people. The Tenth Amendment makes it clear that powers not specifically delegated to the federal government (“the United States”) belong to the individual states and the people. That’s not progressive.

Easily remedied with one amendment:

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution are hereby repealed.

Repealing these two amendments would leave the determination of all of our rights (abortion, prayer in school, gun control, land use planning, election laws, etc.) in the hands of the central government. That’s what progressives want — let them make it happen. And they just might — if it were easy to amend the Constitution.

6) Unfortunately for the left, it isn’t easy. This brings us back to the body of the Constitution and to Article V. It is titled “Amendment.” Here are the important bits from Article V:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…. [Etc.]

This is a huge hurdle for initiating my modest proposals for a progressive Constitution. So far, no progressive judge has declared, “What the Founders actually meant in Article V was one-half of both Houses and none of the several States could amend the Constitution.” (The judge could nuance the heck out of such an interpretation — maybe something about how the ink has faded on the original document.) But alas, Article V stands in the way of a truly (and honestly and logically coherent) progressive Constitution.

Here is the solution:

Article V is hereby repealed. Article V shall now read, “Congress may amend the Constitution by a majority vote, without the input of the states, whenever it damn well pleases.”

Problem solved.

Get with it, progressives. If you really have the courage of your convictions, then amend the Constitution. You would finally have the law of the land on your side. You would no longer have to rely on progressive judges making a laughingstock of logic, common sense, and the English language in their outrageous decisions.

Most important, you would have a Constitution that allows you to proceed with a progressive agenda…constitutionally.

Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. He is the author of The Order of the Beloved, and the new memoir, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/a_progressive_constitution.html at November 26, 2009 – 12:20:18 AM EST

Whitewashing Reality

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjlhY2E5Y2UxYzUxMjc5YWFjMzVjZjE5MjczYjNmNDY

Is there anything more important than the issue of terrorism? Domestic terrorism and foreign-based terrorism that aims to strike us internally? I well recall the 2006 Nickle Mines Amish School massacre of six children. And I recall Jay Nordlinger saying: “This is what we would have thought would have been one of the last safe places in America.” Who would have thought a health care center . . . run by the Army . . . in a Fort . . . in Texas, would not have been the last safe place in America, safe from terrorism, safe from our own U.S. military hosting an officer-terrorist. Of course, as we all know, it was not safe. On November 5th, 14 people were shot to death by a Radical Muslim in Army uniform. He had a laser sight on his gun.

Why has terrorism, how has terrorism, come to be such a rare and indeed controversial identifier here? Let’s look at what the American people think.

Americans themselves apparently have mixed feelings over characterizing the rampage as terrorism. A recent Fox News poll found that 49 percent of those interviewed preferred to describe the incident as “a killing spree” and that 44 percent thought “act of terrorism” was more accurate.

The older the respondent, the more likely he was to call it terrorism. Forty-five percent believe the outburst involved the shooter mentally snapping, and 38 percent consider him a Muslim extremist protesting American foreign policies.

We have carved out for our culture and ourselves categories that are completely meaningless in and of themselves to whitewash the notions of reality before our eyes, realities such as good and evil. In the days following 9/11, many of us thought a lot was morally clarified; that for the first time in a generation, the true hand of evil and the true face of evil could be seen for what they were, without psycho-babble, without moral unseriousness, without politically correct norms, without the language of mush. And we, in fact, were there. It didn’t last. We have a Muslim terrorist, who called for jihad, who shouted “Alahu Akbar” as he was killing unarmed soldiers in a health center, who had cards made up that said “Solider of Allah,” who spoke of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, who has regular correspondence with a radical imam who preached to 9/11 terrorists . . . and, and, and, and . . . we call it not terrorism but a “killing spree” as if that is what it was and not a terrorist trying to kill as many Americans as possible for political motives.

There is a rot that spreads outside of Washington into the larger culture. It begins with a confusion of terms, and by not calling things by their proper names, it begins with a disassembling of the moral categories. We don’t hear about terrorism or radical Islam so we are surprised to find it in our midst, and when we do, we don’t even recognize it. We have Army generals who elevate diversity over life, we have a president who speaks not of radical Islam or terrorism — though life is what we are fighting for and radical Islam and terrorism is what we are fighting against. And so we are reminded again of the notion that the chief purpose of education is to know when a man is talking rot. Because, if unchecked, the rot will settle, it will metastasize. Soon we no longer know anymore what we are fighting against . . . or more importantly, what we are to fight for.

— William J. Bennett is host of Morning in America.

Confirming the Global Warming Fraudulent “Science”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/24/the_fix_is_in_99280.html

November 24, 2009

ClimateGate: The Fix is In

By Robert Tracinski

In early October, I covered a breaking story about evidence of corruption in the basic temperature records maintained by key scientific advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Global warming “skeptics” had unearthed evidence that scientists at the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to manufacture a “hockey stick” graph showing a dramatic-but illusory-runaway warming trend in the late 20th century.

But now newer and much broader evidence has emerged that looks like it will break that scandal wide open. Pundits have already named it “Climategate.”

 A hacker-or possibly a disillusioned insider-has gathered thousands of e-mails and data from the CRU and made them available on the Web. Officials at the CRU have verified the breach of their system and acknowledged that the e-mails appear to be genuine.

Yes, this is a theft of data-but the purpose of the theft was to blow the whistle on a much bigger, more brazen crime. The CRU has already called in the police to investigate the hacker. But now someone needs to call in the cops to investigate the CRU.

Australian journalist Andrew Bolt has a good overview of the story, with a selection of incriminating e-mails that have already been discovered in the hacked data. Note that these e-mails reveal more than just what it going on at the CRU, since they involve numerous leading British and American climate scientists outside of the CRU.

These e-mails show, among many other things, private admissions of doubt or scientific weakness in the global warming theory. In acknowledging that global temperatures have actually declined for the past decade, one scientist asks, “where the heck is global warming?… The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” They still can’t account for it; see a new article in Der Spiegel: “Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out.” I don’t know where these people got their scientific education, but where I come from, if your theory can’t predict or explain the observed facts, it’s wrong.

More seriously, in one e-mail, a prominent global warming alarmist admits to using a statistical “trick” to “hide the decline” in temperatures. Anthony Watts provides an explanation of this case in technical detail; the “trick” consists of selectively mixing two different kinds of data-temperature “proxies” from tree rings and actual thermometer measurements-in a way designed to produce a graph of global temperatures that ends the way the global warming establishment wants it to: with an upward “hockey stick” slope.

Confirming the earlier scandal about cherry-picked data, the e-mails show CRU scientists conspiring to evade legal requests, under the Freedom of Information Act, for their underlying data. It’s a basic rule of science that you don’t just get to report your results and ask other people to take you on faith. You also have to report your data and your specific method of analysis, so that others can check it and, yes, even criticize it. Yet that is precisely what the CRU scientists have refused.

But what stood out most for me was extensive evidence of the hijacking of the “peer review” process to enforce global warming dogma. Peer review is the practice of subjecting scientific papers to review by other scientists with relevant expertise before they can be published in professional journals. The idea is to weed out research with obvious flaws or weak arguments, but there is a clear danger that such a process will simply reinforce groupthink. If it is corrupted, peer review can be a mechanism for an entrenched establishment to exclude legitimate challenges by simply refusing to give critics a hearing.

And that is precisely what we find.

In response to an article challenging global warming that was published in the journal Climate Research, CRU head Phil Jones complains that the journal needs to “rid themselves of this troublesome editor”-hopefully not through the same means used by Henry II’s knights. Michael Mann replies:

I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.

Note the circular logic employed here. Skepticism about global warming is wrong because it is not supported by scientific articles in “legitimate peer-reviewed journals.” But if a journal actually publishes such an article, then it is by definition not “legitimate.”

You can also see from these e-mails the scientists’ panic at any dissent appearing in the scientific literature. When another article by a skeptic was published in Geophysical Research Letters, Michael Mann complains, “It’s one thing to lose Climate Research. We can’t afford to lose GRL.” Another CRU scientist, Tom Wigley, suggests that they target another troublesome editor: “If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.” That’s exactly what they did, and a later e-mail boasts that “The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/new editorial leadership there.”

Not content to block out all dissent from scientific journals, the CRU scientists also conspired to secure friendly reviewers who could be counted on to rubber-stamp their own work. Phil Jones suggests such a list to Kevin Trenberth, with the assurance that “All of them know the sorts of things to say…without any prompting.”

So it’s no surprise when another e-mail refers to an attempt to keep inconvenient scientific findings out of a UN report: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” Think of all of this the next time you hear someone invoke the authority of peer review-or of the UN’s IPCC reports-as backing for claims about global warming.

This scandal goes beyond scientific journals and into other media used to promote the global warming dogma. For example, RealClimate.org has been billed as an objective website at which global warming activists and skeptics can engage in an impartial debate. But in the CRU e-mails, the global warming establishment boasts that RealClimate is in their pocket.

I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through…. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

[T]hink of RC as a resource that is at your disposal…. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don’t get to use the RC comments as a megaphone.

And anyone doubting that the mainstream media is in on it, too, should check out New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s toadying apologia for the CRU e-mails, masquerading as a news report.

The picture that emerges is simple. In any discussion of global warming, either in the scientific literature or in the mainstream media, the outcome is always predetermined. Just as the temperature graphs produced by the CRU are always tricked out to show an upward-sloping “hockey stick,” every discussion of global warming has to show that it is occurring and that humans are responsible. And any data or any scientific paper that tends to disprove that conclusion is smeared as “unscientific” precisely because it threatens the established dogma.

For more than a decade, we’ve been told that there is a scientific “consensus” that humans are causing global warming, that “the debate is over” and all “legitimate” scientists acknowledge the truth of global warming. Now we know what this “consensus” really means. What it means is: the fix is in.

This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It’s the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being “confused” by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.

The damage here goes far beyond the loss of a few billions of taxpayer dollars on bogus scientific research. The real cost of this fraud is the trillions of dollars of wealth that will be destroyed if a fraudulent theory is used to justify legislation that starves the global economy of its cheapest and most abundant sources of energy.

This is the scandal of the century. It needs to be thoroughly investigated-and the culprits need to be brought to justice.

Robert Tracinski writes daily commentary at TIADaily.com. He is the editor of The Intellectual Activist and TIADaily.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/24/the_fix_is_in_99280.html at November 24, 2009 – 01:32:56 PM PST

The press and the Justice Department refuse to investigate Acorn’s pervasive corruption

Thanks for Paying Attention Big Journalism

Posted By Andrew Breitbart On November 21, 2009 @ 7:16 am In ACORN, Featured Story, Media Criticism | 56 Comments

In response to the Columbia Journalism Review’s accusing me of “blackmailing” the Attorney General of the United States [1], I must take notice that the mainstream media as a journalistic establishment IS paying attention to the ongoing ACORN scandal.  Good.  I thought so.

What the Columbia Journalism Review is doing is very similar to what Media Matters is doing: protecting the Democrat-Media Complex, the natural alliance of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media.  This ACORN investigation has been going on for two months and Hannah, James, and I have proven to be truth-tellers every step of the way, while the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now has been proven time and again to be liars.

wildlife-monkeys-hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-speak-no-evil

Yet instead of engaging the real, newsworthy issues of ACORN’s possible corruption, malfeasance and illegal behavior, the CJR, like its more overtly political online counterpart Media Matters, and indeed every other MSM outlet, has been sitting it out on the sidelines, waiting – rooting – for Hannah Giles, James O’Keefe and me to make a mistake.  In fact, my appearance Thursday night [2] is the only time in which the media has introduced itself into this ongoing narrative: proof that it’s paying attention and taking sides.

Neither, by the way, has the CJR challenged James Rainey, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, who has consistently shaded his coverage favorably toward ACORN since we first broke the story back in September, evincing little interest in the truth but instead muttering about the standards of the Society of Professional Journalists [3] (take link, be sure to read the comments).  “But the Society of Professional Journalists has set a standard that deception should be used only when every other reporting approach has been exhausted and only then in certain cases, most notably to reveal a severe social problem or to prevent people from being harmed.” Continue reading

The Secret Mind-blowing Actual Purpose of Marriage

http://www.christianitytoday.com/global/printer.html?/mp/2009/2009web-only/mindblowingpurpose.html

The Secret Mind-blowing Actual Purpose of Marriage
And how it has your parents written all over it
Mark E. Smith

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I was invited recently to a wedding. My handsome young nephew, the groom, had a smile that could have lit up the universe as his gorgeous blond bride made her way down the aisle to join him in the bonds of matrimony. He was marrying the woman of his dreams, and it was all good. The problem was, like all young kids on their glorious wedding days, my man didn’t really know who he was marrying. If he did, he would have quietly slipped out the back of the church before he uttered those fateful words, “I do.”

I don’t know his beautiful new bride and my comments are in no way a slight on her character. I’m sure she’s a fine young woman who loves her new husband with a pure and sincere heart. But I know who she is: She represents the worst personal characteristics of my nephew’s parents miraculously and cleverly disguised in an appealing and lovely package.

I sat with the rest of the family and friends and watched as a lethal buzz saw headed down the aisle for a meeting with my handsome nephew, and he could not have been more cluelessly happy to embrace it. He had no fear or awareness of the danger he was in.

My friends, this is what marriage is—for all of us.

Marriage, by its very essence, is pain! Not a very romantic notion, I know. The truth is that we all have experienced some childhood wounding. This world of ours is an extremely flawed place and we all get our share of emotional bumps and bruises when we are tiny, unprotected, and vulnerable. Thankfully, complex, hurting, little human beings then have fortresses of powerful psychological defenses that rise up to provide integrity, protection, and safety. We learn to rationalize, cope, act out, devalue, intellectualize, idealize, deny, undo, disassociate, minimize, displace, project, repress, regress, and otherwise numb all the bad stuff out.

The purpose of our psychological defenses? To get us out of childhood in one functioning piece with the misguided impression that we’re all grown up now and we’re free to live our lives without any significant impact from Dad, Mom, and the rest of that bunch.

I wish that were true.

The truth is that our particular family dysfunction conspires to form and twist us into who we uniquely are—both good and bad. It even determines who you’re attracted to. Whatever wounding you repress from childhood develops and morphs into your love life type.

Part of that is that God desires for each of us to heal our deepest emotional wounds. So to do that, we’re pretty much stuck liking who we like. We’re intensely attracted only to lovers who are hidden versions of Dad’s and Mom’s worst and most hurtful traits. We all have 100 percent unfailing radar systems that draw us to the people who are so wrong for us that they’re right for us. It’s nature’s way. It’s the true meaning of love. It’s why the bad boys get the hot girls.

Eyes Wide Open

I was being facetious when I said that my nephew would slip out the back of the church if he knew the true meaning of the love that drew him to his bride. Like the rest of us, once he got a dose of the magic and energy of genuine early love, nothing could keep him away from his special girl. Love and marriage are worth the pain and the tremendous risks. Marriage is all about opportunities for healing, growth, depth, insight, forgiveness, maturity, and recovery.

Sadly, if you don’t understand that the pain of love and marriage is all about you and your childhood and not about your beloved, then you’ll probably miss out on the incredible opportunities for growth, lessons, and healing that love offers. No matter how your spouse hurts you, it’s ultimately about you and it’s good. There never has been nor there ever be a victim in love and marriage.

My prayer for my nephew and his bride is a life-long fulfilling relationship that enriches everyone their lives touch. There will be ruthlessly tough times though. It’s normal to have a really dysfunctional family and to ultimately have extremely serious marital problems. It’s all about embracing the work, embracing the pain, and finding out what’s laying deep in your gut when you embrace the cutting of the buzz saw.

The hundreds of couples I’ve worked with over counselor over the past 22 years who have gotten this concept have proactively healed, thrived, and blossomed into healthier and happier people. The vast majority of marriages were not only salvaged, they were rebuilt from the ground up into something truly solid and wonderfully special. But for the couples I worked with who didn’t get the mind blowing secret purpose of marriage—their divorce rates were astronomical. What’s worse, they left their marriages bitter, clueless, jaded, and full of anger to take out on the next hidden version of their unresolved issues that their unerring radars drew into their lives.

This isn’t a small truth. It isn’t psychobabble. It isn’t something that only applies to some people. This is about you. It applies to you if you’re headed to the altar for the first time as a 24 year old; it applies to you if you’re in your early 40s and are desperately lonely and unhappy in your marriage; it applies to you if you’re still looking for the good stuff in love in your 60s. It’s God’s way of healing us.

Marriage and relationships truly are all good. I encourage squeezing every ounce of insight, healing, and growth out of the pain and difficulties that the gift of your particular dysfunctional relationship graces you with.

Mark E. Smith, LCSW, is director of Family Tree Counseling (familytreecounseling.com) and has been a therapist for more than 22 years. His specialties include affair recovery, marital therapy, sexual addiction,mid-life issues, abandonment issues, shame, and codependency.

Copyright © 2009 by the author or Christianity Today International/MarriagePartnership.com. Click here for reprint information on Marriage Partnership.

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Copyright © 2009 Christianity Today International

Explaining Away Mass Murder

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/13/medicalizing_mass_murder_99142.html
November 13, 2009
Explaining Away Mass Murder
By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON — What a surprise — that someone who shouts “Allahu Akbar” (the “God is great” jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up a room of American soldiers might have Islamist motives. It certainly was a surprise to the mainstream media, which spent the weekend after the Fort Hood massacre downplaying Nidal Hasan’s religious beliefs.

“I cringe that he’s a Muslim. … I think he’s probably just a nut case,” said Newsweek’s Evan Thomas. Some were more adamant. Time’s Joe Klein decried “odious attempts by Jewish extremists … to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs.” While none could match Klein’s peculiar cherchez-le-juif motif, the popular story line was of an Army psychiatrist driven over the edge by terrible stories he had heard from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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They suffered. He listened. He snapped.

Really? What about the doctors and nurses, the counselors and physical therapists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who every day hear and live with the pain and the suffering of returning soldiers? How many of them then picked up a gun and shot 51 innocents?

And what about civilian psychiatrists — not the Upper West Side therapist treating Woody Allen neurotics, but the thousands of doctors working with hospitalized psychotics — who every day hear not just tales but cries of the most excruciating anguish, of the most unimaginable torment? How many of those doctors commit mass murder?

It’s been decades since I practiced psychiatry. Perhaps I missed the epidemic.

But, of course, if the shooter is named Nidal Hasan, whom National Public Radio reported had been trying to proselytize doctors and patients, then something must be found. Presto! Secondary post-traumatic stress disorder, a handy invention to allow one to ignore the obvious.

And the perfect moral finesse. Medicalizing mass murder not only exonerates. It turns the murderer into a victim, indeed a sympathetic one. After all, secondary PTSD, for those who believe in it (you won’t find it in DSM-IV-TR, psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), is known as “compassion fatigue.” The poor man — pushed over the edge by an excess of sensitivity.

Have we totally lost our moral bearings? Nidal Hasan (allegedly) cold-bloodedly killed 13 innocent people. In such cases, political correctness is not just an abomination. It’s a danger, clear and present.

Consider the Army’s treatment of Hasan’s previous behavior. NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling interviewed a Hasan colleague at Walter Reed about a hair-raising Grand Rounds that Hasan had apparently given. Grand Rounds are the most serious academic event at a teaching hospital — attending physicians, residents and students gather for a lecture on an instructive case history or therapeutic finding.

I’ve been to dozens of these. In fact, I gave one myself on post-traumatic retrograde amnesia — as you can see, these lectures are fairly technical. Not Hasan’s. His was an hour-long disquisition on what he called the Koranic view of military service, jihad and war. It included an allegedly authoritative elaboration of the punishments visited upon nonbelievers — consignment to hell, decapitation, having hot oil poured down your throat. This “really freaked a lot of doctors out,” reported NPR.

Nor was this the only incident. “The psychiatrist,” reported Zwerdling, “said that he was the kind of guy who the staff actually stood around in the hallway saying: Do you think he’s a terrorist, or is he just weird?”

Was anything done about this potential danger? Of course not. Who wants to be accused of Islamophobia and prejudice against a colleague’s religion?

One must not speak of such things. Not even now. Not even after we know that Hasan was in communication with a notorious Yemen-based jihad propagandist. As late as Tuesday, The New York Times was running a story on how returning soldiers at Fort Hood had a high level of violence.

What does such violence have to do with Hasan? He was not a returning soldier. And the soldiers who returned home and shot their wives or fellow soldiers didn’t cry “Allahu Akbar” as they squeezed the trigger.

The delicacy about the religion in question — condescending, politically correct and deadly — is nothing new. A week after the first (1993) World Trade Center attack, the same New York Times ran the following front-page headline about the arrest of one Mohammed Salameh: “Jersey City Man Is Charged in Bombing of Trade Center.”

Ah yes, those Jersey men — so resentful of New York, so prone to violence.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com
Copyright 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/13/medicalizing_mass_murder_99142.html at November 13, 2009 – 06:55:14 PM PST

Tea Parties: Misunderstood and Vastly Underrated

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/tea_parties_misunderstood_and.html

Return to the Article

November 12, 2009
Tea Parties: Misunderstood and Vastly Underrated
By Kyle-Anne Shiver

Elected officials of every political stripe ought to be shaking down to their Gucci loafers and pumps. History is forming and firming up harder than the proverbial brick wall right outside their congressional glass house. Yet they seem utterly oblivious.

Since last April, I’ve written a few columns on the Tea Parties, but I had never actually attended one in person. I harbored a few misconceptions, formed at a distance through the media’s drive-by lens. Being a woman who tends to cower in crowds and who loves the security and solitude of my little office-cloister, I had been content to write based on the observations of others. But an Alabama homemaker-turned-activist, Suzanne Green of Birmingham, pulled me into the bosom of the Tea Party movement along with the Rainy Day Patriots.

And, honey, I’m here to tell you, it’s a fiery hot bosom indeed.

Monday, I went to Birmingham and Atlanta and saw for myself. I asked and asked and asked questions of people of all ages, both black and white, male and female, former Republicans and former Democrats, seemingly of very diverse socioeconomic situations, and I even rode the Tea Party Express Bus to interview the insiders.

So what’s a Tea Party?

In a nutshell, the Tea Parties are a visible expression of the widespread rekindling of the love of liberty. This rekindling of freedom’s fires seems to be occurring among diverse individuals independently, and then they seek out fired-up others with whom to connect. Among Tea Party participants, there is a demonstrated willingness to actually do something tangible in order to claim those unalienable rights of which our Founders wrote, and for which so many have given their lives in battle.

This may be the movement Americans truly have been waiting for. It’s the real deal, the genuine article. It comes from the groundswell of the people, not from the power-broker elites in political, corporate, or religious America. It’s middle-class, thoroughly unpretentious, with a good sense of humor and a keen disdain for things like faux Greek columns, tacky props, and professionally written hyperbole. At a Tea Party, you won’t find puffed-up hubris or even a tad of the liberally popular it’s-all-about-me syndrome.

The Tea Party messages are clear and strident.

Party operatives? Not welcome. Political candidates? Keep your mouths shut and your ears open. Prefer a D or an R after your name? Not here, not on our time, or on our dime.

The clear message: This is the people’s movement. Outsiders, opportunists, and party pols are vehemently not invited. Want a voice in this groundswell, bottom-up oriented movement? Fine. All comers welcome to pitch in, get involved, stand up to tyranny, and do your own thing. Just don’t try to hijack the people’s movement for personal gain. Like our grandparents’ generation, these folks can spot disingenuousness a mile away. They don’t suffer fools or counterfeit passions.

I talked to over fifty Tea Partiers in Birmingham and Atlanta on Monday, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a variety of people from different walks of life, different types of livelihood, and different ways of speaking all in the same place, united in one cause: Throw the bums out.

Out of all the people I spoke with — every single one — I did not find a solitary person willing to identify with a political party. “Independent” was the only identifier with which people would agree to be labeled. Some said, “I used to be a Democrat,” or “I used to be a Republican,” but they invariably put a sharp edge on the words “used to be.” The sense of betrayal by politicians is palpable among Tea Partiers.

If there is a shared ideology among them, it is the one espoused by our Founders, simply put: God and Liberty. “Unalienable rights” was a phrase I heard over and over again.

The only political figures for whom there was a visible shred of professed admiration were Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Joe Lieberman. Sarah Palin was roundly regarded as a Ronald-Reagan-style “rogue.” Michele Bachmann was getting lots of kudos for two reasons: her stand against government overreach and her willingness to be public and visceral in her denouncements. Joe Lieberman is becoming the new hero to the Tea Partiers for his willingness to stand alone with the voice of freedom on the health care power-grab.

When I reminded one woman that President Reagan was a Republican, she declared, “No, he wasn’t. He was an American, and the only reason he had to put that R beside his name on the ballot was that they were the least off-the-rails party. But G. W. Bush ruined that for Republicans.”

When I asked her how he had done that, she didn’t hesitate. “He spent like he was using Daddy’s credit card and made the already-too-big federal government bigger.”

The uncompromising message in the Tea Party movement to politicians of all stripes is clear: You work for us, and you have betrayed our trust. The anger wasn’t only about the amount of money spent for unpopular causes, but also against the waste and fraud being perpetrated with hard-earned taxpayer money. Several angered taxpayers stressed the need for term limits to keep opportunistic pols from using public office to enrich themselves.

When I asked Tea Partiers about expenses for the events, I was hit with one resounding answer: “We pay for everything ourselves.” A point made over and over again by various responders was, “There’s no ACORN here. We don’t soak the taxpayers for our protests.” There seemed to be quite a lot of resentment over any groups of protesters using tax dollars to support their personal causes.

I decided to broach the social issues that have dominated so much of the national discourse over the past twenty years: abortion and gay marriage. I found only one opinion among all those I polled: they’re state and local issues. The federal government has no business telling all Americans what social standards they can have in their state laws and their schools and their hospitals. “Butt out!” was the ubiquitous answer on social issues from Tea Partiers.

That, of course, brought me to ask about the Supreme Court and its role in deciding such matters for all Americans. One man, a doctor from Huntsville, answered matter-of-factly, “The Supreme Court has become a tyrant, using ideas not in the Constitution and turning them into a weapon of tyranny against the people.”

One table under a canopy was reserved for petition-signing. There were only two. One was a state sovereignty petition and the other was a gun rights petition. A return to the Constitution, as written, seemed to be the overriding demand of the Tea Partiers.

When I asked whether this was a person’s only involvement, nearly all responders said “no” and “not by a long shot.” Women readily proclaimed their citizens’ committees, their petitions, their phone calls, e-mails, and hand-written letters. Many said they were either precinct captains or otherwise involved in locally forming conservative parties. Others said they had signed up to work for Republicans, but only if they remained true to constitutional, limited government.

If anyone asked me to adequately describe the Tea Party movement, I would have to reach back into my American civics book to find its root.

Simply put, the Tea Party movement is 1776 brought back to life.

Liberty Boys abound, now both black and white, and led in many instances by Liberty Gals. Paul Reveres use hand-held microphones instead of lanterns. Hand-lettered signs replace tar and feathers. Minutemen use the vote in lieu of muskets. The Declaration of Independence is revitalized as a document of proclaimed anti-dependence on government to solve personal problems. The Constitution is celebrated, revered, and yes, thought to be the primary weapon against tyranny. God rests firmly in place as America’s only King.

Honey, if you love America and truly desire liberty, then these are the ones you’ve been waiting for!

It’s a movement, all right. A true red-white-and-blue citizens’ movement.

And it is not likely to fizzle the day after elections are held because these folks are entirely self-motivated. None were persuaded by political operatives or stipends. Nor were they given professionally manufactured signs and led by hand to show up at the rally.

Among the all-American individual ingenuity in the signage department, these were my personal favorites:
Congress get your resumes ready; send them to Chavez & Castro!

Can you imagine what a Fannie & Freddie Medicine would look like?

Vote Democrat; It’s easier than working.

It’s the Constitution, STUPID.

Drill damn it! Drill already!

Declaration of Independence, not the Declaration Dependence on Government

Give us liberty, not DEBT!!
And, my own contribution:
Don’t you dare tread on me, honey!!
The spirit of 1776 reigns at Tea Parties. It’s awfully hard to argue that there’s anything whatsoever un-American about this movement. And while President Obama mocks these crowds of independent American voters as “extremists” and the “tea bag, anti-government” people, he more and more resembles a petulant European monarch who is clueless about the strength of the people’s resolve.

When these staunchly independent men and women say, “Don’t tread on me!” they seem to mean they’re simply not going to stand for much more government tomfoolery and usurpations of power.

Office-holders beware! They’re onto you, and they don’t like what they see!

Americans are on the march. Like it or not, they’re a force to be reckoned with. And they’re here to stay.

If they succeed, then perhaps the slogan, “Free at last! Free at last!” will actually mean what it says. Free to succeed, free to fail, free to fall flat on our faces upon our own efforts, without the nanny government capriciously dictating outcomes. Freedom, say the Tea Partiers, means freedom — period. And to a man and woman, they seem ready to reclaim it, no matter the personal cost.

Now, does America have any leaders capable and humble enough to be led by the people? Answer I got from the Tea Partiers: God will provide.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She blogs at kyleanneshiver.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/tea_parties_misunderstood_and.html at November 13, 2009 – 08:55:29 PM EST

News Bulletin to Liberals: Sometimes, an Extremist Really is an Extremist

From: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/11/sometimes_an_extremist_really_is_an_extremist_99091.html

November 11, 2009

Sometimes, an Extremist Really is an Extremist

By Jonah Goldberg

Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan demonstrated many things when he allegedly committed treason in the war on terror.

For starters, he showed — gratuitously alas — that evil is still thriving. He demonstrated that being a trained psychiatrist provides no immunity to ancient hatreds and religious fanaticism, nor does psychiatric training provide much acuity in spotting such things in others.

For example, the London Telegraph reports that, in what was supposed to be a medical lecture, Hassan instead gave an hourlong briefing on the Koran, explaining to colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that nonbelievers should be beheaded, have boiling oil poured down their throats and set on fire.

His fellow psychiatrists completely missed this “red flag” — a suddenly popular euphemism for incandescently obvious evidence this man had no place in the U.S. Army.

He proved how lacking our domestic security system is.

According to ABC News, intelligence agencies were aware for months that Hasan had tried to contact Al Qaeda.

His colleagues reportedly knew he sympathized with suicide bombings and attacks on U.S. troops abroad, and one colleague said Hasan was pleased by an attack on an Army recruiting office and suggested more of the same might be desirable.

That’s treason, even if you’re a Muslim. Which raises the most troubling revelation: For a very large number of people, the idea that he is a Muslim fanatic, motivated by other Muslim fanatics, was — at least initially — too terrible to contemplate.

How else to explain the reflexive insistence after the attack that the real culprit was “post-traumatic stress disorder”? The fact that PTSD is usually diagnosed in people who’ve been through trauma (hence the word “post”), and that Hasan had never in fact seen combat, didn’t seem to matter much.

Apparently the “P” in PTSD can now stand for “pre.” A few months ago, an anti-Semitic old nut named James von Brunn allegedly took a gun to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to get payback against “the Jews” and killed a black security guard in the process.

In response to this horrific crime, the leading lights of American liberalism knew who was to blame: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the GOP. One writer for the Huffington Post put it succinctly: “Thank you very much Karl Rove and your minions.”

The fact that Von Brunn was a 9/11 “truther” who railed against capitalism, neocons and the Bush administration didn’t matter. Nor did the glaring lack of evidence that Rove et al ever showed antipathy for the museum. It was simply obvious that Von Brunn was the offspring of the “right-wing extremism [that] is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment,” wrote columnist Paul Krugman.

If only Hasan was a fan of Glenn Beck! President Obama was right when he said, in the early hours after the shooting, that people shouldn’t “jump to conclusions” (a lesson he might have learned when he jumped to the wrong conclusion about a white cop who arrested Henry Louis Gates, a black Harvard professor). But just as we should not jump to conclusions, we shouldn’t jump away from them.

Despite reports that Hasan had shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews insisted that “we may never know if religion was a factor at Ft. Hood.” Thursday night, NBC and CBS refrained from even reporting the man’s name.

Meanwhile, ABC’s Martha Raddatz’s reporting on the subject reflected a yearning for denial: “As for the suspect, Nadal Hasan, as one officer’s wife told me, ‘I wish his name was Smith.’ ”

We have a real problem when much of the political and journalistic establishment is eager to jump to the conclusion that peaceful political opponents are in league with violent extremists, but is terrified to consider the possibility that violent extremists really are violent extremists if doing so means calling attention to the fact that they are Muslims.

I am more sympathetic toward this reluctance to state the truth of the matter than some of my colleagues on the right. There is a powerful case to be made that Islamic extremism is not some fringe phenomena but part of the mainstream of Islamic life around the world. And yet, to work from that assumption might make the assumption all the more self-fulfilling. If we act as if “Islam is the problem,” as some say, we will guarantee that Islam will become the problem. But outright denial, like we are seeing today, is surely not the beginning of wisdom either.

I have no remedy for the challenge we face. But I do take some solace in George Orwell’s observation that “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

Copyright 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc. Page

Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/11/sometimes_an_extremist_really_is_an_extremist_99091.html at November 11, 2009 – 05:08:57 PM CST

Dr. Phil and the Fort Hood Killer

NOVEMBER 10, 2009

His terrorist motive is obvious to everyone but the press and the Army brass.

By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ

It can by now come as no surprise that the Fort Hood massacre yielded an instant flow of exculpatory media meditations on the stresses that must have weighed on the killer who mowed down 13 Americans and wounded 29 others. Still, the intense drive to wrap this clear case in a fog of mystery is eminently worthy of notice.

The tide of pronouncements and ruminations pointing to every cause for this event other than the one obvious to everyone in the rational world continues apace. Commentators, reporters, psychologists and, indeed, army spokesmen continue to warn portentously, “We don’t yet know the motive for the shootings.”

What a puzzle this piece of vacuity must be to audiences hearing it, some, no doubt, with outrage. To those not terrorized by fear of offending Muslim sensitivities, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s motive was instantly clear: It was an act of terrorism by a man with a record of expressing virulent, anti-American, pro-jihadist sentiments. All were conspicuous signs of danger his Army superiors chose to ignore.

What is hard to ignore, now, is the growing derangement on all matters involving terrorism and Muslim sensitivities. Its chief symptoms: a palpitating fear of discomfiting facts and a willingness to discard those facts and embrace the richest possible variety of ludicrous theories as to the motives behind an act of Islamic terrorism. All this we have seen before but never in such naked form. The days following the Fort Hood rampage have told us more than we want to know, perhaps, about the depth and reach of this epidemic.

One of the first outbreaks of these fevers, the night of the shootings, featured television’s star psychologist, Dr. Phil, who was outraged when fellow panelist and former JAG officer Tom Kenniff observed that he had been listening to a lot of psychobabble and evasions about Maj. Hasan’s motives.

A shocked Dr. Phil, appalled that the guest had publicly mentioned Maj. Hasan’s Islamic identity, went on to present what was, in essence, the case for Maj. Hasan as victim. Victim of deployment, of the Army, of the stresses of a new kind of terrible war unlike any other we have known. Unlike, can he have meant, the kind endured by those lucky Americans who fought and died at Iwo Jima, say, or the Ardennes?

It was the same case to be presented, in varying forms, by guest psychologists, the media, and a representative or two from the military, for days on end.

The quality and thrust of this argument was best captured by the impassioned Dr. Phil, who asked us to consider, “how far out of touch with reality do you have to be to kill your fellow Americans . . . this is not a well act.” And how far out of touch with reality is such a question, one asks in return—not only of Dr. Phil, but of the legions of commentators like him immersed in the labyrinths of motive hunting even as the details of Maj. Hasan’s proclivities became ever clearer and more ominous.

To kill your fellow Americans—as many as possible, unarmed and in the most helpless of circumstances, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), requires, of course, only murderous hatred—the sort of mindset that regularly eludes the Dr. Phils of our world as the motive for mass murder of this kind.

As the meditations on Maj. Hasan’s motives rolled on, “fear of deployment” has served as a major theme—one announced as fact in the headline for the New York Times’s front-page story: “Told of War Horror, Gunman Feared Deployment.” The authority for this intelligence? The perpetrator’s cousin. No story could have better suited that newspaper’s ongoing preoccupation with the theme of madness in our fighting men, and the deadly horrors of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, than this story of a victim of war pressures gone berserk. The one fly in the ointment—Maj. Hasan had of course seen no war, and no combat.

Still, with a bit of stretching, adherents of Maj. Hasan-as-war-victim theme found a substitute of sorts—namely the fears allegedly provoked in him by his exposure, as an army psychiatrist, to the stories of men who had been deployed. The thesis then: Maj. Hasan’s mental stress, provoked by the suffering of Americans who had been in combat, caused him to go out and butcher as many of these soldiers as he could. Let’s try putting that one before a jury.

By Sunday morning, Gen. George Casey Jr., Army chief of staff, confronted questions put to him by ABC’s George Stephanopolous—among them the matter of the complaints about Maj. Hasan’s anti-American tirades that were made by fellow students in military classes, as well as other danger signs ignored by officials when they were reported, apparently for fear of offense to a Muslim member of the military.

These were speculations, Gen. Casey repeatedly cautioned. We need to be very careful, he explained, “We are a very diverse army.” Mr. Stephanopolous then helpfully summarized matters: This case then was either a case of premeditated terror—or the man just snapped.

The general was not about to address such questions. He was there to recite the required pieties, and describe the military priorities . . . which are, it appears, a concern above all for the sensitivities of a diverse army, a concern so great as to render even the mention of salient facts out of order, as “speculation.'” “This terrible event,” Gen. Casey noted, “would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty.”

To hear this, and numerous other such pronouncements of recent days, was to be reminded of all those witnesses to the suspicious behavior of the 9/11 hijackers who held their tongues for fear of being charged with discrimination. It has taken Maj. Hasan, and the fantastic efforts to explain away his act of bloody hatred, to bring home how much less capable we are of recognizing the dangers confronting us than we were even before September 11.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The unspeakable horror at Fort Hood must invoke a new paradigm in our approach to the enemies within

 

November 09, 2009

Fatal Correctness

By Bob Weir

The brutal massacre of thirteen unarmed soldiers and the wounding of dozens more at Fort Hood, Texas is another terrorist act on American soil that could have been prevented if not for an insidious cloud of political correctness that has taken this country hostage.

The victims of this horrific tragedy died at the hands of an enemy masquerading as a friend. Those soldiers had every reason to believe they were safe on an army base, surrounded by their patriotic brothers and sisters. They volunteered to serve their country, knowing full well that they might lose their lives on a battlefield in a foreign land. Could any of them have imagined that the end would come at the hands of a Muslim extremist wearing the uniform of an Army Major?

Evidently, it wasn’t enough of a red flag to read this lunatic’s anti-American bitterness, which he proudly posted on the Internet with no fear or compunction about using his own name.  This is a guy who regularly wore the fundamentalism uniform of the enemy he was supposedly training our troops to defeat. This is a guy who wrote in laudatory terms about suicide bombers as he condemned US policies in the Middle East. This is a guy who reportedly told his military classmates that he was a Muslim first and an American second. Hello? Is there anyone out there with common sense? If this is national security, we are in more trouble than we realize. How many more savage time bombs do we have walking and stalking among us?

The blood of this massacre had hardly stopped flowing before members of the media were cautioning us not to view all Muslims as terrorists. That should go without saying, but what should not go without saying is that we’d better get serious about the obvious danger of excusing Muslims who make it clear that they hate this country. Discriminating against people because of their race or religion is a description of bigotry, but keeping a close eye on people who give every indication that they’re dangerous is more than sensible — it’s a vital cog in the survival instinct.

In Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, the great city of Troy was invulnerable until the Greeks devised a strategy in which a huge figure of a horse was left outside Troy’s gates. Naïvely thinking it was a trophy delivered by their vanquished foes, the citizens of Troy (Trojans) pulled the towering figure into their city. They didn’t know it was hollow and contained dozens of enemies who waited until the city slept before creeping out and opening the gates for the Greek army.

Like many great societies before and since, Troy was defeated from within. Greek mythology? Yes, but a lesson to be learned. Have we become naïve enough to believe that people who seem bent on destroying us should be protected, that we should allow them the freedom to carry out their nefarious plots? I don’t care if the guy’s name is Hasan or Henderson; if he evinces hostility toward our country or a propensity to harm us, he should be treated like the enemy he purports to be.

We must rid ourselves of the foolish notion that we’re being broadminded when we ignore vitriolic loathing of our culture and our lifestyle. Refusing to take action against evil for fear of being guilty of stereotyping has resulted in flag-draped coffins for thirteen of America’s finest. What occurred at Fort Hood is even more stunning because it exposes a weak-willed mentality that has become woven into the fabric of the mightiest military force in the history of the world.

When we think of political correctness, we usually view it as confined to the Hollywood crowd and other assorted leftists. The fact that it has invaded the ranks of those who defend our freedom, here and around the world, is more than a bit alarming. We must not let the death of those soldiers count for nothing! If this unspeakable horror invokes a new paradigm in our approach to the enemies within, those who lost their lives will rest in peace, knowing that their sacrifice has taught us a lesson that will save countless other lives in the future. On the other hand, if we don’t view this as a wake-up call and take appropriate action, the date of our destruction can’t be far off.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas.  E-mail Bob.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/fatal_correctness.html at November 10, 2009 – 06:26:26 PM EST

The public must be manipulated into accepting the premise that only government and not they can provide economic and personal security.

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November 05, 2009

The Great Mystery

By Steve McCann

One of the great mysteries in today’s United States is how a country founded on the principle of individual freedom, having achieved great wealth and world influence, could have developed a political class bent on transforming the nation into a collective dominated by a powerful central government.

The history of man is replete with the rise and fall of major civilizations. The downfall of these societies inevitably stemmed from a prolonged period without adversity, which in turn generated internal strife and political and monetary greed. In due course, these empires were easily conquered or dominated by others.

John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife of his need to study politics and war so his sons could study mathematics and philosophy and his grandchildren could study poetry and music. Surely this grand new experiment known as the United States, based on the rights of the individual and not the state, could avoid the pitfalls that plagued other nations.

The peace, prosperity, and lack of national adversity Adams envisioned came to pass, and future generations were able to study subjects other than war. Unfortunately, destructive modern political philosophies, such as Marxism and socialism, manipulated by the self-absorbed to achieve political power, were matters John Adams and his fellow founding fathers could not have anticipated.

The inherent basis of Marxism and socialism is no different from that of earlier monarchies — the domination of a state by a select class or individual. Today’s believers in these “-isms” are no different from those in the past who believed they were preordained to rule the masses. Modern society will not accept the concept of an authoritarian dictator or monarch; thus, a powerful central government, with its trappings of public legitimacy, serves as a substitute.

In order for this strategy to succeed, the public must be manipulated into accepting the premise that only government and not they can provide economic and personal security.

This can best be done in a country such as the United States not in an era of adversity, but one of prosperity and good fortune.

The last period of what could be called true national adversity was the 1930s and the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt and his fellow travelers were unable to fully realize an all-powerful central government despite their best efforts. While he certainly made inroads, the people and circumstances were such that FDR could not achieve his ultimate goal.

However, in the nearly seventy years since, during which the United States became the most powerful economic and military force the world has ever seen, there has been an inexorable march to government domination of the citizenry at all levels. Parallel to this track has been the rise of the socialist Left, the most influential group of all political entities.

The lack of national adversity over these years allowed the adherents of Marxism and socialist philosophies to recruit among the college-aged and the middle class by citing the so-called inequities of American society and the need to remake the country. They fanned the egos of these gullible individuals by convincing them of their individual superiority and ability, not to mention the necessity that they govern and educate the huddled masses.

One need only watch many in the committed American Left make pilgrimages to those second- and third-world countries controlled by Marxist governments and fawn over their

rulers. The diminished standard of living, the loss of liberty, and the bleak future for the people of these nations are ignored while the power achieved by the head of state is

celebrated.

It is that acquisition of power which motivates the self-named “Progressives,” not the welfare of the general public, as they so loudly proclaim.

A strategy was needed on how a faction that represented less than 20% of the citizenry could elicit this endgame with a people overwhelmingly against the concept of powerful central government and within the framework of a written constitution.

Using the backdrop of overwhelming prosperity, the Left seized upon the concept of “fairness” to promote their agenda and intimidate the populace. This “fairness” strategy was further reinforced by the incessant promotion that the United States as a civilization was responsible for all manner of evils throughout its history.

On the surface, it appeared that there was nothing this country did not have the money for, nothing it could not accomplish. To make up for past sins by guaranteeing equal outcomes was the least that could be done. The argument became that with so much wealth, the United States could afford to (fill in the blank).

As a result, much of the citizenry quietly accepted the argument and simply dropped out of active participation in government. They assumed the nation was in reasonably good hands with the two political parties, whose motives or agenda were never questioned. Most did not realize that by the mid 1980’s, the Left had a stranglehold on the Democratic Party, and the Republicans, unable or unwilling to fully warn the population of the future consequences of an all-powerful central government, were only able to slow down the march to socialism — and that only when they were in power. 

This march was not at gunpoint, but rather by the destruction of the economy and self-determination through massive spending programs which were unsustainable but became woven into the fabric of society.

In the 2008 election, the Left, with its ideal stealth candidate for President, actualized the culmination of their grand strategy. We now have the most radical government in our history. These people are unabashedly brazen in their triumph. While still assuming that the general public is asleep, they do not hesitate to openly advocate policies not wanted by the electorate, such as Cap and Trade and Health Care Reform. They do so not as a benefit for the country or its people, but to enhance and make permanent government power, regardless of the long-term consequences to the nation.

It is, however, this same megalomania, and the long-awaited awakening of the American people, that will be the downfall of this political class. The seizure of power for the sake of power is doomed to failure.

It is often claimed that the Left in the United States is simply trying to copy European socialism. However, the grand experiment of Euro-socialism, while now proven unsuccessful, stemmed from the unimaginable devastation of World War II. Victor and vanquished alike suffered a near-total loss of economic and social infrastructure which took nearly twenty years to overcome.

The motivation of the European political class was to promote the general welfare of the population, not self-aggrandizement. The failure of their brand of socialism was due to a determination to never repeat the circumstances which brought about two World Wars in the twentieth century. However, the political class and the populace did not fully appreciate the long-term economic consequences of the many social programs enacted. Many European societies, having realized their error, are moving back from the abyss and adopting more free-market principles.

Here in the United States, there has never been a similar devastating factor to justify a turn to a socialist state and a powerful central government. What is happening now is driven purely by arrogance and manipulation. It has the potential to end in national economic and social disaster, similar to so many empires of the past.

The American people are starting to understand the true motivations of those now in power. As shown in the 2009 elections in Virginia and New Jersey, the people can, by their participation in the electoral process, halt or stall the progress made by the Progressives to realize their socialist dream.

The country can return to the path of economic and social prosperity and relegate the Left to the background of the nation’s politics, where they belong, once and for all. The key is time, and time is something we have little of. The 2010 elections will be the most important midterm election in our history.

While John Adams and his fellow founders could not have anticipated what has happened to the country they established, they did give it a framework — a constitution — which can enable us to avoid the same egocentrism that led to the downfall of other major civilizations.

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