Monthly Archives: February 2008

It is time to withdraw from the UN

Here’s what the UN has to say about America:

“The authorities claim that the demolition of public housing is not intentionally discriminatory,” Kothari and McDougall said, but the “predominantly African-American residents” will be denied their “internationally recognized human rights” to a home.

Noting that officials promise to replace the demolished housing, the experts complained that “only a portion of the new housing units will be for residents in need of subsidized housing and the remainder will be offered at the market rate.”

ALL homes should be offered at the prevailing market rate, unless the person who actually owns them wants to offer them at a lower rate. It’s the free market at work.

Furthermore, in a free country, the people who live in a place get to decide how it’s run. There wasn’t any allegations of disenfranchising these people and then throwing them out of the taxpayer owned housing in the article, merely that the duly elected representatives of the people of the city of New Orleans voted to rid themselves of a high crime area.

It’s not any of the UN’s business what the people of New Orleans do with New Orleans. In fact, it’s not any of my business. I don’t care how they rebuild. I don’t care IF they rebuild. It’s up to them.

But then again, the UN never seems to be bothered by such petty little details. The UN is the most useless organization on the face of the earth. I would call it evil, but it’s too incompetent to be truly evil.

-But if you want to live below sea level, don’t expect for me to subsidize your flood insurance.

Foriegn Aid

Ilana Mercer has made a post on our foriegn aid policy to Africa that I agree with.

I said pretty much the same thing just a little over a year ago.  

Giving money to dictators helps nobody but the dictator.  Our best course of action is to offer a hand of friendship to all nations that behave in a civilized manner.  The biggest problem in a lot of impoverished countries is corrupt government.  We cannot change that without the use of force.

It is always darkest before the dawn.

John McCain is the presumed Republican Presidential Nominee.

McCain-Feingold

McCain-Kennedy

Gang of 14

McCain-Lieberman

Oh, it is to weep. I am sorely tempted to do as Ann Coulter suggested and vote for Hillary. The last thing this country needs is Nixon to China syndrome (or, the 2008 version: Bush to a Deficit syndrome). But since North Carolina’s primary isn’t until May, I can bide my time for another month and cast a primary vote for Ron Paul.

The agendas advanced by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are totalitarian and vile. I cannot think of a faster way to lose ones freedom than to sell your soul for free health care (as if healthcare fell from the sky).

I do not know what I am going to do. I don’t see any meaningful difference between McCain and the Democratic Party. I don’t see how I can in good conscience vote for McCain. Frankly, I don’t see how I can do anything other than oppose him the same way I oppose Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

I suppose Ronald Reagan said it best:

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.

Today I learned…

That Microsoft deprecated hyperterminal with no suitable replacement in Windows Vista.

You know – the lacking of a lot of these petty little details that Windows XP had readily available to me doesn’t make me happy.   Especially since Windows Explorer has taken to crashing on me quite frequently.  It’s like Windows 98 all over again.

And now, I learn it will be mid-March before the highly touted Service Pack 1 that is supposed to fix a lot of these performance and stability issues will be released.

It’s a good thing that I don’t keep my hammer near my laptop.  There are not words to express my displeasure with Vista.  If I didn’t have programs available only for Windows that I have to have for work, I would have installed Linux on it by now.   If SP1 doesn’t fix it, I’m going to make a copy of WindowsXP Professional for this laptop the last purchase I ever make from Microsoft.

From the Comments: National Endowment for the Arts & Dept of Ed. Part II

Smacktooth comments:

Thank you very much for the response. I see your assertion clearly.

However, as I see you are somewhat of a constitutionalist, I wonder what place the “necessary and proper clause”, which leaves the door open for a major expansion of Congress’ legislative power, and the “take care clause”, which allows the president to undertake whatever action national policy may require that are not expressly forbidden by the Constitution or public law, fit into your assertion. Based on these portions of the Constitution there is provision for both the Dept. of Education and the National Endowment of the Arts.

I will admit I am quite sympathetic to your concerns of money-sucking government bureaucracy, but I will argue very seriously that these organization’s abolishment is unwarranted. If you allow me to say so, I think streamlining and “cutting-the-fat” would be a proposal where we share more common ground.

I do not wish to appear as though I’m rebutting your entire assertion because we are both sympathetic to a few things here, like limited bureaucracy for instance, but although we may see the National Endowment of the Arts differently I believe it is an important perpetuator of America’s cultural development. I find this to be a hallmark of any civilized nation. As for the Department of Education, I think it is a crucial facilitator in America’s project to make sure all children are able to get the quality education that is their right.

Again, thank you for your generous response to my previous comment.

First – I would like to look at the clauses referenced:

Section. 8.

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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 3.He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

It appears to me that these articles of the Constitution are tightly reigned in and would prohibit the Federal Government from establishing authority over Education or the Arts.   It should also be noted that there is nothing in the US Constitution to prohibit the States from doing these things.  Take for example the Arts.  Several years ago, the City of Raleigh commissioned the “Time and Light Tower“.  The project was universally panned when it was finished.  People thought it was an eyesore – an eyesore that reflected the sun into their eyes during the rush hour commute.  The public outrage over spending $50,000.00 of taxpayer money on something that so few people saw any aesthetic benefit from caused the city government to more carefully plan any future art projects so that they would be more beneficial to the public at large.  Because it was done at the city level, the people in charge of spending the public funds had to face the criticism from their constituents every day for a long long time – something that federal officials seldom have to do.  Especially in conjunction with the arts.  If the National Endowment for the Arts spends its money poorly, you have to have an act of congress to fix things, which is not necessarily easy to come by.

Likewise, the same is with the Department of Education.  A federal department will never be responsive to the needs of children.  It is merely a method by which conformity can be impressed upon the nation (or worse in the wrong hands – many totalitarian regimes are fine examples).  Schools should be managed at the local level, parents should be involved in the education of their children, and most importantly, parents should be in control of what their children are learning.  The more diversified the schools are, the more opportunity you have to try new ideas – and some will work, and some won’t, but the ones that do work will spread.

Also, keep in mind that a right to learn does not necessitate a Department of Education and federal funding for schools any more than a right to Free Speech obliges the Federal Government  to buy you airtime on CBS.  Having huge amounts of resources does not necessarily mean that you will have the best education – take for example Frederick Douglass who learned to read even though it was against the law for anybody to teach him.

From the Comments: Why Oppose the National Endowment for the Arts & the Department of Education?

From the comments on my previous post, smacktooth asks:

 Interesting post, I know a lot of ultra conservatives feel this way. Can you explain the rationale for abolishing the National Endowment of the Arts and the Department of Education please? Thanks.

I will be happy to explain why I feel that way.   First, I will give the general principle behind these feelings, and then I will cite why these two programs are particularly offensive to Conservatives.

The Declaration of Independence says in part the following:

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Now, the Declaration of Independence is not binding law in the United States, as pointed out by many secularists who chafe at the 4 explicit mentions of the Christian God.   But it is one of the Founding Documents of the United States of America, and as such the principles that it articulates are still held dear by Americans.  And the part I want to point out is the part that says, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

When did Americans (the governed) consent to the US Government?  In 1787, the United States Constitution was drafted.  Through representatives, the American people consented to this government – but only after Ten Amendments were added to it to ensure that the government would not trample their rights.  The Preamble of the Bill of Rights says this:

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

The Tenth of these restrictions reads:

 Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thus, anything not specifically authorized by the Constitution for the Federal Government to do is expressly forbidden for it to do.   There is no authorization in the Constitution for federalized education (or healthcare for that matter), nor is there authorization for the arts.  This is all the Constitution says about the arts:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

 

Simply – copyrights.

 

Now, on to the specific grievances.

 

For the Department of Education:

  •  Many people feel that a bureaucracy at the federal level is too much of a behemoth to effectively educate their children
  •  Many people resent federal mandates via their own tax dollars as to how to educate their children
  • Many people just plain don’t trust the government
  • Federal bans on religious teaching in schools really don’t sit well with the faithful who wish to have their children educated in an environment friendly to their faith.

And for the National Endowments of The Arts.

This is one federal program that probably could have stayed beneath the radar and thus the ire of conservatives for quite a while, where it not for egregious arrogance and stupidity.   In 1989, the National Endowment for the Arts paid $15,000.00 to an artist for his work “Piss Christ“, featuring a crucifix in a jar of urine.  To take money by force of arms (taxes) from the faithful, and spend it on something explicitly blasphemous is beyond contempt.  Ever since then, the National Endowment for the Arts has been in the bullseye of Conservatives.

As an aside, such funding of things that are of entirely subjective value is not appropriate use of taxpayer funds.  Some people really enjoy art.  Other people really enjoy NASCAR.  It’s not fair to fund one groups passtime while expecting all the racing affectionados of the world to have to pay for their entertainment.

And I hope that helps explain why Conservatives are out to get the Department of Education and the National Endowment of the Arts (among other things).   As an aside, it’s not just Conservatives who want to do away with these things, Libertarians are also on board with it.  In many cases, they hate them worse than those who label themselves Conservatives.