13 January 2007

The Oncoming Storm

Donald Sensing wrote about The gloomy months ahead, and about the disillusionment seen in America. He points to multiple problems on lack of party ideology, party outlook or even commitment to those things held in common by the People. Some few in the comment section have tried to point out that the 'corruption' in politics has gone back to the founding of the Nation, and there has always been a level of that and personal recrimination in US politics. That is true and Mr. Sensing alludes to there being a difference in *kind* not *degree* in this today: we are seeing more than just 'more of the same' but a different formulation of it that is no longer rooted in American commonality.

I have been writing on this topic for some time and I will attempt to highlight those differences so that merely corrupt individuals can be shown in context of the landscape that is developing. This is a landscape that everyone can actually see, but to recognize it means that one must be willing to single out what is being seen and actually identify it for what it is. Not 'intent' based labels, as so many on the Left/Progressivist side wish to do so as to constrain thoughts and ideas via personal attacks, but descriptive of activities in and of themselves. In this land 'intent' is left up for juries and historians to decide, the activities themselves are what move the Nation.

1) Secession from the Union - Secession is an abrogation of a State or locale to follow National Federal Laws and make their own laws with regards to those things set by the Nation as a whole. Normal recourse via Constitutional channels for grievances is not sought, or if sought are not abided by if they turn out contrary to the way that State or locale wishes it to be. I examined this in my article on Sanctuary Cities and Secession from the Union. Any State or local government that passes law in how to deal with illegal immigrants is no longer abiding by all 6 Articles of the Constitution and breaking with some large number of Amendments in that doing. National policy is given to the Federal Government in this area by the Constitution and States and lesser governments are specifically prohibited from making law in this area or preventing Federal law from being upheld in same. Further, if one views such illegal labor which is done at the price set by the employer and that an employer need not even pay such labor and also holds a threat over its head that individuals can be turned in and removed if they are unwilling to work for such pay, one seriously comes into an area covered by Amendment XIII. Thus there is not only original criminal behavior on the part of the illegals, but unconstitutional behavior on the part of lesser governments and final manipulation of those activities to ill-gotten ends by employers.

2) Point 1 was supposed to be addressed by Congress in 1986, but false promises were given and 20 years on no action has been taken. Individuals who will not take action that they have been committed to by their Congressional Seat are abdicating their responsibilities to uphold the Constitution, ensure that there is enough outlay to uphold the Law of the Land and through sheer negligence letting National Sovereignty erode. The kindest I could call those individuals who have sat on their butts for 20 years and done *nothing* to uphold the promises made by Congress to the Nation is: seatwarmers. It is a bipartisan label and I will not vote for a single one of those individuals for anything as they have broken their promises to the Nation and degraded the Oath of Office that is sworn to the Nation. That is not mere 'criminal' behavior, but something wholly detrimental to the long term good of the Union. They are not doing their jobs.

3) Following point 2 is the problem of using non-economically viable price supports and subsidies to give Americans 'cheap food'. When asked if there was a way to 'end the opium trade' in Afghanistan I immediately go to the Dept. of Agriculture price subsidies and support programs that are handed to it by Congress. The amount handed to it in 2004 is about $12.5 billion of which $0.5 billion is in 'Emergency Aid' to farmers in case of disasters. The rest is in price subsidies, cash hand-out programs and paying farmers *not* to farm. Far be it from me to doubt the wisdom of Congress, but we do seem to be past the 'dust bowl' era and in an era of GPS, automation and farmers now being able to figure out how to grow crops in a way that puts less strain on the environment, as a whole, than in any generation previous to ours. Further, water subsidies in South Western arid regions are causing non-environmentally friendly crops to over-use water resources at below sustainment cost to the farmer. These two things then coalesce into farming of plants at non-economical price points and since no outlook is given toward efficiency, the least and cheapest means of labor is used to bring in such subsidized crops: illegal labor. Kind of strange to need such labor when you already have unemployed Citizens in the Nation looking for work, and save your 'dirty jobs Americans don't want to do' concept as I do not see illegals lining up for coalmining or similar dirty and hazardous jobs. The Congress, then, is not only acting in a way not to uphold the Union, but is actually degrading National Sovereignty so as to bribe the American Public with cheap food. In an era of high economic vitality, increasing automation in areas that were never thought to be amenable to it and advances in understanding how to grow in arid regions, why the Union actually pays to have its laws broken is beyond the scope of what can be understood.

4) The Congressional role in warfare - I have devoted more time to *this* topic than any other as Congress is the one that actually gets to Declare War and set out the means to fight it. I have written to Congresscritters on this, but to no avail as I am just a mere Citizen not even from their Districts or States... while they have the glorious titles of being members of an august body that looks after the Nation *first* and everything else as a side-light. Especially if one sits in a Committee that is to address National Issues, one must actually do this thing as accept input from the Nation upon it. Various folks have gone on about the full War Making Powers handed to Congress, but suffice it to say that the Federal Armed Forces are just *one* way to fight a war and it may only address Nation States.

By custom and outlook that is what the Federal Armed Forces have done and continue to do so as to secure the Nation: they oppose other Nations. Today we are faced with non-Nation State threats and the entire set-up of the Federal Armed Forces cannot cope with that as it is not *designed to do so* via scope and outlook in the Constitution. The other War Powers are the ones Congress is to use to involve the Citizens and their Companies to go after such scoundrels via the offering of Bounty or the good old means of auctioning off goods and their transport captured via Letters by duly Warranted Citizens and their Companies. This requires that the Nation actually look at its current suite of enemies, recognize that they are *not* solely or wholly supported via Nations and that the threat is so distributed that to give powers to the Federal Government to actually track them down and end them as a threat is outside the entire scope of the Federal outlay of powers. We have, indeed, transformed warfare completely via the modern age and the Enemies of the Union and Liberty have now gone *back* to means more suitable to that era of the young Republic.

The role of Congress is to recognize that when each and every cabinet officer or head of an agency comes before them and replies to how they are doing in the War on Terror that they actually *listen* and think on this response: 'We are doing all that we can and it is not enough.' That is because the People do not *trust* its Government to have such sweeping powers and require that Congress come to the People to fight these sorts of war that are not amenable to Federal Power. The National Toolbox contains many tools, but the greatest of them is that which allows the People to join the fight via getting Warrants and then taking Letters to capture goods and individuals cited via Congressional Mandate and then pay off on such captures or such reprisals. By founding the American People recognizes a full spectrum of warfare and limiting that to *just* what the Federal Government can do directly is a gross error by the Legislative branch in not examining such tools and by the Executive branch in not *asking* that such tools be taken out and employed.

5) There is a nasty outgrowth from 4 and 1-3 which is the entire lack of Goals in the Global War on Terror. The Federal Government *must* do those things necessary to ensure that a ship does not come to port or an aircraft land that will soon remove a section of territory from the map or depopulate it. To do this also requires robust border controls and, if necessary, putting a military reservation along the borders so that the Armed Forces of the Union can have provenance to actually *protect* the Nation actively. Anything like a 'virtual wall' will be undermined by Moore's Law and static technology protection is erased by newer technical advances that are cheaper than previous technology. An unchecked flow of illegal immigrants not only erodes the ability of a Nation to self-govern, but, in this era of Transnational Terrorism, allows for a flow of individuals who are actual enemies of the Nation to move into the Nation undetected. And with Iran now openly operating Hezbollah in South America, it is recruiting individuals that convert to Islam who are native Hispanics. The non-Nation State part of this is that Iran appears to be setting up an autonomous organization to be an ongoing threat at multiple spots globally when their economy fails. By having support, even in a minor way, locally, these organizations can than shift from Nation State support to non-Nation State support means.

The Transnational Terrorism network by having no single support point, acts as a distributed organization with various affiliation groups, and inputs by Nations in the way of skill, funding, armaments or methodology is then spread and shared across *all* groups to make the entire network more deadly. Consider this to be the Metcalfe's Law of Transnational Terrorism. The Legislative and the Executive branches by not addressing this as a topic are abdicating their responsibilities to uphold and defend the Constitution and defend the Nation. The political parties are at complete fault for this by not having anyone willing to even *question* the supremacy of the Federal Government in the conception the American People put forth via the Constitution.

6) Next up is the added fat put into the budget, beyond the gobs of lard already thrown into regular budgetary items, like 'entitlements' and other forms of 'integral funding' to offer money to businesses, farmers and industry. Why a capitalist system needs those is beyond me. No, this is the pork of the earmark type, and the great doses of it injected into the budget in arcane ways. Of course the Executive could stop this immediately with the following: 'If it does not show up on my desk to be signed it is not in the budget and will not be spent.' That, however, takes political willpower and backing from a party willing to wean itself off of pork spending, something that neither party has ever put forward a single candidate that has said same. So much for 'robust politics' in this two party system.

That said there are things the Federal Government has gotten involved in that it has no business in, such as education. Education is fully and completely given over to the States to address. The Hue and Cry in 1958 when poor johnny had reading problems was that 'something should be done'. What we got by 1980 was a lovely Federal Bureaucracy. The reading levels remain at those of 1958. So much for 'solving the problem'. In point of fact, when people like to point to Federal Accomplishments, they are stuck pretty much on the Atom Bomb and the Space Program, with the Interstate Roads often used as backup. Notice how each of those was a full involvement of the Nation that each and every individual had a say over and oversight upon? No?

That is because they all had fixed goals and end points and means to achieve them and did not set up lofty and unreachable goals that would just employ more bureaucrats. The Social Security system and various medical helping systems were never seen as a be-all, end-all on these topics and were put forward as temporary remedies. The waste of the Federal Government is approximately 40% when it operates on a more or less 'good' basis. I have personally worked in one of the *best* agencies and that rate was only 35% loss of productivity due to Federal overhead. Some of the worst have 55% to 65% loss, which means that for every dollar put in you get 45-35 cents worth of value. And, believe it or not, those are *not* in the Dept. of Defense which runs a hard and tight ship as the Chain of Command is enforced even on the civilian side. That loss of money and productivity by the Nation has a negative impact in those areas where the money goes. Further, when localized control is removed Citizens get *no* oversight that does *not* need go through levels of bureaucracy FIRST. Now, Congress then makes this worse by holding bills and outlays of large programs hostage until 'they get theirs' which is something to go back to their State or District.

So, even a well run and cost saving capital outlay on the military side will then get encumbered by Congress and the budget cost swell by having to distribute jobs in a non-economical fashion in a way that then expands overall cost of a program. The various Kings and Queens of Pork are so good at this that they *trumpet* such outlays and show all the 'good' they are doing for the folks back home... the 'good' it does the Nation is in question and do notice that they are Senators or Representatives of the United States from this or that State. Just who are they serving? Not only are they *not* serving the Nation, they *are* serving themselves by an arcane form of bribery and kickbacks to supporters and to people in their area of representation so as to make them feel beholden unto that individual.

7) This then brings up a major point of contention in the two party system: it no longer serves the People and serves to further the two parties. The means that are used is the redistribution of money via taxation to then use inefficient governmental means to deliver goods and services or outright cash payments to select voter groups. This is known as *bribery for cooperation* and anyone getting Social Security or any medical payments who is *not* a Veteran of the Armed Forces is getting just such a bribe. Those that work in industries, businesses or agriculture that feels dependent upon such funds is *also* being bribed. Those in the Elite services sectors to various Federal agencies are getting paid via those agencies and that will influence voting. This is a very strange thing for a Free People who declare independence from Government and declare the need for direct oversight on Taxation as the founding of their Nation to do: put up a system where accountability is least and taxation is mandatory. Power has been concentrated within the House of Representatives by the 1911 law that restricted the size of the House, itself, to a set number of Representatives. This was done because the House would be seen as 'unmanageable' at its then current representational allotment by 1940, which would get it up to all of 600 members!

Then we also start to see House members serving as long as or longer than the 'upper chamber' the Senate because seat turnover slows as Districts become set in stone with only some minor fiddling every decade due to the census. By having such set Districts, paying bribes to fractions of the population to bias voting and to then increase staff size so as to insulate those in office from the People, the entire two party system has moved from being something that represents the Nation and now represents the easily bribed. I call this the Twilight of the Two Party System and it moves into the Zero Party State. This is not helped by an Executive that actually bows to this arrangement and does not hold it accountable, nor is it helped by those that have taken up extremist positions on the political spectrum to continue the bribery for their 'causes'. Just so long as they get the Publics money, they don't care about the Public. You do not have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that this does not lead to good places for the Union. Somewhere in there both 'sides' of the political spectrum have picked up on this and now see that they do not serve 'We the People...' but 'We that must be overseen...' by some wonderful Nannystate.

8) Now some pointed looks at this concept of there being 'Two Sides' to everything. In the Constitution is outlaid that the entire panoply of thought and conception is held by the People and that there are many and various ways beyond those few set to Government in which the People may achieve things. So when the political spectrum of glorious coloration is reduced down to two colors, you are no longer allowing for a political discussion space that encompasses the true variety of We the People. This process of boiling everything down to Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, Democrat/Republican, Coke/Pepsi has not really helped this Nation much at all, especially as the options in life grow more diverse and capabilities of addressing the world likewise proliferate. By putting up a wall to divide the Commons there is no longer Common Ground for the People to discourse. Entire 'spheres of thought' get boiled down to singular points that may, or may not, have any real ability to encapsulate the conception of the entire sphere within the actual coordinate system being used.

However, a 50/50 Nation is not what describes a Nation in which 50% or more don't even both to vote for Congressional elections. That breakout starts to look more like 30/30/30/10 with the last 30/10 breakout being those disgusted with the two party system and the very last thoroughly turned off by politics that they have no relationship to its modern formulation at all. The last era that saw something equivalent to this, in which a purely minority viewpoint was put in leadership of an Industrialized Nation was in Wiemar Germany, although the US has been pressing those numbers very hard for nearly 3 decades. That outlook, in which a representative democracy is hijacked by a minority of ideologues is not one that is pleasing to think about in context of the United States. The relationship of the actual two parties that sit in government have more of an affinity for the 'Banana Republics' of the late 19th and early 20th century than to even that of an industrialized Nation.

Sinecured positions, kleptocracy and the final utilization of force to empower government to take away property and rights is the end-point of that sort of deal and the US, by no longer looking towards a higher amount of representation in its democratic institutions, especially the House of Representatives, is headed in that exact, same direction. This lack of leadership, lack of ideas, lack of National outlook, lack of pressing for democracy and hard INSIDE the Union are all a push to further marginalize ideas and modes of thought and remove the capability of any change to get within the system itself. That is as sure a path to tyranny as voting in National Socialists, Communists or Fascists.

9) This disenchantment has gone so far as to hit one of the foundational backstops of the US Constitutional system: the Supreme Court. The Hamdan decision is one in a series of cases brought to the Supreme Court in recent times, in which the actual bounds and definitional space of the Constitution itself is being eroded. Also of note is the Gonzales v Raich decision in which the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution has been so read as to allow Congress to set law on the individual's own private use of their property for things that had, previously been the sole purview of the States. This expansion of definition is now putting Congress in the position of being able to make law upon nearly *anything* that it can weasel out an 'interstate' definition for. The Supreme Court by inserting and twisting meanings within Treaties beyond the clear and concise statements of both the Executive and Legislative branches, is now stepping into an area in which it is creating NEW policy for the Nation outside of the other two branches and in areas that are not given to the Supreme Court to set *anything*. Using logic of similar areas from overseas cases is fine, but inserting their *meanings* and their attachments which are NOT within the Constitutional system of the US opens the door for the diminishment of the National Laws and adherence to them. At the time I called this the 'Trifecta' of Government beyond its original conception and that not only stands but is reinforced by outlooks from the other two branches on this and from the entire advocacy of the two party system to erode the internal checks and balances system of the Constitution.

10) By having no coherent view of the Nation itself as a whole, nor the foundations of Individual Freedom and Liberty, the two party system is then in a bind when it comes to something like Foreign Policy. Quite frankly, there has been *no* overarching concept in US Foreign Policy for some decades, and then even the Cold War had those who would rather give up the world to Communist oppression than actually think about supporting democracy. In this grand era of the 'sound bite' you can't even get: "Walk softly and carry a big stick." Foreign policy should have the guiding precepts of the Nation embodied with it and then put forth a united face of America to the world. It hasn't helped that the *last* group to get the ears of the high and mighty were the 'Realists' who had a strangely surreal view of the world and that, somehow, one of the weakest industrialized Nations on the planet really just couldn't be opposed and that it would just go on forever in its current state of affairs. For decades they roamed the pathways of Foggy Bottom and got lost in the fog of their own making, and so twisted economic and political outlook that no one could get a real handle on the real problems that the USSR was facing internally. Some, of course, is due to the totalitarian nature of the society that was there.

But even when well educated individuals got out and told of what they saw, that was discounted as just a 'limited view'. By trying to think of the USSR as a nuclear power, no one bothered to address its entire lack of modern industrial infrastructure and incapacity to do real scientific advances. Thus, when the USSR did not 'melt' but vanished as it sublimated out of existence, the 'Realists' were left high and dry with clear plans showing, conclusively, how strong the USSR would be until at least 2010 if not 2030. Almost two entire generations of individuals grew up with this and without the skills necessary to do economic analysis, social analysis and, from that, craft foreign policy. The entire lack of perspective of those seeking splendid post-war models in Iraq absolutely ignore all history that does not have a '196-' prefix to it so as to understand the interplay of societies, industry, religion and politics.

By having no historical basis for comparison because schools were unwilling to teach the major problems faced after wartime, the Nation has been shorn from its understanding that Liberty and Freedom have a price to pay and that it takes honest hard work to set things right after warfare. You cannot get to a just END without the necessary spilling of blood of the enemy and patriots. The US has a long and checkered past in that regards and we must learn it and understand it so as to take the good things learned, remember to avoid the bad and then craft something new and better than previous generations have tried. This comes from that same intellectual flaccidity that then cannot even distinguish between problem solving and troubleshooting not only in warfare but in *anything*. In the political arena we see all sorts of 'programs' put up to address 'social ills' but no one wants to address the ills as an overall problem. Instead we keep on troubleshooting the plumbing until all the joints are leaking equally and the water pressure has dropped because of it.

From that we get this very, very strange view that peace and stability are the same thing, when they only have an inter-relationship but are not equivalents. Those 'Realists' sought economic stability in the Middle East, but that didn't seem to help this concept of 'peace' any. And while the US is, in theory, Dynamically Stable, it is very difficult to actually define it as wholly peaceful. There is an inter-relationship, but even unstable systems can be peaceful and stable ones violent as anyone watching the USSR could point out. Without these concepts within the Citizen's intellectual toolkit, how can *anyone* even attempt to craft laws, not to speak of Foreign Policy? If we cannot define what America stands for to ourselves, as a Nation, then actually promulgating those things via Foreign Policy becomes an impossibility. Instead the easy path of doing nothing is taken, and that comes to no good end at all as the very Liberties and Freedom we hold dear then slip from us because we cannot grasp them. The concept that one may lead a life by simple rules to come to complex ends is eschewed for the simplistic that has no backing at all beyond expedience so that one need not actually think to get an answer.

11) Finally, that takes us to the 'cheering section': the MSM. The laxity of rigorous thought, honesty and putting forth one's ethics so as to be taken at your word has disappeared into a sea of partisanship, moral relativity and the ever popular 'two sides to this question' concept. The encapsulation of all of the above via the media into limited 'air time' and 'print space' has reduced the rich interplay of ideas to a lowest common denominator 'for the masses'. By asserting such relativism and that 'no idea is better than any other idea' then actual judgment based on factual research and analysis is given just as much play, and usually less, to something that is breezily 'popular'. If reporters cannot even grasp the basics of science and the representational mode of it and why it matters, then why should we expect anyone garnering information from such sources to be 'well informed' from them?

Mind you, science is something that has a high level of interrelationships but seeks to explain the phenomena seen in the world about us and has demonstrable implications to society and individuals. Without any understanding of analytical rigor, then ideas such as Socialism get a 'free pass' without any firm investigation nor analysis and such communicated in a sensible way to the Public. Of course to do that would require 'bias'! And yet bias is necessary to gain perspective and see things in relationship to each other and how they inter-relate. If you cannot have bias then throwing out moldy food uneaten should be a pure waste as it is absolutely biased of any individual not to just see it as food with a minor determinant upon it. Just because it will make you sick is absolutely biased judgment of the quality of the food itself. That same formulational concept is given to cultures, so that even one that pins folks down so their beating hearts can be extracted from them is 'just the same' as one that encourages asceticism: rendering a judgment implies social bias, and since all societies are equal... This, too, is a path to tyranny as it starts to erode at the legitimacy of society in the face of other societies that are not only radically different, but have no value upon human Liberty and Freedom.

To such the concept of 'legitimate armed political party' just rolls off the tongue, while *no* armed political party has ever hung up its weapons to form a government that ensures any sort of freedom or equality, unless it is the equality of repression and the peace of the grave. That is what we hear, however, from the MSM. To further enhance this the MSM also has put forth the Elite Talking Heads class of people who propound on many things, but who have an often tenuous understanding of what they are talking about. Generals who have not been in an active command structure for years or decades are put forth as vital commentators on the state of the modern military, while their actual experience *inside* that military no longer exists. Also no questions are asked if these individuals had left because of their vaunted insight being over-ruled for good reasons. Folks with an axe to grind in *any profession* need to have that caveatted before they even begin to speak on that topic within their realm, and when that is not done then giving equal stature means that there is no ability to take that axe-grinding into account. Also putting on a 'peace activist' who then derides that there is some sort of proportionality in defensive response in warfare is given a 'free pass' because that is also a 'valid viewpoint'... just one not supported by history. Nor is any historical context for warfare or much of anything else ever put forth as that would require actual 'judgment' to take place and there might be some 'bias' in that.

From that the MSM then blurs lines between 'facts', 'news', 'stories' and 'analysis', and serves up an unsavory mixture that is none of these things, because there is no discrimination amongst them. This is not helped when the MSM then puts forward fraudulent images, non-contextual associations between events, blatantly misreport facts without context, and then act in a disingenuous fashion contrary to their code of ethics and intent to serve the public when they are actually questioned on these things and asked to show *proof* of their reporting. The 'objective press' that was set up to counter 'yellow journalism' has now turned its own, bright shade of yellow and wandered far from their mission of 'informing the public' to one of dictating to the public what it wants the public to hear.

Yes, this is a long piece and I have thought much on the pieces of this over time and am less than satisfied with much of modern America from politics to reporting to actually understanding what it means to be a Free People. Unlike others that offer glib pronouncements or simplistic outlooks I try to adhere to the one defining element that all Citizens actually must understand. While the preceptual outlook for the United States is the Declaration of Independence, the Nation defining document is the Constitution. That document has been heavily looked at and examined with some strange conception of a Free People being shorn from responsibility to do anything about their Freedom or with it. In the 1970's I heard one commentator decry that there was a Bill of Rights but no Bill of Responsibilities. The Constitution takes a bit to think about and coming at it totally new as if you had never seen it before in your life and you are told that this simple document will define a Nation, you then come to appreciate the structure of the document itself. Clean, clear and crisp language with basic understanding and outlook. Within the Body the procession by Precedence is clear for those things defined: Responsibility is given first, methodology via Due Process is second, and the actual Rights come third and last to uphold those responsibilities via Due Process means. And if your Rights do not cover the Responsibilities you are not *absolved* of addressing them.

Americans love the Constitution.

I am becoming convinced that almost no one actually reads it anymore.

There is a clear and succinct Bill of Responsibilities that are declared and it is even told who gets them.

It is called the Preamble.

It self-declares those under it starting at: "We the People..."

From that understanding of what my responsibilities are I then proceed forth with Due Process in mind and use my Rights to uphold those responsibilities first and foremost as they are MINE held in common with everyone else in this Nation. They belong to no Party. They belong to no faction nor group. No one gets more or less to do in their lives from that document and that statement, although we do find ways to spend our time without thinking about them.

And that is why when I come across a greater problem than mere personal foible and ludicrous action, I look to my Responsibilities to give me Guidance as they are the commonly held beliefs of all of the People. I do poke fun and give honest criticism and do my best to demonstrate why such criticism is necessary. Beyond that I then try to craft a *better way* so that We the People can be enriched for my having been a Citizen during my short time on this planet, Rock 3 from the star Sol.

That is the required basis for me to have my Rights.

There are so many trying to find bright and new ways to bring down the Republic.

And so few taking up their responsibilities to ensure its gifts are passed on in whole to those that come after us.

Because they will judge us.

Let it not be with malice aforethought.

No comments: