A tough job Americans will do.

 

JP Mac’s Armed Forces Day Rant:

This we'll defend colorWe hear all the time in seems about tough jobs that supposedly, American’s won’t do.  I don’t believe it, mainly because I’ve worked in several of those jobs myself. Thank God there is one really tough job that for centuries, so far enough Americans have wanted to do.  One where the pay and living conditions aren’t always the best, one that calls for huge sacrifices on the part of those who volunteer to do it and their families:  Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Americans are supposedly too soft to do some jobs.  No American would take a job filling sandbags in 110 degree heat, right?  Surely no one living in the greatest nation in world history would slog through a mosquito infested swamp, walk for half a day though the forest, or climb a mountain just to get to the job-site.  Who from this country would choose a job that makes you long for things things like warm food, hot water, a bed?  Of course no self -respecting, video game playing, social media obsessed American would ever want to stay out in sub-freezing weather for hours watching an empty field or patch of sea right?  Yet somehow for generations, by the tens of thousands, Americans have volunteered to for jobs that entail doing all of these things and more– and by the way, sometimes while people are trying hard to kill them.

Thank God for such men and women.  For some reason,  (rarely the great pay) they have decided to, at least temporarily, forgo many of comforts that come with so many other jobs.  For some, it’s the promise of adventure, or having that “hero” switch, or protector gene.  Other just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It may be that they realize that they live in a country– more that many others, that is worth fighting for. They, in put the ‘exceptionalism’ in American Exceptionalism.  Whatever the reason, these men and women have chosen a vocation that routinely requires sacrifice, sometime of the ultimate kind.  That is why today is their day, a day for them to be proud, and the rest of America to be proud of them.

Thank you!

-JP Mac

 

 

It’s 1787 all over again.

Election 2016What direction will America take?  Will she choose to take the easy, intellectually bankrupt path to European-style socialism, or will she stay true to her self and take the less easy but potentially more rewarding path?  Will we decide that things like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are just curiosities of a bygone era, or that those documents still mean something and still ought to be followed?  America is at a crossroads, it’s cliche but is no less true. Where other elections have been about tax rates, or what the defense budget should be, this election is over the very what the very purpose of government is, and what America’s role in the world should be.

U.S. ConstitutionIf you’re voting for free education, or for lower taxes, you’ve missed the whole argument, the real question being put to the voters this year.  This year you have to choose sides. The question before us is no less than that put before the Constitutional convention in May of 1787:  What sort of republic will America be?  We have to decide anew what sort of country we’ll have for the rest of the 21st century.  People will say this is exaggeration, hyperbole.  They don’t get it.  They would be at a loss to explain why those men spent all that time in the hot Philadelphia summer many years ago, deliberating, discussing, arguing, deciding.  They would not understand what the big deal was, how momentous that achievement was.  They do not see that it is 1787 all over again, and the choice  once again is:  Who will rule the people of this country and how?  Will Americans be the rulers or be the ruled?  We need to choose wisely, and understand the far-reaching effects of our vote.

End of lecture.

Constitution Memorial Day

U.S. ConstitutionSaturday marked the 229th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  It established the United States as the world’s first constitutional republic.  We may be mere months from the end of America’s existence as such.  2017 could be the first year of a new, post-Constitutional era.  If Hillary Clinton is elected president her choices of Supreme Court justices will tip the balance in favor of a Court that sees the Constitution as a “living document”, one that can be interpreted to mean whatever they need it to mean.  On that day, the Constitution, already in exile, will cease to function as a constraint on government.

“A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.”  -Antonin Scalia

The Bill of Rights in particular will be eroded to such an extent as to become meaningless.  Rights favored by the new majority will be created out of whole cloth, while rights not favored, such as the right to bear arms, will be made virtually impossible to exercise.   Consider this:  The subject of marriage does not come up anywhere in the Constitution, but the tenth amendment says: “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.” So anything not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, such as marriage, would seemingly be governed by that amendment. It establishes what is often referred to as “state’s rights”.  When some states wanted to outlaw same sex marriage, and some states wanted to legalize it, the Supreme Court stepped in with the Obergefell v. Hodges and legalized ‘gay marriage’ nationally.  Many social conservatives objected to the decision on moral and religious grounds, setting those objections aside the decision created a number of problematic consequences for the Constitution. Many, including Justice Roberts, believe the majority in that ruling used arguments with no constitutional basis:

“Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be”

Ruling based on what the majority thought the law should be seems to be exactly what happened.  The Court invented an individual right at the expense of the rights of the states.  The tenth amendment seems to exist only at the whim of the majority.  Impatient with the legislative process that requires consensus building, activists used the Court to do what they could not wait for the state legislatures to do.  Now they have the law but necessarily a consensus.  Because the ruling was based on emotional arguments more than constitutional ones, there is now no constitutional argument to place any limits on marriage between adults, not based on the sex of the participants, not based on the number, nor kinship nor likely even age.  Polygamy laws could be struck down tomorrow, were the cause popular enough.  What would be the argument against?

What other amendments are as disposable as the tenth?  What if the courts because of some public pressure due to security decided to give similar treatment to the fourth amendment?   Our right to privacy would be gone.  Proponents of so-called common sense gun control have already called for legislation (no fly no buy) that would simultaneously abridge our second, fifth, and fourteenth amendment rights.  What if the Court decided to do what a powerful voting bloc such as the anti-gun lobby demanded?

“As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.” – Antonin Scalia

Another example of how SCOTUS justices chose to use extremely contorted logic to arrive at the decision they wanted was National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the ruling that effectively legalized the Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. Obamacare.  This allowed the government to compel its citizens to engage in commerce, whether they chose to or not, whether they felt like they needed the product or not.  If you remember your grade school history, the American revolution was fought to end this sort of thing.  A government that can compel its citizens to spend money, determine how much, and on what does not serve the populace, it rules it.

The Constitution was meant to act as the guardrails of our government.  It was meant to act as a constraint to the federal government while protecting the rights of the states and individuals.  The idea of the Constitution as a ‘living document’ then makes about as much sense as playing football on a field with no sidelines, with no objective means of determining what is in or out of bounds.  Liberal justices, believing that the Constitution must adopt to the present society have little compunction against following only those parts of it that are convenient to their objectives while ignoring others.  When the Constitution gets to the point where it can mean anything the justices need it to mean, it will at once come to mean nothing.  We will be living in a post-constitutional America.  The three Supreme Court justices that our next president is expected to appoint, if they are liberal, activist judges, will be more than enough to effectively end the era of the United States as a constitutional republic.

Maintain Liberty

 

“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.”  the Declaration of Independence 

Those who would trade liberty for security should get neither
Ben Franklin knew there’d be times like these.

140 years ago today, America declared its independence from Great Britain. A few years later, after tremendous sacrifice, we won that independence and gained a great amount of freedom. Today, we still have that independence, but sadly very little of that freedom.  Over two centuries, but mostly in the fifty or so years, we have either traded away or sold our freedoms in the name of security and comfort.  Even as we would not consciously give up our liberty, our government has found subtle ways to take it.  It takes it in the form of a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy, unelected and accountable to virtually no one.

The Founding Fathers started this quest for freedom and it is one we have inherited.  Freedom did not just happen to them, they had to take it.  It will not just continue to happen for us, to keep it we will have to join that long line of patriots that began with Washington, Franklin, Adams, and the rest.  To the extent we fight to keep ourselves free, we find ourselves in their distinguished company.  The put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line. Most of us are called upon merely to keep ourselves educated, remain vigilant, and vote.  Maybe because it’s so much easier for us, we assume everyone or someone else will do it for us.  Staying free will require our participation as individuals and collectively.

Those liberties that were hard-won by others are too easily lost by us. We should with that fact in mind, repurpose the fourth of July.  Independence Day needs to be a day not just to celebrate our independence, but one that reminds us to recommit ourselves to those freedoms that this country gained by the Revolution, and all those won since. Maintaining these liberties is a constant struggle, and that sacred struggle is one that all Americans ought to take part in. We can do it in different ways, by activism, voting, sometimes just by letting those in power know we’re watching and paying attention.  When you celebrate America’s independence, remember why it was in the first place that 140 years ago it was so important that so many risked so much for it.  Remember and resolve to keep those American ideals alive in your thoughts and deeds for another year.

Memorial Days of our Possible Future

Memorial day 2016 has passed.  The picnics and barbecues are over.  The wreath laying ceremonies have been completed.    Many Americans, perhaps more in recent years keep Memorial Day sacred, and well they should.  Many, many American heroes left their homes for war and never returned.  They gave the ultimate sacrifice.  The loved ones they left behind morn their loss.  From that darkest day, and especially on Memorial Day, they are reminded that their loved ones gave their lives that we could be free. Our freedom, liberty, democracy are those ideals that they gave their lives for.  Their deaths are not considered in vain, we say, because of these gifts their sacrifice has secured for us.  In many ways, this is a distinction not shared by all fallen warriors throughout history, as not all of the fallen died for these things.  They fought for king and country, maybe to protect their families, but nothing more noble than that. Will they day ever come that Americans of some future era, in some future conflict fight for little more?

DSCN0407_2263
Victory in WWII

The NAZI’s did not fight for freedom, quite the opposite.  The Russians fought for Rodina, the motherland and their comrades.  Napoleon won scores of battles, his soldiers won victory after victory for the glory of France all across Europe, and freed nary a soul from oppression in the process.  Japan spent a century at war during the middle ages, the samurai fought for honor and for their lord, but never for liberty.  What of the next generation of Americans?  Will the era of fighting for real freedom have ended?

One by one our liberties have fallen or are in danger of falling by the wayside—our right to privacy traded for security, our right to free speech ceded to militant progressives at the college campus, the rights of the states to self-governance ground into nothingness by an overbearing federal government.  The courts now dictate which religious customs we are free to follow.  Likewise, the Supreme Court has determined that Americans don’t have the right to choose their own healthcare, or none at all.  Thanks to EPA regulations, farmers and ranchers are not free to manage their land as they see fit.  The examples go on and on.  If this is where we are now at this rate, imagine how little liberty there will be left for our brave service members serving in the not-so-distant future will actually to give their lives for.

What then will we tell the families of future fallen warriors?  Will they be told their loved ones died for freedom?  Perhaps, if the enemy they fought against has markedly less freedom even then us.  It certainly wouldn’t, couldn’t be said that they died for the same freedom our Revolutionary War, Civil War Union soldiers, or WWII heroes did.  The surviving family members might be consoled by the fact that their loved ones died for their county, for honor, even to protect them, but not freedom as once existed on this continent.  On that sad day, our fallen will make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of nationalism, the homeland, perhaps even Socialism.  On that day, may it never come, our war dead will have given their last breath for no more a cause than a piece of land, some natural resources, or a border on a map.  Memorial Day will be a much different day, a day to mourn more than the loss of American heroes, but of a free country that once existed that was worthy of their sacrifice.

Have a blessed Memorial Day 2016

 

Memorial Day 2016
Pray for those who gave their lives that we may be free, and for the future of our country.  Appreciate every bit of that freedom and guard it jealously.

Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for us to live in freedom.  Do not squander it.  Do not sell it cheaply. Let us strive to be worthy of their sacrifice.   This is what we owe them, that and our eternal gratitude.

Election strategy revisited.

Election Flag sm_edited-1Going back over my old posts, I found this one:  Quick thoughts on 2016 election strategy. Now that we have a presumptive nominee, it’s worth going back for a second look.  Here’s a couple of key passages from it:

President Reagan’s famous question to the American voter was:  “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

freedom qstn

Along those same lines, for this next election I suggest this question:  “Are you freer that you were eight years ago?”

As for the security plank in the platform; let it stand, but not alone.  It must stand along one for libertarian agenda.  Our security will come through our strength and our willingness to support our allies in the war on terror.  It will come when energy can no longer be used as a weapon against us, the Ukrainians, or any of our friends in Europe.  As Rick Perry recently put it:  “If energy is to be used as a weapon, America is going to have the largest arsenal.” Security is necessary, even critical, but only as a means to an end, that end being greater liberty for all Americans.

Everyone assumes that the campaign will go very negative, very quickly.  Really, it’s a forgone conclusion. Hopefully the Republican campaign machine will at least occasionally come up for air and relay a positive message, or at least a less-negative one.  Hillary’s myriad faults are well-known, and will be even more so during the course of the campaign.  We have to present a positive alternative. What if the public knew as well as Hillary’s faults, conservative virtues?

  • A smaller regulatory state will mean greater economic freedom and more jobs.
  • An end to “crony capitalism” will mean that businesses must be fiscally fit.  Those with poor ideas and bad products will not survive.  Those with good ideas and products that the public wants will thrive.
  • Those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder won’t have to worry about companies hiring  illegal aliens and dragging down wages.
  • Our military hardware will no longer be in a state of disrepair.  This will serve as a force multiplier and make us stronger.
  • Healthcare will work for the consumer, and the consumer will decide what coverage they will pay for.  The healthy young will be able to save for their future healthcare needs.
  • The politics of division will come to an end.  Americans will no longer be pitted against each other along social, racial, and other lines for the sake of gaining votes.
  • The nomination of conservative Supreme Court justices will ensure that our rights as Americans will be upheld for one more generation, and won’t be subject to the whims of politicians.

There will be no shortage negative of ads and personal attacks in the coming months. Conservatism has so much more to offer America than that.  Americans were meant to be free, not subject to the short-term needs of the powerful few, and not be made to trade liberty for an illusion of security. The statism, the control over our lives that the Democrats offer can and must be countered by the freedom that comes by returning to the principles that founded this country.  The party that stands for these things needs to spend some time and effort letting the rest of the country know.