Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9-11 and Benghazi

The most important part of today for me, aside from remembering and honoring the innocent victims and brave emergency responders and passengers of Flight 93, is to not forget why it happened and who is to blame.

9-11 happened because radical Islamists hate the United States--it's culture, it's wealth, it's defense of Israel/Jews.  Islamists hate the freedom that is at the foundation of America because it allows for liberty, and for people to make decisions that might conflict with the Islamists' view of a perfect sharia caliphate.  To them, any act no matter how barbaric is permissible if done for the greater glory of Allah or to cause harm to the infidels.  Alas, my understanding of history is that when religion and politics are in bed together, the usual product of that union is bloodshed.

Benghazi happened--well, we still don't have an openly acknowledged reason why Benghazi happened.  It certainly was not about a YouTube video.  My best understanding (cribbed from various sources) is that the Libyan mission included CIA running arms to Syrian rebels fighting against Assad (where the fighting is primarily two strains of Islamists pitted against each other, though there are some less extremist elements in the Syrian rebel forces), and another group of extremists (the Al Qaeda affiliate in Mali) decided to make a little statement and perhaps score some surface-to-air missiles in the bargain.

My point is, radical Islam is a mortal foe of the United States.  Radical Islam will accept nothing but complete obedience and adherence to its vision of the world.  Radical Islam must be marginalized and, when an imminent threat, crushed ruthlessly.  Those who renounce extremism and allow for the peaceful coexistence of others are not my enemies, or enemies of the United States.  But those who would kill another because they pray to a different god, or do not follow their particular strict moral code, those have no place in the world and are the enemy of all.  Those who would give no quarter to the infidel deserve no mercy, and the sad reality is that millions who believe "death to the infidel" is a central part of good religious practice would rather die than tolerate a Christian or a Jew living peacefully nearby.  Those who can change and tolerate others, all well and good, but those who do not must be dealt with, by force if necessary to prevent their ability to harm others.

The Founding Fathers understood the dangers of mixing religion and government.  This is why the First Amendment of the Constitution explicitly addresses it.  However, the Founding Fathers also understood the value religion has in society for contributing to moral well-being and order, at least in the Christian faith.  Although often now misunderstood, particularly by atheists with an agenda, the First Amendment does not call for the banishment of religion from the public sphere or anywhere there is government involvement.  Instead, it prohibits government from establishing a state religion or church, and also prohibits the government from abridging religion.  I could rant for pages about how this element of the First Amendment is often ignored, but that is for another time.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Case For Impeachment of President Obama--Libya, Syria, and the War Powers Resolution

I will attempt to lay out a case for the impeachment of our 44th President that, had the Congress any integrity at all, would surely result in the filing of Articles of Impeachment and likely a successful conviction in the Senate. I will also make a brief argument for the timing of this, should Boehner grow a pair.

A couple disclaimers up front: I am not a lawyer, nor what most people would recognize as a “scholar” of the Constitution—i.e. I do not have a degree in Government or Law, with an emphasis on the Constitution. What I do have is a pretty good grasp of political philosophy and philosophy in general, which is certainly adequate for an understanding of the Constitution as intended by Madison and the other framers. I will not be seriously entertaining penumbras and other such perversions of the original language as understood at the time of passage of the Constitution or the relevant Amendments.

Two relevant links here. This is the full text of the U.S. Constitution and here is the text of the War Powers Resolution (sometimes also called the War Powers Act).

It is also important to note that the Constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution is itself an open question.

Okay, enough with the pre-game, on to the matter at hand.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Return to Blogging and Some Tidying Up

It's been quite some time since I posted here.  Some of that has to do with frustration at the electorate, and much of it has to do with the demands of meatspace--job, family, etc.  Nonetheless, I hope to begin writing again here, probably 2-3 posts a month.

I've also changed the description of the blog somewhat.  Whereas I once described myself as "a committed conservative with some moderate tendencies", I realize that is not really accurate.  I was allowing myself to be trapped by a leftist prism on what constitutes conservative and moderate in regards to social issues.  Although I have compassion, I would not categorize myself as a "compassionate conservative" in the mold of George W. Bush.  Specifically, this realization came to me during the recent Supreme Court deliberations and decisions on gay marriage.  I realized that it does not make me a moderate to support fair treatment of homosexuals, just as it does not make me some reactionary h8ter because I oppose state-sanctioned gay marriage.

Further introspection has made me aware that I have a fair libertarian streak in me as well.  Again, I had previously allowed my interpretation of libertarianism to be unfairly biased due to a false preconception, that libertarians were simply about legalization of drugs.  What I discovered was that libertarians (as opposed to the Libertarian party) were those who wished to maximize individual liberty.  To my thinking, this puts libertarians (classical liberals, as Locke or Madison might have understood them) much closer to conservatives than the modern liberals (Democrats, Socialists, Communists, etc.), although on a different axis.

However, I am in no danger of going on full-on libertarian, which stands only a few steps away from anarchy in some respects.  I believe that a strong but tightly limited government is necessary for the common defense, a precursor to having any degree of liberty in society as opposed to a Hobbesian jungle.  I believe the Founding Fathers were much, much smarter than many people give them credit for by choosing a constitutional republic rather than a democracy or even democratic republic as the blueprint for the United States.  Unfortunately, the original Progressive movement from Teddy Roosevelt over a century ago has gradually altered that blueprint, building up paper mountains of laws and regulations that have pushed inexorably in a direction of statism.  But this author will not quietly submit to a socialist agenda, or the implicit messaging of der State ├╝ber alles that modern leftists such as President Obama support.