[August 28]: Neil Armstrong
[August 24]: Monetary Policy and Treason
[July 28]: Debt Limit
[July 14]: Freedom of Speech
[June 24]: Liberty
[June 09]: Israel, Space, National Debt
[May 30]: Unsustainable, Character Assassination, Energy, Education
[May 17]: bin Laden (again), Debt Limit, Immigration, Space
[May 7]: bin Laden, Debt Limit, Space (again), Economy
[April 23]: Space, Labor, Constitutional Speech, Climate
[April 18]: Debt Limit, Housing, Inflation, Libya
[March 30]: Budget & National Debt, Libya & the Middle East, Cap & Tax & the EPA, Energy
[March 15]: Nuclear Power, Libya, Budget, TSA Unionization
Neil Armstrong is a true national and international hero in the classic sense. His intellect, dedication and skills made him absolutely the best choice to be the first American and first human to step foot on the Moon in 1969 as Commander of Apollo 11. Quiet, thoughtful celebration of his life honors the man and his achievements.
Armstrong conducted himself at the highest levels of professionalism – quick to make good decisions in service to his country, as a test pilot, and as an explorer in the best traditions of Lewis and Clark. He often stated, however, that our successes in these difficult arenas only come from the magnificent efforts of hundreds of thousands of others.
One of my many favorite Armstrong memories from Apollo relates to a spur of the moment decision he made late in his walk on the Moon. We all trained to focus on collecting the greatest variety of Moon rocks possible in the time available. But, having already quickly collected one of the finest sets of lunar samples, Neil thought the partially filled rock box needed something more. He rapidly filled the box with a large amount of the Moon’s soil. This soil became one of the most important samples ever returned from the Moon. Neil’s 30 minutes of sampling decisions at Tranquillity Base remain the most productive half hour in lunar exploration.
Neil was a gifted speaker, historian and professor. He did not give a large number of speeches or interviews, but all had been extensively researched and delivered with remarkable clarity and insight. Neil fascinated audiences with his clear articulation of historical events and the relation of technology, aeronautics and space to human activities in the past and future.
I had the great privilege to have known Neil as both a colleague and friend. Teresa and I give our heartfelt condolences to the extended Armstrong family and to his legion of friends, colleagues, and others so profoundly influenced by the life of Neil Armstrong. His historical insights, good nature and extraordinary professionalism will be missed more than my words can convey.
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Monetary Policy and Treason
Many politicians and media pundits who should know better are not thinking very rationally about Governor Rick Perry’s recent critical remarks concerning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and further additions to the nation’s money supply. It turns out that a constitutional analysis adds weight to Governor Perry’s instructive remarks.
As reported, those remarks on August 15th were: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.”
First of all, saying that “we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas” is simply Governor Perry’s colloquial way of saying “Texans would not appreciate further dollar devaluation and they would tell him so.” Most Americans also understand why Chairman Bernanke would be so treated. In addition, the low interest rate policies of Bernanke and his predecessor contributed more than most to the housing debacle of 2008, although the Congress shares much of that blame as well. Congress encouraged sub-prime lending, gave the Fed the impossible task of balancing employment with monetary stability, and has not controlled the Fed’s power to issue money as it is empowered to do [See essay No. 42].
The remainder of the Governor’s remarks clearly states the opinion that “printing more money to play politics” is wrong. Printing more and more dollars of diminishing value won’t make the country less bankrupt. Economic history repeatedly shows that more money on top of that already injected into the economy, without a comparable increase in true wealth, ultimately leads to rising inflation. In addition to inflation, investment and employment stagnation results from policy uncertainties relative to income taxes, dollar value, and regulations. Increasing damage to the economy not only hurts all Americans financially, but it also damages our ability to provide adequately for our national security.
The question is would it indeed be constitutionally “treasonous” to print more money “at this particular time in American history…?” Article 3, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution states “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” It is important to note that the Constitution defines two types of treason: levying War and adhering to enemies. Bad monetary policy does not directly “levy War” against the United States. On the other hand, by eroding our financial capability to provide for national security, that policy “adheres to” or supports our enemies, whether designated as such or waiting in the wings, and gives “them aid and comfort.”
The financial demise of America is the goal of radical Islam, a clearly defined enemy. The financial displacement of America’s world leadership is an increasingly well-defined goal of China— our new Cold War enemy, militarily. Constitutionally, providing “aid and comfort” to any such adversary is arguably “treasonous” as Governor Perry alluded.
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The political struggles surrounding the potential breaching of the current limit on debt that can be incurred by the United States Government, and the underlying unsustainable levels of federal spending and taxation, have distinct similarities to other momentous struggles in our history. These earlier challenges all involved those who fought to establish and/or preserve human liberty against those with ideological opposition to that liberty.
In our Founders’ late 18th and early 19th Century fight for Independence and its preservation, the forces of liberty were opposed by an ideology advocating the divine right of Kings. In the 1860’s Civil War to free the slaves, the forces of liberty were opposed by the ideology that the slaves were inferior humans from whose labor personal and national wealth could be derived. In the World Wars of the early and mid 20th Century, the forces of liberty opposed an ideology of social and racial superiority underpinned by Prussian and German National Socialism. In the Cold War that followed World War II, the forces of liberty opposed a communist ideology that would suppress all liberty except that of an elite governing minority. The common theme running through these four struggles was liberty versus tyranny.
In this current fight over the debt limit and federal spending and taxation, a homegrown combination of national socialism and communism has come to the fore, aided and abetted by “crony” capitalists now dependent on federal funding and regulation. That combined assault on Americans would sacrifice constitutional protections of liberty and natural rights as well as the economic future of generations yet to come in order to preserve an elitist minority’s power to govern.
Winning the debt limit and federal spending and taxation reduction battle constitutes one more component of America’s continuing responsibility to preserve human liberty. Unfortunately, the President has indicated that, if the debt limit is not raised, he will not carry out his constitutional responsibility under both his Article II executive and law enforcement duties and his 14th Amendment, Section 4, mandate to use available revenues to service the debts and other essential obligations of the United States. As Congressman Steve King (R, IA) has already noted, this constitutes an impeachable offense, not that this fact seems to bother the President. This clearly means, however, that Barack Obama should not be re-elected in 2012.
The House of Representatives has the responsibility to repeatedly force the Senate and the President to consider a coupled debt limit extension and spending and tax reductions (Cut, Cap and Balance) even if the President refuses to sign such a bill into law. In the event that the debt limit is not raised, the House also should force the Senate to repeatedly consider bills requiring payments from existing tax revenues to military personnel and veterans, Border Patrol and Coast Guard personnel, internal and external intelligence services, as well as American citizens currently dependent on Social Security income.
Win or lose in this battle of the debt limit and reductions in federal spending and taxes, we must assume that 2012 will be the final opportunity for the forces of liberty to live up to their responsibility to the future of humankind.
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Freedom of Speech
The Roberts Supreme Court has become an important if erratic supporter of the 1st Amendment’s protection of political speech. Future decisions should begin to reverse many previous, adverse election law restrictions on political speech upheld in the past, such as banning independent political advertising before federal elections.
Particularly important have been the Court’s recent decisions to lift restrictions on corporation and union political contributions (Citizens United v. FEC) and to overturn Arizona’s use of taxpayer funds to interfere with political speech by contributors to candidates (Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett). On the other hand, the Court’s reversal of a California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors (Brown v. California) missed the most important point in that case: constitutionally, the suit never should have been allowed in federal court.
Statements by the Founders show that protection of “political” speech constituted their sole intent relative to inclusion of the words “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” in the 1st Amendment. The restrictions on political speech by the British Crown remained fresh in the Founders’ minds; but they were not concerned with the question of what might be said or written outside the realm of politics as contested in Brown v. California. Further, even if the Founders’ intent were to regulate all speech, and clearly it was not, the 1st Amendment specifically states that “Congress shall make no law…”, not that the States “shall make no law…”
The Founders, however, did not neglect the protection of nonpolitical forms of speech. Along with many other natural rights, including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, the 9th Amendment protects speech [See essay No. 36]. That Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The regulation of the natural right of speech, therefore, is left to the discretion of the people who may, through the 10th Amendment powers “reserved to the States”, ask State government to restrict certain forms of non-political speech that may impede the exercise of other natural rights.
For example, crying “fire” in a crowded theater endangers other’s natural right to life. In the case of video games, the elected representatives of the people of California have the constitutional discretion to regulate their content in so far as they clearly usurp parents’ natural right to guide the education of their children. The Roberts Court greatly erred in overturning California’s video game restrictions, as the Founders specifically intended that the oversight of 9th Amendment natural rights remain with the people and the States. The Court must be challenged to reverse this precedent as soon as possible.
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Quoting from the 6-9-11 Postscript below: “As in the 1850s, Americans have divided themselves between those who would restrict liberty and those who would expand liberty. Let us work to see that the electorate better addresses this division in 2012 than it did in the decades prior to the Civil War.”
Those leading the nation in the 1850s kept postponing the reckoning inherent in the Declaration of Independence’s statement that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Founders reinforced this principle with the assertion in the 9th Amendment to the Constitution [See essay No. 36] that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Among those other rights, “liberty,” as well as life and the pursuit of happiness, clearly would be covered by the 9th Amendment as they are not enumerated specifically in the Constitution. President Lincoln’s policy of freeing the slaves, as well as the deaths of over 600,000 Americans in doing so, specifically has constitutional justification in the 9th Amendment’s reinforcement of the Declaration’s “unalienable rights”.
Constitutional justification exists today, equal to that supporting Lincoln’s actions, for Conservatives’ active resistance against encroachments on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” by the Congress and agencies of the Federal government. Obamacare, Obamabank, Obamamotors, tax threats, EPA intrusions, Western land grabs, energy production and use restrictions, housing market distortions, and interference with legitimate personal and business decisions represent only the most recent and egregious of Federal attacks on American liberty [See essays No. 6, No. 9, No. 12, No. 16, and No. 43] as well as against the federal system and on the constitutional functions of the States [See essay No. 1]. Significantly, this fight for the restoration of human liberty in the 21st Century is led by Western and Southern States whereas the moves to restrict human liberty are led by the Northern States and California which bled so profoundly to extend liberty to the slaves. Moving back toward their heritage in defense of liberty are most of the Midwestern States, led by Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, whose contributions to the Union created the critical mass for victory in the 1860s.
2011 and the election of 2012 constitute watershed years that will show if the lessons about failure of leadership in the 1850s have been learned, or if even more serious events will follow.
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President Obama’s intent to isolate the truly democratic State of Israel and render it defenseless against our common enemy of radical Islam found clear expression in recent days. “Unsustainable” applies to the Administration’s reactions to the so-called Arab/Islamic “Spring” (looking more and more like a continuing Ice Age for democracy). The Middle East revolutionaries closely resemble the Mob of the French Revolution rather than the thoughtful believers in liberty and self-government that led the American Revolution.
Fortunately, most in Congress appear to disagree with the President’s rude, unjustified and dangerous treatment of an essential ally [See essay No. 27]. Equally fortunate, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu clearly and powerfully articulated both the value of Israel’s continued existence to the United States and the enormous consequences of its destruction. Israel does make mistakes [See essay No. 28]; however, it remains a critical, truly democratic, if sometimes flawed ally in our war against Islamic terrorism and in the defense of liberty.
“Unsustainable” policies lie at the core of last month’s “Revolt of the Apollo Astronauts.” On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s address to Congress challenging a generation to go to the Moon, prominent Apollo astronauts spoke out in defense of a strong and sustained American space exploration program [See essay No. 46; and Armstrong et al. in USA Today, May 25, 2011 ]. The pre-Sputnik view expressing the lack of any geopolitical significance to space held by President Obama and his Administration cannot be condoned. The global challenges posed by China are as great or greater as those faced by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy during the Cold War. China’s focus, as was the Soviet Union’s, is global dominance — ideologically, militarily and economically. On the other hand, America’s beacon of liberty threatens the total internal control exerted by China’s rulers. China’s leaders recognize the psychological impact of space dominance on internal as well as global perceptions, learning well from America’s experience with Apollo. They also recognize the practical impact of space dominance on technological and educational excellence. China’s taikonauts (astronauts) are national heroes who inspire the younger generation and personify their country’s ambitious goals for the 21st Century. The next President must add space policy to the many issues he or she addresses in the 2012 campaign and in the White House of 2013. Dismantling an aging and less and less relevant NASA and focusing a new National Space Exploration Administration on the geopolitical significance of deep space exploration clearly must be seriously considered. It appears to be the only option left for America to be the “world’s leading space-faring nation” once again – the role President Kennedy envisioned when he made a genuinely “gutsy decision” to send Americans to the Moon half a century ago.
The most discouraging aspect of both the mainstream (liberal) and conservative media’s 24-7 coverage of the despicable activities of a New York Congressman is that the real dangers to the United States at home and abroad have been left largely in the background. Unless the “unsustainable” entitlement spending and public employee benefits at national and state levels soon come under sustainable control, one Congressman’s perverted behavior will be the least of our worries [See essays No. 6, No. 8, No. 38, No. 42, and No. 45]. The American people have very little time left to show the world that we have the staying power to repair the constitutional damage of the last 100 years and particularly of the last 6 years. As in the 1850s, Americans have divided themselves between those who would restrict liberty and those who would expand liberty. Let us work to see that the electorate better addresses this division in 2012 than it did in the decades prior to the Civil War.
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On this Memorial Day, when we honor fallen protectors of liberty, we must renew our dedication to their cause at home. Relative to protecting liberty, the word “unsustainable” has taken on radically new visibility (see Peggy Noonan, WSJ May 28-29, 2011). As has been stated by Conservatives for years, “unsustainable” national, state, and local spending policies have reached beyond Democrat and Republican political labels. Growth in government spending and debt now is on a course to destroy America [See essay No. 8]. Spending, debt and inflation have moved far out of constitutional “general welfare” considerations and into the realm of “common defence”. The House and Senate Republicans in particular must be pressured, assisted and supported in providing permanent reductions in all entitlement spending with corresponding incentives for individual economic responsibility. History clearly proves that the higher tax rates socialists desire will only make matters worse by stifling job and income growth, investment incentives, and tax revenues.
Politicians and media who care only about their own power will stop at nothing to tear down Conservative messengers who state that current entitlement policies are “unsustainable”. All Conservatives must stand up to these attacks, not waver in the fight, and defend those who step forward, whether political competitors or not. Full political agreement on all issues is not possible; but standing back from the fray, or even participating in the attacks, merely emboldens more intense character assassinations. Just look at what has happened to any Conservative that chooses to vigorously defend America, liberty, and constitutional government. Americans either stand together or fall separately.
Also “unsustainable” are the current federal regulatory and administrative policies related to fossil fuel exploration and production and nuclear power plant construction [See essay No. 44]. High on the list of “common defence” requirements of North America is the need for vigorous near-term development of domestic, offshore and Canadian fossil fuel energy sources. Fuel and electricity price increases, or threatened interruptions in the energy imports that support our liberty and enterprise, constitute as great an issue of national security as unsustainable entitlement spending by government.
The deterioration of K-12 education looms as the most critical trend that is “unsustainable” in America [See essay No. 13]. Conservatives must recapture the K-12 educational systems of the States and resist and then eliminate ideological coercion by the Federal Government. The largely government and union controlled educational environment of today creates an electorate without the historical, technical, and language knowledge and skills required to support constitutional government. If this trend continues, the current conservative electoral majority will eventually become a minority and the Founders’ America will disappear.
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bin Laden (again)
We have an Administration of adolescents with no apparent concept of how their actions will affect the well-being of Americans in the future. The continuing, unconscionable leaks to our enemies of valuable intelligence and military methods and information related to the bin Laden operation show only political addiction with no sensitivity to military concerns or security consequences. Leaks, story obfuscation, and “spiking the football” by the President, his people, and the media show either a total lack of maturity or a desire to see the failure of future operations by American defense forces or both. Nothing better illustrates the failure of the nation’s government dominated educational system— it did not instill a sense of history, logic, and American exceptionalism in the minds of our current leadership.
Speaker John Boehner’s clear, unequivocal statements in New York about tying an increase of the debt limit to a dollar for dollar, real decrease in future entitlement spending put an end to weeks of the House Leadership’s wobbly uncertainty. The Speaker’s clear position for reining in spending and opposing tax increases in favor of economic growth greatly encourage all who see the President’s fiscal course as unsustainable and leading to the end of liberty in America. Now the House Majority must not cave. Members must remember that tax revenues will continue to be far more than necessary to service the current national debt. There will be no default.
David B. Rivkin, Jr., and Lee Casey, writing in May 12th’s Wall Street Journal, raise an intriguing possibility for Congress to take back constitutional control of federal borrowing. This control was given up in 1917 with passage of the First Liberty Bond Act. The relevant language of Section 4 or the 14th Amendment reads, “The validity of the public debt of the United States authorized by law…shall not be questioned.” This provision underpins constitutional necessity of not defaulting on national debt obligations. On the other hand, Congress can exercise its constitutional authority to limit any increase in the debt limit to the servicing of existing obligations. Until 1917, under the Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, power “to pay Debts…”, Congress exercised its power to vote on all Federal Government debt issues. Taking back this power is worth thinking about. It at least would put the electorate back in charge of the national debt as originally intended by the Founders.
The President continues to declare that our border with Mexico is under control when all who live next to it know it is not and that an ongoing invasion is in progress (with Islamist terrorists possibly among the throng). He proposes that the Congress violate the constitutional limitation that any “Rule of Naturalization” must be “uniform” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 4) by singling out illegal alien groups for special naturalization treatment [See essay No. 19]. Amnesty, whether slow or fast, is unconstitutional if the rules differ for some groups relative to others. Further, the provision of welfare, educational, and health benefits to persons who live in this country illegally, violates the taxpayers’ 5th and 14th Amendments guarantees of “due process” and “equal protection”, respectively, in government’s use of the revenues they provide. The Founders never would have agreed that the judicial fiat that granted such benefits to the violators of U.S. law amounts to “due process” or “equal protection”.
Sadness and Joy: Sadness that Endeavour’s successful launch is the next to the last step in the Shuttle Era – Joy that Endeavour’s successful launch once again will demonstrate why Americans must be the leading space faring people. Fifty years after President Kennedy challenged America to shoot for the Moon, President Obama has lowered our sights and is ceding our hard-earned space leadership back to Russia (and, more ominously, to China).
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The bravery, skill and patriotism of the U.S. Navy SEALs in providing Osama bin Laden with his rendezvous with Justice stands in sharp contrast to the confusion and attempts at political opportunism by the President, his Administration, and many in Congress. Once tens and maybe hundreds were aware that bin Laden had been located, the President clearly had no rational, moral or political choice but to approve the operation that took place in Abbottabad, Pakistan. We can be thankful that the intelligence community and the Defense Department did not discard, as many feared, the information gained by the Bush Administration’s proper interrogation of captured terrorists.
More than strange has been the President’s characteristic indecisiveness in approving the SEALs’ mission, his desire to downplay the appropriateness of the SEALs’ actions, and his insistence that more respect be shown for a terrorist than for Americans who have died as a result of the radical Islamic faith of that same terrorist. Let us not forget that the Obama Administration’s Attorney General continues to prosecute intelligence agents and military personnel who have honorably served their Commander in Chief and country in the war on terror.
Reports suggest strongly that the Republican debt limit-deficit negotiators are going wobbly on us. They appear to think that they can kick the entitlement can down the trail until after 2012. We cannot let that happen. That trail of liberty will end soon if nothing is done. The Administration’s apparent confusion over what happened to bin Laden, and the President’s media-enhanced victory lap over what he had no rational, moral or political choice but to do, must not be a distraction from the real and present danger to the future of Americans– the fiscal policies of the Obama Administration.
Observations during an unsuccessful effort last week to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS 134) underscored the sad state of the United States’ space program and the demise of its geopolitical significance [See essay No. 20]. The dismantling and mothballing of the rocket launch infrastructure of the Kennedy Space Center has begun. On the Obama Administration’s watch, the United States soon will be unable to compete for influence in any aspect of human spaceflight without depending on Russia’s good will to launch America’s and its partners’ astronauts to the International Space Station. Even worse, no rational plan exists for a return of Americans to deep space. We now must watch indefinitely as China moves toward space dominance, including eventual control of the energy resources of the Moon and, potentially, control of our defense, intelligence, and communications assets in near-Earth space. China is currently preparing its first, experimental Tiangong space station for launch later this year. No political understanding manifests itself in either conservative or liberal circles of the long-term adverse impact of these facts on the survival of liberty on Earth.
If it were not obvious before, the lack of attention to what is best for America in the Obama Administration’s and the Senate Democrats’ FY2012 budget proposals has come into full view with the debate over raising the national debt ceiling. Clearly, their revolutionary aim is the destruction of the free enterprise system that has raised all economic boats in the past. In its place, they would substitute an unabashed national socialist, government and public employee dominated, economic prison [See essay No. 16]. In this prison of walls built of taxes, entitlements, regulations and inflation, working Americans would be forced to support an elite, governing minority and a fully dependent political majority. President Obama articulates radical goals that cannot be sustained by an economic system based on liberty, free enterprise, and government under the Constitution of the United States of America. His stated primary and integrated revolutionary objectives are as follows:
Continued growth of health, retirement, and welfare entitlement programs that imprison the majority of Americans as economic wards of the federal government.
Ever higher costs of food, fuel, and other necessities due to increasing monetization of an ever-increasing national debt, costly regulatory restrictions on domestic production, and subsidies of uneconomic, energy alternatives.
Regulatory destruction of the means for producing plentiful supplies of low cost domestic energy, including dictatorial prevention of energy exploration on public lands and in public offshore waters.
Continued political pre-emption of American business competition through crony capitalism and out-right government ownership or full regulatory control.
Abuse of Presidential Executive Orders, most recently in the plan to exert political control over the process of bidding on federal contracts.
Continued public employee union control of the education of young Americans and their continued indoctrination in support of national socialist goals.
Ever-higher taxes on American enterprise, leading to more and more centralized planning and government control of production.
Let’s see. Where did this happen before and what were the consequences to liberty and humanity?
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Although one should not be surprised by anything the Obama Administration does, the list now includes a politically cynical decision by NASA not to house one of the retired Space Shuttles at or near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This NASA Center has been the focal point of American human spaceflight operations since 1962 as well as the design, training, and operations focus of all Space Shuttle missions. No other location has a stronger claim for long-term care of a Space Shuttle than Johnson, certainly stronger than New York City. No rationale for this decision appears to exist other than political payback against Texas by a supposedly non-political, independent agency.
One also must question if the decision where to house the remaining Space Shuttles is NASA’s to make. In the past, once space hardware has no more use to NASA, legal responsibility for that hardware has been transferred to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. One can hope that reason will prevail. The legislation introduced to locate the remaining Space Shuttles in Texas, Florida, California, and at the Air and Space Museum in Virginia properly recognizes the national responsibilities for the Shuttle Program as well as the Smithsonian’s role in archiving space artifacts.
The Labor Relations Board “Complaint” against the Boeing Company for locating a plant to assemble the new 787 aircraft in South Carolina is both politically motivated and unconstitutional on its face. An obvious political motivation lies behind this legally questionable Complaint, as the Obama 2012 re-election campaign needs organized labor’s wholehearted support and money. An equally obvious unconstitutionality exists in the complaints violation of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the Sates, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The regulation of employer-labor relations clearly is not an enumerated power of the Federal Government under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution [See essay No. 9 for discussion of limits in Section 8]. South Carolina’s right-to-work law exercises its delegated, 10th Amendment power to determine its own labor environment. Further, right-to-work laws by the States codify the 9th Amendment’s protection of the natural rights of individuals [See essay No. 36] to work and associate or not associate with unions as they may choose. Also under the 9th Amendment, the Boeing Company has the right to hold and manage private property anywhere within the United States without the consent of the Federal Government, and the 5th Amendment that property cannot be taken without due process of law.
Boeing not only should challenge this Complaint directly with the NLRB, but it, South Carolina, and all right-to-work States should mount an immediate constitutional challenge against the NLRB in Federal Court. They and their potential workers face immediate harm from this putative action, given the investments and commitments already made in South Carolina. It is time to fight back on behalf of the Constitution and employers and employees, everywhere.
Attacks on Americans’ 1st Amendment right of political speech never appear to end, particularly when an incumbent President plans to win re-election whatever cost to constitutional government. One of the latest attacks lies in a plan by the White House to require those Americans bidding on government contracts to disclose political donations, including those not otherwise reported. Although the Supreme Court continues to allow limitations on political speech, it does not mean the Court is correct in so doing. In spite of Court decisions in Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 and since, restrictions on Americans’ political speech, including monetary contributions, remain unconstitutional by any rational interpretation of the 1st Amendment and the Founders’ explanations that the right of free speech applies primarily to “political” speech.
This new White House plan not only lacks constitutional justification under the Article II powers granted to the President, it can have no other motive than to intimidate potential contractors who might otherwise oppose the President’s policies. The various federal agencies, particularly the Defense Department, should oppose the White House on this dangerous initiative. Potential contractors must adjust their business plans to include possible “no-bids” on federal Requests for Proposals. Along with various professional associations, potential contractors also must prepare to enter Federal Court to fight any direct or indirect attempts by the White House to expand unconstitutionally Presidential power and to limit their political speech.
One definitive scientific fact continues to be ignored by both sides in the debate over the cause of the slow rise in global temperatures over the last 50 years, a continuation of a warming trend since 1660 of about 0.9 °F every 100 years. The largely ignored fact is that only 4% of the carbon in the atmosphere can be attributed to carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels [See essay No. 31].
Professor Tom V. Segalstad of the University of Oslo, Norway, has done a very logical thing. He has noted that the well known ratio of the light carbon isotope (12C) to the heavy carbon isotope (13C) in fossil fuel emissions is significantly higher than in carbon produced by geological processes such as limestone solution and volcanoes. That is, the biological processes that continuously produce original organic matter, as a consequence, enriched buried fossil fuels in the light isotope, 12C. The lifetime of fossil fuel carbon dioxide is well established as being only about five years, during which it dissolves in the oceans. There, it equilibrates with the far more abundant geological carbon, enriched in the heavy isotope, 13C. By analyzing the current isotopic ratio of 12C to 13C in the atmosphere, Professor Segalstad shows that no more than about 4% of the carbon in today’s atmosphere can be directly attributed to the burning fossil fuels. The remaining 96% comes largely from natural ocean emissions.
The current slow rise in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, touted as evidence of human-caused global warming, therefore, most likely results from a 350 year long, gradual rise in temperature of the cold waters of the deep oceans where nature stores carbon dioxide during ice ages.
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The fiscal house of the United States of America burns [See essay No. 8 ]. Liberals and the President fiddle. Conservatives in the House and Senate therefore have an obligation to their voters and all Americans not to increase the Debt Limit of the Federal Government without significant progress toward fiscal sanity. Agreement to allow increased borrowing should only come if the Senate agrees to the House Budget Plan proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan.
Conservatives must remember that the last thing the economy and employment need is tax increases.
We are now treated to the spectacle of the Obama Administration increasing the pressure of its heavy hand on a struggling private housing marketplace while Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration continue to be allowed to undermine sound lending practices [See essay No. 6 ]. Aside from the question of the constitutionality of any federal involvement in housing markets, it makes no logical sense to leave 90% of all new mortgage lending effectively in the hands of bureaucrats while subjecting private lenders and home buyers to ever increasing and more costly regulation.
The heavy hand of past Congresses and regulators forced lenders into providing unqualified borrowers with sub-prime mortgages that sound banking practices never would allow. These unsustainable sub-prime mortgages, in turn, were either sold to the taxpayer through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or bundled into weird investment packages called “collateralized debt obligations” that a truly competitive investment market would have ignored. The collapse of the American housing market resulted, along with the continuing job recession and a return to a Carter-style “stagflation.” Conservatives in the Congress had better wake up and stop this continued attack on free enterprise and the net worth of homeowners.
The nearly three-year long effects of printing money to cover the horrendous levels of debt being incurred by the United States, and the accompanying devaluation of the U.S. dollar, has induced both obvious and hidden inflation for American consumers [See essay No. 42 ]. This inflation contributes to the continued stagnation of the U.S. economy and job markets. The inflation most obvious to consumers shows double digit increases in fuel, food, and wholesale commodity prices in the face of the Labor Department’s announcement that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is rising by less than 6%. The CPI supposedly measures “core inflation”; but the absence of food and fuel and the inclusion of the depressed values of housing in its calculation further undermine its relevance to the real world of consumers. Hidden inflation lies in added regulatory costs to energy and food and in reduced quantities and sizes of tissues, crackers, soaps, etc. in packages costing the same or more than two years ago.
Conservatives in Congress must reign in the power of the Federal Reserve to continue its unconstitutional debasement of the dollar. Congress also must remove the Fed’s ill-considered, legislative mandate to interfere with normal economic forces related to employment.
President Obama’s attempt to fight a war by international consensus once again underlines the futility and cost of this form of international “cooperation.” If the continuing failure of the United Nations and other consensus-based organizations is not enough, this on-going fiasco in Libya, on the heels of policy confusion over Egypt and other Middle Eastern uprisings, should settle once and for all that the United States must be a leader rather than a follower if the forces of freedom are to prevail on this planet [See essay No. 4 ].
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Budget and National Debt
If not now, when? If not the House, who? These two questions lie at the core of the budget challenge faced by conservatives in Congress. The liberal/moderate spending agenda in healthcare, bailouts, unemployment, and so-called “stimuli” is unsustainable as well as largely unconstitutional. Our children’s future and our national security are at stake. Except for national defense, public safety, administration of Social Security payments, and tax collection, SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN! Start it up again only in return for total de-funding of Obamacare and no less than 100 billion in real discretionary and entitlement cuts for 2011. In addition, conservatives must draw the line in the concrete for the 2012 and subsequent budgets. Begin the gradual reduction in entitlement funding, overall, and use the 2013 budget to begin to lower current federal tax rates, reduce the size and reach of government, and stimulate private sector job creation and tax revenues. [See essays No. 6 and No. 42 ]
Libya and the Middle East
Since 1776, our national interest often has been in assisting revolutions against totalitarian governments and in helping democracies take root. Today those same revolutionary instincts, properly focused as the Constitution intends, help keep terrorism and other forms of aggression away from our shores. Our national interest also lies in assuring that strategic energy and mineral supplies continue to flow to America and other freedom-based nations. Our national interest does not lie in allowing totalitarian nations, through the United Nations, to approve or not approve our military actions. Nor does our national interest lie in allowing others to lead confused and self-interested military operations that expose American service men and women to unnecessary sacrifice.
When America’s interests are at stake, America should lead. For the United States in the Middle East, our national interests involving Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel have far more serious implications than Libya. Had the President acted in a timely fashion four weeks ago, Gaddafi would be only a bad memory, we would have been done with the military job, and our potential influence on Libya’s future would be vastly greater than now. [See essays No. 4 , No. 5 and No. 23 ]
Cap and Tax and the EPA
Conservatives in the House and Senate must force the issue of repealing the EPA’s and the President’s unconstitutional grab for power in the regulation of carbon dioxide and other emissions. Not only will the EPA’s actions to implement Cap and Tax of carbon dioxide by fiat continue its damaging crusade against the American private economy and consumer, these actions will undermine our national security. Forcing the issue now, as unlikely as it may be that the President would sign a bill, clearly focuses the attention of the electorate and the Court on the economic and constitutional impact of this power grab. As in the case of the budget, preparation for the 2012 election cycle can begin none too soon. [See essays No. 10 and No. 43 ]
The Obama Administration clearly has revealed its bald-face determination to stop new domestic energy production and to force higher gasoline and other energy prices. The list of anti-American actions is long. To name only a few, we have moratoria on off-shore drilling, no exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, no new refineries, threats to stop shale gas production, no development of nuclear waste storage or reprocessing, no relief in coal or nuclear power plant licensing regulations, and restrictions on energy exploration under public lands. What does this bunch have against America? In the process of undermining national security by stopping and reversing energy development, the Administration has used taxpayer funds and national debt increases to subsidize uneconomic energy technologies that now are raising the consumer’s cost of electricity. As if things could not get worse, the President insults Americans further by his promise to help Brazil develop its offshore petroleum resources! [See essay No. 44 ].
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“Dangerous and Un-American” are the two words that describe attempts to use the tragic, natural disaster in northern Japan as another excuse to forego the use of nuclear fission power plants as one of our few logical options to gain energy independence. The Obama Administration has already done its damage to this option by not proceeding with the nuclear waste disposal site in Nevada or, as an alternative, not assisting industry in the development of civilian nuclear fuel rod reprocessing technology. Now, on top of the EPA’s current unconstitutional attack on coal-fired power plants and the Department of Interior’s unconstitutional attack on domestic oil drilling, America is rapidly losing its energy-related national security options [See essay No. 44 ].
The absence of Obama Administration leadership in assisting the Libyan people’s attempt to find protection and liberty from the Gaddafi dictatorship further jeopardizes America’s national security. Not only have we left tens of thousands of Libya’s people to be slaughtered, by not taking a stand for the potential of democracy throughout the Middle East, and controlling the direction of events, we are leaving ourselves even more vulnerable to restrictions in oil supply and the blackmail that comes with those restrictions. Why is it so difficult for President Obama to come to the defense of those who seek liberty? [See essays No. 22 and No. 27 ].
The greatest threat to the economic future of future generations, as well as to their liberty, lies in the apparent unwillingness of House and Senate Republican Leadership to fight the battles of reducing the national deficit and debt and to de-fund Obamacare. The new freshmen Republican Representatives must stand up and be counted! Or they will be counted out in the primaries of 2012 along with the House and Senate Republican Leadership. [See essays No. 38 and No. 39 ].
President Obama’s decision to allow the TSA workers to unionize threatens the security of Americans. It puts that security in the hands of government union bosses. [See essay No. 2 ] Those bosses have shown that when the choice is between the interests of America and their own interests as privileged bosses, they pick the latter. This has become abundantly clear in Wisconsin if it had not been clear before.
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