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Cap-and-Taxed to Death

One terrible bill. Lott and Yeatman vs. Pelosi. Obama's Persian adventure. Plus more.

7.2.09

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PUT A CAP ON IT
Re: Peter Ferrara's Cap and Trade Dementia:

How can we expect Obama to admit he's wrong about Global Warming? If he did, he wouldn't get billions of tax payer dollars for his ambitious social programs.
-- Gamaliel Isaac
Highland Park, New Jersey


Calling Waxman-Markey a "power grab" is like calling Mount Everest a hill. The bill is not a tax bill. It's not an energy bill, and it's not a jobs bill.

So, what is the bill if it's not a tax bill, an energy bill, or a jobs bill, and why is it so upsetting to our people?

This bill is a comprehensive structure of tyranny, that's what is is. That's why most Congressional Democrats (but, note to the file, not all) and a few Congressional Republicans are for it. They're for it because they are baby tyrants who dream of imposing a comprehensive structure of regulation from Washington which will govern and regulate the most minute aspects of our private lives, and impose tight central control over our families and our property.

That's what's wrong with this bill, that's why it should be opposed, and most importantly, that's the issue -- the only issue -- which can rally a majority to depose these wannabe dictators and restore Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity.

The other side may have a temporary majority on taxes. They may have a temporary majority on energy issues. They may have a temporary majority on jobs. Now, you and I know that these temporary majorities have been herded together by fear, by propaganda, and by misfeasance. No matter. We are governed by people who know that a crisis should never be allowed to go to waste.

But there is not a temporary majority for tyranny. There is not, and there never has been. When the People, Democrats and Republicans and others, got even a whiff of what these evildoers were up to in 1993-94, they threw the bums out in a massive landslide. Yes, the majority was wasted, yes, Newt was reckless and vain, but, by God, the People were made to speak with one voice on one issue, and the one issue is this:

"Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. -- Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind."

The issue is not abortion. The issue is not taxes. The issue is not capitalism, in fact, the issue has nothing to do with economic relations directly. The issue is not adultery, nor Christianity. It's not jobs, or medicine, or resource exploitation.

THE ISSUE IS FREEDOM. This bill, were it properly explained and publicized, claims the right and declares the intent "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and "if being bound in that manner is not slavery, then there is not such a thing as slavery upon earth."

The American people are being sold on the fictitious ends of this legislation (energy, jobs, "investments") but they do not and will not subscribe to the means, especially when they are made to understand that the means in fact describe the true ends.

These are the times that try men's souls. Let's stand forth. Let's call tyranny by it's proper name. This bill is not "big government," it's a structure for tyranny.

Let's vote on tyranny vs. Liberty next time.
-- James T. Noble
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire


Peter Ferrara mentions a provision that would apply to all those trying to sell their houses. Namely: the house would have to pass some kind of conservation inspection by a government auditor. As a "senior" who is thinking about selling my house in the next couple of years, this got  my attention. Is there more specific information available? If so, where? I would appreciate any additional information you can give me.

I am a subscriber to your magazine, but also read it online. You are always on the cutting edge.
-- Anne L. Carroll

EXIT STRATEGY
Re: Jeremy Lott & William Yeatman's ACES Up Her Sleeves:

I think the worst think about the GoreBull Warming Bill was that it was changed at the last minute without the slightest effort to count the new cost or to rescore it by anyone, CBO or Heritage. This means that they don't care what it costs, and that is malpractice for a body that is suppose to have a hold on the purse strings. Even the appearance of proper action seems no longer required.

After ten years of paying for global warming studies and having meetings, how could they expose themselves to the possibility that they flushed all that money down a rat hole?  According to the CBO document on the original bill, they did not consider any benefit from mitigating Global Warming. I don't think there were any. I don't think these impacts can be calculated even if done by well meaning people. This is the greatest act of faith since Jack climbed the beanstalk.

When will we apologize to con men and miscreants all over the country that have been jailed for less?
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

We are in the clutches of a clueless leader and a rogue Congress. Barack Obama is our version of Hugo Chavez, just as FDR was our version of Mussolini; Pelosi is no more than a would-be Evita. The irony is that much of the rest of the Western world is moving toward freedom as we devolve into our version of a Stalinist gulag aka soft despotism. Secession sounds better every day.
-- P.A. Melita
Charlottesville, Virginia

The most obvious failure of our political system has been the pure lack of energy policy to support the American people. It is pretty clear that left to their own devices Americans would still be driving SUVs, mini vans and trucks. Americans are being deceived by politicians (in limos) that want us to drive smart cars. The result has been the destruction of our auto industry. The most profitable vehicles for GM and Ford were trucks and SUVs. Think of the savings the American taxpayer would have from a profitable auto market along with other benefits.

I am convinced that the economic slowdown started with $4.00 gas obviously followed by housing and poor judgements of some and terrible oversight by the government. The SEC is an-after-the-fact follow-up-and-punish system with little, if any, proactive movement.

Outside of New York and California, two examples of how not to run government, the American people have been mislead and done a disservice. We want what we want. Cheap energy to live our lives. Anyone who owns the following has been hurt: boats, ATVs, Motorcycles, RVs, campers, trailers, dirt bikes, etc. The entertainment and hobbies of middle America are being taken away. The retirement desires of of our seniors are also being stripped away by those who care little for the heart and soul of America. Our government policies are driven by a few, hurting many.

When and if the people relize that their jobs and lifestyles are being destroyed by our leaders, I fear the results.
-- Dale

I would suggest that there are at least two ways in which the messiah can assist in energy conservation: Lose the teleprompters -- since they are turned on every time he speaks, and by definition for long periods before he deigns to present himself, I submit there would be significant savings.

Stop the traveling: every time he finds himself in a crack he jumps in his private 747 and disappears.
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida


RELIGION AND THE FREE MARKET
Re: Thaddeus G. McCotter's Exclusive: Grand Inquisitor Endorses Obama Health Plan:

I don't usually read The American Spectator any more, though I do return occasionally to gloat.

Mr. McCotter's entertaining insertion of the Grand Inquisitor into the health care debate obfuscates the issues more than it sheds light. It is unclear whose side Dostoevsky was on, but the Grand Inquisitor seems to have won the argument, as Jesus remained mum and didn't attempt to offer a rebuttal. Dostoevsky took great liberties with Christian thought when he suggested that Christ represented freedom; the topic doesn't come up in any sermons that I'm aware of. To some extent, Christ was misrepresented, because he advocated following his rules rather abandoning all rules in favor of self-sufficiency.

The evidence is rather strong that most government-controlled heath care systems are more economical and effective than our current system of private insurance. A little totalitarianism could also go a long way towards forcing people to eat properly and exercise rather than let themselves become morbidly obese and then seek free emergency room care to treat their heart attacks and cancers. And the Chinese are actually on the right track in trying to reduce fertility rates when overpopulation is a global crisis.

A more salient example than health care of how too much freedom can be a bad thing is the recent world financial debacle. If all the proper regulations had been in place and enforced, it never would have happened. The fact is that free markets don't work in all situations.
-- Paul Dorell
Evanston, Illinois


ANYONE? BUELLER?
Re: Ben Stein's The Men and Women of July 4:

You are always the dear friend of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the USA!  In fact, your line of "Bueller...Bueller...?" from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is still used by GIs when someone calls out a name and receives no response. It warms the heart to be appreciated.
-- WO1 David Shoup
Georgia Army National Guard
Afghanistan

GRAND USELESS PARTY
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Troubling State of Affairs:

The first thing I thought of was the coach of the New York Mets in the 1960s, asking the team, "can't anybody play this game?" I have a horrible feeling that the answer as far as the GOP is concerned is "nope." If there are any real leaders out there, they must be holidaying in Hawaii. With competition like that, no wonder an ultra light like Barack Obama gets a free pass on everything. There is nobody around who knows what a fire is, let alone have the guts to hold his feet in it and make him work for his living.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

THE WILL CARE WHEN THEY GET THE CARE
Re: Lawrence A. Hunter's Does Obama Care?

We as Americans must, today, write to our Congressional representatives and Senators. One only need say these few words:

"If we are to have a government run health care system, it must cover Congress and the President without exception of exclusion. You must be subject to the same deficiencies citizens are. If this plan is not good enough for Congress then it is clearly not good enough for the citizens who employ you."
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

NO QUARTER
Re: Doug Bandow's The Consequences of the Culture of Death:

Mr. Bandow's article is a thoughtful one which would give all much to ponder, but too bad he squanders my good will and probably that of much of the pro life community when he seems to give Obama at least a partial pass in his penultimate paragraph. Obama is clearly completely and totally committed to killing the unborn, the partially born, and the newborn. This is documented by his actions as a Illinois politician and his few months in the White House. Actions are more an indication of one's views than empty and pretty words, as we learn more every day about this essentially amoral man.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan


OLD SCHOOL
Re: Larry Thornberry's A Great American -- a So-So Book:

Of course, this is too far back to matter anymore, but the best baseball announcer I ever heard (and I have been listening since 1941) was Red Barber. Barber never gave any indication of whom he rooted for, unlike so many announcers today. He was quiet, soft-spoken, and so easy to listen to. I used to admire Scully years ago, but having heard him in recent years, he seems terrified of leaving even a split-second of silence. He talks endlessly, and wears the listener out. Too bad, because it was Barber who taught Scully the basics of baseball announcing when he broke in with the old Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 or 1949.
-- Dr. Edward Lowry
 Arlington, Virginia

SPLITSVILLE -- NOT YET
Re: Mark Tooley's A Tale of Two Churches:

Slow Down! The Episcopal Church has "split"? No, I don't think so; rather another offshoot has been established and not for the first time.

Such breakaway groups have their origins among most, if not all, larger religious bodies globally.

100,000 members in the new, self-declared "Anglican" body? Incorrect, too. Perhaps two-thirds of that number -- which represents a tiny fraction of The Episcopal Church in the United States. 

To be sure, many Christian churches, even those that appear monolithic, are engaged in doctrinal/moral self-examination. The Enlightenment and Reformation continue. Virtually every religious body evolves; none is static -- even though many clergy and laypeople would prefer final certainties in all matters. "Preservers" are in tension with "pioneers" in every generation -- whether among religions or among schools of thought in physics, economics, psychology, etc. 

A 72-year-old "cradle Episcopalian," I am personally dissatisfied with a number of significant matters of belief and practice in the contemporary Episcopal Church. However, it is within the life of the Church that effective remedies can emerge -- after much discussion, debate, and discernment. Fewer "schools of thought" and practices then survive. Those that prefer one (their own) notion of the Christian Faith are doomed to frustration or the establishment of their own "orthodox" group (in which dissension will surface in time).

I predict confidently that within a decade, perhaps sooner, the ACNA will be embroiled in much internal turmoil. That is bound to happen and be particularly vicious among the many members who yearn for absolute certainty (rather than informed faith) and for power (rather than the inevitable messiness of shepherding among fellows who think differently). Just watch!
-- Rev. Canon Richard T. Nolan, Ph.D.
West Palm Beach, Florida


CEILING LIMIT
Re: Jim DeMint's Political Greed:

There is only one way to make term limits happen: By never reelecting anyone in Congress, the
American voter could impose term limits on Congress.

In other words, don't let anyone serve more than one term. That's the only way to teach them that the voter is the boss! The "one term limit" can be eased after we citizens get control of Congress.

Congress will never allow us to constitutionally term limit them. Our only choice is to never reelect them.

Remember too, it makes no difference who you vote for, as long as it is never for any incumbent!

A Congress of freshmen who don't take reelection for granted would be a trove of creative new ideas.
-- Nelson Lee Walker
 Saratoga, California

CHRISTIANITY BLUES
Re: Ken Blackwell & Ken Klukowski's A Religious Test:

We experienced the same treatment at a blues festival in Lebanon Ohio and we got it on film. The police were taking the Christians by the arm and leading them out of the public area. Needless to say, we received an invitation to pass out literature anytime we wanted to in the future and at, yes, the next blues festival. We have a very savvy pastor who threatened to sue the city for discrimination and violation of civil rights; they caved in and gave us the right to pass out literature at any future event. I know some of the other areas of the country do not accept that it is a civil right to express yourself in public, especially if you are are expressing Christian beliefs, but it can be done. It is time we all stood up and demanded our right to peaceful assembly and the right to speak freely with out retribution.
-- Kenneth J. Roberts

Lebanon, Ohio

ICED TEA AND LEFTOVERS
Re: Quin Hillyer's After the Tea Parties:

How about a National Freedom and Liberty Day, with all of these groups coordinating together, pulling all Americans wanting to maintain their Freedom and Liberty together for peaceful marches and demonstrations at national, state, and local government office locations, all on the same day and repeat it every month if necessary until the current corrupt government gets the message. "We the People who are the United States of America are not going to sit quietly and idle while our freedom is taken from us and our country destroyed."

Most of the men in my family and many of my friends have and are serving in the United States military. There are a lot of "US" but the "Socialists" and "Corrupt Government" are not taking us seriously because they only see us once every three or four months at the Tea Parties. How about all of these groups coordinating together to start campaigning now against corrupt politicians who out of greed are helping rob all of us of our Freedom, using all means available: local rallies, internet campaigns, radio and TV ads. There truly is strength in numbers and if all these like-minded groups come together at specific times we could be heard and make a difference.
-- Debra


PERPLEXED ON PERSIA
Re: Peter Ferrara's Obama's Iran Blunder:

It is unbelievable that you could print such nonsense as Peter Ferrara's article.

I like to get a glimpse of all opinions across the political spectrum, but this article is more than flawed -- it's dangerous and ridiculous.

I am a Jewish American, and naturally will line up to make sure Israelis can live in peace and security.

Peter says,

"Like Adolf Hitler, the theocrats who run Iran have told us exactly what they plan to do. They plan to build nuclear weapons, and use them to 'wipe Israel off the map.' They have said this plan is rooted in their fundamental religious beliefs and doctrines regarding the return of their God to Earth. They have said they will not abandon this plan for anything, not trade concessions, financial aid from the West, or security guarantees. Their conduct is consistent with carrying out this plan..."

Absolute nonsense.

They've said Israel should be wiped off the map because they feel the region was drawn up without legitimacy by western powers after World War II. I don't agree with that argument, but that's a far cry from misstating their words as if they are laying out their plans to build nuclear weapons and nuke Israel.

What they've said is that they have no plans to make weapons. That's also debatable, but don't stretch the truth to a ridiculous degree and lie. They also said their religion forbids nuclear weapons, as opposed to supporting them as your article suggests.

I read all the articles at realclearpolitics.com to get the perspective across the board, and was so disappointed to see them distribute an article built on lies.

Give me your perspective on facts, don't make up the facts to support your argument.
-- Richard

Peter Ferrara has made a very good point, but has forgotten to mention another. He wisely reminded us that Reagan understood the Soviets did not want nuclear war any more than the West did. By taking a firm stand in Poland he called the Soviet bluff, which was a good strategy. And he used that strategy in the Gorbachev era that followed.

But to give Obama his due, Obama did take a crucial first step in fighting the the right battle, by getting elected as he did. This stopped the intensification of anti-American sentiment that was growing in leaps and bounds, even in the West, in its boots.

Obama then extended a friendly greeting to the most openly anti-American countries. This did not mean he was planning to ignore the threats these countries posed. He knew the ground had been softened by the shock and awe the world felt at Americans having voted in a black man -- disproving the propaganda that Americans were all white supremacists -- so he tested it further.

But Obama seems indeed to be stymied by what cards to deal next. His strategy is now an unsure one. Like presidents before him, he does not recognize how strong pro-American sentiment actually is in places like Iran, as it was in the former Soviet Russia.

Even Saddam Hussein liked to watch Amercian westerns, wearing his cowboy hat and shooting guns. Hollywood has made people everywhere want to be acknowledged somehow by Americans. Jong Il was hurt by Bush's calling his country the evil empire. He too has wanted to be liked by the Americans despite the psychosis of his leadership.

The world is begging for direction. As the soft spots (as was Glasnost in the 80's) are everywhere now. And the threat's even bigger. Obama needs not to be dissed, but to be respected for the good moves he has made. He needs his confidence in order to rule. He will be shaking in his boots if there is only criticism. He needs advice and respect. We need for him to be strong.
-- Mare Britton
Canada


FATHERHOOD AND DEBT
Re: Ben Stein's Fathers and Money:

I was intrigued by Ben Stein's article. My father was rarely home, and usually arrived drunk or high. He was self-employed and spent his earnings on alcohol and then later marijuana, heroin, and various pills. I was ten years old when I stole an LSD tablet of his. I was faced at the age of 10 with the moral dilemma of taking the tablet or burying it in the dirt. After going back and forth in my mind daring myself to take the LSD and being fearful of what might happen, I finally buried the pill in the dirt in my backyard.

Today, I am 50 going on 51 years of age in two months. I have had more than my share of moral crises during my lifespan. In the area of money, I am currently in the process of tithing my income after reading Edwene Gaines' book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity. The spiritual law of tithing cannot fail. I don't know about you, but in these uncertain economic times, I need a fail-safe something to guide my finances. Two years ago, I asked God to be my financial adviser and banker. Before that time, I could not keep a balanced bank account nor pay off credit card accounts. Today, I can give God 1/10th of my income, pay all my bills and have money left over. I have never been so at peace with my financial outlook. The commitment I have made to put God first in my money affairs was the best thing I have ever done. Things keep getting better and better. Unlearning the bad habits and misdirected thinking about finances has been a long road. The early examples set by my father were self-indulgent and irresponsible. But, at least, I have learned from his mistakes.

There was an article in the Houston Chronicle on November 1, 2008 titled, "Islamic banking gains attention amid turmoil." I learned that Islamic banking bans interest and trading in debt. It seems clear to me that investing in debt is what has brought this country to its knees. The article goes on to say that "The theological underpinning of Islamic banking is scripture that declares that collection of interest is a form of usury." I'm sure that somewhere in our Christian Bible there is mention of the demerits of usury. Perhaps I will go to BibleGateway.com and look it up.

Anyway, the article sure made a lot of sense, common sense to me. The writer's name is Faiza Saleh Ambah. My belief is that if I keep and open mind, I will find help. Who knew that Islamic banking was based on sharia law for guidance that bans interest and trading in debt?

Tom Laughlin, the former actor, has a website and on it I read that the United States is the only nation in the history of mankind that was formed for a moral purpose -- the rights of man.
-- Julia Walsh

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