Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Bridge To Somewhere 


"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. ... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." --James Madison

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cos' I've Been Through the Desert 


"What is this oozing behemoth, this fibrous tumor, this monster of power and expense hatched from the simple human desire for civic order? How did an allegedly free people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body politic?" --P.J. O'Rourke, 'Parliament of Whores'

There is one perspective on the whole Abramoff scandal that you will rarely hear mentioned in the EffluentStream Media. And, no, it's not some giant conspiracy. Here's the point of view that simply never occurs to most of our Merlot Media minders:

"Your government is just too damn big."

For example, there shouldn't even be such a thing as a "Federal Casino License" for jackleg grifters like the Clin...I mean, like the Abramoffs of the world to play 'Hide the Bison' with. And certainly not one awarded on the basis of ancestry-- often questionable ancestry at that.

It's bad enough when states do it; California's politics are totally screwed up from Indian gambling. And it's "gambling", not "gaming". Your first clue is when they don't call a thing what it is. California recently named one woman her own tribe and Indian casinos are now the largest contributor to campaigns. It's not much of a stretch to say that it is, in fact, the state and the politicians who operate the gambling "industry" in California, using Indians as a front.

But the disgusting spectacle of congressmen from Ohio and Nevada deciding whether a Texas tribe should lose their license at the behest of a competing Louisiana tribe--while neither tribe has to report campaign contributions--is beyond ridiculous. Congress is in effect passing out licenses to print money--is it any wonder all manner of hustlers want to get in on the action?

It is true that whatever the circumstance, our representatives should act honorably. It is also true that because Congress has inserted itself to every aspect of American life, structurally we have way too many opportunities for influence peddling. Big Government not only begets corruption, it is itself a corruption.

Want government out of your bedroom? Ya' know, most people who say that actually want to put their bedroom into the government. But the fact is, we can't even get the Feds out of our beds; there's a Federal Tag on every mattress in America.

Now go to your bathroom. There stands your federally-mandated AlGoreBrand(tm) Low-Flow Toilet. Because in its infinite wisdom, the Feddle Gummint decided that flushing a small 3.5-gal. toilet three times saves more water than flushing a large 5-gal. toilet once. You do the math. The clogged mess is a fitting tribute to Al Gore, however.

Hey, I think I just saw a likeness of Al's face in there...Honey!...quick; call E-Bay!

Are you a disaster victim who wants the Feds to respond to a massive multi-state natural disaster like a well-oiled machine? Sorry, John Q; all our bean-counters are down at the University, counting the number of male athletes versus female athletes. The Constitution demands that we shut down the men's wrestling team, don't cha' know.

Or maybe you're ex-CIA agent Max Baer, out in the field some years ago. You want a Pashtun-speaking translator to interview refugees for vital information. Alas, there are none anymore. But headquarters will be happy to send a 4-person Sexual Harassment Team instead. In other words, we can translate the hell out of the arcane gobbledygook known as Feminist Theory--but cannot decipher the language and intentions of the enemy. Unless by 'enemy', you mean 'men'. Thank you, Congress.

Ted Stevens has gotten a lot of heat for his "Bridge to Nowhere". But in fairness, almost all Senators and Representatives have their own "Bridges", and by the dozens. Pretty soon, the Federal Budget resembles a Brinks armored truck going down the highway, back doors open and bundles of dollars flying out. And by some amazing coincidence, almost all of the passing motorists are lobbyists, congressmen and special interest groups.

I know it's a radical concept, but instead of sending so much money and power to Washington to be divvied-up in the first place, couldn't we simply have the voters of Alaska--and every other state--decide whether or not they want a bridge and then tax themselves to pay for it? Is that really so heretical?

One yearns for the Days of Newt, when there was actually loose and dangerous talk in the air, talk of convening sessions of Congress to repeal--yes, REPEAL--laws. And of *gasp*--dare I say it?--shutting down federal agencies! Imagine! If you Lefties really want to see some dissent stifled and quashed, try going to Washington, D.C. and proposing the closure of a federal agency. Hell hath no fury like a prospectively defunded and dis-empowered bureaucrat.

There are so many problems with the Oversized State, it's hard to know where to begin. Aside from creating more opportunities for corruption, log-rolling and feather-bedding, it creates an opening for Democrats to pose as fiscal hawks. Oh, they won't mean a word of it. Indeed, everytime Republicans pass some greasy, bloated, pork-laden spending bill, a Chorus of Democrats rises up to complain that it is not nearly, not possibly enough. No, they won't mean it when they say they're against wasteful spending--but they may fool enough voters on the margins to win some elections. And then tax, borrow, spend and regulate even more.

When government gets this large, it also begins to work at cross purposes. You get the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission trying to put one-eyed truck-drivers on the road while the Federal Highway Safety Commission tries to remove them. And the lawyers smiled.

It also blurs accountability, robs citizens of a voice in their own governance, acclimates us to dependence on the state, intrudes upon spheres of life in which it has no business, and perhaps worst of all, it prevents the government from doing well the few things that actually are its business.

What's the answer? Well, Mark Levin proposes somewhat sarcastically--and only somewhat--this:

"1. Lobbyists should be required to spend lots and lots of money sending members of Congress on all kinds of trips outside the country. That way they won't be in Washington increasing our taxes, redistributing wealth, and undermining the war on terrorism."

I have my own suggestion. We should force Congressmen to read the laws they write. Every word. They should all be made to sit at their desks while every last 'whereas', clause and sub-paragraph is read aloud. Then we could have a quiz at the end. Of course, this would have to be done under the watchful eye of C-SPAN cameras to keep Teddy from cheating on the exam.

This would accomplish several things: It would slow them down considerably from passing more laws. It would make those laws more concise and well-written. It would expose the special interest pleading. It would keep congressmen from claiming, even truthfully, they didn't know what was in the bill. And it would place them where we can keep an eye on them. In short, it would force them to do their jobs, which is why we hired them in the first place, after all.

On Sept. 11th, 2001, George Bush was at a school reading a story to the kids when he was interrupted and told of the attacks. Why was he there? Because he values education. And that's fine. But he was also promoting a vast new federal appropriation for the Dept. of Education. One can argue that Bush accepted the fact that the Department wasn't going away so we might as well bend its policies to conservative ends. Fair enough.

But the point is, there never should have been a "Dept. of Education". It was created as a payoff to teachers unions to make sure no local school board or schoolchild would ever escape the financial or propaganda grip of the unions. To my way of thinking, Bush should have already been at the White House, reading NSA transcripts even from his first day in office. Because for presidents, national security is Job #1. Also #2. And numbers 3 through 10. Maybe 20.

Please note that this is not a regurgitation of the Michael Moore "My Pet Goat" talking points. No, bin Laden already did that. That was a fundamentally dishonest attack because Democrats believe that funneling federal money into education IS the job of presidents and Congress. And now that President Bush finally 'gets it' and is 'connecting the dots', they want him to stop...and finish the story!

I know we're going to have Big Government. How do I know this? Because Bill Clinton said "The era of Big Government is over." But also because we're a big country, founded on big ideas, with a big-hearted people, and as one of the few Grown-Up nations, big responsibilities.

But Big Government is one thing--and this Super-Sized, Gut-Busting, Blow-Out-the-Seat-of-Your-Pants, Tax 'Til it Hurts, Borrow 'Til Even the Loan-Sharks Won't Talk to You Anymore, Spend Like a Drunken Saudi Prince at an All-Blondes Titty Bar-Government is quite another.

In our rush to reform, we need to make sure that "reform" doesn't mean any more government. We also should not silence ordinary Americans or groups of Americans. If we're going to silence anyone 30 days before an election, let's silence the politicians and allow ONLY the people to talk. And if we're going to say that talk radio is an in-kind contribution, let's also apply that standard to the New York Times. Better yet, let's not even go there. Besides, the Times will soon be busy defending itself on espionage charges. They won't tell you that either.

And remember that there were laws aplenty banning the Clintons from taking Chinese campaign contributions--and they blew right through them, along with about half of the U.S. Code. Despite what they tried to tell us, character does indeed matter. Sometimes, especially in a pinch, it's ALL that matters.

And with character comes principles. And as we've seen, Republicans abandon their principles of limited government at their own peril--and ours. Most members of Congress are honorable people trying to do a good job. But it is not enough for a party to hold power simply because the other party is awful--and they are. Let's return to the principles that earned us a majority in the first place.

As I said, your Media won't tell you any of this. They assume that Big Government is the natural order of things, and that the answer to any problem is an even Bigger Government. 'Question Authority'?--hell, they pimp authority. Unless of course it's a Republican president defending the country.

If you want reform--real reform--then rein in the size and scope of your government. There's your trouble.

And there's your reform.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Predictable You 


10.) 2006 will be a breakthrough year for me; thanks to Hog On Ice, I will finally learn to spell the word midgi...mige...midje...dwarf. You know, like Robert Reich. Who will finally learn how to pronounce his own last name.

9.) Michael Jackson will be hauled into court in Bahrain. Not on the usual charges, but for calling his play-date date-rape elixir "Jesus Juice". Bahrainian authorities will demand he instead call it "Mohammed Juice". Jackson will also also be sought after as a consultant on Mid-east theme parks, because as everyone knows, "Would you like to see my theme park?" sounds much better than "Want some candy, little boy?"

Bubbles the Chimp will, as usual, remain an unindicted co-conspirator.

8.) Democrats' monomaniacal obsession with George W. Bush will continue to escalate. In fact, the DNC will change the name of its website from"www. dnc" to "www... W.W.W.!!!"

7.) On behalf of millions of grateful Americans, Former FCC chairman Michael Powell will be awarded the nation's 436th highest honor, the Congressional Prosthetic Nipple, for his service to humanity in driving Howard Stern from the public airwaves. However, Powell will be stripped of the award after literally dozens of people notice that Don Imus is still on the air.

6.) In appreciation of Usama's talent for literary criticism, Pinch Sulzberger, Jr. will offer bin Laden a job at the New York Times Book Review. And in appreciation for services rendered by Pinch in warning terrorists about the NSA, bin Laden will leave a $20 on Pinch's nightstand.

5.) After realizing that Democrat talking points and terrorist talking points are identical and therefore driving voters away, Democrats will decide to adopt the talking points of the Whig Party. Their efforts to gain new supporters will be stymied however when the next bin Laden tape contains stinging broadsides on the subjects of internal improvements, nullification and tariffs.

4.) After Bush's State of the Union Address, Harry Reid will give the Democratic response, claiming that Bush illegally allowed cameras and microphones to eavesdrop on what was a private conversation between the President and the Congress.

3.) Laying the groundwork for future action and certain electoral victory, Democrats will move to posthumously impeach George Washington for eavesdropping on innocent American Benedict Arnold by conducting a warrantless search of Major Andre's boot.

2.) Sen. John McCain, still flush with his Free Speech Reform victory, will propose the logical next step: "Reform Reform". Under the proposal, Congress would declare themselves to be an Indian tribe and award all Federal Casino Licenses to themselves, "in order to stop us from taking money from hustlers like Jack Abramoff."

And our No. 1 prediction for 2006:

DNC Chairman Howard Dean will be diagnosed with the rarest and most severe form of Bush Dementia Syndrome, Sudden Onset Bush Dementia (S.O.B.-D.), and he will leave politics to pursue his first love: Cynthia Lefkowitz, the girl who sat in front of him in 7th grade algebra class.

Unfortunately for Howard, Ms. Lefkowitz is now 52, happily unionized and living with her domesticated partner, an industrial turkey baster and a Shetland pony named "Ms. Ed" in Civil Union, Vermont. After she successfully obtains the restraining order, Howard will be forced to pursue his second love: Show Bidness Badness.

By this time next year, Howard will be headlining at Montpelier Holiday Inn, performing his "Tribute To Neil Diamond" extravaganza to a room nearly empty except for a bored cocktail waitress, a traveling wood-chipper salesman, a old-growth lumberjack and his pet spotted owl, Bernie Saunders and his blind date Brent Scowcroft, and two sheep-ranchers strangely captivated by Howard's rugged good looks and rubber pants.

Heartlight Howard will rip through his two comped Long Island Iced Teas and such Diamond classics as "Cracklin' Rosie O'Donell", "Sweet Madeline Albright", "Solitary Mumia", "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother Hugh", "You Don't Bring Me Chinese Campaign Contributions Anymore" (duet with "Babs" Jeffords), "Cherry, Cherry Garcia"... and his show-stopping signature version of "I Am, I Screamed".

And no one heard at all.

Not even the chairman.

(UPDATE: Lileks likewise prophesieth. Sample: "Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for crimes against humanity. While awaiting execution he published several children’s books – including “Goodnight Moon and Your Entire Accursed Family as Well” – and this resulted in a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and the solemn, creased-brow support of several Hollywood celebrities. George Clooney announced he would appear in a Saddam biopic.")

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com Site Meter