" The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see. "
—Ayn Rand


…that measures its sanity by the percentage of its people who know they are free. People with unshakeable clarity that their most fundamental rights — to think for themselves and speak their minds without fear of jail, to form voluntary associations of their choosing, to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to acquire private property and protect it at gunpoint if necessary — are not given by government, or society, or any person.

A nation whose vitality and resilience depend on individuals who consider those rights intrinsic to their very being: the spiritual equivalent of DNA. Such that when any aspect of the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is assaulted — they feel it like a punch in the gut. Patriotism gets personal. Conversations begin around the office water cooler, over back yard fences, at diners, gas stations and softball fields. In this way diverse people find out they’ve got something crucial in common. Born free and mean to stay that way.

America’s Founders were that kind of people. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison risked the gallows when they declared government has no power except those voluntarily granted it by the people. When they insisted that the fundamental duty of government is to secure (read: safeguard) our inherent and “unalienable” natural rights. They brought forth a republic with the Constitution of the United States as supreme law of the land. No better instrument has been devised for protecting personal liberty by establishing a limited and defined role for government.

Now this great achievement is threatened by a worldview that contradicts the principles of America’s Founding at every turn. By an ideology that promotes the psychology of victimization and rage against imaginary villains, infantile claims to entitlement and compensation, primitive feelings of envy and inferiority. Marxist in fact though seldom in name, this movement demands guaranteed rewards regardless of talent, skill, motivation or effort. This militant crusade vows to meet the needs of “The People” from cradle to grave, betting that a majority can be seduced to support candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury.

Fortunately the politics of perennial preschool is free — or seems so — only at first. Tuition day eventually comes. The same government that offers to absolve us from responsibility for our lives gets to determine what we can own, eat and drive; how we manage our businesses; how much of our money we can keep; the number of guns — if any — they will let us own; what we are allowed to say.  Even what we are permitted to think (thanks to the advent of “hate crimes”).

Good news: more and more Americans are figuring out that annexing the core functions of adulthood to the state involves unacceptable trade-offs. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey found that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, we face an alarming crisis.

And a remarkable opportunity.

The Founders knew it was up to each successive generation to keep the Spirit of 1776 alive. “Don’t blow it.” That’s what I imagine the 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence telling us. Their mission was to create a government where the primacy of constitutional authority is basic to liberty, opportunity, prosperity and the social contract. Where personal responsibility, voluntary cooperation, fiscal integrity and abiding respect for life all are crucial to the foundation of culture.

A society where the first requisite of a good citizen, in Theodore Roosevelt’s words, “is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.” A country that supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world, and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.

That’s also the mission of Sane Nation. Welcome.

Mosque At Ground Zero?

Keith Thompson Tuesday, 17 August 2010 12:09

By all means, build the mosque.

And while we're in such a tolerant, accepting, and forgiving mood, let's also:

Open up a Nazi storefront across the street from the Holocaust Museum.

Build a KKK headquarters next to the NAACP.

Create a shrine to Imperial Japan adjoining the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

Invite Rev. Fred Phelps to open a branch of his "God Hates Fags" church in the gay Castro District of San Francisco.

Obama and his fellow proponents of the Ground Zero mosque would welcome those pro-diversity developments, right?

The Strange Learning Curve of Mr. Gibbs

Keith Thompson Tuesday, 10 August 2010 14:44

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says Obama's critics on the left are "crazy" and should be "drug tested."

The press secretary dismissed the "professional left" in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality."

What's funny is the way he identifies those two policy stances as if it's inconceivable that any serious thinker could advocate such things. Fact: dozens of congressional Democrats are on record as celebrating Canada's healthcare plan. (It's called "single-payer," the approach endorsed by Barack Obama before he got serious about running for president as a pretend centrist.) As for "eliminating" the Pentagon, let's just say Congress is filled with Democrats who want to slash the defense budget beyond recognition. As for the "professional left," it's where Barack Obama called home for most of his adult life, as a "community organizer."

Dear Mr. Gibbs: These people whose sanity you suddenly find suspect happen to be your boss's political base. It's always risky to make fun of your core voters 90 days before you need them to show up at the polls to try to keep the president's party from being demolished.

Keep up the good work, bubba.

Dear Democratic Left: Please Keep Aiming for the Cliff

Keith Thompson Monday, 09 August 2010 11:57

The White House and Congress spent massive political capital to pass signature health care legislation opposed by most Americans when it was signed it law, legislation opposed by even more Americans now. Not surprisingly, the Democrats have decided not to focus their campaigns this fall on having provided health care "reform" that most voters did not and do not want.

Instead, Obama-Reid-Pelosi seem to have decided voters will be way more interested in hearing about the impact of massive stimulus spending in the creation of jobs! (Full disclosure: I added the exclamation point for irony. But only because these straight-faced clowns are so darned much fun to mock.)

Seriously: Democrats' Bragging rights begin here: Employers shed 131,000 jobs during the month of July, while the number of jobs created during the month of June was revised downward.  More July figures:

Unemployment rate remained at 9.5%
14.6 million members of the workforce remain unemployed
Long-term unemployed (27+ weeks) remained basically unchanged at 6.6 million

As usual, Obama wraps this "success" in a metaphors he apparently finds clever:

"When you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in 'D,' " Obama said last week at a Democratic National Committee event in Atlanta. "When you want to go back, what do you? You put it in 'R.' "

Get it? The way to keep moving forward toward continuing economic success is to vote for the candidate of the political party marked "D." Forget about the fact that the tax cuts authored by President George W. Bush for every federal income taxpayer helped set off an unprecedented 52 straight months of job creation. Source for that fact? The Obama White House.

I'm prepared to give Obama and allies their due, to this extent. They appear determined to keep their foot on the accelerator of government spending, regardless of the groundswell of popular opposition. (Republicans currently hold a 7-point lead over Democrats in the Generic Congressional Ballot.) Democrats seem intent on driving fast toward an abyss of Grand Canyon proportions. I hope they continue, because if the November elections result in Democrat losses sufficient to stop the rapid, cancerous expansion of government — losses sufficient, that is, to stop stop the Obama agenda in its devastating tracks — the crash will be America's recovery.

"Hey Barack, Harry, Nancy: See that cliff up ahead? Pedal to the metal, all out; grateful Americans are waiting there to thank you. For everything."

Here's hoping they're narcissistic enough to believe that — all the way to election day. Not because I'm a fan of the Republicans; rather, I'm a fan of the Founders. They were smart enough to design a government with inherent checks and balances, because they knew from experience (King George and all) that less government is better government (freedom being preferable to tyranny, except in the opinion of tyrants).

So here's to the return of gridlock, that wondrous absence of government "progress" that Madison took pains to design as a central feature of American governance.

Obama Discovers The "Real" Problem With Al Qaeda

Keith Thompson Wednesday, 14 July 2010 11:07

Al Qaeda is "racist." That's the word from America's "post-racial president." The fact that Al Qaeda targeted innocents who happened to have dark skin, Obama says, makes Al Qaeda guilty of "racism." This is the face of unambiguous evidence that Al Qaeda

  • masterminded the events of September 11
  • deliberately used chemical weapons, including chlorine gas, in suicide bombing
  • used children and female non-combatants as suicide bombers
  • waged deliberate attacks using suicide bombers upon protected places, such as mosques, religious sites, hospitals, schools, and other clearly civilian targets.
The president who instructed his team never to utter the word "terrorism" and to replace it with"man-caused disaster" has found Al Qaeda lacking in multicultural sensitivity.

Is Al Qaeda to be considered less objectionable on days when Jews and white Christians are at the top of the genocide list? Ought we cut bin Ladin some slack, provided his future death orders against all non-Muslims on Earth are free of racial preferences?

Oh, and Israel's still evil simply for trying to survive, yes?

The Real Reason Obama Is Suing Arizona

Keith Thompson Thursday, 08 July 2010 15:53

A revealing sentence in the Obama administration's lawsuit again the people of Arizona for daring to protect their borders:

"Although a state may adopt regulations that have an indirect or incidental effect on aliens, a state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with federal immigration law," the brief said. "The State of Arizona has crossed this constitutional line."

Get that? Obama says the Arizona law "interferes" with federal immigration law. Wrong. The wording of the Arizona statute in fact echoes the very language of federal immigration law. But, wait. If team Obama is not in fact serious about enforcing federal law, in that sense and for that reason the Arizona law "interferes" with the feds' non-enforcement policy.

Obama might as well say: "My administration is doing everything possible not to enforce federal immigration law, and Arizona is getting in the way of that."

Even if Obama manages to get the Arizona law overturned by a friendly court (there are many open-border judges just waiting to do the honor), the political costs could be devastating in November. Dick Morris on why Obama's recent leftward lurch is likely to hurt the Democrats in December:

When a president moves leftward, a vicious cycle begins to set in. Driven to raise the intensity of his rhetoric and to take positions further to the extreme, he alienates more and more centrists and moderates, forcing himself to rely more and more on left wing voters. This reliance, in turn, fuels an ever more pronounced leftward drift until he ends up with a vastly diminished political base....

The further Obama moves to the left, the more he has to move to the left. And the worse it is for his ability to control Congress.

What Say We Go Visit Grandma

Keith Thompson Tuesday, 06 July 2010 12:57

Gotta love the article's top three sentences:

"Jean Stevens of Wyalusing, Penn., is 91 years old. She lives with her husband and her twin sister. Here’s the trouble: They are both dead."

Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored them at her house — in the case of her late husband, for more than a decade — tending to the remains as best she could until police were finally tipped off last month.
Much to her dismay.

Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase "custody dispute."

I especially like the emphasis provided by the word "simply." Yep, this is simply something a lot of people think of doing.

I'm guessing Granny didn't entertain much?

For me, this is the clincher:

Dressed smartly in a light blue shirt and khaki skirt, silver hoops in her ears, her white hair swept back and her brown eyes clear and sharp, she offers a visitor a slice of pie, then casts a knowing look when it's declined. "You're afraid I'll poison you," she says.

Something about that smile gives me the feeling this old gal might be angling for her own reality show.

Has CNN Completely Lost It?

Keith Thompson Tuesday, 06 July 2010 12:46

Oh, please. Right or left, conservative or liberal: cannot all Americans who aren't completely depraved agree that Eliot Spitzer is suited for nothing more than lap swimming in a septic tank? Seriously. Can't we all hope CNN's latest venture fails miserably, and fast?

The Supreme Court rules that giving material support to terrorists belongs in the same category as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. In other words, neither constitutes "protected speech." Justice Thompson's one-word concurring opinion: "Duh." Note: The Court upheld the constitutionality of a particular provision of the Patriot Act. Which is different from whether some or all members of the Court would have voted for that provision of the Patriot Act if they were ... legislators, which they are not. Don't agree with that provision of the Patriot Act? Fine, go lobby Congress.

All Eyes On California

Keith Thompson Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:31

So the race begins, with some fantastic contradictions. Meg Whitman, labeled the more "conservative" candidate, actually lays claim to being the innovator in the campaign to choose California's next governor. She'll base her campaign on the imperative to cut back the power of the public service unions that are bankrupting the state, as well as on simple fiscal accountability, like: income should exceed spending. It tells a lot about our times, that these are "innovations" in politics.

Meanwhile, former governor Jerry Brown is back. In the 1970s he made his own claim on the mantle of innovator, based chiefly on personal idiosyncrasies like choosing to live in an apartment rather than in the governor's mansion, insisting on riding in an ordinary sedan rather than a limo, including "explore the universe" in his mission statement.

Whitman's a billionaire who can afford to self-fund the general election campaign. Brown will rely on big money from the very unions whose influence Whitman seeks to curb. Brown will seek to paint her as an enabler and beneficiary of Wall Street's worst excesses, and as a political neophyte with a spotty voting record, who aims to "buy" the governorship. Brown's attempt to balance his considerable  resume (offices held: governor, secretary of state, attorney general, mayor of Oakland, talk radio host) with a claim to be a lifelong political "outsider." For her part, Whitman will insist that her non-political background, combined with her considerable business success, makes her the ideal candidate to take on the entrenched political status quo in Sacramento.

Both candidates know there's going to be no real rest after yesterday's primary. Both will spend the coming weeks attempting to define the other candidate as out-of-touch, unqualified, unsuited, a dangerous choice, the wrong direction, too risky — all the usual charges. Whitman's potential liability — her lack of political experience — is the flip side of Brown's problem: his long political and media career presents ample opportunity for Team Whitman to dredge up a lot of Brown's wild political utterances. For instance:

"I've been in office and I've been out of office. And if I were to choose, I'd rather be in office."

"The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs."

Because Brown made many such statements on the air as a radio host, you can be sure Whitman is going to use his actual voice in radio and TV commercials. Her campaign's goal will be to present him as a seventy-something throwback to the Seventies, and a slightly dotty one, at that. Meanwhile, Brown will argue that Whitman's monied status makes her intrinsically untrustworthy in the wake of recent financial crises. Expect this from Jerry: "I've got plenty of experience at a time when experience needs to count." Meg will reply: "Plenty of experience saying and doing truly bizarre things."

It's way too early to handicap the race. But from where I sit as a former political campaign honcho, Whitman's got the upper hand going into the fall campaign.

Blame Bush Blame Bush Blame Bush

Keith Thompson Saturday, 29 May 2010 11:32

George W. Bush is truly a gift that keeps on giving — giving his partisan enemies somebody to blame.  Pelosi's latest:

“Many of the people appointed in the Bush administration are still burrowed in the agencies that are supposed to oversee the [oil] industry,” Pelosi said when asked if Democrats could have prevented or mitigated the crisis by keeping a closer watch on the industry.

Added the Speaker, “the cozy relationships between the Bush administration’s agency leadership and the industry is clear…I’ve heard no complaints from my members about the way the president has handled it,” Pelosi stated.

First: If Obama isn't happy with the Bush hold-overs, why hasn't he fired them after a year and a half in office?

Second: Pelosi conveniently neglects to mention that

in the month since the BP-run Deepwater Horizon (above right) exploded and collapsed into the sea, its drill site spewing an unending current of oil into the open ocean, the US government has granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and 17 drilling permits. Most are for deepwater drilling operations, similar to that conducted by the ill-fated rig.

Third: We're supposed to be surprised that no members of Pelosi's Democrat caucus have criticised Democrat Obama's performance? That's called partisanship in action.

But even some partisans aren't totally blind. Here's Democrat James Carville imploring Obama to "take control" of the oil spill:

As a regular critic of Obama, I can't bring myself to agree with Carville that Obama could have "taken over" and fixed the oil spill — any more than Bush could have "fixed" Katrina with the wave of a wand.  Disasters happen.

There's a difference between the two crises, by the way. The mayor of New Orleans had advance notice that Katrina was headed their way, and did almost nothing useful to prepare. Nobody knew the BP oil spill would take place. That's not to say I'm in BP's corner, except in wanting them to get the rig plugged. Concerning which: the idea that BP needs Obama to lean on them to act faster is ludicrous. Every day the rig continues to gush, BP accrues profit loss and is on the line for serious clean-up costs.

Big picture: Bush and Obama have important in common in terms of their response to massive crisis: in public relations terms, both presidents fell short: Obama by playing golf instead of comforting grieving families; Bush by gazing at the Katrina devastation from the bubble of an Air Force One flyover.

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