The ObamaDem criminalization of our cultural, political and economic life
ALBANY, Ga. — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Albany, gave his definition of the word “politics” to the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County at a luncheon Monday at the Hilton Garden Inn.
“Politics is all about who gets what, when and how,” Bishop said.
Americans not yet schooled in the evils of symbolic speech, burned King George and his administrators' effigies (Stamp Act administrator Thomas Hutchison, pictured) in 1765 Boston due to the British Parliament's Stamp and other Intolerable Acts that decided who got what, when and how.
Now a Democratic Party Congressman in Georgia (circa 2010) assumes the same Royal role despite a post-1776 Revolution Constitution meant to preserve the unalienable life, liberty and pursuit of happiness rights of Americans to decide among themselves who gets what, when and where, instead of governments.
Colonists became traitors to the throne in order to establish consent of the governed, with a federal legislature and executive limited to the roles of interstate commerce referee and protector of the nation from enemies, foreign and domestic.
The States they united under those principles became the economic envy of the world in the 19th Century and savior of the free world in the 20th, are now governed, albeit via elected representatives like Bishop, by those that assume the same oppressive roles as those that taxed without representation.
Bostonians merely trying to make a living in pre-1776 America were made traitors by decree.
Post-2008 Americans are deemed criminals by ObamaDem executive fiat when hurriedly-passed, too-long-to-read laws won't do or by judicial oligarchs all too eager to decide what lives, liberties and happiness pursuits may obtain.
Hardworking taxpayers have again become like the "forgotten man" of the Great Depression, so starkly displayed in Amity Schlaes, eponymously-titled revised history of the times.
Robert Bork described the underpinnings of what I deem the criminalization of the American Way in his Slouching towards Gomorrah with his descriptions of "radical individualism" and "radical egalitarianism".
Radical individualism attacks popular culture by making mainstream values submit to the lowest common denominator, while radical egalitarianism forces out the individualism and creativity necessary for success in the economic sphere, to the point now where Edison's bulb will soon be illegal and Ford's company is forced to compete with non-profit sensitive Government Motors. Meanwhile other Atlases shrug rather than risk jail for making a profit.
What used to be admired behavior increasingly becomes criminal, while decent folks are silenced into "tolerating" creeps, kooks and Islamic moderates that think 911 was deserved and Hamas are social workers.
Meanwhile, the government that decides what is illegal, increasingly resembles a criminal mobster that finally took over the government rather than merely pay bribes and take the obstinate for rides.
George Will describes the equivalent process from the 1930s:
The crime scene at 138 Griffith St. has changed in 76 years. Today it is a barber shop. In 1934, it was a tailoring and cleaning establishment owned and run by Jacob Maged, 49.
With his responsibilities as a father of four, Maged should have shunned a life of crime. Instead, he advertised his criminal activity with a placard in his shop window, promising to press men's suits for 35 cents. This he did, even though President Franklin Roosevelt's New Dealers, who knew an amazing number of things -- his economic aides were not called a "Brains Trust" for nothing -- knew that the proper price for pressing a man's suit was 40 cents...
Maged trifled by his 5-cent violation of New Jersey's "tailors' code," written in conjunction with the NRA. On April 20, 1934, he was fined $100 -- serious money when the average family income was about $1,500 -- and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The New York Times reported that Maged "was only vaguely aware of the existence of a code." Not that such ignorance was forgivable. It is every citizen's duty to stay up late at night, if necessary, reading the fine print about the government's multiplying mandates.
"In court yesterday," the Times reported, "he stood as if in a trance when sentence was pronounced. He hoped that it was a joke." Maged was an immigrant from Poland, which in the Cold War would become familiar with the concept of "economic crimes" and the use of criminal law for the "re-education" of deviationists.
Actually, his sentence was a judicial jest. After Maged spent three days in jail, the judge canceled the rest of his sentence, remitted the fine and, according to the Times, "gave him a little lecture on the importance of cooperation as opposed to individualism." The judge emphasized that people "should uphold the president . . . and General Johnson" in their struggle against -- among other miscreants -- "price cutters." Then, like a feudal lord granting a dispensation to a serf, the judge promised to have Maged "measure me for a new suit."
Maged, suitably broken to the saddle of government, removed from his shop window the placard advertising 35-cent pressings and replaced it with a Blue Eagle. "Maged," reported the Times, "if not quite so ruggedly individualistic as formerly, was a free man once more." So that is freedom -- embracing, under coercion, a government propaganda symbol.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, and whether it is
- Leviticus-like "codes" passed by Congress that force banks to pay for homes the occupants can't afford;
- Strained executive administrative interpretations of intentionally or unintentionally vague laws that result in high energy taxes on the poor and middle class based on threats to polar bears;
- Legislative grants of "discretion" that allow laws to be made on the fly much as liberal and judicially active courts are want to do; or
- Extra-legal (read illegal) acts to take over auto companies, sick pitchforks on Bank CEOs trying to compete with European labor costs, or that defy court orders that seek to restore liberty in deep-well oil drilling by ending executive fiat-imposed moratoriums on said liberty;
What we are watching is the end of the rule of law, replaced by the rule of men that renders criminal whatever is the whim of the men now ruling over us.
Bill James writes a somewhat controversial piece that illustrates my aversion to Congressional meddling in matters it has no business in, from the trivial issue of steroids in Major League Baseball to the most sacrosanct actions of foreign policy:
First of all, I have absolutely no doubt that, had steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs existed during Babe Ruth's career, Babe Ruth would not only have used them, he would have used more of them than Barry Bonds. I don't understand how anyone can be confused about this. The central theme of Babe Ruth's life, which is the fulcrum of virtually every anecdote and every event of his career, is that Babe Ruth firmly believed that the rules did not apply to Babe Ruth. I have outlined this argument before, and I apologize for repeating myself, but why was Babe Ruth raised in an "orphanage"? Because he refused to go to school. He supposedly threatened to throw his manager off the back of a moving train—about as clear a symbol of disrespect for authority as one could possibly find. He was caught using a corked bat, which was not a big deal to the league authorities because they didn't understand what you could do with a corked bat, and he very probably continued to use corked bats for much of his career.
Ruth knew perfectly well that he wasn't supposed to eat eight or 10 hot dogs between the games of a doubleheader, but he did it anyway. In 1930, the Yankee players were introduced to the president of the United States before a game at Yankee Stadium. The other Yankee players said things like, "Thank you for coming, sir" and "Honored to meet you, Mr. President." Babe Ruth said, "Hot as hell, ain't it, Prez?" Every story about Babe Ruth, every episode, reflects this very deep belief in the importance to Babe Ruth of not obeying the rules...
Branch Rickey was that way. The "rule" in Branch Rickey's time was that blacks and whites were supposed to go their separate ways. Branch Rickey thought that was a stupid rule, and he wouldn't follow it. Commissioner Landis hated Rickey because he was always pushing the limits of the rules, trying to get by with whatever he could get by with.
It is a very American thing, that we don't believe too much in obeying the rules. We are not a nation of Hall Monitors; we are a nation that tortures Hall Monitors. We are people who push the rules.
Let me be clear: This Gamecock loves the Atlanta Braves and MLB more than even his USC Fighting Gamecocks. Statistics matter in baseball more than any other sport due to their compilation from one-on-one confrontations that begin every play in the sport under circumstances that have remained congruent for over a century. I care about baseball, and I certainly would favor asterisks for the steroids non-records and would withhold Hall of Fame status to transgressors of the rules that enhanced their achievements unfairly, and wanted baseball to be fixed.
Baseball fixed itself before Congress held the first hearing
Baseball now has random testing and the game is much better. Congress had nothing to do with fixing it. It was fixed on its own, BEFORE Congress started subpoenaing people. And yes, I know Roger Clemens (who I personally loathe) was not subpoenaed.
Moreover, even if Baseball had not fixed itself, should that be an occasion for a Congress to roam the Fruited Plain for problems to fix? And if so, wouldn't hundreds of problems more serious than steroid use by athletes rear their heads?
All that said, Roger Clemens should not have been sworn under penalty of perjury so Congress could look like they were solving a problem. If Roger lied, so what. Unless someone defames another's character, lies are free speech and should not be a cause for imprisonment. We are supposed to bow in a worshipful mode when we hear the words "lie to Congress"? Not me. It was more serious when my son lied to me about where he was for the last two hours.
I am a fan of Scooter Libby, baseball and Babe Ruth. Roger Clemens and Rod Blagojevich, not so much. Not a fan of government involvement in promoting gambling nor arms to the Ayatollah. Loved the Contras. Hated ABSCAM and Operation Lost Trust. Never cared much for entrapment and sting operations either.
What ties all these issues together: the criminalization of politics and culture that threatens the dynamism of American life by rendering America to a European plod that keeps the creative folks on the sidelines lest they find themselves in prison.
As a defense attorney I have always hated entrapment actions by government. My 2000 conservative epiphany and move to corporate law did not change my aversion to same, nor to special prosecutor/Congressional/state police witch hunts in Iran-Contra, Scooter Libby guilty of lying to the FBI but not the underlying charge, Roger Clemens, Rod Blagojevich merely committing politics or DUI checkpoints outside bars legally serving whiskey.
In all of the above, it is the government that is the criminal.
I could cite many other instances involving the criminalization of Christian values in universities, not to mention the ObamaDem attack on Arizona on behalf of the Democratic Party voter registration line, better known as illegal immigration. We could go into the details of the Just-Us Department that legalizes New Black Panther voter-intimidation thuggery; granting "OJ" trials to terrorist war criminals or winking at the release of Lockerbie bombers. See also Texas v US on the right to drill for oil.
Americans are admonished to be tolerant of the mosque-bound aiders and abettors of terror while we make criminals of inventors, entrepreneurs and job creators. The Judeo-Christian values are regularly mocked by the elites while the bad actors get the spotlight.
Democrats and a Wonderful World
The vehicle for the criminalizing of the American Way has been, primarily, the Left's academia, the press, Hollywood, the judiciary and the Democratic Party.
Most of the leaders of that party know what they are doing, to a certain degree, but too many of the rank and file remind of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World lyrics:
Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much about biology
Don’t know much about a science-book
Don’t know much about the French I took
What I do know is that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world it would be
Now I don’t claim to be an A-student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A-student, baby
I can win your love for me
Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for...
Sam Cooke is my favorite musical artist. I love the song and I hope its message helps guys get dates, but ignorance does not a wonderful world make.
Tea partiers cognizant of history are fighting the ignorance that makes the good life a crime and criminal thugs our rulers.
To paraphrase Alexander Pope, dring deep the Tea-erian wells and save America. Vote the Grand Ole Party to restore the grand old America where crime used to mean when my fist hit your nose, and not the drilling of an oil well to fuel a Ford Mustang.
Thankfully, many Democrats and a large majority of independent, formally non-political types are following the way of Nixon's 1968-72 Silent Majority, Prop 13 Californians and Reagan's social and other conservatives of the 80s, Newt's 90s troops, and Dubya's national security and pro-lifers earlier this decade and voting Republican.
It would surely be a crime if they didn't.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson