About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Constitution Quiz

 click on Scene at The Signing of the Constitution of the United States to enlarge

One of the common findings of institutions like Hillsdale College & the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) is the woeful understanding the American citizenry has of the U.S. Constitution - this applies to recent college graduates, the general public, & our elected representatives.

There has been an "alarming loss of our historical literacy.  Fewer than half of American college students could place the Civil War within the correct half century.  More than a third of the general public cannot name any rights protected by the First Amendment.  Nearly three-quarters of Americans can't name the three branches of government.  Only 12% of high school students are scored "proficient" in American history."  Source - Peter W. Wood - 1620 A Critical Response to the 1619 Project - pages 64 & 65.

ACTA's work revealed that less than one-third of the colleges & universities in the U.S., annually ranked as the country's best schools, require students pursuing a degree in history to take even a single course in American history.  What are such students paying for?  Wonder if they could name the two figures in the center of the above photo or the man standing on the platform on the right side?

We have gone beyond taking the Constitution for granted - we never even think of it anymore including not realizing that this week is the anniversary of the unanimous signing of the Constitution by our Founders @ the Constitutional Convention.

Even if you are not part of ACTA's surveys who think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court, or are unable to identify the Bill of Rights accurately, or believe the Constitution must be reauthorized every four years you will find the following two quizzes a very good refresher.

Please let me know how you do.  The answers follow the questions on each website.



Thursday, August 26, 2021

Yair Lapid - The Last Train To Lodz

Thanks to my dear friend whose family has been charter members of RTE for sending this dynamic speech by Yair Lapid, the Alternate Prime Minister of Israel (Prime Minister-Designate) who will come into office on August 27, 2023 - if the government survives.

The cite of the speech is the Berlin train station where 1,251 Jews boarded the first Holocaust train to Nazi concentration, forced labor, & extermination camps.

 click on photo from Fotoeins Fotografie to enlarge

During the speech Prime Minister-Designate Lapid questioned how Germans in Berlin in 1933 could lower their heads & without raising a finger hope the evil they knew Hitler embodied would somehow pass on its own.  

But Yair Lapid doesn't stop there; he asks how could 1,251 Jews board a train heading east to the Lodz, Poland ghetto - all destined for their deaths, without one of them "attacking the guards in black uniforms," all knowing that hard labor, overcrowding, & starvation were their future.  And he answers the question saying, under his leadership, "we will never board that train again."

As I listened to the above speech I saw the parallels of the evils then in Germany & today in America as evil is transforming America, right before our eyes, as Americans lower their heads & hope our current evil too will pass.  I liken the Germans with lowered heads described above in 1933 to the silent majority in America today.

Either we want to defund/disband the police & let criminals run wild & teach critical race theory to our children in our schools that America is rotten to its core or we don't.  

Now I know people who are so disengaged, really oblivious, that they do not understand what I just wrote & that is unacceptably irresponsible regardless of how busy they are trying to make a living or raise a family.  Many of these oblivious people never have thought of not having a police force because they always have had one when it was needed or have never heard of critical race theory that is dividing Americans including their own children from themselves.  Unless the silent majority speaks up very soon to swat down these doctrines one can only conclude that what is happening in America, in both these regards & others, is what the majority, who are engaged, want.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Republican Support For Infrastructure Bill Sets The Stage For Socialist Sanders' Spending Spree

Well, it didn't take long to find a miserable example of Republican infighting that will make it harder than it should be for the GOP to retake either Chamber of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.  See The January 6 Commission Vote Shows Republican Infighting Makes It Hard For GOP To Win The 2022 Midterms.

The case in point is that 17 Senate Republicans fell for the Biden bait & voted with all Democrats for cloture of the $1 trillion, 2,702 page, infrastructure bill that Democrats regard as a bipartisan down payment for Socialist Bernie Sanders' $3.5 trillion budget outline that Democrats plan on passing via reconciliation that requires a simple Senate majority in accordance with Senate rules concerning budget matters.  The Sanders' outline is billed by Democrats as "human infrastructure" that includes spending on housing, education, healthcare, & climate change.

The shame of it starts with only a quarter of the additional spending going toward what most people think of as infrastructure - highways, bridges, airports, & tunnels.  The other three quarters goes to Democrat spending priorities like the Green New Deal - for example, $21.5 billion for creation of the office of clean energy demonstrations, $2.4 billion for advanced nuclear reactor projects, $3.5 billion for carbon capture, $8 billion for clean hydrogen, & $5 billion for investment into energy related projects.  And loosely regarding infrastructure there is $66 billion in new subsidies for Amtrak.  Is any of this how you want your tax dollars spent?

The second shame is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disagrees with the Democrat & Republican supporters of the bill's central premise that the infrastructure bill will pay for itself through marked increases in efficiency that will lead to economic growth.   Rather than finding that the bill will be "fully paid for'' the CBO found that the infrastructure bill would widen the budget deficit by $256 billion over ten years.  See The Significance Of The National Debt.

Here is the list that identifies the aforementioned seventeen Senate Republicans:

Blunt (MO), Burr (NC), Capito (WV), Cassidy (LA), Collins (ME), Cramer (ND), Crapo (ID), Graham (SC), Grassley (IA), Hoeven (ND), McConnell (KY), Murkowski (AK), Portman (OH), Risch (ID), Romney (UT), Tillis (NC), & Young (IN).  Rounds (SD) did not vote.

Now the above list includes the usual "support the Democrats every chance they get Republicans" - Cassidy, Collins, Murkowski, Portman, & Romney.  But Lindsey Graham brags about being a friend of Trump's & yet he supported the infrastructure bill in the cloture vote without one dollar being dedicated for the southwest border wall completion begging the question - just what do the Republicans get out of the bill?

But worse yet - Saturday, Schumer held another interim vote & not 17 Republicans but 18 Republicans voted for what had increased to a $1.2 trillion bill.

The 18 Republicans are as follows:

Blunt (MO), Capito (WV), Cassidy (LA), Collins (ME), Cornyn (TX), Cramer (ND), Crapo (ID), Fischer (NE), Grassley (IA), Hoeven (ND), McConnell (KY), Murkowski (AK), Portman (OH), Risch (ID), Romney (UT), Rounds (SD), Tillis (NC),& Young (IN).

Democrat Warnock from Georgia & these five Republicans did not vote - Barrasso (WY), Burr (NC), Graham (SC), Rubio (FL), & Scott (SC).

Then on Tuesday afternoon the final infrastructure bill passed the Senate with 19 Republicans in support.  Lindsey Graham was back in along with newcomers Sullivan (AK) & Wicker (MS).  Dropping out were Cornyn (TX) & Young (IN).  Rounds (SD) did not vote.

The final Senate Republican tally was 30 in opposition, 19 in support, & one not voting.  A pitiful display of unity handing Biden a victory after Trump, the supposed leader of the Republican Party, had pressured them not to support the bill.

Biden has an approval rating in the 30s regarding both the border chaos & crime which gives Republicans an opportunity to be aggressive.  Record numbers of migrants, as they are now called, with a significant number carrying the Wuhan coronavirus being transported to every state in the nation & all 38% of the Republican caucus can do is vote for an infrastructure bill that sets the table for one socialsit project after another to be passed into law while they watch.  Very uninspiring but a good example of why the socialist creep has gone as far as it has in America.

But the real game changer is waiting in the wings to follow immediately.

The aforementioned Sanders' $3.5 trillion budget outline centers around giveaways that make people dependent on government including 1) expanding Medicare to the uninsured & widening coverage for seniors into dental needs as well as hearing aids & eyeglasses, 2) making community college tuition free, 3) providing universal pre-K child care to every 3 & 4 year old,  4) guaranteeing paid family & medical leave, 5) making sure there are enough doctors, nurses, & dentists in underserved areas, 6) providing nursing facility care in people's own homes instead of nursing facilities, 7) making investments in affordable housing to address homelessness, 8) providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people such as Dreamers & essential workers who remained employed during the pandemic (that is still going on), & 9) shifting America's energy system away from fossil fuels to combat climate change including creating a Civilian Climate Corps to protect our natural resources & fight climate change. 

Many in the readership have told me the implementation of the Biden/Harris agenda is going too fast - but I think it is slower than I expected.  I thought that by now the above infrastructure bill & items in Sanders' outline would have been passed & we would be well on our way to 52 states, 15 Supreme Court Justices, & that there would be no filibuster to protect the minority which we certainly are in.  But thank heavens, just like with ObamaCare in 2009 &  2010, there are still a few congressional districts & states in the country that balk before going further down the road to serfdom that we are travelling.

Surprisingly, the House is a different story for the infrastructure bill.  First Republican support is less assured than in the Senate & even more importantly Democrats have not signed on either.  Pelosi has repeatedly said that the larger Sanders budget outline, known to Pelosi as an antipoverty & climate package, must be approved by the Senate before the House will take up the infrastructure bill.  Pelosi is once again taking her marching orders from AOC in that the Squad has said that ten House Democrats will not support the infrastructure bill unless it is preceded by an approval of the Sanders budget outline becoming law which is expected this fall.

But there is more dissatisfaction than that within the Democrat ranks.  Just like I personally think that Democrat things are moving slowly, activist liberal actress Suran Sarandon thinks things are moving too slowly & she blamed AOC by demonstrating in front of AOC's NYC office recently.  Sarandon is considering a primary challenge to AOC who in turn is considering a primary challenge to Schumer.

Conservatives do themselves a disservice by thinking all that needs to happen is for the majority of Americans to wake up & realize what is going on with this giant statist plan.  We cannot discount that a large portion of the American citizenry will be attracted to all the government giveaways as people always have been for thousands of years in their own particular societies but in this day of Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter, & #MeToo there will be even more than the usual number of people who think things are rigged against them & see themselves as oppressed victims who will gladly sign on to the Biden/Harris/Sanders/AOC socialist way of life.

We will get a gage on how this will play out in the 2022 midterms in the very near future.  First, California Governor Gavin Newsome is involved in a recall election on September 14, a two step process on the ballot - if more than 50% of the ballots support Newsome he is safe & the recall process is over (Newsome is polling about 50% support after posting a terrible record by freedom loving Americans the past 18 months.)  If Newsome does not receive 50% support in the first question he will be replaced by whichever candidate receives @ least a plurality from the 46 list of people on the ballot.

The good news is that libertarian Larry Elder, who would move California toward the sensible right, emerged as a front runner after entering the race but now slightly trails Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a 29 year old YouTube personality.  One of the dangers of recalling Newsome to me has always been that Newsome may not have been progressive enough for residents of the once Golden State & someone to his communist left may win.

There are also governors' races in New Jersey & Virginia in November but between these three events we may get a good idea of where the country is heading.  All three contests are in blue states but the margins could be telling if close even in defeat.

The bottom line is that America is on the ropes.  What you see going on in our country is exactly what the Biden Democrats want - they just have to be careful not to rock the boat too much in going about getting it thereby tipping their hand.

As the great University of Chicago Professor Frank Knight wrote in his timeless book Risk, Uncertainty, & Profit - "The best we can hope is that a few people will learn the lesson & carry it forward to another historic juncture, when the 'other man,' who is, after all, likewise in humanity, the lover of truth & right, & of mutuality, & real co-operation, may get another chance." 

People in this readership are the few who have learned the lesson Professor Knight was talking about.  Do everything you can to make sure that young men & women of liberty get that other chance.