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Friday
Sep282012

Review: Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake isn't quite a home run, but it's a line drive against the shift, deep into the corner for an easy triple.

Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout with a long record of success.  Amy Adams plays his daughter, Mickey (as in Mantle).  Justin Timberlake plays a pitcher, prematurely broken by overuse, with a history with Eastwood's character and the hope of a future with his daughter.  If a grand theme must be stated, it is finding our paths in life, and the obstacles that spring up to force detours.  The story ends on a note of doors opened and closed, not on any kind of finality.  Along the way we are shown a rabbit and a hat, and are still surprised when the rabbit is pulled from the hat to save the day.  Karma is satisfied, the unjustly high are brought low, and the deserving rewarded.

Without Eastwood as Gus Lobel there would be no movie.  It is easy to ruin a great line in a small scene but Eastwood carries them all, communicating volumes in moments.  But for me Amy Adams is the real star of this show.  Her character propels the story.  Mickey struggles while her father suffers, and rails, and seeks only to make the best of it.  For Gus we suffer in silence, but for his dauther we cheer and hope and, in spite of cliches, we puzzle and doubt.  Baseball purists might revolt when she she runs out a "home run" and turns cartwheels between second and thirdeven Ozzie Smith never did that—but the rest of us can grin and celebrate.

Justin Timberlake?  His role calls for a competent actor to play against Amy Adams's Mickey, and that's what he delivers.  He is believable as a damaged pitcher still eager to make a life in baseball.  His fans won't mind that this performance will neither make nor break his career any more than it makes or breaks the movie.

Is this a baseball movie?  It's set in baseball, and the circumstances are the circumstances of baseball, and the rabbit from the hat throws a wicked curveball.  But it's not really a baseball movie, unless you count Yogi Berra's imperative about the fork in the road.  If you're a casual fan, you'll enoy it for the baseball; if you're a purist, you may wish that it was about hockey or football instead.

Go see this one.  It's a winner.  You won't waste your time or your money.  It won't damage your hearing or make you wish you hadn't eaten before going to see it.  And you'll come away feeling good.

Monday
Sep102012

The Lesser of Two Weevils

Monday, September 10, 2012—In the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, there is a scene at the table of Captain Aubrey. The captain and his dinner guests are all respectably drunk, but by the end of dinner the captain is especially respectable. The captain's cook has prepared an excellent dinner, but they cannot escape the weevils that infest the ship's stores. As the dinner winds down, two of them emerge from half-eaten biscuits.

Whether it's the drink or familiarity, nobody is particularly alarmed by the culinary stowaways. Instead, the captain says "Look at those two weevils. Doctor, which of them would you choose?"

The doctor declares he has no reason to choose one over the other, but the captain insists, whereupon the doctor picks one, the larger and stronger. In mock alarm, the especially respectable captain upbraids him: "Doctor, haven't you heard that one must always choose the lesser of two weevils!"

"The lesser of two weevils"! Is there a better description of the choice voters sometimes face between candidates? Yet sometimes we must choose. If we cannot in good conscience vote for either, is there one that we must, on pain of conscience, vote against? Is one of them so damaging, whether by his beliefs or by his position in the legislature's organization and structure, that we must vote against him, even if it means for voting for his opponent, also a weevil, but a lesser weevil?

Voting for the Lesser Weevil may not feel good. It should not feel good. If we have fallen so far that our best hope is a poor choice justified only by the worse choice, it means that we have failed. We have failed to keep our eyes on what our elected representatives are doing. It means we have let the political parties become closed clubs that feel little responsibility to We The People. And it means that we have to fix things. If we are to fix things we must be involved. Giving up our vote and letting the complacent decide the election is a poor way to begin.

Thursday
Jul122012

Repeal. Repeal and Replace. Replace with What?


An Owl-Eye Opinion

Friday, July 13, 2012—The misnamed "Patient Protect Protection and Affordable Care Act" must be repealed. It threatens our lives, steals our liberties, and chokes off our chances to pursue happiness. But this atrocity could never have passed if most Americans realized that many of the problems they face are cause by previous government interventions, interventions variously well-meaning, cynical, self-serving, vengeful, or tyrannical. It is the ignorance of the electorate that allows the Act's partisans to demand we put forward schemes to replace it with, schemes with as much compulsion and restriction as this abominable Act itself.

We should always be prepared, when invited to the enemy's battleground and challenged with his weapons, to fight on those terms and win. Our goals are free-market reforms; his are locking people out of choices in the name of The Greater Good and on the pretext of protecting people from poor choices, from "predatory" marketplaces, and from "heartless" employers.

If the problem is poor choices, the answer should be to give the consumer more good choices. What is a poor choice for one may be the right choice for another; one size never fits all. If the problem is a "predatory" marketplace, the answer is to increase the number of players and force them to compete by removing restrictions; predators cannot survive when goods are plentiful because they will be undercut. If the problem is that employers make the wrong choice for some or all of their employees, the answer is to take the choice away from the employer and give it to the consumer, for whom it is being purchased in the first place.

The obstacles to this are woven at both State and Federal levels. The Income Tax Code allows the employer to deduct the cost of employee health benefits, but it limits how the employee can deduct such costs. This can be rectified by changes to the tax code, and it would even be possible to require large employers to allow employees to take their health benefits in the equivalent cash, to be deposited in a Health Savings Account, or in the form of a voucher that could be used to purchase insurance.

The biggest obstacle to the deployment of a free marketplace in health insurance is the welter of State laws and regulations which limit choice and portability, force the marketplace to cross-subsidize, and protect established, entrenched sellers in the market to the detriment of competition and the consumer. At the end of the nineteenth century, the movement began to expand Federal power in order to curb abuses in the States. The Federal Leviathan has instead created its own wall of corruption, making it necessary to breach both walls to achieve reform. Any reform that breaches only one can quickly be removed, neutralized or perverted because its benefit will not have reached the people, and it will have gained no constituency.

But so long as the Income Tax exists and free market partisans hold the Legislature and the Executive, the Federal Leviathan can be turned against the State restrictions. We should not be afraid to restrict the choices of government, especially those government choices which restrict the choices of individuals. A sufficiently large majority in Congress could limit the health care deduction or voucher purchase of insurance to policies which meet all of these criteria:

  1. They are purchased in a marketplace that does not require minimum coverage nor mandates the purchase of routine or preventative care with the purchase of insurance (risk mitigation) (nor vice-versa).
  2. They are purchased in a marketplace which does not restrict sale across State Lines, nor is subject to any change of coverage in moving across State Lines (but allowing for a difference in premium or benefit for actuarial—NOT—statutory reason).
  3. They use co-insurance rather than co-pays, or else they limit the use of co-pays to a fixed maximum in value paid, after which co-insurance replaces the co-pay. (An insurer would be allowed to enter into an agreement to draw the co-insure—but not the co-pay—from a customer's HSA.)

The first provision ensures that people can seek the coverage they want and purchase it if any seller wants to sell it, without having to cross-subsidize other people. (Any subsides should involve the explicit expenditure of public monies: no unfunded mandates on private-sector businesses!) The second provision prevents States from protecting the entrenched providers within their borders. The third provision exposes the actual costs incurred for the patient to the patient, providing an incentive to seek lower prices—which will force health-care providers to find ways to lower prices instead of ways of reducing the cost of paperwork at the patient's expense. Any vouchers issued, any premium support, should be subject to the same restrictions. As a practical matter, States should probably be given time to comply. This could be done by allowing policies already purchased to be paid out of the monies in question for a limited period, perhaps seven months. This will give State Legislators time to act—and to feel the heat if they don't—while minimizing the time in which pressure can be brought to bear to corrupt the Federal reforms. Once the reforms are effective, it will be harder to corrupt them.

We need to fight on other fronts as well.  When the enemy brays "Donut hole!" we must shout them down with "personal responsibility" and "sharing the cost."  We need an effective and truthful alternative to every catchphrase they employ, and we need to wield them without shame or apology.

While I'd gladly replace the Income Tax with a National Sales Tax, the enemy has placed this weapon on the battlefield, and will fight to keep it there so long it is never employed against them. Employing it against them will make it easier to replace it.

G. K. Chesterton wrote “War is not ‘the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.” Should not we say the same of politics, for, as von Clausewitz famously wrote, war is politics carried on by other means? Then let us not be afraid to use the enemy's weapons against him, for it may be the only way to force him to abandon them.

Tuesday
Jun122012

Goodbye, Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, June 12, 2012—Ray Bradbury died last week at the age of 91.

May he rest in peace.

Bradbury was one of the giants of science fiction, a titan, a landmark, a legend, and an inspiration to readers and authors alike.

So let us be deeply thankful for a great artist and a good man, one and the same.

But my memories of Ray Bradbury are not made of sunlight broken in Waterford crystal.

Put simply, Bradbury scared the spit out of me. He scared the marrow right out of my bones. Even the first story of The Martian Chronicles scared me. And while the poetry and music of which Orson Scott Card writes may be the finish coat on the work, it is not the base coat nor the image.  I know this because I watched the TV movie adaptation of The Illustrated Man (not knowing who wrote the book it came from) and it scared me almost as badly as Bradbury's own words did.

I've read Steven King. Steven King writes campfire stories for adults. I've read most of Lovecraft; Lovecraft has a wonderful, wild, eldrich inventiveness that hints at outer darkness. I read Richard Matheson's Hell House, said to be the most frightening ghost story in the English language, and enjoyed a mixture of fear and revulsion. (Matheson used sexual degredation in the background and setting, and worse things are seen in daylight today on the streets of Berkeley.) But they do not belong on the shelf with Bradbury. The closest thing I found to Bradbury Terror was a short story by Robert Bloch, Hungry House, and another short by Orson Scott Card called Eumenidies in the Fourth Floor Lavatory. And in the same volume was Lovecraft's classic The Music of Eric Zann, about a man compelled to look into the outer darkness, and cursed to see.

What then was the nerve-shredding terror that Bradbury wrote?

It was part malevolence, but not malevolence alone. I just saw Ridley Scott's Prometheus, in IMAX, with the sound too loud and the bass way too loud. Ridley Scott's malevolent and half-mindless horrors are good for adrenaline rushes, but Bradbury was not in them.

In Bloch's Hungry House the horror is driven by a psychotic narcissism, with all the power of a mind, but none of the awareness of the others whom it touches and destroys. And there might be the key: a soul or a society with all its power and awareness bent to accomplishing evil, with no awareness of the real nature of what it is doing. This is the purest kind of moral corruption I have seen, or care to see. It is what C. S. Lewis hinted at in Perelandra with the Un-Man.

Is this what Neitzsche meant when he wrote "When you gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"? It must take a very good man, or a very wicked one, to hold that gaze or long. And since Badbury was, by all accounts, a good man, it seems he must have been a very good one indeed.

 Today we must look into the abyss of the political Left. We see good people seduced by choruses weaving lies into pretty, solid-looking tapestries. We see minds and hearts and wills bent toward evil that wears the cloak and mantle of good. Like Erich Zann, we must gaze long and deep into the abyss, but unlike Zann, we must act, and not lose our humanity either by what we see or by what we do.

Let us pray for the goodness and courage to act both wisely and well.

Saturday
Jun092012

Fiscal Responsibility: A Tea Party Cause

An Owl-Eye Opinion

Is There A Way To Solve the Public Pension Problem?

The Problem

States and municipalities across the USA face spiraling and potentially crushing costs, and one of the drivers is public pensons, which are almost always defined benefit plans. Such plans are invitations to abuse and irresponsibility. Here's why:

  • The monies are promised in the present, but the promises must be kept in the future. Most people lack the math skills (or math awareness) to do the computations. Few people have the actual numbers available. And everything depends on "external" factors.
  • Politicians have every incentive to promise what someone else must deliver. Unions have every incentive to promise the moon, complete with an all-inclusive tour.
  • The "external factors" are the success of investments made to provide for the pensions. Most pension plans are underfunded in degrees ranging from woeful to disastrous. Politicians have every incentive to overestimate investment success and avoid actually committing the money needed.
  • Investment success is a function of the investment markets. The investment markets depend on the wisdom or oppressive folly of politicians and the wisdom or folly of all citizens (not just investors) in voting for them. So long as a worker believes that his pension is secure from the market but vulnerable to the politician telling the truth, they will have every incentive to vote against the market—the very market that his pension depends upon.  And he will ruin the economy and the nation by so voting.
The Solution

There is, in the end, only one solution. It is a simple solution. It will be unpopular with the most vocal and best-monied constituencies. But in the current climate, with the right politicians in office, it will be possible.

The solution is this: There must be no more defined-benefit public pensions, whether for unionized workers, civil servants, public safety workers or public officials. Every worker should receive 401K funds with a wide range of investment options and the ability to divide the money among them as he will. The options should include annuities that must be bought on the open market from investment companies.

And this law must be written into the State Constitution:

Neither the State of <insert name> nor any county, municipality, or other division or subdivision thereof, nor any agency of any such government, will commit to any fixed pension or benefit payment later than twelve months from the time of the work performed to earn it, whether for employees, contractors, or public officials, and any pension monies provided must be paid at the same time as other earnings for the same period, for investment in such tax-preferenced manner as may be allowed by law, using investment vehicles available to the public at large and not sponsored by any government or government agency (except that government bonds offered to the general public to fund actions for public purpose may be used), in a manner chosen at the discretion of the recipient of the pension or benefit monies.

Could such an amendment be made to the New Jersey State Constitution? Yes, for the following reasons:

  • It is become almost impossible to deny the time bomb that public pensions represent.
  • Public sentiment is turning against public employees and their unions.
  • Public sentiment against the privilege of public officials is strong, and will remain so as long as the public is reminded of abuses of that privilege.
  • The Amendment requires that the bosses—the politicians—live under the same laws as the ordinary worker, not as to the amounts, but as to the rules. This will be popular, and any politician who will take a stand against it will be admitting that he belongs, and wants to belong, to a privileged class.
  • Any grounds that a State Court can find for overturning it would be so tortured as to further undermine their legitimacy and invite appeal to the Federal courts—assuming that the State can be given the backbone to defend it properly.  (The case might easily attract amicus briefs from free-market legal heavyweights.  Such briefs weigh heavy in the Obamacare arguments.)

Note that such plans, implemented successfully by several States, would provide example and impetus for free-market reforms to Social Security, and that impetus would grow as years passed.  Unlike the reforms in Chile, they would be right here at home and constantly visible to the public. 

The principle obstacles to the passage of such an Amendment is placing it in public debate against the will of the Left, fighting back the influence of statists of all kinds including those that recognize the threat to the Social Security Ponzi scheme, and holding to the fire the feet of politicians and state attorneys general. Those who are invested in the corrupting of Social Security and other pension systems won't dare to make their arguments explicity on a State-and-local pension issue but they can pour money into campaigns.

Of these, the biggest problem is the first: getting the plan into the public arena. Here's how we can do it:

The key is getting Tea Parties on board across New Jersey and getting Tea Party candidates to come out publicly in favor of it. The critical part will be making sure that elected and appointed officials are included, and making sure that our candidates make the reform a large part of their platform, so that the media can't completely "bury the lede" when they report on the races.

If such a plan for fiscal discipline and reform were to receive the full support of all Tea Parties and all Tea Party candidates, it could be brought to a vote within the next Presidential election cycle.

 

Saturday
Jun092012

On Civil Rights, On Human Rights

In her disgraceful and disparaging public remarks to Egypt about the US Constitution Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made one defensible statement, and one that is appalling.

The defensible statement boils down to this: since we were the first, the pioneers, someone else might have learned from us and done something better. The statement is defensible on the phrase "might have", but the claim is far from proven. I'll admit the possibility of improvements on matters of legal draughtstmenship, but not on bigger issues. Why not?

Ginsburg illustrates why we shouldn't look to any other Constitution when she misses the biggest point of all. She says that other Constitutions have better protections on human rights and civil rights. Well, other Constitutions have more words on the subject. But the Constitution of the United States of America, and especially its Bill of Rights, rests on a foundation document, our Declaration of Independence.

The first paragraph of the Declaration is a preamble giving a reason for the document: When in the Course of human events ... . The substance begins in the second paragraph:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ...

No stronger statement of human rights ever has been made and no stronger statement can be made. With it, no further foundation is needed. And without it no declaration of rights will endure, for there is no other sure foundation.

It was strong enough to overcome the provisions for slavery written into the Constitution itself. It was strong enough to overcome Plessy v. Ferguson and Jim Crow. It is strong enough to defeat the usurpations and abuses of this age, so long as we Heirs of Liberty will place and keep our faith in it.

Saturday
Jun092012

Three Reviews

Three Late Reviews

Better late than never, I hope. These are still in theaters, and not nearing the ends of their runs.

For Greater Glory

Marvel's The Avengers

Men in Black 3

I wasn't planning on seeing Men in Black 3, since I missed Men in Black and Men in Black 2. But I also missed the last showing of the film I wanted, and there was one more 3D shiwing of MIB3 that evening.

The premise of the Men in Black franchise is that aliens have been visiting Earth for a long time but—like the wizards in Harry Potter—they have to remain secret and not cause trouble. These rules are enforced by a secret agency of men in black called Men in Black.

This is camp and comedy, but it is also adventure with the necessary jeopardy—save a life, keep the Earth from being eaten, survive a jump off the Chrysler building—and a bit of human pathos to anchor the story and keep the deus-ex-machina element from breaking the whole thing. It's good lowbrow entertainment with inventive plot elements and visuals, as well as one or two digs at the pretentious and highbrow. It's the chocolate milk of cinema, tasty, a bit nutritious, and healthy in moderation.

Speaking of chocolate milk, there is a nice sippy-cup riff on chocolate milk in the story.

Don't bother with Men in Black 3 if you can't jump right into a science fiction world, if you can't stand camp, or if you idolize Any Warhol. Otherwise, have fun.

Marvel's The Avengers

 Comic book stories, especially superhero stories, must create exceptional dangers in order that a superhuman character must struggle in order to resolve the jeopardy. When five different heroes are involved, the danger must be even greater.

The writers of Marvel's The Avengers succeed quite nicely. Along the way, there are a a variety of superhero rescue stunts, character dilemmas, and neat tech concepts with lots of nice CGI. Also some "impossible physics" animation humor. But that's not what interests me about this film.

In recent years, superhero comics have gotten on various politically correct bandwagons. At least one established superhero came out as gay, for instance. So it's interesting that Captain America gets his stars and stripes back. Why? "Maybe we need a bit of old-fashioned America." When the Norse god Loki forces a crowd in Germany to kneel, an old man stands back up and likens him to Hitler. And when Loki proclaims himself a god, Captain America utters what must now be the most famous line in the movie: I know of only one God, and he doesn't dress like that. In today's Hollywood, a line like that is shocking, even scandalous. Maybe they thought that it's the only way to talk to the rubes who would come out to this movie.

Or maybe someone, at Marvel or at the studio, is trying to break with the new conventions and return to the old traditions. Is it sincere? How should I know? Will it last? That might depend on whether people continue to buy tickets for stories like this. Even if they think we are rubes for paying admission we should keep paying. They may be making fun of what they don't understand, but if our message gets out the joke's on the jokers. The message will only help our cause, sincere or not.

For Greater Glory

Putting For Greater Glory after Men in Black 3 and Marvel's The Avengers is like ending a rap concert with a madrigal and The Art of the FugueFor Greater Glory is so different a film you wonder that they can both fit in a single category. It's real history (though dramatized, it takes minimal liberties); it's about real people and real politics, challenging the conventional notion of a happy ending; it presents the real rhetoric by which politicians justify oppressing their people.

By now most people have heard of the story: in the 1920's the newly established Socialist government of Mexico undertook to drive religion out of Mexico. And by 'religion' they meant Catholicism. Restrictions were imposed in succession, with resistance to each measure used to justify the next and more oppressive measure.

The plot is necessarily condensed; the story follows certain characters to provide dramatic continuity and personal interest, even though it lacks the time to develop all their stories fully.

This is not an easy story to like or enjoy. There are heroes, but the story asks us to understand the meaning of a happy ending on their terms. The ugliness of despotism and creeping totalitarianism is in no way uplifting. And a skilled performance by Peter O'Toole is squandered in his last scene.

Paradoxically, all but the last of these are strengths of the film, not weaknesses, created by the nature of the story and the nature of the struggle rather than by the makers of the film. They are an honesty which forces us to ask if our beliefs live up to their billing. And as a record of the history of oppression in the twentieth century, the film is a must-see for those who love their liberty and treasure their freedoms.

Seeing this movie will allow the filmmakers to move on to other projects. It will cast a vote for telling the truth about freedom and oppression. And it will make you part of questions that few of us can answer satisfactorily.

Tuesday
Jun052012

The Man Who Was Thursday

By Owl-Eye Pundit

A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather,
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together.
Science announced nonentity and art admired decay;
The world was old and ended, but you and I were gay.
Round us in antic order their crippled vices came—
Lust that had lost its laughter, fear that had lost its shame.
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom,
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume.
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung;
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young.
...
Between us, by the peace of God, such truth can now be told;
Yea, there is strength in striking root, and good in growing old.
We have found common things at last, and marriage and a creed,
And I may safely write it now, and you may safely read.

To the right is the verse dedicating G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday to his friend E. C. ("Clerihew") Bentley.

If you have never met G. K. Chesterton, your education is incomplete.  The founder of the American Chesterton Society calls him both the greatest writer and the greatest thinker of the twentieth century.  Certainly anyone who could define modernist doubt and nihilism is such easy banter as this verse is no mean intellect, nor could he lack a full and fertile heart.  But Dale Alquist goes on to say "Modern thinkers and commentators and critics have found it much more convenient to ignore Chesterton rather than to engage him in an argument, because to argue with Chesterton is to lose."  And he is right, on both points.

Chesterton was a prodigious writer and thinker; he wrote a daily newspaper essay and over a hundred books, including some of the finest "setpiece" mysteries ever written.  He was the first Ruler of the famous Detection Club whose members included Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.  He wrote theology—commonsense and correct theology, for the common man.  His quickly penned biography of St. Thomas Aquinas has been called the finest ever written.  And he may be the most quotable writer since Shakespeare—or the Bible.

Chesterton debated George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells publicly on morality and progress and everything that goes with them, and he usually won.  He remained good friends with both, and when he died Shaw said "The world is not thankful enough for Chesterton."

I hope to include more of his books in our ever-changing Reading List, but for now I write of The Man Who Was Thursday.

Imagine you see the world about you filled with good people, bright and clean things, and yet ... there is a threat in the air; it is a scent of something that would destroy all that is good and bright.  And imagine that you were called into a totally dark room where sat the head of a secret police force dedicated to answering this threat.  You can tell somehow that he is an immense man, and you are told only that he lives in the dark to make his thoughts brighter.

And his brightest thought right now is to enlist you.  And your only qualification is to be willing—to be a martyr.  Such is the nightmare of Gabriel Syme.

And somehow this story is wild, and comic, and unruly.  It is wild like the meadows and hills; unruly like the wind, and comic like the laugh of Nature herself.  Invention flows from the pen of Chesterton.  (Actually, he dictated much of his work.)

And somehow, in some unspecified way, it is deeply biographical.  The man who was Thursday must one day come face to face with the thing he fears most: the great, terrifying, and wholly unpredictable Sunday.

And now we may safely read.

Sunday
Jun032012

The Truth That Can't Be Told

The Ad that Conservatives Can't Run

Here's the campaign ad that I'd love to see running.  But it will never run, and we dare not run it.

Campaign Ad Nnn

Four Former Employees, ages between 35 and 45, each in a setting.
  FE1: Wears full business dress, seen walking in front of a large, masonry building.
  FE2: Dressed "business casual."  Seen walking among empty cubicles in a large, darkened room.
  FE3:
Dressed less severely for business (e.g. tie but no jacket).
  FE4: Dressed and groomed to the nines.  Tuxedo/Gown may be appropriate.  Seen walking—strolling—in a sculpture garden with a large museum building behind.

(Intro shot: Washington in background, overrlaid by question mark(s).)
Announcer: What would happen under a Conservative Administration and a Conservative Congress?

(Cut to medium shot: FE1 walking.)
FE1:
 There were hundreds of us helping the public find their way among complex regulations that nobody understood.  Sure, we sometimes disagreed, but it was inevitable given the situation.  I worked for the IRS, and the tax reforms put all of us on early retirement.

(Cut to medium shot: FE2 walking.)
FE2:
 We found new ways for people to reach their dreams and secure their futures.  I worked for Fannie Mae, and now all I have is my government pension.

(Cut to medium shot: FE3 walking.)
FE3: I wrote thousands of pages during my career, and it became gospel for millions all over the country.  Now I'm out of work, and my life's work is gone.  It was all thrown away when they ripped up the regulations on small business.

(Cut to medium shot: FE4 strolling.)
FE4:
 I was on the front lines, driving American Values into the new century.  At the National Endownment for the Arts I wrote grants for the most transgressive work anywhere.  (Gestures)

(Cut to close shot: Full-colored, mushroom-shaped bust of leering Uncle Sam with water flowing down it.  Pull back and pan up to reveal tableau: statues above arranged in a fountain: soldiers, civilian adults, and children, both sexes.  The actual sources of the water are not visible, but it is clear that the figures are "urinating.")
FE4:
But those hateful, regressive Conservatives ...

(Cut to shot: FE4 standing, face contorted in anger and about to weep.)
FE4:
 ... DROVE US BACK ... to the ... DARK AGES!

 (Cut to shot: Classic shot of Mount Rushmore with sky above.)

Announcer: Conservatives.  They just don't understand America. 

This ad won't be run, because we don't have the faith in our ideas, and in the common sense of Americans.  We dare not run it, because we can't trust our "public servants" to keep their promises or hew to the principles they recite when they stand before us.  And maybe, just maybe, we don't like talking about the true, ugly face of the modern Left.

Wednesday
May232012

Ratify These, And US Will Have LOST Its Sovereignty

TREATIES Threaten US SOVEREIGNTY

 

International Covenant on Environment and Development – Eco-Logic Jan/Feb 98

http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=400&nr=83&menu=45

• Agenda 21 (soft law) was the precursor to this treaty

• Consists of 11 parts, containing a total of 72 Articles

• It will convert the “soft law” recommendations of Agenda 21 into legally binding  hard international law

• Supports all the principles of Agenda 21 including the Precautionary Principle

• It is in complete conflict with our constitution

• This is the UN Treaty that will move the world into the clutches of global governance

 

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)http://unlawoftheseatreaty.org  

http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2011/07/law-of-sea-treaty-could-cost-us-trillions

• 1970’s UN came up with the plan to control the seas of the world.  In an attempt to control the mineral, oil, gas, and other riches of the sea they came up with Law of the Sea Treaty.

• 1973-1982 Law of the Sea Convention was created as a scheme to pay for this program

• Concerns about the treaty as expressed by Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul:

• Loss of US sovereignty 

• Mandates large fees and profit sharing with the UN ($500K+$1M+50%)

• The sole decision on whether to grant or withhold mining permits rests with the UN

• US must share technology with other countries

• Of course we are also told these statements are unfounded. #yeahright ... We will not believe Obama and Hillary on this.

 

International Criminal Court –  http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC?lan=en-GB

• Requires the US to get permission from the UN to declare war.  Our Congress would have no say in the decision

• Overrides our Constitution, President, Supreme Court

• No trial by jury, no right to speedy trial, no right to confront your accusers, no presumption of innocence 

• It exists to prosecute presidents and other top government officials

• 4 basic crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression) Who defines these crimes

• This could spill over to American citizens on American soil  (NDAA)

• President Clinton and President Bush were totally against the ICC

 

UN Small Arms Treatyhttp://scpatriotsclub.com/blog/?p=82

• A backdoor gun ban in America

• Strips second amendment protection

• Sold as a way to stop the exporting of guns  (but would not have helped stop Fast & Furious; doesn’t apply equally to “developing” nations such as China, Pakistan, DPRK)

 

Rights of the Childhttp://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

• Ban spanking as a crime

• Parents cannot stop children from associating with undesirables (perverts, criminals, druggies)

• Create a legal basis to sue state and local government to demand increased spending for welfare, education and health care for children

• US must give foreign aid to “poor” nations to assure  their children have adequate health care, education, nutrition and housing

• When making decisions that affect the child the child must have equal  input

 

Code of Conduct in Outer Spacehttp://www.thespacereview.com/article/1794/1

• Prevents the US from deploying anti-missile defense weapons systems in outer space to counter threats from Iran, North Korea and China (space defense is the most effective method of detecting missile attacks)

 

NOTE:    

  •          Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in complete support of these treaties. 
  •          A treaty is ratified by the Senate alone, and does not go to the House.  A 2/3 vote is required.
  •          A Treaty can only be reversed by a Constitutional Amendment  or agreement by all participants. 
  •          All of these treaties have been around for years and have been kept at bay.  However, Obama wants all of these treaties ratified and he will find a way to implement them, whether by Executive Order or Treaty.