Sunday, June 28, 2009

Act and consequence apply, even to homosexual parents

Robert Bork wrote about our society’s moral decay in a book titled Slouching Toward Gomorrah. That slouch has become a dead run.

Eric Mongerson is a divorced man who wasn’t allowed to share his children’s visitations with his new love. Eric’s “new love” is a man. Okay, big surprise, right? It goes farther. Eric dumped his 20-year marriage and his four children to pursue his homosexuality. And it wasn’t the first time he had engaged in such relationships.

During the divorce the wife argued--with apparent success--that Mongerson had engaged in adulterous homosexual affairs on several occasions. It was also argued that he and his partner had exposed the four children to inappropriate behavior during a trip across state lines. Thus the court prohibited him from sharing his visitations with his partner.

That has changed, thanks to a Georgia Supreme Court ruling. And the Associated Press account of the ruling sounds like it was written by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance. It was nothing short of an endorsement of the “gay rights” movement, which makes great use of false bigotry allegations to force society into accepting unnatural attractions.

The AP story lamented how Mongerson was unable to take his kids to his home while his boyfriend was there, even though the wife once brought her boyfriend to his daughter’s concert.

Friends, there’s quite a difference between a heterosexual couple taking children to a public area, such as a concert, and a homosexual couple taking them to a private area, such as a home. If you can’t make that distinction you might as well stop reading now. You’re too blinded by your heterophobic bigotry to see the big picture.

Also note the phrase, “his daughter’s concert.” It’s as if the wife doesn’t exist. Excuse me, but I believe the correct phrase is “their daughter’s concert.” It’s doubtful that the AP’s wording is accidental.

Fact is, Eric Mongerson made his bed. If he was so concerned with spending time with his kids why did he ditch his family? His visitation problems were the direct result of his choices. Yet moral issues are but a part of the equation. There are several interesting aspects of this tale that are worth examination.

Let’s concede--for sake of illustration only--that Eric Mongerson was born homosexual, as gay advocates regularly argue. He spent 20 years in a matrimonial, sexual, relationship with a woman--a woman to whom he had no attraction. He was, as activists claim, living the lie.

Under these circumstances it is logical to question why he wants to see his kids at all. Their presence resurrects his experiences within a heterosexual relationship. Each time he sees their faces he is confronted with the intimate moments he spent with their mother. Logically speaking, why wouldn’t he avoid those children and the constant reminder of heterosexual relations they represent?

Another question is why this matter is such big news? What if the shoe were on the other foot? If it were a straight man in a visitation dispute with an ex-wife concerning his activities with a girlfriend there would’ve been no bold headline and little media attention. But since it involves homosexuality it fits the approved news template. It fit’s the politically correct narrative. It advances the agenda-driven propaganda that much of today’s “free” press embodies.

Lastly, the Mongerson situation is indicative of how we’ve compromised both the natural law and common morality. It shows that we may not be slouching toward Gomorrah, as Bork wrote, but charging there full tilt.

This case shouldn’t have been debated much less adjudicated. Should Eric Mongerson have visitation rights? Sure he should. No government has authority to separate a parent from a child sans a criminal offense. Eric helped make those kids whether he enjoyed it or not.

However, that doesn’t necessarily grant him the right to include his homosexual friends. When moral lines are blurred to the extent they’ve been blurred in our society, situations like this are bound to arise.

Actions have consequences. It was Eric Mongerson who walked out on his family to be with another man. He made that choice knowing full well it would hinder his relationship with his children. It’s obvious from his actions that his homosexual interests meant more to him than anything else.

There’s no discrimination when someone makes a free choice. Unless his preference is now bisexual, Eric Mongerson can’t have it both ways.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boxer demands fealty, not respect

Proper etiquette once invited respect and using “Sir” and “Ma’am” was considered reverential. The insult arose when the words were warranted but not used.

Within the military structure referring to a ranking officer as “Sir” or “Ma’am” still represents proper protocol. In fact, it’s mandatory. For example, a subordinate can use “Sir”, “Ma’am”, or rank while addressing a superior officer and remain soundly within the realm of civility.

Such courtesy once worked in the Halls of Congress, too. That was before self-absorbed lords such as California’s Barbara Boxer assumed royal authority in Washington.

Boxer chastised Brigadier General Michael Walsh during a recent Senate hearing. The video is everywhere and you can see it for yourself. However, to summarize for clarity, Walsh addressed Boxer as “Ma’am” instead of “Senator” and you’d have thought he called her the “C” word.

She promptly informed the General that she preferred to be addressed as Senator Boxer because she had “worked so hard to get that title.” How can anyone simultaneously be so arrogant, narcissistic and insecure?

Mr. Walsh showed proper respect for both Boxer and her office with the term “ma’am.” “Ma’am” is a contraction of “madam” and refers to a woman of refinement. It’s a compliment. And it’s arguably more than Barbara Boxer deserves.

Boxer must be extraordinarily insecure in her person and inordinately proud of her power to have taken offense. She just couldn’t resist calling attention to herself and shoving her credentials in someone’s face. It’s a trait of outward arrogance that also indicates inner weakness.

Maybe her insecurity arises from the possibility that becoming a Democratic Senator from California isn’t overly difficult. Daffy Duck could run as a Democrat and defeat a Republican in a state-wide race. It’s just no great trick for a Leftist to win a general election in California.

Even winning the Democrat primary isn’t as monumental a task as Boxer claims. How hard is it to promise more government, more spending and more of everything to 51-percent of the population at the expense of the other 49-percent? And whatever your Leftist opponent may promise, double the offer. What’s so difficult?

Who is Boxer to claim that she “worked hard” for what she has anyway? Americans work hard to attain success everyday. They use their talents to please their neighbors, customers and clients. Yet Boxer has no qualms with disrespecting such commoners, or with redistributing what they’ve earned. They are, after all, the winners of life’s lottery.

Now she has the gall to demand acknowledgement of her hard work? Forget it!

By the way, the silver star Michael Walsh wears doesn’t mean he’s the Marshall of Dodge City. And he didn’t get it from a Cracker Jack box. In fact, I’ll wager that Walsh worked harder to attain the rank of Brigadier General than Boxer did to win a Senate seat. I’ll also wager that he wouldn’t be mortally offended if a subordinate called him Sir.

Boxer’s condescending attitude is born from an odd marriage of inner weakness and insecurity with an outward sense of royalty and unmitigated authority. It’s time her highness faced the reality of her contradictions.

No one is forcing women back to the barefoot, pregnant, cookie-baking days with the use of ma’am. Boxer’s offense at this traditional term of respect reflects both a hollow personality and a shallow intellect.

Attaining a Senate seat is a rare accomplishment; there are only 100 Senators at a time. She can be proud of her office. But public office grants her no right to demand fealty from another American citizen, especially a Brigadier General. Barbara’s panties were wadded over nothing.

Boxer’s childish demand didn’t enhance her authority nor command anyone’s respect. She merely proved that arrogant insecurity isn’t an oxymoron and that she’s undeserving even of the obeisance she received, much less that which she demands.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A clunker of a bill on several fronts

The “Cash for Clunkers” bill passed Congress with strong bipartisan support. No, that’s not great news. In fact, it explains why it has become so hard to distinguish Republicans from Democrats. So much is wrong with this legislation that it’s hard to know where to begin.

The bill’s constitutionality should be the starting point. No part of the US Constitution authorizes Congress to spend public money to subsidize the trading of personal merchandise. Of course, constitutionality is but a minor problem for Congress; they simply ignore it.

It’s not that hard, insomuch that we’ve become a nation governed by whims and whines rather than laws, checks and balances. Let’s put that troublesome Constitution thingy aside and focus on other lamentable aspects of Cash for Clunkers.

Isn’t it government officials who are always telling us that it’s government’s job to help the poor? Well, this bill accomplishes just the opposite. The wealthy and connected auto dealers will fare quite well. But poor drivers will be left to walk or ride bikes.

What will happen to the price of used cars when government guarantees up to $4500 in trade allowance per vehicle? If you say the price of used vehicles will increase, take a gold star.

Car dealers support the measure because it could bolster their sagging sales, leaving people who can afford only a clunker out in the cold. The cars they could once afford on the open market become unaffordable in a government subsidized trade market.

Environmentalists support Cash for Clunkers, too, on the premise that old smoky will be taken off the road. That’s debatable.

For more than 35 years automobiles have been equipped with pollution control systems. Leaded gasoline was banned and seasonal formulations were mandated, which is worth remembering when rising gas prices accompany the arrival of warm weather.

Since those mandates, according to Federal Highway Administration and EPA statistics, auto emissions have fallen significantly related to miles traveled. The only exception is nitrogen oxides. And according to a 1998 EPA study even those emissions dropped during their ten-year control period.

The world may not be pristine. But you aren’t likely to keel over when a 1985 Buick rolls past.

The most discouraging aspect for conservatives is the number of Republicans who voted for the bill. Fifty-nine allegedly free-market Republican lawmakers voted for Cash for Clunkers. They cast their lot with Nancy Pelosi and proved that many elected Republicans have no more intention of shrinking the size and power of government than do their Democrat counterparts. No Republican can claim to be a limited government, free-market conservative with their name attached to this bill.

The funding for the Cash for Clunkers trade-in allowances is said to come from the recent stimulus package. No it won’t; there’s no actual money in that stimulus package. It’s just a sack full of government IOUs, quite like Social Security and Medicare, both of which are hurtling toward insolvency.

We’re already awash in red ink. The national debt is approaching $11.5 trillion and some estimates claim government’s unfunded liabilities exceed $100 trillion. With GDP at $14 trillion per annum it would take more than seven years for the American economy to produce what Washington has promised to spend. And that’s if no further promises are made and every cent of economic production were applied to the liability.

Cash for Clunkers represents everything that’s wrong on Capitol Hill. It’s chock full of fiscal irresponsibility, power brokering, favoritism, vote-buying and contempt for our liberty, our Constitution and our intelligence.

The money for your trade is being stolen from your grandchildren. Each car purchased under this law should come with a tag that reads: “I’m spending my children’s inheritance . . . and their birthright.”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stupidity and perversion go hand-in-hand

If you read my columns regularly you now that I don’t toot my own horn very often. But I recently wrote an editorial about how the sexual relationship has been devalued. I can now bolster my claim, with the added bonus that perversity is exceeded only by stupidity.

When I first heard about a man hiring someone to rape his wife I thought it was a tasteless joke. At least hiring someone to kill your wife makes some sense. But why hire someone to rape your wife? That’s even more pointless than it is cracked.

When it became obvious that the event took place my first thought was of some twisted fantasy in which the wife was involved. Then, when the fantasy became reality the wife realized that it wasn’t erotically invigorating and changed her story.

I know what you’re thinking. But such warped role play isn’t as uncommon as we might hope.

There was a story several years ago about a married couple’s mutually agreed “rape fantasy”. The wife was to leave the door unlocked upon going to bed. The husband would leave work on the specified night, conceal his identity and “rape” his wife. To each their own, I suppose.

On the big night the woman awoke to a hooded man standing over her. She struggled and protested initially, then submitted to her “attacker”, fully enjoying the simulated assault. When all was through the attacker left as planned.

The husband returned later, causing her to question why he was still in costume. Guess what? He hadn’t been home that evening. It seems he had bragged about what he and his wife had planned and one of his buddies beat him to the punch.

That’s not funny, although you sometimes get what you ask for. But it turns out that the woman in the current episode was truly unaware of her husband’s plans.

This woman--God bless her--became the unwitting victim of her husband’s twisted perversion. He hired a strange man to come to his home and sexually assault his wife, in his bed, while he watched. There’s nothing understandable or redeeming about it.

However, as nefarious as this act was, the stupidity exceeds even the perversity.

When someone answers an Internet ad like this one it makes reasonable people wonder how dumb our neighbors are. We don’t need to address what a creep the husband is; that’s evident. But he never considered the danger someone so twisted as to answer his ad could pose? Please!

The hired rapist could have robbed the home. He could’ve killed the husband, wife and the children, who were home at the time. What if he had pulled a gun and decided to take a turn at the husband? What would hubby have thought of the “rape fantasy” then?

The alleged assailant, Rodney Liverman, is just as bad if not worse. Even if he was told that the wife would be a willing participant could he not see his own danger? Suppose the husband became jealous; what defense could Liverman offer?

Liverman was in a stranger’s home, doing a stranger’s wife while wearing a hood and holding a knife. Hubby could’ve filled him with lead, and unless the wife spilled the beans no jury in America would’ve convicted him. Furthermore, how stupid must he be not to realize that the wife wasn’t in on the game once it began? And Liverman himself could’ve been setup for robbery or rape.

Political correctness has taught that one person can’t judge another’s actions, especially when it comes to sex. Thus we’ve become desensitized to the level of degeneracy that surrounds us. Small wonder our decadence has reached the point where a man hires his wife’s rapist.

We needn’t address this matter’s depravity. It is obvious. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising. What’s surprising, and perhaps more frightening, is that people so stupid walk among us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pray for Independence on Independence Day

We don’t celebrate the 4th of July on July 4th. We celebrate Independence Day. Our Founding Fathers, having grown weary of their subjected status, tossed the shackles of tyranny and declared independence from the British crown. Ultimately they established a government wherein people are largely independent of both their fellow man and their government.

This presents a quandary for the human spirit. While mankind naturally desires freedom, we are a somewhat dependent creature. Therefore, independence from man and government demands a substitute, a dependence on a higher authority. That authority is our preeminent Creator, as recognized in our glorious founding document, the Declaration of Independence.

Only when our reliance rests on God can we be fully free of mankind’s oppression and government tyranny.

The Founding Fathers certainly didn’t intend to create a Christian theocracy. That idea doesn’t even make sense. Christianity is a personal commitment to faith, a relationship with Christ. Therefore authentic Christianity cannot be spread through force, coercion, or other manipulative method. In fact, any faith or religious practice that can spread in these ways is, at best, weak and meaningless.

There is a difference between America being a Christian theocracy and being a Christian nation. There is no law through which Americans are compelled to become Christian, neither today nor in our infancy. There’s also no law through which Americans are prevented from being Christians, at least not yet.

However, it is true that our nation was founded upon Christian morality by men who received guidance predominantly from the Christian faith. It is, therefore, not only legitimate for Christians to influence our society, it is imperative.

Whenever people, individually or collectively, abandon their dependence on their Heavenly Father they will naturally substitute for that dependency. Government or humanism (man-made morality) is more than ready to fill that void. The liberty we once enjoyed quickly succumbs to the tyranny of man, which usually manifests in larger and more oppressive government.

That doesn’t mean that all government is a substitute for God or that government is altogether unnecessary. Certainly a government of just laws enacted for the purpose of protecting liberty is based on sound doctrine. Rules that expose and restrain the invader and plunderer are essential to liberty. Such rules, ironically, are found throughout the Pentateuch.

Just as human liberties are self-evident, as our Founders knew so well, independence is also self-evident. Somehow we’ve lost sight of that conviction. We’ve shunned our dependence on our Heavenly Father in favor of dependence on man-made institutions, such as government programs in various forms.

We’re unquestionably witnessing the result of our dependence in the decline of the family unit, increased government bureaucracies that usurp the natural role of the charitable church and sundry welfare programs--both personal and corporate. We cannot remain a free people under these circumstances. We can only retain the delusion of freedom, wherein liberty exists in our mind but not in reality.

Isn’t it time we recaptured our Founding Fathers’ visionary spirit? Let’s embrace liberty once more. And let us forever acknowledge the source of our freedom. Liberty is the inalienable desire of the human spirit, engraved eternally on our hearts by the hand of the Heavenly Creator.

Without regard to contemporary historical revisionism, our Founding Fathers recognized God’s hand in freedom’s establishment. They discussed and debated the concept in their parlors, town halls, taverns and yes, even their churches. The voice of liberty should again ring in those churches.

Let liberty be rekindled in dependence on the Sovereign and Almighty God. Celebrate Independence Day with a reverent and prayerful spirit. Let’s show America that God’s people are serious about reclaiming our dwindling birthright.

Visit and get your church involved.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Intimidation reigns after Tiller’s death

Intimidation is an effective tactic. If one side of a debate can force the opposition to abandon their beliefs, or to shrink from defending them, the first side is a step closer to victory. Since George Tiller’s death, intimidation has become the pro-abortion community’s preferred strategy.

Ellen Goodman, a pro-choice columnist for the Boston Globe, blamed Tiller’s death directly on the entire pro-life movement. Every person who calls abortion-on-demand what it is—the murder of an innocent child—is, in her eyes, responsible for lighting the shooter’s fuse.

No pro-lifer wants to be associated with a murderer. Ellen Goodman and her ilk understand this perfectly and they’re using it to their advantage. They know that they can gain an upper hand if they can silence our voice by linking our cause with Tiller’s death. We can’t allow that to happen.

Our opposition to George Tiller’s murder is no reason for us to defend or excuse what he did with his life. When we denounce his murder and disavow responsibility for it we are entirely consistent with our pro-life message. However, abortion supporters (such as Goodman) must condemn Tiller’s death while defending the deaths Tiller caused. Our position is consistent, rational and defensible. Theirs is not.

The pro-abortion use of Tiller’s death is a test we must pass. We cannot be intimidated. We cannot abandon our principles in the face of false accusations. We cannot be silenced and we cannot shrink from defending innocent life. Ours is the righteous cause.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jed Clampett: A Hero for the ages

Children can benefit from emulating the positive qualities found not only in their parents but in public role models. I had such boyhood heroes, too, one for each season.

During the winter months I idolized Tarheel point guard Phil Ford. Yes, I’m telling my age. But growing older beats the grave, so here goes.

Ford was the consummate floor general and a ball handler extraordinaire. I can still see him splitting the zone and dishing a quick backdoor pass to a cutting Walter Davis. I so wanted to be Phil Ford . . . until spring.

Beginning in April and throughout the summer months I wanted to be Yankees catcher Thurman Munson. Not only did Munson play for my favorite team, he was also the captain. He helped resurrect the Yankee mystique, which had been dormant during my childhood.

Munson led the Yankees to three American League pennants and two World Series championships. His name sounded cool and his moustache is the reason mine has been shaved only twice in 30 years.

When the summer surrendered to autumn baseball gave way to football. My hero worship turned to Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler. I thought “Snake” was as cool as they come. He had a scruffy beard and hair that curled from beneath a sinister silver helmet.

On the field Stabler was unflappable and appeared unconcerned with his surroundings. A blitzing linebacker? Hah! He’d stand defiantly in his face. A charging tackle? He never appeared to notice they were there. At the last possible instant Snake’s left hand would strike, delivering a perfectly placed pass to Fred Biletnikoff.

He would get hammered for his nonchalance. If the hits fazed Snake he never let on. In fact, He seemed to thrive on the punishment and the defender’s exasperation.
Those three athletes were at the top of their respective games and they provided me with memories that remain fresh even today. But they’re no longer my heroes.

Ford has battled some personal issues and I just don’t like basketball like I once did. Stabler was just too much of a partier. What else can you say about a guy who John Madden kept in line by making him responsible for keeping John Matuszak in line?

And Thurman Munson, God rest his soul. It’s not easy for a 14-year-old to learn that his favorite ballplayer has died in a plane crash. Thirty years have passed and it seems like yesterday.

It’s also plain that--at age 44--I’ll never be the athlete those men were or that millions of young boys dream of becoming. But I had another childhood hero, and I still look up to him. That hero is Uncle Jed.

Yes, that Uncle Jed; Jed Clampett. I know he was a fictional character, and my reasons for admiring him have changed over the years. For example, I know I can’t shoot flies on the wing or skeet with a rifle. It’s unimportant that Jed was a multi-millionaire, and I certainly don’t admire Jed because he “moved to Beverly.” Jed Clampett is my hero because of the type of character he was.

Despite his good fortune--somehow a man who could shoot flies missed a gopher--Jed never changed. Glitz, glamour and status didn’t interest Uncle Jed. He wasn’t afraid to be himself.

He wasn’t an educated man, but he possessed common sense, logic and wisdom that far-exceeded his wealth. He was honest, capable and dependable. Those virtues are in short supply these days.

Jed was the epitome of self-reliance and charitable to a fault. He sought peace whenever possible--no easy task with Granny for a mother-in-law--but never shied from a necessary confrontation.

Living up to Jed Clampett’s example is a tall order. However, it’s worthy of a man’s best effort. In fact, our world would benefit if more people wanted to be like Uncle Jed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Abortionist’s murder is enigmatic for pro-lifers

Self-defense excluded, are we--as mere human beings--empowered to defend the innocent by taking a life without the benefit of trial? Let’s consider a couple of scenarios.

First, let’s assume that a serial killer is on the loose. You have reason to believe the killer is your neighbor. Quite correctly, you contact the authorities. But the subsequent investigation doesn’t produce enough evidence for a conviction and the suspected killer walks free.

You remain convinced that the neighbor is guilty and will kill again. Are you within the bounds of righteousness to take that life in order to spare the future victims?
Now let’s consider a second scenario.

Suppose you were a guard assigned to Auschwitz during World War II. You witness the daily atrocities Josef Mengele commits on the Jewish children imprisoned there. You’ve seen his brutal murders and his ghastly human experiments. And there’s no legal way to stop him.

Is it proper for a just person to kill Mengele, thus preventing the maiming and murder of untold numbers of men, women and children?

In the first scenario there’s no firsthand knowledge of wrong-doing. There isn’t sufficient evidence for a guilty verdict, but the possibility for a legal remedy remains. There’s also the old argument that two wrongs don’t make a right.

Even though killing your neighbor may preserve an innocent life, there are legal avenues for dealing with the suspect that haven’t been exhausted. Therefore, unless you are attacked, you cannot legitimately pronounce yourself judge, jury and executioner.

Conversely, if you were the Auschwitz guard no one would’ve condemned you for killing the Nazi “Angel of Death.” There was no other viable option for stopping his barbarism.

Applying these scenarios to the killing of abortionist George Tiller--a man responsible for killing thousands of unborn babies--presents pro-lifers with some interesting questions.

Did the shooter commit an act of murder? Did he take a life without the benefit of a legal decision in a society where such a verdict remained possible? Or, did the shooter’s act preserve innocent life, like the Auschwitz guard’s imaginary killing of Josef Mengele?

We must conclude that Tiller’s death fit’s the first scenario. As troubling and divisive as abortion on demand is, there is still the opportunity to deal with the issue through legal channels. Therefore, the shooter violated both George Tiller’s right to life and the pro-life message itself.

However, just as surely as two wrongs don’t make a right, another old argument applies here. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

Tiller’s murder is no reason for joy by any means. Yet his life and medical practice weren’t cause for celebration either. Tiller’s practice was directly responsible for at least 250 late-term abortions each year. For those services Tiller received over a million dollars. And that doesn’t include the number of “normal” abortions performed at Tiller’s clinic.

Pro-abortion activists have eulogized Tiller as if he were Albert Schweitzer. They even called for a national day of mourning in his honor. But their praise is an empty talking point. And it exemplifies their scorn for the thousands of unborn babies who died at Tiller’s hand.

George Tiller was no Dr. Schweitzer. In fact, he had more in common with Josef Mengele.

Tiller’s murder presents an interesting enigma for proponents of innocent life. On one hand, Tiller will not render his “services” again. On the other hand, the way he was stopped violates the core principles of the pro-life message. Yet it is entirely consistent for pro-life organizations to denounce Tiller’s murder while refusing to defend his life.

Pro-abortion activists face a deeper conundrum. They must reconcile their outrage over George Tiller’s murder while defending his daily regimen of death.

Even in this complex situation the pro-life message remains far more consistent and much easier to defend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It’s the Silence of the Left when government tracks American citizens

I can’t understand why the so-called champions of privacy have been silent for the last month. Wasn’t it just a year ago that their howls of protest over “domestic eavesdropping” echoed from dorm halls and student activity centers from sea to shining sea? Yet they are silent about a District 4 Court of Appeals ruling in Madison, Wisconsin.

Actually, it is quite understandable. There isn’t a Republican in the White House. So, the threat to our liberty and Constitution doesn’t exist even though it does, and to a far greater degree than any other time in recent history.

The court ruled that police can attach a GPS device to an American citizen’s automobile—and thus track their movements—without a warrant, without reasonable suspicion and without probable cause.

Is this a bid deal? Certainly government has better things to do than monitor a mother of three as she drives to the tanning bed or the grocery store. But, if that mother or her husband run afoul of political correctness--perhaps by home-schooling their children, joining the NRA, or voting third party—they could become a target of politically-motivated surveillance.

Such snooping is nothing new. Major American cities are full of street cameras that monitor daily activities. Our bank accounts have been open to government scrutiny since the early 1970s, when Washington passed legislation requiring banks to report single deposits above $10,000.

Red-light and speeding cameras observe traffic and mail citations to an offending automobile’s owner. This occurs without regard to who is actually driving the car at the time of the infraction. Government can condemn private property via imminent domain in the pursuit of increased tax revenues (thank you Kelo decision). And now government can track our automobiles without any reason whatsoever.

As stated, police have better things to do than track every Tom, Dick and Harry who drives down the street. But it’s still a troubling concept. Police states aren’t unprecedented in human history. In fact, they’re the norm. It is freedom that is the exception.

While the appellate court’s ruling is disturbing, the reaction from Leftists is even worse. They’ve said nothing about how such monitoring of US citizens violates individual liberty. I could find no mention of this case on Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, or

It would appear that the Left considers government surveillance intrusive and threatening only when exercised on foreign terrorists. Perhaps they believe that constitutional principles apply more to al-Qaeda members than to US citizens.

Warrants must be obtained to eavesdrop on some Muslim extremist, likely here on a student or work visa, who’s conveying the evils of the “Great Satan” to his uncle Amir in Waziristan. Otherwise the rights of all Americans are in jeopardy. There’s nary a word when the targets of government surveillance are American citizens to whom constitutional protections truly apply, like someone sporting a Ron Paul bumper sticker.

If government has domestic monitoring authority it should be used to target foreigners who are, or could be, members of a hostile international operation. Yet, somehow, American rights are endangered when government performs its prime function of defending the nation against unfriendly entities. But the Left apparently sees no problem whatsoever with having police watching our every move via street and traffic cameras or GPS devises.

It doesn’t bother me when government monitors the actions and movements of foreigners, whether they’re here legally or illegally. That’s part of defending the nation against external threats. But I care a great deal if government monitors an American citizen’s daily movement without warrant or probable cause.

American Leftist’s have proved once more that they care nothing for liberty, privacy, the Constitution, or the idea that government is our servant, not our master. They care only about politicizing issues, regardless of what the outcome may be.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

North Korean missile story is always the same

Whenever you read a news story about North Korea’s nuclear program, you must experience what Yogi Berra termed “déjà vu all over again.” It’s the same story every time.

Kim Jong Il waddles to the nearest state controlled microphone to announce the launch of his odd regime’s latest bottle rocket. He declares to the world that his isolated, starving country will take on anyone, anywhere at anytime, especially the West and the United States in particular.

That’s when the newswires break out the standard story that runs each time North Korea goes ballistic--pardon the pun. There’s no reason to waste time writing a new article; the script is the same each time. Just rearrange a paragraph or two and you’re ready for print.

The North Korean dictator blusters and puffs about defending his people against the joint and imminent South Korea-United States invasion. The world counters with its compulsory “strong condemnation,” replete with the typical empty phrases. The media then dusts the cobwebs from the time-old story and reports the “latest” developments from the Pacific Rim.

The story always begins with the world’s acknowledgement that it must “stand up” to the North Korean threats. Next is the recognition that the nuclear test or missile launch poses “a grave threat” to world peace and security. Then everyone will “strongly condemn” the communist regime’s “reckless actions.”

Of course, Pyongyang’s aggressive actions and rhetoric “violates North Korea’s own prior commitments” and invariably becomes “a blatant violation of international law.”

Surely after 15 years of seeing this little red outpost renege on every vow and promise we no longer expect them to honor their commitments. And if anything means less to Kim Jong Il than keeping his own word it is honoring international law.

The “news story” includes the always bland and toothless remarks from the United Nations. North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear blasts inevitably “fly in the face of UN resolutions.” Close behind follows the call for “stronger international pressure.” Finally, the story concludes with the Western world--the world Pyongyang desperately wants to intimidate--issuing a pledge to “stand up to this behavior.”

It has become all too predictable. North Korea threatens and bluffs. “The world” dons a frown and condemns their actions with strong words and a presumed joint purpose. Leaders come together to wag their collective finger in Kim Jong Il’s face and tell him what a bad boy he’s been. In the process we give him exactly what he wants.

Each nuclear test, each missile launch, is a “Hey, look at me! I matter,” moment for Kim Jong Il. And the world jumps each time he pulls its strings.

Am I advocating ignoring North Korea’s nuclear ambitions? Of course not. Every nation, especially the United States, should be prepared to counter the North’s provocations. However, that doesn’t mean that we should legitimize this pathetic little dictator’s hollow screams for relevance.

A new direction is needed. We’ve kowtowed to this communist regime long enough, especially since the implementation of the “Carter doctrine” in 1994. Carter cut a deal with North Korea to abandon its then infant nuclear program. “The world” breathed an unwarranted sigh of relief.

The North, conversely, gained the attention it desired. It received its legitimizing cover and began to systematically violate the Carter agreement from day one. Once this became evident “the world” pronounced condemnation once more and the process started anew. Isn’t it time for a different approach?

Why not monitor North Korea’s nuclear program covertly while ignoring them publicly? It’s certainly possible with modern satellite technology. Perhaps that’s not as accurate as firsthand monitoring, but North Korea has expelled nuclear inspectors anyway. And there’s certainly no interest in confronting the matter directly.

At the very least the media would have to write a new story.