Sunday, July 31, 2011

All Hail The Generational War!

We've been treated to class war as the impetus for social change since Herr Marx dispatched his philosophy of the masses from his London townhome, and while it had a brief run on the scene, its place on the dustbin of history is fairly secure--Nancy Pelosi's attempts to resurrect it as a governing philosophy aside.

But inter-generational war--there's a topic we can get behind.  Guess what all you young hipster Obama voters, you know, the Hope and Change crowd?  Retiring Baby Boomers have voted themselves and other entitlement addicts a steady drip of---not their own money--but YOUR money.  That's right--the young people entering the economy and starting their working life will face higher taxes and fewer choices because of the selfish and endless requirements Boomers voted themselves.  There's this fiction out there that we self-finance medicare and social security, and that "I paid in, so I get deserve benefits!"  Problem is, people are retiring earlier and living longer, thereby sucking up benefits for many, many more years than the system(s) were ever planned for.  Who makes up the difference?  Productive members of the workforce!  That's right--younger people are having their earnings confiscated in order that the most pampered generation in history can enjoy retirement with nearly free healthcare and prescription drugs and an economic status that can only be described as "comfy" compared to older generations of the past --and more importantly--than present generations of younger middle class workers.

Hat tip to Instapundit for this video--which besides having a really catchy riff--pretty nicely sums the method in which the younger generation is getting screwed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Let's All Pull Together and Save Ourselves From the Tea Party...or Not.

I know a lot of conservatives, or at least people who consider themselves conservative, are getting a little wobbly about now. The left is in full slander mode. They are doing their best to make the Tea Party radioactive as they've done with so many conservative politicians (anybody's name come to mind?). They have focus grouped terms like hostage, dictatorship, extremists and they've been using them, repeatedly. And just as soon as some small bit of progress is made in the House, Harry Reid deems it "unacceptable" or "dead on arrival".

Buck up, this is all political posturing. Tell grandma the checks will still go out, the debt will be serviced and the troops will eat (along with the foodstamp bums). The fact is the left cannot fathom the idea they might actually lose. My thinking is this, the more they scream, the more vitriolic they become, the more afraid they are. This is an opportunity to do some real damage to the far left and their media lackeys. A defeat of this magnitude now will kill their agenda through Obama's term in office, at least. A conservative compromise, or more accurately appeasement, will guarantee Obama's reelection and an America that more resembles Great Britain in the seventies than Reagan's Shining City on a Hill.

The left created this crisis, let's not let it go to waste.

A Review of the Various Debt Deals

One of these does not look like the others.

Email to My Congressman

I sent this email to Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD1) this morning:

"Message Subject: Debt Ceiling--Get onboard with Boehner
Message Text:
Mr. Harris--you continue to operate under the mistaken assumption that you were elected by the 1st District to be a mouthpiece for the Tea Party. You were not. Frank Kratovil was defeated in a sea-change election and got caught up in the tide. I am a lifelong Republican and a conservative---and I assure you, if you continue to pursue your inability to reach a compromise position, you will be defeated in 2012. The question right now isn't if, it is by whom. Kratovil in the general or ME in the primary. Bryan McGrath Easton, MD

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Well folks, here we are--on the doorstep of yet another financial melt-down.  Buy your tickets to the "Second Rate Power Express", and ALL ABOARD!

What's on your minds today?  Got anything to get off your chest?

On the Arrogance of the Tea Party

As Americans watch our ridiculous political process play out to what can only be viewed as yet another sign of the decline of our civilization, the world looks in and wonders when the United States reached the point of ungovernability.  When did the "Shining City on the Hill" become a large, multi-ethnic, Western Hemispheric Greece?  No one event signaled this turning point.  It was rather, like the day a man in his forties looks at the scale and realizes he's gained 25 lbs since leaving college---which some would say happened 15 extra calories a day, every day during that period.  We've reached this point slowly, over time, a Chinese water-torture of dysfunction.

I write today to identify and to call out the Tea Party for its role in this decline.  The Tea Party--as a political phenomenon--is long past the point of being praised for its renewed focus on spending and fiscal discipline, its adherence to core constitutional principles, and its advocacy for limited government.  All of these impulses necessarily and effectively impacted the political debate in demonstrably positive ways.  Just look at where we are--2.5 years after the start of the most liberal Presidency ever--both parties are (at some level of abstraction) resigned to cut spending along significant lines.  Yes, one party would also raise taxes, but that it is also advocating deep cuts also, simply cannot be ignored.  This never would have happened without the rise of an effective force insisting on fiscal discipline.  It never would have happened without the Tea Party.

But the Tea Party--and its adherents who somehow believe that they were sent to Washington with the mandate not to think and not to compromise, but rather only to reflexively adhere to their "principles"--has committed sin of arrogance. Although my Wikipedia tells me that "pride" is the deadly sin, I suspect arrogance is close enough to pride to be included.

What do I mean by arrogance?

The (largely freshmen) members of the Republican caucus who are holding up Speaker Boehner's bill to temporarily raise the debt ceiling are doing so under the arrogant (and mistaken) assumption that THEIR principles are more legitimate and more closely held than those held by others in this political debate--and so, come what may, Tea Party principles shall not be compromised.  To some, getting a vote on a balanced budget amendment is more important than the full faith and credit of US financial obligations around the world, including to our own citizens who hold its debt and who faithfully do business with the federal government.

And while I have a great deal of admiration and a large measure of policy coherence with Tea Party principles, it must be remembered that there is a great liberal tradition in this country with DECADES of time and energy behind it who also believes in its principles.  Many in its sway believe that health care is a civil right, and that it ought to be provided by the government for all, at a common level of service.  Many liberals believe that our tax code favors the better off by subsidizing their choices in shelter, and by privileging investments over other income.  Many liberals believe that it is a sign of a civil society that it takes care of its poor and its elderly and that it places that burden on the young and the healthy. 

My point isn't that I believe any of this--it is that THEY DO.  And they believe it JUST as strongly as the Tea Party believes in its principles.  But they--liberals--realize that they work within a democratic political system, and they realize that compromise is ultimately essential to getting what they want done.  Do any of the mainly conservative readers of this blog believe that liberals "like" Obamacare?  Of course not.  They wanted single payer and they won't rest until they get it.  But they did not bring the whole works to a grinding halt in order to get it--rather, they used the power they had to get great big ship of state moving in the direction they wanted it to go, and they figured they'd come back for the rest later, when they were more powerful and when political conditions favored their approach.

I find myself in the embarrassing and unenviable position of considering the Democratic Party to be the more logical and pragmatic of the two major parties on the Hill, this after three decades of considering them to be the party of the heart (emotion) rather than the party of the head (reason). 

I still believe in the Republican Party, and I hold out hope that some kind of compromise will be reached to avert the second financial meltdown in three years.  But the longer the Tea Party stamps its feet and holds its breath, the more likely we are to face another real and deep crisis.

Grow up, Tea Party.  It's time for the adults among you to pitch in and get to work.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nancy Pelosi is the Most Ridiculous Woman Alive

Yes, even more ridiculous than Lady Gaga.

Apparently, Former Madame Speaker's role in the debt ceiling debate is a good bit more dramatic than any of us realized. "What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today"  is what she was quoted as saying today.  Yes that's right--the Boehner plan will destroy all life on the planet.

An entire political party in Congress is led by this imbecile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Does Wall Street Want?

Ms. McArdle offers some insight on Wall Street's thinking about the debt ceiling

Republicans seem to be under the illusion that Wall Street are avid supply siders who want them to cut spending in order to restore our long-term growth prospects. This is also not true. Wall Street are not advanced economic theorists; they are people who want to get paid. They do not need massive supply-side growth to get paid; they just need tax revenue. They do not care how we generate the surplus to pay them: spending cuts, higher taxes, whatever. I mean, individually, some of them do care; finance guys have ideology, just like the rest of us. But professionally, this is not about ideology; it's about math. All they want to know is whether the economy can plausibly generate enough tax surplus to pay our debts. And right now, the answer is yes.

Our AAA is not at risk because our current fiscal path is unsustainable, but because ratings agencies know what many GOP freshman and party activists apparently do not: that doing the unpopular things required to get the budget in balance is going to require both parties to hold hands and jump together. Otherwise, whoever forces through their unpopular plan (huge tax increases/massive spending cuts) is going to get trounced at the next elections by an opposition party promising to undo whatever it is the party in charge has just done.

Remy's Back with Some Thoughts on the Debt Ceiling

Classic Remy.  H/T  Instapundit

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What is the Problem with Christians?

"Republicans are once again arguing that American Jews will abandon the Democratic Party. But it won’t happen, because Jews recoil from the GOP’s overt Christianity, even when it comes with staunch pro-Israel views."

American Jews are arguably the most reliable and in terms of contributions the most important voting bloc in the Democratic Party. Why?

The author's thesis is that the Republican Party is home to the Christian "right". Ok fair enough. But what is it about Christians that has American Jewry so hot and bothered? Is it because of the Holocaust? The NAZI's were vehemently anti-Christian. Is it because Christian fundamentalists are anti-Semitic? Well if they are they have a funny way of showing it. They are the most ardent supporters of Israel.

I think Israel is a red herring in this argument because there are too many overtly anti-Jewish/anti-Israeli factions in the Democratic Party. It must be ideology. American Jews are so wedded to leftist politics that they are blind to their own interests. Jews have done well under American style capitalism with power far beyond their numbers, but they happily buy into the bogus "social and economic justice" fiction. If some politician says traditional Judeo/Christian values they hear death camps for minorities. And even bringing this subject up will be looked upon by some as a blatant act of anti-Semitism not to be tolerated.

If someone goes around saying everyone is my enemy, pretty soon they will be proven right. I grow weary of trying to befriend a people who hates me and my beliefs so much.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Death of the Welfare State?

An interesting article by the always enlightening Robert Samuelson laying out the broader economic picture.

The problems we have are not failures of capitalism, they are failure of overburdened capitalism. Free market economies are invariably rational and highly productive. But if you burden the productive elements of these economies to the extent the western welfare democracies have, what do you expect to happen? The name of the game is productivity, and when the end product is siphoned off, all kinds are artificial negative incentives are introduced. As a result, markets are no longer rational and productivity suffers.

We do have a crisis, but the economic component is just a symptom. We have a political crisis in that we have leaders who either prefer another system or don't understand the system. We have an ignorance crisis in that the populace has been led to believe property rights are fungible and "human rights" include food, housing, transportation, entertainment and pocket money.

When property rights, the most basic of legitimate human rights, are not protected, we have a free for all. A Texas Cage Match where anything goes and the referee is as corrupt as everyone else. If everybody owns it, nobody owns it. This kind of system in unsustainable (thank God!).

This crisis we're in was inevitable, and necessary. If we're lucky, maybe, just maybe the American people will wake up and realize we're at a crossroads. Otherwise Obama may just get that "fundamental transformation" he wants.

China Faces The Reality of the Wired World

On Monday, two of China's vaunted "bullet trains" collided killing at least 38 people, a story which--in the world outside of China--would have been HUGE.  Inside China?  Not so much.  And it seems folks on the interwebs there aren't too happy about it--not happy about the government response, not happy about the lack of coverage in government owned media.  Just not happy.

In this one story can be found the seeds of so much about China that gives folks the heebie-jeebies.  First though, let's get one thing out of the way.  Accidents do happen, and even in open societies, bad things happen to innocent people.

But let's think about this for a moment.  Could China's meteoric infrastructure increase--in no small measure designed to keep 30 million new Chinese entering the work force each year--be underwritten by shoddy safety measures and lax oversight?  Are the people of China a contented lot, nurtured by the palliative of high growth rates AND also a simmering mass of discontented people who know that they are less free?  Will China's increasing connection with the world and its inability to control its own citizenry create governance nightmares for a political system which has at its core an ingrained sense of paranoia? 

Only time will tell.  But I find myself smiling a bit thinking about Chicom officials worrying about these things.

E.J. Dionne Blathers On

I know, I know.  I do it every time.  I see a Dionne column and I think--here comes some ridiculous drivel that ultimately make me angry, so let it pass.  Don't read it.  And then I do--and I prove myself right.

Today's column speaks of "the other deficit", which in Dionne's world--you know, the one uninformed by reason, is different that the debt/deficit talks dominating the news.  Dionne's deficit is the deficit of jobs, and the fact that Mitt Romney's on the stump talking about jobs, jobs, jobs while the President battles Congressional Republicans.

What Dionne doesn't get--nor does the President or his Party--is the extent to which the two "deficits" are simply parts of the same whole.  Our economy is mired in mediocrity not because there isn't a lot of cash out there--there is--but because investing it in THIS economy is a bad risk.  Because Washington seems unable to get it together and create a sustainable model of spending and taxing, businesses are on edge, they are not investing in growth--rather, they are waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

The unemployment rate will decline when businesses begin to believe our economy is on a sound footing, not simply a behemoth version of Greece waiting to happen. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

IKEA Feels the Union Heat

Famed Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA finds itself embroiled in a labor dispute at its only American manufacturing plant in Danville, Va.  IKEA--famous for furniture that looks good in any recent college graduate's apartment--but which spontaneously decomposes at the five year point--brought the plant to Danville--a part of Virginia that was suffering economically in a big way, and brought several hundred jobs to a region that really needed them.

Never to let a good deed go undone, the local union heavies have organized because lo and behold, the starting hourly wage at the plant is less than the starting wage paid at plants in Sweden.  Why this is relevant--I can't say--but then again, when you're trying to form a union you say just about anything.

IKEA seems to be handling this with aplomb--but they'll learn.  And at some point, they'll pull up stakes and leave, and the people of Danville can go back to welfare poverty. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Home Network Update

Actually, probably not much of an update, as I haven't talked about this a whole lot.  Last winter, I laid a bunch of cat5e cable throughout the house while it was in disrepair.  This effort was to serve as the backbone of a networked house, both wireless and wired.  Initially, I was going to pay a contractor to do it; in the back of my head, I could hear my Dad reminding me that I "...don't know the business end of a screwdriver".  So I figured I'd just lay the cable, then pay someone to terminate the ends and set up the network.

The other day, the cable guys came and set up my internet.  I hooked up an Apple TimeCapsule router to the modem and we now have screaming (for us) 10 Mbps wireless in the house.  But that was just the beginning....

I watched a few videos on how to terminate cat 5e cable...and for some reason, thought I couldn't do it.  So I decided to try--and I made myself an Ethernet patch cord.  When I was finished, I plugged my computer into the worked!

Next step--put a 24 port switch in the basement....terminate the cable between it and the TimeCapsule...plug my laptop into the switch (with the patch cord I made)....and I had myself a home network.

Tomorrow will be spent terminating all the cables from all over the house at the switch--and then running two out to the ManCave--gotta bury a little conduit.

Don't know the business end of a screwdriver, my ass. 

Amy Winehouse Assumes Room Temperature

Amy Winehouse finally was found dead today.
She didn't take off in America despite making a couple of really good albums (do they still call them albums?) that sold gangbusters in Europe. I think the record companies were afraid to spend the money here because she was such a train wreck. But she possessed a voice on a par with the great soul/pop artists like Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. Talent with good looks and a hip/cool sort of dangerous image; that combination is worth a lot of money in the music business. But it wasn't to be.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Gonna be 102 degrees F today out here on the farm, and the fellas working on the roof (nearing five months after "completetion" date) are hating life.  I feel badly for them, no doubt about that.

What are you feeling badly about folks?  Or goodly?  What's on you mind?  It is Big Fat Friday and I'm a slim 177.8 (down 19.8 since Christmas), even after a big bowl of ice cream last night!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Obamacare Caused it All!

In case you don't know, Neil Boortz is a "take no prisoners" Libertarian talk show host in Atlanta. He's a recovering attorney and possesses one of the sharpest minds on radio. Unlike most of his peers, he absolutely loves to mix it up with leftists. One could even say he lives to whip commie ass.

Here's a nice little blurb citing a Heritage Foundation study that lays unemployment directly at the feet of Obamacare. Now I don't think Obamacare is the ONLY reason unemployment is through the roof, but it's high on the list. And if we took this one law and threw it in the dustbin of history where it belongs, our budget crisis would look a helluva lot more manageable that it does now. But the Republicans aren't even talking about it.

The Best Explanation of the Long-Term Debt Mess I've Read

Everyone reading this blog should read this post on NRO from Yuval Levin.  Not just the post, but all the links in the post.  When you've completed this task, put your pencils down and look up.


You've just read the single most effective and clearly communicated summary of the hole we are currently in that I have been able to locate.  If you find a better one, let me know.  In it, he states the problem, its enormity, and the laughably small impact any of the current Debt Ceiling driven plans will have on it--from either side of the aisle.

Behold the simplicity of this paragraph, which leads one to the conclusion that now is not the time for big deals (much as I'd like it to be):  "That doesn’t mean a debt-ceiling deal has to address all this. It would be unreasonable to expect that. But it does mean that by failing to address it, such a deal would fail to really touch the debt problem. Any deal that fails to do that (even if it’s called a “grand bargain” and claims to involve trillions in cuts over ten years or is hailed as the epitome of sanity by gang members) is not a meaningful debt-reduction plan, and is not worth huge concessions from Republicans, like a multi-trillion dollar tax increase. It would be, rather, a small spending-reduction deal and would be worth small concessions from Republicans, like a less than 1-to-1 relationship between cuts and a debt-ceiling increase, or some similar compromise. The equivalent of a huge tax concession (which would shatter the Republican coalition, but which Democrats consider essential) is a huge health-care concession (which would shatter the Democratic coalition but which Republicans consider essential), but the president has insisted that those are entirely off the table. If that’s the case, then taxes should be too, and it’s time to finalize a smaller deal."

This post and George Will's column in the WaPost this morning form a tight case for going small now and going bigger when more favorable electoral conditions exist.   Trying to slay this beast with the leadership of one half of half of the political branches is a plan destined to fail. 

Must Flee TV

MSNBC is giving Rev. Al his own show.

Instead of GOP Debates

...let's have wargames! As the author says, instead of hearing carefully contructed talking points ad nauseum, let's see how these would-be POTI (plural of POTUS, go ahead Google it) think on their feet.

Hat tip: The Agenda

Numbers I Could Sure Use

So on a good day here at the CW, we get 150 or so visitors, and I am grateful for all of them.  Generally a third are new and 2/3 are return.  The piece I wrote for Information Dissemination the other day on the defense budget--subsequently linked to by Andrew Sullivan on the Daily Beast--was visited by somewhere around 25,000 readers.  Someday, folks...someday....

Forbes on Greece: Let It Go Commie

Here's a wonderful blogpost on Forbes' site by a fellow named Bill Frezza.  In it, he proposes casting Greece out of the Euro-compact and allowing them to finally take the plunge into the communism that so many of them have wanted for so many years.  I love the tone of this piece.

HT:  Instapundit

In Which I Disagree with Sally on Allen West v. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

I realize that I take my blogging life into my own hands when I disagree publicly and loudly with the fair Sally, but now's as good a time as any.  I've had this discussion of Facebook with The Hammer, so if some of my arguments seem well-rehearsed, well, that's because they are.

Allen West handled this situation wrong, pure and simple.  Here's why:
  • A major theme for him in his email--at least one picked up by the press--is that she is not a "...lady..."  Be that as it may, this immediately turns the spotlight on West, as surely his ability to judge and define what a "lady" is derives from his having the qualities of its male analogue--to wit--that he is a "gentleman".  I cannot by any standard of behavior reconcile his email--not sent privately to DWS--but to the leadership of the House in both parties--as "gentlemanly".  Argue if you will about the rough and tumble of politics and she started it, and they are all adults, and all that gack--but the bottom line is that he makes his charge from very, very thin ice.
  • So--you may be saying--if he hadn't made his allusion to her status as a lady, everything would be fine, right?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  Things would be "better", but still not fine.  You see, I believe one can be an effective politician AND retain one's equanimity.  As one famous for losing his cool--I find myself magnetically drawn to leaders who appear not to--and in some cases, appear never to--do so.  West showed a lack of temperament here, one which bespeaks a sense of amateurishness.  
So what should he have done?  If anything, a private email, or a trip to her office for a one on one ass-chewing.  Instead, he took it public and his self-control--or lack thereof--is the story now.  Perhaps that was the game all along, as he is apparently using coverage of this incident to raise money for his 2012 campaign.  And if that is the case, perhaps some good comes of it.

Remember, I like Allen West.  I just don't think he was up to par here.

Three Day A Week Mail Delivery? No Problem

Here's a USA Today interview with the Postmaster General in which he lets us know once again that Saturday mail delivery is basically on its way out, and we could be in for three day a week delivery of mail within fifteen years.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is not time to take to the barricades in defense of our human rights--I might as well get my dump of useless commercial mailings three days a week rather than a daily dose of ridiculous as I get it today.  Very, very little important mail comes my way through the US Postal Service anymore, and I imagine you're the same way.  I am--however--somewhat concerned that one of the reasons USPS is hemorrhaging money is its pension fund--perhaps another case of public sector benefits running amok? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cut, Cap, and Balance

I honestly don't know enough about Cut, Cap and Balance to analyze it with any precision.  I do know that I am somewhat predisposed NOT to amend the Constitution to save ourselves from ourselves, believing as I do in mankind's ability to transcend. 

Here's a pithy little review of Cut, Cap, and Balance from CNNMoney.  It is of course, not friendly to CC&B, and lays out its reasons why.

Here's what I'd like to see.  I'd like to see analysts--when commenting on the various approaches advocated by the various entities in our debt/deficit and ceiling debate--conclude their brilliance with one simple statement:  How does the plan compare with what we are currently doing?  That's all.  No analysis of how it compares to other mythological plans, or ideas the analysts think would be better.  Just a simple statement of whether it is a better way of doing business than the way we currently have.  This MUST be the essential start point for the legitimacy of ANY proposal.

Goodbye Space Program

There was a pretty good movie a few years ago about the Space Race based on a book by Tom Wolfe entitled "The Right Stuff" and in the film the LBJ character makes the point that the Romans were dominant because they had roads, the British because they had ships, and who should ever control space would be the future dominant power. That was true then and I believe it's true now. Unfortunately the Democrats do not share my view.

NASA and space exploration in general are essential for our national security. Can you imagine a scenario where the Chinese and Russians are manning space stations and the like, while we hunker down and spend all our money on WIC coupons for halfwits and their progeny? Well that day is here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Allen West Continues to Impress

This time, for opening a can of whoop-ass on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Seems Ms. Wasserman Schultz took to the House floor this morning to denounce Rep West, with the standard 'he wants to gut Medicare to give big breaks to oil companies.' (Democrats really need a new line).

This elicited an angry email from the Congressman. Behold:

'Look Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments toward me. Let me make myself perfectly clear: you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face. Otherwise, shut the heck up. '

How can you not love this guy?

Poverty? What Poverty?

Poverty in 2011 America is not like poverty anywhere in the World at any other time. We have the most coddled underclass in history, and what is deemed "poverty" in America would be upper-middle class just about anywhere else.

And one would think the recipients of our largess would be grateful. Not so. They see the system for what it is, a means of control. They are resentful and demanding, but they are also trapped.

This system is not compassionate, quite the contrary, it is foul.

Thanks, Nevada

Every time I see this face on television, my bile for the Nevada Republican Party rises.  You had to nominate Sharron Angle, didn't you?

Liberals See Opportunity for Big Cuts in Defense

So reads a headline from this morning's Washington Times, and while it does me no good within the "vast right-wing conspiracy", I am inclined to agree with them, though the Devil as they say, is in the details.  What Larry Korb, John Podesta and Barney Frank all have in common (besides presenting a pretty reliable bellwether of what NOT to do on most things) is that they approach DoD as if it were an ATM, sitting there chock full or money just waiting to subsidize the rest of the economy.  Their collective desires to denude DoD of nearly $1 trillion spring not from a sense of what is best for the national defense of the US strategically, but primarily from the standpoint of how to find money within the existing discretionary budget to keep from making real choices on entitlements.

How then, do I agree with them?  Well, I believe that a roughly $600B base budget for defense is unquestionably too much.  How can I say this?  Because I watch the sausage get made, and I see the inefficiency.  Not Bob Gates inefficiency, mind you, where bureaucrats chase around overhead reductions that invariably will have to be reversed at some point--but inefficiency born of cowardice.  And in this case, it is cowardice wrapped in the fuzzy mantle of "Jointness", wherein as long as no service deigns to make its case more loudly than the others, none has to make any really tough choices.  And as long as the Services aren't making noise, OSD doesn't have to referee any unseemly behavior. 

Yes indeed--there's a conspiracy of silence at work in the Pentagon, an omerta-like code that promotes unity above strategy, duplication above decision, and conformity above economy.

When you don't know where you are going, all roads will get you there--and this is the approach to what passes for strategy in the Pentagon.  Lacking in requisite political direction and without the internal tools (or will) to prioritize, DoD lumbers along, occasionally forced to defend its total spending against other discretionary outlays, but never really having to defend how it allocates what it spends internally.  Adding to the dysfunction is the sorry state of our political system, in which one party's adult leadership (the Democrats) is terrified to take on DoD for fear of looking weak, and the other party's adult leadership (the Republicans) is unable to apply its flinty aversion to government growth to national security apparatus of the country.  Both parties are also complicit in the kabuki theater that is military entitlements, convinced that the provision of healthcare at $20 a month and paying for Major Boffamotta's children's private school tuition are necessary pillars of national defense (yes, I realize that the second part is likely not a DoD expense, but work with me.)

I look to my friends in the Republican Party to lead on this issue, but so far without any result.  I say this because like Nixon going to China--real change will only come when the Republicans call for it.  Representative Ryan's roadmap is a wonderful and politically courageous attempt to rein in entitlement spending, but it's always easier to gore the other guy's ox than it is to take on your own caucus--something Ryan recognized by punting on cuts to the defense budget.  Were I to ply Representative Ryan with one of his famous $300 bottles of wine, I feel pretty sure he'd fess up to the ridiculous and strategically vapid allocation of resources within the Defense Department.  There's an opportunity here for the Republican Party to take a measured and strategic approach to national security, one that forces DoD to make decisions--or makes them for it.  Such an approach would start from four propositions:

1.  The United States of America spends too much on defense.  We know this not because it amounts to $600B, but because the process by which that amount is arrived at is irredeemably broken.

2.  There is little linkage between defense spending and national strategy.  The lack of a coherent strategy is reflected in DoD's bloated budget.

3.  DoD will not reform itself.  It is incapable of such a thing--something of which the 25th anniversary of Goldwater Nichols this autumn should remind us.

4.  That wasteful defense spending does not deprive other programs of necessary funding--rather, it deprives the taxpayer of his/her own money.

Yes, there is indeed an opportunity for big cuts in defense spending, whether driven by liberals or conservatives.  The issue though, is not one of simply reducing a budget; rather it is one of resourcing a military consistent with our view of what we wish to be in the world.  We need to get that view right, and then have the courage to implement it.

Cross-posted at Information Dissemination.

Warren Buffet's Buyer's Remorse

Warren Buffet--who never seems to tire about telling he rest of us how under-taxed he is--seems a bit off-put by the President's zero-ing in on corporate jets as the new symbol of excess and wealth.  Seems the Oracle of Omaha owns "Net-Jets", a company that leases out portions of jet use by the hour. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Larry Summers? THE Larry Summers?

I'm confused. Why would Larry Summers be giving advice to anyone on anything to do with economics? As one of the President's chief economic advisors his first two years in office, is he not at least partially responsible for the mess we now find ourselves in?

Setting aside the absurdity of the Washington Post giving this loser an opportunity to expatiate his discredited views, what is he saying? More control, more meddling in the credit markets, more more more of the tired old Keynesian intrusions that got us in trouble to start with.

Let's face it, people and institutions are going to be hurt, some ruined. But in Capitalism failures are as important as successes. Oh we can kicked the can down the road and attempt to re-inflate the bubble, but it only prolongs the inevitable. Let the bankers be bankers and do what they do best, loan money to good risks in order to make money. Let business adjust without all these artificial incentives that are costing us our prosperity and future. Let capitalism operate unencumbered and you may surprised, shocked even, at how fast we bounce back.

It's time for Mr. Summers and all who share his view to sit down and shut've had your chance. It's time for the grown-ups to take over.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Conservative Wahoo Welcomes The Hammer

I've just sent the email through Blogger to The Hammer extending the invitation to him to join the blogging team here at the CW.  Those few--those happy few--who tuned in to the radio program got to know The Hammer more deeply than one can from a comment made here and there on the blog, and I gained a serious appreciation for his views and his knowledge of the history/politics nexus.  No doubt, this blog will never be the same--and I mean that in a good way.

Obama's Communications Gap

David Ignatius has a column in the WaPost in which he wonders aloud if Mr. Obama is as great a communicators as he was made out (by the Bought and Paid For Media) to be.  Ignatius believes no.  So far, so good.

Yet when one reads the article closely, one stumbles upon this whopper:  "So Obama waited. His policy ideas, now that they’re public, look pretty solid."

What policy ideas?  Which public?  Has he put forward through his party in Congress any discernible program?   Was there even a budget for FY12?  Paul Ryan puts forward a plan of nearly 100 pages--Mr. Obama makes a speech--which according to CBO--cannot be scored.

One of the themes that keeps arising from the present mess is "exactly what would YOU do Mr. President?".  So far, we don't have an answer.  If not raising taxes was a good idea at the end of last year, EXACTLY why is doing so--when the economy is arguably NO BETTER--a good idea now?

The President loves to talk about Republican sacred cows--tax increases mostly.  So then, what is Obamacare?  Is it not also a $2T sacred cow?

If I don't watch it, I could become as deranged as the loony Dems did under GWB.....


Saturday, July 16, 2011

John Kerry, Profile in Courage

The senior senator from Massachusetts is on record stating that he'd forego his Congressional salary should a debt deal not be reached by August 2nd.

Congressional salary: $174,000. Kerry's net worth last year: $188 million.

Shared sacrifice, indeed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Some Debt Strategy from Dr. K

Charles Krauthammer has a great column in this morning's Post.  A must read for those trying to figure out what the options are

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Here it is again, ladies and gentlemen, your chance to get it off your chest!  Worried about a debt crisis getting in the way of your birthday plans?  Think Iowa's got too much pull with too many zanies in the Presidential primary contest?  Share, people share.

Tom, making friends with the locals in  New Orleans
In the meantime, I'll enjoy New Orleans with Big Brother Tom.  You shoulda been here, Mudge.  You shoulda been here...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tone Deafness on Steroids

Perhaps you've heard the economy is potentially going to crater on August 2nd.

This is not stopping our leader from celebrating his 50th birthday on August 3rd (a day before his actual birthday, for those who wanted to send a fruit basket). Nothing wrong with celebrating your birthday...but the fact that the birthday celebration is a fundraiser, with tickets ranging from $50 to $35,800 (the latter earns you a private dinner with O), is a bit tone-deaf with the threat of economic disaster hanging over the country.

Can you imagine the bad optics of this, if the debt doomsday scenario comes to fruition? The tone deafness is breathtaking.

Why Do House Republicans Need A Majority Leader?

One of the questions that keeps popping up in my head as the debt limit debate grinds on is why Republicans need three noses in the tent (McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor) when there are only two bodies of Congress? Don't get me wrong--I'm not here to rant against the tactics of Eric Cantor.  But presumably, the Speaker of the House--who does not preside over the body ordinarily, who does not routinely even vote on legislation, and who generally does not serve on any committee--has both the time AND the mandate to "lead" the majority in the House.  Clausewitz gave us "unity of command" for a reason...we should heed his prescription. 

WSJ on the Debt Limit

Here's a pretty good summation (summary?) of the strength of relative positions on this matter.  As much as folks on our side want things to go their way, they still have to get by the fact that the other side has the Presidency and the Senate.  Best line in the whole article: 

The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you're not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren't prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play. 

We may need one more election before we can get what we want--it may be too soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why does this bozo still have a job?

Eric Holder apparently has too much time on his hands, so he's launched a new crusade: getting banks to relax their mortage underwriting standards so that minorities with bad credit won't be turned down for a mortgage.

Banks in some instances have been required to post a notice that minorities cannot be turned down for a mortgage because they receive public assistance--food stamps, welfare or receiving unemployment.

Haven't we already seen how this movie ends?

Monday, July 11, 2011

How They Did It in 1997

Keith Hennessey has a great post up reminding us what ACTUAL compromise looks like in setting economic policy.  The 1997 Bipartisan Budget Agreement cut spending enough to balance the budget AND cut taxes.  Republicans this time--seek only not to RAISE any taxes. 

If Bill Clinton and Trent Lott could do it, so can Barack Obama and John Boehner.  Unless of course the President really IS what conservatives have suspected all along---a left-wing ideologue bent on reshaping the relationship of government and the governed....

Robert Samuelson Nails It

I do enjoy reading Mr. Samuelson's work, including this ditty from the morning WaPost in which he eviscerates both sides of the same coin--the increasingly marginal Grover Norquist who would take the country down in pursuit of the perfect and liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities which has never seen an entitlement it doesn't like. 

As long as we live in a Democracy folks, in order to get things done we have to make compromises.  Yes, I realize it is untidy and it makes things harder, but let's face it; ultimately, it is what separates us from the Chinese.  As far as I'm concerned, the grander the bargain, the better.  A slight course change only delays the trip into shoal water; we need to get back in the center of the channel, where the water is deep and wide.  This is going to hurt--and the more people it hurts (as in, more KINDS of people), the better.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kinsey Research Institute Confuses Researchers with Office "Opposite Day"

A recent report out of Kinsey Research Institute is making the news with its findings that women enjoy sex more than men and that men enjoy kissing and cuddling more than women. Additional findings:

men are more likely than women to:

-- enjoy watching Oprah
-- choose white wine spritzers over beer
-- scream at the sight of a spider
-- share their feelings with other men
-- call their buddies upon discovering a major shoe sale
-- put on their jammies and curl up in their chair with a good book and a cup of yummy hot cocoa

I haven't read all the other findings yet but I suspect there are LOTS more.

Yuval Levin on the Welfare State

Yuval Levin is the Editor of National Affairs, which to my mind, is the finest journal of right-of-center domestic policy thinking anywhere.  The writing is superb and the contributors are top notch, resulting in a must-read for anyone seriously interested in the rich field of intellectual conservatism. 

In the issue currently on my coffee table (probably not the most recent), Levin provides an insightful, non-polemical look into the modern welfare state.  Blending both history and analysis, the piece gives credit where credit is due (conservatives have to wrestle with the fact that our grand rise in power occurred at the same time as we created the welfare state) and makes some very sound policy suggestions to conclude it.

Here's a sample from the piece that made me sit back and nod my head: 

"This was not the purpose of our welfare state, but it is among its many unintended consequences. As Irving Kristol put it in 1997, "The secular, social-democratic founders of the modern welfare state really did think that in the kind of welfare state we have today people would be more public-spirited, more high-minded, more humanly ‘fulfilled.'" They were wrong about this for the same reason that their expectations of the administrative state have proven misguided — because their understanding of the human person was far too shallow and emaciated. They assumed that moral problems were functions of material problems, so that addressing the latter would resolve the former, when the opposite is more often the case. And guided by the ethic of the modern left, they imagined that traditional institutions like the family, the church, and the local association were sources of division, prejudice, and backwardness, rather than essential pillars of our moral lives. The failure of the social-democratic vision is, in this sense, fundamentally a failure of moral wisdom.
That is not to say, of course, that it did not produce positive benefits along the way. Indeed, the era in which the social-democratic vision has dominated our politics has hardly been an age of decline for America — it has been, if anything, the American century. And it has been a time of diminishing poverty and rising standards of living. But it is now becoming apparent that this was achieved by our spending our capital (economic, moral, and human) without replenishing it, and that this failure, too, is a defining characteristic of the social-democratic vision."

Read the whole thing.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

2011: A Budget Odyssey

Via Allahpundit:

If Treasury were to decide to delay payments, it would need to re-program government computers that generate automatic payments as they fall due — a massive and difficult undertaking. Treasury makes about 3 million payments each day.

Hat tip: Iowahawk.

Information Dissemination Rocks!

Information Dissemination--where I do my Navy blogging--named one of the top 10 defense blogs.  On a good day, I get 200 hits here.  Most of what I write there gets 12,000....

How The Debt/Budget Crisis Will End

When the Republicans took the House back by storm, I predicted that it would increase Barack Obama's chances of being re-elected.  My logic went went this way--Obama would have to tack toward (not to, but toward) the center to get anything done with the new Congress, and in the process, he would appear more reasonable to what had become an increasingly dissatisfied "muddled middle"--those who had voted for him in 2008, but who abandoned him in the mid-term Congressional election.

Fast forward to today, as we move slowly toward national default.  Republicans have quite rightly seized the opportunity to use the crisis (hear that, Rahm?) to drive serious spending cuts into the mix. The Democrats have taken to their sedan chairs with a collective case of the vapors, telling all who will listen that the Republicans are going to starve the hungry, take money from the poor, and hasten the demise of the elderly.  Some time in August, we will default on our national debt, and while I have little technical knowledge of what that would entail, I believe it will be--in the words of our hyper-eloquent Vice President--a "big f---ing deal".

So--how will it all end?

1.  In the end, the President will be in a strengthened position for re-election.  Democrats in Congress will be fuming, and Republicans in Congress will wonder if they've achieved a Pyrrhic victory.

2.  The Tea Party will loudly trumpet both the success they've achieved in dramatic debt reduction AND complain about the lack of backbone of Republicans in Congress.  They will be correct on both counts, and they will vote largely Republican in 2012.

3.  There will be dramatic debt reduction ($3T or more), and there will be increases in total revenue (tax increases, loop-hole closures, etc).  No one will be entirely happy with the outcome, but Congressional Democrats will be least happy of all.

Here's my logic.  Barack Obama wants to be re-elected, and he wants it badly.  He knows that his signature legislative achievement (Obamacare)  is despised by large portions of the voting public, he realizes that his record on the economy is dismal, and he is certain that sticking close to Nancy Pelosi is what got him there (in addition to his own ideological bent).  He must present himself as the great uniter, the man who brought everyone together to save the country from default.  The only way to do that is to come down closer to what Republicans want than what Democrats want.  Let's face it--the discussion right now isn't whether to cut spending, it is "by how much".  To some extent, Republicans have already won.

Congressional Republicans?  Well, they are in the driver's seat, but they must be careful not to overplay it.  They can and will walk away from this debate with major spending cuts--if they are willing to treat those (laregly Tea Partiers) who would counsel "never surrender" with respect, but firmness.  Perfect is a dismal enemy of good enough, and perfection is simply unattainable here.

I laid this line out for a few friends yesterday, and one offered that in order for the logic to hold up, Congressional Republicans have to actually WANT to solve this, rather than just weaken Mr. Obama politically.  While that is definitely a possibility, it is one so incredibly craven that were I to realize that as their ACTUAL strategy, I would become a loud and instant critic of the Republican caucus.  I simply cannot believe that they would hazard the full faith and credit of the country to score a dubious political victory.

But we shall see.....

UPDATE:  Things look even bleaker for Mr. Obama--he will fold like a cheap suit.

Hipster-in-Chief Twitter Town Hall

Yesterday, POTUS held a Twitter Town Hall in which his subjects could tweet their questions in hopes of receiving a personal answer from the President himself. Although it is difficult to say "Iowahawk" without its preceding "The Incomparable," you simply must read the tweets T.I. Iowahawk sent. A quick sampling of some of the better ones (but do visit the link):

"An $8 billion high speed train leaves Chicago for Iowa City at 8:15am at 40mph. Why?

If shovel-ready projects create jobs, wouldn't spoon-ready projects create even more jobs?

Subtract Malia's age from the number of states. Multiply the result by the number of jobs saved or created.

I let my Mexican drug lord license expire. Am I still eligible for the free machine gun program?

When you're visiting his volcano lair, does George Soros let you feed the laser sharks?

The staffer who suggested this Twitter Town Hall is fired, isn't he?

Why isn't your cabinet unionized?

If Joe Biden has a massive stroke, (a) do you have a replacement in mind, and (b) how would you tell?

When you said "days not weeks" did you mean Venusian days?

I understand you finally quit smoking. Do they make a patch for spending addicts too?

Is this question racist?

Why do you need permission to be clear, and not need permission to bomb Libya?

Are you in favor of gay marriage for Libyan bombing crews on Boeing planes made in South Carolina?
On behalf of the entire US population: dude, WTF?

Let's say instead of winning the future, we end up in a tie. Do we then go to sudden death overtime?

If we reneg on the debt, where's the best place to hide our stuff from the repo men?

If ATMs are so bad, why do you keep treating me like one?

Are strawmen cheaper when you buy them by the gross?

How much CO2 is created by a burning straw man?

This whole Twitter Town Hall thing is turning out to be another amateur disaster, isn't it?

If Eric Holder gets indicted in Operation Fast & Furious, should he get a civilian trial?

If we eat the rich, what do we get for dessert?

if punishing employers results in more employment, can you also punish beer makers?

Psst... got any spare tix for the 2016 Chicago Olympics?

Since you've doubled the number of wars, shouldn't you be getting another Nobel Peace Prize?

Does it bother you that your Twitter stunt worked out better for me than you?

Will you be my 10,000th follower?"

This guy (Iowahawk, not POTUS) is an absolute pro.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's keeping you agitated, folks?  Worried about the debt crisis?  Casey Anthony got you down?  Tired of watching little panty-waist David Brooks kick the Tea Party's ass?  Let it all out, folks.  Emote.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hammer's Favorite Country Clubber Shoots the Tea Party in the Face

I came across this David Brooks editorial on Facebook, where Hammer posted it, closing with "what an ass-wipe".  And while Mr. Brooks has disappointed me in the past now and then, I must depart company with my Facebook pal Hammer and applaud Mr. Brooks on this one.

Brooks has painted an unflattering portrait of the Tea Partiers, one they have earned in spades.  They are becoming what Don Rumsfeld used to call the insurgents in Baghdad--"Dead-enders", folks who have no desire to negotiate, no ability to recognize incremental (and sizable) attainment of long sought after goals.  The Tea Party is increasingly coming to mirror ideological libertarianism, interesting stuff to talk about in a dorm room but utterly incapable of serving as an actual approach to governing in anything but an autocracy.

As inconvenient as it is for Hammer and others, we live in a Democracy in which a sizable MAJORITY of the American public disagrees with the ideology of the Tea Party.  Not a plurality, a MAJORITY.  Not that there aren't wonderfully inspiring elements in that ideology, elements which have already shaped the debate in positive ways bound to put a spring in the step of any conservative.  Far too many people disagree with far too much of what the Tea Party represents for its approach to be adopted in toto.  Like "useful" libertarianism, Tea Party ideas will alloy with "country club" Republican ideas to form governing approaches that appeal to the "muddled middle", those who thought Mr. Obama gave a good speech but who now wonder whether there was any there, there.  This alloyed Republican Party will be stronger and more successful at the ballot box than any singular Country Club or Tea Party approach would produce.

My advice to the Tea Party Dead-enders?  Win first, then get cocky about your ideology.   And by win, I mean win a big policy debate. And win it within the system, the system of public debate and legislative compromise. Join with the dreaded "Country Clubbers" to dramatically reduce the scope and whim of government.  Show the American people what a new and idea-brimming Republican Party is all about.  Take back the Senate.  Defeat Barack Obama.   Once we've reached this point, well then if the Tea Party wants to conduct a Stalinist purge of the David Brooks/Bryan McGrath wing of the party, so be it.  I'll accept my fate. 

UPDATE--here's a good interview with David Brooks from The Daily Caller in which he 'splains himself.  Pretty straightforward stuff, from where I sit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Bush/Obama War on Terror Continues

Where is the bought and paid for media with regard to the biggest story of the Obama Presidency--that the policies and practices of the Bush Administration--which he relentlessly criticized while on the stump--remain the policies and practices of the Obama Administration?  Here's the story of a Somali miscreant captured in the Gulf of Aden and---wait-----held on a Navy ship for two months.  Was he spirited to the loving arms of the Eric Holder justice system?  Eh, no.  Did we let him lawyer up with folks who haven't yet earned their spurs into the Holder Justice Department?  Eh, no.  We held him without warrant, we interrogated him without counsel, we treated him like the vermin he is and now--he'll be turned over to the Holder Justice Department, for trial.

When will the media hold this man accountable?  When will Barack Obama have to answer for his over the top and irresponsible campaign rhetoric?  When will he apologize to George Bush for the things he said about the way the Bush Administration pursued the war on terror?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Update

Let's hope the following is but one of hundreds of similar instances in the state of Wisconsin and around the country. Let's also hope that the BPFM starts to report on these little victories. Don't hold your breath, though.

In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

Hat tip: Betsy's Page

Some Sound Thinking on Restraint

America needs to guard against "imperial over-reach".  John R. Miller makes an excellent case here. 

CW Turns 3

Well folks, the little blog project celebrated its 3rd anniversary last week.  Thanks to everyone who makes it a part of their daily scan and to those who stumble across it during Google searches.  Special thanks to Mudge, Goldwater's Ghost, Sally and Robert Thorn for their blog posts, and to Hammer for his commentary.

Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence

I did it this morning.....did you?

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
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