Daily Wisdom

April 25, 2007

My Response To Harry Reid

For his statement that the War in Iraq is lost, I have but one thing to say to Harry Reid...

'Nuff said.

April 23, 2007

Nancy & Obey Shut Off Cameras


House rules state: "Whenever a hearing or meeting conducted by a committee or subcommittee is open to the public, those proceedings shall be open to coverage by audio and visual means. A committee or subcommittee chairman may not limit the number of television or still cameras to fewer than two representatives from each medium (except for legitimate space or safety considerations, in which case pool coverage shall be authorized)."

House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) blocked the cameras at Monday afternoon's hearings on the supplemental Iraq and Afghanistan military funding. What are Nancy and Dave hiding?

Nancy promised us the "most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history." OHHHHHH, I guess shutting off the cameras and kicking out the Press is the NewSpeak version of "open and ethical". Hmmmm, 1984 redux?

UPDATE: It appears that Obey and Pelosi have relented and opened the hearings to the cameras. To read more, click HERE. Hat tip to "cranky old fart".

April 21, 2007

The Second Amendment

Having been requested to share my views on the Second Amendment, please consider the following. The first quotes were obtained from Wikipedia HERE...

In the early months of 1789, the United States was engaged in an ideological conflict between 'Federalists' who favored a stronger central government and 'Anti-federalists' skeptical of a strong central government.

Intense concerns gripped the country of the potential for success or failure of these newly-formed United States. The first presidential inauguration of George Washington had occurred just a few short weeks earlier.

Anti-federalists supported the proposal to amend the Constitution with clearly-defined and enumerated rights to provide further constraints on the new government, while opponents felt that by listing only certain rights, other unlisted rights would fail to be protected. Amidst this debate, a compromise was reached and James Madison drafted what ultimately would become the United States Bill of Rights and that was proposed to the Congress on June 8, 1789.

The following quotes can be found HERE...

The origin of the Second Amendment... occurred in context of an ongoing debate about "the people" fighting governmental tyranny, (as described by Anti-federalists); or the risk of mob rule of "the people", (as described by the Federalists).

Reaching a compromise between these widely disparate positions was not easy, but nonetheless, a compromise was negotiated with the result being the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment then, is essentially a compromise between those who favored a strong central government with a standing national army, and those who feared one. In Britain, the general population had been disarmed and were therefore at the mercy of the government. Anti-federalists feared that over time, a strong central government would become corrupt and enslave Americans. In order to prevent this from occuring, they demanded that citizens be allowed to arm themselves against a potential dictator who could command a national army. In this way, they would be able to ensure their new-found freedoms. Here is the text of the Second Amendment...

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

So then, where... 1) 'Militia' = a body of citizens organized for military service other than that of a standing national army, 2) A 'State' = an individual state within the United States, and 3) 'The People' = individual citizens... then we may interpret this Amendment, as follows:

Each individual state within the United States shall have the right to maintain a militia in order to provide for the security needed to insure its freedom from the Federal government, said militia being "well regulated" (i.e., not disorderly) and composed of individual people who each have the right to keep and bear arms. These individuals will come to the aid of their state when called upon should the Federal government overstep its bounds. [Note: In the late 1700s and early 1800s state militias were loosely knit groups of farmers, hunters, traders and patriots who responded -- sometimes reluctantly -- to a call for action.]

This, I believe, is the interpretation the Anti-federalists would have given to the wording of the Second Amendment.

Alternatively, where... 1) 'Militia' = a national standing army, 2) A 'State' = the United States, and 3) 'The People' = the citizenry as a collective... then we may interpret this Amendment, as follows:

A standing national army is necessary for the United States to provide for the national security in order to protect our freedoms from hostile foreign nations or from insurrection, either by individuals, groups of individuals, or the individual states. It is recognized that said army must be "well regulated" so that it does not infringe on personal freedoms or states' rights. To that end, the citizenry (collectively) shall never be denied the right to maintain a standing national army.

This, I believe, is the interpretation the Federalists would have given to the wording of the Second Amendment.

Hence, a compromise. Both interpretations are equally valid and correct. Both interpretations are inherent in the wording of the compromise. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Federalists saw no need for a Bill of Rights of which the Second Amendment is a part. In fact, a national army and navy had already been assumed in the Constitution at Section 2, Clause 1 which names the President as the Commander in Chief of those forces. Therefore, the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, adopted at the urging of the Anti-federalists, lends greater weight to their interpretation.

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. --Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the U.S. Constitution" 1833

We can conclude then, that the right to keep and bear arms is vested at all levels of government from the Federal, to the state, to the individual. In the case of the Federal and state governments this right is clearly granted for the purpose of self-defense. The Federal government is vested with the right to maintain a standing national army in order to defend the well-being and liberties of its national citizens. Each individual state is likewise vested with the right to maintain a militia in order to defend the well-being and liberties of its state's citizens. Implicitly then, each individual person - upon whom the entire government is founded ("We the people..." --Preamble, United States Constitution) - is vested with the right to keep and bear arms in order to defend the well-being and liberties of each... their country, their state, and ultimately their individual person.

Arguments to the contrary are irrational. To be given the right to defend the well-being and liberties of one's country or one's state without having the right to defend one's personal well-being and liberties is sheer nonsense. Such a stance would suggest that a country or state can be free, while the citizens of said country or state cannot be free.

Since self-defense is the 'Raison d'être' for the right to keep and bear arms at the Federal and state level, it follows logically that self-defense should likewise be the basis for the right to keep and bear arms at the level of the individual citizen. An armed citizen can defend his/her country, his/her state, or his/her individual person. In each and every case, the individual is the ultimate beneficiary of the defensive action. And that is what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

April 18, 2007

How Liberals & Conservatives Vote

I saw a bumper sticker today that read...

"Liberals vote their HOPE...
Conservatives vote their fear"

My first reaction was irritation. There they go again, I thought. Liberals painting themselves in a positive light (i.e., 'hopeful') and Conservatives in a negative light (i.e., 'fearful'). But then after a few moments, I began to think, perhaps there is some truth to this bumper sticker...

  • Liberals "hope" that Ahmadinejad won't acquire a nuclear weapon. Conservatives "fear" that he will.
  • Liberals "hope" that terrorists won't attack our country again. Conservatives "fear" that they might.
  • Liberals "hope" that one-on-one talks with North Korea will produce results. Conservatives "fear" that they won't.
  • Liberals "hope" that retreat from Iraq will save American lives. Conservatives "fear" that's a delusion.
  • Liberals "hope" that diplomacy will work. Conservatives "fear" that it won't.
  • Liberals "hope" that all people can be reasoned with. Conservatives "fear" that they can't.
  • Liberals "hope" that embryonic stem cell research will make the lame to walk. Conservatives "fear" that we will merely be harvesting human lives for destruction.
  • Liberals "hope" that aborted fetuses are not human beings. Conservatives "fear" that they are.
  • Liberals "hope" that fetuses feel no pain during abortion. Conservatives "fear" that they do.
  • Liberals "hope" that pardoned criminals won't be repeat offenders. Conservatives "fear" that they will.
  • Liberals "hope" to remove all mention of God. Conservatives "fear" it might happen.
  • Liberals "hope" to eliminate Christianity. Conservatives "fear" they'll be successful.
  • Liberals "hope" to replace morality with hedonism. Conservatives "fear" the results.

  • But as is the case with all bumper stickers, one cannot truly describe reality in a few mere words. The difference between Liberals and Conservatives goes a bit further than "hope" and "fear". Sometimes Conservatives rely upon fact, logic, reason, and historical evidence.

  • Liberals "hope" to reason with a misbehaving child. Conservatives "know" that a spanking works best.
  • Liberals "hope" that more government will solve all the problems. Conservatives "know" that it won't.
  • Liberals "hope" taxing the rich will bring equality. Conservatives "know" this only makes all men poor.
  • Liberals "hope" that government hand-outs will bring prosperity. Conservatives "know" that it can't.
  • Liberals "hope" that gun control will prevent crime. Conservatives "know" that gun ownership is a better deterrent.
  • Liberals "hope" for utopia on earth by controlling men and telling them what to do. Conservatives "know" that freedom and democracy and capitalism are much closer to utopia.
  • Liberals "hope" that peace comes through appeasement. Conservatives "know" that peace comes through strength.

  • I'm sure I missed a few. Please feel free to add your own.

    April 16, 2007

    God Wept Today

    In New Jersey, the rains fell. All day Sunday, and into the afternoon of Monday, the rains fell. The rains fell at historic levels... 5-8" of rain in less than 36 hours. There was flooding, property damage, inconvenience, and even death.

    For most, it was just a storm. The collision of air masses. Warm humid air meeting cooler dry air. A simple matter of barometric pressures, weather fronts, jet stream motions and the condensation of moisture.

    But for me, God wept today. God cried over the needless deaths of 33 people at Virginia Tech University. His tears overflowed the river banks. His tears flooded houses and businesses.

    I know I'm being foolish and sentimental. This same storm has been working its way across the country for days. So be it. For me however, the deaths of these 33 innocents in Blacksburg, VA will forever be linked to the record storm which struck NJ on the same day.

    Lord have mercy.

    April 15, 2007

    Liberal Approach to War on Terror: "Can't We All Just Get Along?"

    Satire by John W. Lillpop
    Most modern liberals believe that military force is an old fashioned and outdated method for conflict resolution, and one that should be consigned to the dustbin of history. To the liberal mindset, war is sooooo 20th century. Like VCRs, heterosexual marriage, and Kindergarten without condoms and cucumbers, war is no longer fashionable, or even tolerable. So-called progressives now embrace the Rodney King strategery for dealing with disagreements and rivalries.

    King is the young African-American man who was damn near pulverized to death by several baton-wielding officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1992. Videos of the King pummeling were broadcast all across the globe, and were reportedly used by the Pentagon to train Marines assigned to guard Abu Grab prison in Baghdad. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that Howard Dean used the King videos to demonstrate what could happen to uppity blacks that failed to vote a straight Democrat ticket. In any event, Rodney King set the stage for liberal intellectuals by posing the famous rhetorical question: "Can't we all just get along?"

    Although King's epiphany was not quite as dramatic as Moses' experience with that burning bush, the King illumination has been the underpinning for the Democrat party platform on war and peace ever since. Liberals believe that all conflicts can be resolved by simply talking. For example, according to liberal intellectuals:

  • Jesus Christ would have been spared crucifixion if only He and Pilate had met to discuss their differences once in a while;
  • The Holocaust was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding that could have been avoided if those dang upstart Jews had been willing to talk;
  • President Truman incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki only because he could not reach Japanese Premier Hideki Tojo on the horn, and
  • 9/11 would not have happened if George W. Bush had called Osama bin Laden once in a while to chat about middle east oil, the price of Haliburton shares, and late ball scores from the west coast.

  • This liberal philosophy is based on the premise that all people are essentially the same, and that there are really no evil doers. Excepting George W. Bush and all Republicans, that is. Recognizing the liberal philosophy for what it is helps to explain Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bizarre behavior on the floor of the U.S. House and her trip to the middle east. We now know exactly what Pelosi said to Syrian President Assad during her stop in Damascus. "Can't we all just get along?" Speaker Pelosi asked the shocked Assad. Unfortunately, Pelosi is naive enough to believe the murdering terrorist when he replied, "Of course we can, madam Speaker. Of course we can!"

    John Lillpop is a recovering liberal and independent columnist

    Remember Our Troops

    Hat-tip to Doris for pointing this out.

    There's a great video out there called "Do You Remember Me?" Don't confuse it with other videos by the same name (at YouTube for example). The credits at the end say "by Lizzie Palmer" and "song Pacific Wind". That's all I know about it. You can see it by clicking on the image below...


    April 11, 2007

    'View From Above' Enters Third Year

    Yesterday, April 10th was the second anniversary of the View From Above's premier debut. Well, I don't have anything profound to say. And, I'm too lazy to go back and pick out the best of the 'Second Year'. So, there's nothing for it then but to ask...

    Which Cartoon Character Are You?

    Hat-tip to Hankmeister for this one... I'm Tweety Pie, and proud of it! I'm sweet, lovable, youthful, intelligent, and recognizable when I speak ("I tawt I taw a Puddy Tat!"). Predators (aka, Sylvester) are no match for me. Some might confuse me for a "bird-brain", but I think "Hawkeye" is a better description.

    Have fun y'all... oh, and thanks for 'Viewing'!

    April 07, 2007

    More Global-Warming 2007

    From Accu-Weather.com:
    Record-Shattering Cold Threatens Crops

    A brutally cold surge of arctic air into the eastern half of the United States will easily bring record-low temperatures on Easter morning and could cause significant losses in some of the nation's most prolific agricultural areas. High pressure building toward the Southeast will bring calm winds and clear skies, which combined with the very cold air mass in place, will allow temperatures in many cities to challenge the coldest lows ever reached during the month of April. The cold will severely tax peach orchards across Georgia, and strawberry orchards throughout the Southeast. Bitter cold will also be felt throughout the wheat-growing areas of the Midwest and central Plains.

    A look at the Watches and Warnings shows freeze watches and warnings extending from the Ohio Valley all the way into northern Florida. In our News Summaries, we will take a look at why the cold snap is especially dangerous to agriculture this year and the South Regional News expands on some places where record-breaking cold will be felt during sunrise services on Easter morning.

    The springtime arctic outbreak will also allow for snow in areas that very rarely see wintry precipitation this late in the year. Already this morning, snow has mixed with rain in much of North Carolina, and flurries were observed as far south as Atlanta. The system that caused this rare April snowfall will scrape the Northeast coast with some additional snow on Saturday. Already this morning, moderate snowfall has fallen in Washington, D.C.. The nation's capital has not received accumulating snow in April since 2001. The East Regional News discusses the coastal storm in further detail, as well as the continuing lake-effect snow in western New York.

    Wintry conditions are not restricted to the Northeast this weekend. Snow continues to fall this morning across eastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Among the cities that may receive snow or sleet over the next 24 hours are Denver, Dallas, and Austin. By Sunday, this storm will slide east, bringing a chilly rain to much of the Gulf Coast.

    April 04, 2007

    SCOTUS Orders EPA To Regulate Water Vapor

    Following on the heels of its recent "landmark" decision allowing the EPA to regulate CO2 emissions (despite the fact that the High Court failed to find that Massachusetts or any of the other plaintiffs in the case even had standing to bring suit), the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) today reached another important decision regarding greenhouse gases.

    According to unnamed SCOTUS law clerks, the justices learned during recent testimony that the single most important greenhouse gas which contributes to warm the earth's surface is actually water vapor. The Court today ruled that the EPA 'MUST' regulate the emissions of water vapor into the atmosphere.

    After careful consideration, in a 5-4 vote, the justices have chosen to unilaterally rule on the issue, which (surprisingly) has not yet even come before the deliberative body. "We can't wait for someone to bring suit in this case", said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "We must make a pre-emptive strike against greenhouse gases for the good of the planet."

    "CO2 is bad", said Justice Anthony Kennedy, "but water vapor is WORSE! We've got to stop it before it gets out of control."

    According to Justice David Souter, the SCOTUS ruling imposes strict bans on humidity, clouds, fog, drizzle, rain, snow, sleet, hail and all other forms of atmospheric water vapor (whether gaseous, liquid or solid).

    According to Justice John Paul Stevens, "If we can just eliminate all the atmospheric CO2 and water vapor out there, then we won't have any more problems..."

    Justice Stephen Breyer asked, "Where's my ice cream?" Rumor has it that a number of law clerks have been stealing 'Breyers™ Ice Cream'.

    Justices Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts could not be reached for comment.