Elkhorn Creek Lodge

November and the GOP’s Long March Back

Posted in uncategorized by Eugene Podrazik on July 19, 2010

Charles Krauthammer and Angelo M. Codevilla provide very sobering assessments of what has happened to our republic over the last two years and century, respectively.  (Here and here) (Bookworm here)  The Republicans have the capacity to significantly alter the balance of power this November.  It is very possible to take control of the House of Representatives.  Will they use the power of the purse to completely gut Obamacare until the the election of a Republican to allow for repeal?

It is also very possible for the Republicans to elect enough truly conservative Senators to have an effective filibuster.  Enough Senators to overcome the handicap of Senator Scott “I’m the 41st vote” Brown and our two squishes from Maine, Senators Snow and Collins.  Will the GOP use that power to shut down the Senate?  To block every judicial and cabinet appointment to stop the invasion of Elena Kagans and Donald Berwicks?  And, in coordination with the House will every department populated by recess appointments be stripped of all funding?

Will a newly empowered GOP articulate a program of balancing the budget by sharply controlling spending and eschewing taxes?  Will a newly empowered GOP make a distinction between things that government must do, such as national sovereignty, and things that are optional, such as entitlements?  Or, will the GOP fall into the trap of trading defense budget cuts for entitlement cuts?

In short, will the GOP rediscover the party that Lincoln once led and demonstrate the discipline to stay in a fight that may last a century to repeal the institutions that the so-called progressive instituted that now imperil the individual liberties enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Or, will a GOP triumph in November be just another speed bump on the way to replacing individual liberty with European Socialism–Chicago-style?

Every generation or so, the progressives manage to secure control of the White House and both Houses of Congress (filibuster-proof control).  And, with each such opportunity, the progressives manage to advance the ball with yet more programs to achieve this goal of cradle to grave welfare.  In 1913, even Republican Howard Taft manage to drink the progressive Cool-aid and pass the 16th amendment–income tax.  A generation later, it was FDR’s turn to introduce Social Security.  Then LBJ with Medicare, Medicaid and the other detritus of his Great Society and War on Poverty.  Jimmy Carter, through the first two years of his presidency had the opportunity to pass the Community Re-investment Act; the law that created ACORN and the sub-prime mortgage melt down of September 2008.  And, now, the next generational spasm of progressivism, Obamacare.

The point of all of the above is that this accretion of programs are now threatening the viability of our Republic.  We are, in fact, in a existential war with Islam.  Yet, even without Obamacare, we no longer have the money to underwrite the most fundamental function of governance–national defense.  Our tax revenues basically cover Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  National defense is be funded by deficit spending.  And, this is before Obamacare really kicks in.

More sobering is the fact that each and every one of the above programs is still in place.  Not one has been repealed or even significantly reformed.  Obama, Pelosi and Reid couldn’t care less about the electoral bath their party will take this November because the track record is that the GOP will do exactly nothing.  There is a whole century of nothing to back that contention up.

So, the real question before the GOP and the electorate they are trying to convince to vote for them is this.  Will the GOP start to reverse, undo and abolish the damage of a century of progressivism?  Obamacare was passed over the manifest objection of the general public by the progressive philosopher-kings who were determined to give us what they though was the medical care they think we should get.  If in control of the House as of 2011, will the GOP completely defund Obamacare?  In the name of deficit control, will the GOP defund just about every program outside of national defense?  Will the GOP insist that proper governance be confined to external security, internal order and an honest buck?

Frankly, the destruction of the progressive march through just about every institution is complete; complete with the establishment of socialized medicine.  We now have a county that won’t last long since every penny will be consumed by entitlements to the complete abandonment of governance that defines the nation-state. Therefore, the GOP’s choices are very simple.  There is no “difference to split” or any way forward.  Either the GOP fights to restore our Constitutional Republic or goes out of business as “me-too” Republicans.

A century ago, was the age of William Jennings Bryan’s “cross of gold” speech.  It was more than about the debasing of currency by increased coinage of silver.  It was the whole progressive program of “wise men,” the philosopher kings in their own ranks telling and assigning duties to the rest of we peasants incapable of making decisions on our own.  Something the likes of Donald Berwick now does as he institutionalizes death panels.

But, even Bryan couldn’t have imagined that his free coinage of silver would devolve to the modern-day Fed.  An institution that merely creates money at the stroke of a pen!  Fiat money you don’t even have to bother to print, much less bother to coin.  A currency so debased that the modern penny is now a zinc alloy coated with copper; since pure copper is too expensive to mint as pennies.

NASA, Islamic Self-Esteem and American Exceptionalism

Posted in islam, obama by Eugene Podrazik on July 8, 2010

I am almost certain, to the point of approaching unity, that NASA’s head, Charles Bolden does not have in his job description the duty of explaining to Al Jazeera that one of NASA’s foremost tasks is to “reach out to the Muslim world.” I also very much doubt that Alan Shepherd, in May 1961, as he sat in Freedom 7 thought his mission was Muslim outreach.  I also doubt, in July 1969, as Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon that he shared Mr. Bolden’s thoughts.

But, for all the outrage, none of it comes from Obama and his fellow travelers.  Because the real message is aimed at America, not the Muslim world.  The real message is that manned space travel is dead.  One of the chief reasons is that any vestige of American Exceptionalism is dead.  The triumphs such as the first man on the Moon cannot be allowed for fear of giving the impression that  America is actually a preeminent nation.

When President Kennedy announced the goal of a man (American man, that is) on the Moon by the end of the (1960’s) decade, he was directly channeling Abraham Lincoln.  During his tenure, Abraham Lincoln committed this country to building the Transcontinental Railroad.  It was a project, using technology only thirty or forty years old, to span two thousand miles of the North American continent from Omaha to Sacramento.  It was, for its day, a project every bit as ambitious and technologically challenging as Kennedy’s Moon landing a century later.

Lincoln did it for many reasons.  One was to open the West to settlement.  Until the railroad, transportation of large quantities of materials or large number of persons was only practical by navigable water.  Unless there was freely available forage, an animal-drawn conveyance had a range of only 200 miles because the fuel needed (hay) would become the entire payload.

But, the real reason for the Transcontinental Railroad was national sovereignty.  Lincoln realized that sovereignty is about real estate; and the ability to control that real estate.  He realized that our country needed the means to communicate rapidly across our continent.  He also realized that we needed we need to control and secure our territory.  This is more than securing our borders.  It is physically occupying our land with our people, American citizens.  It is about Americans placing their boots on the ground, living there and drawing their sustenance there.

Until the railroad came, the riches and opportunity that lay in the Great Plains and Intermountain West were simply inaccessible.  While a few hardy souls could live there only at a sufferance, the ability to freely move people, their goods and their commerce could not happen.  It was only with the beachhead of the railroad that Americans could leave the vagaries of water born transportation and strike out into the West at will.  It was only then that villages, town and cities could arise on the plains and in the mountains.

In a similar vein, this is what Kennedy started with the direction he gave the space program.  The manned space program.  It was to start by placing American boots on new real estate.  It was the start of a new national sovereignty that, again, could only be achieved by physically occupying new territories with Americans.

It is a dream and goal that does not fit Obama’s narrative.  A narrative that seeks to place America in the status of second-place mediocrity.  Wholesale take-overs of our economy by this administration will only serve to strike down whatever preeminence America once had in those fields.  GM and Chrysler will no longer be the leaders in the automotive industry.  Chevy will now produce the Trabants, er Volts, for the masses and Cadillac to produce the Zil limousines for the party big-shots.  American medicine will now be relegated to keeping enough workers functioning to follow the diktats of our the same said elites.  The special bond, defined by Hippocrates, between physician and patient no longer fits the image of the new American Socialist Man.

These asinine comments by Bolden about NASA’s mission of Muslim outreach finally brings us to the point of the perniciousness of how socialism kill countries and societies.  Depending on how you shift around accounting, one finds that our tax revenues sufficient to pay for the big three entitlements–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, now, Obamacare.  Everything else–national defense, border security, roads and commerce–are all funded by deficit spending.  Our government no longer functions to address the problems and issues of national sovereignty and national security.  It no longer functions to maintain honest money.  It no longer functions to maintain internal order; the kind needed to promote jobs and commerce.

Our government now only functions as the wet teat to suckle dependent subjects and serfs.  And, it is now been maneuvered into a position that that is its only purpose.  A short lived purpose since ignoring the real functions of nationhood will only result in the ultimate dissolution of that nation and government.

NASA is but one example of this county-killing decline caused by socialism.  With the imminent retirement of the space shuttle and the cancellation of future manned space projects by this administration, NASA no longer has a mission commensurate to its name.  Like every governmental function in Chicago, NASA’s stated purpose becomes it secondary purpose.  Secondary to the primary purpose to creating yet another source of taxpayer funded patronage jobs.  And, a department full of dependent worker bees to be mobilized to whatever whim strikes our ‘dear leader.’  Whims such as Muslim outreach or cooking up data to further the fraud of ‘global warming.’  Or, is it climate change?

But, a triumphal return of American astronauts to the Moon?  An American as the first human to set foot on Mars?  Not on Obama’s watch.  Such triumphs would not suit a nation that needs to be put in it place; second place.  There’s a reason that Obama is a Democrat and Lincoln a Republican.  The latter man stood for individual freedom and initiative.  Obama, you’re no Abe Lincoln.