Restoring the Lost Constitution

Can we?

Don’t doubt that it’s been lost. A while back I struggled through Randy Barnett’s Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty, a college-level text on that subject. Barnett thinks we can, but first he spends some time detailing how we went from, in his words, “islands of government power in a sea of liberty” to the exact opposite – sinking islands of liberty in an ever-expanding sea of government power. For Barnett, a law professor, the changes are viewed through a narrow lens – that of legislation and court decisions. He views the path back largely as a reversal of that course, but I don’t think the courts can save us.

If you’re a hardcore Three-Percenter, you may believe that the Constitution might be restored by men fighting a 300 meter Second Revolutionary War with small-arms. I’m not so sanguine about that one, but I appreciate the sentiment. If I thought it could actually work, I’d be on the front lines pulling triggers.

Current pundits think the path back might be through a “throw the bums out” sweeping change of our legislative bodies. I’m not so sanguine about that, either, as I’ll explain.

But don’t for a moment doubt that whatever the government is operating under presently, it isn’t the Constitution of the United States that each and every elected and appointed public official still swears an oath to uphold and defend, and it hasn’t been for quite some time.

Back in October of last year, I posted a short video of a portion of an interview of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov discussing the socialist strategy of “ideological subversion” of an enemy country. That interview was taped in 1985. As Bezmenov explained, the process of “ideological subversion” was:

To change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite of their balance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.

It’s a great brainwashing process which goes very slow, and it is divided in four basic stages. The first one being demoralization. It takes from 15-20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years it takes to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy.

In other words, Marxism-Leninism is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged or counterbalanced with the basic values of Americanism, America patriotism.

Recently I’ve been reading John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education. Gatto states in no uncertain terms that from his perspective something changed radically in the American public education system in 1965. It did so in all the metropolitan school systems nationwide, and later spread to the suburban and rural school systems. Bezmenov states that “at least three generations of American students” had socialism “pumped into their heads” as of 1985 – that is, a minimum of 45 years of “ideological subversion,” dating back between 1925 and 1940, and putting the first generation subject to that subversion into positions in the educational system that enabled enaction of that widespread systemic alteration by 1965, and accelerate the process further.

Here we are in 2009, a further twenty-four years on, and we have elected as President a man whose supporters see Ché Guevara as a hero, who was surrounded by active supporters of socialism, who appointed at least one advisor who is an open communist, and his history strongly suggests that the President was heavily influenced by socialists throughout his life.

Many of his generation (which is mine) were.

I’m not saying that the entire population of the country has been brainwashed by an organized, orchestrated conspiracy of the Tuesday Night Socialist Club, far from it. But the evidence strongly suggests that the undeniably attractive “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” ideology has set deep roots in the American culture since Marx first cast the seeds of his philosophy to the four winds. In fact, a 2002 Columbia Law School survey found

. . . that sixty-nine percent of respondents either thought that the United States Constitution contained Marx’s maxim, or did not know whether or not it did.

The survey result cannot be dismissed as anomalous, for it parallels the outcome of a survey conducted by the Hearst Corporation fifteen years ago.

And law professor Michael C. Dorf, who I quote from above, next asks the real question of this essay:

These results, taken together, are troubling for a constitutional democracy in which popular consent underwrites the government’s legitimacy. How can Americans be said to tacitly ratify the Constitution over time when so many of them have a deeply erroneous idea of what it contains?

What Constitution would we restore? Sixty-nine percent of the survey respondents couldn’t even tell you that it didn’t contain Marx’s maxim!

I haven’t read the book, but Orson Scott Card, in a piece he wrote five years ago, reviewed a book by Jane Jacobs, Dark Age Ahead. In that review, he quotes this:

Jacobs sees us as being well down the road to a self-inflicted Dark Age, in which we will have thrown away many of the very things that made our civilization so dominant, so prosperous, so successful. We are not immune to the natural laws that govern the formation and dissolution of human communities: When the civilization no longer provides the benefits that lead to success, then, unsurprisingly, the civilization is likely to fail.
As she says in her introduction, “People living in vigorous cultures typically treasure those cultures and resist any threat to them. How and why can a people so totally discard a formerly vital culture that it becomes literally lost?”
Dark Age Ahead gives us a series of concrete examples of exactly that process.
“Every culture,” she says, “takes pains to educate its young so that they, in their turn, can practice and transmit it completely.” Our civilization, however, is failing to do that. On the contrary, we are systematically training our young not to embrace the culture that brought us greatness.
A civilization is truly dead, she says, when “even the memory of what has been lost is lost.”

A civilization is truly dead when even the memory of what has been lost is lost.

That quote has stuck with me ever since. (And I recommend you read the rest of Card’s post as well.)

For whatever reason, we have not passed on our culture. We have systematically discarded it, forgotten it, refuted it, and in some cases reviled it. Card himself, in one of his more recent novels, described America thus:

(America) was a nation created out of nothing – nothing but a set of ideals that they never measured up to. Now and then they had great leaders, but usually nothing but political hacks, and I mean right from the start. Washington was great, but Adams was paranoid and lazy, and Jefferson was as vile a scheming politician as a nation has ever been cursed with.

America shaped itself with institutions so strong that it could survive corruption, stupidity, vanity, ambition, recklessness, and even insanity in its chief executive.

But can it survive enmity?

The Constitution is the fundamental legal document of our nation. It is the philosophy of John Locke laid down as the basic law of the land: Life, liberty, property. Protect all three against attacks from both private individuals and governments – including our own.

But socialism is based on the philosophy of Rousseau, and the two are totally incompatible. As Jonah Goldberg put it during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt back in February of last year:

Rousseau says the government is there, that our rights come from the government, that (they) come from the collective. Locke says our rights come from God, and that we only create a government to protect our interests. The Rousseauian says you can make a religion out of society and politics, and the Lockean says no, religion is a separate sphere from politics. And that is the defining distinction between the two, and I think that distinction also runs through the human heart, that we all have a Rousseauian temptation in us. And it’s the job of conservatives to remind people that the Lockean in us needs to win.

And I’m afraid we’ve already lost that fight. There aren’t enough Lockeans left, and we awoke too late. Rousseau’s beautiful but flawed philosophy has, like the pied-piper, led our children to the pier, and the Endarkenment cometh.

And there’s your free ice cream for the day.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Rules are for the proles.

If you’re Charlie Rangel or Tim Geithner, you can cheat on your taxes without consequences.

If you’re Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, you can treat women in the most beastly fashion with impunity.

If you’re Al Gore or RFK Jr, you can pontificate about global warming while living in a mansion and flying around the world in private jets.

If you’re Nancy Pelosi, you can staff your vineyard with non-unionized illegal aliens living in squalor.

Welcome to Animal Farm, Democratic Party style.

Falling Down On the Job

Falling Down On the Job

As mentioned, the first rule of blogging is to try to post something every day. Rule #2 is to try to make your posts topical and interesting, or at least interesting.


It’s been a busy week, and next week looks much the same. The following week is, of course, the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, so things should pick up quite bit. Oh, and I’ve heard from Joe Rothstein:

On vacation now. I’ll get back to you after Labor Day.

We’ll see, I suppose.

Anyway, there’ll be more content soon, I promise.

Post for Thursday

I guess I’m supposed to say something about Ted Kennedy’s passing. The only thing that comes to mind is that he indeed got to skip out of the party without paying his portion of the check. From Peggy Noonan’s WSJ piece a few years ago, A Separate Peace:

Do people fear the wheels are coming off the trolley? Is this fear widespread? A few weeks ago I was reading Christopher Lawford’s lovely, candid and affectionate remembrance of growing up in a particular time and place with a particular family, the Kennedys, circa roughly 1950-2000. It’s called “Symptoms of Withdrawal.” At the end he quotes his Uncle Teddy. Christopher, Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford’s mother’s apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn’t gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. “Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta.” Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ “
Mr. Lawford continued, “The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of ‘maybe we shouldn’t go there.’ Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on.”
Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family–that it might “fall apart.” But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.
And–forgive me–I thought: If even Teddy knows . . .

I think there’s a real good chance “the whole thing is going to fall apart” in just the next few years.

I’m really curious to know just how old Teddy was when he said that.

You REALLY Want to Come to the Rendezvous

Mr. Completely has put up a schedule of the activities planned for this year’s Gun Blogger Rendezvous:

Thursday, September 10th

2:30 pm. Leave the Hospitality Room to car pool to Scheel’s Sports Store in nearby Sparks.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Guided tour at Scheel’s Sports and browsing/shopping. Pick up munchies and soft drinks on way back to hotel.

6:00pm. Leave the Hospitality Room to go to dinner. Location to be determined later.

Thursday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Friday, September 11th.

8:00am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room, then downstairs to one of the restaurants for breakfast.

8:45am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for rifle and pistol target shooting out to 900 yards.

9:30am – 2:00pm. At the range.

3:00 pm. – 5:45pm. Show-N-Tell at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room.

6:00pm. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to go to the ground floor to Gecko’s BBQ Restaurant for dinner.

Friday Evening until midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Saturday, September 12th.

8:00am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room, then downstairs to one of the restaurants for breakfast.

8:45am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room to car pool up and head out to the Washoe County Shooting Facility, the Pyramid range for an introduction to Steel Challenge Action Pistol shooting.

9:30am – 2:00pm. At the range.

4:30 – 5:15pm. Rachel Parsons of the NRA

5:15 – 6pm. Bill Brassard of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

6:00 pm. NSSF all you can eat pizza feed at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. After dinner will be the fund raiser raffle for Project Valour-IT and the drawings for the door prizes.

Saturday Evening until Midnight: Refreshments and conversation at the Silver Legacy Hospitality room. Bring your own refreshments and munchies.

Sunday, September 13th.

7:30am. Leave the Silver Legacy Hospitality room, then head downstairs to one of the restaurants for breakfast.

8:15am. Leave for the Virginia City Camel Races Festival and Cowboy Fast Draw Blogger Match.

9:00am – 10:00am. Cowboy Fast Draw Shooting.

The Cowboy Fast Draw shooting is the last scheduled event for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, but many attendees will be staying Sunday night and returning home on Monday. The Camel Races Festival, The Reno Car Museum, the Downtown River Walk, the new Reno Museum, and a number of other things should be considered for the rest of the day on Sunday.

Note that many of the times shown are departure times. Plan on being there a little earlier than the departure time.

OK, that’s what’s planned. There’s also a FAQ post if you need some more info.

Now, on Saturday night we’re going to have the raffle drawings, and as you should know by now, we’re giving away the Para GI Expert that I’m donating and a $2,000 value training certificate to Front Sight that YOU NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN. (The prizes are separate – two prizes, two winners.) So far we have sold about 175 tickets for these two prizes, and we still have a bit over two weeks to go before those sales stop.

BUT IF YOU ATTEND, there are a myriad of other prizes you can win. (Attendees also have a shot at the GI Expert and the training certificate.) Hi-Point has donated their new 9mm Carbine, and Para USA had promised to donate a pistol as well.

Today they revealed what that pistol will be, their Gun Rights Edition high-capacity PXT P14:

The specs are:

Product Code: PX1445S GR
Caliber: .45 ACP
Rounds: 14+1
Barrel: 5″
Weight: 40 oz.
Length: 8.5″
Height: 5.75″
Hammer: Spurred
Sights: Fiber-Optic Front/2-Dot Rear
Receiver: Stainless
Finish: Stainless
Magazine: PNM45
MSRP: $1,149.00

I’m (obviously) not eligible to win the GI Expert, but I’d LOVE to win this pistol!

So far the attendee’s list is about 34 names long, so your odds will be pretty good!



You don’t really “arrive” in Germany, as much as you are born there: naked, bleeding, in pain, unsure of your surroundings, not knowing anyone and wondering what in the hell just happened.

— Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss, From My Position… On the Way!: “He has no personal effects…”

Then read this:

British officers in his unit, 2 Rifles, wanted to track their man every step of the way, and to ensure that his family was informed and supported in this time of high stress. Yet having their soldier suddenly in the American system caused a temporary glitch in communications with folks in Germany. The British leadership in Sangin could have worked through the glitch within some hours, but that would have been hours wasted, and they wanted to know the status of their soldier now. So a British officer in Sangin – thinking creatively –asked if I knew any shortcuts to open communications. The right people were only an email away: Soldiers Angels. And so within about two minutes, these fingers typed an email with this subject heading: CALLING ALL ANGELS.

Soldiers’ Angels Shelle Michaels and MaryAnn Phillips moved into action. Day by day British officers mentioned how Soldiers Angels were proving to be incredibly helpful. The soldiers expressed deep and sincere appreciation. Yet again, the Angels arrived during a time of need.

— Michael Yon, Do Americans Care about British Soldiers?

Maj. Zeigenfuss concludes his piece with this:

If you’ve not joined soldiers angels yet, please do so. There are many ways you can help, either through time, monetarily, visiting, writing a letter, or adopting one of over a thousand soldiers who have asked

* Donate a backpack
* Donate items for a backpack
* Make a Blanket of Hope

See why the Gun Blogger Rendezvous supports Soldiers’ Angels and Project Valour IT? And why you should, too?