Quote of the Day

From Woodrow Wilson:  Godfather of Liberalism by Ronald Pestritto at Heritage.org:

Progressivism—certainly as expounded by Wilson—understood itself as presenting a rationale for moving beyond the political thinking of the American Founding. A prerequisite for national progress, Wilson believed, was that the Founding be understood in its proper historical context. Its principles, in spite of their timeless claims, were intended to deal with the unique circumstances of that day.

This interpretation of the Founding ran up against the Founders’ own self-understanding, as Wilson well knew. This is why much of his scholarship is devoted to a radical reinterpretation and critique of the political theory of the Founding. Wilson understood that the limits placed upon the power of the national government by the Constitution—limits that Progressives wanted to see relaxed if not removed—were grounded in the natural-rights principles of the Declaration of Independence. This meant, for Wilson, that both the Declaration and the Constitution had to be understood anew through a Progressive lens.

Wilson therefore sought a reinterpretation of the Founding—a reinterpretation grounded in historical contingency. To the Founding’s ahistorical notion that government is rooted in an understanding of unchanging human nature, Wilson opposed the historical argument that the ends, scope, and role of just government must be defined by the different principles of different epochs and that, therefore, it is impossible to speak of a single form of just government for all ages.

(My emphasis.)  If this is true, and I have no doubt that it is and that it remains true for modern-day “progressives,” then when any self-described “progressive” politician takes an oath of office and declares,

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

that politician is willfully and deliberately lying; is, in fact, a domestic enemy of the Constution and should be removed from office.

Here’s where we should start: The Congressional Progressive Caucus.

And no, I’m not kidding.  The oath is there for a reason.  Our officials don’t declare an oath to support and defend the state, nor do they swear an oath to a leader – they swear an oath to support and defend the founding principles of this nation, not to try to diminish, circumvent, fold, spindle and mutilate them.

Awhile back Randy Barnett wrote a book entitled Restoring the Lost Constitution:  The Presumption of Liberty.  If we hadn’t had a hundred years of “progressive” destruction of that document, he wouldn’t have needed to.

Last Bowling Pin Match of the Summer

In a related note, the August Bowling Pin match is Sunday, August 12.  Usual place, the Tucson Rifle Club action range.  There won’t be a September match because I’ll be in Reno that weekend.

Time: 8:00 AM sign-up, first rounds downrange about 8:20

Handguns only: .22 rimfire, centerfire revolver (.38 Special minimum), semi-autos (.380 minimum).

You’re welcome to shoot your revolver against the semi-auto crowd, but we think it’s more fun to shoot wheelgun-vs.-wheelgun.

Cost: $10 for the first gun, $5 for any additional guns. Bring about 100 rounds for each. You probably won’t need ’em all unless you’re really good at missing fast.

Hope to see you there!

Too Little, Too Late?

Milton Friedman from his University of Chicago lecture What is America?


I’m not arguing that government does not have a role, of course it does.  I am not an anarchist.  But I am persuaded that the problem of our society today is too much government, not too little.  Indeed I am persuaded that government is failing to perform the functions which it alone can perform, because we are trying to have it perform functions which it cannot perform.

In Walter Lippman’s phrase, which, I may say, goes back to the 1920’s, we are an over-governed society.

I believe we can get back on the right track, only as a public at large comes to recognize that the direction we have been going is a false direction.  A direction that will lead us not where we want to be, but where we do not want to be.  And that we can get back on the right track only by stopping and then reversing that trend.

Veronique de Rugy and Nick Gillespie, The HillCongress isn’t gridlocked — it’s just totally irresponsible,


What we’re actually witnessing — and have been for years now — is not gridlock, but the abdication of responsibility by Congress and the president for performing the most basic responsibilities of government. Despite the fiscal crisis that Washington knows will occur if it fails to deal with unsustainable spending and debt, it hasn’t managed to produce a federal budget in more than three years.

The plain fact is that neither party is working honestly to tackle the nation’s fiscal issues. Why stick your neck out when it’s easier to just blame the other side? Given the lackluster economy, the GOP’s smartest option might well be to do nothing but blame the president for the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Republicans studiously avoid implicating themselves and former President George W. Bush, who pushed the Troubled Asset Relief Program through in 2008 and then diverted TARP funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler.

Simply put, this is no way to run a country. The problem is not gridlock or ideological fervor. The problem is an increasingly irresponsible government that has for far too long been far too easily let off the hook. Whichever party emerges victorious in November, and whatever happens in the lame-duck session, this much is certain: Unless taxpayers begin demanding their president and Congress act responsibly, and do the actual work they were elected to do,”gridlock” will be the least of our problems.

(My emphasis.)  Thirty-four years later and the problem is only worse.

Quote of the Day – Victor Davis Hanson

Since about 1992, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing, California ranks between 41 and 48 in math and science, depending on the year and the particular grade that is assessed. About half of the incoming freshmen at the California State University system — the largest public university in the world — are not qualified to take college courses, and must first complete “remediation” to attain a level of competence that was assumed forty years ago in the senior year of high school. The students I taught at CSU Fresno were far better prepared in 1984 than those in 2004 are; the more money, administrators, “learning centers,” and counselors, the worse became the class work.

I finally threw out my old syllabi last month: the 1985 Greek Literature in Translation course at CSU Fresno seemed to read like a Harvard class in comparison to my 2003 version with half the reading, half the writing, and all sorts of directions on how to make up missed work and flunked exams. It wasn’t just that I lost my standards, but that I lost my students who could read.

Works and Days, California: The Road Warrior Is Here


Quote of the Day – Point of No Return Edition

We talk like the end of the world is approaching and we act like someone is on the verge of giving us a sweater we won’t like, myself included.

Do we think it will be easier to move from sitting on the couch to defending ourselves with violence than engaging in civil disobedience? If we continue to sit on the couch we are most certainly volunteering to resort to violence with little hope of winning. Inaction and cooperation with evil are taking us toward a bloody awful destructive mess. If you disagree, tell me what will make all of this stop. Did Europe stop before it was too late? Liberals will flashmob and sit-in to save a tree. What do we do? Have you found arguing facts an effective technique against liberals?

Most of Obama’s angry former voters are angry O didn’t produce the free unicorns and rainbows. They don’t give a rip about your or their freedom and they will vote for the next messiah as easily as they voted for the current Dear Leader. Not one in a hundred former O voters recognizes they are the problem. The libs can’t read our minds and they don’t care about our opinions. They have no shame and no limit on what they want control over. If your plan is to be the last one rounded up at least stop claiming to be a citizen. Men died for that and we must find a way to be worthy if there are to be free men in the future. The libs won’t stop until they get a sustained push back. No election stops them. No rules limit them. The libs won’t allow you to exist apart from their control. You can’t avoid them because they will search you out, if only to rob you.

We still have a chance if we take over the GOP and advance liberty. When you settle for one more gee dee RINO because he’s not as bad as the lib you are taking away hopes for a peaceful and civil resolution. Once people conclude the system is immune from change bad shit happens.

— commenter Scott M at Van der Leun’s

Which reminds me of another quote, one by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. No, not that one, this one that I also found at Van der Leun’s some time back:

In a state of psychological weakness, weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time and betrayal.

And all of this began with Gerard’s post of an Ann Barnhardt quote on cowardice.

On Milton Friedman’s 100th Birthday

One video I think everyone should watch – “What is America?” A lecture given in 1978 at the University of Chicago. The opening part is significant:

The title had to do with the question of whether America, by which I mean the United States of America, I mean our society, whether America is what it was. Whether America is the land of opportunity which produced over the past two hundred years the greatest freedom and prosperity for the widest range of people the world has ever seen. Whether it still is the land in which people of many races, many beliefs, many origins are free to cooperate together to achieve their separate objectives, while at the same time retaining a diversity of values and opinions. Is that still America? Or is America what it has seemed to be becoming these past few decades? Is America not what it has been, not the land of promise of the past two hundred years but is it instead a land of growing bureaucracy and diminishing freedom? Is it the land of squabbling groups seeking to control the political levers of power, of devisive tendencies that are producing not merely variety, not merely diversity, but open conflict? Is it becoming instead a land of ethnic separatism rather than the land of the melting pot?

That’s what I intended by this question, and that is the theme of the whole series.

I believe the choice is still open to us, that we can still decide, you and I, our fellow citizens, which of these two directions we want to go in. Whether we want to return to the path that made this the great land of opportunity for millions and millions and millions of people, or whether instead we want to continue down the road toward a destruction of both liberty and prosperity.

I believe very deeply that we are nearing the point of no return, that we still have the choice, but that if we continue much longer along the road that we have been going, we no longer shall have the choice. That we shall degenerate into a society which will lose that spark of creativity that spark of independence and freedom that we have all loved in our country.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwDhx1XkXX0?rel=0]
Thirty-four years further down the path of growing bureaucracy and diminishing freedom, toward a destruction of both liberty and prosperity, toward ethnic separatism and open conflict, I personally think we’ve passed that point of no return, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

Bill Whittle on Gun Control

In addition to the Afterburner, Firewall and Trifecta videos Bill does for PJ Media, he’s now doing a weekly one-man show on UstreamTV called Stratosphere Lounge.  The shows run from an hour to 90 minutes or so, and there are about eight of them in the archive.  Here’s an excerpt from the eighth show, it’s in two parts because Photobucket limits videos to 10 minutes.  This one runs about seventeen, with a touch of overlap.  Bill does very well speaking extemporaneously.  No teleprompter for him!

Part 1:


Part 2:

His next show may be tomorrow, I’m not certain.