Monthly Archives: July 2009

It’s Organic

AN ITEM ON THE news Thursday — or maybe a news item recycled by Rush — noted what anyone with half a brain and the scientific knowledge of a field mouse already knew, to whit: that so-called — scorn quotes — “organic” foods offer no nutritional advantage over “normal” food. Including the dreaded — shudder — Frankenfood, or genetically modified (GM) crops. (Gregor Mendel, your pea garden is on line seven. Gregor Mendel, line seven.)

And I was minded of the two facts I can still recall from my Sophomore (HS) chemistry class — taught by Mr. Gordon Duvall. First, that any liquid whose chemical formula begins with “H” for hydrogen can fairly be called an acid. (As it will have solvent characteristics and/or a pH in a certain range, usually because of that constituent element.) And second that the definition of an organic molecule is any one containing carbon (symbol: C).

This class was actually called Phys-Chem and it was our elitist prep school’s equivalent of Rocks for Jocks. If you weren’t on a science track, it was the course you took to fulfill your science requirement. The physics portion of the course was taught by a Mr. Don Ankenman, a genuinely iconoclastic individual, who taught me that physics is mosly applied algebra. (And you thought you were never going to have to use it once you got out of school. More the fool you.)

The conclusion is left as an exercise in applied math for the student.

Environmentalist wacko eco-nazi heads exploding in: Three…

Heh.

Have You Checked Out Bing?

I HAVE and I find that so far, I like it better than Google or DogPile. The results pages seem to offer greater relevance.

Those commercials you’ve seen on the teevee box don’t lie. They don’t misdirect. They don’t even exaggerate. Much.

And, for what it’s worth, though they’re not perfect, Microsoft and Yahoo! seem to be LESS evil than Google. As I say, FWIW.

Bing dot com. Check it out.

Getting This Straight Dept.

OR, MAYBE this should be called Defaming a Spade by Calling It a Spade Dept. It appears that it is target="_blank">defamation to call a Muslim School a Muslim School, and to conclude therefrom that it is a religious school to an even greater degree than, say, St. Francis Xavier High School is. (My agnostic/Jewish grandson attends a Catholic high school with no damage and considerable benefit, an outcome I doubt would eventuate were he to attend, say, Ibn al Bakr Madrassa.)

And, yet, there are those who seemingly cannot aprehend that this is Bizarro World, nor are we out of it.

Seems As Though

THIS WOULD require the repeal of the antislavery amendment, because that’s what it means to have a target="_blank">right to health care, which is a good provided by people. And, when you force them to provide that good, as a “right” (actually, an entitled privilege, and don’t you forget it)… you enslave them.

When they passed the income tax, they didn’t bother to repeal the prior provisions that up to that time had been read as forbidding an income tax. So, as the Supreme Court ruled, all they did was recategorize the income tax. Think this will be any different?

Well, no, Dolly. I don’t.

I Took This Test

AND GOT A perfect score. Just so you know: Global Warming Test Go. Take it. Find out the truth, no matter what your preconceptions when you go in.

Seen From Orbit Indeed

TAM POINTS TO a bit of particularly odious hubris on the part of Barney Fag –er — Frank*. Which brings to mind also the recent sound bite in which the Banking Queen avers that the government doesn’t exist so that businessmen can make money. Au contraire, mon frere businesses exist so that they can spread enough cash around to people who can do the right things with it.

At some point, when is this dickweed going to sufficiently embarrass the (obviously stupid) voters of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts that they’ll send him to his just reward.

Congressional retirement? Hardly just.

OK. Ill-gotten gains. Better?

Much. Thenk yew.

*A little Dick Armey lingo for those of you in Rio Linda or Port St. Lucie.

Seriously! If Sanity

RULED, WE’D BE OUTLAWING Progressivism as being a clear and present danger to public safety, liberty, morality, and prosperity. I mean, really, people!

I’ve Been Thinking

ABOUT DOING this.

Anarchy in the U.S.

THINK ABOUT IT. Anarchy means without rulers. Or governors. Or government.

…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Our government is “instituted” by our Constitution — the charter or contract among We the People to instantiate a government…

…to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…

And, as our current President has noted, that Constitution is a charter of “negative rights” — things the government is forbidden to do.

From the Constitution — and solely from it — the Federal government derives its legitimacy and authority.

For at least the past century, soi disant — scorn quotes — “progressives” have so perverted our federal system as to render the Constitution moot and the supposedly sovereign states mere administrative subdivisions of the leviathan central state.

Over that same period, the same individuals have enacted laws and regulations without regard for the straitly circumscribed powers enumerated in the Constitution, thus causing the Federal government to forfeit any consideration as a legitimate government, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

We, therefore, do not have a central government, but find instead in Washington a mob. A gang. A criminal conspiracy, which has…

…erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

The Federal government (read: Congress, but in collusion with the Executive and Judiciary) is in breach of that contract, thus morally releasing We the (Little) People from our obligations under same.

We live in a state of anarchy. Realizing that, the obedience to laws becomes optional. Cynical. A lip service paid not to the rule of law, but to the forte main the current thugs in power bring to bear on the enforcement of their will through arbitrary and capricious regulation. “In Jersey anything’s legal, just as long as you don’t get caught.” (Bob Dylan, “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”)

Aren’t we proud?

Cross-posted at Eternity Road

Go and Read the Article

AT REAL CLEAR Politics by Clifford Asness: Health Care Mythology — What We Know That Ain’t So

Then consider this:

…[I]n a world where the “public option” replaced all private options, would we still be allowed, if we had the resources, to pursue private medical alternatives? Some socialized countries say yes, some say no. Imagine the answer is “no” in this country, where freedom is valued more than anywhere else in the world. Imagine a person is to be prevented from spending their hard earned money on their, or their children’s, health care, or a doctor was prevented from earning what he could in a parallel free system after all his training and work.

Can you say, “Black market”? Sher ya can.

Consider this: Before Nixon ramped up the “War on (Some) Drugs,” the market in marijuana was a sleepy bywater, mostly cottage industry, where prices were stable and low and the danger inherent in transaction was mostly from the paranoia of the consumer. Now, billions of wasted interdiction and control dollars later, the (inflation-adjusted) prices are marginally higher, criminal cartels and syndicates control the market, and the side effects only begin with the corruption of law enforcement, the violence of the rival gangs selling the goods, and the overcrowding of our jails.

While normal people, seeking novel intoxicants, have branched out from the relatively benign weed into substances such as crack and meth.

Don’t think there’s a parallel? Guess again. Corruption and violence always attend a black market, and black markets always arise when governments restrict the right of willing buyers to contract with willing sellers.

Some say that our reaction to the latest version of the socialized medicine insult to our intelligence is to resist its passage in the legislature. Perhaps. I say, however, that our real end ought to be to bar the state from intermeddling in markets — any markets. The sole legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the governed. Restricting those rights in any way delegitimizes government. We’ re long past that stage her in the land of the free, and we need keep in mind the goal of getting back our legitimate government.

To All you Left Whingers

PISSING AND MOANING about the opposition to government meddling in medicine who witter about how we shouldn’t be so negative without offering up our own contributions to the solutions sought…

How about you demonstrate conclusively that anything you propose — contrary to history and all prior art and experience on the subject — will, first, do no harm, and second not reduce choice, increase costs, and diminish the quality of care — just as it has every time and place the experiment has been run by optimists with more hope than sense?

How about you accept that our solution — which is for the government to butt the hell out altogether — is the superior solution, which fact is borne out by history and all prior art and experience on the subject, based on the results obtained every time the experiment has been run by anyone?

Instead of trying to stuff your draconian, dictatorial non-solution to a problem the same actors now ginning up this one created in the first place, why don’t you admit where the fault lies and that the sensible thing to do is not “more of the same”?

Sissy Asks, “Why

CAN’T THEY leave us alone?”

Indeed.

I’ve always thought, based on the structure and clear intent of the Constitution, that that was the default position. That, indeed, anything else constituted an infringement on that “endowed by their Creator” inalienable right to liberty. And here lately, even to life. And, as such, was just plain un-American.

And the number one expected response from a citizen being imposed upon by a government overstepping its bounds is, “Oh, Hell no!” and then: “You don’t get to DO that,” enforced by that pesky Second Amendment thing. That shooting at tax collectors is — if not praiseworthy — at the very least justifiable.

Hard to do these days. The gubmint is more interested in defending itself than in performing its fiduciary duties. And it’s one-two-three, “When in the course of human events…” time.

This Makes Me Mad

VIA BREDA we find this report of a blatant civil rights abuse by local law and order types, who ought to be up on charges under 18USC241. If they want to play the zero tolerance game, our public servants should be served notice that that door swings both ways. The city of Beechwood should be hammered good and hard with the least-acceptable position being that all officers involved and the prosecutor in the case should find themselves on the bricks. Monetary damages resembling a fiscal black hole should be sought.

Bigots! Fuck ‘em.

I’m Sorry, But I STILL

DON’T GET THIS WHOLE “You Don’t Have Standing” thing.

Case in Minnesota, reported at PowerLine, involves a publicly-funded Muslim school.
Which is a clear violation of the First Amendment if Congress has established the religion — or, by extension, if the Federal Government pours even so much as a penny into the school system’s coffers. And, according to Fourteenth Amendment inclusion doctrine, state and local governments are also forbidden to break this commandment.

Given that everybody’s First Amendment rights are being infringed when this kind of thing happens, how in the world can any citizen be said to not have standing to bring a suit. Is that not itself a violation of the First Amendment right to “petition the goverment for redress of grievances”?

And, given that the Constitution is a charter defining the limits on government first and foremost, how in the world does the government get to decide what is and what is not reasonable, infringing, and who has standing to do what?

It is truly a Bizarro World proposition.

Ooo! Scary!

FAIR WARNING of a clear and present spam danger.

It Bears Repeating

I THINK THAT folk on both sides of the question of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming refer to it as a matter of belief.

And then they want to argue the science.

Sorry, folks. Science is not a matter for belief. The very word means “knowing”. It is a method for apprehending the world. There’s no belief in it.

Me, I know — as best as can be known — that there’s no way that anybodyknows for certain what the temperature of the atmosphere is, has been, or will be. Ever. Let alone to within a margin of error substantially less than the claimed rate of change. If you do not know a the value of a variable scalar, then you cannot establish its vector. If you do not know the absolute value, even (let alone the sign), you certainly cannot establish a value for a delta — let alone its sign.

This is not advanced or esoteric. It is very basic. Elementary.

All of which assumes that the average temperature of so large and complex a system is a meaningful figure.

When someone wishes to thrust a matter of belief on you and claims it is a matter of science, you may rest assured that their intent is fraudulent.

And These Were

THE LOW BIDDERS !!1!eleven!?

Too Risible to be Seen

AS SUCH, THIS proposal floated at the Volookh Conspiracy and praised by Instapundit.

Let the Democrats put forward three different health care reform proposals. Let the Republicans put forward two different proposals. Find five states to volunteer. Each state adopts one of the proposals. Wait several years. See if any of these proposals worked out well, and if so, which one seems best, and why. Learn from this trial and error, and then pass a national health bill, instead of trying an untested, one-size fits all solution for 20% of the American economy.

Why is it that nobody with any throw weight in the nation discussion is putting for the correct answer, which is for the government to butt the hell out?

The problem was caused by gratuitous government intermeddling in affairs where it has no lawful authority. Why, then, is not the immediate default solution to undo that mistake?

It is to laugh. Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Leftist Straw Man

IF YOU DON’T know chapter and verse of the exact bill being voted on in Congress (And, since it’s incomplete — as though that mattered — they can’t very well be voting on anything with substance, now can they?), then you’re not allowed to have an opinion.

Bzzzt! Wrong again, Beagle-Breath.

I don’t need to know the exact details of the bill to know it’s nowhere near what I want, and what I know is the only sane solution to the — scorn quotes — “crisis” in health care costs in this country.

The crisis has been brought about deliberately, as a matter of policy, by collectivists of all stripes in both parties, as the end goal of a decades long, relentless drive to a totalitarian state, of which state-run medicine is a primary feature. The calculus is that people can be panicked into agreeing to that which they would resolutely resist, given the time and space to make calm and rational decisions.

Except that, after so many decades of permitting and acceding to scheme after con after fraud, the American public is tired of being herded by panic merchants like so many sheep, and are starting to hit back.

What I want — and the only program I will accept is this: 1) a total repeal of all government controls over medicine; the removal from the Internal Revenue Code those perverse incentives which enslave all Americans to third-party payors for their medical needs; the repeal of Medicare and Medicaid; the dismantlement of the Veterans Administration system to be replaced by GI BIll-style grants to be spent by the veterans themselves on their choice of medical care and providers. 2) The elimination of all mandatory and coercive controls over providers of medical goods and services, the weakening of the FDA to a purely advisory role somewhat like the Microsoft Windows logo certification program. 3) Constitutional amendments forbidding state or federal intermeddling in private, consensual transactions involving no infringements of third-party rights, coercion or fraud.

And, since there is no way any Democrat Congress or President will ever agree to such a program, I feel pretty safe in assuming that whatever is coming out of Congress will be a massive boondoggle, a payoff to cronies of those in power, a general grab for more money and power, an infringement at best on my liberty, and just generally something I won’t like.

Prove me wrong.

Yeah, Well—Except For

THE CONSTITUTION already requires that taxes on income be uniform, so I have no idea what makes Insty think an Amendment would do anything to — er — amend the situation.

Insty Reports on

A PROBLEM — one of many — with electronic distribution of intellectual property that prevents me from EVER trusting a purely electronic product. Seems Amazon associates were selling pirated eBooks to Kindle users. Amazon sent out ‘bots which deleted the pirated content from users’ Kindles. Oh, and refunded their purchase price.

Which, without regard to sneakwrap licenses, still smacks of theft to me. Of course, I have learned not to ever allow vendor access to my property. They may have less regard for mine than for theirs, or than that I have for either.

Awhile back, I had a substantial library of (legally) downloaded MP3s. I lost the hard drive on which it resided. I had other copies — on an MP3 player (a Dell DJ), among others — but could not access them to restore my main library because they were all “rights protected” as copies.

I resolved then, and see no reason not to break this, that I will never buy downloaded music again. I want a physical copy, which I will make electronic if I so desire.

Look at it This Way

THAT SO-CALLED “Certificate of Live Birth” looks and sounds to me an awful lot like the cardboard temporary tags they give you when you buy a car: something to get you by until your official documents happen. You can go about your daily life without being hassled for not having crossed all the bureaucratic i’s and dotted all their t’s. The CoLB is like that. “We acknowledge that before us at this moment is a male child, presented as the son of so-and-so, according to the testimony of his parents (whose veracity we have no present reason to doubt). This certificate is to stand in lieu of a proper birth certificate until one can be obtained from the child’s birth jurisdiction.”

I’m not even going to claim that, forty-odd years ago, his parents had the intent to defraud the American people.

I’m just saying it doesn’t look to me like a legitimate birth certificate. And, according to what I hear from the bureaucratic functionaries in Hawaii, that’s the exact read.

Yet, Zero has yet to produce an actual birth certificate. And all the stonewalling and persiflage thrown up in defense is far from persuasive. Or, rather, it is quite persuasive, just not of Zero’s case.

Of course, this really drives the leftists nutso. They tried and tried to steal the 2000 election, and still think they should have succeeded. And now we in the Right are making a far more credible case that they did steal the 2008 election — albeit not by voter fraud. At least… not so’s anybody can tell fer sure.

But, agnostic as I am on the question, I find more to credit the challengers in the Left’s resistance than in the challengers’ own case.

And my suspicious meter REALLY pins when judges start telling U.S. citizens that they do not have standing to bring a constitutional challenge. There’s a public official who’s self-impeaching.

A Pig in a Poke

I’M GUESSING THAT the virulent leftists who rammed the cap-and-tax bill through the house without giving anyone an opportuntity to actually — you know — read the bill (which wasn’t even complete at the time), believe that they have answered the constitutional forms for passage of a bill, and should The Won choose to sign the eventual bill into law, it will
— as they say — become the law of the land.

But I’m wondering.

Given that — we are told — the bill was actually not complete when the vote was taken, could that vote be said to have been invalid, being for a bill which did not, at the time of the vote, exist? Could there be a reasonable challenge mounted on the basis of a substantive fraud’s being perpetrated on the American people — beyond the one that is CAGW in the first place, that is?

Discuss among yourselves.

Did I Say This

ALREADY? Back when the insufferably stupid Barbara Boxer read out that general for calling her “Ma’am” instead of “Senator” during a hearing?
Staircase wit, here, but he should have said, “Well, Ma’am. In the military — and I think in most polite company — one is taught that, when a person is endowed with two or more titles or honorifics, one is to use the highest as a matter of preference. Having now been corrected by you, I shall no longer do so in your case. I apologize. No offense was intended.”

So I Came Through

THE DOOR and saw Loki and one of the kittens snuggled on the bed. Loki had a foreleg — call it an arm — draped casually across the kitten’s shoulder. The two of them, disturbed by my entrance, looked up at me wide-eyed, like nothing so much as a Senator and his doxy frozen in scandal for all time by the strobe light of a paparazzo.

Some Questions I’d Love to Hear

ASKED OF A candidate to the Supreme Court such as Judge Sotomayor.

Given that it is justifiable under the law — praiseworthy and one step removed from mandatory — to use force, even lethal force, in the prevention of a felony, how much more so in the prevention of a violation of a provision of the Constitution — given that the authority for the felony law rises from the latter document?

And, given that a citizen has a right to self-defense, what is the appropriate response to an apparently irresistable infringement by government on the rights of the governed?

What? No right to self-defense? Not in the text? But what of the right to privacy? What of the Ninth Amendment? What part of this is incomprehensible to you?

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Given the nature of the Constitution as a charter of limitations on the power of government as balanced against the rights of individual citizens, how appropriate is it for agents of the state to — and, your honor, these are scorn quotes — “interpret” that document? In what way is it meet for a court to deny standing to any citizen seeking redress of grievances for violations of the supreme law by agents of the state?

Quote of the Day

American politics is evolving into a religon… a far thing from the practice of the science, or even the art of government. And, accordingly, people are demanding that their spokesmen act, not merely as administrators or leaders, but as priests and votaries of the political dogmas and liturgy that are the fashion.

–William F. Buckley, Jr., October 17, 1964

WFB, writing in the final days of the ’64 election campaign, was prodded to make the above observation by an obeisance Barry Goldwater was forced to make — against his own stated positions — on several articles of faith among the country club blueblood Republicans. But the observation could be made as well in the case of Sarah Palin. Or any candidate for office.

This strikes me as backward. The parties ought to be making accomodations to suit the principles of the candidates, not the other way around. A clear case of an abuse of power.

And, of course, as Buckley observes, Goldwater was running for President, not for Congress, and would have next to no power over — say — Social Security. Just as, today, the President really has no power over the Federal, domestic treatment of abortion, yet must nevertheless bend over backward and kiss the stone in order to receive unction.

Bleah!

Quote of the Day

[Liberalism] will be seen historically as the great destructive force of our time; much more so than communism, fascism, nazism, or any of the other lunatic creeds which make such immediate havoc. Compared with the long-term consequences of a Gilbert Murray, a Bertrand Russel, a Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Hitler was an ineffectual dreamer, Stalin a Father Christmas, and Mussolini an Arcadian shephere. It is liberalism which makes the Gaderene swine so frisky; as mankind goes to their last incinerated extinction the voice of the liberal will be heard proclaiming the realization at last of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

–Malcolm Muggeridge
as quoted by William F. Buckley, Jr
in The Jeweler’s Eye, pp 39-40

The word Muggeridge used was liberalism. Regular readers know I have problems with that. Buckley has words for that tendency, as well.

There’s Another Note

TO THIS CHORD about a so-called third way for the Right, and that is that increasing the number of conservative Democrats in Congress will weaken the extreme far-left whinge.

‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.

You Know the Line

FRIENDS WILL HELP YOU move, but real friends will help you move bodies? Make a corollary to that: real friends will help you hold an estate sale.

It was all that.

Saturday, I got the call from Toni to come lend truck space –just the hauling capacity — in my Cherokee to the friend whose body — er, estate sale — it was. It was a cold storage warehouse turned self-storage on the wrong side of the tracks in a bad part of town. The “cold” part doesn’t refer to air-conditioning in summer. They close well before sundown. There was some urgency to get the hell out of Dodge. OK. But I got there and couldn’t help helping to tote barge and lift bale. I hate just sitting around doing nothing. When I got there, there was a pro from Dover sorting through the books. Each carton filled went into one of three SUVs or a U-Haul Econoline partial van.

When I left, my Cherokee’s ass was dragging, as was mine.

Sunday, we got up at o-dark-thirty and went to meet the friends, whose body — er, estate sale — we were helping with, at IHOP for breakfast. (Hawaiian pancakes the special. Did you know they had flamingos in Hawaii? And Toucans? Neither did I. The things you can learn if you pay attention .)

Then we set up in the parking lot at the Animal Clinic. I’d brunged my pop-up tent. We popped it up, tied it down between two SUVs, and lined it with tables and shelvs full of books.

Best estimate between 20 and 25 cartons. Of the standard Two Men and a Truck book carton.

Toni had put an ad in several papers, on Craig’s List, via the town crier, and the evening bark. Specified start time was 10:00 AM. We got there at 7:30 and started setting up. Before I could even get the crime scene tape stretched out to block the driveway, an elderly couple pulled up and asked if this was the place. While were still unpacking, a pack of ravening antiquers appeared out of nowhere and started opening boxes and rifling through the contents. There was one flibbertygibbet (who claimed to be a dealer, but — having known a few dealers in my checkered career — I have my doubts) who made a little pile of items she wanted — or didn’t, NO, did — no, on second thought, what do you think? — in the middle of the trafficway, which she then defended against all comers like one of those yappy little dogs that stupid socialites carry in their oversized and overpriced purses. She did spend a lot, but the idea was to get rid of the stuff fast — which she didn’t seem to appreciate.

Her “boyfriend” (he was probably 70 and she in her 60s) was fairly nice, if put-upon. Reminds me of Sunshine in Harlem Nights. Remember Della Reese? “Her pussy’s so fantastic, you could throw it up in the air and it would shine like the sun.” I hope the flibbertygibbet’s is that good. Otherwise, that poor guy is getting FWBO. (Fucked Without Benefit of Orgasm.)

What a Democrat.

Then things settled down a bit. The local businessmen’s association was having a sidewalk sale, so we had good traffic all day. There were some very nice people, even among the early birds. But they didn’t get the good deals. We were all sticking to our guns on price early on. I had a whinger complaining about the price on the books (a dollar for anything — really good stuff). She thought that was outrageous. I pointed out, while pocketing the proceeds from several sales, that we were getting it. She said, “That’s because the people around here can afford to be loose with their money.”

Another Democrat.

But later in the day, everybody got a little freer. Anything that got sold didn’t have to be packed up and hauled out. We were willing to make deals. Ten books for eight bucks, and so forth. I imagine it’s a pattern.

I never did get all of the books unpacked completely. They sold bookshelves out from under me. But then, there was this guy, a bookseller from Indianapolis as it turns out, by the name of Stan Solomon, and a really nice guy, you should patronize him if you’re looking for collectible books, who helped me unpack what I could get on the tables in exchange for first paw-through. I thought that was fair. And he was of a good humor and a pleasant conversationalist. I gave him good prices and threw in extras.

My wage for the work is the remainder of the books. Yes, I have to haul them away and dispose of them, but I get to pick out anything I (and/or Toni) want. I pored over the collection while I was tending it — after a manner of a shopkeeper — and made my selections, subject to sale, of course. When the last bookseller was gone, we started packing the books back up, and I threw my choices into separate boxes. I made choices of titles that have interested me over the years, or caught my eye there, of subjects that interest me or sounded interesting, and of books that just took my fancy — which I would not ordinarily buy for being on a perennially tight budget. I’ll be expanding the horizons of my Books To Be Read stack beyond science fiction, fantasy, and military history for at least a year to come.

It’s almost hard to decide where to begin. But, like the proverbial kid in a candy store, I think I’ll be able to work it out.

I’ve gotten most of my picks up on The Library Thing. You can sort the list by date of acquisition, in descending order to see the newest ones. By all means, go. Wallow in envy. I’m glad I did it (although that’s not the only reason — glad to help a friend).

And there’s more where those came from. Approximately 13-15 cartons. (Sold a lot, and took 3 cartons, but also packed tighter.) Now, Toni and I are going to comb the rest for further potential acquisitions, for donations, and for trash — books that have lost their covers or significant number of pages, and so-forth.

You Know, I Don’t

REALLY CARE WHAT a reporter’s politics are. I’ve said repeatedly that I’ll read any honest broker of information. I thought there were times during the runup to the Iraq war that the Guardian UK was one of the cleanest sources out there — certainly better than The New York TImes, which pales by comparison in its partisanship to the UK paper.

No. The sin isn’t being liberal. It isn’t really even liberal bias. It’s lying. I understand that the news is not your product and I am not your customer. Your customer is your advertiser and I am your product. The news is merely the bait to get me to participate — to be a willing part of your product, thus inducing your advertisers to become or stay your customers. So, when the bait that you offer is old, moldy, stinky, spoiled-rotten crap, festering with lies, why should I willingly slurp it up?

And, thus, we have the demise of so-called “mainstream” journalism. (The scorn quotes are because I contend that the real mainstream of American life and politics is farther to the Right than any left-whinge journo would dare admit even in his deepest darkest quiet place.)

Whereas, I’d bet, if more journos were as honest about their bias as this guy, your daily paper might not be circling the drain — or at least, not quite so fast.

There’s a Saying Goes Something

LIKE: “NEVER ascribe to malice that which can be attributed to incompetence.” (Or stupidity.)

There’s been a lot of talk among We the Little People In the Right lately about tactics and strategic assumptions and the like. And I have to say I like to see the discussion going on, but I hope that people do keep in mind that the end does not justify the means. It’s quite proper to fight to win, it is never proper to fight dirty. And Ronaldo Magnus showed us how here as in so many ways.

But on those strategic assumptions. There has to be some forethought given the question of when to fight. What tripwires demand which retaliation in response, when to escalate — when to bitch slap, and when to go for the Doc Marten to the marbles. What motives do we ascribe to what actions? What constitutes prima facie evidence of ill intent, and what is an apposite casus belli?

Insty posts a note on some contretemps or other in New York. Apparently some pretentious prat got a wind up and spouted some leftist twaddle at a Philharmonic concert. To quote Simon and Garfunkel, “…And blah, blah, blah.” The audience gasps, some stiffnecks walk out, and the rest titter nervously while rattling their jewelry and clinking their champagne flutes. Insty closes with the assertion:

Like the Big Media, they don’t seem to mind losing audience in exchange for politics.

…Which, of course, assumes that the concommitant destruction of civil society that goes with the cycle of outrage, protest, withdrawal of support, and the dying on the vine of cultural institutions for that lack of support is entirely unintentional.

Knowing the leftist inclination, its destructive tendencies, and tendentious nature, one is forced to assume this cannot be true. To the contrary: such destruction must be assumed to be intentional, to be the planned eventuation out of the outrageous behavior. To assume otherwise is to first concede the battle to the enemy and second to commit suicicde thereby.

I don’t think so.

Robert McNamara Died

WHAT? Already?

Quote of the Day

A republic, Madam — if you can keep it.

–Benjamin Franklin

KPax or Whatever

HIS NAME IS on the Glenn Beck Show has got his head up his ass, and I don’t mind saying so. He seems to think Palin’s resignation is some sort of mistake. Mebbe so. But his reasoning is specious. Because other politicians wouldn’t? Because the conventional wisdom is she’ll be labeled a quitter? Bullshit, balderdash, bollocks!

The whole appeal of Palin to the base is that she is not a business-as-usual pol.

Besides, “conventional pols always do thus-and-so” is, to the mind of most “normal” Americans is pretty much a prescription for doing the opposite. So what if the chattering classes label la Palin as a quitter. The vast middle of America has written them off, too.

And he keeps saying that she has more power as a governor than as a private citizen. Except: if the enemy (And make no mistake about it, the left-whinge extremist ankle-biters tying her down are the enemy.)… if the enemy keeps you tied down, prevents you from maneuvering by inflicting death-of-a-thousand-cuts attacks on you, reducing your effectiveness to 20% (or worse), how is that more powerful that having the freedom to maneuver, to speak the truth as you see it and let the chips fall where they may? Can’t very well do that if you have an official-type office to uphold.

Sun Tzu teaches that if your enemy attacks from the high ground, do not oppose him. I’m not saying that the ankle-biters have the moral high ground. But they do/did hold a superior tactical position. But, once shed of the constraints of office — which did not appear to be a strategic advantage; not if the enemy could reduce her effectiveness by 80%, she may believe she has a better chance against them — more room to maneuver, a wider range of weapons and tactics to choose from, better cover available for her family, more and better strategic resources available.

The more I hear about this — especially from carpers and cavilers on both sides of the aisle — the more I think this is probably a brilliant strategic move. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

One thing I do think you need to remember: this lady is a big-game hunter and has fished in the waters of the deadliest catch. She has big brass balls. Her enemies underestimate her at their peril.

Quote of the Day

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations…

–James Madison

Waxman Markey

IS SOMEHOW TYPICAL of the breed of left-collectivist nostrums in that it substitutes for actual substance and accomplishment — the creation of value and prosperity — a regime of corruption unparalleled in human history and a free-fire zone for fascistic mischief in the collusion between large industry and the state to the detriment of the individual citizen.

Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey: First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every product that requires energy for its manufacture — which is to say, for everything. Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together. Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out the section of the bill on candelabras) to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial, industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently deform American politics and economic life.

–Stephen Spruiell and Kevin Williamson writing at NRO

People, when I say that Democrats are affirmatively, consciously, and intentionally evil, this is what I mean. Waxman and Markey — and every Congressman who voted for this pile of stinking, hard, little turds — ought to be brought up on charges of violation of their oaths of office, tarred, feathered, drummed out of Congress, and out of town on a rail.

What law did they break?

Uh… the Constitution?

Yebbut, where is the penalty prescribed for that?

How about fraud? Compared to these guys, Bernie Madoff is a piker. There’s a class-action suit for misappropriation of funds just waiting for the right bottom-feeding lawyer to happen along, and the “class” is 300 million-plus strong.

Quote of the Day

Mr. Chairman-A worthy member has asked, who are the militia, if they be not the people, of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c. by our representation? I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government all ranks of people are subject to militia duty.

–George Mason

Have a Fierce Independence Day

Illigetimi non carborundum.

Quote of the Day

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

–John Adams

You Owe a Debt of

GRATITUDE TO Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com. With only a handful of compatriots, Amazon is fighting grabby unconstitutional state tax laws that seek to tax interstate commerce in violation of myriad provisions of the Constitution. The effort is heinous, the reasoning specious, and the persistence of state governments in this flatly unlawful initiative despicable.

You should go and spend money with Amazon. You should also inform other merchants, not yet onboard with this blowback on the greedy hand of government, of the righteousness of Amazon’s cause. ::coughdaytimerscough::

How is this unconstitutional?

In main, in two ways. First, it is an ultra vires grab at power which is reserved to Congress (the regulation of interstate commerce).

But-but-but… You allus say that the commerce clause is misapplied. You resist it at every turn.

So? You’re saying I’m arguing one thing here and another over there?

‘ll… yeah? How is that consistent?

Easy. In both cases I am arguing against state power and in favor of the liberty of the individual.

But you’re gaming the system…

Quoting its provisions to argue for the ends to which it was directed in the first place? How is that inconsistent?

Um…

Lemme get back to ya on that.

OK. Now, I think that Amazon is knuckling under to a certain extent by conceding the validity of the utterly specious “presence” argument. That is, a merchant based in — as in Amazon’s case — Seattle can in no way be seen to come under the jurisdiction of — oh, let’s take the example of the most egregious offender — California. However, if a bricks-and-mortar chain has stores in California, it is argued, it is reasonable that those stores render sales tax to the state on those transactions which take place in the state.

And why not? Well, I’ll tell you in a minute.

Of course, in this age — and since about the turn of the 20th Century, with the advent of catalog mail-order sales — states have (scorn quotes) “foregone” some sales tax on, for example, goods shipped from — say… — Sears, in Chicago to a customer in Bakersfield, Californ-eye-ay. And the greedy guts in state government, spoiled rotten by their existence within a political system biased toward statism, whinged to the Federal government for dispensation to collect sales tax on goods shipped into their state or (in some even more outrageous cases), simply bought by residents and carried back into the state.

And they got that dispensation. And thus was a key provision of the Constitution dealt the back of the statists’ hand.

And that would be?

Article One, Section Nine, in which it says (in part) “No tax or duty shall be laid on goods exported from any state.”

But-but-but… “Exported,” it says.

Yes. Latin for “carried out.” And your point is…?

But doesn’t that mean shipped internationally?

Once again: your point is…?

Well, is shipment between states…?

What is the definition of the word, “state”?

Um… Oh. OH! I see…

Yes. And this country is called…

The United States.

Right in one. So goods which travel interstate have been, by definition, exported from one state. That they travel without let or interruption by international borders and their consequent customs revenuers is irrelevant. Or, more precisely, it is the point.

During the period after the Revolution, but before the adoption of the Constitution, there were trade wars between the states. And this provision was included in the Constitution specifically to obviate such. Thus the collection of state taxes on ANY good exported from another state (I would argue at any time by any means) is made flatly unlawful — forbidden by the Constitution.

Now, I can see that goods exported from one state to another by merchants who then resell the goods within the state might be reasonably subject to being taxed at the point of resale. Maybe. If the state government plays nice and says “Please” and “Thank you.” But the bias ought to be against government greed and in favor of the individual citizen — whose liberty this government has been constituted to protect.

But do, please, to note that the provision in law is about the goods — the physical, material objects in question — and NOT whether a merchant has or has not a business “presence” in the state. The latter argument is specious. If such a situation were to allow taxation on that basis, goods traveling between Seattle and California might well be rendered subject to taxation in the state of — say — New York, if the merchant doing the exporting from Seattle had a business “presence” in the Empire State. In fact, in some cases, I swear there are state governments which would and have held that to be JUST the case. The greedy hand of government knows no bounds and no shame unless We the Little People act to keep it in check.

And the plaint that the state must “forego” the revenue I find utterly dispicable, as it assumes that the state has a natural right to steal the sustenance of its citizens without let.

So: go spend money with Amazon. And give hell to those merchants who collude with the government to steal from you that to which neither state nor merchant has a right.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road.

WRT La Palin’s Readiness

TO RUN FOR Prez, Drew at Ace of Spades HQ manages to get it right while simultaneously leaving me some daylight for a run up the middle.

Sure, all the advice Jonah Goldberg gives is sound, but it doesn’t touch on one reason for Ronaldo Magnus’ success: his intellectual attainment.

Beginning in his days as host of General Electric Theater and carrying through his post-White House years, Reagan wrote copiously, on all manner of subjects. He worked and refined his message. You don’t do that and not get good at it — regardless of the idiotic canards of the Left.

Reagan estimated he had visited 135 GE research and manufacturing facilities, and met over a quarter-million people. During that time he would also speak at other forums such as Rotary clubs and Moose lodges, presenting views on economic progress that in form and content were often similar to what he said in introductions, segues and closing comments on the show as a spokesman for GE.

Wikipedia

Remember that THE Speech — the one that thrust Reagan into the vanguard of the conservative movement — was delivered in 1964 and Reagan didn’t ascend to the Presidency until 1981. A long time waiting in the wings. And, to some extent, I would argue he had more and greater influence on the American conservative movement in the years before his administration than during or after.

As Rush says, if we in the Right want to see our principles once again hold sway over America, then we need to espouse them, loudly and well, with full voice and no RINO cavils. Please stress that well. As delightfully refreshing as Sarah Palin is to her natural constituency, there is that about her speaking style which grates on the ear. The twin examples of Reagan and Buckley teach that, if you want people to respect your principles, you have to respect them yourself. And talking them down, as though the American people are somehow too dumb to appreciate ten-dollar words, complete sentences that parse, and proper grammar and syntax, does not, in my not-so-very-humble opinion, demonstrate that respect.

So I would echo what Goldberg is saying: Sarah, dear Sarah: get good at espousing your beliefs. Polish your delivery — not to make it slick like the glib prevaricators on the Left — but to make it clear and strong, like Reagan.

Update: Between the writing and publication of this post, Sarah Palin announced her resignation from the office of governor. I’m still digesting the news, but I have several quick reactions:

1) This is not the way pols usually handle the kind of low and dirty attacks Palin has endured from the Left. The leftists pressing the attacks probably expected some kind of a phyrric battle, in which they — as a pack of jackals — would eventually wear down and pull down the lioness governor. Instead, Palin appears to have given them the slip. I’m not entirely sure how shedding the power and influence of a gubernatorial office can aid in such a fight, but… well, we’ll see.

At this point, I’m betting on the lion. As I believe Winston Churchill said on the question of whether it’s better to be a live jackal or a dead lion, “I prefer to be a live lion.”

It occurs to me that this might prove to be a brilliant, game-changing tactic. After all, what’s the political scandal truism? “It’s not the sin, it’s the coverup that gets you.” In every case I can think of where a political figure was accused –rightly or falsely — of manifst sins against the body politic, and fought bitterly until the end, nobody won. The accused came out bloodied and vastly weaker. The accusers gained notoriety, but also something of a pariah-noid reputation, even among their own co-partisans.

So, now, here’s Palin, so beset by petty, ankle-biting, SLAPP-type tactics that she can only devote 20% of her attention to her office. I’m sure that she hasn’t side-stepped them all by this maneuver, but her opponents, if they pursue this, will appear petty, vindictive, and mean. And her private-citizen status certainly leaves her free to use tactics being a holder of public offers might bar her from using.

2) Although her stated reasons for her resignation could (and probably will) be cast by an evil mind as self-pitying, they also do not reflect well on the character of her opponents. Of course, said opponents can and probably will remain nameless and faceless — shadowy figures — unreported by the legacy partisan (scorn quotes) “mainstream” press. (To the extent that they are not themselves members of said press.) If they can be exposed to scorn, ridicule, and opprobrium, perhaps some of their effect can be blunted. While it may be unseemly for a governor to attack a private citizen accusing her of ethics violation, there is no such let on a private citizen. Additionally, having “hounded her from office,” the dirty tricksterss can be all too easily portrayed in the public mind as — as I say — mean, petty, and vindictive — which, of course, they are and have been all along.

If the press is unwilling to make such an exposure, you might well ask, how, then, is it to be made?

Well, here’s how — in blogs. On the Internet. With viral videos and vlogs. If there is enough grassroots support out there not only for a conservative candidate willing to espouse those principles in the Right and do so unashamedly and without reservation, but for those principles themselves, I suspect that the whole sordid mess can be thrown back in the faces of the leftist machinators. And, though they may not care themselves whether their slime comes back at them, having the public see them thus revealed in their true faces can only be good.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road.

What Is It With These

IDIOT LEFTISTS that they so easily fall for glib prevaricators?

Heh.

And then again: Heh.

“White folks are ready to RIOT! And they SHOULD be!”

Oh! Did I mention? Heh.

Quote of the Day

A government powerful enough to give to you everything you want is also powerful enough to take from you everything you have.

–Gerald Ford

A Note to Bob Beckl

IF YOU GOT A SHOCK through the phone while you were talking with Mark Simone on the Sean Hannity show this afternoon, it was me, yelling loud enough to send a jolt through the speakers in my car, into the radio, back out through the antenna, through the air to the WKRC antenna and transmitter, through the wires to their station, then through the phone lines (fiber optic, yet!) to New York, then back out on a similar path to whatever cesspit you were inhabiting at the moment. I was reacting to this statement:

“Surely we all agree that we need to break our dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East…”

It was at that point that I roared at the radio:

NO, WE DON’T!

…and you should have gotten your jolt some instants later, allowing for the light speed lag.

Get used to it. You’re going to feel it from now on, whenever you utter such a despicable and tendentious — egregious, evennn — slop-bucket of lies within hearing of anyone who is aware of the facts and concerned for true liberty.

And how did you lie? Oh, let me count the ways!

First, that turd of mendacity — straight out of Alinsky, it must be — “Surely we all agree.” No, as I said, we don’t. What you follow with is always wrong, always false, always mis- or mal-informed, dangerous to liberty and property, and probably illegal in 45 of 50 states, as well as Burkina Faso and the District of Columbia.

Not that that last has anything to recommend it, mind you.

Count yourself as bitch-slapped. Bob, you lying media whore. We most manifestly do not agree.

Second, the contention that we — presumably America, though I’m tempted to ask what you mean by “We,” (Paleface)? — need to end our dependence on foreign oil.

If by that you mean we should explore and exploit our domestic reserves, I couldn’t agree more. But your words and deeds in the past, and those of your co-partisans, belie the notion.

If by ending our dependence on all oil, you might as well say, “We need to wean ourselves off that pesky air stuff.”

Judging by the stench that’s coming off that BIG steaming pile shat out by the House last Friday, that’s exactly where they’re headed.

Dolly: Heh.

There is no way we can do without oil as a fuel. Period. Full Stop. Paragraph.

Nor can we do without it as a feedstock for all manner of chemicals we use in our daily lives, from fertilizers and food additives to medicines, to plastics, to colorants, to fibers for clothing and other uses. But as a fuel, which is what you’re talking about, Bob, oil has no peer and probably never will.

Oh, surely you can back that up.

Sure. With chapter and verse. But let it suffice us to say that if you want to maintain a modern civilization on Planet Earth, you’re going to burn hydrocarbons. You may be able to use nukes to provide electricity to sessile applications, but for mobile apps, hydrocarbons are it. And among hydrocarbons, you have two broad classes of molecues — petroleum distillates or alcohols. It has been dispositively demonstrated to my satisfaction that the overhead costs are least in the case of petroleum, and therefore, it is a market winner hands down.

But none of your brainfart pipe dreams is going to supplant it. Not now. Not in 50 years. Not ever. There isn’t enough arable land on the planet to provide the feedstock for ethanol at any realistic volume. It. Just. Doesn’t. Scale.

So oil it is.

And, yes, thanks to your buddies in the Democrat party, Bob, we are largely dependent on foreign-sourced oil.

From Mexico and Canada. (Those dastardly dictatorships!)

We get less than 5% of our oil from the Middle East.

Now, lets get down to the truth of the matter.

You don’t give a flying fuck about our energy sources.

Your purpose is to destroy Western civilization so that you can supplant it with your own Utopian nightmare.

Since free markets, and the fuel which provides their nearly boundless energy, are the life’s blood of that civilization, you must of necessity first distort and render impotent the markets in those fuels, steal what you can from the substance of the markets, cripple the industries with high prices, high taxes, and onerous regulation. That is the inevitable result of your program, and there’s no use in denying that is also your true aim.

You have been warned time and again of the consequences of your actions, had the truth of those warning demonstrated over and over, and still you persist. There is only one reasonable conclusion — this is intentional. The disastrous results of your policy are not an unfortunate byproduct of your ignorance and hubris, they are its desiderata. Not a bug, but a feature.

Quote of the Day

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

–Barry Goldwater (var.)

Newsflash!

AL FRANKEN joins a long line of Democrat predecessors who have succeeded in stealing elections. All hail Acorn!

(Betcha thought I was gonna say, “Michael Jackson is still dead.” But no. We have more class than to trope on a days-old même of the Internet.)

Extremist Wingnut Rhetoric of the Day

THIS IS THE thing entire. But the nut ‘graph will remain for awhile as our masthead aphorism. Scary how well the thing works as an allegory for our times.

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending-if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained-we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable-and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace, Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

–Patrick Henry, in the
Virginia House of Burgesses
March 23, 1775.