Regulated Society Confronts Compassion in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg homeowners are having a hard time with Codes. Construction is a heavily-regulated set of trades, and codes have grown by volumes since the ’60s. Re-building means “up to code” and despite the promises of aid and paving the way for people who lost homes to rebuild, these homeowners and their contractors are running up against the bureaucracy.

I am not writing this to argue that building codes should all be repealed. I am writing this to pick up on one comment made toward the end of the article. Summarizing the frustration of the owners, some of whom cannot afford to re-build according to code: “Some neighbors have already given up and sold their lots to contractors,” Rodney Mason said.

Every regulation that burdens the use of your property, or that controls the operation of your business imposes a cost, and makes the property worth less. These effects favor larger business operators who organize to manage the risk of over-regulation. In time, that cuts competition and it’s “the little guy” who gets cut out.

Obama Administration Failure Log Gets Bigger

The eventual account of President Obama’s many failures will fill multiple volumes. His betrayal of America to Iran may stand out from the rest. It’s hard to pick the worst. This week, we learned that he struck a deal with Australia to trade Hispanic illegal immigrants, for Muslim detainee illegal immigrants. Add that treachery to the Obama Failure Log. Or call it what it is.

It will take some time for President Obama’s supporters to finally realize that there is no other word to use to account for what Barack Obama and his party have done to America: treason.

With all of Donald Trump’s flaws, at least we now have a President who actually is for America. That counts for a lot.

Enforcing Our National Sovereignty

As I have said before, if Mexico cannot or will not control its own borders, then we can. As a practical matter, the most practical way to do that may be to occupy territory across the Rio Grande.

We’ve done it before, and we may have to do it again. If the Mexican government does not want the United States Army enforcing national sovereignty from within Mexico, then the Mexican government should do the job. But, if not….

Flag-burning as Inciting to Riot

When the Supreme Court declared that behavior is the same as speech, they opened Pandora’s Box to the anarchy which characterizes the Left. The First Amendment protects speech because speech is thought set free. The First Amendment does not say anything about protecting people who riot, overturn cars, loot stores, burn neighborhoods, or torch the American flag.

That burning the American flag is protected by the First Amendment now seems like a mindless mantra, repeated by all sides. I do not believe the First Amendment assures a constitutional right to burn the American flag.

But, rather than propose all manner of local ordinances, state criminal laws, and sweeping federal legislation to stop flag-burning, I have a simpler remedy, based on centuries-old solid law.

Those who erupt their little Marxist emotions in public by torching Old Glory, deserve no protection from the government. Those who love America might justifiably be outraged into striking back. Like the FedEx worker who stopped a flag-burning, a confrontation might ensue. So, let vigilante justice prevail. If someone breaks your jaw while you stomped all over the flag, then I propose there is neither criminal penalty nor civil remedy against the American who defended the flag. But, if you take to the streets with the American flag in hand, and the crowd attacks you, then you started a riot and should be arrested.

It is more than reasonably foreseeable that in a sane society, such a traitor is recognized for what he is, and chastised.

How much voter fraud is “significant”?

The question infuriates me: one stolen vote threatens our democracy.

Let me be plain: the Republican Party’s weak establishment has been lackluster in safeguarding the citizen’s right to vote.  The Democrat party — knowing that it benefits from its operatives’ fraudulent voting schemes — encourages voter fraud and resists safeguards.

The Republican voters overthrew both and insist on the sacrosanct nature of one-person, one vote, and only eligible citizens at that. That axiom seems foundational to me.

People who vote twice should go to jail. Non-citizens who vote should go to jail, and then be deported. Lawful voters who just moved to another neighborhood, and show up in the old precinct to vote — well, I’ll cut them some slack because they are not stealing someone else’s vote in a national election, maybe not even in their state election.

But, if you are the citizen whose vote was stolen by some Democrat Soros-financed street minion, then it’s significant.

Every loyal, patriotic, honest citizen ought to be completely in favor of safeguards on the vote. Those who oppose and block such efforts are traitors who threaten our democracy.

To answer my own caption question: One. That is the number. One stolen vote is significant.

800,000 stolen votes are a cause for revolution. But, we gave them that revolution this time, regardless. Peacefully. Keep up the fraud, and I cannot promise peace.

Re-defining who Congress works for

This National Review article by Kevin Williamson is long, and rambles a bit back and forth between what it means to be “rich” and his main point, but I recommend it. Why?

Because his bigger point is that we, the people, choose our government and we have chosen poorly for a long time. Worse, instead of correcting our bad choices once discovered, and voting them out of office, we have returned them time after time. We become accustomed to the dissonant music of stupid reporters parroting lying lines, instead of stating facts honestly, and choosing leaders who will operate in reality.

Thus, we get $20 trillion in national debt and a vastly bloated bureaucracy picking at us and telling us what to do. Half of us seem to love it and ask for more.

I say all of this, this morning, to take Mr. Williamson’s point, and zero in on one facet of it: When did we let our federal legislators become government employees? Why do they get a federal salary, and benefits of federal employees? The name on your paycheck is who you work for. Let me state a simple example of how this changes everything.

Once elected for a term, they get federal employee health coverage for life. So, they do not care about the rest of us. Some might care a little, but nothing makes you “care” about another person like experiencing that same pain personally. Remove Congress’s health coverage benefit and watch them get real busy, real fast to study and fix what is wrong with health treatment and product pricing in America. (There is plenty wrong when a $20,000 hospital bill gets written down and settled for a fraction — only if you have insurance coverage.)

But, we the people, do not demand that our legislators transfer their loyalty back to us.

Where Were the Anarchist “Protesters”

In the end, all of the promised inauguration anarchy didn’t even rise to a level where it could fizzle out. A motley few brat hooligans did some damage they will never be forced to pay for, but got put down. As Senator Schumer said, quoting President Reagan:”In the eyes of many in the world, this every 4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.” The explanation is, “normal” in that we have done this every four years since 1789; miraculous because we have done this every four years since 1789.

I think the profundity of our presidential inaugurations is easy to diminish. The history of the world is a violent repetition of succession wars, assassinations, coups, and despotic takeovers. It is truly remarkable that we Americans argue and elect — and then here’s the hateful Nancy Pelosi fawning over Donald Trump for a souvenir pen. There’s both Clintons, both Obamas and even Jimmy Carter on stage. I want to give credit: for whatever the reason, the Hillary Clinton concession speech rang true and offered uplifting leadership. The Obamas’ participation in the inauguration and President Obama’s more recent words urge patriotism, peace, and participation in the process.

A few continued to resonate virulently to the earlier exuded Democrat vibes urging them to take to the streets and destroy. But, on January 20, 2017, instead of Washington, D.C. being burned to the ground by Marxist anarchist brats, the city was thronged by patriots.

“You have a republic — if you can keep it,” Benjamin Franklin said. In the movie, “Gladiator,” the character based on the real, revered, emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish… it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.” People of the past feared anarchy more than they feared being subject of even an insane king. Not so much because they lived being subjects of monarchy, but because they knew the horror of being victims of anarchy. I offer you the Russian Revolution as a grim reminder of where anarchy’s hellish void swiftly leads.

Both men — Franklin and Emperor Aurelius — remind us that we Americans are an aberration, an experiment, a doubtful usurpation of survival-of-the-most-dominant rulership which is the hallmark of human governance.

On January 20, 2017, to the chagrin of the foolish street hooligans led by Democrat political operatives and politicians to believe that they could “burn it down,” we Americans once again grasped the dream and kept the Republic. Given the history of other people’s failed attempts at liberty, we Americans cling to our guns and our religion for some pretty good reasons.

I pray that 2017 is the year that peace is restored to our streets, that gangsters are shackled and excised from our neighborhood like cancers are cut out of livers, and that the antibiotic of the Trump administration clears away corrupt government minions like mycin clears your sinus infection.

So that we may breathe freely, again.

All of those prayers…

Those who believe that we all sprang into existence out of nothing, for no reason, were going nuts during all of the inauguration prayers. I am sympathetic, exuding kind feelings toward those of no faith or just enhanced skepticism. So, I am going to offer some solace to the beside-themselves atheists and agnostics.

What does it matter? If you are right, all is “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Indeed — if you are right — there is nothing to signify anything. A rabbi, a priest, and a minister took the stage, and some of them said “the J word” (Jesus), and — if you are right — it’s all high comedy, providing you a moment of absurd theater in a meaningless, curt and often violent existence anyway. Right?

But, some of us believe that coffee, chocolate, orange juice, pulled pork bar-b-q, and The Piano Guys prove the existence of a wondrous creator God. I am grateful for Donald Trump’s prayerful inauguration.