The Case Against Radicalism

By Matthew James Lawrence

Before delving into some new subject matter in a new post, I would like to offer a sincere apology to any readers who have visited this website to find no new posts in upwards of two months. Unfortunately, some personal issues arose in my life that made it rather hard to concentrate on my writing, but I am proud to announce that I am back with a new vigor and my readers can look forward to new posts on a regular visit. Once again, I apologize for the sporadic nature of past posts and would like to thank you once again for visiting my website.

The results of last November’s mid-term election showed a large increase in political power by the Republican Party in the Senate. This was not  unexpected as in most mid-term elections, the party not controlling the White House gains the ground. What was remarkable, however, is the fact that this is the largest gain the Republican Party has seen since the 1994 mid-term elections and the first time since that election that the Party has successfully defended all of its seats. This will thankfully provide a much needed check against the powerful liberal-progressive agenda that has been set in motion by the Obama administration.

As a conservative citizen, I offer my congratulations to the Republican Party on their recent victories and look forward to the service they will be able to render the conservative cause. But, this wouldn’t be worth posting if I didn’t have an important message to offer the reader. We are not out of the clear as a nation, and we are still heading down the path to trouble. If we don’t take the necessary precautions to make important changes and wake up to the truth about what is happening to our nation, then we are headed for serious trouble. We’re already sailing through troubled waters, and if our ignorance continues, we will only see more turbulent waters ahead and the United States will go down as an example to history of what not to do!

Of course, I am happy that the party that I ally myself with the majority of the time made great inroads during November’s mid-term election, but the impact this has on the current state of affairs remains to be seen. Will the conservatives have the backbone and the clout to deal with the progressive menace? Will the stand up to Obama and his liberal cohorts and put an end to this madness once and for all and begin the long haul back to the conservative values that this nation was founded upon? Will liberty be restored, or will we see the liberals continue to trounce upon the values that make this country great? These are the questions that only time and effort by people like you and me can answer.

One of the problems that continues to plague us as a nation is the rampant radicalism that we’ve seen grow in Washington over the past decade. It isn’t limited to only one party, either. Both parties are equally guilty of swinging too far on the pendulum, and if we don’t get it under control, we’re going to see the nation ripped apart at the seams. What we need most of all is a return to the political center where both parties are able to work together in a bipartisan fashion without the fear of radicalism from both sides tearing the spirit of cooperation asunder.

Take, for example the liberal-progressive agenda that has been menacing the nation for the past several decades coming to the attention of the mainstream population with the election of President Obama. Never in the course of American history have we seen the agenda of the left wing swing so far left. Where once, the Democratic Party was the party of liberal ideals, they’ve now become the party of socialism and radical liberalism. The advancement of Obama’s progressive agenda is a threat to the conservative American ideals that this nation was founded on. If we don’t step up and speak out against it, we will soon see the ruin of this nation and the rights that we are guaranteed through the Constitution. It’s perhaps my greatest concern, that because of this polar shift towards extremism we will become ignorant of the rights and liberties we have been guaranteed from the outset of this nation.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and as a natural consequence of this liberal extremism is an equally radical shift among the opposing political parties currently existing in the United States – namely the Republican Party. While the Democrats have become more and more liberal the Republicans have become more and more conservative, pushing the pendulum farther and farther away  with each swing. This is the pull that threatens to rip the nation apart. If we don’t stop the radical liberal agenda and affect a change in the Republican Party away from ultra-conservative values, there will be little room for give on both sides.

Without a more centered policy, the Obama administration will self-destruct and perhaps that is well and good. But, we need to learn from this lesson and make sure that we don’t go overboard with our conservative values in response or else we will surely be headed for trouble. Likewise we will find ourselves in a position where we can’t get anyone to listen to us or support is in our efforts to return this country to the conservative values the nation was established upon. This is a conundrum we can ill afford as a people.

Perhaps finally the American people will see that the best course of action to take here would be the promotion of third parties in the political arena. When will people become sick and tired enough of the same old bullshit from the same old talking heads in Washington? When will they make a decision that enough is enough and cast their vote for a party that doesn’t espouse the same stale values? When will we drop of the support of the political parties that are pushing extremism in lieu of centrist policies? The fact of the matter is, we can’t work together in a political environment riddled with radicalism and only this return to a traditional bipartisan atmosphere will ensure a return to political normalcy in the nation.

Alexander de Tocqueville once said that a national election in the United States could be considered a national emergency of sorts because of the way it interrupted the workings of the Federal government. This was never so apparent than in the mid-term elections of 2010 – we’re only now, several months down the line seeing a return to normal function in Washington, if there is such a thing. But we’re not going to be able to truly see a return to normalcy if we don’t work together, one side with the other like it was meant to be, to push back to the center where we can actually get work done. I mean really folks, can’t we just all grow up and get along?

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What Happened to Responsibility?

By Matthew J Lawrence

“The only danger to our democracy is that people will not carry their share of responsibility.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no denying the fact that this country is headed for trouble if we as a people don’t stand up, do the right thing and reverse the direction our nation is heading. The liberty, freedom, and independence from tyranny and oppression that we have enjoyed for well over two centuries is being taken from us right under our feet and no one seems to notice it’s happening.  The wisdom and forward thinking of our Founding Fathers gave us the Constitution, ensuring the preservation of our liberty, the freedom that was paid for by the blood, sweat, and toil of fellow Americans.  Is it not our duty as Americans to preserve it for future generations?

Great indeed was the responsibility shouldered by those men who risked everything to undertake a unique experiment in democracy. But, it was the action taken by the people, normal people just like you and I, that has had the most profound effect on the growth of this nation. The signing of the Constitution and subsequent creation of the federal government was born out of a need to replace the inept Articles of Confederation in order to preserve any hope of a union. Those famous politicians, our Founding Fathers who worked so hard to create a successful republic , were in essence servants of the people that were held accountable by the people themselves. They were humble men who acted only on the directions given to them by the citizens they served.

It was a government formed for the people, by the people instead of a government placed over the people. From the concerns of the merchant tycoon, to the plight of the common laborer, it was the voice of the private citizen heard by the law makers. No new taxes would be levied, no regulations enforced, no legislation would be passed without due representation by the respective branches of government. Since it was the people of this country who were responsible for the creation of the new government, it was also their responsibility to keep an eye on the men they sent to represent them. Fresh in citizens’ minds were the abuses suffered under British tyranny, and no one was willing to let their new freedom give way to a new tyrant, or collection of tyrants. As a result, there was no higher authority than the voice and spirit of the people.

The people were, in essence, the heartbeat of the fledgling nation, intimately involved in the new government through active participation in the democratic process. They created it and it was up to them to see that it operated smoothly and delivered what it promised to deliver. Perhaps more importantly, they were the guardians of their new gift of freedom passing the torch of liberty on to their children, and their children’s children. This continuity of democratic ideals was the reward given to those humble enough to accept the burden of responsibility associated with liberty and independence.

Fathers could go to their graves in peace knowing that what they had worked so hard to create and uphold would pass on to future generations in the same simple promise of equality – a guaranteed right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and property. There was no promise that a healthy life, food in the pantry, or a house to live in would be provided to the citizen by their government, just that every citizen had the right to achieve these things without any obstruction from other people, unfair legislation, or an overbearing federal government.

The private citizen could have as much or little as he wanted, the call was his and his alone to make. What made the difference between having a lot or just a little? Hard work, perseverance, and determination to succeed in spite of past failures was the mark of the successful while those who lived in poverty refused to recognize, or utilize those same qualities in themselves. One’s lack of prosperity could only be blamed on ones self just as much as the self-made millionaire could only rely on his own means and hard-work ethic to get to where he was. No one would help you get there and no one would bail you out when the hole you dug got too deep.  If one was to enjoy the fruits of liberty, they would also have to assume the responsibility for their own actions.

There was a tremendous effort, as one can see from the very beginning of our nation to emphasize personal responsibility among every citizen from the very bottom to the very top. So, how did we get so far off base from the original republican (small “r”) ideal of personal responsibility and accountability? It wasn’t an overnight process, to be sure. The progressive movement starting at the very end of the nineteenth century is largely to blame for the de-emphasis of personal responsibility in the public and private affairs of Americans. This, along with many of the ideals and values originally set forth by our founders, along with the Constitution that protects them have been slipping slowly down the drain ever since the progressive politicians laid forth their agenda beginning their assault on the traditional conservative values of this nation.

What is perhaps more startling is the fact that, until recently very few people have stood up to confront the progressive monster that is threatening to destroy the Constitution and with it the values and ideals of normal upstanding citizens. Anyone who has been infected by this progressive virus seems to suddenly be overtaken with bouts of stupidity, a lack of common sense, and a general sense of no longer needing to be held responsible or accountable for his/her  thoughts, actions, speech, etc. This is exactly what the progressive’s want to see, for it means that the citizen will then feel the need to be protected and have every decision made for him/her, without the need to think and act on his/her own accord. It’s the classic scheme of turning the free-thinking members of the populace into a herd of subservient sheeple. No longer will the people be in a position of power over the government, but the government will now have all power over the people placing them at their beck and call. How did we get this far down the proverbial hole, so fast?

The progressive’s would indeed love to have you believe that you are incapable of taking care of yourself. Everything that they put forth in their agenda fairly reeks of their disbelief in your ability to support and govern yourself. Just look at all of the initiatives being set forth right now in Washington. When did people decide that the government owed them more than just a protection the protection of their rights and a protection from enemies foreign and domestic? Now, every new bill that is proposed seems to espouse this progressive idea of providing for people who can’t take on the responsibility inherent in leading a successful life – at the expense of those who do adopt responsibility, it might be added. If someone can’t manage to get up off the couch long enough to earn enough money to buy groceries, pay the bills, and put a roof over their heads, the progressive elements of the government will ensure that the money is taken from those who do have it. Where does the concept of “sharing the wealth” fit in line with the original ideals of our Founding Fathers? Someone please explain this to me!

While conservatives still believe in the inherent good of people, placing the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of individuals allowing for the republican ideals of self-governance to flourish, the liberals and leftist of this nation believe that people are basically incapable and that they should have very little responsibility in all affairs, that they need taken care of, almost everything should be purchased for them, and every aspect of their lives controlled. If those ideals and values that the progressives espouse are allowed to fully infiltrate into our society, it is the end of our republic, as we know and love it.

But, before you start screaming and shouting about how this could happen, pointing fingers this way and that way , don’t you think you should look first at your own inaction and apathy? It’s clear that the maintenance and assured continuance of our republic and the values that it infers on the people rests only with the people themselves. If our republic should disappear then it is nobody’s fault but, our own. For it is our responsibility as a people, as a free people with the right, a duty, to participate in the democratic affairs of this republic. For too long the people of this country have turned a blind eye to abuses of power in Washington, to the progressive movement that has been eroding away our rights, the living organism that is government that is now digesting what was left of the U.S. Constitution. No one has stood up against the evils of the far-left, the progressives, and the socialists who now threaten to take control over every facet of our society. If you want to place the blame for what has happened in this country, please walk to the nearest mirror and take a good look at the culprit. That’s it, you and the responsibility you failed to shoulder, gave quarter to the enemy!

If you believe in traditional conservative values, then you believe in personal responsibility and in the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Anyone or anything that mitigates that idea of the personal responsibility of the people therefore minimizes the rights of the people and the liberty that we all cherish.  Therefore, don’t just stand by and let the country continue down this dangerous avenue that it is traveling down; we must as a people make our voice heard. The days of inaction are over or else we may no longer have the option to voice our opinions. This nation was founded with a profound respect for the rights of the individual citizen and with those rights came a great measure of personal responsibility to ensure that we all were able to enjoy the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Freedom-loving Americans will always be capable of self-government, shouldering the responsibilities entrusted to us through the ages. Stand up to the evils of progressivism, socialism, and big government while there is still time. It is our right and duty as citizens of this republic to do so!

Anything But the “R” Word

October 17, 2010 11 comments

By Matthew J Lawrence

“When people fear the government, that’s tyranny; when government fear the people, that’s liberty”

–          Thomas Jefferson

Just in case there is any confusion as to where my beliefs line up on the political spectrum, I felt that the time has come to write a short piece on exactly what it is I believe. Though I have at times referred to the Republican Party as my political party I chose to affiliate myself with, I do not in any shape or form consider myself a Republican – it just so happens that most of the time the conservative values of the Republican party happen to be more in line with my own value system than any other political party currently in existence.

First and foremost, I am a conservative, and the values I hold closest to my heart are those of a conservative American. I feel that there should be a limit to the powers of the Federal government and that there should be limited intrusion into the private lives of this Nation’s citizens.

It goes without saying that there should, as a matter of course, be limited involvement on the part of the Federal government in the economic affairs of the private businesses and corporations across the land. The Founding Fathers of this country believed in a policy of laissez-faire, the keeping of one’s hands off the private economic and business affairs of American citizens.

The economy ran just fine for well over two centuries before elected officials became enamored with the idea of sticking their noses into the American economy. Simply put there should be no rules and regulations, no laws passed by Congress, no Presidential endeavors to regulate the corporations and domestic economy of the United States.

Taxes as such should be kept to a bare minimum and on a Federal level should only be levied for the purpose of maintaining and supporting the armed forces – the Navy, Army, and the Air Force. There should be no unjust tax-breaks for either the rich or the poor. We should all be responsible for shouldering an equal share of the unavoidable tax burden that does exist. The remainder and majority of taxation should be left up to the individual states to levy on the people.

Just as the economy was able to run a natural and predictable course over the span of two centuries without much governmental control, the affairs of the nation in general have run smoothly with little or no change thanks to one document in particular – the Constitution of the United States of America. Does anyone remember this nifty little document and all of its amendments that outline both the structure and continuity of the government and the basic rights of the citizens?

More than anything I believe in the Constitution and all that is contained within. From the First Amendment which guarantees our freedom of speech to the Twenty-Seventh Amendment limiting changes in congressional pay, everything we need to know about our rights – what t we can and can’t do, and just how much control the Federal government has in our public and private affairs – is  outlined in this document. Moreover, it strictly outlines the three branches of the Federal government – executive, legislative, and judicial  – and how each one is to operate, clearly creating a system of checks and balances.

It defines clearly the relationship that the Federal government has with the people of our nation and the sets forth the precedence of the democratic process. This is a democratic process that has worked for over two hundred and thirty six years with very little change because we have this sacred document to guide us and ensure that no one administration or branch of government strays far from the guidelines contained within.

The Constitution of the United States clearly implies and protects the liberty that each citizen of this country is entitled to from birth. It is that liberty that we as Americans have always, and rightfully so, held so close to our hearts. Hundreds of thousands of American men and women have given their lives in defense of this liberty and for the document that outlines and protects it.

Yet our politicians, both Republican and Democrat,  continue to either brush aside the Constitution as irrelevant as a modern document or trample on the sacred document by twisting the words and phrases to suite their own values and ambitions. Either way they’ve made the Constitution yet another victim of the progressive values of our politicians.

Without the Constitution we have no guaranteed liberty as more and more disregard of this document is seen daily at every level of the Federal government. Our freedom of speech and individual rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness have taken a back burner to more collective ideals such as the economy, protection from a boogey man called “terrorism,” and the ever-expanding role of the Federal government in the lives of this country’s citizens.

Both sides of the aisle are responsible for the expansive nature of the Federal government. Former President George W. Bush did perhaps just as much work to expand the scope and size of the Federal government than even his liberal predecessor Bill Clinton did. In the name of fighting terrorism, President Bush established a new precedence to justify the expansion of government, even by traditional conservatives.

In the same way, the current administration is pushing to expand the powers and intrusive nature of the Federal government under the guise of poverty and moving the nation forward under a progressive banner no longer ensuring the individual rights of its citizens, but creating instead a socialist collective set of rights dictating our economic, educational, and social rights as a group of people instead of as individuals.

Whether it is indiscretions and outright abuses of power by the Republicans or Democrats, the result is still the same – our liberty is at jeopardy and it’s time that we return to the traditional democratic processes and protection of individual rights that this country was raised upon. That means we begin to once again adhere to the structure and outline and timeless guidance offered by the Constitution, a document which has shepherded this nation and its elected officials through decades both peaceful and tumultuous yet always saving us from the tyranny of malicious ambition.

Much of what I have written sounds very conservative indeed and traditionally is considered the cornerstone of the conservative movement in the United States. You might even be tempted to label me a vile Republican. Not so fast! Maybe several decades ago what I have expressed would have been aligned quite well with the Republican Party and all that it stood for, but not in this day and age. The last of the truly conservative Republicans have gone the way of the dinosaur, I’m afraid.

Besides, I am much more of a paleoconservative in my beliefs than even I dare to let on sometimes. For those who aren’t familiar with the term paleoconservative, it can easily be defined as those conservative who find a sense of self in the collective history and culture of their people and nation. We believe in the personal liberties of this nation’s citizens and in the restriction of the size and powers of the Federal government.

We are always keeping our eyes on the goal of establishing conservative thought at the very forefront of the American political system. At times we may be very hard to distinguish from more traditional conservatives. For example, we generally oppose abortion and gay marriage, while supporting capital punishment, the right to bear arms, and the original intent reading of the Constitution as described above by the author. On the other hand, paleocons tend to be more sympathetic to environmental protection, animal rights, and anti-consumerism.

Why that sounds a lot like a libertarian doesn’t it? Yes, it sure does, but most paleoconservatives are quite reluctant to identify with any one political party for any length of time. Their goal is to support the ideals of liberty and conservative values across the nation rather than the advancement or development of any one political party.

Certainly there are some libertarian values that I agree with and have espoused myself for quite some time. I whole heartedly agree with the Libertarian Party’s stance on the abolishment and decriminalization of non-violent drug crimes. Some people claim this is a liberal attitude but I can point out it is a matter of liberty and beneficial to those who are fiscally conservative.

When we take individuals who are guilty of nothing but being addicted to a substance who have never committed a violent crime, never intended to traffic or sell the drugs they were mixed up with and incarcerate them and convict them of felonies we create hundreds of thousands of second class citizens relegated to working for low hourly wages – if they can find work at all. We overcrowd the jails and prisons with people who have little in common with the hardened criminals that deserve to be incarcerated.

This puts a tremendous burden on the tax payers and though we may have to pay for their rehabilitation, that would go a long way towards ensuring they don’t wind up back behind bars again. Furthermore abolishing non-violent drug crimes would allow these people to move on with their lives after rehabilitation without being held back by the label of “convicted felon” allowing them the same opportunities that all others enjoy – right to state and Federal educational grants, advancement in the work force, and an overall ability to be a productive citizen.

Who are we to deny the rights of someone who has not committed an offense that has injured another person, destroyed or damaged the property of another citizen, or otherwise inflicted some sort of grievous harm on his fellow man? There are laws that have been set forth in this country that look not to protect the lives of its citizens but to deny the rights and liberties of others.

Once the government is able to classify these people as “offenders,” they can restrict the rights they are unable to restrict on a collective level. Furthermore, it gives the government more leeway in its intrusion into the public and private affairs of certain citizens. Where does it say in the constitution that someone convicted of non-violent crime forfeits the majority of their constitutional rights?

In addition to the abolishment of non-violent drug crimes, I am also in favor of supporting the rights of all citizens of this country. Despite differences in race, creed, religion, and sexuality, we are all entitled to the same constitutional protection and the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No matter who we are we are guaranteed the same rights.

I do not agree with the liberal mindset of gay rights activists in that I strongly disagree with any proposal for gay marriage and feel strongly that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. The constitution does not guarantee the homosexual man or woman the right to marry his or her partner but it does mean that he or she should have the same opportunities that you and I have and that means the right to serve in the armed forces, to run for office, and the right to live their lives free from harassment and fear of persecution.

There is no room for hate in my world, and the denial of anyone their constitutional rights and their inherent right to liberty is nothing less than hatred. How can we deny our brothers and sisters born free in this country the same rights that you and I are guaranteed simply because they are different from me and you? Just because they hold a different perspective, live a different lifestyle, or are of a different race doesn’t give anyone the right to withhold their personal freedoms this country guarantees.

This country was founded by many different people who came from all over and who held all sorts of different beliefs. What they all had in common was a desire to form a nation of people who believed in the personal liberty and inherent good at the heart of all people. They believed in a loving God personal to them and who would shed His divine blessing on this new nation and the new government they intended to form that would rule over the liberty loving people of the land.

It was an experiment in democracy that had never been tried before. It relied on the personal responsibilities of the people and protected their individual rights and beliefs while ensuring they remained united as one people and one country under one flag. For the first time in history, the individual rights and opinions of the people would be stronger than the government that ruled over them ensuring a new era in human rights and the relationship between private citizens and those who govern.

The elected officials of the new nation were to have their power limited by the newly written Constitution of the United States and by the people they ruled. In the past those who governed limited the power of the people they ruled over while the new experiment in democracy would ensure that those in power in this new nation would be elected by the people and would remain in power only through the people. The people were no longer the servants to the ruling class but now those in power would be in the service of the people. For the first time in modern history, liberty and individual rights and responsibility were the cornerstone of a new nation.

Over the decades and centuries this nation has seen its fair share of rough weather but we have ridden the storms out with grace and dignity always clutching on to the principles that made us Americans from the very beginning – a love of all forms of freedom, the right to liberty, and the power of being united as one nation yet with the unique right to enjoy all individual liberties laid out in the Constitution.

Yes, through thick and thin we’ve come out the other side with an even greater appreciation and love for liberty and the democratic process that ensures our freedom persists like the eternal flame atop the statue of liberty guiding her children of liberty home to the shores of this great nation who first gave to you the concept of liberty and freedom for all!

If you asked me exactly what it is that I believe in and I had to sum it up in a paragraph, it would go something like this:

I believe in God and I’m not afraid to say that this nation is the work of His love. I believe in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that no one is exempt from these rights. I believe in the Constitution of the United States as it is written, no need for further interpretation exists. The democratic processes and conservative ideals of our founding fathers have guided this nation without faltering for over two centuries and to change it would be to abolish this country and all it stands for. I believe in the union of states that makes up this great nation and the flag that represents it.

In short, I believe in God, the Constitution of the United States, and the flag and all she represents. I believe in the people of this great nation. To believe otherwise is to be a fool!

An End to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

By Matthew J Lawrence

In a historic move, a Federal judge ordered an end to the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy that has effectively barred openly gay individuals from serving in the country’s armed forces for seventeen years.

Tuesday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of California, may put only a temporary halt to the policy that has been used to discharge gay service members from the armed forces, but it will most certainly force a more permanent decision by the Obama administration and Congress in the coming year.

The ruling applies nationwide and, temporarily at least, puts a halt to all proceedings against members of the military who have been found to be in violation of the controversial policy. But, it probably wouldn’t be wise for members of the armed forces who’ve kept their sexual orientation secret to come out into the open just yet.

Yesterday’s ruling puts the Obama administration in a tough spot. The President and his administration have sought for a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for some time now but had an effort to end the 1993 law blocked just last month by Senate Republicans.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mullens, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have previously intimated that they support the lifting of the ban, albeit by a slower process. Defense Secretary Gates has pushed the military to take steps to put an end to the policy by limiting the use of third-party accusations in investigations of homosexual conduct among members of the military.

Despite these steps to take the bite out of the controversial policy the military continues to hand out dishonorable discharges to soldiers who are found guilty of violating the policy which bans the military from asking about a service member’s orientation, but requires the discharge of those who are openly gay. Fourteen thousand individuals have been prosecuted under the existing rules.

The administration must now decide whether to appeal the Federal Court’s decision, which establishes by judicial means the same thing the Democrats have been pushing for through legislative means. It’s generally accepted that the Justice Department is obligated to defend Congressional laws, and an appeal is likely.

The Department of Justice attorneys have advised that Congress should be held accountable to decide the issue – and not the courts. They’ve also warned that any abrupt change to the status-quo may be harmful to ongoing military operations now taking place across the globe.

If the Democrats lose valuable seats to the Republicans in next month’s upcoming elections, the repeal of the controversial policy may prove very hard, if not impossible in the coming year. Since the halt is very likely to be appealed by the Justice Department and an appeal is now in the hands of the Senate Armed Service Committee’s top Republican, Senator John McCain, Tuesday’s decision by Judge Phillips is far from final.

There are sure to be many bumps in the road and arguments between supporters and opponents of the ban before a final decision is reached. Senator McCain himself has urged that the Pentagon be allowed to finish its own review of “don’t ask, don’t tell” before Congress pushes with any change.

Certainly it would seem that the judge’s decision on Tuesday is a major victory for those who feel the policy of discharging gay service members based on their sexual orientation alone is a violation of personal rights, especially the freedom of speech and the right to redress grievances protected by the First Amendment.

Nonetheless many supporters of the ban cried out against Judge Phillip’s ruling declaring that she overstepped her judicial boundaries and believing she should left the decision up to Congress and had more respect for the dangers of causing serious disruption to the military’s infrastructure at a time when troops are involved in armed conflict in two different wars.

Though the light may be at the end of the tunnel, so to speak for “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it’s too early to see just what kind of far-reaching ramifications the seventeen-year-old policy will have on the culture of the military and what kind of impact the halt will have as a whole on the armed forces.

Certainly whatever one’s views are on the lifestyles lead by homosexual men and women of this country there are many, both conservative and liberal, who feel it is high time for this outdated law to be repealed.

It is the personal opinion of this author that in spite of not agreeing with the behavior and lifestyle lived by homosexual individuals, there should in no way be any limit to their personal rights and liberties. For too long this country has made them feel like second class citizens and this is in direct contradiction to the Constitution of the United States which guarantees the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

If young men or women wish to serve their country, why should their sexual orientation be of any concern to their superiors, or their peers for that matter? As long as their orientation doesn’t affect the work that they do, there should be no more question about who they’re sexually attracted to than what color their skin is, or what religion they practice.

In a similar manner to today’s order to halt “don’t ask, don’t tell” proceedings against service members, President Harry Truman ordered the integration of African-Americans into the Armed Forces of our country over 60 years ago and this was done abruptly and very smoothly – with very few incidents of racial discord, it might be added.

Even those of us who are openly conservative must admit that the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” has for the most part been a failure and has only caused a wider problem as a whole. We don’t have to like the lifestyle of those concerned but we do have to respect the rights of all individuals of this country and not just those who share a common lifestyle.

Not everyone’s values are the same and ensuring that they are allowed the same measure of respect and entitlement to their constitutional and endowed rights is the true mark of liberty. How can we claim to be a free nation and the watchdog of freedom across the globe when we still give a second class citizen label to millions of Americans?

Whether you agree or disagree, the end of the controversial policy is just around the corner. It might be premature to call the argument over just yet, but there is no doubt that Tuesday’s ruling is the beginning of the end for “don’t ask, don’t tell.” It will at the very least force a decision by the Obama administration and Congress.

It will probably be a while before we see any privates engaged in hand holding or other public displays of affection while walking around base. There are still laws within the Uniform Code of Military Justice that will apply equally to same-sex relationships as it does to men and women who chose to date in uniform.

How long it will take until service members who prefer relations with the same sex can safely come out of the closest and wear their designer labels, watch Lifetime television, and fly the rainbow flag during their off-duty time will depend entirely on the decisions made by the U.S. Justice Department, the President, Congress, and the results of November’s election.

Though a slower process of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would certainly be more favorable to the military and its command structure, I feel that the matter will now be pushed much more swiftly than they would prefer. Now all that is left is to brace for the impact and prepare for the changes that are coming.

Certainly as a conservative I feel that the judge in California has over stepped her judicial rights and the matter should be left up to the people to decide, through Congress. At the same time, I must applaud her forward thinking and decision to attempt to put an end to an unfair policy. In the end, the evils of overstepping her boundaries are overshadowed by the advancement of liberty brought about by her decision.

Remember the Constitution Anyone???

September 2, 2010 1 comment

By Matthew J Lawrence

Political affiliation aside, it’s high time that the government of this nation and its leaders take a closer look at the constitution. Oh yeah, does anyone remember that document? Every new piece of legislation put in front of law makers, with every new bill that is passed in the name of “protecting the people” or “social reform” is an affront to the sacred document that has guaranteed the rights and liberties of the American people and ensured the democratic process prevailed in our nation.

Perhaps the leaders of our nation, the politicians that make the laws of the land, need to go back to high school and get some recurrent training in how the American government operates and take a refresher course on the one document in particular that lays out the framework for how our government operates. Isn’t that what we learned in 101 level government classes our freshman years? Either the majority of our politicians weren’t paying attention or they just don’t care. Now that should concern you!

Let’s just get real clear here and go back and revisit the purpose and the basic content of the document that has as of late been so neglected by those in power. The document itself was adopted on September 17, 1789 by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was then ratified by the individual conventions of each state and was done so “in the name of the people.”

What an amazing concept, giving each state the right to review and adopt a federal measure! Oh yeah, see, during the formative years of our nation it was believed that the best way to ensure the liberty of the people and keep the government from becoming despotic and abusive to its citizens was to keep the federal government as small as possible. There was to be a small decentralized federal government responsible mainly for the maintenance of an army to defend the new confederation of states.

The majority of the responsibility for law making, taxation, and various regulations was to be in the hands of the individual states. As long as any law passed by the government of any state didn’t violate the content of the constitution, it was deemed to be fair. That is the primary purpose of the constitution—to be a framework for the organization of the government of the United States and more importantly the relationship between the federal government and the states and citizens of the country.

In addition to defining this relationship, the constitution also created and described the three branches of the federal government—the legislative branch which would be the congress, the executive branch led by the President, and finally the judicial branch which is represented by the Supreme Court. The constitution then reserves all powers that are not specified by the individual states which thus creates the federal system of government with a built-in scheme of checks and balances. There are twenty-seven amendments to the constitution, the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights—this is to be proverbial law of the land guaranteeing the rights and liberties of the people.

Please take note this doesn’t say that the federal government has all of the power or that it has the right to tell the people of an individual state what is right or wrong. Nowhere in our constitution is there a provision for overruling the individual affairs of the state as long as, once again, those actions aren’t in violation of the constitution. The federal government was never intended to stick its nose into the affairs of the states—that’s really a violation of the people’s rights. It’s the classic states’ rights versus the federal government debate.

Yet the current government in Washington which has burgeoned out of control and expanded into the all powerful bureaucracy the founders of our government warned us about makes no bones about overstepping its boundaries and overruling the laws of the individual states. This is the exact definition of taking the power away from the people and all of this from a federal government that is supposed to be guided by a document that was adopted in the name of the “people.”

Take for example the current situation in Arizona and the controversial immigration law that was passed recently. The people of Arizona have the absolute right to define how the disturbing issue of illegal immigration should be dealt with—the right to protect themselves. So where do the law makers in Washington thousands of miles away get off making a ruling that Arizona is out of line—“Nope, sorry you can’t make that law even though there’s nothing in the constitution that says you can’t make it because we said so.” Now, that’s tyranny and despotism at its finest. Isn’t that why we declared our independence in the first place?

When the people of a country have little or no say in what laws are passed or how their rights are interpreted, then we no longer live in a free country. The federal government has usurped the power from the people by claiming its superiority over the rights of the individual states. It’s been the liberal agenda for decades to see the power of the states, meaning the responsibility of the people, filed down to a level of insignificance all the while increasing the power of the central government.

Many politicians are guilty of trampling upon our constitutional rights, but it’s the liberal left that so blatantly violates the constitution—simply by believing the document was meant to be interpreted. Fortunately for us the content of the constitution was not written to be interpreted; it’s not open for debate. What is written on that piece of paper is to be taken literally, yet liberal politicians and judges continue to make the assumption they can propose legislation and make rulings based on their own interpretation of what a certain amendment means. Tell me again what place that has in a democracy?

Whereas the conservatives of this country believe absolutely in the rights and personal freedoms of the people, and in the responsibility that comes with that power, the liberal left sees the people as weak and impotent and in need of heavy handed guidance. By intruding in our personal affairs, how we do business, and regulating the economy, the liberal law makers of this country assert their control over the people. They have no regard for those rights laid out in the constitution and they’ll make their own interpretation of its contents if it furthers their goals of what they like to call “progress.”

Don’t be fooled by the lie of progress the liberals love to shove in our faces, though. Just what are we progressing towards? When looking at the abuses of power, the advancement towards a government controlled economy, and the declining power of the states, I’d have to assert that we’re progressing towards a nation with no regard to the traditions and principles that have kept the democratic process and our freedom in place for more than two centuries. The current administration is more than open about its goals of increasing the power and size of the federal government, intruding more and more into our lives and how we conduct ourselves. They might as well just rip the constitution up or use it to wipe their ignorant rear ends with. It’s not like they obey any of the guidelines in the damn thing anyways.

There are certain inalienable rights that we as a people share, rights that were put in place more than two centuries ago and they have ensured that we remain not just a nation but a free nation. We fought a revolution because we were being ruled by a government that had no regard for our rights and freedom. Once again our rights that have been guaranteed are being ignored by a tyrannical government—confirming the fears of the anti-federalists among our nations’ founders that a strong federal government would merely replace one despot with a whole gaggle of them.

There is more than one document from the history of our nation’s founding, but by far the most important is the United States Constitution. Far from being the most respected document among our lawmakers, it is instead the most neglected. If we as a people don’t stand up and begin supporting only those politicians who are guided by these unquestionable rights and principles, then we will continue to see those rights erode.

The constitution itself guarantees our right to make changes in the government to ensure that no one administration or incarnation of the federal government become the power and law of the land. The citizens of this nation guided by constitutional principle must fight to fend off the advances being made by the current administration to ensure that the power remains with the people.

If we don’t make a stand and fight for our freedoms, don’t elect the right politicians, or fail to make the necessary changes in society to keep our liberty, then there’s no use in complaining. We have the power to make the change, but if we remain complacent our own ignorance will be responsible for the assassination of our freedom. This nation has fought for our freedom from its inception and the fight must continue—guided by those principles so clearly laid out for us almost two hundred and twenty years ago.

Take some free time and read the document that has been the foundation of all this nation stands for since its adoption—we all could use a regular review of it. Study the content, know those amendments by heart as they are you’re rights, after all. Remember there is no interpretation necessary—what is written is what it means. Then, ask yourself if you enjoy those rights, those freedoms and liberties that have made us who we are today. Do you think they’re worth fighting for or will you stand by and let them disappear? The choice is all yours—that very document guarantees that.

A Damning Indictment of America

By Matthew J Lawrence

Never mind the abuse of women in Iran, or the lack of freedom in countries like North Korea or Venezuela. In a report to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, President Obama and his administration have indicted the United States on charges of being guilty of various offenses ranging from sexual assaults in our prison system to discrimination against the disabled, Hispanics, and, naturally, the Muslim population of this country.

Perhaps more troubling, the watchdog agency of the UN responsible for handling the report is more accustomed to dealing with human rights in countries such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela. More recently it has criticized the human rights violations of countries like our Middle East ally Israel while ignoring those of the countries listed above. It would seem that this report would continue that trend taking into account the comparatively minor issues we deal with in this country.

Furthermore, this could easily add coal to the fires that drive our enemies’ hate for us. The propaganda machines of countries like North Korea love to point out the evils of the United States and the supposed “lack of freedom” that we Americans apparently endure. It was for this exact reason that President George W. Bush wouldn’t allow the submission of such a report to the UN agency.

Why should we submit the report and why do we need the UN to tell us how we’re doing in the human rights department? When we are supposed to be a beacon of light, a shining example of freedom and personal liberties to the rest of the world, it does us no good to point out our own issues to the rest of the world. Our issues are exactly that, our own and it is up to us to deal with them.

The report also tries to underscore the advances the Obama administration is making in the battle for socialized medicine and economic reform in this country. In typical liberal taste, the administration is pointing out once again their lack of confidence in personal responsibility—that the state, not the people are responsible for making the reforms and progress necessary to make social changes. This is in complete contradiction to the constitution and the Declaration of Independence, one might take note.

The report asserts, “Progress is our goal and our expectation thereof is justified by a proven ability of our system of government to deliver the progress our people demand and deserve.” So you have to ask yourself who really has the power—the people, or the burgeoning and out-of-control federal government? It’s quite apparent when you read statements like this that big government is the central presupposition of the Obama administration.

There is no belief in the good nature and the personal drive of the people to make changes in our society. Instead it’s the belief of the Obama administration that the citizens are by nature irresponsible and incapable of taking care of themselves, let alone able to make big changes. In other words, we need to be taken care of and every aspect of our lives need to be controlled.

There goes the last shred of our personal liberties—gone right out the window along with the notion that we’re to be an example to the rest of the world on how to live free and build personal liberties. How can we be fighting to create democracies with an emphasis on liberty and freedom in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan when we ourselves are snuffing out the flame of the liberty torch with each new left-wing big-government building initiative?

There are three countries that lead the UN panel on human rights violations—France, Japan, and Cameroon. Cameroon happens to be number fourteen on the list of countries listed by the United Nations as not free! So, one of our confessors is a country that itself has tenfold the problem that we deal with and doesn’t even have a democratic process in place. I don’t know, call me old fashioned but that just seems like plain insanity to me.

With the pandering to Muslims that are expectedly included in the report, this isn’t going to help the President’s case much that he hasn’t been more biased as of late to the Muslim minority in the country. With questions openly floating about as to whether or not the President is truly a Muslim himself, he can hardly afford to have more incriminating evidence put in place. Naturally he’s hammering his own nails in his coffin. Here, Mr. Obama why don’t you use my hammer?

This report is just another example of the liberal progressive, big government, and global attitude of the current administration. Not only does the President feel that the citizens of our country are inept and unable to take care of themselves, but he also clearly feels our country, our nation in general, needs to be watched over by the global community. It really makes me wonder what kind of opinion he has of the country he supposedly is devoted to serving and sacrificing so much for. What about you?

The United States has the tradition of upholding and leading the way—of guiding others to be free and to enjoy the liberties we enjoy in this country. Does this mean that we don’t have our own problems here? Absolutely not—there is indeed much progress to be made socially, economically, and politically in this country just like there are in every nation. But to tell the world that it’s the duty of the federal government to make these changes is contradictory to the principles that we as Americans are supposed to stand for. This nation wasn’t born out of an intrusive centralized federal government but it might die from one.

It is mind boggling to me that the liberal establishment maintains that the responsibility to make these changes rests on the shoulders of those in charge. History would argue otherwise, however, for has it not as a rule of thumb been the movements of the people that make the changes? Our own American revolution was instigated by the colonists fed up of the oppressive yoke of their English masters. What about the abolitionists who fought so hard to end slavery, or the women who sacrificed so much for their own suffrage and rights leading to the modern day concept of feminism?

Perhaps the best example is the revolution that took place in this nation in the 1960’s during the Vietnam war when then people came out by the tens of thousands to promote change –and that was a liberal movement. The end result may indeed be laws passed by the government to ensure that the changes that were fought for tooth and nail are protected, but the initiation of all great movements come from the people. It’s the people of a democracy that truly hold the power; that is what true liberty is.

Instead we may point out that with such freedom and liberty come great responsibility on the shoulders of those who enjoy its fruits to continue the fight to further the ideals of justice, human rights, and equality for all. If the federal government thinks its responsibility is to make those changes, it won’t only destroy the rights of those it is sworn to protect; it will destroy the very foundations this nation is built on. So, President Obama I will gladly give you that hammer but I will not stand by as you wrap the rope around the neck of this nation atop global gallows.

Well, Which is it Mr.President?

Christian or Muslim? Does he even know?

By Matthew J Lawrence

The lines have always been a little blurred as to whether our president was raised a Christian or a Muslim.  As mid-term elections grow closer every day, the controversy is growing. A recent poll conducted on the national level shows that about 20 percent of Americans falsely believe that President Obama is a Muslim—with thirty-one percent of Republicans believing he is a Muslim and just ten percent of Democrats holding the same belief.

Now, Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman is taking her stand public by stating that she believes Obama is truly a Muslim, or at least aligned with Muslim interests more than he leads on. The Committeewoman Kim Lehman, has thus contradicted her previous statement that she did NOT believe that Obama was a Muslim.

Obama himself has indeed showed greater tendency than past presidents to find more common ground with the global Muslim population and its leader. Lehman points to Obama’s speech in Egypt when mention was made of his father’s Muslim heritage—having been born in Kenya and raised in a Muslim family. Well before Obama’s ascent to the Oval Office, many were wondering how much the faith of Obama’s father impacted his upbringing and current faith.

I share Lehman’s assertion that what truly matters is not what we think might be the true faith of the President but how he presents himself to the public. Is he honest about his personal beliefs and religion or his being deceitful to the nation he leads? During the speech in Egypt, Obama stated “I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims,” going on to state: “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

It would seem that he is telling the world that he is a Christian but that his life has been heavily influenced by the Muslim traditions he experienced growing up as a child and as a young adult. More than likely he’s attempting to relate to both Muslims and Christians in these speeches. But there still remains a cloud of apt obscurity over where he really does stand.

If he’s a Christian? Does he support the Christian traditions of this nation and our friends across the world more than Muslims, or any other religion for that matter? If he’s a Muslim, is he deceiving the people who put him in office to keep his image more traditional yet leaning towards a policy of greater support to Muslims of the world? He certainly is reaching out far more than any other leader this country has had in contemporary history.

Of course he may have little or no partiality in how he wants to treat the Muslim people, but his liberal track record would make this hard to believe for many. Does Obama favor government intrusion in the private sector? What about the fight for public healthcare, who does he favor there, a socialized healthcare industry? It’s a resounding yes to all of those questions thus leading some say why shouldn’t he behave more liberal and equally as deceitful I may add, on this issue?

Personally I find it hard to believe that the American people elected a president of Muslim heritage (note I use the term heritage not faith) when we have been at odds with many of the Muslims of the world for several decades now. Our President’s full-name is of course Barak Hussein Obama—kind of like electing a guy with the preposterous middle name of Hitler in the middle of the Second World War, isn’t it? I’m just saying folks that all the doubt and controversy is arising out of the debris cloud and fear of the post-September 11th world.

Many Americans would be uncomfortable to say the least to have a president that supports the Muslim world to the extent that Obama is proposing. Please don’t get me wrong; there are surely as many good, honest, and well-intentioned Muslims as there are Christians, Jews, and whatever other religious orientations people have these days—I can’t keep up. But with the wars being waged against Islamic extremists and the danger they pose to the free world and our democratic processes, our personal safety compromised, the American people are loath to give extra support to the Muslims of the world for fear it could be an enabler to those of an extremist mindset.

Smack in the middle of two counter-insurgency campaigns against the ills of Islamic-extremism and the evils of Sharia law and state-sponsored terrorism, we can scarcely afford to give any unintentional signs of weakness to the Muslim world—we must remain steadfast in our policy of zero tolerance for such behavior and one way to maintain such a stance is remaining neutral on our dealings with the Muslim world. We shall neither favor nor disfavor the people of Muslim faith in the world. Rather we’ll retain the status-quo of equal treatment of all religions, races, and creeds. Isn’t that what a democracy and the free world is all about?

The best thing President Obama can do is to quit with his apparent obsession in reaching out to the Muslim world and remain steadfast in his support for the American people. Whether he’s a Christian, a Muslim, or even an atheist doesn’t matter as long as those beliefs don’t affect how he does his job. Hastily touting a superficial personal relation to the global Muslim communities in light of Obama’s Muslim heritage can easily be seen or mistaken for favoritism—a favoritism which Obama perhaps feels may lessen the skepticism the Muslim world has for the west but in the end it will only increase many of our suspicions thereby further increasing the gap between our two worlds.

We can’t afford an increased gap in the relations between our two religions and culture. It would mean more suspicion and distrust—more violence, and decreased odds of reconciliation. Let’s pull together and close that gap between our peoples not by favoring one side or the other but by simply remaining devoted to the promotion of the protection of American and allied interests, the democratic process, and the rights we should all share the world over whatever we believe.

As a final note to President Obama, please just hold on to whatever faith you have and believe in it with the passion that all humans, I suppose even liberals inherently have for the goodwill of all. Belief can, it’s said create our reality, so let us now believe less in hate, more in love, less in division, more in unity, and more in what we all have in common.