December 6th, 2012

Madison: seeing into the future?

A comment by NeoConScum in which he quoted Madison’s Federalist Paper #55 was so compelling that I went to the source for more. There I found the following gems [emphases mine]:

I am unable to conceive that the people of America, in their present temper, or under any circumstances which can speedily happen, will choose, and every second year repeat the choice of, sixty-five or a hundred men who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery. I am unable to conceive that the State legislatures, which must feel so many motives to watch, and which possess so many means of counteracting, the federal legislature, would fail either to detect or to defeat a conspiracy of the latter against the liberties of their common constituents. I am equally unable to conceive that there are at this time, or can be in any short time, in the United States, any sixty-five or a hundred men capable of recommending themselves to the choice of the people at large, who would either desire or dare, within the short space of two years, to betray the solemn trust committed to them. What change of circumstances, time, and a fuller population of our country may produce, requires a prophetic spirit to declare, which makes no part of my pretensions. But judging from the circumstances now before us, and from the probable state of them within a moderate period of time, I must pronounce that the liberties of America cannot be unsafe in the number of hands proposed by the federal Constitution.

The genius of Madison included the fact that he knew the risks to liberty were likely to increase with time and the growth of the country. He didn’t foresee every detail (who could?), but he was awfully cautious to only project his statements into the near future.

And this is the quote from the same Federalist Paper, offered earlier by NeoConScum:

As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.

Are we at the tipping point, where “sufficient virtue” does not exist?

50 Responses to “Madison: seeing into the future?”

  1. southpaw Says:

    I’m not certain we’re actually engaged in self government now. It seems more like an illusion than a practical reality.

  2. George Pal Says:

    “we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure anything which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.”
    Thomas Paine (Common Sense)

    “Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace… Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant.”
    James Madison

    “… The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    One could go on and on and on. At the conclusion of it would be the thought that never in history had there been such an accumulation, at one time and one place, gathered together as a congress, of such men of philosophical, political, historical, and human, genius. It’s enough to make one believe in God on no other evidence than this happy convocation.

  3. Eric Says:

    “the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”

    This accurately describes the basis of the Democrats identity-based politics.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    As of yet, the problem is not insufficient virtue.

    Obama received just over 62 million popular votes in the 2012 election. Mitt Romney received 59,134,475 Popular Votes.

    The great majority of that 59 million voted on principle, so yes, there is sufficient virtue remaining.

    The problem is manifold, to whit; the Gramscian march through academia, the MSM’s long betrayal of its obligation to the public, the entertainment media promoting the basest of culturally prurient and lascivious conduct, the creation of manifold entitlements resulting in a huge and ever growing dependency class, the left’s denial of personal responsibility and accountability with its premise that any behavior is justified that advances its agenda, big business and the wealthy supporting RINO’s who control the Republican party, so as to maintain the economic status quo, resulting in continue betrayal of principle, are just a few of the many factors at work.


    It is not the ‘chains of despotism’ that form “the basis of the Democrats identity-based politics”. It is narrow self interest, the machinations of the left and the gullibility of liberals. The end result of those factors will indeed be the chains of despotism.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain: not that this has anything to do with your point, but as of now (according to Wiki, anyway), the totals are Obama 65,427,236 and Romney 60,754,308.

  6. T Says:

    In keeping with my belief that there is nothing new under the sun I suspect that there are neither more nor less virtuous individuals (on a %-age basis) alive today than there were in Madison’s time or even earlier.

    I suggest that it’s breadth of the illusion, i.e. the perception, that has changed. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but now with a national media, even if you can fool them once, you can do so in a large enough number that a tipping point can be created.

    That was my great disappointment on Nov 6th, apparently not only can voters be fooled in large numbers, but it can be done more than once by the same scam.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I just did a quick google search to get those numbers, I stand corrected, thanks.

    More to the point I’d be interested in seeing a discussion, at some point, on the issue I tangentially raised; “big business and the wealthy supporting RINO’s who control the Republican party, so as to maintain the economic status quo, resulting in continue[d] betrayal of principle”

    I’ve recently reached that tentative conclusion, as possible explanation for the consistent rejection of conservative positions by top republicans, when crunch time arrives. In support of it, I offer;’s Source of Funds page, which reveals that 80.8% of Romney’s contributions came from big donors. Which translates to big business and the wealthy.

    It’s my suspicion that those contributing to Romney and the most influential national republicans, such as Boehner and McConnell do not really support limited government, a balanced budget and a constitutionally even application of the laws or a fairly regulated and open free market.

    I suspect that they support the maintenance of the status quo and selectively, the liberal narrative, all in service of the accumulation of wealth. I also suspect that the reason for their lack of true support (revealed by their actions and record) is that, “limited government, a balanced budget and a constitutionally even application of the laws with a fairly regulated and open free market”… would substantially limit the amount of financial leverage that big business and the wealthy can use to maintain their accumulation of wealth.

    None of this is meant to disparage the importance of big business, as small business doesn’t build nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, etc. And the accumulation of private investment wealth is the fulcrum upon which societal opportunity is leveraged.

    But a positive doesn’t negate a negative.

    What prompted this thought train is the many who point out that Boehner, et al continually ‘cave on principle’, when crunch time arrives. It seems reasonable to wonder if more is involved than simply a lack of spine. And despite labels, one doesn’t attain the position of speaker without some brains. Nancy Pelosi notwithstanding, her being in my estimation, a mere feminist figurehead and politically correct spokesperson 😉

    Frankly, I’m wondering if its a case of, as a percentage of the vote, just not enough real conservatives exist with relatively little money to contribute and thus, were Boehner et al to truly stand on principle, sufficient financial backing would be lacking and the party would never win any elections.

    In support of that view, Romney raised just 18.1% of his contributions ($70,851,796) from small contributors, which I suspect are the real supporters of limited government, etc.

    I welcome any thoughts you and others may have in hopes that this isn’t just plausible but incorrect thinking on my part.

  8. holmes Says:

    I think there has been a concerted effort to discredit the founders themselves and their ideas of government because it stands in the way of Big Government and primarily liberal ideas. I know I’m stating the obvious, but it’s really how sad most Americans know or care to know about these types of founding documents.

  9. LisaM Says:

    The Founders intended that Senators be appointed by the states, and that only landowners (ie taxpayers) be allowed to vote. Changing those two things has destroyed the republic.

  10. blert Says:

    Vote fraud was so much in evidence 11-06-2012 that it’s hard to accept that Barry has legitimacy.

    1) The Philadelphia story.

    2) Network Windows — with its thousands of backdoors — and Google coders by the platoon ‘working’ the vote’ — see The Atlantic.

    3) Florida was not even considered ‘in play’ nor was North Carolina. Both had weird ‘urban voting patterns’ and ended up north of the 95% confidence levels.

    4) Barry receives mega-mega funding from Red China. MSM buries the story.

    5) Barry, himself, plays to semi-empty houses/ audiences while Mitt plays to overflowing masses in tough weather. Results — against all history — don’t translate to votes — not at all. Mitt b a r e l y able to out poll McCain. Who had a lame campaign and response to it.

    6) The final tally only agrees with ardent Democrat pollsters. Imagine that!

    7) Barry puts the US Census database inside the Pink House for the first time in history — four years ago — remember that? It’s the database used to Gerrymander Congressional districts.


    These days even despots insist on being voted in by popular tally — even though they have to stuff the boxes to ‘win.’

    Hugo Chavez and Vlad Putin are exemplars in this regard.

    Polls show Chavez losing big-time. Comes the vote, everything is reversed.

    Putin put opposing ward captains in jail and defaced campaign wall art.

    Move along, move along, Move On.


    Madness overtook Germany, Russia and China. Now it’s our turn to cry. It is notable that in all prior cases — it was a minority that took over from the majority. Subsequently, the tallies were warped enough to gin up a fictive majority.

    As before, so it is today.

    Like Adolf, our man got in on emotion. He’s not for leaving.

    And then, there’s the nature of the Chicago Machine. It’s expert at stuffing ballots // and losing the other guys on the way to the tabulating machine.

    We’ve got Chicago on the Potomac — it’s a cancer on the body politic.

    Remember, even Hitler wasn’t Hitler until the end. Ruthless as he was, if he’d left office/died July, 1939 he would now be regarded as the greatest German politician of his era — if not all time. THAT’S just how popular he was — in Germany.

    Even Stalin and Mao started out s l o w.

    THAT’S the ‘story arc that must be kept in mind. For Barry, the office is entirely intoxicating. — And, he’s the choom Prince!

    What they all had in common was politician as pope. They were in the life – for life.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I’m not clear on how State legislatures (at least as susceptible to corruption as the federal legislature) appointing Senators would ensure a greater fidelity to the Constitution. And if I remember accurately, that change was made very early, well within the time of the founders, yes?

    There are many people who are not landowners, yet they pay taxes. As I recall, the founders defined tyranny as, “taxation without representation”, yes?

    It seems to me that perhaps what you’re really getting at is a citizen’s responsibility to society and their willingness to place the ‘common good’ above personal or special interest(s). And how could we limit voting to solely those people…

    The only professions that I can think of, that conclusively demonstrate that quality are the military, national (FBI,etc) and local police organizations and firemen. All, as a condition of service, place the potential loss of their lives on the line for their country. And if, “no man hath greater love than this, that he lay down his life for another” then arguably, they are the only ones who have met that standard and are clearly deserving of the franchise.

    So what I’m tentatively suggesting is that time in service in one of those services (perhaps others) be a condition necessary to obtain the franchise.

    Food for thought because clearly that 47% place their personal benefits, ahead of the common good.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    blert: I disagree. I think although there was probably some fraud, it was relatively minor in the big picture and that Obama actually won.

    Your statements about polls are incorrect. I studied them before the election in great detail, and I did not think Romney would win. He was not winning in the average of well-done polls in most of the swing states nor in the average of national polls. I have studied the history of presidential polling, too, and the pattern shown by Romney was ominous and pointed to a very very close election (which I wrote about over and over) or a loss. Romney never led consistently for any length of time.

    I’m with Ace on this (except for what he says about lying). Please read it.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Obama would have to arrange for the repeal of the 22nd amendment. A process that requires a 2/3rds majority in both the Senate and the House. It’s then sent on to the States where to finish passage it must get 3/4 of the states to agree.

    As long as the Constitution remains, IMO that’s a bridge too far.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    here is the replacement education:

    Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale
    narrated by Ed Asner…!

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama would have to arrange for the repeal of the 22nd amendment.

    no… he only needs to activate the EOs that have been put in place as they put aside the constitution and do not say how we get it back or when..

    when the fiscal cliff drives welfare recipients to riot so we need our own scum cities..

    ‘Scum villages’: Amsterdam to exile lawbreakers to prison camps

    funny how rt is reporting re-education gulags…

    he only needs a situation big enough

  16. Artfldgr Says:

    Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y. introduced H. J. Res. 5, a bill that would repeal the Constitution’s 22nd Amendment prohibiting a president from being elected to more than two terms in office, thus potentially paving the way to make Barack Obama president for life. -2009

    it died in committee

    then re-introduced as H.J.Res. 17 on Jan 07, 2011.

    Sen. Harry Reid in 1989 ( S.J.Res. 36) also wasted time on it

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “no… he only needs to activate the EOs”

    Well, I did preface my assertion on the Constitution remaining in force, didn’t I…

    To repeal a constitutional amendment takes far more than an EO. No configuration of SCOTUS could rule otherwise. And to “put aside the Constitution” in a matter of this gravity would require not an EO but the “political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun”. Which, of course you have been warning us about for quite some time…

    “when the fiscal cliff drives welfare recipients to riot”

    If you are referring to the current fiscal cliff, it will be insufficient to cause riots in the streets. If you are referring to the fiscal cliff of our coming sovereign bankruptcy, that will result in riots and the inevitable imposition of martial law. Where we go from there is an entirely different matter. Which, if you’ll recall, I have been warning about for quite some time…

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “According to historian Glenn W. LaFantasie of Western Kentucky University, “ever since 1985, when Ronald Reagan was serving in his second term as president, there have been repeated attempts to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limits each president to two terms.

    Luckily, this proposal has failed repeatedly in Congress, although it is still introduced over and over again.”[3] In addition, several Democratic congressmen, including Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. José Serrano,[4] Rep. Howard Berman, and Sen. Harry Reid,[5] have introduced legislation to repeal the Twenty-second Amendment, but each resolution died before making it out of its respective committee.

    Other alterations have been proposed, including replacing the absolute two term limit with a limit of no more than two consecutive terms and giving Congress the power to grant a dispensation to a current or former president by way of a supermajority vote in both houses”.[citation needed]

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    I am so glad you brought up Madison as it leads to a solution that was thought of that would deny despots their power.

    In 1833, Judge Abel P. Upshur wrote a pamphlet defending the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, which were written by James Madison and approved by the Virginia legislature shortly after passage of Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions. Together, the resolutions provide the framework for nullification – known as the Principles of 1798.

    Like Jefferson and Madison, he viewed nullification as a safeguard, a way to deal with federal overreach without resorting to revolution.

    Nullification would be more scary than those succession petitions to the federal government..

    suggested reading: Federalist 45 -Madison

    The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.

    it is VERY pertinent to what is happening now.
    United States v. Butler (1936)

    the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.
    —Justice Owen Roberts

    from wiki

    This represented the first time the Supreme court had determined whether the Taxing and Spending Clause of the Constitution represented an independent grant of power to provide for the general welfare of the United States. They found it did, thus setting the stage for massive increases in federal spending, and consequent power, during the latter half of the 20th century.

    A literal interpretation of Federalist No. 45 would indict much of the federal government’s activities at that point as unconstitutional. Madison’s view is all but unknown among Americans, although that could be said about many or most of the detailed positions presented in the Federalist Papers

    and if unconstitutional, then the states have a recourse which was alluded to by Thomas Jefferson, and best argued by Judge Abel P. Upshur

    Upshur calls on the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 in his criticism of President Jackson’s Nullification Proclamation and defense of states’ rights and nullification during the Nullification Crisis.

    under such things a state would claim that something the fed ordered was unconstitutional and so would not be legal.

    Nullification Crisis

  20. parker Says:

    “And if I remember accurately, that change was made very early, well within the time of the founders, yes?”

    The 17th amendment was ratified in 1913, a bit beyond the life span of the founders. 😉

    “no… he only needs to activate the EOs that have been put in place as they put aside the constitution and do not say how we get it back or when..”

    The EOs you are referring to involve a catastrophic (nuclear) attack on the USA. The only catastrophic attack BHO/Bernanke can manage is the mother of all depressions. Will that be enough to garner 50+% support? I don’t know and neither do you.

  21. LisaM Says:

    Geoffrey Britain, The 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913. Until that time, the Senators owed their allegiance to the states rather than the voters. The idea was to insure that bills passed in the House didn’t trample on the rights of the states. Not to say Senators were never corrupt, but if they didn’t represent the best interests of the state, they’d be out of a job.

    The landowner/voter thing is touchy and you make a good point about taxation. I’d favor expanding voting rights to tax payers. I clearly remember voting Yes on a school-tax referendum at age 20, and thinking, “Why not?” I’ve grown up since then, but many people have not.

  22. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    The federalist papers provide an insight into the thinking of some of the founders. The Constitution is the legal and final written consensus of all of the founders.

    The theory of nullification rests upon the view that the States formed the Union by an agreement (or “compact”) among the States, and that as creators of the federal government, the States have the final authority to determine the limits of the power of that government.

    That view is erroneous because once ratified by the States, their creation our Constitution, now existed as a separate entity from the states and now governed the States. The only power granted to the States to nullify parts of the Constitution is through the amendment process.

    The theory of nullification has never been legally upheld; rather, the Supreme Court has rejected it and done so repeatedly.

    The rationale the Supreme Court has cited for rejecting the theory of nullification is primarily twofold: 1.) Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, which establishes the U.S. Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. Treaties as “the supreme law of the land” and 2.) that under Article III of the Constitution, the federal judiciary has the final power to interpret the Constitution. Therefore, the power to make final decisions about the constitutionality of federal laws lies with the federal courts, not the states, and thus the states do not have the power to nullify federal laws.

    Between 1798 and the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, several states threatened or attempted nullification of various federal laws.

    The civil war pretty much settled the dispute. And if, in reaction to future developments, states again attempt to nullify or secede, the US military will back the legal federal authority, unless there is such a clear usurpation of the Constitution that civil war once again erupts.

  23. parker Says:

    “The landowner/voter thing is touchy and you make a good point about taxation. I’d favor expanding voting rights to tax payers.”

    Personally, I favor allowing those who can answer 100% of these simple questions the right to vote.

    1.) The United States of America was founded as a democracy, not a republic. T or F
    2.) The first 10 amendments of the Constitution list the privileges the federal government grants to citizens. T or F
    3.) The sun revolves around the earth from east to west. T or F
    4.) The United States of America is in the eastern hemisphere. T or F
    5.) Argentina is a large country in the continent of Africa. T or F
    6.) The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America is ___________.
    7.) There are ___ states in the United States of America.
    8.) The ___ states of the United States of America are sovereign entities. T or F
    9.) In World War Two the United States of America fought against China and Italy. T or F
    10.) Joseph Stalin is famous for being the president of Hungary. T or F

  24. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “The 17th amendment was ratified in 1913” parker and LisaM

    Ah…my memory is not what it once was. Thanks.

    “The idea was to insure that bills passed in the House didn’t trample on the rights of the states. Not to say Senators were never corrupt, but if they didn’t represent the best interests of the state, they’d be out of a job.”

    Not saying it’s not worth revisting the pros & cons but as to Senators “representing the best interests of the state”…might I suggest that since the State legislature appointed them that it would as often be the best interests of the ‘powers that be’ and special interests that they ‘served’, at least as often as the people.

  25. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    3) tricky…

    7) 57! Right? That’s what the ‘constitutional scholar’ said…

    8) Both. I hate trick questions! The states are limited sovereigns…so how sovereign are they really? Depends on the conditional circumstances. I hate and/or questions!

  26. NeoConScum Says:

    N-Neocon…Thank you, Landlord, for ‘the nod’. This old school T-Rex appreciates it.

  27. holmes Says:

    I think we can leave firemen and police out of the “good of the whole” category, at least those that are unionized anyway. They’ve bankrupted too many a municipality already. Good people, sure, but good people who overreach as it is. I know a lot of good police officers. I’ve known a lot of stupid, power hungry bastard police officers. It runs the gamut.

    Heinlein thought (or at least wrote about) the franchise belonging only to the enlisted. But enlistment in his world was much more strenuous than it is here and now. There are a lot of shlubs in the military too.

  28. parker Says:

    3) tricky!?!?

    If someone does not know the planet revolves around the star they do not have the privilege to vote as far as I am concerned.

    7) Barry is instantly disqualified. This was not a slip of the lip. It displayed a great disconnect.

    8) It is not a trick question. The states entered the union voluntarily. They have the right to voluntarily secede IMO.

    GB, this is the real problem:

    “Americans just want us to solve America’s problems of health and safety… and not be concerned if they can be constitutionally justified.” — Senator John Glenn

    These are the words of John Glenn! For too long, those who want to ‘solve’ what they do no have the authority to solve have ‘solved’ outside the frame work that is supposed to be the law of the land. In other words, there is no law of the land. Andrew (Jackson), Abe, Teddy, Woodrow, Franklin D, Tricky Dick, Slick Willy, and now Little Fancy Pants Barry have not operated within the bounds of the law of the land. Therefore there is no law, there is only the rule of the master of the mob. For now, until it is reclaimed, there is no rule of law of the land. Will it be reclaimed? I do not know.

    To update Kasper Hauser: Every man for himself, government against all. (Except for the ‘protected’ classes.) If this seems nonsensical search Werner Herzog’s Kasper Hauser and then Aquirre, The Wrath of God. Finish off with Even Dwarfs Started Small. We live not in interesting times, but in a time of madness.

  29. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    #3 is tricky because its too easy to jump past the stated reversal of the “sun revolving around the earth”, to the stated rotation of the earth from “east to west”. We know that the sun rises in the west but which way does the earth rotate to create that effect? Tied up in that, its easy to overlook the more egregious error. (reminds me of the old joke, where it is asked, if a plane crashes on the exact border between two countries, in which country are the survivors buried?)

    7) agreed, by your criteria, disqualifying Obama from even citizenship…

    8) Sorry, the States do NOT have the right to secede. There were irreconcilable differences on this question and the civil war settled it.

    There is selective enforcement of the law. This is inescapable or you end up with, as in Les Misérables, a starving man pursued across the breadth of the land to escape imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving children.

    It is the wisdom employed, when considering whether and to what degree, the law shall be enforced that determines its useful application. Next to lawlessness, the nearest sin is the iron boot of the bureaucracy, which if uncorrupted, is always in favor of the strictest interpretation and enforcement of the law. Just look to the IRS for confirmation.

    The constitution is the determinant of what laws we may have, on enforcement, it only allows that they should be proportionate to the crime.

  30. parker Says:

    “The civil war pretty much settled the dispute. And if, in reaction to future developments, states again attempt to nullify or secede, the US military will back the legal federal authority, unless there is such a clear usurpation of the Constitution that civil war once again erupts.”

    You have not spent much time in the old south. The civil war resolved nothing. Southerners are overwhelmingly represented in the military. And this is a PEW study:

    The usurpation is as clear and plain as the light of day. The left knows not what they push against. One day push will meet atemi – iriminage.

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I grew up in the South. Good old boys with their gun racks won’t matter a damn if push comes to shove.

    When you state that “The civil war resolved nothing.” what is the difference, in principle, between that position and the Palestinians?

    Yes, southerners are heavily represented in the US military and they will follow orders… unless the orders themselves are so egregious that conscience overwhelms ‘good order and discipline’.

    The usurpation is as clear and plain as the light of day to you and we. The military being non-political will not judge the validity of its orders based upon an assessment of the relative merits of the democrats and republicans. Remember Kent State, they will follow the legal federal authority until conscience simply will no longer allow compliance.

  32. parker Says:


    I respect your integrity because IMO you are forthrightly stating what you believe. I just happen to interpret events/facts differently. I happen to believe that “Just look to the IRS for confirmation” is a major part of the BIG problem. In the final analysis it will come down to what we will see in the days ahead, and even then we may still interpret things differently.

    I’m an atemi-iriminage type of fellow. And, I will never (NEVER) agree that my health and safety can be solved by the likes of John Glenn.

  33. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Despite some differences in outlook, I think we are at base, closer to agreement than otherwise. I too respect your integrity and even, your position for it is clearly heartfelt. Like Dennis Prager, the greatly under appreciated pundit, I value clarity over agreement.

    And had I the agreement needed, I would abolish the IRS in a heartbeat, along with much of the Federal government.

    I admire Akido greatly. Bruce Lee, before Bruce Lee was popular, was my learned style of atemi-waza striking techniques.

    And I join you in agreeing that John Glenn’s approach can’t ever ‘solve’ our nations health and safety issues. Perhaps still a good man, he simply doesn’t get it.

  34. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Madison: “I am unable to conceive that the State legislatures, which must feel so many motives to watch, and which possess so many means of counteracting, the federal legislature, would fail either to detect or to defeat a conspiracy of the latter against the liberties of their common constituents.”

    It’s good that he restricted that vision to the near future. Alas, we have slowly, but surely allowed the Feds to control the States. How do they do that? With money – plain old bribes.

    They even control our cities. My own little village’s city council meetings spend a great deal of time dealing with complying with Washington’s guidelines so they can get money.

    The States are even worse. Look at the Governors of New York and New Jersey going to D.C. with hat in hand looking for relief money for the disasters there. States have all had to gin up “Sustainable Growth Management” plans to qualify for federal funds. Medicaid is controlled by the Feds. Obamacare is heavy handed Fed control. States that play ball will get federal money. That is why we have to cut spending. Because the spending is used to bribe states and cities. It’s our tax money being used against us.

    The tentacles of the Federal government reach deep into all our lives.

    Over the years I have lived in three planned unit developments. On the surface they are a good thing. You have a homeowner governing board and some basic rules that everyone agrees to follow when they buy their homes. In the first two, I watched the homeowner’s associations be taken over by what I call well-meaning busybodies. These people want to control every aspect of the development because they think they know what’s best. All for the “common good.” They think up more rules and then appoint a committee to do weekly inspections to make sure the rules are followed. Then they decide the development needs tennis courts, or a swimming pool, or a bigger clubhouse, or community bike paths, etc. The homeowners dues keep going up and most people are too busy working, raising their children, and trying to have a life to go to work and regain control of the association. My solution was to leave. Sell out and move on.

    Well, I find myself in my third homeowner’s association in this, my last house before the nursing home. Moving on isn’t an option. So, I’m fighting the well-meaning busybodies. They don’t take too kindly to my opposition, but when I make representations against new, stringent, busybody rules and ideas that will restrict our freedom or increase our dues, most of my fellow homeowners seem to agree with me. So far, I’m winning.

    I tell this tale because in many ways these homeowner’s associations are a miniature form of our elected government. Activists (well-meaning busybodies who think they know best) have managed to gain a bigger and bigger share of control over the government. Too many of us are too busy or too lazy to see what is happening until it bites us in the ass. Then it is hard to regain control. Once the tennis courts are in, they must be paid for even if no one is actually using them. Once a program like Headstart is passed, it continues even in the face of studies that show it does not actually give children a real “headstart.” Nothing is closer to everlasting life than a federal program.

    We have to get involved. Write or call your representatives. Support candidates that you think would do a good job. Write your local newspaper. You’d be surprised at the number of people who have read my letters and told me they agree with what I wrote. I hope it isn’t too late. What I do know is that for most of us moving out of the USA isn’t an option. We either fight or let the well-meaning busybodies control things.

  35. parker Says:

    “Activists (well-meaning busybodies who think they know best) have managed to gain a bigger and bigger share of control over the government….. Once the tennis courts are in, they must be paid for even if no one is actually using them.”

    This, in a nutshell, is the problem. A bureaucracy exists for the sake of the bureaucracy. All other considerations are null and void. Before the lords of the bureaucracy all logic and sense of proportion is soggy dead.

  36. parker Says:

    BTW, JJ formerly JJ,

    ‘They’ are not well meaning. They are people bent upon exercising power over others. They care not for consequences or expenses. ‘They’ are aggressive parasites blindly killing the host. They are everywhere. DC, the statehouse, the city council, or the MSM. Bloodsuckers each and everyone. Shun them.

  37. parker Says:

    “Are we at the tipping point, where “sufficient virtue” does not exist?”

    I apologize for not paying attention to this essential question from our hostess. IMO, its come down to a matter of milk, cream, or alcohol:

    Serve you right to suffer.

  38. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    parker says, “BTW, JJ formerly JJ,

    ‘They’ are not well meaning. They are people bent upon exercising power over others.”

    There is no doubt in my mind that many of the progressives are hard core communists with evil intents. But the well-meaning busybodies are their useful tools.

    The people I’ve encountered in the homeowner’s associations are, IMO, unaware that they are controllers and enjoy controlling people. They are just convinced that they know best and want all the others to follow their rules/standards. It’s a gentile version of Islam. Prohibitions of “hate speech” (No Republican political yard signs, no unapproved yard sale signs, no flags except on national days of commemoration) are things I have encountered and fought. Obssessions with uniformity of house appearance and “greenness” are others. I had a neighbor who monitored my garage door. If I left it open for more than 30 minutes, he was on the phone reminding me my garage door was open. When I asked him where it was written I had to close my garage door in a certain period of time, he informed me that it “Just made the neighborhood more uniform.” I told him to quit calling me. He tried to get a rule passed. It failed. He’s not evil, he’s just a busybody. I’m sure he voted for Obama though.

  39. davisbr Says:

    @neo-neocon Are we at the tipping point, where “sufficient virtue” does not exist?


    Of course we are.

    …I’m surprised that it’s a question, actually.

    Is there a doubt in anyone’s mind?

    Oh. I don’t mean we’ve reached the Lord-asking-Abraham-if-there-were-but-ten-good-men level of virtue.

    (Keeping in mind that bastard Lot also offered his daughters up to the crowds who wanted to rape the angels for gawds sake.)

    But sufficient virtue? Now?

    It is to laugh.

    …the nation has lost its virtue, because the people have lost theirs. We’re just in the count-down phase.

    And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? – Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? – For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.

    And the Lord said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether, according to the cry of it which is come unto me. And if not, I will know.

    And the angels turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom.

    But Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked. And that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    And the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

    And Abraham answered and said, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous …wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five?

    And the Lord said, “If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

    And Abraham spake unto Him yet again, and said, “Peradventure there shall be forty found there?

    And the Lord said, “I will not do it for forty’s sake.

    And Abraham said unto Him, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Peradventure there shall thirty be found there?

    And the Lord said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

    And Abraham said, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord. Peradventure there shall be twenty found there?

    And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.

    And Abraham said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once more: peradventure ten shall be found there?

    And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.


    מנא ,מנא, תקל, ופרסין

    Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin.

  40. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” – Daniel Webster

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. – Robert A. Heinlein

    “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
    1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
    2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.
    In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824

    The phenomena of the busybody (and its graver iterations) is nothing new.

  41. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Yes, there’s quite a bit of doubt engendered by Romney 60,754,308 votes, most of whom voted on principle. Those 60,754,308 ‘facts’ cannot be dismissed by the intellectually honest.

    Virtue arises from the moral, which most often has its roots in religious dogma. Virtue can also arise from the moral principles that reason and logic support.

  42. point Says:

    These original understandings were distinctive in one other respect. Where all later interpretive exercise could build upon intervening events, developments, and precedents, the debaters of 1787-88 could only predict what the Constitution would come to mean in practice. Acting in a moment suspended in historical time, they [Anti-Federalists] could freely indulge their imaginations to foretell the consequences of ratification. Federalists regarded many of the ensuing predictions less as serious forays into interpretation than as willful misreadings of the Constitution. Too many Anti-Federalist charges either distorted the plain text or rested on predictions so fantastic as to defy common sense and the limits of plausible speculation.

    —Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings

    Federalist No. 55 is a response of sorts (dismissive and contemptuous are adjectives that would come to mind if the author weren’t Madison) to some of those predictions so fantastic.

  43. davisbr Says:

    @Geoffrey Britain Those 60,754,308 ‘facts’ cannot be dismissed by the intellectually honest.

    The problem I was addressing though, Geoff, isn’t so much the 60M voters (and hence, that 60M still retain some mitigating virtue viz. my And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.“ reference), it’s my understanding of the reason for the way the 65M voted.

    It’s become obvious that they didn’t vote that way for legitimate political differences. Nor moral ones. Nor rational ones.

    Hell, I’d be willing to argue that those Democrat constituencies are by-and-large apolitical by nature and inclination.

    So …why’d they vote that way? Why am I so concerned? (And indeed, apprehensive?)

    Their vote was cultural: they vote for essentially religious reasons …for their self-perceived righteousness.

    The biggie? – They think they were voting against evil.

    Somehow, 65M Americans have come to believe that America is evil. And they voted against evil.

    They believe that Republicans – that you aren’t just wrong …but that they are evil.

    Ironic, isn’t it? Social conservatives are usually the ones decried as being parochial in their political concerns.

    But in a very real sense, the Democrats have devolved into a party of …well – and using their slant on the term – cultural hillbillies (with apologies to the honored heritage of my ancestors, who probably more resembled the Louis L’Amour rendered virtues of the peoples who were caricatured as “hillbilly” in the first place).

    These are the same citizenry who burned the witches in Salem three centuries ago. They’re back.

    …so I maintain …we’ve been seeing a fundamental sea-change in the American polity. And not one to the good.

    I don’t recognize these people.

    They are profoundly dangerous to the American Experiment.

    …and so I quite agree with your “…Virtue arises from the moral, which most often has its roots in religious dogma. Virtue can also arise from the moral principles that reason and logic support.

    I just derive cold comfort in it, because the antithesis is even more compelling.

    Hence …


  44. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    G.B. said, “The phenomena of the busybody (and its graver iterations) is nothing new.”

    True, that. The problem is how do we stop them and their evil overlords , the communists, from getting more control?

    No easy solutions, but, IMO, the first step is to acknowledge their existence and recognize what it is that they do. We need to have the energy and fortitude to oppose their absurd demands for control. We have to use their techniques of mocking and ridicule to highlight the foolishness of so many of their positions. We have to devise a way to frame the message of conservatism in such a way that the average Joe Sixpak/Sally Single understands why less government and more economic freedom is good for them. Most of all, we need specific numbers to illustrate why Obamacare, higher taxes, and more government spending are bad for even the poor.

    Yes, we’re working on it, but we can’t quit.

  45. davisbr Says:

    Hmm. Full disclosure, Geoff (I’m not taking umbrage, and if I’m reading something into your comment I shouldn’t have, apologies).

    I’m profoundly Christian AND fundamentalist in belief.

    …but I’m perhaps the least religiously dogmatic person you’ve ever met lol.

    I’m Christian for rational reasons …a CS Lewis type, if you will. My faith is …sadly …rather on the weak side.

    But my faith in human nature is even weaker.

    I live within that conundrum. And thank G-d for compartmentalization lol.

  46. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Among the many things we must do, which includes the tactics you listed, are two practical and pragmatic tactics that would, if accomplished, yield huge dividends.

    First, a really tough balanced budget amendment. As we all know, entitlements and directing money to their supporters is a major tool for the left. A sufficiently strict, loophole free balanced budget amendment would put great constraints upon the democrats and over time, end the exorbitant spending and deficits, that are to the left, its life blood. It would end the growth and reduce the size of the entitlements that have created America’s dependency class.

    Second, massive investment by wealthy conservatives and foundations in the publicly held, parent corporations of the major media outlet companies. Over time, that would allow the ending of the MSM’s distorted reportage.

    Both of these are long term projects and both of them are imperative to righting our ship of state.

  47. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Nor do I take umbrage nor wish to offend.

    When you state that, “I’m profoundly Christian AND fundamentalist in belief…but I’m perhaps the least religiously dogmatic person you’ve ever met lol.”

    I confess to a bit of puzzlement. You state that you are a “fundamentalist in belief” and, you do so categorically. My understanding and correct me if you disagree, is that a fundamentalist is a literalist. You therefore believe in a literal reading of the Bible and believe it to be literally true, not at least partially, a metaphor or allegory.

    Such a position is dogmatic in the extreme; as in “God said it, I believe it and that settles it!”.

    Please explain how a religious fundamentalist but non-dogmatic person is not a contradiction in terms. As the non-dogmatic by definition, allow for other interpretations, which precludes insistence upon a literal interpretation.

    My own view of human nature is that it contains a majority of good with a healthy dose of evil. I have faith that both will manifest and regularly.

    As for liberals belief that Republicans are evil, I would amend that to state that most liberals view the policies Republicans support to be evil and that the moneyed contributors to the Republican party are evil, with ordinary Republicans being the “useful idiots” of the right.

  48. davisbr Says:

    Never, ever underestimate the wonderfully mitigating effect of compartmentalization Geoff. It is just so downright useful.

    For a better understanding of what I mean than is possible in a comments section, I refer you to Miracles by CS Lewis.

    …a short but enlightening paper can be read here dealing with the complexities I find myself immersed within …which you – mistakenly, as it were – suspect are contradictions.

    …and “it” isn’t about religion, btw. It’s about science, and cosmology actually.

    …and logic, and rationality, and faith: these three. Through a glass. Darkly. (Simply couldn’t resist.)

    I’m seriously fundamentalist …because, why not? If you accept the dish, you accept the sauce.

    I’m not dogmatic, because I merely await – and am open to – the better argument to change my views …of the universe. Whatever.

    …it does have to be better though.

    And I’ve read, and pondered upon, a LOT of “arguments” lol.

    Conundrum, much?

    So perhaps you’ll just have to trust me on the point.

    Now. As for your utterly quaint belief that liberals merely disagree on policy points, and deny that this is not about the classical concept of The Other, I respectfully …though adamantly …demur.

    I fear you’re missing …or ignoring …the obvious – about what was done, the way it was done, and how it continues to be done …to Sarah Palin, for example – and what “they” think of “us” as polity vs. people, and which is not ever mitigated – in their minds – by considerations of mere policy.

    I would to G-d you were right. I used to hold your position.

    I no longer do.

  49. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Interesting response and I must confess, not quite what I expected.

    Not sure how compartmentalization applies, (which I am familiar with) at least as rebuttal, to my pointing out that dogmatism is inherent to fundamentalism/literalism…

    In fact, your comment, “I’m not dogmatic, because I merely await – and am open to – the better argument to change my views …of the universe. Whatever…it does have to be better though.” leads me to conclude that you’re not as much of a fundamentalist as perhaps you believe. No fundamentalist I have known (and I’ve known more than a few) is open to even the possibility of a “better argument”.

    I too am appreciative of C.S. Lewis and will one day read Miracles, though I already accept the fact of, rather than just the possibility of miracles but also divine intervention as well…

    Nor do I believe that science and spiritual truth are antithetical. God being the supreme ‘scientist’. It is our understanding that is lacking.

    After further thought let me revisit my prior statement. Not by disavowing it but by amending it.

    I’m not missing or ignoring the treatment of Sarah Palin, of whom I am still a big fan. When I was first responding to your comment, I was thinking of liberals close to me who have proven so far to be immune to persuasion. I believe that liberals, as opposed to hard-core leftists, make exceptions for the conservatives and/or republicans that they personally know to be good people. And I know them to be basically decent, good people…who is it clear have been completely hoodwinked by the left’s narrative and the last 50 years of MSM reportage.

    Whereas those same liberals quite probably do think that in general, republicans are evil. In other words both are true. There is cognitive dissonance involved, just as most people believe Congress to be corrupt but trust their own Congressman.

    As you perhaps will now agree, we’re not so far apart in perception as may have first appeared to be the case.

  50. davisbr Says:

    …not nearly as many as I’ve known, I’d hazard.

    Oh, I’m whereof I speak. And yeah, I know …precisely …of what I speak.

    …but in your defence, I haven’t met any [fundamentalists] quite like me either LOL.

    …and I’ve looked for decades.

    And no, we’re not that far apart at all….

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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