Keep Calm and Cloister On…

Keep Calm and Cloister On…

As the reader will likely have noticed, there’s a common theme playing out in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the part of some of our elected officials. Here, I refer to the emergence of little tin gods among leftist governors, some of whom are resisting calls to ease stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions. This week, conservative commentator and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino excoriated certain governors in this regard, calling them “mini tyrants” as he condemned California Gov. Gavin Newsom for extending marginally constitutional stay-at-home orders and keeping parks and beaches in his state closed.

Newsom isn’t alone, of course. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was taken to task over his stay-at-home order on religious grounds (which a U.S. district judge nevertheless ruled as constitutional earlier this week), and New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s clumsy vacillation between prudence and leftist objectives continues to provide cheap entertainment on a daily basis—at least for those who don’t live in my former home state.

Anyone who’s been paying attention will be aware that some of the most egregious actions have been taken by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom I believe is emotionally disturbed on a very deep level. Arrogant and imperious, she probably exemplifies the deportment against which Mr. Bongino railed.

It’s obvious that the nationwide cloistering is getting old for a lot of folks, and most Americans want to see restrictions eased in their states, largely for economic reasons. It’s also noteworthy that private citizens who are making a lot of noise in this regard are on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum.

I certainly agree that some of these little tin gods have abused their offices, and it’s evident that a few are desperately clinging to the augmented powers they’ve enjoyed during this pandemic. As I indicated earlier in this space, some would probably love to see the crisis drag on indefinitely. Part of this has to do with the advantage they believe they will have over President Donald Trump going into the November election the longer the pandemic persists, but I believe that power intoxication is playing a far bigger role.

Perhaps it is because I was exposed to the concept of abuse of power and authority at a very young age, but I have very little tolerance for those who do abuse their offices, whether in education, the criminal justice system or government. Quite honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I find more despicable. My go-to is desperately wishing we could have such people rendered down for fuel, but I realize that’s not how we do things in America.

In good conscience however, I have to admit that there are stupid things being said and done across the board (meaning by parties on both sides of the aisle). Some of this has clearly been reactive rather than deliberative, and has the potential to significantly compound our problems.

Case in point: I’m in contact with people who work on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 on a daily basis and, as I’ve said more than once, I’ve worked with infectious diseases. I know that this pathogen is not “just like the flu,” and despite the very real political opportunism afoot, I don’t believe the risks are being overplayed. This is a serious illness, and it would seem to me that erring on the side of caution with a disease that could conceivably kill you is probably a pretty good idea.

Then we have the armed protesters who demonstrated against Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders outside Michigan’s Capitol building, which drew some very well-placed criticism from Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

While I readily confess that Gov. Whitmer would be close to the top of my list for rendering over her antics, you don’t lay siege to a government building brandishing firearms to “make a statement.” You do this when all other contingencies have failed, as our founders intended. Inasmuch as Whitmer isn’t rounding up coronavirus patients and having them incinerated, it occurs to me that there is still sufficient time to remedy the Michigan situation in a civilized manner, either through recall, or simply voting Whitmer out of office at the earliest opportunity—which actually is how we do things in America.

In the current political climate, it is imperative that those of us who have the capacity to govern our passions double our efforts to do so despite the stresses and frustrations attendant to this pandemic. We already know that those on the left lack the ability to do so, and that any lapses on our part in this area will only provide fodder for their propaganda and wild accusations, as well as inordinately alarming our neighbors.

Posted by Erik Rush in Columns
Public Apathy and the Erosion of our Liberties

Public Apathy and the Erosion of our Liberties

By Erik Rush •

Last week in this space, primarily citing firearms laws and the nascent surveillance state in America, I criticized some on both the right and the left for their tendency to accept an inordinate degree of government intervention in certain areas when it served their particular ideology, and Americans’ overall penchant for denial with regard to emerging government tyranny. Finally, I asserted that if we are to survive as a free nation – possibly even restoring some of the rights that have been usurped or diluted by our government – then we are going to have to become far more scrupulous with regard to our vigilance against tyranny, as well as becoming better informed as to what our constitutional rights actually are.

Despite much relief on the part of conservative and libertarian types following the election of Donald Trump and his proclivity for respecting constitutional law in more areas than most of his predecessors in recent memory, we must be (or become) aware that we are still in a fight for our lives, constitutionally-speaking, and that progressivism is very much alive and well in America.

Today I would like to challenge Americans’ tendency to summarily accept the doctrines of institutional orthodoxies, such as certain laws and conventions. There are many dangers associated with such behavior; an extreme example might be German citizens in the 1940s who had nothing in particular against Jews, but who turned their Jewish neighbors in to the Gestapo simply because it was “the law of the land.” When people become slaves to the doctrines of institutional orthodoxies, there is a very real danger of their losing their humanity.

American citizens have been living in a sort of retrogressive groove in this sense for at least a century, as they accept or ignore the myriad laws and dictates of regulatory agencies which chip away their individual liberties.

There are any number of laws and conventions I might use to illustrate this, but some will resonate more readily than others either due to their gravity, or because they have come to light in the recent past.

Firearms laws are far and away among the most dangerous of these. I have repeatedly cited the fact that even those gun control measures which most Americans deem “reasonable” have severely eroded our Second Amendment rights, as well as often containing insidious “poison pills” therein which restrict Americans’ right to keep and bear arms far more than the ostensible intention sold to the public at the time of their implementation. I have pointed out that federal law bars many people who have been convicted of nonviolent crimes as well as people who have been institutionalized for any mental issues, voluntarily or involuntarily (a woman’s nervous breakdown after a rape, for example), from ever owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Look it up.

A “controversial” sheriff recently declared that the Second Amendment is the only concealed carry permit that any citizen needs, and in fact there are twelve states in which the law reflects this. And then there are the Oath Keepers, a constitutionally-conscious organization of law enforcement personnel which is active in every state in the Union; some of its members will refrain from arresting individuals whom they discover carrying concealed firearms without a permit despite the law, unless they happen to have outstanding warrants or something of that nature.

A little-known fact is that the first gun control laws in America had their roots in racist practices, as Oath Keepers Board of Directors member Gregg McWhirter points out in his article “Gun Control is Racism.”

Among the dangerous conventions which Americans tend to “let slide” is that of the inequality in application of the law when it comes to those in power. As I illustrated many times here during the presidency of Barack Obama, there were many in the higher echelons of our national government who were aware that Obama’s birth certificate (the one released on the White House website in April 2011) was created from whole digital cloth. I ascertained this within a half hour after downloading the document myself. This is a crime under federal law as regards individuals employing such information in order to attain high office. Yet, the matter was never brought to light by anyone in government, Republican or Democrat.

There’s also a crime on the books called Misprision of felony (18 U.S. Code § 4), which states that anyone possessing knowledge of a felony, and who conceals that fact, is committing a felony. Thus, there are possibly dozens of high-ranking government officials and lawmakers past and present who skated on this issue, whereas you or I would have been doing the perp walk.
Then, there is the recent sexual harassment scandal that escalated into revelations concerning the fact that taxpayers have been funding hush money payments to the victims of sexual harassment at the hands of members of Congress for years. Finally, there are the plethora of illegal and unethical activities in which the Hillary Clinton campaign engaged in torpedoing Bernie Sanders’s bid for the Democratic nomination and attempting to defeat Donald Trump.

I could go on and on, but these are just a (very) few of the literally innumerable examples of illegality and misfeasance for which most corporate chieftains – and certainly average citizens – would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This dangerous and increasingly employed double standard will continue to be the status quo until public outrage, similar to that which got Donald Trump elected, is applied to the erosion of our liberties.

Originally published in WorldNetDaily

Posted by Erik Rush in Columns

Is that the sound of a constitutional resurgence?

resurgencePeople who know me but who are in other lines of work often comment about how the current political landscape must provide such a wealth of material with regard to political, social, and cultural analysis. At times I find it a bit strange; it’s almost as though there’s a tinge of envy to it, like I’m an athlete who gets called in to every game, while they get to sit on the bench.

Sometimes I wish that this was not the case, because the fact that there is so much to address is indicative of the dire straits through which America is currently passing. What truly frustrates is the fact that a lot of the passengers on this proverbial ocean liner are wholly oblivious to the icebergs littering our path, and to the slavering, smelly mutineers attempting to intentionally run the ship into them.

Lest I digress entirely: The plethora of grave material, this fodder for my commentary efforts, is also providing the public at large with at least some of the data they need to determine that we are indeed in grave danger. Having made this determination, we shall be able to welcome them – or some of them, at least – to the table with the solution-oriented people.

In the recent past, too few perceived the symptoms of the disease. Now that they are experiencing pain and discomfort, they’re palpitating the affected area to see what might be the matter. Such things as the bevy of political scandals involving the Obama administration, the implosion of the “democratic” Arab Spring, and the sluggish economic recovery provided more latent symptoms. The acute symptoms came about through the NSA domestic spying scandal, Obama’s dictatorial measures during the partial government shutdown and finally, the revelation of his grand deception with regard to Obamacare.

Read more…

Posted by Erik Rush in Columns, Politics