Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

Just wanted to make a quick post wishing everyone a Happy Memorial Day. Remember to say a prayer for all of our service men and women who have gone on to be with our heavenly Father, those who have served and made it home to their families, and those serving us today, standing in harm's way to protect our Liberty. God Bless those brave men and women!

Daniel Webster Adds:

Amen, brother Hamilton. I'm a little late, but nonetheless....

To all you family members of military members currently deployed in the "sandbox," stateside awaiting deployment, or who have already served one or more tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., God Bless You and keep you, dear Patriots! As my brothers well know I have a Marine nephew, with whom I'm very close, who served two tours in Iraq - the first of which included the invasion itself. So I understand completely and utterly the roller-coaster ride accompanying deployment, the safe return home, a second and third deployment, and so on. And I don't take kindly to disparaging remarks about our service members, the idea that they serve because they have no other options, and stupidity such as that, by the way.

For the record my family has been and is blessed with a rich heritage of military service, and one of my fondest memories to date is that of helping Dad and Sis organize a welcome home parade for our Marine in his rural hometown following his deployment with the invasionary forces. Our Marine returned home unscathed physically on both deployments, but I shall never forget the day I happened to catch him online, while deployed, and he related the news that he and his comrades had lost their entire chain of command to an I.E.D. while on patrol. Sis and I made all the arrangements that many of you have - acquired a passport, tucked away a few bucks, made mental preparations and so on - for what we knew was certainly a possibility. Thankfully we never had to use it, and thank the Lord our God that we've always had Him to lean on during such trials and tribulations! Where would we be without our faith; without our God? I shudder to think!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

~Daniel Webster

On the Concept of Term Limits - No. I

To the Citizens of the United States of America:

It is evident upon no more than a cursory inspection, that the citizenry in general is supportive of the concept of term limits for Congress and the office of President of the United States. The former is a regular topic of conversation among people, on radio talk shows, and on political discussion boards of every persuasion; the latter, an accepted Amendment to our Constitution. In either case, such sentiment, however well-intentioned, is notable for its fallaciousness and is indicative of an incompletion of thought; furthermore, our tradition of Americanism and Federalism is directly opposed to the convention of term limits, a point we will prove in the course of the following essays. A brief history of term limits is warranted as a beginning.

Presidential Term Limits
Early Presidents adhered to a tradition of two terms until after the Civil War. According to the internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia: "Ulysses S. Grant sought a third term in office after serving from 1869 to 1877, but his party failed to nominate him. Theodore Roosevelt, who served from 1901 to 1909, sought to be elected in 1912 (non-consecutively) for a second time—he had succeeded to the presidency on William McKinley's assassination and already been elected in 1904 to a full term himself—but he lost to Woodrow Wilson. In 1940 Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first person to be elected President three times, with supporters citing the war in Europe as a reason for breaking with precedent. In the 1944 election, during World War II, he won a fourth term, but died in office the following year." (1)

Presidential term limits were instituted with the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, proposed in Congress in 1947 and ratified by the requisite number of states in 1951. The rationale at the time appears to have been the concern that one person could assume the position of an almost "benevolent dictator", without Constitutional limits to Presidential terms.

Such sentiment, however, assumes that human nature itself changes, and there occurs a complete and abject failure on the part of the citizenry. Such a scenario - that a President would assume dictatorial powers - is predicated upon either a most evil conspiracy or minimally the implicit approval of the other branches of government, both the Legislative and Judiciary. As each guards with extreme jealousy its Constitutionally-mandated sphere of power (and indeed experience would show that each branch seeks where possible to extend its influence beyond such limits), human nature therefore, to say nothing of a desire to uphold the Constitution, provides a sufficient guarantee that no one man could rise to such a station in a federal representative republic. But, if one can conjure up such a scenario - despite how chimerical it may seem - one still fails to account for the citizenry, who vote for the office every four years and exercise our Second Amendment Rights. Such a people, enamored with Liberty as we are, as a general rule can sense a charlatan when one comes before us, and even if elected, would not last in office for long. The number of one-term Presidents is evidence of the discernment of the American people: again, as a general rule, when a poor administrator comes along, his tenure in office is not long. Any discerning mind can propose exceptions to the rule, yet acknowledge that the existence of exceptions fails to invalidate the accepted generalization.

If such was the reasoning at the time - that one man might become de facto President for life, and therefore term-limits are necessary - upon what basis is it acceptable today that an error, merely because it has been endured for an extended period of time, should not be rectified? It is said that a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it the superficial appearance of being right. We trust that with inspection, a wise and energetic citizenry will cast aside superficial appearances.

Congressional Term Limits
Term limits, with respect to Congress, are more and more commonly a topic for discussion among supposedly thinking persons. Such a sentiment, again though well-intentioned, is folly born of experience and frustration at an unchanging force: I speak again of human nature.

When such a discussion comes up, the proponent invariably says: “Look at the Senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy. He is Senator for life! How can this be, that he returns to office every election, when his moral character is so poor and his ideas so remarkably socialistic in nature?”

Other supporters of term limits focus on the corruption of Congress – rather than that body's actual or perceived ignorance – as the effect of unlimited public service. This argument assigns guilt to the system for the sins of public servants. This most common theme of proponents of term limits is summarized thus: term-limited public servants will somehow create legislators who are more upright, moral, and not prone to corruption. They will be insulated from the influence of lobbyists and faithful to the concerns of their constituents.

A Comprehensive Response to Correct Inaccurate Thinking
We will endeavor to show that term-limits in every form are poor policy. Term-limits conflict with Liberty; they encourage apathy and laziness and are inconsistent with self-government; term-limits exist already today in their right and proper form, yet remain unused; and term-limits create an inappropriate balance of power in our federal republic. All of these reasons will be proven through a review of experience and an understanding of human nature, rendering term-limits incompatible with the tenets of Americanism and Federalism.

Footnotes: (1)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

For The Record

Dear Reader,

Further to Mr. Hamilton's point, and by his leave, allow me to address the concern that future articles posted to this blog may be received, by cynics and detractors, with a certain indignant attitude and an indictment of pessimism leveled against us in response....

You may have guessed, dear reader, that the contributors here are working on something behind the scenes; something that by its very nature is somewhat controversial. And you would be correct in that determination, which is the reason, of course, for Mr. Hamilton's preemptive defense of our positions against attacks that are likely, very likely, forthcoming. That's just the nature of the beast....the thin-skinned among us are easily offended, and generally speaking, people firmly attached to an idea aren't easily persuaded to change their opinions for any number of reasons not altogether virtuous, but not altogether lascivious either. I for one wouldn't have it any other way! Nor would my brothers, I suspect.

It would be pretty presumptive on our parts (something we all despise about human nature in general) to assign a particular reason - virtue or lasciviousness - to a particular view simply based solely or largely on the view itself, which amounts to speculation founded on the available evidence which is generally very incomplete, and often easily misread. People make this mistake all the time in their approach to government, science, education, whatever....we strive not to, and hold one-another accountable whenever necessary. We welcome the opportunity to defend against such unfounded notions as they come, in any case. But a preemptive strike against a foe when you know an attack is coming is indeed a wise and prudent measure....for the well as to avoid unnecessary and meaningless debate. Just remember, the loudness of their invectives is of no meaningful consequence other than to give yet another clue as to their motives, allowing them to place themselves squarely in their respective camps - cynics and detractors - as Mr. Hamilton wisely, and insightfully termed it.

Mr. Hamilton is absolutely correct when he states: "nothing could be further from the truth." Indeed, so far from the truth of the matter would be such an accusation, if and when it is received, that in reality it is the accuser indicting his own pessimistic attitude toward the American People, which such an individual simply can't help but make abundantly clear in his attacks....mark my words. As proof of the fact I offer, preemptively, one irrefutable piece of evidence which was at inception of this group and this blog, is now, and will continually be reinforced from this day forward....It is THE PEOPLE of the United States, the American People to whom this blog is; to whom our efforts are dedicated, and to none other. That is proof enough, from my perspective, that the contributing members here place a great deal of emphasis on the "genius and intelligence" of the American Public when the evidence, all the evidence, is laid before them in a reasonable, thoughtful manner. Beyond that you will find that we put very little, if any, faith in the ability of government, external government, to effect the ends we seek by means that often stand in opposition to, if not war directly against, historical American exceptionalism. Simply stated, it is "self-government," on an individual basis and level which we firmly believe is the only saving grace for a nation founded on liberty....the fate of this republic depends on that, and that alone, when you boil it all down. And if we thought you, the readership, couldn't grasp the concept, nor acknowledge, accept, and handle the responsibility that naturally comes with it, we wouldn't be writing to you as we speak. No; we'd likely be seeking a place of refuge from the wrath of the Author of Liberty, or preparing ourselves to receive the chains that such an approach would ultimately necessitate. And when you ask the question of yourself: "what do they stand to gain in addressing the citizens of America; in challenging their ideas and notions directly?" the answer is fairly obvious, isn't it?

In short, my friends, it is up to us - you and me - average Americans to effect the changes necessary to "renew this republic." I can't think of a single reason why we can't do it, and a host of reasons why we can, and will. As Dad used to say: "can't never could do nothin'." That, my friends, is pure optimism, and there's nothing unrealistic about it, unless your "realism," teaches you that "I can't" is the general attitude that founded and built this great nation, which is about as true as the notion that multiple worldviews share equally in the ideals which produced "American Exceptionalism." It may not be P.C. to state it otherwise, but we ain't here to be P.C. anymore than we're here to be party to the propagation of false notions.

~Daniel Webster

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Few Thoughts on the American People

From time to time, this space will address some of the more pressing, and likely controversial, issues facing the Republic. Of course, dear reader, it will also address some, well, not-so-pressing issues. Before going much further, I'd like to take a moment and say a few words about the character of America and Her people.

You can call it our national DNA. Or, our philosophical heritage. Call it whatever you want. What I call it is the discernment, and genius, of the American people. Throughout our history, brief as it may be among the storied civilizations that have passed from this world yet at every critical juncture, the American people have always chosen the wisest course. Too discerning to be fooled and too principled to do anything but what is right, Her people have always pondered, reflected, and paused; yet, when the time for action arrives, Her people are just as decisive, steadfast and resolute as any people, anywhere in the world, throughout history.

I pause for this reflection as future blog entries will begin to tackle some meaningful issues and topics essential to the renewal of this Republic. A detractor, or maybe just a cynic, will read these papers and wrongly conclude that we have a pessimistic view of Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a label must be applied, I consider myself a realist as I always try to see the world as it is, and not as I wish it to be.

In future posts, this space will address and refute some misconceptions and just plain wrong ideas commonly held among the population. I am sublimely confident that such misconceptions take hold in the minds of the citizenry for innocent enough reasons, and that once addressed, people of reason will cast aside their former misconceptions and embrace reality, however difficult adopting such a new - as well as right and proper - outlook may seem.

In short, I believe in the exceptionalism of America and Her people. It is for this reason that this blog exists: to remind us of what makes us great; to cast aside that which sullies our reputation; and to affirmatively do those things necessary for the renewal of this Republic.

Confidently, I speak for my brothers in this effort; yet they may have thoughts of their own to add to this. Assure that the blessings of Providence guide us, I remain,

A. Hamilton aka The Monarchist

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Madness in the Senate

I was just listening to Mike Reagan's show, and it sounds like our Senators are out of their minds. Or, well, perhaps, dear reader, this is just more proof of something you already knew.

So it seems that yesterday the Senate voted on legislation - that passed - that would provide social security to illegal aliens. Let me say that again: social security. For illegal aliens. Something like eight RINOs voted along with their ideological kin in the Democrat party to pass this... abominable... piece of legislation.

I'll probably have more to say on the matter, but it seems to me that the parties are more and more becoming indistinguishable from each other.

A. Hamilton aka The Monarchist

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our Buddy Cap

Has this ever happened to you? No sooner do you think you've got something figured out than you realize that 1) you don't, in fact, have it figured out and 2) it's not about you, or up to you to determine... well, anything.

Cryptic sounding I know, but our friend Cap is bowing out of the AFB, no sooner than I got the dang thing up and running. As I think you know, faithful reader, we've been collaborating now and again for a few months on how to save the Republic.

Cap (not his real name, obviously) is a sharp dude. He's introduced me to a lot of ideas that have challenged my way of thinking, and shared with me a couple of old French thinkers (Bastiat and Boetie, look 'em up, people) that, quite disconcertingly, has made me re-think my dislike of the French. Now, THAT is an accomplishment folks. If you detect a libertarian streak in me now and again, you can attribute that to the man.

We had our share of disagreements, laughs, and thoughtful debates. On more than one occasion I opened my mouth and said something stupid or just entered the ring half-witted and ended up looking the fool. Boy, do I regret those moments. Such things will happen to you if you're a flyweight stepping into the squared circle with a heavy. We also got to know a lot about each other, personally, and this is guy who is among the finest individuals I've had the pleasure of meeting.

Cap has this love of knowledge, history and particularly philosophy - stuff that makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Although he's not going to be a contributor here, you bet your sweet bippy (and where did I get that phrase from?) I'm going to be crossing my i's and dotting my t's... or something... so I don't post something one day and have it torn from aft to stern by a "visitor" to the blog. You hear me, Cap? I'm looking over my shoulder.

So heads up folks, Cap's flying solo. God bless ya, Cap. I hope you find what you're looking for, brother.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Terms Limits a Well-Intentioned Nonsense

An idea that gets a lot of play is that of term limits for elected officials.

I hear it on talk radio a lot. You can see it on just about any discussion group or message board. When people really start quantifying the number of things wrong with our government, invariably someone will volunteer that maybe the solution is term-limits.

If you're in agreement with this idea, then I've hit my target audience perfectly, and I'll only require a little of your time. Sit back, relax, and let me share my views on the subject. You see, I think people who reflexively offer term limits as the solution aren't thinking.

Once you get beyond the rosy warm feeling you get when you think about Ted Kennedy working in the private sector, things don't hold up to any sort of deep examination. Term limits got their start thanks to none other than the Republican party. Allow me to go back, way back in time.

After General Washington served, there was a long-standing practice, really a precedent, that no President served longer than two terms. The founders considered the topic, but concluded that the specter - one man becoming like a king - was too chimerical to be taken seriously, and too insulting to the wisdom and energy of the American people.

And so it went until FDR. Unable to beat him, the GOP instituted Presidential term limits, and so we have the phenomenon of modern Presidencies. Presidents who serve two terms always have more productive and successful first terms. Returned to office for their stellar service, their second term becomes a battle as Congress generally asserts itself and becomes some degree of impediment to the President's agenda. Our current President has been impeded by Democrat enemies, the press, and leaky sources in his own administration, although this is not unique relative to other Presidents. Reagan had Iran-Contra in his second term, and low approval ratings. Clinton was impeached, although this was his own doing; I'm not sure that more needs to be said of Clinton. This creates an impression - a wrong one, I might add - that second terms are "lame duck" because that's just the way it is.

The dynamic between the Executive and the Legislative is the reason, not because second terms are inherently hamstrung. The unintended consequence of term limits is that the right and proper balance of power shifts - imperceptibly - creating this phenomenon. An energetic and active Executive is necessary for things as serious as the defense of the nation and as mundane as the proper functioning of the federal government.

Beyond the practical problem of term limits, there's a fundamental philosophical issue with it, namely: an infringement on the people's Liberty. Suppose there is a long and protracted war, much like the one we face against Islamic terror. Suppose again that the incumbent President was prosecuting this war with great success, such that our country didn't fear being attacked as much as right after the beginning of the conflict. Because of the term limit, that President will be asked to leave after his second term, thankyouverymuch, and on-the-job training begins for the new President. The People's right to elect whom they wish has been infringed.

Since Congress won't vote themselves term limits, there's an improper balance between the branches. Furthermore, experience has shown that congressional term limits are a bad idea too. I'll look into it further, but my recollection is that Nebraska has these in its Constitution (see:, and faces the unique challenge of a majority of freshmen legislators, given its unicameral legislature.

True to my pen-name, I think that Presidential term limits should be abolished; this should be a part of any good and proper Federalist platform. So as not to appear to be a Bush apologist, I'd even suggest waiting until after he leaves office, or excluding him from eligibility.

I'll close with a suggestion to anyone who still thinks term limits would be a good idea: term limits exist today. It's called voting for someone else. Senator Kennedy, after all, hasn't suspended elections and named himself "Senator for Life." That the people of Massachusetts keep electing him is their choice, or fault, depending on how you look at it.

Your obedient and faithful servant,
A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cap's Post and Happy Mother's Day

Cap's post and Webster's comment has me thinking, too, about the relationship between rights and responsibilities. The right to vote carries with it a responsibility that people aren't discharging with some degree of propriety. I think you fellows are on to something there.

Also I'd like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother's Day. I really think one of the things that makes America such a great nation is the virtue of her women. Now, another topic for discussion is how this relates to society today, but I'm not going there now! May God bless our wives and mothers, one and all.

A. Hamilton


A Happy Mother's Day, indeed! Thank you Mr. Hamilton, ummm, for reminding me. ;) Nah, someone once said: 'behind every great man is a great woman,' or something to that effect. And I firmly believe that with all my heart and soul. Funny thing though, in my case the good Lord has put several great women in my path during my journey in this thing called life....not the least of which is my precious wife - the better three-quarters of this marriage. And I've yet to attain my greatness. What's up with that?

Indeed you are correct, sir. The virtue of her women is vitally important to the continued success and greatness of this nation. Is it any wonder that "Justice" blindfolded is indeed represented as a fair maiden? Can you imagine Justice represented as a herculean male figure (or Patricia Ireland, for that matter) exacting his determinations by....what would be the impression? And you referred to this country as "her." Interesting....and as much an accident as the delicate and beautiful female depiction of Justice, I'd be willing to bet.

God Bless all you ladies; all you Mothers, sincerely, and with deep appreciation!


Friday, May 12, 2006

Patience and Revolution

The Great Revolution did not begin at Concord or Lexington, or even in Boston, ten years before the shot heard round the world was fired. The Revolution had been taking place in the hearts and minds of men a generation before the Declaration. When John Adams was still a lad playing what is now known as baseball, Benjamin Franklin and his fellow Englishmen in America had grown weary of the usurpations of the British throne and of Parliament, and the cry of "Don't Tread on Me" began to take hold.

Over those intervening decades there were of course those throughout the colonies who bore a visceral hatred of the tyrant across the sea. But they remained patient, petitioning the authorities for redress of their various and sundry grievances. They even wore the red coat in defense of His Majesty's colonies against a clearer and more present danger in the French and their Indian allies. Indeed, they were proud to call themselves Englishmen to the very day of seperation. It was in that spirit that they continued to try to live at peace as best as they could with their brothers. As Englishmen in America, they had hoped that Englishmen on the home island would share the same love of liberty and life of conscience to which they were accustomed. It was not to be, obviously, and a seperation was eventually consummated on an unseasonably cool day in the summer of 1776.

This consummation we know as the Declaration of Independence. In it is listed a series of grievances that would shock and amaze a history student from today's public schools (I should know, I myself am a recovering public school student). Seperation was made, but not before repeated and repeated and repeated treadings of the avenues of obsecration, advocation, and entreaty had been made, both locally and to the throne itself.

When you suffer an offence or you witness or learn of an offense suffered to a degree that you cannot but stand up and say or do something about it, you will very likely begin by feeling like a very small fish in an ocean of apathy. In a sea of Americans who think that they are mind-bogglingly free, I find myself in a school of ... four. I know how frustrating it can be to sound an alarm and in my frustration knee-jerk to a Founding-Fathers-Revolutionary-War-is-the-only-way-attitude. As more and more of like-minded individuals begin speaking out, more and more of these kind of voices are heard, and a word of caution becomes due.

Before a call to arms can be made, a call to reason must first take place. Indeed, you can say that it has been taking place, but not all avenues of petition have yet been exhausted. It is but unwise and dangerous to foment too early, as the unfortunate revolutionaries in Iraq during the 1990's most painfully found out. Instead, as reflected in the patience of "my cousin" John Adams, we must wait for Providence. Indeed, He is already moving!


Step aside, gentlemen, let's talk about ME

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to talk about, well, me.

First off you should know that I ain't gonna wax all eloquent on ya much simply because I've done it before and I found it a wanting style not really suited for this day and age. Not that I don't have an appreciation for that style, I do!....ain't nothin' runs a chill up my spine no quicker than to read the immortal words of our founding fathers, except of course the crack of the pads on an autumn Friday night in rural Oklahoma as I witness the tailback from my favorite H.S. team plow over the opposition's middle-linebacker to begin a sixty yard gallop to the endzone. Smash-Mouth-Football - now that's what I'm talkin' about!!!

Okay, settle down, Webster!

Oh yes, as I was can call me Daniel Webster, Webster, Daniel, Dan, Danny-boy, or whatever, I don't really give a hoot. But my name, for our purposes here, is Daniel Webster, got it?.....OK. I bear only slight resemblances to the portrait I have posted on my profile (Thank you Mr. Adams!), so to look upon it will simply give you a pretty poor impression of what it is I really look like if that's what you want to know - just the way I wants it. And hey, there just ain't much left to the imagination when someone posts a real picture of himself, now is there? So you see, you might apply the same principles here as you would with reading a book vs. watching the movie version, if you're catching my drift.

So, what have I disclosed about myself thus far? Let's review.

My name is Daniel Webster, I hail from Oklahoma and I like to incorporate a little okie slang into my writings. I'm also prone to make use of the double-negative, and such as that from time to time - don't be offended by it, it's just who I am. I bear only slight resemblances to the real Daniel Webster whose portrait I have posted on my profile page. I love a little smash-mouth-football. I prefer to keep my identity undisclosed for purposes Mr. Hamilton has already discussed, and, well....that's about as far as we've gotten, isn't it.

What else, what else?

Oh, I share with my brothers, and they are my brothers,! a deep love for this country, its people, its institutions, and an unquenchable desire to see it return to the days of Liberty through self-government. My view can be summed up this way ~ there can be no lasting liberty where self-government in its fullest extent is non-existent, or virtually non-existent. In other words I theorize that the amount of liberty a nation enjoys is directly proportional, as with individuals, to the extent that nation's people are self-governed. My own personal perspective on liberty is one that stands in stark contrast to that which we commonly hear today. Self-government is a huge part of it! Indeed, it is the sum and substance of it.... that is "governing" oneself, one's own affairs, one's own negotiations, one's passions, emotions, monetary transactions, family matters, providing for the welfare of one's own children, their educations, food, clothing, shelter, and so on and so forth. That, in short, is what "self-government" means to me; that, in short, is the kind of liberty our forefathers founded this country on. The long of it, I suppose we'll get around to by the by.

A few words about my brothers:

First, I want to thank Mr. Hamilton for exercising a little leadership, and starting up this blog. You will note right away that Mr. Hamilton is a natural-born-leader (that which I admire most about him), and anyone who possesses such leadership qualities and the frame of mind, moral qualities, skill for communicating thoughts, etc., of our Mr. Hamilton, should never leave his talents and giftings laying up in a napkin. What can I say about Mr. Adams except that he is absolutely right, you don't want to get him started! But I tell ya what, I love to get him started if I can. This man possesses a mastery of the language, writing skills, and a wit t'boot, that is just uncanny. As for Cap, he too has a style of writing and a manner of expression which is unique and quite impressive. And if you really want to test 'im, which you don't, just make the mistake of feigning an understanding of logic. My advice would be not to test him, but I know how y'all are so I'll just sit back and snicker whenever the first fool comes along and fails to heed my advice. Elsewise alls I can say is God Bless these fine gentlemen! I have a deep respect, which only continues to grow by the day, for each and every one of 'em. I guarantee you, my friends, they shall not let ya down....they are "all they're cracked up to be."

In closing let me say that I'm excited and honored to be a contributor to this blog. My brothers have set the bar pretty bloomin' high, and I hope I can rise to their level in posting my future contributions. I have any number of things I'd like to discuss and share my ideas on, and I'll do my very best, I promise.

See y'all soon,

~Daniel Webster

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Spies Like Us

So I took yesterday off, what, I'm not entitled? As Will Ferrell said to Garth Brooks "Oh give me a break, this is freaking hard!" Those of you who know what I'm talking about surely enjoyed that.

I'm a conflicted Monarchist today, faithful reader, because I've been thinking about spying. No, not on you! I've been thinking about the terrorist-surveillance program the NSA has, and today's USA Today story on the NSA's reportedly massive database on US telephone calls (see:

Now, my unease admittedly was lessened after reading more than just the tidbits that the MSM wants you to read (motto: "We're not biased, you are!"). It appears that the NSA (motto: "If you've got nothing to hide, then why so defensive?") has assembled the world's largest database - in the tens of millions - consisting of calls within the United States, with the assistance of SBC, AT&T, and any other "bell" you can think of, with the exception of Qwest, which is based in Colorado.

Now, they aren't tracking names, or the content of calls, but it appears to be... phone call patterns. Which struck me as a little odd, until I thought about traffic patterns. Now, I'd need to find a DOT expert to check me on this, but I'd guess that the folks who monitor traffic have a pretty good idea of when and where things get dicey, any given time, any day of the week. Heck, as a driver in the greater Chicagoland area, I could tell you when not to drive on what major thoroughfare.

This is all just my musings, but I'd guess telephone "traffic" is the same. Pretty consistent patterns probably exist... except when there's a semi-meets-Yugo incident on the Eisenhower heading into the city during morning rush hour. We're all familiar with the term "chatter" and how this has taken on another specific meaning in the post-September 11th world. Sort of makes sense, logically then, to watch, well, chatter patterns (I really need a copyright lawyer on staff). The White House assures us that all such activity is strictly within the law, and frankly, I believe them.


There's a little nagging problem I have with it. Part of it is that libertarian streak in me - not big, but there nonetheless - that says the government has no right monitoring calls. The problem becomes more clear when one considers that the folks in the White House today aren't going to be there forever. A whole new group might be in there come 2008, and (shudders) they may be Democrats.

We could do a brief history of the most recent Democrat Presidents, but, well, it's raining out today and that might push us all from the category of "gloom" to "incurably depressed" and I'm doing my best to keep it light, people. That said, the last guy had no problem with breaking the law, repeatedly. The guy before him was ineffectual and believed, like most of the left did, that we would just have to get used to the Soviet Union being a major world power. We all know how that worked out.

There's something about the NSA programs that have a hint of "escaped genie" feel to them. We can only pray that we don't reap the grave unintended consequences that could come from such power in the wrong hands.

A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist

Please allow me to introduce myself...

My name is Capitalist Pig, and that's exactly what I am. I am a believer in free trade, free markets, free association, free thought. When people are left alone and allowed to peacefully interact with each other, good things happen: Wealth is created, wars averted, families brought together, and productivity increased. Unfortunately, our government has other ideas. Rather than discussing the creation of wealth, they try to redistribute it, as though poverty can be cured by simply giving people money. The idea that productivity is involved in the aquisition of wealth is foriegn to our beloved leaders. You people need to understand something: Wealth is good. It brings with it options that are otherwise denied. Money is a tool, and the more tools you have the better off you are. A carpenter with only a hammer and a saw ain't much of a carpenter. It's easy to understand why our government is a little sqeamish when it comes to wealth creation; the more of it we have, the less we need them. Take a look around. Where do you see the most social unrest? You don't see a lot of rioting, looting, and burning on 5th Avenue, or Hyannisport, or Brentwood. Those people are too busy getting rich and figuring out how to keep their pile. When people are concentrating on making money, they very seldom have time to visit violence on their fellow men. That's a lesson, by the way. You people think on it and I'll get back to you.

THE MONARCHIST ADDS: Welcome aboard, Cap. Funny thing about human nature is that people with a lot to lose tend to behave in a manner best described as measured, and in their interest. People with nothing to lose act a little differently. No wonder the terrorists will do anything to impede Liberty; their existence is meaningless if people are free.

DANIEL WEBSTER ADDS: Thank you, Cap, for an enlightening and thought provoking post. Your statement: "a carpenter with only a hammer and saw is a poor carpenter," got me to thinking, and I ain't ashamed to admit that sometimes I need a shove in the right direction. If we apply the same principle to popular government we might say: "a voter possessing only the elective franchise and the choice of a couple poorly qualified candidates, ain't much of a voter." The lesson then, when applied to popular government, and correct me if I'm off base here, is that which we possess, really possess and own, determines to a great degree how effective we will be at our respective occupations. As owners of the elective franchise, by birth and natural right, it becomes us as good citizens to acquire ownership, real ownership through labor and industry, of a knowledge and understanding of human nature, history, the principles of government our forefathers founded this nation and her governing laws, institutions, and constitutions upon. Am I getting warm?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Say Hello to My Little Friend(s)

The excitement is reaching a new level on the AFB (that's this blog in case you didn't know). Sam and I are about to welcome our brothers-in-arms.

By sheer force of will alone, I will resist the urge to introduce them now. Instead, faithful reader, I'll let them introduce themselves in their own way.

I'll probably have a full post tomorrow, but my... commercial interests occupied my time today to such an extent that I didn't prepare anything for this evening.

And I have such a good topic in mind! Perhaps the guys will want to help me tackle it when they're up and running? I've been thinking about the importance of the Declaration of Independence as our preeminent founding document. More to follow, more to follow!

Until then, I remain your obedient and humble servant,

A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist

Monday, May 08, 2006


What first must be acknowledged is that the form of government we have is indeed a republic. That it is not as pure a republic as when it was created is true, problematic, and a point for further discussion. However, I stress again that our nation is not a democracy, thank the Lord! Ancient Athens was a democracy, and the experience of democracies throughout history has been the inevitable rule by the mob. As a point of differentiation, in our Republic, we elect leaders who run on platforms that we agree with. In Athens, citizens voted on whether or not to build ships, invade Sicily, and so forth.

We are, then, properly defined, a federal representative republic. Here I will address the latent objection that we're no longer purely a republic, and have indeed adopted characteristics both of a democracy and of socialism. That we have adopted democratic tendencies (such as the direct election of Senators and our seemingly national obsession with opinion polls) is obvious. That we have also adopted socialistic tendencies is true (witness government control and interference in education, health care, and retirement savings, off the top of my head as examples); that this is a function of the type of citizens we have is the irrefutable cause, unfortunately.

Our system was built for a self-governing people, and somehow, we've become less and less self-governing over time. Theories abound, but the nature of government is to expand and consolidate power. If the people, and the States as well, are willing to turn over those things that are properly their domain, the federal government will be more than happy to assume responsibility for these things. Is the genie out of the proverbial bottle? Perhaps. However, there is a solution: a return to American Federalism.

Ever heard of the analogy of cooking a frog? If you boil the water and throw the frog into the pot, he'll jump right out, and you'll have a mess on your hands. But put that frog into a cool pot of water, and slowly heat it up, and before you know it, your frog has been cooked.

Change is like that. Make it too sudden, too abrupt, and it'll never take. But slowly, gradually, ease people into the concepts that we've somehow forgotten, and watch what happens.

Want an example? Take the Department of Education (please). If this bureaucratic nightmare was eliminated, and the states given the authority, formerly vested at the federal level, to educate their residents in the manner that they best saw fit, that's not a drastic change. It's merely a shifting of responsibility. Locally, nothing would really change, except where taxes were before federal, they would now be local, and where the educational dollars are spent would also have no federal control to it.

Taken a step further, states could decide if the Capitol best knew how to allocate resources for their residents, or would the counties be better equipped? As with many areas I generally refer to as domestic, the more local control gets, the less money gets spent on staffing large departments, and the more it ends up used by the beneficiary, in this case, the student.

Taken another step further, imagine states competing for human capital - taxpayers like you and me - by offering the most competitive products and services at the lowest cost (taxes) possible. Do you think that companies would want to relocate to a state that is run like a business or more like modern-day France?

Here's my theory on self-government, and as it is mine, forgive me if I think it to be quite good. There are some self-governing people out there today. A lot of them are small business owners, for example. Anyone who homeschools their kids is without a doubt self-governing. To these folks, an American Federalist approach to government is going to be met with a "where do I sign up?" attitude.

There's some other folks - most numerous of all the groups - who will have the aptitude and ability to be self-governing, but might need a little help seeing that. These folks might initially bristle at the idea that someone is re-arranging things like where educational dollars come from, but they're reasonable enough and when they see the beauty of the system as it was meant to be, they'll get on board.

A smaller group - and for argument's sake, let's call them liberals, shall we? - will resist this with their dying breath. Why? Because to a real liberal, a true leftist, the State is everything (except, with the exception of issues of morality; rightly defined as secularism). Assuming that people can take care of themselves and each other better than the government is just dangerous thinking to leftists.

And the last group are the folks who just have lost all instinct of self-preservation. This is the kind of person who wouldn't evacuate the hurricane path or heed tornado warnings because they wouldn't want to miss their government check when it arrives.

So, where am I going with this? Simply: self-government is a necessary component to the continued existence of a republic. If we lose that instinct, the form must change. If the form changes, Liberty herself is in danger. And lastly, through education and deliberate mechanisms, we can foster and develop the instinct of self-government in just about everyone. For those we can't, they can rely on the love and care of their fellow man, just as people have since the beginning of time.

A republic we are and a republic we must always remain; the fate of millions yet unborn, the Liberty of humankind, depends on it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Porter Goss

As everyone knows, Porter Goss resigned rather unexpectedly from the CIA on Friday afternoon. Given that this is the CIA we're talking about, we'll probably never know the circumstances surrounding this. The cynic in me - or is it the realist? - wonders if Goss concluded that things were too messed up to begin any sort of real reformation at the Agency.

If that's the case, I'm concerned about what that means for reform in any governmental body (like I need another reason). Of course, it could simply be that he was part of the re-shuffling that has been going on in Washington... which is a whole other topic entirely.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Back to the Past

So, there's a ton of background that hasn't been covered that probably should be, if for no other reason, faithful reader, than you might be wondering how this all transpired.

As I alluded to in a prior post, there was an awakening that happened in the wake of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision (see my post entitled "In the Beginning..."). For a few months, a small handful of like-minded conservatives had been discussing the world's problems and how we'd solve them. By the grace of God, I am convinced, this small group of us met, who shared common interests and a mutual desire to effect change in whatever way we could.

So, like any new relationship, we got to know each other. Sam, who is posting here now, was the first person to respond to my call for action. Briefly, about the pen-names... none of us are disguising ourselves for any reason except to - for now - avoid drawing attention to ourselves or the ones we love. The internet can be a tricky thing. For all the good that it enables, there's also plenty of bad (that should win me some sort of award... "Master of the Obvious" perhaps?). A friend of mine recently sent me a posting of something I wrote maybe a year ago on a message board, back when I was posting under my given name. Just for kicks, he searched by my name and there was the link. Now there's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, except... well, you never know who might be looking for you, or who might have less than pure motives for tracking you down, based on something as innocuous as stating your opinion on an issue.

Make sense? Good. OK, where was I? Oh, yeah, Sam was the first to answer the call. My good friend in Oklahoma was next (who hasn't been introduced to the blog yet, but be patient!), and a little later, our fellow conservative from Kentucky. Over a period of a few months, we wrote each other regularly, often generating ideas, often debating, often just learning more about each other and our families. I'm proud to call these guys brothers; they represent everything that I still think is great about this Republic.

We've come to a point, however, in our mutual growth, where we're entering a new phase. We all agree that education is one half of the equation, one half of the effort required to renew this Republic. That education is going to involve adults and children; adults, because somewhere along the way, people stopped being taught about the principles of self-government, the very foundation upon which a republic must stand, and without which a republic such as ours will surely fall, and children, because they are the future citizens of this Republic, and if we don't educate our children properly, any gains we make in renewing this Republic will simply be undone in a generation or two.

And sadly, I'm also of the opinion (and I won't speak for my brothers here, although I rightly could) that conservatives need a different vehicle for accomplishing their goals. The GOP seems to have lost whatever special quality it had in the brief but brilliant Reagan years, and has become merely a shade to the right of the Democrat Party. Who in turn is just a shade to the right of socialism.

So, as this blog discusses American Federalism, know that one of the things we must be prepared to do is make a break; to start anew under our own conservative banner of American Federalism - the other half of the equation I mentioned above. Such a prospect is daunting, but we take heart that there is a rich tradition of highly successful third parties in American politics.

In case you weren't aware, or thought that was a joke, the GOP is the most successful third party in our history, and provides a great model for conservative thinkers who want more out of their party.

I'm eager to keep the conversation going, but before we get too far ahead, I want to pause and get my brothers on the blog. Until then, I remain your obedient and faithful servant,

A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Lesson From the World of Business

I'm a shareholder in General Motors, and have been for a few years (before you go feeling sorry for me, I'm also a shareholder of ExxonMobil - yep, Big Oil, baby). GM makes great products, and other than the point of this posting, I'm not going to delve into any aspects of GM except to say: GM's second biggest problem is one of perception, and although this will take time, they should eventually shed their image of less-than-Japanese quality.

GM's biggest problem, however, is cost. All of this is publicly available information (my source for the data that follows is the 2005 Annual Report), so I'd encourage people to check it out if I'm just passing over it and you want more details.

In 1962, GM employed 605,000 people worldwide, 464,000 in the US, where 4.2 million vehicles were sold. In 2005, GM employed 335,000 people worldwide, 141,000 in the US, where 4.5 million cars and trucks were sold. Get the dynamic there? More production, fewer people and way less particularly in the United States.

Here comes the interesting part. In 2005, for every active GM employee in the US, GM supported 3.2 retirees and surviving spouses. In 1962, it was reversed: GM had 11.5 active employees for every retiree or surviving spouse in the pension plan. GM's total health care bill in 2005, including every US employee, dependent, retiree and surviving spouse, totaled $5.3 billion. With a B. GM is the only company in the world with that kind of obligation, and competes against world-wide competitors whose governments cover most of these costs.

Sound like an entitlement program you know of? I'm left to wonder: what's going to happen to the US when that bill comes due for Social Security or Medicare? GM is a corporation and is making its turnaround, but last year they lost $10.567 billion.

There are lots of ideas out there for correcting the impending problems of those two entitlement programs. However, it is going to be up to you and me - We the People - to force the issue. Our elected officials lack the spine necessary to address the problem voluntarily. Only when we demand it - hey, maybe we should have a rally? - will they begin to listen.

Until then, I remain your obediant and faithful servant,
A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist

P.S. Hoping to soon have a couple more contributors... there will be four horsemen (is that a bad sign?) eventually.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Immigration Rally Aftermath

First of all, folks, what can you say about Sam Adams? The guy's an American original. I respect him and love him a lot, and couldn't be happier that he's on board. Cheers, brother. Now, down to business.

So yesterday was the big day, and it seems like a lot of people turned out, nationwide, to support... what were they supporting again? Lawlessness?

Look, I completely get why people want to come to the United States. This is the greatest country in the world, and hands down the best there's ever been, by any measure. Yes, any measure.

But here's the rub. Citizenship is not a human right. It's not even a civil right. It's a privilege, something to be earned. And certainly by no means is breaking a law, and then demanding that being here and working somehow makes up for that, anything resembling logic. Let me repeat: being here and working doesn't absolve you of the fact that you broke the law. That's like... cheating to get into Harvard and then demanding they let you stay because you've been dutifully attending class. Unless of course our black-robed masters divined some hidden right in the Constitution to attend Harvard and I haven't received the memo...?

Furthermore, there's a question of fairness. I know a guy whose wife came here from China. She immigrated legally, and it took a long time, two years in fact. But that's what you do if you want to be a citizen! I strenuously disagree with any amnesty program that doesn't place the illegal immigrants in the back of the proverbial line to citizenship.

Two favorites from the rallies:

First was the "undocumented" woman quoted who brought her daughters to the rally to "show them that I'm not a criminal." Except, of course, for the inconvenient fact that YOU ARE HERE ILLEGALLY. Can IQ tests be part of whatever program we decide on? Please?

Second was the supporter/protester, whatever you want to call him, who was holding a sign that said something to the effect of "No Immigrants -> No Burritos (think about it)." Again, the IQ test would really, really be beneficial. Briefly, most people are opposed to illegal immigration, not all immigration. Once more, the key word there, italicized for the reader's benefit, is illegal. You know, as in, against the law. Secondly, what, we're all going to forget how to make burritos all of a sudden? Please. I like burritos as much as the next guy - probably more, in fact - and if there were any basis to this I'd be the first person shouting "Amnesty!"

That, folks, was sarcasm. But, overall, I was pleased that this is the face of illegal immigration. Should make it real easy for reason to win the day, and for the pols to do the right thing.

And a fine "Mahoc" to you all!

Having just now finished a reading of all of the previous posts, I find my present attempt certain to fall short of the high bar which by my friend the good Mr. Hamilton has set for me. Nevertheless, as I am wont to do, I follow the advice of one Master Yoda and do.

Thank you, benevolent Monarchist, sir, for that kind welcome. This day comes to me with great thanksgiving to its Giver and unspeakable joy as I join him in taking this step unmatched even by Col. Armstrong himself a quarter of a billion miles away and thirty-seven years ago. A close friend of mine celebrates his birthday, and now--only by the Grace of Providence, blessed be The Name!--on the same day, no less--I have found it His Pleasure to begin this chapter of our cause, Mr. Hamilton. I am almost brought to a cessation of words, thus are my emotions at this time. However, as The Monarchist can probably tell you himself, it can be quite a task to silence this writer (how much more so to get him to speak up!).

In other words, don't get me started!

A brief self-introduction is in order, I suppose. You may call me Samuel Adams. This is my first post here, so I am not sure how this name will appear, what with numbers or what have you. I hail from parts unknown to a similarly-nomenclatured brewer and Patriot of old, yet I find I share much of his love for his country, if not a modicum of his willingness to lay it all down for The Cause. Yes, you will hear me refer to that thing often. What that thing is, others will much more eloquently and prolifically expound. At this time, simply know that it is American Federalism, simply the most glorious "political" manifestation of Natural Rights humanity has managed to produce. Please do not expect me to post quite as voluminously as my colleagues, for I tend to speak only when I find the inspiration and EXACTLY the right words. All in due course, my countrymen, all in due course. If you aren't used to it, then you will have to pardon me in advance, for I am wont to wax all 18th-Century on you, with accidental 19th-Century etymologies for added flavor. Perhaps this is due to an overcompensation for my earlier ... public education. I guess Providence is in the lemonaide business.

At any rate, I find I have come to an end in my thoughts at this present time. Again, my profuse thanks to you, Mr. Hamilton for paving this way for us on our journey. May He Who guides our steps richly bless those who help to light the way.


P.S. An additional note, in case you all are wondering, the title of this post is indeed a Simpson's reference. I leave it to you or my brothers in spirit to discern specifically what it may be. I assure you, the search will be worth your while!

A Warm Welcome

Folks, you don't know how good this is about to get.

Very soon, one Mr. Samuel Adams will be joining me here on the blog. I'll let Sam introduce himself when he begins posting, and we can share with you how we met. Hopefully, some other Patriots will join us soon thereafter.

A happy day on the American Federalist Blog!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Natural Law

I made a passing reference to Natural Law the other day, and I wanted to come back to this for a discussion. Natural Law states that certain things are as they are, simply because that is how they are. In English and American tradition, Natural Law expresses that rights are inherent, and come from the Creator. This isn't a subject open for debate. Our Founders, who declared independence, created our Constitution, and formed this system of government, all drew on Natural Law philosophers in the early years of this Republic.

Aware of it or not, most Americans ascribe to the philosophy of Natural Law, and to prove it, here's a test. Q: Do most people think slavery is good or bad? Now, there are probably a few despotic regimes that would accept human slavery, but most of the human race acknowledges the evil of such an institution. But why? Most people would just say that it is wrong. But, again, why?

Natural Law supposes that people have a right to their person; and that this right comes from God. This right existed before there were governments, and that right expressed in a distinctly American way is found in our premier founding document, the Declaration of Independence.

Furthermore, if a person has a right to their person - and this right cannot be usurped - a person also has a right to the products of their person; in other words, the fruits of their labor. The fruits of one's labor are rightly called property, and this, too, cannot be taken from someone justly (property may be given, and this is called charity).

Life, liberty, property. These three things are sacrosanct. In our American tradition, we hold these truths to be self-evident - to require no explanation - that all men... well, let's just go to the text, shall we?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

This is the beginning of understanding what we call American Federalism. That the government we have today bears less and less resemblance to the government we had is a result of a jaded and cynical citizenry, who have been mis-instructed in the principles of republican government and falsely convinced that the stewards they have elected are acting in the interest of the people within the bounds of the Constitution.

I am sublimely confident that as the national discussion becomes one of such things - Americanism, Federalism, Natural Law, the rights of man, and the proper role of self-government - we will witness a return to the principles upon which this Republic was founded.

Update: I'm also looking forward to inviting my fellow contributors to the blog, hopefully soon. I can't wait for them to begin their contributions to this space.

I remain, your obedient and faithful servant,
A. Hamilton, aka The Monarchist