Monday, June 26, 2006

Bill Keller and Glen Reynolds

Instapundit gave an almost sound critique of the ridiculous defense offered by Bill Keller. Keller defends the "get" at the New York Times which detailed a government program that tracks finances of possible terrorists. Bush has hammered the paper, with good reason. However, I'm going to focus on a the word "gave" used by both Glen Reynolds (Instapundit.com) and Bill Keller himself.

Keller says in his defense

The power [of the press] that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly.

Reynolds retorts

The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn't give freedom to the press.

Now, I agree with what Reynolds is arguing. However, the problem is that the Founding Father's did not give Americans anything other than the law. The law, of course, is "the laws of nature and of nature's God" and the Constitution. They did not give, or grant freedoms to anyone. Alexander Hamilton argued as such in Federalist 84:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

The freedom to print is a natural right, not given by any government and only given up by consent of the governed. Those are the principles America were built on, and until we consciously deny such principles, they are what we must live up to.

Otherwise, big fan of Instapundit. Good stuff can be found there.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Youz Want Dat Whiz Wit?



Last week a story hit the local Philadelphia news and quickly went national. Owner Joe Vento of Geno's Steaks in South Philly put a sign up at the order window saying, "This is America. When ordering speak English."

Now if you're not from Philly you're probably asking yourself, "So what?" If some street food vendor wants to put a sign up making himself look like a bigot, what's the big deal? The big deal is that Geno's is a Philadelphia icon. Every tourist that comes to Philly has four things on their to do list.
  1. See Independence Hall
  2. See Liberty Bell
  3. Run up the steps of the Art Museum, raise you hands in the air like Rocky and yell, 'Yo Adrianne!'
  4. Get a real Philly cheesesteak from Geno's Steaks

On a side note it's ironic Geno's would be requiring customers to speak English considering nobody in South Philly speaks the language well. Ordering a cheesesteak at Geno's goes something like this:

"Can I get a cheesesteak please?"

"Whiz?"

"No"

"Youz want dat wit?"

"Yes."

To explain, you just ordered a cheesesteak with provolone (not cheez whiz) and fried onions (just 'wit' for short).

When the story ran on the local news, local talk radio picked it up and everyone quickly chose sides. Many people support Joe's decision to put up the sign and say it's about time someone said something. Not surprisingly, the Libs and illegal immigrant crowd came down against Geno. Many people who sympathize with the illegal immigrants are rational about the situation. The Day Without an Immigrant Coalition is simply saying they will take their business across the street to Pat's, Geno's rival. This is the correct attitude to have. If you don't like Joe's way of doing business, don't do business at Geno's. But other groups are going too far in their outrage.

Juntos, a local Hispanic neighborhood organization began setting up a protest by sending people to Geno's to order in Spanish. They may pursue court action if refused service. They equate this sign to the days of segregation when blacks couldn't sit at the counter and had to ride the back of the bus. This is taking things a bit too far.

But the thing that really bothers me is now the city is thinking of getting involved. City Councilman Jim Kenney has asked Geno's to take the sign down. He says Geno's is "an iconic institution and business, one that is that visible for many of our residents, for the region and the world." The problem is Geno's doesn't belong to the city. It belongs to Joe Vento.

I support Joe's right to hang the sign. It's his establishment. He's trying to make a point and our Constitution gives him the right to speak his mind. I also support anyone's right to call Joe a bigot and refuse to do business at Geno's. That includes the city if they choose to no longer promote Geno's as a Philadelphia tourist attraction as they have been doing for decades. That is their right and that's what free markets are all about. But if the city tries to do anything to put Joe out of business, like pulling permits or trying to inspect him out of business, I'll be extremely upset and disappointed.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Sacred Honor"

Cannot say I am all that surprised, but Michael Moore is getting sued:

A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

We are a sue happy society, so this isn't all that shocking that someone would (finally) go after Moore and his vile smear. However, this is what I was particular interested in:

Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court last week. [Emphasis mine]

At the end of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson refers to the "sacred Honor" that is being pledged by the signers of the document (and by extension, all those involved in the Revolution). To men, and I'd assume a brave person like Sgt. Damon is a real man, personal honor and pride is important. Are we so feminized in American society to believe that people like Lincoln, Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Jackson, and even Bush and Kerry are not in part driven by their honor as men? I'd be willing to assume a brave soldier like Sgt. Damon is truly ashamed of the way Moore (as he does to many) exploited his remarks.

I'm not typically big on lawsuits, but this is one I'd like to see work. People like Moore cannot continue to insult people without any regard for the accuracy of his work. For more on this and Michael Moore in general, check out (the biased) Moorewatch.com.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sacrifice of the Soldier

As the Twin Towers fell on September 11th, 2001, the event united Americans in ways never before seen by the non-World War II generations. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 also shattered the natural divisions within the United States. In the aftermath of both conflicts, all that mattered was that Americans, not simply human beings, were killed. Patriotism, the flame that ignites a political community, is seen time and time again during national crisis and tragedy. But what is mandatory to a political community is trust, which allows the motto e pluribus unum to have meaning. Trust must be the foundation of any society that wishes to form a government based on consent of the ruled. Peaceful transition of power, which is the cornerstone of Western representative democracies, is completely dependent on the trust the minority has in the majority of the same community.


In the book A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War, Harry V. Jaffa details how it is possible to have an American political community. The Founding Fathers understood that within a free society, the risk of an overbearing majority will always be apparent. But trust, which politically means that the ruled believe the ruling will adhere to the laws that protect all including those absent from power, always falls at the feet of the minority who must choose to accept their own political weakness. Therefore, the standard cannot simply be sentiment or sympathy. It must be rooted in the ideas perfectly expressed by Thomas Jefferson as “the laws of nature and nature’s God”. From the natural right doctrine, the American political community is cemented in the idea of equal rights in the law, i.e., the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln understood this best as he attempted to appeal to the South’s mind after his ascension to the presidency. In this instance, he would fail practically but theoretically succeed. Relying on both the Founders and Abraham Lincoln, it can be affirmed that the social compact, understood through natural law and imperfectly realized in the Constitution, underlies all that allows for an American political community.


Trust, without a doubt, is the prerequisite for any political community to take form. The American political community is based upon the principle of popular government, which resonates from the ground up through universal voting rights. However, during the American Revolution, it was a difficult proposition to explain and implement. It was incumbent on the Founding Fathers and the American people to first create a semblance of trust within the nation. Practically, Tories, which were Colonists loyal to the British Crown, were victims of “mob violence” and driven from the colonies. But this merely eliminates declared enemies of the Revolution. The question of trust is still left unanswered. Therefore, it is necessary to draw from “the laws of nature and nature’s God.”


Thomas Jefferson wrote the Summary View of the Rights of British America where he explains the natural right doctrine as it applies to those in America. Unlike the views expressed by some such as Russell Kirk, Jefferson’s argument against the British government’s abuses of the Colonies is not pointing to “the rights of Englishmen.” Jefferson is in truth arguing that British Americans possessed rights that pertain to all men, equally and always. Jefferson first argues that nature had endowed all British Americans, as their Saxon ancestors did before them, with the right “of departing from the country” where they were born. But, as Jaffa points out, rational decisions are made as to where one will later be located. And this migration was ultimately guided by the objective of “promoting public happiness.” If civic happiness is the goal of one’s location, which was guided by rational choice given by nature, then it is necessary to have government based on the conditions that protect the natural rights of man.


“[W]hen… it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands…” is the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, also written by Thomas Jefferson. The great uniting document of America explicitly outlines the rights of all men. These rights derive from “the laws of nature and nature’s God,” which could more readily be expressed as natural law. According to Jefferson, writing for all Americans, “[A]ll men are created equal… and endowed… with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The idea of equality, which flows from the natural right doctrine, is penned here to show that men are born free and therefore own themselves. If one is born free, one therefore consents to be ruled, since all are in sole possession of themselves from birth. In the Summary View, Jefferson notes that the king is “the chief officer of the people” and is part of the government which is “erected for [the people’s] use.” Jefferson assumes that all power and authority first begins among the people who compose society. Then government only has certain “definite power” that are used to the people, thereby working for the people’s “happiness.”


Government derives from the consent of the people, and the government’s objective is to defend the “life, liberty, and… pursuit of happiness” of the people, and if government becomes “destructive of these ends,” it is necessary and a “right” of those who are ruled to change the government. Rule is not an immediately natural existence. Through society, men gather into a political community. But it is only through the consent of the people, may government be proper. Jefferson would see the right of revolution being succeeded by the “right of free election” with his election in 1800. And the right of revolution is the base of which all the right of the people derive. To summarize, all men are equal because of “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” Since this is so, government is only legitimate if it is created through consent. The right of revolution is the guardian of these rights. Only through this understanding can a social compact, i.e., the Constitution, be successfully implemented.


The American government is one that resonates from the people, or society. In debating the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton asks the readers of The Federalist if they would accept such a proposition: Americans must decide “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.” The operative word is “choice,” meaning the people of America are to decide their fate, much as Jefferson recalled the migration of the Saxons and later the Pilgrims and other British Americans. The Constitution is the social compact of the American people. But the election of 1800 is the culmination of the social compact which allows for power to derive from the people. Only then the will of society can be seen in government.


Thomas Jefferson, who defeated John Adams in the election of 1800, fulfilled the idea of the social compact. Jaffa compares the election of 1800 with the election of 1861 in that the winner had to persuade the public, both majority and minority, that the loser of the election was not the loser of “a war.” Jefferson says in his inaugural, “We are all republicans-we are all federalists.” This statement alone hammers out what it means to have a social compact. The “federalists,” represented by John Adams, had become the minority of America. But they, being part of the American political community, were in a sense, republicans. This appears to be improbable on the one hand, but Jaffa explains how this can be possible. Drawing from Aristotle’s definition of friendship, justice is an inherent quality of friendship. American citizens can be seen as friends of a community. Lincoln would also appeal to friendship in his first inaugural address, attempting to stop Southern succession.


James Madison, who wrote the Virginia Resolutions attacking the Alien and Sedition Act, argued that the social compact is understood through the Constitution. Here, the states were used as a vehicle to defend individual liberty, but the states were not used in a manner to defend a “state’s right” as such. It is of interest to note that Madison used the state of Virginia to uphold the social compact, e.g., individual liberty, but discourse in pursuant of ballots, not bullets, were used for political change. Lincoln, writing to Congress, states that, “[B]allots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets….” This is to say that clearly, the social compact was set concretely prior to 1860 and succession is not permitted. Madison, in an essay entitled Sovereignty, states that the will of the majority must be seen as the will of the entire society. The social compact was unanimous, as any political community must be prior to its formation. After formation, the great balance of majority and minority rights begin to fester. But, as stated above, the right of revolution defends all who are bound by the social compact and the natural rights that were present before and during.


The social compact, which binds together a political community, is realized through the Constitution. However only through the natural law embodied perfectly in the Declaration of Independence can there be a social compact to be entered in. The natural law doctrine comes before the social compact, but the natural rights of man are defended by the right of revolution on which America was founded on. Both the Founders and Lincoln understood the importance of the social compact and its affirmation through majority rule. However, trust is the linchpin of the American political community. It was this breakdown of trust that allowed the American Civil War and the crisis that almost destroyed a nation. Soldiers, however, saved the nation through their individual sacrifices. What civilians do to a political community is unfair to the soldiers who have payed the ultimate price. It is why Lincoln will dedicate America in the Gettyburg Address to the fallen Union soldiers who "gave the last full measure of devotion."


References (e-mail for exact page numbers):

Jaffa, Harry V. A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000.

Peterson, Merrill D. The Portable Jefferson. New York: Penguin Books, 1977.

Rossiter, Clinton. The Federalist Papers. New York: A Signet Classic, 1961.
Strauss, Leo and Joseph Cropsey.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Reality Foreclosing in on San Diegans

A couple of years ago, the Indigent Girlfriend and I were astounded by a friend of ours who bought a $380 thousand home with no money down. That friend has since sold that home and moved to Texas. She was the smart one. Our other friends that have recently purchased homes have done so with no money down and something called an adjustable rate, interest only loan.

I'm not about to explain all of these mortgages in detail because I don't really know that much about them. However, when I was in Waveland, MS last year, there was a mortgage banker from Illinois a few bunks down, and he seemed to believe the loans being approved in California were way out of balance in terms of mortgage-to-income and other indicators. He predicted that as interest rates rose, so would foreclosures.

The rate at which borrowers are foreclosing on their mortgages has doubled since last year, as high-risk financing has become the norm for home buyers in San Diego County. Local experts wonder whether the recent spike in foreclosures is a harbinger of horrors to come or of the much-hyped "soft landing" for the local real estate market.

Perhaps even more indicative of the state of the housing market, in January 2005 no properties were seized by lenders through the foreclosure process in San Diego County. Every one of the homeowners who had defaulted on their loans managed to offload their property without the bank closing in on them. But last month, lenders seized 66 properties through foreclosure processes. That's almost as many as in the whole of 2005.

Obviously! Of course foreclosures are going to rise along with interest rates, and the Federal Reserve has just raised the rates again yesterday, to five percent which is a six-year high. It stands to reason that some people will not be able to afford the effect that will have on their adjustable rate mortgage payment, and they will have to sell the house or be foreclosed upon.

Having said that, there is a greater problem in San Diego and southern California in general. People are getting what I would classify and complete sucker loans. I personally know people who have purchased homes with interest only loans, and now I read that some San Diegans are using something called a negative-amortization loan where the home-owner doesn't even make a complete interest payment, the balance of the loan actually increases each month.

In 2005, more than 70 percent of home loans in the county were interest-only or negative-amortization loans, according to Loan Performance LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that analyzes lending statistics. With interest-only loans, a borrower only pays off the interest on their loan every month for an initial time period. With negative-amortization loans, the borrower actually pays less than their interest payment each month, meaning that the amount they are borrowing grows over time.

Loan Performance reported that in 2005, 26.7 percent of loans made to homebuyers and those refinancing their mortgages were negative-amortization loans. In 2004, that number was 9.9 percent. In 2003, it was 1.1 percent.

In addition, the vast majority of loans issued in San Diego County in recent years have been adjustable-rate mortgages. The interest rates for these loans are indirectly tied to short-term federal interest rates. Those rates have been rising recently, which means many people's mortgage payments have been increasing, leading to an increased chance that they will succumb to foreclosure.

In other words, 96.7 percent of all home loans in 2005 were made to people who could not really afford to buy a home. Home buyers have gotten away with this in the past because the value of their property has been sky-rocketing, allowing them to refinance and ease the burden of the rising mortgage payments. However, property values have flattened out in San Diego. The equity fairy isn't going to come riding in a white stallion to save anyone, not for a while at least. That will mean more foreclosures and more foreclosures will mean more properties on the market. It becomes a self-sustaining problem until all the would-be home owners who cannot afford a home in San Diego have been weeded out.

To be fair, some of the folks who go into these sucker loans were speculators. They thought they were going to make a fortune in real-estate and bought properties with adjustable rate interest only loans expecting a reasonably profitable short-term turn-around. These amateurs will be cleaned out of the market in the next couple of years.

It used to be that speculators could at least become land-lords and rent their properties if they had to hold on to it for longer than initially planned, but that is no longer the case. For example, the 1550 square foot house I am living in goes for about $525 thousand on the market, but I pay $1,625 per month in rent. That is admittedly a pretty good deal, but nobody in this neighborhood is paying more than $2,000 per month in rent. That's the ceiling on what the market will bear from renters. Now, by the time you add mandatory insurance and taxes to a 30-year $525 thousand loan, it starts looking a lot like $2,700 or $2,800 per month. So, speculators and distressed home-owners can no longer count on renters to come in and save the day.

This gap between rents and mortgages will only get worse until mortgages come down, especially since residents are fleeing San Diego County.

For the first time in more than three decades, the population of San Diego County declined last year, joining other California coastal counties that are losing their allure as high housing prices drive home-buyers to more affordable regions.

The surprising reversal of the county's long-standing population gains is revealed in U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today showing thousands more people leaving the county than moving in from other parts of the state and elsewhere.

In terms of real estate, this is a perfect storm. However, I don't believe this is going to be that big bursting bubble that everyone keeps talking about. I don't think that is going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I would be doing back-flips if I woke up to tomorrow and San Diego housing values were half what they are today (that's not real popular at parties). So, in addition to flushing under-funded speculators and home-owners, the flattening of real estate values will also dry out the other equity-based spending that has been happening in the county. All those people who have been refinancing once a year and splurging on big screen TVs and new cars will no longer be able to do so.

I don't pretend to know to what extent this is happening nationwide, and I don't know what impact this will have on the economy, but it can't be good.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The American Mind at War

Over at The Remedy, they linked to an eloquent Victor David Hanson article over at Real Clear Politics. Besides the fact that it is pretty accurate, it also goes a long way to exploring the deteriorating American mind. I'd like to go over a few portions:

Our present leisure, wealth, and high technology fool us into thinking that we are demi-gods always be able to trump both human and natural disasters. Accordingly, we become frustrated that we cannot master every wartime obstacle, as we seem otherwise to be able to do with computers or cosmetic surgery. Then, without any benchmarks of comparison from the past, we despair that our actions are failed because they are not perfect.

I'm reminded of Martin Heidegger's argument against the technological age we now find ourselves in. All alive today have seen man triumph over all of nature's immediate obstacles. Heidegger, in his famous Der Spiegel (.pdf) interview said that he was "frightened" by the pictures that returned from the moon. It was one of those moments that man was going further and further to master and manipulate the objective world he sees, thereby destroying its mysteriousness. This blend of Cartesian "subject" observing objective reality and Nietzschean unfettered will is where we are, for the most part, today. This means that everything must be faster, less strenuous, and most of all, flawless. These things taken alone and with the proper mind set, are not necessarily bad. Hanson, correctly, sees man taking slow Internet connection frustration to the uncertainties of war. Of course, nothing less is to be expected of modernity.

Perhaps we have forgotten such modesty because we have ignored the study of history that alone offers us guidance from our forbearers. It now competes as an orphan discipline with social science, -ologies and -isms that entice us into thinking that the more money and education of the present can at last perfect the human condition and thus consign our flawed past to irrelevance.

The single greatest obstacle facing modern man, aside from our historical amnesia, is the new religion science (all, including physical and social) has become for man. There is no doubt that science is now the "opium of the masses," to use Marx's phrase. The current surge of Christian activism in politics is a direct reaction to this scientific dogma. While I agree with the sentiment, I disagree with the solution. More on this below.

The result is that while sensitive young Americans seem to know what correct words and ideas they must embrace, they derive neither direction nor solace from past events. After all, very few could identify Vicksburg or Verdun, much less have any idea where or what Iwo Jima was. In such a lonely prison of the present what are historically ignorant Americans to make of a Fallujah or an Iranian madman's threat of annihilation other than such things can't or shouldn't or must not happen to us?

Thomas Jefferson sent a note to his nephew, Peter Carr in 1785. In it, he lists for his nephew, who was fifteen, as to which subjects he should begin to study, in what order, and what other activities he should do. He gives him the task of studying the ancients, including Plato, Cicero, and many others. The key is that there is something permanent about human nature. We can, if we examine the historical events and individuals carefully, learn about those in the past and of today. Today (and I am a product of contemporary education) the great figures of the past are passed over. A shame to say the least.

They would add that it is not unusual to be confronted with new crises even after such apparently easy victories.

It is even more accurate to say that the nihilism and radical historicism, represented by Heidegger and John C. Calhoun, were defeated physically on the battlefield, but become victorious in the minds of the triumphant Americans. This is seen so clearly in Harry V. Jaffa's A New Birth of Freedom. That is the current state of the American mind at war. Disillusioned with human nature (because, quite amazingly, human creativity has yet to conquer it's stubborn permanence), Americans today assume, as Hanson points out, that our cause as a political community is either unjust or handled by incompetent politicians (which, by the way, may or may not be the case) if victory cannot be perfectly found.

The option for modern Americans is, as Leo Strauss said, either progress or return. We can either continue to believe, foolishly, that we can and should bend everything to our own will, regardless of the standards we once admitted existed. There is no doubt that human creativity is a source of good and has given Americans wealth never seen on such a grand scale. The question, of course, is are we going to say there is something right and wrong about particular activities, or is the only "good" the mastery of the world and the human mind, i.e., anything goes. From here, Heidegger's argument was correct. However, the choice clearly is the nihilism of the present, or the substance of the American Founding. Seeing the current state of the American mind, it is hard to be optimistic about the latter.

I Don't Care About High Gas Prices

And neither do you. How do I know this? By and large, there have been no changes in driving habits. I'm not driving any less. In fact, I'm driving more and if traffic is any indicator, I'm not the only one (the day without immigrants notwithstanding).

Dale Franks has a post at QandO Blog examining the corollary between the price of oil and the price of gasoline and marvels at the uniformity, almost as if it "were governed by a...a...law or something!" Some of the commenters to his post still challenge his post with absurd statements like, "when prices rise, margins should decline, period".

Roger Hedgecock, a local talk show host here in San Diego, took an interesting call a few weeks ago that dealt with subject in a simple, yet masterful way (paraphrasing):

Roger: "How much did you pay for your home?"
Caller: "About $150 thousand with another $100 thousand in improvements over the years."

(ed) The caller's home was easily worth $500 thousand in today's real estate market.

Roger: "Ok, so that's $250 thousand. Will you sell me your home for $300 thousand?"
Caller: "Of course not."
Roger: "What do you mean 'of course not'. You aren't going to be like the oil companies and gouge me are you?"

This was an amazing demonstration of supply, demand, and how such principles are manipulated by everyone, not just big, greedy oil companies.

Of course, the same principle works against those arguing that drilling in ANWR will somehow impact gasoline prices (either now or in the future). Let's I start the Indigent Oil Company and am awarded the rights for extraction in ANWR. I have begun and now have many barrels of oil from ANWR. The question is how much will I charge for each barrel of oil? Today, I would sell them for a little over $70 each. Period, that's it.

I know what some of you are thinking, "Wait a minute, how much did it cost you to extract the oil?" The truth is that it doesn't matter one bit; it's completely irrelevant. You don't believe me? Let's say it costs me $100 per barrel to extract the oil from ANWR. Who is going to pay $110 per barrel when it can be purchased anywhere else for around $70 per barrel? What if it costs me $5 to extract each barrel of oil. Well, like the caller with the house on the beach in San Diego, why would I sell a barrel of oil for $10, $20, or even $30 when I can get around $70 per barrel all day long.

Don't get me wrong. I support drilling in ANWR because Alaskans support drilling in ANWR, and I believe it is Alaskans who should get to decide the matter. Also, higher oil prices benefit the host nation. So, while our politicians are going after American oil companies, nations like Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela are reaping a windfall. I prefer the United States to supply as much of its own oil as possible for environmental, diplomatic, and security reasons.

MORE: Tom Maguire

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Countdown to Judicial Coup in San Diego

Lt. Smash has a big Monday update over at the Indepundit, including this article on the cross at the Mount Soledad War Memorial.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders wants the city to continue its 17-year legal battle to preserve the Mount Soledad cross, despite a federal judge's order to remove the religious symbol or face a $5,000-per-day penalty.

“This is not about a Christian symbol,” Sanders said yesterday at a rally of cross supporters at Soledad Natural Park in La Jolla. “What this boils down to is preserving a nationally registered war memorial that is an integral part of San Diego history.”

It's not even so much about being an integral part of the war memorial for me. This is about judges who use a tortured interpretation of the law as an excuse to dictate their own personal policies upon an electorate whose voice has already been clearly heard on this issue, twice now. It's one thing if the majority of voters choose the other candidate or the other side of an issue, hey that's part of living in a democratic community and a democratic nation. It's another thing if there is some injustice or abuse of power for which the court is correcting in its proper role as a balacing government power. However, it's something entirely different when a judge invents and dictates new limitations and restrictions on the heretofore protected rights of the citizens.

Damn it, this really boils my blood. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but more than any other, the subject of these rogue jurists frustrates and aggravates me to no end. The fact that our elected representatives seem paralyzed against them is incomprehensible. I mean we do have three branches of government with balance of power and all that, correct? The legislative body and executive body are countering each other all the time. Why is it we never see the Judicial Branch challenged more often? Certainly, a constitutional amendment is not the only defense against this judicial coup?

Anyway, StopTheACLU also has more information and an online petition to sign. Personally, I don't sign online petitions. In fact, I think they are rather childish and completely ineffective. However, I signed this one hoping it would make me feel a little better, but it didn't. Maybe it will work for you.

SEE ALSO: Freedom Through Oppression