Today a lawyer I know sent me a link to this article, Our Fill-in-the-Blank ConstitutionOur Fill-in-the-Blank Constitution is an oped the New York Times that defends President Barack Obama’s recent remarks on his criteria for a nominee to the Supreme Court. Here is how it begins.

AS the Senate awaits the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, a frank discussion is needed on the proper role of judges in our constitutional system. For 30 years, conservative commentators have persuaded the public that conservative judges apply the law, whereas liberal judges make up the law. According to Chief Justice John Roberts, his job is just to “call balls and strikes.” According to Justice Antonin Scalia, conservative jurists merely carry out the “original meaning” of the framers. These are appealing but wholly disingenuous descriptions of what judges — liberal or conservative — actually do.

Considering the context provided by our times, I find the article just one more cause for despair. When is the Liberal news media going to give up on Obama!?

What Geoffrey R. Stone does is “argue” for his cause based upon the imperfection of humanity. As he sees it, Conservative judges imperfectly interpret the Constitution. Therefore, Stone sees it as okay for others to interpret the Constitution to the advantage of their own personal beliefs.

Here is the definition of disingenuous.

dis·in·gen·u·ous   /ˌdɪsɪnˈdʒɛnyuəs/ [dis-in-jen-yoo-uhs] –adjective

lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

Stone did not like what Roberts said so he attacked him personally. 

What follows is something I borrowed from here.

Consider the following table.

WRONG WRONG Stealing from a neighbor.
RIGHT WRONG Obeying the law because a of the fear of punishment
WRONG RIGHT Stealing from the rich to give to the poor.
RIGHT RIGHT Giving to those in need.

The table shows four options.

  • If we do something wrong for the wrong reason, we have done something evil. When greed motivates us to steal from a neighbor, for example, that is a wholly evil act.
  • If we do the right thing for the wrong reason, society notices no wrong, but God knows the nature of our intent.  Unless we learn to love our neighbors as we love ourself, only the fear of punishment stops us from abusing each other.
  • If we do the wrong thing for the right reason, we corrupt our good intentions. We act in the belief that the end justifies the means.
  • If we do the right thing for the right reason, then we act in accordance with the Golden Rule.

We don’t require empathy from judges. We require people with the objectivity to set aside their personal preferences. We require firm adherence to a strict code of honor. We require people who understand the consequences of not doing the right thing for the right reason.

  • When judges do the wrong thing for the wrong reason, instead of interpreting the Law, they themselves discard the Law.
  • When judges do the right thing for the wrong reason, when there is no one to keep them honest, they cannot be trusted.
  • When judges do the wrong thing for the right reason, instead of interpreting the Law, they become the Law.
  • Only when judges do the right thing for the right reason can we remain a nation of free men and women under the rule of Law.

Empathy is nice, but I want my children and grandchildren to retain their liberty. So I will settle for a judge who is at least trying to do his job.

Is it always easy to apply the Constitution as its writers intended? No, but Liberal judges too often don’t even try. That is why we must rigorously oppose Obama’s judicial philosophy.


vablogs2.pngGood Sense has started posting on regular basis. 

  • 2012: A Darkhorse year? considers the possibility of an unlikely Republican presidential nominee.
  • Charlie Fugate’s most recent series of posts focused on the 29 miners who died in an explosion a week ago.  See here, here, and here, for example.

Virginia Virtucon is a reliably busy blog. 

The FamilyFoundationBlog.com provides an excellent way to keep abreast of news from across Virginia and our nation. 

  • Check out, for example, Virginia News Stand: April 12, 2010.
  • The blog’s focus is the promotion of Christian values.  Therefore, recent posts include a discussion of the right to form Christian organizations at public universities (see here) and President Obama’s new spiritual advisor, Jim Wallis (see here).

Eschew Obfuscation is a new blog some may find strangely familiar.  Most of this blog’s recent posts cover the Montcoal mine disaster.  However, the last post focuses on an issue relevant to Virginia, Governor McDonnell to Restore Funding for Mine Safety in Virginia.



This is the third post in a five-part series. The purpose of this series is to help us, myself included, come to grips with House’s passage of the Senate’s version of the Health Care Bill

Crossing the Rubicon

What does it mean to “cross the Rubicon“?   

The Rubicon is small river in northern Italy. When Julius Caesar crossed the river with a Roman Legion, he initiated his final quest to become the ruler of Roman Empire. The 1911 version of the Encyclopedia provides this brief explanation.

RUBICON , a small stream which flowed into the Adriatic between Ariminum and Caesena, formed the boundary between Italy and the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Hence GAIUS JULIUS (102—44 B.c.) CAESAR crossing of it in 49 B.C. was tantamount to a declaration of war against Rome as represented by Pompey and the Senate. The historic importance of this event gave rise to the phrase ” crossing the Rubicon ” for a step which definitely commits a person to a given course of action. (from here)

When President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats committed to passing the Senate’s version of Health Care Reform, some say they crossed their Rubicon. Victor Davis Hanson put it this way.

President Obama has crossed the Rubicon with the health care vote. The bill was not really about medicine; after all, a moderately priced, relatively small federal program could offer the poorer not now insured, presently not on Medicare or state programs like Medicaid or Medical, a basic medical plan.

We have no interest in stopping trial lawyers from milking the system for billions. And we don’t want to address in any meaningful way the individual’s responsibility in some cases (drink, drugs, violence, dangerous sex, bad diet, sloth, etc.) for costly and chronic health procedures.

No, instead, the bill was about assuming a massive portion of the private sector, hiring tens of thousands of loyal, compliant new employees, staffing new departments with new technocrats, and feeling wonderful that we “are leveling the playing field” and have achieved another Civil Rights landmark law. (NB: do the math: add higher state income taxes in most states; the new Clinton-era federal income tax rates to come; the proposed lifting of limits on income exposed to FICA taxes; and now new health care charges — and I think you can reach in some cases a bite of 65%to 70% of one’s income.) (continued here)

And Peggy G put it this way.

It appears that Obama has staked his political career, his historical legacy, and his re-election on passing his large comprehensive Health Care Bill, beginning with the House Vote on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Like a Louisiana river-boat gambler, Obama is also placing all his chips, as well as, all of the borrowed chips that he could glean from Democratic members of Congress on the table, to bet on his and their political future. Obama cajoled, arm twisted, made-horse deals with some legislators, or chose to strong-armed other Congressman to get their chips. These chips are the votes of the Democratic Senators & Representatives in Congress whose very job is on the line in 2010. (continued here)

With the government’s seemingly sudden acquisition of a large sector of the economy, Liberal Democrats must now either convince the American electorate that socialism works or risk great losses this year in the 2010 Congressional elections. 

The End Justifies the Means

Although the passage of “health care reform” undenibly serves as milestone event, Liberal Democrats crossed the Rubicon long before they decided to socialize health care. Their conquest (of the rest of us) began when they decided give to the “poor” by robbing the “rich.” When Liberal Democrats decided that it is okay to rob the “rich” to give to the “poor,” they adopted a dangerous credo that says the end justifies the means. What is the problem with that? One blogger put it this way.

If we do the wrong thing for the right reason, we corrupt our good intentions. We act in the belief that the end justifies the means. (from here)

In the long run, there is only one way to accomplish any good thing. We must do the right thing for the right reason. Otherwise, we risk corrupting more than just our good intentions. We risk our souls.

Robin Hood Politics

Let’s consider the example of Robin Hood, that mythical bandit who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Imagine for a moment that you are Robin Hood.

  • You lead a band of merry men living in the woods.  When an occasional fat merchant comes through “your” woods — with insufficient guard — you waylay him and take his “ill-gotten” wealth.
  • The more you keep of the fat merchant’s “ill-gotten” wealth — the less you redistribute to the poor — the more merry you and your men can be.
  • The less discriminating you and your merry men are about which merchants you rob, the more merry you and your men can be.

Now imagine you are a fat merchant.

  • You make your living by buying goods where they are cheap selling them where they are expensive.  To provide your customers a service, you risk your capital, what you own, in the hope of profit.  Moreover, you bear the cost of transporting goods from where they are produced (and cheap) to where they are needed (and, therefore, more expensive).
  • Robin Hood’s thievery increases the cost of doing businesses. Either you have to take a longer route, around Robin Hood’s wood’s, or you have to hire guards. In either case, you have no choice except to pass the additional cost onto your customers.
  • You wonder how Robin decides which merchants need robbing.  Would it help if you went on a diet?

What would a fat merchant sell? What do merchants sell today? Don’t these things include food, clothing and the material we use to make our homes? Don’t the poor need to buy such things? Don’t thieves raise the costs.  Doesn’t government thievery, unnecessary taxation to pay for ill-conceived and poorly administered welfare programs, raise the cost of doing business?

If government taxation just raises the cost of doing business, who pays the cost? Is it really the fat merchants?  Doesn’t everyone pay, including the poor.  Therefore, robbing the socalled rich to give to the poor has a very thin moral justification indeed. So why do we do it? Perhaps that is a question we should be asking the Liberal Democrats who sold this idea to us. In addition, we should also ask them who benefits the most when governments redistributes the wealth, the poor or the people who run our government?


vablogs2.pngWith this post, we have our seventh winner, the winner in the Conservative Blog Category. However, before I get into that, I need to pick a winner, and I have not done that yet. 

Some “problems” are good problems.  Virginia has a quite a few Conservative blogs. That is a good “problem.” It just makes it difficult to select the best Conservative blog.

I could make it easy. I could pick my blog as the winner, but I seriously doubt any one (besides myself) would consider that an objective choice. Nonetheless, I might have gotten away with such a thing a couple of years ago. I am sure I cannot get away with such nonsense now. Since we elected Barack Obama as our president, most people now too well understand why we should not place too much trust in another human being.

So I have begun my search for Virginia’s second best Conservative blog.   ;-) 

How did this “contest” get started?

  • I AM A WINNER? — PART 2 defines the general criteria for winning. It also lists the various categories for winning.
  • I AM A WINNER? — PART 1 got the “contest” started. This post lists: the contest rules, the various categories in which a blog can win, and the winners each  category. One category still needs a winner. That will be filled by Virginia’s Best Conservative Blog.

The first step is a list of Virginia’s Conservative Blogs.   What is my criteria for a Conservative blog?

  • Support a strict interpretation of the Constitution.  There is no “correct” interpretation of the Constitution. Reasonable men and women can disagree. However, the notion that the Constitution is a “living” document is corrupt. Any system of interpretation that deliberately alters the meaning of the Constitution necessarily defeats the purpose for which the Founders created the document.
  • Support for limited government.  Conservatives gain the moniker Conservative by being conservative.  The Conservative understands the more power we give our leaders the more we risk corrupting our leadership. Therefore, Conservatives consider it reckless to use our government for purposes for which it was never intended, particularly when we do it without giving the matter very careful consideration.
  • Support for America’s Christian heritage. All Conservatives are not Christians. Nonetheless, all Conservatives inherently support America’s Christian heritage.  At the time our nation was founded, almost every American was familiar with the Bible and expected to practice Christian ethics. These are the people who arrived at the following conclusion.

    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. (from here)

    The Conservative believes God, not government, endowed each of us “with certain unalienable Rights.” Therefore, the Conservative fights any attempt to wrest those rights from his fellow citizens.

Over the next couple of weeks I will build up and review my list.  Eventually I will pick a winning blog and decide upon my favorite post. If you want your blog added to the list or pulled from it, please feel free to either drop me a note (citizen_tom@hotmail.com) or just leave a comment.

We can also debate what it means to be a Conservative.


Does all this seem a bit pretentious?  Well, of course it is! So please do not forget to snicker the next time you read some silly piece of nonsense like Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.