February 8, 2010

A Must-Share Commentary…

…but first:

Who dat, who dat, who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

I was reading this morning’s Santa Monica Daily Press, and came across an OpEd by John W. Whitehead, a Constitutional lawyer, and found myself in total agreement with a commentary he titled Are You Brainwashed?

Precisely because Americans are easily distracted — because, as study after study shows, they are clueless about their rights — and because the nation’s schools have ceased teaching the fundamentals of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights — the American governmental scheme is sliding ever closer toward authoritarianism. This is taking place with little more than a whimper from an increasingly compliant populace that, intentionally or not, has allowed itself to be brainwashed into trusting their politicians.

If the people have little or no knowledge of the basics of government and their rights, those who wield governmental power inevitably wield it excessively. After all, a citizenry can only hold its government accountable if it knows when the government oversteps its bounds.

{The emphasis in the first paragraph is mine.}

I would recommend reading the entire piece, it’s right on the money.

by @ 8:41 pm. Filed under American Rights, Great Commentary, The U.S. Constitution
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15 Responses to “A Must-Share Commentary…”

  1. BB-Idaho Says:

    Constitution? Bill of Rights? Dang, us libs are undereducated! Not my fault, though; our high school civics teacher wrote the entire constitution on the blackboard…day by day..and we penciled it into our notebooks. You know what they say: from the notes of the teacher to the notes of the student without passing through the mind of either. BTW, Seth, I’d like to note the closing of Old Soldiers Blog..another fine gentleman, who like you, I enjoy and respect.

  2. Seth Says:

    BB –

    Dang, us libs are undereducated!

    Not at all. As Ronald Reagan said, “…they just know so much that isn’t true…” :-)

    When/where I went to school (in New York), our teachers tested us to make sure the material they’d written on the blackboard had bounced around inside our noggins a bit en route to our notebooks.

    I visited Old Soldier’s blog yesterday and was sorry to see that he is calling it a day, though I can understand in view of the reasons he has cited for same. I, too, will miss the observations and insights in his commentaries.

  3. Always On Watch Says:

    That’s an excellent article! Were I teaching American history or American government this year, the article would be required reading.

    I linked the article at Infidel Bloggers Alliance.

  4. BB-Idaho Says:

    Ronald Reagan. Wasn’t he the actor that said, “Facts are stupid things.” at the 1988 GOP convention? :)

  5. Seth Says:

    AOW –

    It should be required reading, if for no other reason than to let students know how much of their American heritage, their only true, and greatest, entitlement, is being diluted out of U.S. society’s knowledge base.

    It seems that it has been replaced by multiculturalism.

    Thanks for the link! :-)

    BB –

    So he was.

    However, let’s examine the difference between a Reagan quote and that of a liberal politician:

    No matter what he may have said, the Gipper was a man whose accomplishments were markedly positive and patriotically motivated, and he was a conservative, the greatest thing to which an American can aspire.


    No matter what a liberal politician may say, unless he or she admitted that he/she entertained the ambition of turning America into a Marxist country, he or she is almost certainly lying, and will likely be employing some sort of stealth legislative technique to slink around his/her words and do something entirely different.

    I say this, of course, with a complete absence of even a vestige of political bias. :-)

  6. BB-Idaho Says:

    If you are not a victim of confirmation bias because you say so, were I to accept such, I would possess “a complete absence of even a vestige of incredulity. :)

  7. Seth Says:

    BB –

    I’ve actually enjoyed the ability to shed the yoke of bias while reasoning things out, as I’ve done since before Marilyn Schlitz made Wilwaukee famous, since my early adolescence.

    No, sir! No bias at all, whether I’m talking about left wing commie liberals or murderous Muslim fanatics, I am completely impartial. :-)

  8. BB-Idaho Says:

    Marylin Schlitz? The one who won the Pabst Blue Ribbon for biggest Blatz?

  9. Seth Says:

    BB –


    Pabst, Blatz, & Schlitz. I thought that was the law firm famous for getting you the most money in a beer related injury lawsuit!

    “Ah soooed Milluh Hah Lahf an’ got eight mill!” :-0

  10. BB-Idaho Says:

    We seem to be drifting into Henny Youngman territory..
    A man calls a lawyer’s office. The phone is answered, “Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz and Schwartz.” The man says, “Let me talk to Mr. Schwartz.” “I’m sorry, he’s on vacation.” “Then let me talk to Mr. Schwartz.” “He’s on a big case, not available for a week.” “Then let me talk to Mr. Schwartz.” “He’s playing golf today.” “Okay, then, let me talk to Mr. Schwartz.” “Speaking.”

  11. Seth Says:


  12. BB-Idaho Says:

    You might be interested, Seth: being an avid model rr type, I follow some of the blogs of ‘trainwatchers’, the guys who tear around with their camera, getting
    ‘great shots’. Sometimes the traincrews are a bit wary, for we learn “As soon as I was back in my vehicle, I heard the train report the presence of possible “terrorists” driving a light colored Ford Escape.” This particular guy was taking his long suffering wife out for Valentine Dinner (but had his trusty RR radio and train camera along. No TSA, no professionals, just observant transport workers. :)
    BTW, Warren Buffet’s new RR has taken the approach that since these avid train hobby characters are hanging around, asked them to be alert for any unusual
    (beyond themselves) activity going on. Heck, I remember
    ‘hobo jungles’..now we have ‘artists’ that do graffiti
    on the rolling stock!

  13. Seth Says:

    BB –

    I’ll bet that if there were statistics available someplace regarding the political beliefs of railroad enthusiasts like those you mention, one would find that such people, who have a historical interest of sorts in an American institution like the railroads, are probably mostly conservatives.

    It’s great that the train workers are also keeping their eyes open, though it wouldn’t come as a surprise if their corporate security departments were briefing them to do just that. They should and probably would anyway, though.

    Unless, of course, they just happen to work for a company with a name like Lionel Security or H.O. Security, Inc. :-)

  14. BB-Idaho Says:

    It seems the railroad operations have their groupies.
    Like trucks, they ship a lot of hazardous and potential security risk material. Not sure if we need go to the extreme. I once had a shipment of Class I
    explosive arrive by ‘dromedary’ truck..the usual rubber sack, wet sawdust, a few lbs inside wet in another sack. Driver hopped out (long hair, beard, a dead ringer for Jesus Christ) reeking of bourbon. I was a bit shocked. Suppose he worked for ‘Lionel Security’?
    BTW, the stuff was crap and we decided to make our own.
    heh Frankly, I worry more about land transport than air, but perhaps the passenger danger gets all the attention?

  15. Seth Says:

    BB –

    I’m against making railroad security a part of DHS, mainly because I don’t like setting precedents that might lead to too much federal control in too many places.

    I do believe that the railroads have a responsibility to their passengers, and because they carry a wide variety of materials, merchandise and baggage all over the country, to provide more than just cosmetic security, and that if this entails costs, the costs should come out of their bottom line as part of the cost of doing business. I would tend to blame their security departments if terrorists were able to use their railroads to transport WMD, explosives or conventional military weapons that were later used, and I would also blame them for allowing a gaggle of armed men of Middle Eastern or Southwest Asian descent on a train I was riding — while they certainly couldn’t hijack the train to Yemen or someplace, they could kill a lot of passengers.

    Employees should be alerted to keep their eyes open and report possible security issues. There should be mandatory classes given to that end.

    On the same token, as security is now, more than ever, part of that cost of doing business mentioned above, private concerns should finance their own protection without going hat in hand to the taxpayer so as not to have to pay for that necessity themselves.

    Look at states that lowball their emergency funding budgets every year now, depending on FEMA to make up for shortfalls while the state politicians spend the money they’ve “saved” on whatever tripe they desire.

    We don’t need private industry going to the federal teat as well — though I must admit that since Obama’s been in the White House, that teat has learned to go to private industry, instead.

    If they have to trim down on the perks and bonuses to finance security, so be it.