Alexander's Column

Patriots' Day 2013 -- Liberty in the Balance

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Mark Alexander · Apr. 18, 2013
“Very many and very meritorious were the worthy patriots who assisted in bringing back our government to its republican tack. To preserve it in that, will require unremitting vigilance.” –Thomas Jefferson (1822)

Patriots' Day (April 19th), though not widely celebrated, commemorates the substance of the eternal fight for Liberty as “endowed by our Creator.” More than just the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Patriots' Day embodies the spirit of the first American Revolution and the original Sons of Liberty.

This week in which we observe with reverence the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and successive generations of American Patriots who defended Essential Liberty, there was notable news of the good, the bad and the very ugly.

First, the good news: Guns

“… The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” –Second Amendment to the United States Constitution


On Wednesday, the Democrat-controlled Senate failed to advance Barack Obama's prized “sensible gun control measure” to expand background checks for gun transfers – legislation which ranked second only to ObamaCare in his list of policy priorities. Senate Democrats then blocked a vote on Obama's so-called “assault weapons” ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, effectively tabling those measures for “more opportune timing.”

Responding to the vote, Obama declared, “The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill [claiming it would create] some sort of Big Brother gun registry. It came down to politics. All in all, today was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

As for “lies,” the BIG lie in the so-called “gun loophole” legislation is that none of the sociopaths in any of the mass murders that Obama shamelessly exploits acquired the weapons they used through any loophole. As Charles Krauthammer wrote, “If you’re going to make all of these emotional appeals you’ve gotta show that if this had been law, it would have stopped Newtown. It would not have. It’s irrelevant. … [I]t’s emotional blackmail to say, ‘You have to do it for the children.’”

Regarding “Big Brother,” if you believe that the central government does not maintain a database of the background checks now required for gun purchases, then you’re a candidate for our Non Compos Mentis award. That database may not exist as one complete record, but I can assure you that a master list of all background checks for gun purchases in recent decades can be reconstituted from its component parts maintained on government servers.

And “shameful politics”? That more aptly describes the way Obama has paraded around like political puppets the grieving parents of murdered children, and used the caskets of those children as a political soapbox. Using that heart-wrenching grief to stir the sentiments of the nation in hopes of passing statist gun control measures is beyond disgraceful. In truth, this “shameful politics” is simply the “new politic norm” of the Hope-and-Change president.

Notably, Obama added, “I see this as just round one. The fight is not over.”

In other words, he and his NeoCom cadres await the next opportunity to politicize a mass murder, take the ready-to-go Senate legislation off the shelf and pass it before raw public emotions once again give way to reason. In the interim, Joe Biden asserted that Obama “is already lining up some additional executive actions he’s going to be taking later this week.” And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added, “[W]e’re just not taking no for an answer.”

For the record, the results of the most comprehensive gun control legislation survey of American law enforcement officers ever conducted were released last week. When Obama embarks on one of his gun-grabbing tours, he usually surrounds himself with uniformed officers – “prop cops” as we in our humble shop call them – for his press remarks. (And when he isn’t using prop cops, he’s using prop children as “human shields” for this same purpose.) This is notable, because more than 95 percent of law enforcement officers believe that Obama’s weapons ban will have NO impact on crime reduction.

Not only do the vast majority of law enforcement officers reject Obama’s gun control mandates, but apparently, despite months of heavy lobbying by Obama, only four percent of Americans actually believe that guns are the most important problem facing our nation.

Many more Americans rank the economy, unemployment, dissatisfaction with government and the federal budget debt as top priorities. Obama’s policies have, of course, failed miserably in each of those concerns, so it’s no surprise that he attempts to change the subject.

Now for the bad news: Taxes

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” –Justice John Marshall (1819)

Monday, April 15th, was Income Redistribution Day. This week sadly marked the 100th anniversary of the advent of the income tax, signed into law as the Revenue Act of 1913 by Woodrow Wilson, a statist forerunner of Obama. From a small populist tax on the original “One Percenters,” now every American is burdened with the cost of taxation to the tune of $2.7 trillion this year alone.

The income tax was passed as a “temporary” measure, with the highest marginal rate of seven percent and the 1040 form was one page. The current tax code has almost 74,000 pages, the instruction for the 1040 alone has 190 pages and the top marginal tax rate is 39.6 percent.

With national debt approaching $17 trillion, Obama’s current budget calls for additional income redistribution, while making no budget cuts in spending.

As Voltaire wrote in 1770, “In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”

Today, April 18th, is Tax Freedom Day. For the average American taxpayer, every dollar earned from January 1 until today – 108 days of work – will be confiscated by the government in the form of taxes.

Not only is “an unlimited power to tax, necessarily, a power to destroy,” but the power to tax is also the only real power of the state. The only way to diminish that power is to institute either a flat or national sales tax, or a combination thereof, and eliminate any tax withholding. When all Americans share in the burden of taxation, especially if they must actually write a check to the IRS once a year and see what’s really taken from them, then the congressional big spenders will be history.

In the inimitable words of Mark Twain, “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”

And finally, the ugliest news: Boston Bombs

“They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.” –Benjamin Franklin

Patriots' Day is celebrated in Massachusetts on the third Monday of April, and it always coincides with the running of the famed Boston Marathon.

The detonation of two bombs near the Marathon’s finish line took the life of two American citizens and a Chinese student. The blasts also critically wounded more than two dozen others, and wounded approximately 150 more spectators. This deadly assault on our citizenry, this Second Boston Massacre, reminds us that life is both precious and fragile, and that Liberty is always the target of barbarians, be they domestic anarchists or foreign fanatics.

Tuesday Obama finally declared the incident a “terrorist attack,” something that was evident to the rest of the nation when the first videos were released Monday.

The FBI is leading the investigation to determine who detonated those bombs, but at present it is not known whether they were homegrown anarchists of some political stripe or Jihadists. An FBI circular I received in 2010, after the Times Square bombing was thwarted and an Islamic jihadist arrested, detailed similar pressure cooker bombs. And pressure cookers have often been used to construct anti-personnel IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, anyone with Internet access and a well full of hate can construct and detonate such a device. Given the potential of these devices, I am thankful that the number of casualties in Boston was not much higher.

Further speculation about who perpetrated this act of terror, and whether letters sent to Obama and Republican Senator Roger Wicker were, in fact, ricin laced, is wasted bandwidth.

But there is an indictment that must be issued now.

While I pray for the victims and families of this cowardly attack, we should all strongly condemn the endless and hyper-dramatized 24-hour news cycle coverage of this incident. It is an insult to the dead and injured and amounts to nothing more than a disgraceful media competition for market share and advertising revenues. Unfortunately, this is probably the “new MSM norm” for crisis commentary.

When considering this coverage, I’m reminded of a classified 2005 cable from Osama bin Laden’s former chief lieutenant, Sheikh Ayman Muhammad al-Zawahiri, to another al-Qa'ida lieutenant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In that cable, al-Zawahiri, who now heads al-Qa'ida, writes, “I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.”

In other words, terrorists understand how to use mass media to advance their agenda, which is why the Boston bombs were placed at the marathon finish line, where the detonations would be assured media coverage.

Predictably, the media’s 24/7 exploitation of this assault was an effective amplifier of the attack, as undoubtedly the perpetrators anticipated it would be – so much so that one might conclude the media coverage was and remains tantamount to collaboration and critical to the perpetrators' intended objective.

Yes, the Boston attack is an important news story, not only because of the tragic deaths and injuries but also because of its intent to terrorize the public. However, on average, there are more than 40 murders in the U.S. every day, and those murders are apparently not committed in a way that garners national media attention to promote a political agenda.

Within an hour of the Boston bombing, major cable media outlets not only had videos of this incident on endless replay, but also had embellished them with dramatic music themes, as if they were promoting an action movie clip. The network hosts wildly speculated about the perpetrators and the type of bombs, and interviewed a long line of “experts” who knew little more about terrorism than the talkingheads who were interviewing them.

One commentator had the audacity to say, “We should not draw premature conclusions about this incident” … this said five hours into a litany of premature conclusions drawn by her network.

Even the FBI took the unusual step of issuing a public condemnation of the media coverage.

And I must say that the ubiquitous reference to those rendering aid to the injured as “heroes” is yet another over-dramatization. I spent my early years as a law enforcement first responder, and if anyone referred to my rendering of aid to the injured as “heroic,” I would smack them down. Giving aid no more constitutes heroics than civilians fleeing the area constitutes cowardice.

I have known men who have done truly heroic things, and I have read the Medal of Honor citations for others who did not survive their heroic acts. Shame on any talkinghead who labels the Boston acts of care and kindness “heroic,” and equal shame on all who rendered assistance who allow themselves to be so labeled.

The degree of the reprehensible media coverage was bested only by the Demo-gogue Leftists who quickly attempted to convert the tragedy into political capital. Demo House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer suggested that the Republican sequester contributed to a lack of security in Boston: “[We shouldn’t] pursue an irrational, across-the-board policy of cutting the highest priorities and the lowest priorities essentially the same percentage … I think this [act of terrorism] is another proof of that.” Apparently Hoyer figured that if Obama can use the caskets of murdered Newtown children as a political soapbox to promote his agenda, then he himself could use the death and dismemberment of citizens in Boston for the same.

And former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) added this political spin before the blood had dried. “I never was … one of the cheerleaders for less government, lower taxes. No tax cut would have helped us deal with this [terrorist attack].”

I am quite certain, given his penchant and record for exploiting tragedy as fodder for his political agenda, Obama will use the attacks in Boston to compromise liberty for “a little temporary safety.”

Fact is, however, soft targets are indefensible, and the first line of defense against violence of any type – as was the case in Times Square, when two street vendors reported the bomber’s car to police – is citizen vigilance. And despite the fact it is politically incorrect, when it comes to Jihadists, terrorist profiling works.

(Patriots' Day Footnote: A quick search of the current White House website reveals not a single reference to Patriots' Day, this iconic day in the formation of our Republic – not that I expected to find any acknowledgment of such. I’m certain that the current statist regime occupying the Executive Branch would not want to promote this formative event distinguished by a call to arms to turn back a growing tide of tyranny.)

35 Comments

Greg in Millersport, OH said:

Do people still watch MSM? Prior to the advent of television, CS Lewis said he doesn't bother with newspapers or periodicals because if the news is really important, he would find out about it anyway.

I gave up TV years ago because it insults my intelligence. Until 2 weeks ago, I got my news from the internet, but have now given up even that. It was really just a waste of time. So I found out about the Boston bombs 24 hours after they happened. So what? I imagine the MSM is full of hype but it doesn't reach my ears. The PatriotPost newsletters provide plenty of news for me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

Greg,

Good point. MSM "news" seems to insult your intelligence because it's all mainly B.S. Not only is what they say oftentimes factually incorrect, or knee-jerk, but it's spun like a turbine. It has come to the point in America where we're experiencing the same sort of propaganda that I learned about 45 years ago in grade school - propaganda that happened elsewhere in the world - that happened in the impoverished countries with despotic regimes. It is rapidly becoming more and more about how the news is reported rather than what is reported.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:06 PM

wjm in Colorado said:

Everything about the Marxist Statist Traitors is UGLY. Obamao launched his career in the home of a terrorist, I can understand why he hesitates to call a bombing terror, might offend his bomber buddies Ayers and Dohrn. Obamao's assault on America is ideological bombing, he is a domestic enemy of the state. What is truely shameful is any Ameican supporting Obamao, his marxist agenda, and his attack on America.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

With the Obama administration there is no "Good", but they make up for the lack by giving us an extra helping of "Ugly" and "Bad".

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

wjm,

"domestic enemy of the state" . . . You're spot on my friend.

What's the difference between:

1. Joe Blow breaking the law by committing a crime to get an edge, and

2. Obama and the Democrats persistently committing subterfuge against our constitutional rights.

answer: orders of magnitude. One is a crime of opportunity while the other should be considered sedition.

For example: the right to keep and bear arms is inarguable. It is the law of the land, at the constitutional level. So if politicians infringe upon it with extra-constitutional regulations, are they not breaking the law. So shouldn't there be a charge against those politicians who continually take action steps against the second amendment?

I mean, how long are we going to put up with this?

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Gary in Michigan replied:

I love the idea of linking Obama's calling a bombing terror when he is linked to Bill Ayers who is a convicted bomber. This needs to be said over and over.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

rsb in DC replied:

Wait. You forget. He barely knew, maybe never even met, Billy or Bernie. And the Right Rev Wright never uttered any black theological/separatist movement crapola for the 20 years BO sat in a pew listening.

"Guilty as sin, free as a bird, America is a great country." Bill Ayers (POHS)

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Remember if it was not for guns we would have a Queen instead of a King (oops President, I keep making that mistake). Is it really a mistake?

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

JAC in Texas replied:

You were correct the first time--we have a queen in office. If the FBI hadn't confiscated the membership files of Man's Country in Chicago, we'd have proof.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM

BuffaloScout1885 in Minkler said:

How about a background check on Obama? If I have to submit to one to purchase a firearm, why shouldn't Obama be subjected to one to be President? I will tell you why, because Obama would fail his background check and the ICE would have to "deport" him for being in the country illegally, or the DOJ arrest him for writing down false information on a federal document. Of course, the POTUS can clear all of this up by releasing his college transcripts and and financial aids records. That would be a show of good faith to get all of us gun owners to agree to "universal" background checks before purchasing a firearm!

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

In Mexico you are required to produce a photo ID card in order to vote. Why does the United States think it is so objectionable to require the same of its citizens?

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

One VA Patriot,

It's not the United States. It's just some politicians within the United States. I bet that if you take a poll of all Americans as to whether we should be required to show a photo ID card (or some other solid proof of eligibility) to vote, a strong majority would agree. Voters don't want their votes to be negated by ineligible, cheating, partisan leeches.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

Ten-spot on, Mr. Hamilton. I'm sick and tired of the duplicity of progressives (though they are certainly not that). Once they succeeded in destroying our educational foundation (readin', ritin' and 'rithmetic); the stage was set for the entry of the eqivocal use of language. Aristotle described two modes of argument: equivocation (many meanings - one word) and univocation (one word - one meaning). In any debate it is incumbant upon the participants to proscribe the limits of that debate.The United States is succumbing to the lesser argument. I'll leave it to you to decide which is the lesser method.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Taz in Gulf Shores, AL replied:

Requiring photo ID in order to vote is discrimination; it discriminates against dead people, people who would vote more than once, undocumented democrats er, aliens and all others who would beat the system.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

Yea, like I said, "cheating, partisan leeches".

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Brian in Newport News replied:

It will never happen. If the fact that he was Kenyan born ever came out, he would just pardon himself.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Julianne in West Chester, PA said:

Mr. Alexander - you are an excellent writer. Would that I could speak as eloquently as you write. Thank you for putting this all together.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

You just have.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. said:

All this Internet information makes it nearly impossible for me to hoodwink you dolts anymore. Where the hell did I put that kill switch?

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Put your finger in an electrical outlet, or better yet, go fly a kite in a thunderstorm.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

What would it do to his ego to be associated with Benjamin Franklin? Then there really would be no living with him.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Lowell in Johns Island said:

Just thinkin' outloud.
Would the Boston bomber[s] have been just a little bit worried if more pedestrians on the Boston streets were armed? Would he[they] have thought twice about dropping the bags with the bombs if they thought people around them may have the means of stopping (dropping?) them right beside their bag. Maybe no. Maybe yes. But maybe.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

Lowell,

Interesting point, but I doubt it would have any affect. Armed or not, the good people simply didn't see what was going on.

After the Boston bombing story first hit the media, my first though was along the lines of: never mind gun control - how the hell are we going to come up with bomb-making-materials-control.

Oh brother ...

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:31 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

Good reply.

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Patrick in Houston replied:

Excuse me,Hamilton, but have you registered your pressure cooker yet?

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 9:05 AM

LAW in Jacksonville, FL replied:

Maybe a little pressure cooker control laws would help...

Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Hamilton in IL said:

Open Letter to Barack Obama:

Mr. Obama,

We know that with you, every bad outcome relating to White House and Democrat policy, is always someone else's fault. And so it is with your recent, failed gun control efforts. You blame the NRA for lying about the notion that background checks amount to a federal gun registry to be used for a future gun confiscation scheme. You blame the NRA for promoting and encouraging America's "love affair" with our guns. And finally, you disparage the NRA by claiming that they're a bunch of criminals who love gun crime.

Well, maybe you're wrong. Maybe it's your fault. The second amendment is clear, and understandable in context with our heritage and with historical events of the time, yet you don't seem to get it. Attorney General John Ashcroft stated that it applies to the People, as individuals. Numerous past and recent court rulings affirm our second amendment rights.

Maybe the American People now have your number. What is it called when a president persistently ignores and attempts to countermand the law, as you have done with the second amendment? Who is the lawbreaker around here? It's you, sir. And maybe we're just sick and tired of it.

Please take a long walk off a short pier.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

JtC in TX said:

". . . terrorists understand how to use mass media to advance their agenda . . ."

As the Demorats prove daily . . .

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 4:17 PM

MNIce in Minnesota said:

Minnesotans do not have tax freedom until next Tuesday, April 23. That is too early for Governor Dayton and his merry band of raiders in the legislature. They want to increase state taxes from $19 billion to $20.6 billion, even though we still have more than 7% unemployment. We already have the ninth most expensive government (per capita) among the United States, but that isn't stopping those utopian masterminds from proposing a multitude of new programs we just could not have done without for the last 165 years of the North Star State's history. The greedy so-and-sos must think that's the Potomac River near the Capitol building instead of the Mississippi.

I fear my state will suffer the fate of California if the voters don't get a clue and demand some restraint.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Tom L. in MA said:

I have to take exception to your narrow definition of 'heroism'. Anytime someone puts themselves at risk, when not required to do so, in order to help another, I consider heroic. I believe that we saw copious examples of this behavior following the blasts in Boston.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

Tom,

I agree with you that bravery was demonstrated by every last man/woman who entered that arena to render aid and comfort to those who suffered the blasts.

Question: Does the United States consider every one of its military personnel equally heroic (equating support personnel with combat personnel), or does she reserve some extra portion of praise for those who go above and beyond the call of their duty?

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:28 AM

rayc55 in GLEN HEAD, NY said:

WE MUST BAN, AND I REPEAT, WE MUST BAN PRESSURE COOKERS.
( CAN WE ALSO BAN LIBERAL REPORTERS?)

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Juan Largo in New Mexico said:

Please read this article in Salon, and ponder its meaning:

http://www.salon.com/2013/04/16/lets_hope_the_boston_marathon_bomber_is_a_white_american/

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Catherine in Belle Vernon, Pa said:

EXCELLENT article!

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Javier Gomez in Schertz, Texas said:

Very well written story, sir.

Friday, May 3, 2013 at 1:14 AM