Wendy Rogers Home Vandalized during Night of Major Congressional Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2012
CONTACT: Joe Giardiello

Giffords Assassination Attempt Weighs Heavily On Everyone’s Mind

(Tempe AZ) The home of U.S. congressional candidate Wendy Rogers was vandalized during the night of March 3, 2012, within 12 hours after the candidate had sent out her first major email announcement of her campaign.

The Tempe Police Department began an investigation into the crime. (Please see right-column photo from March 4, 2012.) Police recommended they investigate because of the coincidental timing of this attack with Rogers’ campaign announcement amid the backdrop of recent history of political violence in Arizona.

“If someone wants to attack Wendy Rogers’ views on the issues, we say bring it on,” commented campaign manager Martin Mastro. “Wendy spent 20 years active duty serving her county in the United States Air Force and I can guarantee she can take whatever someone can dish out. But coming onto her family’s property to vandalize her home to send a message is completely outrageous and unlawful.”

Recent violence against political officials in Arizona is giving many observers reason to take notice of this crime.

“I have been around campaigns for two decades,” said campaign official Joe Giardiello. “I thought I had seen it all. But attacking a candidate’s home and family is something we would expect in a third-world dictatorship.” He continued, “The hatred and anger already coming from the Left because of Wendy’s unwavering commitment is downright frightening. In light of recent events in Arizona, we can’t be too careful.”

Within hours of the Rogers Campaign announcement, the intolerant blog comments began spewing forth in full force.

DeepThought claimed Rogers was “Running as the most extreme Republican.”

Someone going by the name of “Camry” stated military pilots like Wendy Rogers “tended to be half-crazed out of the cockpit.”

Another poster called her a “token candidate”, presumably because she was one of the first 100 women pilots in the Air Force and the only woman in the CD9 race.

To someone going by the handle of AZNativeMod, Wendy Rogers is a “lunatic.”

The vitriol and invective directed at Rogers goes back to her bicycling-door-to-door campaign for State Senate in 2010.

Back then, on the blog Hip Hop Activist, her election was called “unthinkable” and it said she was “extreme.”

Blog for Arizona sneered the Rogers is the “rightest of the right.”

Another poster, fancying himself as “Deep Thinker” said Rogers had a “right wing Big Brother approach to government [sic]. Rogers should scare most folks….”

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A Progressive Declaration of Self-Evident Truths

As Conservatives, we all know and revere the preamble to the Founders’ Declaration of Independence, perhaps the greatest political statement in the history of mankind, attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

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 —

These self-evident truths lie at the core of our Constitution and Conservatism.  They are what mathematicians and philosophers call axiomatic.  In other words, they are acknowledged to be unprovable, but they are presumed and accepted as true (hence “self-evident”), and they are the starting point for whatever follows — in this case, the remainder of the Declaration and later the Constitution itself.

So …

If these are the self-evident truths of Conservatism, what are the self-evident truths of Progressivism?  I’ve never seen them offered up or written down in concise Jeffersonian style.  Perhaps there are bits and pieces available in the writings of Karl Marx.  Perhaps from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs is an example of a Progressive* self-evident truth.  Perhaps some of our Progressive readers can enlighten us(?).

In the absence of guidance from Progressives themselves, we are left to infer the self-evident truths of Progressivism by working backwards from observations of their statements and behaviors.  That’s what I try to do in this article.

Of course, we’re not entirely without clues. For example, Progressives like Barack Obama have told us that the Constitution is fundamentally flawed because it focuses too much on what the government cannot do to us and not enough about what the government must do for us.  As Obama has put it:

… the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

This is a helpful clarification.  For over 100 years, Progressives in America have been marching to the same drummer’s beat that Obama hears.  From Obama’s statement and my amateur observations of Progressive behaviors for several decades, I offer up the following to Progressives and Conservatives alike for their comment:

Progressive Declaration
of Self-Evident Truths

We hold these Truths to be self-evident:

  1. That all people are created equal,
  2. That they are endowed by The State with certain inalienable rights,
  3. That among these are Liberty, Equality, and Social Justice,
  4. That Equality includes life-long human rights to food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care,
  5. That to pursue Equality, The State may confiscate wealth from those who have it and redistribute it among those who don’t,
  6. That to pursue Social Justice, The State may constrain Liberty and Equality for some groups as reparations for past injustices suffered by other groups.

 

What follows are my notes on how I chose these six explicit clauses to represent the self-evident truths of Progressivism:

Clause 1:
In this clause, “all people are created equal” is used to avoid the allegedly sexist “all men are created equal” in the Founders’ Declaration.  A lesser point perhaps, but I’m trying to think as a Progressive would, right from the get-go, and then stay “in character” for the discussion of the remaining five clauses.

Clause 2:
In this clause, the phrase The Statetakes the place of the wordCreatorin the Founders’ Declaration.  All mention of God or a Creator is expunged in the Progressive Declaration, thereby avoiding any dual loyalties or competition with The State.  Religion is not explicitly forbidden, but neither is it mentioned or encouraged.  It may be tolerated so long as The State feels unthreatened by it, but The State is always the final arbiter in these matters.

In a Progressive’s world, Clause 2 has significant advantages.  For example, the current conflict over Government-mandated contraceptive coverage in employer-provided health care would be instantly resolved in favor of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the aggrieved party named Sandra Fluke.  Similarly, all the long-running controversies over religious displays on government-owned property would be resolved quite simply — The State’s word would be final.

Most importantly, since all fundamental rights are endowed by The State, they can be limited or withdrawn by The State.  This becomes important in Clause 6.

Clause 3:
The Founders’ Declaration lists Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness as inalienable rights.  In the Progressive Declaration, “Life” does not appear at all.  This is another convenience for The State since abortion rights would be much easier to declare and maintain if Life were not an unalienable right.  Thus, it would no longer matter whether a fetus does or does not constitute “life”.  The State decides. Simple, no? In fact, if The State were to allow it, abortion rights might even extend to infanticide in the first 30 days of baby’s life, as proposed by some, or up to 2 years as proposed by another.  End-of-life decisions or euthanasia for the elderly or handicapped would also be much easier for The State to control.  Do you see the pattern?

Similarly, “pursuit of Happiness” in the Founders’ Declaration is replaced by “Social Justice”.  By including this phrase in the Progressive Declaration, the grand utopian Social Justice vision of Progressive luminaries like the self-avowed communist Van Jones is explicitly elevated to an unalienable right.  And what could be “happier” than that?

Clause 4:
When I wrote this clause, I was motivated in part by an email I received a few months ago from a self-declared Democrat/Socialist.  In it, he asked: “What is the purpose of government if not to ensure that everyone has a decent standard of living?” I’ve seldom heard the Progressive cause put so plainly and clearly.

Of course the constitutions of the European Union and South Africa already explicitly list “human rights” similar to those in Clause 4.  So by including that clause in the Progressive Declaration, the path is paved for modernization or outright replacement of our own Constitution, as implied by Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her recent interview in Egypt.

Of course, there is one big problem with Clause 4 — how do we achieve it?   Enter Clause 5.

Clause 5:
Clause 5 explicitly lists a principle that Progressives have implicitly followed since the beginning of the movement — that is, to achieve Clause 4, confiscate wealth from the makers and give it to the takers.

By following this principle, ostensibly out of “compassion” and “fairness”, Progressives can win the support of the takers until there are so many of them that they can out-vote, out-shout, or out-threaten the makers.  As the takers demand more and more, the makers produce less and less as they lose incentive to create new wealth only to see it confiscated.  Eventually some of them go on a de facto “strike” as the industrialists did in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.  Soon thereafter, Progressives run out of other people’s money and resources.

There follows some combination of civil unrest, rationing, martial law, starvation, tyranny, and virtual slavery to The State. It has happened many times in many places.  WesternFreePress.com recently interviewed three direct eye witnesses (here, here, and here). Yet Progressives keep trying despite all evidence that their beloved principles simply don’t work.

In particular, in our own time, no doubt borne of compassion and fairness, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on US debt now consume all of our federal tax revenue, and our government is frantically borrowing over $4.7 billion per day to make up the shortfall for those expenses plus everything else.

Our plight is getting worse faster and faster as over 10,000 baby boomers retire every day.  And there is no way to tax or confiscate enough wealth to resolve the situation for long. This brutal truth  is shown clearly by Bill Whittle, with his usual wry humor, at this link.  Nonetheless, Progressives keep plodding along, demonizing “the rich” as the source of, as well as the solution to, our gargantuan economic woes.

Clause 5 appeals so much to base human emotions that Progressive politicians like Barack Obama exploit it to their political advantage through class-envy initiatives like the “Buffett Rule“, and “Fair Share“.  Unlike a precious few stalwarts in Congress, Obama simply refuses to confront the accounting arithmetic that is staring him in the face. He and his party perpetuate the myth that taxing the rich “just a little more” will solve the problem.  And the media never call him on it.  And the beat goes on.

Clause 6:
Clause 6 explicitly permits violation of Clauses 1 and 3 in some politically motivated circumstances in order to achieve a State-controlled version of EqualitySome current examples of Clause 6 in operation are Democrat tolerance for voter fraud, government-mandated purchase of health insurance, and Eric Holder’s infamous race-based pursuit of justice.

So …

There it is then, a Progressive Declaration of Self-Evident Truths.  But this is just a first draft.  What do you think?  Have I got it wrong?  Have I left something out?  You can enter your comments below.

Even though Progressivism has failed dismally from its very earliest days in America, it is now making a comeback thanks to the Democrat Party, hijacked by the Left after John F. Kennedy died.  It will soon swamp all of us — unless, that is, we can stop them on November 6 and begin a restoration and renewal of the principles in our original Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

In the words of Shane F. Krauser, JD,

The Constitution is the not the problem.
It is emphatically the answer.

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* Footnote: I use the term “Progressive” in this article to represent the broad mass of political thought that has variously been called Progressive / Liberal / Leftist / Socialist / Collectivist / Statist / Redistributionist / Communist or some other name.  These are not all synonymous I know, and as usual, some readers will prefer to pick at the definitions of these terms rather than address the main point of this article. Suffice it to say I use “Progressive” because “Liberal” has fallen out of favor with the Left, and “Progressive” now seems to be the most broadly accepted term for those on the Left side of the political spectrum.

Time to End the ‘Meet and Confer’ Shakedown

by Nick Dranias

Government unions claim “meet and confer” collective bargaining only promotes innocent brainstorming between government employees and employers about work conditions. But in reality, as with any other collective bargaining law, meet and confer laws legalize a shakedown of the taxpayer.

Government Union InfographicLike a “discussion” conducted under the threat of a business “accident,” meet and confer laws ensure collective bargaining in Arizona is conducted under the very real threat of costly litigation. Such laws empower government unions to sue government employers for failing to negotiate in “good faith” whenever the employer refuses to yield to union demands. And government unions routinely sue government employers to meet their negotiating demands.

As a result, it should be no wonder that meet and confer collective bargaining costs Arizona taxpayers $550 million per year in outsized wages and unsustainable benefits. The legal compulsion leveraged by government unions is not offset by the fact that elected officials ultimately must approve the deal that is struck.

As the Arizona Republic reports, neither elected officials nor the media are able to monitor collective bargaining, which is typically kept secret by meet and confer laws. Elected officials rarely read or understand the hundreds of pages of labor agreements they must approve every year. And willful ignorance is encouraged by the fact government unions do not hesitate to threaten the political careers of elected officials unless they approve those agreements.

In the final analysis, meet and confer laws encourage government unions to apply legal and political force to control both sides of the bargaining table. This inevitably skews any negotiation over wages, benefits and work conditions to their advantage and to the detriment of the taxpayer—as evidenced by the outrageous phenomena of “release time,” in which union officials are put on the government payroll but work exclusively for the union.

Even if release time is banned or struck down, leaving the power of a legalized shakedown in the hands of government unions will only allow new abuses to take its place. Only a structural reform in the way government does business with unions can prevent such future abuses. For this reason, SB 1485’s total ban on government sector collective bargaining remains absolutely essential to protecting Arizona taxpayers from being fleeced by government unions.

Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: Save Taxpayers Tens of Billions of Dollars

Arizona State Legislature: SB 1485

Arizona Republic: Surprise drops curtain on police, fire union negotiations

Cal Thomas: Rachel Maddow and My Lesson in Civility

I am reprinting this for the pure purpose of getting everyone’s thoughts.

By Cal Thomas (reposted from TownHall.com)

When one writes about moral convictions, it’s probably a good idea to consistently live up to them. That way people can still disagree with your convictions, but they have a difficult time accusing you of hypocrisy.

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, I failed to live up to one of my highest principles. Here’s the background. The story about the Obama administration’s attempt to force Catholic and other faith-based institutions to offer employees free contraception in their health care coverage was still fresh. I was asked to be on a panel before what looked like a crowd of about 1,000 conservatives, hungry for “red meat.”

A clip was played from Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program. It featured her commenting on the subject. I stupidly said before thinking, “I think she’s the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception.” I then added, “and all the rest of the crowd at MSNBC, too, for that matter.”

It didn’t matter that far worse things have been said in print and on TV about me. I am not supposed to behave like that. I co-wrote a book with my liberal Democratic friend, Bob Beckel, called “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America.” We also write a column together for USA Today. One of the principles in which I believe is not to engage in name-calling; which, to my shame, I did.

The next morning I felt bad about it, so I called Ms. Maddow to apologize. It wasn’t one of those meaningless “if I’ve offended anyone…” apologies; it was heartfelt. I had embarrassed myself and was a bad example to those who read my column and expect better from me.

Maddow could not have been more gracious. She immediately accepted my apology. On her show she said publicly, “I completely believe his apology. I completely accept his apology.” To be forgiven by one you have wronged is a blessing, it’s even cleansing.

Politics has always been a contact sport. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went at each other like the worst of enemies, using some of the most outrageous and slanderous language. I don’t have bona fides equal to their founding of America, so there is nothing of similar magnitude on which I can fall back.

Maddow also accepted my invitation to lunch and we will soon meet in New York. I am looking forward to it. Since the incident, which, of course, garnered a mini-tornado of media and blogosphere coverage, I have watched a couple of her shows. Without engaging in any qualifiers, she is a strong and competent advocate for her position. Why do so many of us only watch programs that reinforce what we already believe? Where is the growth in that? Whatever else she may or may not be, she is my fellow American.

I have many liberal friends acquired over the years. They are impossible to avoid in the media, but I don’t wish to avoid them. They became my friends because I stopped seeing them as labels and began seeing them as persons with innate worth. That is what I failed to do in my first response to Rachel Maddow. One might expect a pro-lifer like me to support the birth of fellow human beings and not suggest they should never have been born.

I expect to like Rachel Maddow because my instinct is to separate the value of a person from his or her political position. For some strange reason (demon possession, perhaps) I failed to do that at CPAC.

So, apology delivered and accepted and lunch will soon be served. I’m trying to decide whose career might be hurt more should someone take a picture of us enjoying a meal and –it is to be hoped, at least by me — each other.