came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Martin Niemöller - November, 1945 after being released from the
Dachau concentration camp after being a "guest" for 4 years.
I use this quote a lot in my
daily life and those who know me often roll their eyes when I
quote the good pastor. The actual groups the Nazi came for
and the order with which they came is really unimportant - it is
the overall message that I hope people take to heart.
In my mind, Martin was discussing
the apathy and "mind your own business" mentality that the
masses manifest during hard times. I'm not talking about
generic apathy here - the stuff that most of us can either take
or leave. Items like, Same-sex Marriage. Most folks
do not care if gay people get married - the polls support that,
but put it on a ballot and it's like rolling the dice in Vegas;
its any body's guess as to the result. Just look at the
spread across the U.S. in regard to same-sex marriage laws!
Why? Because it comes down to getting out to vote.
Apathy sets in and only the truly motivated show up to vote,
leaving them to fight it out alone. Abortion - same thing.
Polls support a woman's right to choose, the supreme court has
upheld it, but the laws on the books control that right so
closely that it hardly seems legal to get an abortion. Gun
ownership: The vast majority (according to polls) believes
they should have the right to own them, but very few want others
to own them. If only we could pass a law so that the "bad
guys" can't own them... Oh yeah - we have volumes of laws
that say that. Another intermittently inflamed example is,
Imminent Domain. Watch the news sometime and see just how
much people hate the idea of the government (federal, state or
local) being able to take personal property for the benefit of
the "greater good". But, for the record, the voters gave
the government(s) the power to do so. People getting a new
4-lane highway through downtown, airport, power plant or
(fill in the blank) love it. Of course, as long as it
was not they who had to move out of their house, move to a new
hair salon or lose a convenient gas station on the way to work.
These are all things that simply "buzz" around us on a daily
basis. Items that we are essentially numb to and hardly
involve enough of us or, better said, threaten us enough, to
make it worthwhile to engage. Below, I have laid out a
framework for how the poem by
applies in my mind:
We gave up a fantastic amount of
"liberty" with the Patriot Act, which was instituted due to the
9/11 massacre. Most people did this willingly. In
it's application we gave up a fair amount of "personal space"
through the institution of very private searches at airports as
a result. Passport procedures strengthened and, oh yeah,
there was that thing about "warrantless wire-tapping" too.
Did anyone really care?*** In
hindsight, maybe we should have. Let's re-write the
Pastor's first line: "First
they came for the terrorists, but I did not speak out - because
I had nothing to hide." More to that later.
We went to war in Afghanistan and
everyone agreed that it was justified. But didn't we
forget to do something? What did we do to get the American
public engaged in the war? Did we forget to sell war
bonds, raise taxes or increase production across the land in
support of our efforts? It appears as though we forgot to
make money in the process! We kicked the Taliban out of
power and then we lost interest... No one had to sacrifice
- no one was reminded of the cost (or value) of liberty.
We took prisoners, called them illegal combatants and threw them
into a hole in Cuba where they were to never return from...
Whoa... What happened there? "Military Rendition"
and "enhanced interrogation techniques" came to light...
Who authorized the release of that knowledge? It seems
like there was a pattern starting to develop here.
We went to war in Iraq. Not
sure of the reasoning, it sounded logical at the time. We
ultimately set out to do there, exactly what Barack sought out
to do in Libya. Again, we were successful. Of course
we were - we ARE the most powerful nation in the world;
militarily. No apologies needed and the Aussies and Brits
have no need to feel guilty - it was a good idea. But,
just like in Afghanistan, we failed to make the war pay for
itself. Again, we got caught doing all of the things that
need to be done in war and we began to apologize to the Arab
world for doing 10% of the things that they did to everyone
else; us included. My memory on this is a little fuzzy -
How many of the suspected terrorists did we cut the throat of on
You-Tube? While they were raping women, we were making murders
feel like they were drowning.. In the end, we kicked
Saddam out of power and then we lost interest... No one
had to sacrifice - no one was reminded of the cost (or value) of
In the beginning we had a
president (Bush) spending money like a steel worker at a strip
club and the country was doing it right along with him! He
was nearing the end of his rule and it appeared as though a ham
sammich could have gotten into power; hence why the republicans
sacrificed McCain (he never stood a chance).
Next we have a case where we are
suffering through an absolutely massive collapse of a system
that our government was tasked with overseeing - financial risk
and investment markets. How many people out there truly
understand the size and scope of the mortgage-backed securities
debacle that was created and then collapsed? CONSERVATIVE
numbers placed the trading value of the securities, world-wide,
at nearly 40 TRILLION dollars. That is roughly the
equivalent of the U.S., U.K. and E.U. economies combined!
Note that I said "trading value" and not "actual value" because,
if I said "actual" the number would have been around 7 trillion;
at most. That is according to actual numbers agreed upon
and reported by the E.U., U.K. and U.S. in 2009. So - in
2008 & 2009, 33 TRILLION dollars was magically evacuated from
the world's economy.. POOF! That was hit #1; next
would be "credit bubble". As it would turn out, the very
same institutions that were leveraging themselves ad infinitum
were insisting that their bankers and borrowers do the same
thing! Through a very well orchestrated scheme of
"loosening up cash" so that it could be shaken from the clients,
financial institutions across the globe aided the general
public, the businesses, local/state & federal governments in
growing their debt. The federal government helped out by
tightening bankruptcy laws so that banks could cheat on their
balance sheets by writing down "bad debt" while at the same
time, allowing "bad debt" to be written off! Who was
complaining when all of this was going down? After it
happened, it seemed like everyone was equally embarrassed and
disgusted and for a short time everyone was willing to do
anything to stop the bleeding. Conservatives and liberals
alike were rushing to throw cash on the fire, hoping to
suffocate it.. We all know how well that worked. The
2008 election sweeps the liberal-left into power and no sooner
does it happen that the next wave of the debt-tsunami washes
ashore: Hit #2, the credit bubble and the ensuing stimulus
spending, TRILLIONS more disappeared. EVERYBODY, and I
mean EVERBODY lost money. Decreasing wages - the
government's fault, increasing fuel costs - the government's
fault, increasing grocery costs, massive unemployment - the
government's fault, fantastic insurance cost increases - the
government's fault.. Why? Because the value of the
dollar fell and it fell because of the nightmare that follows
The Left-wing ushered in a time
of "Hope & Change" which translated to the following:
Clunkers!! Student Loan take-over!! Obama Care!!
Government take-over of Banks!! Government Motors!!
Wall Street Bail-outs!! Fannie-Mae & Freddie-Mack
Then we have a veritable
cornucopia of Czars being
initiated, the size of government begins to grow uncontrollably,
the price of gas increases by dramatic proportions because the
value of the dollar drops like a rock in the wake of the orgy of
spending! This time there was outrage! But who was
listening? The most vocal opponents were being shouted
down, branded as "the rich" and sidelined by the massive
left-wing controlled media. Dissent was limited by the
administration through bullying tactics in the Whitehouse
pressroom and overall avoidance (for a time) of any interviews;
instead talking directly to the people through the co-opting of
the airwaves. A massive push to brand all dissent as "Neo-con"
propaganda ensued and the media ate it up... This
infighting sold advertising space like a real tragedy - only
without actually having one. It was a purely manufactured
hullabaloo! "Next they came for the
Neo-Conservative, but I did not speak out - because I considered
myself an independent."
The new team takes the reigns in
Afghanistan and Iraq and begins the world-wide apology tour.
"Can't we all just get along?" was the message being
delivered by the administration as they tried to hold the hands
of every nation around the world, singing, Kumbayah.
American "Stock" around the world falls to an all-time low as
nations alternatively made fun of us or were embarrassed by our
leader's actions. Long time friends became enraged by our
illustrious leader's ignorance of past-practice, history and
tradition. Previous allies took a long hard look at our
"new direction" and began working on plans for a time
post-Obama. Israel, the U.K., Australia and Japan have
"shelved" our relationship, instead, hedging for a time
down-the-road when our relationship is "normal" again.
Here's the big concern: The
American public did not have a chance to vote on any of the
above examples... Not one. The administration, being
led by a self-professed "Constitutional Expert" claimed that the
public had voted when they put him in office and went on to
lecture about how our government worked. When Ted Kennedy
died and the super-majority required to ram Obama-Care through
dissolved, he actually became incensed with the American
public's overwhelming concern with his plans. He chastised
the "Neo-Con" media for portraying the plan in a negative light
and claimed that, ".. if only they knew the FACTS of the case,
they would approve..." Here's the irony: Neither he,
nor any of his tribe, would release the details of the plan.
We all remember Nancy Pelosi claiming that the only way to get
the details of the plan was to pass it!! 3 years later, we
are still being spoon-fed little bits and pieces of the plan.
The "Affordable Healthcare plan" is being taken to the Supreme
Court by no less than 19 states at last count, with at least two
of them being able to argue prior to the 2012 general election.
The GAO has scored it as a budget buster and the House
Appropriations Committee warns that it is the definition of the
term: Un-Funded Mandate. Pure gamesmanship and political
maneuvering got it into the books as law, employing a budgetary
sleight-of-hand to actually get it through without a vote.
One would certainly think that THAT should have been a sign of
things to come.
The 2010 elections arrive and the
vast majority of the left-wing that could be gotten rid of -
were. All those that sold their constituency into
servitude and debt were sent packing and a new breed of
conservative was ushered in: Enter the Tea Party.
This is a group that branded themselves as "Constitutionalists".
I believe they did so, in large part, because it's a poke in the
eye of the guy who tells everyone he's the real constitutional
expert. Conservative news outlets laud their arrival in
Washington, claiming a great revolution in politics and
predicting that the end of imminent socialism is at hand.
The left-wing media closes ranks and begins to nullify the
victory in their base's mind by portraying the Tea Party as a
bunch of backward, racist hate-mongers hell-bent on returning
the country to the days of slavery and women's indentured
servitude in the household. It did not matter that the new
breed of conservatives were voted in with record majorities -
the Hollywood-to-NY City liberal wing had money to burn and burn
they did. Even before there was no budget passed for the
third straight year, the media hyped an inevitable impasse in
congress that would see to it that nothing of value would get
passed. The Centers for Change announced 3 days after the
elections that a "leak" in the House Leadership told them that,
"..the Republican-controlled House had vowed to pass nothing of
the president's until after the 2012 election."
3 days had passed...
None of the new Representatives had even made it to Washington
yet... The Huffington Post, USA Today, The San Francisco
Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune and - of course - the New York
Times all regurgitated the nonsensical assertion. When the
source of the purported "leak" turned out to be a disgruntled
aide in a departing "un-named senator's" staff, none of the
papers printed a retraction or correction; they simply stopped
reporting the lie. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC all picked up
the story as well, reporting it as an "un-confirmed source."
Still, even though they knew it wasn't true - they couldn't
resist getting the story a little more traction. The
administration put the whole thing to rest by saying, "I have
heard the reports and I for one would be saddened if it were
true..." President Barack Obama,
Whitehouse Press Briefing post 2010 landslide victory for the
The battles over spending,
deficits and debt for the remaining months of 2010 and the
entire year of 2011 were a self-fulfilling prophecy created by
the likes of George Soros, Warren Buffet, the big money unions
(AFL & CIO, SEIU) and the endless piles of cash being exported
from the elitists in Hollywood. The Dems (Reid, Pelosi,
Boxer, Waters & Obama) would offer plans that they knew ran
counter to anything the voters wanted and just waited for the
new House personnel to shoot it down. As soon as they did
- BAM - there was all the proof they needed that the "lie" was
actually TRUE! All of a sudden EVERYONE who wasn't a part
of the solution (in Barack's method of solving problems) was a
part of the opposition. A new enemy had been created and
the socialist-leaning left-wing had something to rally around.
"Then they came for the Opposition,
but I said, 'Opposition... Who's that?' So they left
me alone as I appeared harmless."
As time passed, rumors of voter
fraud in the 2008 elections began to surface and states started
to move to close the loop-holes that allowed for it. When
data from 2008 was compared to the more recent 2010 elections, a
serious pattern of fraud was revealed and the attorneys general
of 6 states moved to put laws on the books to stop it; some
preventatively - some in direct response to deficiencies.
Suddenly states like Indiana and Ohio were no better at holding
free and fair elections than, say, Egypt or Somalia. Some
states got away with it because their changes were minor and
they did not have to run their changes past the federal
government - other states did the unthinkable. As we have
discussed prior, South Carolina dared to require state-issued ID
cards, free of charge to the citizens who wanted to vote but did
not have ID. They even agreed to pick the people up at
their home (or place of business, gathering or worship) and take
them to a registered center - and return them to a location of
their choosing (within the state of course). The
Administration moved quickly on that as we all know. How
dare they disenfranchise the minorities, students and elderly
that way!??! Where is the Department of Homeland Security
on this issue? How can we have a less stringent set of
rules to pick the leadership of this country than we do for
taking a plane from Boston to the World Trade Centers?
Since when can't states protect themselves?
Immigration is my next example.
What a panacea this issue is. There was a time when,
arriving at Ellis Island was a triumph for the human spirit, a
time to be celebrated. Those who qualified and actually
arrived were revered by those that could not make the journey
and to those, their efforts were doubled for the next round of
selections. The mere process of arriving was the beginning
of the American Dream made manifest. Now, the whole issue
is tainted by the smear of illegal immigration.
Essentially "line jumpers", chock-full of the unqualified,
unwanted and ineligible arriving in droves to usurp the dream
from those who follow the rules. Legislation is so screwed
up now that the roles are practically reversed on the issue and
qualified candidates can't even get visitors visas. The
polls show that the overwhelming majority of American citizens
hate illegal immigration and feel that the federal government is
doing next to nothing to protect the citizens from threats
crossing the border. Every time there is a local or state
referendum on the subject - the citizens vote to enforce the
federal regulations the government is ignoring, stiffen the
local laws and protect themselves! That has occurred EVERY
TIME it has wound up on a ballot. Yet - the federal
government overturns the decision (in every case), stays the
results or punishes the state to the point that they finally
acquiesce. Again - states cannot protect themselves?
Next up, drilling, mining and
pipelines. Nope can't do that either. You can spend
all the money you want looking for it, planning for it and
asking for approval - but you can't actually do it. The
moment it requires federal approval - it's done. I see a
pattern again... But so does the government so they
quickly moved to assign the "State's Rights Concern" to the Tea
Party. Because, of course, State's Rights are a Rebel
Philosophy held over from the Confederacy movement during the
Civil War. And who better to solve this little problem
than the reincarnated Abraham Lincoln - Barack Obama.
Remember when he voted himself as the 4th best president in
history, just behind Lincoln? Yep - he did it in December
2011 in a 60 minutes interview. Any wonder that they
edited that out in the aired episode? Luckily the
transcript of what he ACTUALLY said is available.
He ranked himself behind FDR and LBJ; at least he shows some
signs of being humble... That's kind of funny
considering most other polls rank him as #4 too - of the worst
presidents in history with Taft, Coolidge and Carter edging him
out of the top 3. So, what we have here is a case of
redefining the problem. The problem is not the violation
of state's rights, it's a problem of state's trying to usurp
federal powers. That's the case the Eric Holder (Attorney
General) keeps making in the courts.
"Then they came for the States trying to take over the
U.S. Government and I said, 'Huh - who did what?' They
snickered and walked away. "
And finally we have the recent
revelations that the Affordable Healthcare Plan (Obama Care)
will violate religious freedom and the Secretary of Health and
Human Services (Kathleen Sebelius) thinks Woman's rights
are more important. In fact, if you listen to the news
reports coming out of the oval office, everyone there believes
that the religious institutions and their coverage programs
should have to provide coverage that flies in the face of their
beliefs. Women's rights are important, but, there is no
one group in the country more important than a right granted to
all! You want compromise Mr. President? Ask the insurance
companies to compromise - not the constitution! I do not
care one iota about religion - not an ounce, but I have
willingly offered my life in the protection of that right and
every other one afforded in our constitution. I am a
veteran and so is my father and his father and so on & so forth.
I did so because I love the fact that that right in
particular is there and that the government may take no part in
it. The government may not infringe on that right, nor
shall they involve themselves in it.
Add to that, the interview with
the President that has him commenting upon just how difficult it
is to do his job when the very document he claims to be an
expert on (The Constitution) keeps slowing him down. It
makes things difficult for him and he sees that as a problem.
In his own words, the president says, “What’s frustrated
people is that I have not been able to force Congress to
implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns
out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult
to bring about change than I would like sometimes.”
Interview with Matt Lauer, NBC 2/6/2012.
What's really ironic is that he HAS forced them to
implement so much of his vision already that the American public
voted out his majority. Hell, he's already violated
Article I, Section Five of the Constitution by making recess
appointments when the senate wasn't in recess - why not just
pass laws without actually voting on them or make laws by
executive order or create cabinet-level posts without
congressional approval while he's at it? Oh wait - he's
done all of that too.
finally they've come for the rest and I shouted, "Wake up
America! They're here for you. They are here for
what makes us great' and I refused to go with them and now they
So scared are they, that they set
up Truth Commissions to sanitize the word that gets out.
They now choose to employ all of their tactics in one giant push
to take all that is left. I am sickened - but I choose now
to rise up from my seat and take steps to make sure that the
"Truth Teams" are seen for what they truly are -
Purveyors of Propaganda - the likes of which should send a
chill down the spine of every American; they have now gone too
far. This decision makes me think of the Cultural
Revolution, Venezuela, Castro.... I hear jack-boots
marching in the background while I read the words of DFL
Chairman Ken Martin and Mayor R.T. Rybak
|*** As a matter
of full-disclosure here, I want it on the record that I
supported the Patriot Act, warrantless wire-tapping, removal of
shoes / valid ID presentation and "no-fly lists" at airports.
I support Gitmo and the application of the term illegal
combatants - though I would have rather them be executed for
their crimes upon being found guilty by military tribunal.
I also support Military and covert "Rendition" as well as any
interrogation technique that does not violate the Geneva
Convention and works. "Enhanced" interrogation works - the
REAL experts all agreed, though the application of it should
have been closely guarded, controlled and kept secret. In
other words, "Don't get caught doing it."