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A Short Route to Chaos

Well, I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

Sir Thomas More, A Man For All Seasons

On December 29 of last year in reviewing my 2012 predictions for 2013 I noted:

6.  Tell all Books-A flood of tell all books by former insiders of the Obama administration will begin to hit the market.

Not quite yet.  Stay tuned for this year.

If Robert Gates’, former Secretary of Defense for both Bush and Obama, publisher had been a bit more prompt, that prediction would have come true.  Gates’ book is absolutely damning in regard to the Obama administration.  Bob Woodward at The Washington Post reviews the book:

Gates, a Republican, writes about Obama with an ambivalence that he does not resolve, praising him as “a man of personal integrity” even as he faults his leadership. Though the book simmers with disappointment in Obama, it reflects outright contempt for Vice President Biden and many of Obama’s top aides.

Biden is accused of “poisoning the well” against the military leadership. Thomas Donilon, initially Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in “aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders.”

In her statement, Hayden said Obama “disagrees with Secretary Gates’ assessment” of the vice president.

“From his leadership on the Balkans in the Senate, to his efforts to end the war in Iraq, Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America’s leadership in the world,” Hayden said. “President Obama relies on his good counsel every day.”

Gates is 70, nearly 20 years older than Obama. He has worked for every president going back to Richard Nixon, with the exception of Bill Clinton. Throughout his government career, he was known for his bipartisan detachment, the consummate team player. “Duty” is likely to provide ammunition for those who believe it is risky for a president to fill such a key Cabinet post with a holdover from the opposition party.

He writes, “I have tried to be fair in describing actions and motivations of others.” He seems well aware that Obama and his aides will not see it that way.

*******************************************************

Gates says his instructions to the Pentagon were: “Don’t give the White House staff and [national security staff] too much information on the military options. They don’t understand it, and ‘experts’ like Samantha Power will decide when we should move militarily.” Power, then on the national security staff and now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been a strong advocate for humanitarian intervention.

Another time, after Donilon and Biden tried to pass orders to Gates, he told the two, “The last time I checked, neither of you are in the chain of command,” and said he expected to get orders directly from Obama.

Life at the top was no picnic, Gates writes. He did little or no socializing. “Every evening I could not wait to get home, get my office homework out of the way, write condolence letters to the families of the fallen, pour a stiff drink, wolf down a frozen dinner or carry out,” since his wife, Becky, often remained at their home in Washington state.

“I got up at five every morning to run two miles around the Mall in Washington, past the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials, and in front of the Lincoln Memorial. And every morning before dawn, I would ritually look up at that stunning white statue of Lincoln, say good morning, and sadly ask him, How did you do it?”

The memoir’s title comes from a quote, “God help me to do my duty,” that Gates says he kept on his desk. The quote has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln’s war secretary, Edwin Stanton.

At his confirmation hearings to be Bush’s defense secretary in late 2006, Gates told the senators that he had not “come back to Washington to be a bump on a log and not say exactly what I think, and to speak candidly and, frankly, boldly to people at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue about what I believe and what I think needs to be done.”

But Gates says he did not speak his mind when the committee chairman listed the problems he would face as secretary. “I remember sitting at the witness table listening to this litany of woe and thinking, “What the hell am I doing here? I have walked right into the middle of a category-five s——-m. It was the first of many, many times I would sit at the witness table thinking something very different from what I was saying.”

**********************************

At a March 3, 2011, National Security Council meeting, Gates writes, the president opened with a “blast.” Obama criticized the military for “popping off in the press” and said he would push back hard against any delay in beginning the withdrawal.

According to Gates, Obama concluded, “ ‘If I believe I am being gamed . . .’ and left the sentence hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire.”

Gates continues: “I was pretty upset myself. I thought implicitly accusing” Petraeus, and perhaps Mullen and Gates himself, “of gaming him in front of thirty people in the Situation Room was inappropriate, not to mention highly disrespectful of Petraeus. As I sat there, I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”

Go here to read the rest.  The picture of this administration by Mr. Gates will come as little surprise to those paying attention to both the foreign policy of the Obama regime and its rocky relationship with the military.    The truly interesting aspect of any tell-all book about an administration is why the writer didn’t speak out publically at the time.   Gates ceased being Secretary of Defense on July 1, 2011.  He could have spoken out immediately after he left office.  Instead, he waited two and a half years later to publish his memoirs, all while American troops were dying in Afghanistan “led” by a commander in chief, who, by Gates’ account, did not believe in the US mission there, did not believe in his strategy and did not trust his top military leadership.  Gates entitled his memoirs Duty:  Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense.  I can only assume that title is an exercise in irony.  Gates paints a bleak picture of the Obama administration.  His silence about all of it, until now, paints an even bleaker picture of himself.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

45 Comments

  1. “ ‘If I believe I am being gamed . . .’ and left the sentence hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire.”

    The President really ought to deal with his subordinates in a more elevated way than channeling Valerie Jarrett.

  2. I am one of the 48% of the voting population that in 2008 that Obama is utterly unqualified to be anything other than a second-rate, racial hustler.

    Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Fool me for five years I am an Obama-worshiping imbecile.

  3. Our nation would be well served if those who under the self described term “duty” vacated office after just a few years and returned to the private sector. One who spends forty plus years within the administrative state as a bureaucrat does not reflect the vision of the founding fathers for a citizen’s duty to serve. Term limits are a good thing.

  4. Want to destroy representative government as we’ve castrated the power of the executive branch through term limits? Put term limits in the Congress. Here’s the price tag: the loss of experienced and seasoned legislators, ah, but that’s only the listed price. The tax … and it won’t be a fixed sales tax by any imagination, will be the cost of the creation of a superpermalobbying caste. It’s real easy to say, “Okay, they’ve served their time, now it’s time for ’em to step down.” Okay, but what if Sen. or Rep. Jones is working on a very complex piece of legislation that would do wonders to help improve the lot of so many lives without compromising the teachings of our Church and cause any of the usual howls over Jefferson’s Berlin Wall of sorts in his letter to Connecticut Baptists two centuries ago?
    Shouldn’t the voters retain the right to decide for themselves if they want a new person sitting in Jones’ seat at a time when Jones’ presence, connections and legislative skills are of paramount value? … especially if the likelihood that Jones’ successor will filibuster the piece or make sure its progress is jammed long enough for the next two years so as to “allow it to die in committee” before reaching the House floor.
    What helped make FDR so effective in handling many (though hardly all) of his resistance from Capitol Hill was the simple fact that without term limits, his very presence could keep his share of ever-present pain in the rears in a permanent state of second guessing…and I’m referring to legislators in both parties.
    The moment a president secures his reelection, he or she is automatically a lame duck, left fighting to secure the “legacy” rather than permanently campaigning, cajoling or downright fighting for the legislation he/she wants passed. Until LBJ announced he was stepping down, nobody on Capitol Hill wanted to hear the phone ring at 1 a.m. knowing for sure it was Johnson calling him down for a “come to Jesus” talk with LBJ. But that’s what helped turned the unquestionably moral cause for equal rights become successful in overturning the blockheads from Dixie and getting both the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act passed, even though LBJ openly admitted after signing the latter he was signing off his own party’s chances in the South for years to come.
    T.Shaw, c’mon … you can do better than Glenn Beck, right? If not, indeed and quite pitiable.

  5. Steven,

    How so?

    Can you provide specifics, data and facts, on Obama’s qualifications and achievements, either pre- or post-2008?

    That entry will be far shorter than the above litany you flung at us.

    And, here’s a true howler! ” . . . the loss of experienced and seasoned legislators.” Name one that isn’t a complete idiot.

    The only way to limit the damage is to limit their power.

    I’m pretty sure you can’t do it.

  6. Want to destroy representative government as we’ve castrated the power of the executive branch

    The fact that you believe the current executive branch to be “castrated” in relation to the legislative branch, especially considering American history up to about 1932, is absolutely mind-boggling. I’ve gone back and forth on Congressional term limits myself, but using the 22nd Amendment to buttress the case against them is faulty. Even without term limits there has never been a successful 2nd presidential term with the possible exception of Theodore Roosevelt. Even the vaunted FDR’s standing slipped considerably after the 1938 mid-term elections.

  7. Put term limits in the Congress. Here’s the price tag: the loss of experienced and seasoned legislators, ah, but that’s only the listed price.

    There was an article in The Public Interest on this subject a decade or so ago. The ‘experienced legislators’ are the one’s most likely to be in the breast pocket of lobbyists. “Experienced legislators” = rent seeking and crony capitalism. Suggest in the future that we have a minimum age for members of Congress (say, 39), require mandatory retirement at 75 (yes, Robert Byrd, I was thinking of you), and allow no legislator to serve more than eight years in any bloc of twelve.

    You cannot really correct for a rancid political culture and a corpus of politicians drawn from a bourgeoisie that has not one-quarter of the honor and dignity that my grand-parents’ contemporaries had. However, we might benefit from junking the video-plebiscitarian system of selecting our chief executive. Presidential elections have gotten to be such an ugly circus and are so biased in favor of politicians whose skill set begins and ends with running electoral campaigns that I keep hoping every four years we have seen the last one.

    1. Require the president be an old man (60 at a minimum).

    2. Have the state legislatures elect the president, and reconvene for such a task if there is a vacancy.

    3. Have the president serve until a mandatory retirement date (say, 75).

    4. Grant the House of Representatives a conditional option to erect a parliamentary ministry (along the lines of French ‘co-habitation governments’).

    5. Get rid of the presidential veto and get rid of advise and consent functions for aught but tenured positions. Devolve advise and consent functions to state legislatures.

    I should note, SB, that elections seldom if ever tell you what the public wants. They tell you what the public will tolerate. If you do not raise their property taxes, bollix a snow emergency, or flub your press conference when ethylene glycol is discovered in the water table, they tolerate just about anything. No term limits means most legislative seats are property.

  8. To lose Christopher Henry Smith of NJ or a Henry Hyde to term limits would be disastrous, for these men were and are statesmen.
    “Want to destroy representative government as we’ve castrated the power of the executive branch”
    923 Executive Orders signed by Obama in 40 months, Obamacare, the HHS Mandate has castrated the U.S. Constitution. The only breath we have left is impeachment, and impeachment is better than term limits.

  9. Here’s the rule of thumb I suggest for term limits: the more power the person occupying the office can exercise as an individual, the shorter their term limit should be. The term limit for an executive office such as POTUS, governor or mayor would be shorter than that of a legislative office (Congresscritter, state legislator, alderman) for the obvious reason that a president, governor or mayor has a lot more potential for turning into a king/dictator for life than does a single member of a legislative body with multiple members.

    Personally I would suggest that state governors be limited to two 4-year terms just like the POTUS, that state legislators and members of Congress be limited to about 20 years, U.S. Senators to 30 years, and that automatic pensions for these offices be abolished. For legislators, a shorter time limit 8-10 years, could be placed on offices such as Speaker, Majority Leader, etc. since their power to influence movement of legislation is greater than that of a lone rank and file member. This would allow time for legislators to gain experience of how things work, and prevent disruptive levels of turnover (some states have repealed their term limits on legislators because it caused more problems than it solved), while making it clear that such an office is not meant to be held for life. Many members of Congress and the majority of state legislators would probably either quit or get voted out before a 20-year term limit became an issue anyway.

  10. I think rotation in office is a good thing. Where I would disagree with you Elaine is with regard to its comparative utility. State borders are fixed, and thus gubernatorial contests cannot be gerrymandered. Also, the state governor is an exceedingly obtrusive official, so contests incorporate a great deal of publicity and attract ambitious pols willing and able to mount vigorous challenges. New York has mandatory retirement for judges, but has never had term limits of any kind. We’ve had over 50 governors since Lexington and Concord but only a half-dozen sat in office for more than a decade; the one with the longest tenure was in office for 15 years. It is absolutely routine for legislators to serve longer than that and you have re-election rates north of 98%.

  11. Ms. DeVoe writes, “…To lose Christopher Henry Smith of NJ or a Henry Hyde to term limits would be disastrous, for these men were and are statesmen….

    A true statesman knows when to call it a day and go home, just as George Washington did when he left the office of the Presidency and declined the position of king offered him by a grateful nation.

    Our Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who would voluntarily assume the role of legislators for a short period, resolve existing issues, and then return to their primary occupations in the private sector thus making way for other citizens to do their civic duties.

    The great administrative welfare state that our federal government has become could not survive under the citizen legislator model anticipated by the Founders….but then the Founder’s primary concern was to protect our nation from becoming a top down centralized behemoth.

    The Founders realized that when power concentrates, tyranny inevitably follows.

  12. “A true statesman knows when to call it a day and go home, just as George Washington did when he left the office of the Presidency and declined the position of king offered him by a grateful nation.” -Christopher Henry Smith is the leading pro-life person in the House. George Washington left because our nation was born and alive. Human sacrifice as a legality, the rejection of God by government, the denial of the human soul and the inclusion of atheism have eroded our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps, George Washington would have stayed to repair freedom if he had to deal with what our nation has lost. In any event, John Adams Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, all Founding Fathers were competent to do the work of liberty. Now, we are a gulag and beasts of burden as far as Obama is concerned.

  13. Timely quotes from Thomas Jefferson.

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work. and give to those who would not.—-Thomas Jefferson

    It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.—-Thomas Jefferson

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.—-Thomas Jefferson

    My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
    —-Thomas Jefferson

    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.—-Thomas Jefferson

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.—-Thomas Jefferson

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.—Thomas Jefferson

    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.—-Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property–until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

  14. Modern politicians appear to pay more heed to Sir Boyd Roche than to Thomas Jefferson.
    When a debate arose in the Irish House of Commons on the vote of a grant which was recommended by Sir John Parnell, Chancellor of the Exchequer, as one not likely to be felt burdensome for many years to come – it was observed in reply, that the House had no just right to load posterity with a weighty debt for what could in no degree operate to their advantage. Sir Boyle, eager to defend the measure of Government, immediately rose: “What, Mr. Speaker!” said he, “and so we are to beggar ourselves for fear of vexing posterity! Now, I would ask the honourable gentleman, and still more honourable House, why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity; for what has posterity done for us?”

  15. Ms. Devoe, Career politicians are primarily motivated by enlightened self interest (winning their own re-election and securing lucrative congressional pension and medical plans). The best interests of the nation (including the preservation of innocent human life in all its forms) are of secondary importance.

    The longer a politician remains in office the more aligned he or she becomes with the power structure (political parties) which turn out voters at election time and private lobbying interests which provide campaign financing in return for a favorable voting record on targeted issues.

    Because there are so many entrenched politicians, citizen legislators with fresh ideas and contemporary approaches to resolving tough, long standing issues are denied an opportunity to serve. The same hackneyed politicians continue to westle with the same problems producing little or no positive change. Oftentimes this holding pattern is the desired end demanded by those lobbies which financially support the politician.

    .

    We need new people, new ideas, and the energy of new generations who will commit to serve for a short period, clean up the mess, turn their backs on the political parties and lobbying interests, then leave. Term limits will help advance this goal.

    Fear of change should not limit one to the status quo. There are many citizen legislators who will stand in favor of the worthwhile issues you favor.

  16. MPS writes: “…Now, I would ask the honourable gentleman, and still more honourable House, why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity; for what has posterity done for us?”

    Perfect!

    An perfect description of a politician’s self interested mindset…but couldn’t you have selected a quote not so closely linked to Ireland? : )

  17. Boy boy, I can still hear the calls of the conservatives back in ’88 bewailing the fact Reagan was unable to run again. Can’t have it both ways. If a person is strong enough mentally and physically to stand for reelection, for any office at any level and in any state as well, shouldn’t it remain for the voters to decide to say “yea” or “nay”? (Mercifully I’ve kept my reply shorter than otherwise for there was a lot to think n’ chew over above, some very interesting and thought-provoking ideas, but I’m still bedeviled how birtherism keeps surfacing. Oh I get it, T. Shaw wants to keep letting me diss it over n’ over. LOL, sorta like the GOP on Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, ad very nauseum. I hope for your sake especially designed anti-concussion helmets are available for anti-any-social safety net GOPers, TPartiers and Libertarians.

  18. Boy boy, I can still hear the calls of the conservatives back in ’88 bewailing the fact Reagan was unable to run again. Can’t have it both ways.

    ==

    I’m not trying to. I never advocated repeal of the 22d Amendment. I doubt Elaine Krewer did either. Dr. Zummo was 10 years old in 1988.

  19. “shouldn’t it remain for the voters to decide to say “yea” or “nay”?”

    Those same voters are quite partial to term limits for a reason. Voters only decide between presented alternatives.

  20. Slainté

    Oh! But the honourable member for Tralee is an unfailing source of delight, as chronicled in Josiah Barrington’s indispensible Memoirs.

    It was Sir Boyle who said in support of the suspension of Habeas Corpus, “It would surely be better … to give up not only a part, but, if necessary, even the whole, of our constitution, to preserve the remainder!”

  21. I should have said “the Honourable and Gallant Member for Tralee.”

    Sir Boyle had a distinguished military career and was knighted for valour in the capture of El Morro in Havana Bay in 1772.

  22. Michael Paterson-Seymour: “”…why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity; for what has posterity done for us?””
    Our constitutional posterity is conceived in perfect moral and legal innocence and virginity and is the standard of Justice to the state, the compelling interest of the state in the newly begotten sovereign person. The newly begotten human person constitutes the state through his sovereign personhood from the very first moment of existence. Therefore, as Fransisco Suarez posited: “Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights.”
    This is what our posterity does for us.

  23. The down side of term limits means a constitutional amendment and opening the Constitution to amendment in this day and age of evil, the only word for our culture of death, is deadly. Do not be misled, those politicians in their lust for power will find a way to collude and manipulate the government in and out of office. Take lobbying for example or the peddling of influence in the Abscam scandal that gave Christopher Smith a win over Harrison Williams and Frank Thompson, both being charged. Williams went to jail for two years.

  24. Slainte: “Oftentimes this holding pattern is the desired end demanded by those lobbies which financially support the politician.”
    Impeachment may be the only power the people have to correct the politicians and to keep them honest.
    “We need new people, new ideas, and the energy of new generations who will commit to serve for a short period, clean up the mess, turn their backs on the political parties and lobbying interests, then leave.” The people got HOPE and CHANGE with Obama, new people, new ideas. We need impeachment to keep the politicians honest and to teach them how to represent us.

  25. -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any UNDEFINED national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, CONGRESS CANNOT REVIEW THE ACTION FOR SIX MONTHS.
    THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE?
    Who will return Congress to power once Congress is disabled?
    from Vision to America News [email protected]

  26. “birtherism: makes of Obama an illegal alien in the White House. As said by Thomas More.: Who can stand upright in the wind that ensues when one lays flat all of man’s laws.

  27. Mary De Voe

    King Louis XV seems to have been of the same mind as Sir Boyle, « Après moi, le déluge » (“After me, the deluge”)

    His Most Christian Majesty may have had in mind the anonymous Greek fragment

    ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί•
    οὐδὲν μέλει μοι• τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

    When I die, let earth and fire mix:
    It matters not to me, for my affairs will be unaffected.

    Or Strato of Sardis’s remark about his dead bones

    νεκρὰ δὲ Δευκαλίων αὐτὰ κατακλυσάτω.

    and when they are dead let Deucalion’s flood cover them.

  28. MPS writes….”It was Sir Boyle who said in support of the suspension of Habeas Corpus, “It would surely be better … to give up not only a part, but, if necessary, even the whole, of our constitution, to preserve the remainder!” ….”

    I can’t stop laughing…in part because “the Honourable and Gallant Member for Tralee”, Sir Boyle is clearly descended from the fairies and may have inadvertently reached for the poitin instead of the milk when preparing his morning tea..

    I suspect SIr Boyle would have made a very interesting dinner companion if one enjoyed laughter and innane repartee.

  29. Mary DeVoe writes, “The people got HOPE and CHANGE with Obama, new people, new ideas. We need impeachment to keep the politicians honest and to teach them how to represent us….”

    I agree! We need a good spring cleaning…let’s throw all the rascals out on their heads….and hope that the new rascals are better. : )

  30. Thanks to Citizens United, and all the bucks being funneled into the organizations doing all they can to engineer a permanent Gerrymandered GOP majority in the House, you might as well kiss promises made by any handpicked GOP/TP to vote for term limitations. Once they get elected, get a taste of life on the Potomac (with all its perks n’ goodies, not to mention social life among “like minded thinkers … only of course” even the best intentioned House newbie will start singing a newer and more nuanced … er, cleverly packaged … tune about limits as soon as his or her pre-stated, promised (whatever) set number of terms is just about up. Rep. Jones will start looking at what his pension will bring in and make a “calculated decision” as to whether he or she wants to put up with the “demands” the privilege of serving the folks back home require on his or her time.
    Term limits sounds a lot nicer n’ tidier to the masses when it’s cleverly packaged by well-paid political hacks and trolls willing to put their hands to a keyboard … if they do that much besides signing to what they’ve sent out to the rubes back home. If anybody doesn’t think this mentality holds within the ruling cliques n’ claques of DC, it’s time they take a civics primer and a big mug of high octane coffee. Who’s paying the salaries of these people trolling for all the so-called “independent-minded fiscal conservatives” starting to make their bones in the GOP? The very same people paying the tab for the schlock meisters are bankrolling their convenient puppets. It happens on the liberal side of the fence, but nowhere nearly as much as it has recently with the GOP House that’s backed by people who have more money than brains, not to mention any compassion or sense of social justice.
    For those GOP members who stray over into liberal land by so much a few or even one crucial vote their puppetmasters were counting on them to cast, even if they never gave so much a hint ahead of time of what they expected of their newly victorious and gerrymandered safe vote, they’ll be history because they’ll never be able to raise enough money on their own to withstand the crucible called “primaried.” Let’s be careful about who’s calling for term limits in politics and why … and who he or she’s really calling it for. The big boyos playing the Wizard of Oz and their lobbyist pals will be the only winners in this part of the political game. I’d rather be damned than give the full meaning of my right to vote to either Soros or the Brothers Koch.
    If we give even a smidgeon of that right back by voting in people who are only serving the secret agendas of their paymasters than conducting themselves more properly by honorably serving both their local constituencies and most importantly, the nation as a whole. This doesn’t mean doing the easy thing by consulting the silent pay masters first, or sticking the proverbial wet finger in the wind . . . but rather studying the bills, voting the way they best see the issues at hand according to their higher informed conscience and treating their constituents like adults by explaining to them why they had to cast those votes.
    If you don’t buy what he or she says, then without term limits you will still have the right to exercise your right to be that legislator (or executive’s) boss. Don’t give this up. Please.

  31. Steve,

    I gotta say that I chuckled reading your comment. You spent a lot of time basically calling everyone else rubes, yet your comment is riddled with trite cliches that looked like they were cribbed from a set of pre-arranged talking points. I mean seriously, no original thought seemed to go into anything that you wrote, but I’m sure you feel better about yourself now that you’ve written it.

  32. “When I die, let earth and fire mix: It matters not to me, for my affairs will be unaffected.”
    Saint Teresa of Lieseux said: “I will spend my heaven doing good upon the face of the earth” St. Pio said: ” I will wait outside of heaven until all of my spiritual children are inside.” for those to whom it matters, they have heaven.

  33. “”It was Sir Boyle who said in support of the suspension of Habeas Corpus, “It would surely be better … to give up not only a part, but, if necessary, even the whole, of our constitution, to preserve the remainder!” ….”” Sir Boyle was certainly a great statesman with the ability to get his pointedly, pointed point across.
    “I can’t stop laughing…in part because “the Honourable and Gallant Member for Tralee”, Sir Boyle is clearly descended from the fairies and may have inadvertently reached for the poitin instead of the milk when preparing his morning tea.” Most enjoyable. Remember to watch Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People, especially the add ons that tell of how the Leprechauns got to earth.

  34. ” the GOP House that’s backed by people who have more money than brains, not to mention any compassion or sense of social justice.” Justice is giving a man what he truly deserves. Social Justice is giving a man only what he needs, and cannot give a man what he wants.

  35. Mary Devoe writes,…”Sir Boyle [Roche] was certainly a great statesman with the ability to get his pointedly, pointed point across.”

    Mary, It seems that the venerable Irish, slightly crooked politician Sir Boyle Roche, MP (1743-1807), a baronet and member of the Protestant Ascendency. was also credited with saying:

    All along the untrodden paths of the future I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

    I answer in the affirmative with an emphatic “No.”

    We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech.

    The cup of Ireland’s misery has been overflowing for centuries and is not yet half full.

    I told you to make one longer than the other and instead you have made one shorter than the other.

    (in a letter) P.S. If you do not receive this, of course it must have been miscarried; therefore I beg you to write and let me know.

    Sir, I would anchor a frigate off each bank of the river, with strict orders not to stir; and so, by cruising up and down, put a stop to smuggling.

    Ireland and England are like two sisters; I would have them embrace like one brother.

    How can I be in two places at once, unless I were a bird?

    Half the lies our opponents tell about us are untrue.

    The best way to avoid danger is to meet it plump.

    The only thing to prevent what’s past is to put a stop to it before it happens.

    Every pint bottle should contain a quart.

    There is no Levitical decree between nations, and on this occasion I can see neither sin nor shame in marrying our own sister.

    He is the kind of opponent who would stab you in front of your face and then stab you in the chest when your back is turned.

    The progress of the times…[is]…such that little children, who can neither walk nor talk, may be seen cursing their Maker!

    If we once permitted the villainous French masons to meddle with the buttresses and walls of our ancient constitution, they would never stop nor stay, until they had brought the foundation stones tumbling down about the ears of the nation.

    While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.

    I can honestly say I would not impose Term Limits on Sir Boyle Roche….I would be too busy laughing at and with him!

  36. Slainté

    Thank you for that herd of Irish Bulls.

    “How can I be in two places at once, unless I were a bird?”

    Not Sir Boyle’s own, but an allusion to the Restoration playwright, Thomas Jevons’s play, “The Devil of a Wife; or, a Comical Transformation”

    Wife: “I cannot be in two places at once.”
    Husband (Rowland): “Surely no, unless thou wert a bird”

    “I can honestly say I would not impose Term Limits on Sir Boyle Roche….I would be too busy laughing at and with him!”

    Alas! The Irish House of Commons voted itself out of existence in 1801, under the Act of Union and Sir Boyle himself voted with the majority; something that, as Dr Johnson said of Garrick’s death, “eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.”

  37. MPS writes…”Alas! The Irish House of Commons voted itself out of existence in 1801, under the Act of Union and Sir Boyle himself voted with the majority; something that, as Dr Johnson said of Garrick’s death, “eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.”

    And Sir Boyle Roche’s willingness to vote himself out of a job, call it a day, and go home is what makes that Venerable, Honorable, and ever so Esteemable, albeit slightly crooked politician, a great statesman.

  38. Paul, I wasn’t trying by any means characterize the non-DC population as rubes. I was actually trying to capture the arrogant attitude of so many of the non-elected and non-governmental writers working for the wide array of special interest groups who are very adept in the art of writing one fright letter after another for the primary purpose of separating the recipients of these fear mongering letters from their money. I’m prolife, but I have no use for outfits like the so-called Susan B. Anthony. I’ve read their material and sure enough, when it comes to pumping out the standard horror stories about certain bills put forth by the pro-abortion side, here’s what they don’t say: They support reverse robbing hoods like Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher, who sings up a nice prolife tune all the while pocketing this past year alone, $75grand, while he sat on the very same AgCmte, which voted to cut at least $39B and had the nerve to defend his actions on the House Floor. Talk’s cheap, except when it comes to the Finchers who don’t deserve the quiet dignity of leaving office after his last term’s up. Do you, Paul, and other readers want to let worms like that leave with their heads high when we the voters should have the utmost pleasure of booting his and other loads out of high office? Then, there’s the sterling defender of life himself, abortion procurin’ and food stamp cutttin’ Congressman from the opposite end of the Volunteer State….Need I say more about these two gents whom some might not find it all that bad if they get to leave with heads high and pensions, too, if term limits cuts their rogue “congressional careers” shorter than they’d really like.
    Maybe the “rubes” are really the non-elected hangers on who need to let the voters have the final say on the slate they (truly) want to put on The Hill permanently, but don’t have the guts to say so. So they lie, get away with it and continue raking in their cash for their real unstated purpose, power for its own sake … and get away with it. At least Fincher’s a good family man with no personal scandals. He’s consistent there, but the recidivist abortion procurer DeJarlais? Let the Vols have at that guy, no Constitutional lawyers expert on election matters. Let the people do the job without any “coaching” from outfits like the SBA List.
    Just a few examples.

  39. Steven Barrett: “Let the people do the job without any “coaching” from outfits like the SBA List.” The light of truth on our politicians is a great blessing for voters for it informs and educates.The evil one need darkness to hide.

  40. “Ireland and England are like two sisters; I would have them embrace like one brother.”
    “There is no Levitical decree between nations, and on this occasion I can see neither sin nor shame in marrying our own sister.”
    Sir Boyle called himself the brother who wanted there to be unity between the two sisters of Ireland and England.

  41. Mary De Voe,

    In 1593, two flame haired Queens,
    ……

    Gloriana (Elizabeth I) of England and Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley) of Clare Island, County Mayo, Connaught, Ireland came face to face in the Palace of Greenwich, and the tale a poet doth tell:

    ……..

    GRANUAILE (from the Irish)
    …….

    There stands a tower by the Atlantic side
    A grey old tower, by storm and sea-waves beat
    Perch’d on a cliff, beneath it yawneth wide
    A lofty cavern of yore a fit retreat
    For pirates galleys; altho’, now, you’ll meet
    Nought but the seal and wild gull; from that cave
    A hundred steps do upwards lead your feet
    Unto a lonely chamber! — Bold and brave
    Is he who climbs that stair, all slippery from the wave.

    ……..

    I sat there on an evening. In the west,
    Amid the waters, sank the setting sun:
    While clouds, like parting friends, about him prest,
    Clad in their fleecy garbs, of gold and dun;
    And silence was around me — save the hum,
    Of the lone and wild bee, or the curlew’s cry.
    An lo! upon me did a vision come,
    Of her who built that tower, in days gone by;
    And in that dream, behold! I saw a building high.
    …….

    A stately hull — lofty and carved the roof —
    Was deck’d with silken banners fair to see.
    The hanging velvet, from Genou’s woof,
    And wrought with Tudor roses curiously;
    At its far end did stand a canopy,
    Shading a chair of state, on which was seen
    A ladye fair, with look of majesty,
    Amid a throng, ‘yclad in costly sheen —
    Nobles and gallant Knights proclaim her England’s Queen.

    ……..

    The sage Elizabeth; and by her side
    Were group’d her counsellors, with calm, grave air,
    Burleigh and Walsingham, with others, tried
    In wisdom and in war, and sparkling there,
    Like Summer butterflies, were damsels fair,
    Beautiful and young: behind a trusty band
    Of stalwart yeomanry, with watchful care,
    The portal guard, while nigher to it stand
    Usher and page, ready to ape with willing hand.

    ……..

    A Tucket sounds, and lo! there enters now
    A strange group, in saffron tunics drest:
    A female at their head, whose step and brow
    Herald her rank, and calm and self possest,
    Onward she came, alone through England’s best,
    With careless look, and bearing free yet high,
    Tho’ gentle dames their titterings scarce represt,
    Noting her garments as she passed them by;
    None laughed again who met that stern and flashing eye.

    …….

    Restless and dark, its sharp and rapid look
    Showed a fierce spirit, prone a wrong to feel,
    And quicker to revenge it. As a book,
    That sun-burnt brow did fearless thoughts reveal;
    And in her girdle was a skeyne of steel;
    Her crimson mantle, a gold brooch did bind;
    Her flowing garments reached unto her heel;
    Her hair-part fell in tresses unconfined,
    And part, a silver bodkin did fasten up behind.

    ……..

    ‘Twas not her garb that caught the gazer’s eye —
    Tho’ strange, ’twas rich, and, after its fashion, good —
    But the wild grandeur of her mien-erect and high.
    Before the English Queen she dauntless stood,
    And none her bearing there could scorn as rude;
    She seemed as one well used to power — one that hath
    Dominion over men of savage mood,
    And dared the tempest in its midnight wrath,
    And thro’ opposing billows cleft her fearless path.

    ……

    And courteous greeting Elizabeth them pays,
    And bids her welcome to her English land
    And humble hall. Each looked with curious gaze
    Upon the other’s face, and felt they stand
    Before a spirit like their own. Her hand
    The stranger raised — and pointing where all pale,
    Thro’ the high casement, cam the sunlight bland,
    Gliding the scene and group with rich avail;
    Thus, to the English Sov’reigh, spoke proud “Grana Wale”.

    …….

    Queen of the Saxons! from the distant west
    I come; from Achill steep and Island Clare,
    Where the wild eagle builds ‘mid clouds, his nest,
    And Ocean flings its billows in the air.
    I come to greet you in your dwelling fair.
    Led by your fame — lone sitting in my cave.
    In sea — beat Doona — it hath reached me there,
    Theme of the minstrel’s song; and then I gave
    My galley to the wind, and crossed the dark green wave.

    …….

    “Health to thee, ladye! — let your answer be
    Health to our Irish land; for evil men
    Do vex her sorely, and have buklar’d thee
    Abettor of their deeds; lyeing train,
    That cheat their mistress for the love of gain,
    And wrong their trust-aught else I little reck,
    Alike to me, the mountain and the glen —
    The castle’s rampart of the galley’s deck;
    But thou my country spare — your foot is on her neck.

    …….

    Thus brief and bold, outspake that ladye stern,
    And all stood silent thro’ that crowded hall;
    While proudly glared each proud and manly kern
    Attendant on their mistress. Then courtly all
    Elizabeth replies, and soothing fall
    Her words, and pleasing to the Irish ear —
    Fair promises — that she would soon recall
    Her evil servants. Were these words sincere?
    That promise kept? Let Erin answer with a tear!

    Poet unknown

  42. slainte: This is a beautiful poem. It spells out the reality between Ireland and England, then and still now. I am aware of the relationship. I wrote to point out Sir Boyle’s reference to incestuously marrying one’s own sister as an act of state. “”I can see neither sin nor shame in marrying our own sister.”” Only tears for Ireland.

  43. Mary, the relationship between these two powerful and headstrong women, during this singular exchange, was at first guarded and cautious, yet grew into a curious respect each for the other.

    Elizabeth easily could have imprisoned her nemesis in the Tower of London yet chose instead to grant Grainne’s petition to restrain a troubling English agent in Ireland and also ordered an old age pension in favor of Grainne, whose financial resources had been impeded as a consequence of existing laws in effect in Ireland at the time. They parted friends.

    This meeting has always been viewed with curiosity and surprise.

    Sir Boyle, I am sure, would have been pleased.

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