"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army-Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expect-We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die." -- George Washington to his troops before the Battle of Long Island.
RUBICON, a small stream of ancient Italy, which flowed into the Adriatic between Ariminum and Caesena, and formed the boundary between Italy and the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Hence Caesar's crossing of it in 49 B.C. was tantamount to a declaration of war against Rome as represented by Pompey and the Senate. The historic importance of this event gave rise to the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" for a step which definitely commits a person to a given course of action. -- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911.
If things go today as Democrats have long hungered for, your children's children will be taught this date in the same breath as the Intolerable Acts which led to the Revolution or the Morrill Tariff of 1861 which provoked secession.
Each gave legislative impetus to a larger pre-existing moral and philosophical divide, and led to war. Each was born out of competing economic interests and a fundamental difference over the Founders' question, "Which is to be the master? The government or the people."
Nancy Pelosi and her ilk think it should be the government which is to be the master.
We must, all of us, every single one of us and all our children, sign onto this abomination or we will be fined.
If we refuse to pay the fine out of principle, we will be arrested.
If we resist arrest, we will be killed.
There is provision in the latest iteration of this bill for 17,000 new IRS agents to accomplish their tyrannical purpose.
Thus, Nancy and Co. show their good intentions. We are to be killed in order to preserve our "health."
Forgotten in their grand scheme of things is that once they start this deadly process and kill some of us for resisting, we can kill them right back.
There is some understanding of this crisis, this turning point, in the lame-stream media today. The Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that it is a vote "For bankruptcy and socialism," saying in part:
With their plan to create a vast new federal health care bureaucracy in the face of the worst recession in generations -- a recession already exacerbated by unprecedented federal borrowing and spending -- Washington's "progressives" may have finally reached for their "bridge too far" -- if not their Waterloo.
No one's really sure what's in the latest so-called "health reform" bill -- Friday it turned out the latest version would raise to 3.8 percent a new job-killing tax on investment income, meaning "overall tax rates on income from interest, annuities and royalties would rise to as much as 43.4 percent," according to Bloomberg News. . . But the more that Americans have learned about what's in the bill, and the more they've seen of the corruption and chicanery being used to force it through, the larger the majority that's turned against it. . .
Court challenges both to the insurance mandates in this bill, and to the procedural trickery being used to force it through, will festoon the courts for months and years to come, even as our overseas trading partners increasingly balk at buying the promissory notes needed to fund this wobbling house of cards.
The Wall Street Journal's editorialists call it "The ObamaCare Crossroads," saying "the vote is really about who commands the country's medical resources." They write, in part:
With the House's climactic vote on ObamaCare tomorrow, Democrats are on the cusp of a profound and historic mistake, comparable in our view to the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act. Everyone is preoccupied now with the politics, but ultimately at stake on Sunday is the kind of country America will be.
The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country's fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough. Inextricably bound up in a plan as far-reaching and ambitious as ObamaCare are also larger questions about the role of government, the dynamism of American enterprise and the nature of a free society. Above anything else, this explains why Democrats have had such trouble convincing the public, let alone their own Members.
Most acutely in the balance is the future of U.S. medicine. . . . In our world of infinite wants but finite resources, there are only two ways to allocate any good or service: either through prices and the choices of millions of individuals, or through central government planning and political discretion. This choice is inexorable. Stripped of its romantic illusions, ObamaCare is really about who commands the country's medical resources. It vastly accelerates the march toward a totally state-driven system, in contrast to reforms that would fix today's distorted status quo by putting consumers in control. . .
Such a "universal" system has been the core liberal aspiration since the age of Bismarck. But time and again this political ambition has been thwarted by American individualism, distrust of government power, the checks and balances of the political system, and, every so often, good judgment in Washington.
Once the health-care markets are put through Mr. Obama's de facto nationalization, costs will further explode. The Congressional Budget Office estimates ObamaCare will cost taxpayers $200 billion per year when fully implemented and grow annually at 8%, even under low-ball assumptions. Soon the public will reach its taxing limit, and then something will have to give on the care side. In short, medicine will be rationed by politics, no doubt with the same subtlety and wisdom as Congress's final madcap dash toward 216 votes.
As in the Western European and Canadian welfare states, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will over time become public utilities. Government will set the cost-minded priorities and determine what kinds of treatment options patients are allowed to receive. Medicare's price controls will be exported to the remnants of the private sector.
All bureaucratized systems also restrict access to specialists and surgeries, leading to shortages and delays of months or years. This will be especially the case for the elderly and grievously ill, and for innovation in procedures, technologies and pharmaceuticals.
Eventually, quality and choice—the best attributes of American medicine in spite of its dysfunctions—will severely decline.
Democrats deny this reality, but government rationing will become inevitable given that overall federal spending is already at 25% of GDP and heading north, and Medicare's unfunded liabilities are roughly two and a half times larger than the entire U.S. economy in 2008. The ObamaCare bill already contains one of the largest tax increases outside the Great Depression or the world wars, including a major new tax on investment income—and no one seriously believes it will be enough.
So a vote for ObamaCare is also a vote against the vitality of American capitalism. Business elites have mostly held their tongues, or calculated that they can later dump their health-care liabilities on the government. Yet ObamaCare will lead to much higher levels of taxation across society. The tax wedge—the share of labor costs that never reaches workers but instead goes straight to government—will start flying towards the 50% that prevails today in most of Europe. In America, without the same welfare state obligations, it hovers near 30%.
A self-governing democracy can of course decide that it wants to become this kind of super-welfare state. But if the year-long debate over ObamaCare has proven anything, it is that Americans want no such thing. There is no polling majority or any bipartisan support, much less a rough national consensus, for this expansion of government power.
All the economic and medical downsides are true, but really beyond the point. This is not about logic or even good intentions. It is about force and power.
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." -- John Locke.
Michael Goodwin, no paleo-conservative, comes closer to the essence of Locke's observation writing in today's New York Post, explaining "Why we fear Bam big gov't."
One of these days, God willing, we won't have health care to kick around any more. But hold the champagne. No matter the out come in Congress, the final vote won't be the end of the raging national conflict.
In fact, get ready for the sequel. And Part III and probably Part IV as well.
That's because the battle over health care is merely a front in a larger war. Thanks to President Obama's statist agenda, America's new civil war is, at heart, the mother of all culture wars.
It's the showdown between Americans who want bigger government and those who want smaller government. And it won't be over anytime soon.
Not only does it encompass and include other wedge issues, such as abortion, taxing and spending, but the war over the size of government goes to the heart of the concept of American exceptionalism.
Either you believe America is different and should play a unique role in expanding individual liberty, or you believe we should trim our freedoms to fit international norms, as embodied by centralized authorities and global organizations like the United Nations.
It's clear where Obama stands. . .
His health-care obsession, with industry tentacles reaching 17 percent of the economy, reveals his vision. There is little dispute the industry has big flaws, yet Obama passed up a bipartisan chance to fix most of them.
He opted for a sweeping expansion and takeover that would put Washington in charge of every aspect, from levels of care, to cost, to mandates, to jobs and taxes.
Ultimately, no American will be able to escape its centralizing impact, which is why opponents are so ferocious and frightened. While Obama tries to blame Republicans, most of the country, especially independent voters, is running away from his plan even though some components are popular.
It's the sheer size -- the expensive big government grab -- that is stoking anti-takeover passion.
Pass or fail, the issue will move off center stage. But there will be no rest for a weary nation.
A huge immigration bill is waiting in the wings, and Obama & Co. label it "comprehensive." Translation: It will be intrusive, expensive and infuriating because Washington will pick winners and losers.
Next it's probably back to cap-and-trade, an energy takeover that would affect every light switch, gas tank, thermostat and factory in America. Translation: higher prices, more boondoggles, more subsidies for favored interests.
Or education could jump the line, with the feds aiming to run everything from curriculum to funding. Their vision is to gradually erode local control and shift power to Washington.
As with health care, parts of each issue make practical sense. Reducing our reliance on foreign oil, for example, is a goal most Americans share.
But what they object to, and will continue to resist, is the animating impulse that gives Washington more control over our daily lives. That is the definition of a statist, and it's what Obama is.
He is not troubled by the bribery for votes and the manipulated process because, to him, the end justifies the means.
Not surprisingly, he refuses to grasp why a clear majority of America now opposes his health care takeover.
"People have lost faith in government," he said at a recent rally in St. Louis. "They had lost faith in government before I ran, and it has been getting worse."
Actually, people haven't lost faith in government. They just don't think bigger is better. And the bigger he wants to make it, the less faith they have in him.
Goodman is polite in calling Obama a mere "statist." The "lightworker" is in fact a collectivist tyrant wannabe. So is Nancy Pelosi and so are all their friends.
Now, I have written elsewhere about a tactic short of shooting that modern-day Sons of Liberty can use to fight this. Goodman is right about this not being the last of these power-grabs.
However the American people finally respond to this plunder of their liberties, though, one thing is certain.
The domestic enemies of the Constitution, with their insatiable appetites for our liberty, our property and our lives, will not stop until we stop them.
Thus, remember this date well if this bill, this thing, this abomination, this "Intolerable Act," is made into law. For generations yet unborn will remember this day as the day the next American civil war started over the eternal question of who is to be the master of our fates. The Imperial Federal Government? Or the people?
Whether this Rubicon moment will prove to be "a bridge too far" or a "Waterloo" is entirely up to those of us who wish to remain free and who swore an oath to uphold the Founders' Republic.
May God save and restore that Republic.
We are now two countries, unalterably opposed in philosophy, and one or the other vision must win. If given the choice, I would prefer, to use Patton's words, that the "other poor, dumb bastard die for his country."
But if in His wisdom the Lord has decided to remove His hand of protection from this Republic, let no man doubt from this date that we will not go gently in that tyrannical night. As I wrote once before:
This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can't be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won't be done. The Founders' Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.
But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.
And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.
And, I might add, in Heaven. For as a Christian I understand that in the end, our side wins, their side loses. I would prefer to see us win on this side of Heaven's gate, but I am ready for what comes.
Are you? If this Intolerable Act passes, you will need to be. For a Rubicon will have been crossed and civil war will be nearly inevitable.
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Perecenters
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126