Curmudgeonalia
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August 15, 2010

On Liberty

Liberty and Tyranny
A Conservative Manifesto
Mark R. Levin - ISBN - 9781416562856

Men in Black
How the Supreme Court is Destroying America
Mark R. Levin - ISBN - 9780895260505

This is quite a pair of books. I recommend both as informative and scholarly, yet readable. He intentionally expounds upon classic liberalism; liberalism in the mould of Adam Smith, whom our founders consulted as they wrote the constitution.

Modern "Progressives" appropriated the appellation "Liberal" in the early 20th century, having exposed progressivism for the disaster it actually was. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson soured the American public on the concept. Liberals represented themselves as being those who "liberated," as opposed to "conservatives" who, by default, were represented as those opposed to change. Neither, of course, was accurate, but we've been stuck with the names ever since. Hence our founding liberals would now be conservatives, and progressive-socialists are now liberals, who are again calling themselves progressives in the hope that Americans are short-sighted enough, and sufficiently ignorant of the facts to miss the parallels. Fortunately--for those paying attention--Obama is exposing progressivism/liberalism/socialism for what it has always been. The attempted name change is too contemporary to avoid recognition that they are interchangeable terms, and unattractive as a concept of governance, having been demonstrated to fail on numerous prior occasions.

Levin is a brilliant. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Temple University, and subsequently graduated with honors from Temple's law school. As young man he worked in the Reagan administration where he quickly worked his way up to Chief of Staff to Attorney General, Edwin Meese. Thereafter he entered private practice, and, in addition is now president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest law firm. He also has his own conservative talk show about politics and culture. While dogged and dedicated, he carefully builds his case against modern government as he pushes to return to the original designs of the constitutional republic which our founders created. He is one of the preeminent conservative commentators and constitutional lawyers in the U.S.

Men in Black is a treatise on the Supreme Court; how far it has pushed beyond original intent. He demonstrates that the court is no longer one of the co-equal branches of government; rather, it now legislates from the bench. He provides appropriate examples, developing what is considered one of the finest books on the Constitution and the judiciary in many years. It combines history, law and current events into a simple whole which any interested reader can understand.

Levin emphasizes the progressive assault on our constitutional process by a power-hungry judiciary. In each selected example he reviews the constitution and the events which have been undertaken by the "men in black" to intentionally alter the clear meaning of the document. The courts, and especially the Supreme Court, represent the most potent threat to American freedom. They have reached the point where they actually dictate national policy. It is a compelling read.

Liberty and Tyranny
, similarly, explores the results of historic--and particularly recent--governmental directions and their disservice to liberty. He reminds that the Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis wrote "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies."

The Statist, he observes, seeks to impose on individuals a governmental and economic structure contrary to human nature, and attempts to control the individual by subverting his spirit and punishing his natural impulses. It never works, but those in power are trying again. The fact that the New Deal was a dismal failure seems not to be acceptable as fact to those in Washington.

He recalls that Edmund Burke famously asked "What is the use of discussing a man's abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In that deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician, rather than the professor of metaphysics." (Put the em-PHA-sis on the right syl-LA-ble, as it were.) This is always the problem with the Statist and his insistence upon positive rights as opposed to those negative rights provided for in our constitution. One cannot provide for the right to a good job without demanding that someone provide it; nor shelter, food or medicine without causing others to supply it, either directly or through taxes. All are contrary to the American ideas and ideals.

He works his way through education, energy, immigration, regulation (right down to CAFÉ standards), jurisdiction, foreign policy, and most every subject of moment, offering the existing situation as opposed to the original intent. Each topic is explored diligently, cogently and intelligently, and he totally debunks "global citizenship," the current goal of the Left is the idyllic European or the North American Union; agreement between friends. Won't work; can't work; is presently being shown not to work with the contraction of the European common currency, but he, amongst others predicted it. Imagine trying to get it to work, "globally" by including our friends in Iran, North Korea, China, etc.

If one goes beyond what "feels right," what "ought to be," and remains determined to consider what works, what does not . . . and why . . . it is difficult for me to comprehend how anyone reading these tracts could honestly disagree with Levin; unless, of course, one is a progressive with totally different ends in mind.

What the Left is doing to the country, assisted--or at least not opposed--by the Right, is frightening, dangerous, and amongst other things unconstitutional.

Read on. If you disagree I encourage you to justify the reasons you hold contrary opinions . . . at least to yourself, and HONESTLY!

Posted by Curmudgeon at August 15, 2010 3:12 PM