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Archive for March, 2010

Rigid justice is the greatest injustice.“—Dr. Thomas Fuller    

UK pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, was hauled to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew, and forced to wear an electronic tag for two months for the crime of selling a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in an uncover sting operation.

The great-grandmother almost fainted in the courtroom when magistrates told her she could go to prison for her crime. Higgins, who had never been in a courtroom before except to serve on a jury, has sold animals for many years without incident.

The United Kingdom’s Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it verboten to sell pets—including goldfish—to children under 16 years of age unless accompanied by an adult.

Higgins could have been incarcerated for up to one year, or fined up to £20,000, or both.

“At a time when courts are being told not to lock up career burglars we have them issuing severe punishments like this on little old ladies. Not only is it traumatic for her but it is a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money. It is ridiculous,” said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, who has served as a special constable for three years. ‘

“Instead of getting 14-year-old boys to act in this type of sting they should have them trying to nail people who sell drugs outside our schools,” he added.

In full agreement with sentence handed down, Iain Veitch, head of public protection at Trafford Council, said, “The evidence presented for this conviction clearly demonstrates that it is irresponsible to sell animals to those who are not old enough to look after them. Let this conviction send out a message that we will not tolerate those who cause unnecessary suffering to animals. … [W]e will not hesitate to use our statutory powers.”


 

Pet shop owner fined £1,000 and told to wear an electronic tag… for selling a GOLDFISH to a boy aged 14

By Jaya Narain

Her offence was to unwittingly sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in a trading standards ‘sting’.

At most, pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, expected a slap on the wrist for breaking new animal welfare laws which ban the sale of pets to under-16s.

Instead, the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew – and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months.

The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders.

The prosecution of Mrs Higgins and her son Mark is estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,000 and has left her with a criminal record.

Last night, as an MP criticised the magistrates, Mrs Higgins – who has run the pet shop for 28 years – said the family’s eight-month ordeal had left them traumatised.

She added: ‘It’s ridiculous. I mean, what danger am I that I have to wear an electronic tag? These last few months have been a very stressful time.’

The seven-week curfew imposed by the court means she is unable to babysit her great-grandson at his home or go to bingo sessions with her sister, and will be unable to attend a Rod Stewart concert after tickets were bought for her by her nephew, actor Will Mellor.

Her son said: ‘I think it’s a farce. What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag – she’s nearly 70, for goodness’ sake.

‘She’s a great-grandma so she won’t be able to babysit a newborn baby. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money.’

Mr Higgins claimed the undercover operation was a clear case of entrapment – when a person is encouraged by someone in some official capacity to commit a crime – and said the case should never have gone to court.

He said: ‘The council sent the 14-year-old in to us. It is hard to tell how old a lad is these days. He looked much older than 14.’

He added that his mother almost fainted in the dock when magistrates told her she could go to prison for the offence.

‘I told her they wouldn’t send her to prison but she was still worried,’ he said. ‘The only other time she has been in court is when she did jury service.’

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is illegal to sell pets – including goldfish – to children under the age of 16 unless they are accompanied by an adult. Pet shops must also provide advice on animal welfare to buyers.

The maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to 12 months, or a fine of up to £20,000, or both.

The Higgins family’s ordeal began when council officials heard that Majors Pet Shop in Sale, Greater Manchester, was selling animals to children.

They sent the 14-year-old schoolboy into the shop to carry out a test purchase and Mr Higgins sold him the goldfish without questioning his age or providing any information about the care of the fish.

A council officer in the shop at the time also noticed a cockatiel in a cage that appeared to be in a poor state of health. A vet found the bird had a broken leg and eye problems. It was later put down.

Mrs Higgins and her son were charged with selling the fish to a person aged under 16 and with causing unnecessary suffering to a cockatiel by failing to provide appropriate care and treatment.

Pleading guilty, Mrs Higgins told Trafford magistrates the cockatiel had not been for sale and she had been bathing its eye daily.

She had intended to take it to the vet but had been distracted and worried because her other son was in hospital.

The court heard that Mrs Higgins had possessed a licence to sell animals for many years and had never had any problems before.

She was fined £1,000 and given a community order with a curfew requiring her to stay home between 6pm and 7am for seven weeks.

Mrs Higgins did not have her licence to sell animals removed, but both she and her son were told that if they ever appeared in court for a similar offence they could face a jail sentence.

David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, said: ‘You simply couldn’t make it up. It is absolutely ludicrous that old ladies should be hounded through the courts and electronically tagged for something like this.

‘At a time when courts are being told not to lock up career burglars we have them issuing severe punishments like this on little old ladies.’ Mr Davies, who has served as a special constable for three years, said: ‘Not only is it traumatic for her but it is a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money. It is ridiculous.

‘Instead of getting 14-year-old boys to act in this type of sting they should have them trying to nail people who sell drugs outside our schools.’

Trafford Council said it launched an investigation after an unsubstantiated complaint that the shop had sold a gerbil to a 14-year-old girl with learning disabilities. The council claimed the animal later died after the child placed it in a disposable coffee cup with a plastic lid on top.

But the complaint did not form part of the legal action in court and its truth cannot be verified.

Mrs Higgins said the shop had not stocked gerbils for months before the complaint anyway.

Defending the goldfish case, Iain Veitch, head of public protection at Trafford Council, said: ‘The evidence presented for this conviction clearly demonstrates that it is irresponsible to sell animals to those who are not old enough to look after them.

‘Let this conviction send out a message that we will not tolerate those who cause unnecessary suffering to animals. The council will always try to support pet and business owners so that they are able to care for their animals properly, but where they continually ignore the advice they are given, we will not hesitate to use our statutory powers.’

The goldfish was later adopted by an animal welfare officer and is in good health.

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 “The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other”Alexis de Tocqueville

While visiting Turkey last year, Brother O told the audience that Americans no longer consider their country a “a Christian nation … but a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

And now with Easter only a week away, the city of Davenport, Iowa, decides to erase Good Friday from its municipal calendar

The Davenport Civil Rights Commission had called for the eradication of Good Friday to reflect city diversity and maintain a separation of church and state, which prompted city Administrator Craig Malin to make the name change unilaterally, and then he sent a memo around to municipal employees informing them that Good Friday was now “Spring Holiday.”

“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday. Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change,” said Tim Hart, commission chairman. 

Hart said the commission did not propose a name change for Easter Sunday because the holiday falls on a weekend when government offices are already closed. The commission had discussed name changing Christmas, but decided against it because other religions celebrate Christmas too. When asked to name some of the religions that celebrate Christmas too, Hart couldn’t name one.

If a Christian nation is one whose values, society, and institutions have largely been shaped by Christian and biblical principles, then what’s just transpired in Davenport, Iowa, may prove Brother O actually told the truth for once.

I am disappointed … I am forlorn …

I.M. Kane


 

Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to ‘Spring Holiday’

By Russell Goldman

Citing the Separation of Church and State, Davenport Nixes Holy Day

One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints from Christians and union members whose contracts give them that day off.

Taking a recommendation by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission to change the holiday’s name to something more ecumenical, City Administrator Craig Malin sent a memo to municipal employees announcing Good Friday would officially be known as “Spring Holiday.”

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday,” said city council alderman Bill Edmond. “People are genuinely upset because this is nothing but political correctness run amok.”

Edmond said the city administrator made the change unilaterally and did not bring it to the council for a vote, a requirement for a change in policy.

“The city council didn’t know anything about the change. We were blind sided and now we’ve got to clean this mess up. How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000 year old holiday?” said Edmond.

It didn’t take long for the city the resurrect the name Good Friday. Malin was overruled today and the words “Spring Holiday” disappeared.

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and died. Christians celebrate his resurrection the following Sunday, Easter.

The Civil Rights Commission said it recommended changing the name to better reflect the city’s diversity and maintain a separation of church and state when it came to official municipal holidays.

“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday,” said Tim Hart, the commission’s chairman. “Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”

News of the change could not have come at more significant time in the Christian calendar. News of the name change spread through the town on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, becoming a topic of conversation at church services throughout Davenport.

Davenport Dispute Over Good Friday

“If you deny the idea of Good Friday then you have to deny Easter,” Monsignor Robert Schmidt told ABC affiliate WQAD.

Hart said the commission had no plans to change the name of Easter Sunday, because it fell on a weekend and government offices were already closed. The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas too. Hart, however, could not name one.

The religious right has attacked town governments that have removed public Christmas displays, calling such practices a “war on Christmas.”

City employees, beginning with local police, feared the name change would violate their union contracts with the city, which specifies Good Friday as an official municipal holiday. Employees that work city holidays are paid time and a half.

Davenport officials called the name change an “error.”

“The City of Davenport will be observing “Good Friday” as a City Holiday on April 2,” read a statement released today.

“City Administrator Malin, in error, forwarded the recommendation to staff for further review and action, leading to release of a holiday notice with the holiday named ‘Spring Holiday,’ rather than “Good Friday,” read the release.

Davenport’s mayor said people were right to be angry but that Good Friday would continue to be acknowledged.

“I understand why people were so upset,” said Mayor Bill Gluba. “My position is we have a lot more important issues. We’ll fix this and move on.”

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“[W]hat if we simply decide not to be offended. What if we just take the sting out of these words and use them as terms of affection. … What if we all just agreed that words can’t hurt?”—Lenny Bruce

“Now we can’t even say nigger to condemn its use. We have to call it the ‘N-word.’ How pathetic.”—Orson Bean


 

Lenny Bruce: ‘We agree to be offended by certain words.’

By Orson Bean

Lenny Bruce was my idol in those days. He performed at the Village Vanguard, a Greenwich Village jazz joint which also booked comics on occasion. I was an up-and-coming comic and worked the club from time to time myself. But when Lenny was on, I sat in the back of the room to learn from the master.

The nineteen fifties was a time of tumultuous change. Integration had been made the law of the land. President Eisenhower had ordered the national guard to escort a small group of Black children into their school in Little Rock. They had to pass through a mob of adults screaming nigger. Nigger, nigger, nigger. What a terrible word. Lenny Bruce decided to deal with the issue.

One night at the Vanguard I watched in shocked amazement as he pointed to a customer and said, “Oh look, we’ve got a nigger here tonight.” The crowd froze. “And another darky is with him and a third jigaboo.” The silence was deafening. But Lenny was an advocate of the old show business maxim: if you’ve gone too far… go farther. He’d only just begun “Look over here”, he said, “A kike. And a mocky is at the table with him. And we got two spicks in the back. Hey, there’s a fag at the bar.” Slowly, the laughter began.

Lenny said nigger a hundred times. Finally the crowd was howling. The pure outrageousness of it all had gotten to them and they simply had no choice.

When Lenny had them where he wanted them he turned serious. “It’s all arbitrary,” he told the crowd. “We agree to be offended by certain words. What if we decided that the word dentist was offensive. You dirty rotten dentist! Then that would become the insult du jour.

But what if we simply decide not to be offended. What if we just take the sting out of these words and use them as terms of affection. ‘Hey niggah, how ya doin’? ‘Fine, honky, an’ you?’  What if we all just agreed that words can’t hurt? Then nobody could scream insults at a poor little Black girl in Little Rock.”

How poor Lenny’s wishes have not come true. Now we can’t even say nigger to condemn its use. We have to call it the “N-word.” How pathetic. And the “F-word” is next as the gay rebellion takes charge. At least you can still go outside to smoke. But certain words are taboo anywhere.

The left has decided to insult the tea party people by calling them tea baggers. First, they had to explain it was an insult by pointing out that it was an obscure sexual term. I’d never heard of it; not many Americans had. But the tea party folks, on cue, dutifully chose to be insulted. What if they hadn’t.

Tea bagger is kind of cute, really. It’s a better nickname than tea party. And you could hold up little Tetley tea bags. Why not co-opt the name. Overnight, they couldn’t insult you anymore. It would annoy them and they’d stop trying and look for some other way to put you down.

While I’m on the subject of Lenny Bruce, he had a great routine on the subject of nature versus nurture. It went like this: the infant child of a pair of brilliant physicists is lost in the woods. Raised by a pack of wild dogs, he finds his way out again at the age of eighteen and goes on to graduate with honors from M.I.T. But a year after that he’s killed chasing a car.

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HIGH SCHOOL – 1960 vs. 2010 (H-T Dr. L)

Scenario 1

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack:

1960 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2010 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school:

1960 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2010 – Police called and SWAT team arrives—they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3

Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students:

1960 – Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2010 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt:

1960 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2010 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5

Pedro fails high school English:

1960 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2010 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by the state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 6

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed:

1960 – Ants die.

2010 – ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents—and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 7

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him:

1960 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2010 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Scenario   8 

Mark gets a headache and brings some aspirin to school: 

1960 – Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock. 

2010 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

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“I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”—Voltaire/Ewelyn Beatrice Hall?

“Remember when the Left was all in favor of free speech, no matter how offensive, in the belief that clarity emerged from conflict, that sunlight was the best disinfectant, and that brotherhood was possible only after we cleared away the barriers that divided us …”—Michael Walsh

But that was the “sunshine” sentiments of the lollipop left in 1974; this is 2010 and the sun has been obscured by clouds and it’s now darkness at noon for free speech:

“There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.”—Frank Rich

Although Lewis has yet to produce any proof that racial slurs were yelled out from the crowd, eyewitnesses and “journalists” say they heard someone call Bathhouse Barney a faggot.  

Even if “venomous slurs” were hurled at the Democrat congressmen, what’s the big deal? Has name-calling become a crime in America? If so, is it a misdemeanor or a felony, and punishable by what … 60 days mandatory attendance at a Romper Room school singing the “Do-Bee Song” with Miss Patti and a sock puppet?

“Do be a universal health care supporter

Don’t be a universal health care denier”

In the article “Hate is no crime,” Willis E. Elliott points out why it’s criminal to criminalize free speech:

“[W]hen any group succeeds in its appeal for legislation silencing its critics, the social effects are tragic. Inter-group tensions increase as one group is provided with special protection from other groups and/or the general society. Crime increases as members of one group see themselves as representatives of their group against “them” (another group, or a person perceived as representing another group). Law, whose function is to effectuate justice with an individual in the dock, loses dignity as it is dragged down into mediating intergroup conflicts, defining human emotions (e.g., “hate”) and attitudes (e.g., “bigotry” and “tolerance”) and culture-war terms (e.g., “politically correct,” “pro-life / pro-choice,” “marriage”), and expanding “equality” from individuals to groups. The upshot? Freedom shrinks as interpersonal and intergroup discomforts move from the dynamics of society to the specifics of jurisprudence, and government expands its controls over the populace as the people increasingly appeal to government to resolve their conflicts and solve their problems.”

I am riled up … I am fed up …

I.M. Kane

 


 

For those who still dare to believe in free speech, check out the clip of Dustin Hoffman in the role of  Lenny Bruce performing his classic routine on ethnic insults. Beware: racial slurs ahead:

Lenny – Lenny Bruce hard words 1:56 video

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The time of reckoning is at hand … Obamacare is the last breath of the liberal order – and it’s time to take America back from the party of thieves and looters.

Today, it is abundantly clear that either we will live in Obama’s America or in America that our Founding Father envisioned. You cannot have both.

If you don’t vote for America in November – you don’t deserve to be called an American.


I want my country back!

By Hyphenated American

It seems like the ultra-liberals have been able to bribe and coerce enough congress-scumbags to pass the Obamacare. And as I said before, there would be hell to pay for this monstrosity. Obamacare is the very definition of unlimited government – the threat of which was forewarned by the Founding Fathers more than two centuries ago. The federal government, which is up to its neck in debt and unfunded liabilities, decided to launch the biggest entitlement of all times – the medical care for all. The spending on this new entitlement will surely dwarf many if not most of Federal programs and will make the bankruptcy of federal and state governments inevitable. The time of reckoning is at hand, brothers and sisters. Obamacare is the last breath of the liberal order – and it’s time to take America back from the party of thieves and looters.

All patriots of this nation must stand together and fight back. United we will win! There is no blue or red America anymore – there are only those who believe in America the beautiful, America the free, America the shining city on the hill – and those who believe in welfare socialism and government servitude. Today, we fight not only for our personal well-being – but for the dignity and honor of this country, for the right to look into the eyes of our children and say – we defended this nation from the perils of socialism. In November 2010, we will answer the crucial questions of our times – are American people worthy of the Constitutional Republic built by the Founding Fathers – or the Great American Experiment has failed, and we should all go back to Europe, Africa and Asia? Will American people have the right to proudly say “We are Americans” – or will they forever live in infamy and indignity of the European welfare socialism?

I don’t know about you, but I am certain of the answer to these questions. I am glad that the Democratic Party passed the Rubicon. From now on, there is no coming back for the liberal elites, no talks of compromise and middle-ground. Today, it is abundantly clear that either we will live in Obama’s America or in America that our Founding Father envisioned. You cannot have both.

The November elections will be the most important elections in our lifetime. If you don’t vote for America in November – you don’t deserve to be called an American.

Written by a Russian immigrant who loves America and who loves freedom.

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“[P]assage of Obamacare makes a mockery of the idea that this is government of and by the people. …

This was an abuse of the democratic process so flagrant as to be Putin-esque. These tactics are quite literally a threat to the republic, and they must be condemned, reversed, and punished. …

[T]he raving atrocity of Obamacare makes punishment of its perpetrators, punishment of the right and legal kind, a moral imperative.”—Quin Hillyer

Brother O is truly the most despicable of bald-faced liars. To pass the abomination of desolation known as ObamaCare, he lied about:

  • the individual mandate for health insurance
  • raising taxes on individuals making under $200,000 or couples under $250,000
  • public funding of abortions
  • rising insurance premiums
  • taxing health-care benefits
  • rationing health care
  • using budget reconciliation
  • using a simple majority to pass major legislation
  • keeping filibusters sacrosanct
  • doing away with sweetheart deals
  • cutting secret deals with lobbyists
  • broadcasting the negotiations on C-Span
  • supporting a public option
  • incorporating Republican ideas
  • allowing Republicans in the legislative drafting process
  • giving all Americans the same health care system as Congress
  • posting any bill on the Internet for five days after it was passed before he signed it

I.M. Kane 


 

Why Revenge Is Necessary

By Quin Hillyer

Every member of Congress who is not a liberal ideologue or from a wildly leftist district who voted for Obamacare on Sunday should be haunted and hounded by and for their vote for as long as they draw breath upon this good Earth. And the same is true for every liberal ideologue who actively crafted and pushed the corrupt and unrepublican (small “r”) procedures and flagrant lies that were used to cram Obamacare up our gullets from the nether end of our common polity.

Before we consider the proper shape and degree of the hounding and haunting, let us be reminded of why this legislation is an atrocity of epic proportions.

Let us start with all the lies that Barack Obama told or the promises that he broke, each one of which will damage our way of life as the falsehood is made manifest in law.

This president, this sinister creature of Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky, of Indonesian sojourns and Columbia University radical salons, campaigned vociferously against Hillary Clinton’s call for an individual mandate for health insurance. Now the individual mandate is the centerpiece of Obamacare.

Obama promised that he would never, ever raise taxes on individuals making under $200,000 or couples under $250,000. This legislation breaks that promise.

Obama said the bill would not provide public funding of abortions. It does provide such funding.

He said it would cause average premiums to drop by $2,500 annually. Premiums instead will rise. He said he would not tax health-care benefits. This bill does tax them. He said his plan wouldn’t lead to rationing. It actually does far worse than mere rationing: It provides for death panels by proxy.

Obama said that “budget reconciliation” was improper for passing Obamacare. He is using reconciliation. He said that a 51-vote simple majority in the Senate should not suffice for major legislation. He is using a simple majority. He said during the judicial wars that the filibuster should be sacrosanct, but he is trampling over the filibuster. He said he would cut out sweetheart deals, but instead he engaged in a host of such deals. He said he would do all negotiations in the open, and without corrupt lobbyist influence, but instead he cut secret deals (secret at first) with a whoring PhRMA and with other moneyed interests. He said he would air the negotiations on C-Span, but he didn’t. He said he wouldn’t support a “public option,” but he told the lefties in Congress that this would be merely a first step towards a public option. He said he would incorporate Republican ideas, but the final legislation was devoid of all but one minor GOP suggestion. He said Republicans would be welcome at the table, but they instead were almost entirely shut out (except for some early negotiations with Montana’s Sen. Max Baucus) of actual legislative drafting. Instead, they belatedly were afforded only a dog-and-pony show at Blair House where Obama was peevish, where he personally jawboned the GOP (not to mention what he let other Democrats do) for more minutes than the GOP collectively talked, and where he never actually responded to the substance of most Republicans complaints and ideas.

He repeatedly advertised that his bill would give all Americans the same system that Congress enjoys; instead, it actually exempts top lawmakers and staffs from the bill’s requirements. And he promised that he would post any bill on the Internet for five whole days, after congressional passage, before he signed it. But he signed this bill after just 36 hours.

And that’s just a sample of the dishonesty of The One.

Meanwhile, it is hard to blame, on substance, the ideological lefties who really believe in this stuff, or to blame those who represent far-left districts and feel obliged to represent their constituents’ wills. But for every other congressman who voted for Obamacare — all those on the fence on substance, and whose districts are not strongly in favor of it (and indeed usually strongly against it) — what they have done is an affront to the republic and to human decency. And what the congressional leadership did to the lawmaking process is an affront to our system of government.

The mandate to buy health insurance is an abomination. The very thought of a government forcing individuals to buy something the individuals don’t want is anathema. It is abject tyranny. It is manifestly unconstitutional. It is despotic. It is so antithetical to the American tradition as to be unacceptable and invalid. For those reasons, it may well lead to non-violent civil disobedience on a massive scale.

It is worse still that lawmakers would refuse to put themselves or their staffs under the same system it puts the 300-million-strong rest of the hoi polloi. It is worse still that Obamacare’s system of incentives is such that the CBO estimates that four million people will lose their employer-based plans and thus be put in the position of being subject to the unconstitutional mandate. (This, by the way, gives the lie to yet another Obama claim, namely that nobody would lose their insurance if they want to keep it.)

The bill is a job-killer. It puts a mandate on businesses that employ at least 50 workers — which means that thousands upon thousands of firms will cut their official payrolls to 49. It is a taxing atrocity, imposing $569.2 billion in tax hikes. It will especially hurt medical device companies through new taxes and “fees,” putting some out of business and hurting the patients who rely on them for life-saving or life-improving aid. And, to collect all its taxes, it will — it already has begun, in terms of planning — lead to the literally frightening spectacle of the hiring of some 16,500 new IRS agents, making the IRS an enforcement army, with imprisoning authority, on par with the worst of the commissars of the most autocratic czars.

Put this scary influx of IRS commissars together with the 175,000 new members of AmeriCorps now organized officially into “cadres,” and all of a sudden we’re getting within hailing distance of Obama’s threatened “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the regular military.

It will add trillions more to total government spending, and hundreds of billions (absent budgetary gimmicks) to deficits and debt that will unconscionably burden future generations. It will push individual states closer to bankruptcy by adding an unfunded mandate for expanded Medicaid coverage.

And it was all accomplished by methods so foul as to be a permanent stain upon Congress and the White House. Backroom deals. Railroaded rules. Limited debate. Abuse of reconciliation. Baits and switches. Promises of “deem and pass” in order to gain commitments that otherwise would never come (but that could not be withdrawn once deem-and-pass was abandoned). Threats and intimidation. Union thug tactics. Louisiana Purchases and Cornhusker Kickbacks. Bismarck earmarks and Connecticut con jobs. And funding for three “airports for no reason” in order to purchase the vote of putatively pro-life weasel Bart Stupak.

Meanwhile, passage of Obamacare makes a mockery of the idea that this is government of and by the people. For lawmakers to jam down our throats this monstrosity after elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia argued against it, after town hall meetings and Tea Parties and letters and faxes and emails and phone calls by the millions upon millions upon millions, after overwhelming polling opposition that grew and grew and grew, is for them to show that they no longer serve the people but instead aspire to rule them, with an iron fist if necessary. This is a subversion of republican (again, small “r”) ideals so profound as to be Aaron Burr-like. It was made worse by the Democrats changing the rules midstream to appoint a replacement for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Hereditary Dynasty, without which they never would have reached the 60-vote Senate majority to pass the original Senate bill in the first place. And this followed all sorts of legerdemain to finagle the “election” of Al Franken to the Senate from Minnesota, and to secure Arlen Specter’s party switch, and to benefit from an unfair prosecution of Alaska’s Ted Stevens (not the most admirable of characters, but apparently not really a criminal after all).

This whole country was founded on the belief that ends do not justify means, but instead that a careful meshing of constitutional procedures would be the best safeguard against dangerous ends. But the Obama-Pelosi Democrats made their ends, their lust for pure power, overcome every previously acceptable requirement for reasonable, fair, and constitutionally and traditionally approved means. This was an abuse of the democratic process so flagrant as to be Putin-esque. These tactics are quite literally a threat to the republic, and they must be condemned, reversed, and punished.

As to what form that punishment should take, another column will be needed to tackle that issue. Rest assured, though, that the raving atrocity of Obamacare makes punishment of its perpetrators, punishment of the right and legal kind, a moral imperative.

Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer at the Washington Times and senior editor of The American Spectator.

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