One of the oddities of recent political rhetoric, particularly from Conservatives and especially the Tea Party, is it is replete with cries that the Obama administration has either already stripped the American people of their core Constitutional rights, or plans to do so as it implements the socialist/communist takeover of the government that is the focal point of its anti_American agenda.

        These claims are not odd simply because there is no substantiated or substantial evidence of their truth. They are also odd in light of their campaign to foil the federal government’s tyranny by advocating measures and actions which, if instituted, are themselves unconstitutional and most assuredly anti=American.

      An example of an unsubstantiated claim recently appeared in the Morgantown Dominion Post. The Reverend Terry Hagedorn, pastor of a local church, is a frequent letter writer to the paper. Of course that is all within his rights, no quarrel with that. However, he must be possessed of a particular brand of paranoia which interprets any action or remark by anyone which is contrary to his narrow 12th Century viewpoint to be a lethal threat to his religion and faith.

       This link will let you read his letter:


            His claim that using the term Freedom of Worship instead of Freedom of Religion portends dire consequences for all our Christian friends is way out in left field, as I noted in another way in my letter of response.


            Note that while my letter refers to him as Carl Hagedorn rather than Terry, I did not use any first name in the letter I submitted. Someone at the paper chose to insert Carl, for some unknown reason.

              An excellent example of the oddity of using unconstitutional means to support a pet cause of the right is the very recent controversy of the widespread opposition to building a mosque in Manhattan a few blocks from Ground Zero.

            The irrational arguments made in trying to forestall the construction of that mosque are contemptuous of the very nature of the First Amendment’s protection of ALL religions which the most outspoken of the mosque’s opponents otherwise heartily endorse.

           One of these folks is the “esteemed” former Speaker of the House of representatives, Newt Gingrich. (And I have always pondered how someone named after a tiny amphibian could achieve such status. Next thing you know, Clarence “Frog Man” Henry will receive the Nobel Peace Prize). Gingrich has rarely met a high profile issue on which he could not be fairly termed the epitome of hypocrisy.

          Exhibit Number 1 in that regard is, of course, the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. I’m still upset at the huge waste of taxpayer money and public energy to persecute someone for getting a blowjob, oval office or not. But, natch, while Newt was leading this battle, his own sex life was not on the up and up. Or more correctly for a man, on the up and down.

         I’m not certain of the exact sequence but apparently while his first wife was in the hospital for cancer treatments, he informed her he was leaving for another woman. Then, while married to THAT woman, he began an affair with a staffer and left the second wife. i guess he believed more in his Contract with America than he did in his contracts with his wives.

         Now, into the mosque fray he steps, prepared as ever to go not where no man has gone before, but rather to go where no self-respecting, honest defender of the Constitution of the United States of America should go.

       Read William Saletan’s take on this in Slate.


             Surprisingly, some in the resistence  movement to prevent or reverse the “government takeover of our lives” as Tea Partiers like to put it, has encompassed and embraced the ultimate unconstitutional ………….. secession. I can think of at least 600,00 reasons why this is an untenable and unthinkable notion, that number of men who died fighting a civil war over that very issue.

         While I personally doubt the belief that “nothing secedes like secession” will gain enough traction to become an actual threat, its proponents miss no opportunity to express their demagoguery. Note this Washington Post article.


            One of the more notable aspects of this rhetorical phenomenon is that it is not confined to the fringes and spouted by fifteen minutes of fame wanna-bes. Most of the citations in Saletan’s article are well-known and in many cases thought of as mainstream politicians.

         It has been common since many of the aggressive military decisions of George W. Bush to label opposition voices as treasonous. Perhaps we are reaching a point where the application of such epithets is justified.

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