Posted on July 24, 1999


The Shinbone Manifesto


You may or may not have recognized the title of this website as an allusion to the classic film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which was set in Shinbone, a small town trying to become civilized while isolated in the wilderness of the Old West. It seems like that could just as easily have been a story about cyberspace...except that nobody would watch it because it would be full of dull, ugly people who don't really do much of anything. Nevertheless, it appeared to be a fitting metaphor for a politically-based informational website that tries to establish an outpost of civilization amidst a wild range of fabricated hit-pieces, bomb recipes, pornography, and worst of all, chat rooms.

The shinbone is also an appropriate anatomical focal point for this publication. While others claim to have their fingers on the pulse of the nation, The Shinbone tries to be more attentive to that part of many Americans which has been bruised beyond recognition by repeated kickings from spoiled, runny-nosed liberals, who are confident that the common manners of others will spare them from punishment.

Like every responsible American citizen, The Shinbone aims to do its part, however tiny that part may be, to protect the vital marrow of the American political system, which is embodied in our Bill of Rights.

A cynic might consider this battle already lost. The fashionable theory of a "Living Constitution" (i.e., amendment by individual choice) has all but expunged our Second Amendment gun ownership rights, as well as our First Amendment right to free expression of religion. It has also created legal abortion, in open defiance of the Fifth Amendment right to not be deprived of life without due process of law. Due process is no longer needed to revoke our Fifth Amendment property rights either, if they conflict with the rights of, say, a salamander or a kangaroo rat. The Tenth Amendment, a crucial mechanism for restraining federal power, was revived briefly by the Contract With America, but has since receded from view, like a washed-up rock band after its final reunion tour. By these indications, the Constitution appears mutilated beyond repair.

James Madison

But this is all illusory. The Constitution hasn't been significantly altered since 1967. Liberal judges and bureaucrats haven't changed it; they've acted in spite of it, often arguing that its words no longer apply, or that they never meant what they appear to mean in the first place. Their brazen disregard for the written words of our founding documents may be discouraging, but it also reveals their greatest weakness: the English language.

The reduction of the role of the Constitution, and of the individual rights it enumerates, can be reversed by enforcement throughout society of the meanings of words and phrases. If the public rejects the proposition that definitions of words (like "is," for instance) can be determined subjectively, then phrases like "shall not be infringed" must mean just what they say.

To that end, The Shinbone promises to diligently confront deceptive liberal rhetoric with real words and their real meanings. Gobbledygook terminology like "homophobia," "assault weapons," and "women trapped inside men's bodies" will not be tolerated here. Moreover, any reference to "the homeless" must refer to people without homes, and not just people who ask other people for money. English is the official language of The Shinbone, and this policy will be vigilantly enforced.

The Shinbone believes that the most egregious transgression against the Constitution, and therefore the transgressors' most sensitive vulnerability, is the atrocity of abortion. Nowhere else do liberals as blatantly pervert language in an effort to change reality. ("Products of conception," "potential human beings," "termination," and "evacuating skull contents," are just a few examples). They would not write and speak like this if they thought that, in reality, they were right.

Most telling is that the news and pop media are nearly unanimously pro-abortion, yet they make very few efforts to argue their case. Instead, their approach is to establish their position as the unchallenged norm, then stifle debate and bury the issue under a mountain of euphemism. Their unwillingness to approach the issue directly is a tacit admission that their argument is incapable of withstanding exposure, let alone scrutiny. The Shinbone vows to demonstrate this as frequently as possible.

If you consider yourself a "moderate," a "centrist," a "pragmatist," a "progressive," or a "fiscal conservative," this publication probably annoys you already. You may even be calling it all sorts of terrible names, like "partisan." Well, your visiting this site is both appreciated and encouraged, but if you are waiting for The Shinbone to "grow" toward the center like so many Republican politicians, prepare to be frustrated, for The Shinbone will not bend.

There can be no negotiating with our Constitutional rights. Either we have a right, for instance, to keep and bear arms, or we don't. We cannot have that right only within such parameters as set by the government at a given time, because that would not then be a right, but only permission. Asking governmental permission for what is already yours is a sure way to lose it; just look at your pay stub.

The Shinbone recognizes that politics is not about "getting along," but about victory and defeat. While it is important to be cordial to the opposition, that does not necessitate a substantive move in its direction. Politicians who talk about "bridging the gap" and "reaching across the aisle" will be routinely derided on these pages, as will feel-good spectacles like the annual bipartisan retreat in Hershey, and Bill & Newt's widely praised New Hampshire love-in.

Like the loquacious Dutton Peabody, editor of the fictitious Shinbone Star, this publication is very clearly biased, but it admits its bias, unlike major newspapers which print unlabeled editorials on their front pages. You will find no dubious claims of objectivity here. Every item you read here will tell you not just what is happening with regard to the issues, but what The Shinbone thinks about it. Whether or not you agree with those thoughts, you will know that you have not been manipulated or deceived.

Finally, it is The Shinbone's opinion that most print and broadcast media assume a subhuman intelligence level among their readers and viewers. If you resent their over-explanation of simple facts, incessant polling designed to tell you what you think, and transmission of important information via pie graph, then you have the characteristics that The Shinbone hopes will make you a frequent and satisfied reader.



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