Saturday, December 29, 2007
____Every American Needs To Know...That includes you, Mr. Politician!
WAKE UP AMERICA
We are in a great civil war of words ... a precursor to anarchy and violence.
(N. Hooben December 2006)
WAKE UP AMERICA
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
The English and American traditions and instincts are quite different. George Washington might wear a uniform when the Republic was in danger, to indicate his willingness and ability to defend it. As a rule, however, he deliberately stressed his civilian status by his dress. He was anxious to show that, unlike Cromwell 150 years before, he would not use his military victories to become a Caesar. His self-restraint fascinated contemporaries. After American independence was secured, King George III asked an American, “What will George Washington do now?” He was told: “I expect he will go back to his farm.” The King commented, in frank admiration: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man on earth.” And that is what he did. When he finally—and reluctantly—accepted political office, he waited to be summoned by election. The importance of Washington’s behavior should never be underrated, contrasting, as it did, so markedly with the behavior of Napoleon Bonaparte a few years later. It illustrated all the difference between a civil and a military culture. In statesmanship, personal self-restraint in the search for and exercise of power is a key lesson to teach.
The Duke of Wellington, for instance, though known as the Iron Duke and the victor in some 50 battles, would never have dreamed of appearing in Parliament in military attire. On the contrary: he fought the Battle of Waterloo in dark blue civilian dress. Winston Churchill, too, never set foot in the House of Commons as a soldier. He loved uniforms and often wore them on non-Parliamentary occasions, including his semi-nautical rig as an Elder Brother of Trinity House. He had a right, too, to dress up. For he had taken part in active campaigns in Asia and Africa, and in 1899, at the Battle of Omdurman, had taken part in one of the last successful cavalry charges in the history of warfare. At the Potsdam Conference in 1945 he appeared in Royal Air Force uniform, one of his favorites. Marshall Stalin, as he liked to call himself, appeared in the white full dress uniform of a Marshall of the Red Army. But my award for statesmanship goes to the third member of the Big Three, Harry S Truman, who wore a neat blue civilian suit. No one had a better right to military rig. He was, ex officio, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. He had seen action in the First World War as an army major, and took an active part in the Reserve throughout the interwar period, probably knowing more about the military state of the world—and periodically issuing well-argued warnings—than any other member of Congress. But he rightly followed Washington’s example and stuck to the constitutional proprieties. How sensible he was became clear later when he had to deal with the popular but difficult General Douglas MacArthur.
It is worth noting that one of the greatest victories of the 20th century, the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War at the end of the 1980s, was achieved by three eminently civilian heroes: Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. The popes always wear white, the symbol of peace. Mr. Reagan, quite capable of acting heroic roles on screen, never succumbed to the temptation of wearing uniform in office. Margaret Thatcher was a war leader as well as a great leader in peace. She showed considerable courage during the Falklands War, a hazardous business for Britain with its limited military resources, but she never once stepped outside her strictly civilian role, even sartorially—though, as I often noted, she could snap her handbag with a military ring.
Statesmen at War
War is the most serious business that statesmen-heroes have to undertake, and a proper understanding of the precise frontier between civilian and military decision-making is one of the most valuable lessons they teach, never more so than today. In Western democracies like the United States and Britain, the civil power, elected by the people, has the sole right to declare war and make peace. In the conduct of operations, it must lay down clear objectives and give the military commanders their orders accordingly. But then, having done that, it must leave the way to secure these objectives, subject to the rules of law, to the professional commanders. It is not for the military to dictate policies, as General MacArthur tried to do, but equally it is not for the politicians to tell the generals how to fight.
This last rule has been broken several times in my lifetime, and always with disastrous results. The first occasion was during the brief Suez War of 1956, which the British Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, with his French allies, launched against Egypt. Eden was a man of peace who hated war, and got involved in this one reluctantly. He made many mistakes. He acted in a secretive manner, not taking into his confidence the House of Commons or even all his Cabinet colleagues, and above all his American ally, President Eisenhower. As a result there was great opposition to the war, at home and abroad, once it was launched. But his most serious mistake was to fail to give his military commanders clear orders about their objectives, and then leave them to get on with it. He tried to fight a kind of limited and political war, with the generals and air marshals restrained by political factors in what weapons they could use. He even told the Royal Air Force not to use bombs above a certain weight. The confusion of the commanders about what they were supposed to be doing was a factor in the war’s failure, which ended with an ignominious Anglo-French withdrawal, dictated by political factors. The Suez War was a historic demonstration of how fatal to success it is to muddle politics and military operations together.
That being so, it is astonishing to think that, only a few years later, the United States made exactly the same mistake in Vietnam. It has always struck me as tragic that the decision whether or not America should get involved in Vietnam was not taken while President Eisenhower was still in the White House. He had seen, from his ample experience in World War Two, how vital it was for politicians to settle the objects of war, and soldiers the means to secure them. Confusion of the two roles, he learned in the Mediterranean and European campaigns of 1942 to 1945, invariably proved costly. My guess is that Eisenhower would have decisively rejected any direct U.S. involvement, and would not have agreed to any plan which meant fighting a land war there. In the unlikely event of his agreeing to fight a war, however, he would have insisted on fighting it properly—that is, going all out for total victory with all the resources America could command—just as he had done with the invasion of occupied Europe in June 1944. That was the simple but logical view of a man who had exercised power from both sides of the political-military divide: avoid war if you possibly can, but if you can’t, fight it to win at all costs.
Unfortunately, Eisenhower was in retirement when the time for decision came. John F. Kennedy agreed to enter the war, and Lyndon B. Johnson agreed to extend it. At no point did either president formulate clear war aims or issue precise orders to their military commanders based on such aims. When I went to see President Johnson in 1967 and had an opportunity to discuss the Vietnam War with him in the White House, I was dismayed to find him imprecise about his war aims. He used such phrases as “contain communist advance” and “defeat communism.” But he did not lay down any object which could be secured by military means, and I wondered what exactly were the orders he issued to his generals or how they understood them. Johnson, like Eden before him, interfered almost daily in the conduct of operations, especially in the bombing war, deciding himself when and where raids should take place and what bombs to use, trying at times to orchestrate his military operations with his peace ventures. The mistakes Eden made at Suez were repeated, on a larger scale and for a longer period, and the predictable and disastrous results were of a correspondingly greater magnitude.
Let us turn now to Iraq, and see how the same considerations apply. In the first Iraq war, we were responding to the unprovoked invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s forces. This was a matter directly involving the United Nations. If Mr. Reagan had still been in the White House, I have no doubt that he and Mrs. Thatcher would have adopted stern war aims, involving not just the liberation of Kuwait by armed force but the replacement of the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic one under Western and U.N. supervision. Unfortunately Reagan had been succeeded by a much less clear-sighted, albeit well-meaning, president, George Bush Sr. It was not even clear, at first, that America would insist on reversing the invasion and occupation rather than be content with containing Iraqi aggression at the Saudi Arabian frontier. This disastrous response was jettisoned by the most forceful pressure from Margaret Thatcher, who insisted that Iraq be ejected from all Kuwait’s territory. This was done, under a U.N. resolution, with the military assistance of over 50 allies in Operation Desert Storm. But there was no agreement about the future war aim of removing Saddam and his militaristic regime. The generals had no instructions to “go on to Baghdad” and therefore halted operations when Saddam and his forces asked for an armistice. Alas, by that time Margaret Thatcher was no longer in office and had been succeeded by the weak and uncertain John Major. There was, in fact, weakness in both Washington and London, and as a result Saddam Hussein was left in power.
It is important to remember all this when we consider the present situation in Iraq. In the first war, the outrage the world felt at the brutal Iraqi conquest of Kuwait was overwhelming, and to destroy his regime and replace it by a peaceful and democratic one made obvious and popular sense. I have no doubt that when George Bush the younger authorized the second war against Iraq, he had in mind to complete the business left unfinished by the first—the son showing resolution where the father had shown doubt. But the actual reasons given for the second war were quite different, and much less plausible, and so carried less weight with the world. Many people failed to follow or agree with the line of argument which led from 9/11—an unprovoked act of aggression similar to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait—to the subsequent American attack on Iraq. They welcomed the overthrow of Saddam and his regime, and his subsequent trial and execution. But they were not clear why America was occupying Iraq as part of its worldwide fight against terror.
It seems to me that this confusion, originating in the first Iraq war and deepened in the second, lies at the root of our present difficulties. What successful statesmanship in the past teaches us, again and again, is that clarity of aim is paramount, above all in the deadly serious business of war-making. The Allies in the First World War were never clear about why they were fighting it—and Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, it can be argued, added to the confusion. Therein lay the weakness of the Versailles settlement, which laid the foundations of another conflict. In the Second World War, the Allies agreed on at least one thing: the unconditional surrender of Germany and the total destruction of the Nazi regime. It was not everything but it was something. By contrast, it is worth adding, the Western victory in the Cold War—achieved not by military force but by politics, economics, ideology and psychology—had no provision for what was to happen in Russia. There was no de-communization, as there had been de-Nazification in Germany after 1945, no trial of communist leaders for crimes against humanity, and none of the efforts, so successful in post-war Germany, to demonstrate the benefits of political and economic freedom and the rule of law. The result was to leave the communist apparatus intact beneath the surface—especially its most resilient and ruthless part, the secret police. And it is the secret police, personified in the presidency of Mr. Putin, who have inherited the state. Russia is no longer capable of challenging the United States and the West militarily, as it did until the late 1980s. But it is still capable and ready to make a great deal of trouble for us all, on a scale which makes Saddam’s Iraq seem insignificant.
Five Keys to Democratic Statesmanship
All these examples are reasons why I say that the ability to see the world clearly, and to draw the right conclusions from what is seen, is the foremost lesson which great men and women of state have to teach us. But there are many more, of which I would single out the five most important.
First, ideas and beliefs. The best kind of democratic leader has just a few—perhaps three or four—central principles to which he is passionately attached and will not sacrifice under any circumstances. This was true, for instance, of Truman, of Konrad Adenauer of Germany, Alcide de Gasperi of Italy, and Robert Schuman of France—all the outstanding men who did most to raise Europe from the ashes of the Second World War and who built up the West as a bulwark against Soviet advance and a repository of a free civilization. It was also true of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the two outstanding leaders of the next generation who carried on the work. I am not impressed by leaders who have definite views on everything. History teaches it is a mistake to have too many convictions, held with equal certitude and tenacity. They crowd each other out. A great leader is someone who can distinguish between the essential and the peripheral—between what must be done and what is merely desirable. Mrs. Thatcher really had only three musts: uphold the rule of law at home and abroad; keep government activities to the minimum, and so taxes low; encourage individuals to do as much as they can, as well as they can.
There are also, of course, statesmen who are necessarily dominated by one overwhelming object dictated to them by events or destiny. Thus Abraham Lincoln felt all else had to be sacrificed to the overwhelming necessity of holding the Union together, behind the principles of 1776. Likewise, Charles de Gaulle, in 1940, advanced the simple proposition that France was not defeated and incarnated it in his person. The way in which both men concentrated all their thoughts, energies, and skills on one end are lessons in single-mindedness and the power this can bring to action. A statesman must also be able, for a spell, to place one object of policy before all others, and this Winston Churchill did in 1940, when keeping Britain in the war by successfully preventing a Nazi conquest took precedence over all other aims. Such concentration of effort is itself a product of clarity of vision which includes a strong sense of proportion.
Next comes willpower. I think the history of great men and women teaches that willpower is the most decisive of all qualities in public life. A politician can have immense intelligence and all the other virtues, but if will is lacking he is nothing. Usually a leader has it in abundance. Will springs from unshakeable confidence in being right, but also from a more primitive instinct to dominate events which has little to do with logic or reason. Churchill had it. De Gaulle had it. Margaret Thatcher had it, to an unusual degree. It could be seen that, surrounded by her male Cabinet colleagues—whose knowledge and technical qualifications were often superior—she alone possessed will, and one could almost watch them bowing to it. Of course, will is often in history the source of evil. Hitler came from nothing to power, and the absolute control of a great nation, almost entirely through the force of his will. And it remained in him virtually to the end. Stalin’s dictatorship in Russia, and Mao Tse-Tung’s in China, were also largely exercises in personal will. Mao’s overwhelming will, we now know, led to the deaths of 70 million fellow Chinese. The cost of a misdirected will is almost unimaginably high. Those three or four simple central beliefs behind the will must be right and morally sound.
A third virtue is pertinacity. Mere flashes of will are not enough. The will must be organically linked to resolution, a determination to see the cause through at all costs. There are dark days in every venture, however just. Washington knew this in his long, eight-year war. Lincoln knew this in his long and often agonizing struggle with the South. One aspect of pertinacity is patience. Another is a certain primitive doggedness. One learns a lot about these things by studying Martin Gilbert’s magnificent record of Churchill’s leadership. “It’s dogged as does it” is an old English proverb. True enough. But doggedness should not be confused with blind obstinacy—the obstinacy of a George III or a Jefferson Davis. As with will, resolution must be linked to sound aims.
Fourth is the ability to communicate. The value of possessing a few simple ideas which are true and workable is enormously enhanced if the leader can put them across with equal simplicity. Ronald Reagan had this gift to an unusual degree—quite unlike his co-worker, Margaret Thatcher. While Reagan charmed and mesmerised, she had to bludgeon. There was a comparable contrast between Washington, who had no skill in plausible speechmaking, and Lincoln, not only a great orator for a set occasion, but a man whose everyday remarks carried enormous verbal power. But where words fail, example can take their place. Washington communicated by his actions and his personality. He was followed because Americans could see that he was an honest, incorruptible and decent man. Mrs. Thatcher too governed by personality. The Russians called her the Iron Lady. You do not need to charm when you are manifestly made of iron. It is a form of communication in itself.
The fifth and last of the virtues we learn about heroes is magnanimity: greatness of soul. It is not easy to define this supreme quality, which few even among the greatest leaders possess. It is a virtue which makes one warm to its possessor. We not only respect and like, we love Lincoln because he had it to an unusual degree. It was part of his inner being. And Churchill, who also had it, made it one of the top quartet of characteristics which he expected the statesman to show. A passage he penned as the First World War was about to end reads: “In war, resolution. In defeat, defiance. In victory, magnanimity. In peace, good will.” This is a sentiment which all those in public life should learn by heart. It encapsulates the lessons of history better than entire books.
* * *
I would like to end by stressing that my perception of heroic virtues is not inclusive. I merely stress the central and essential ones. One thing you learn from history is that a hero who can make the public laugh as well as admire is likely to have a strong and lasting hold on its affections. Here again Churchill stands high. He made us laugh even in the darkest days of 1940, when in reply to the Nazi jibe that “England in three weeks will have her neck wrung like a chicken,” he said, simply but forcefully: “Some chicken! Some neck!” As a teenager, when I had the chance to meet him in 1946, I was bold enough to ask: “Mr. Winston Churchill, sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?” He replied, instantly: “Conservation of effort: never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.” There was a delicious irony with which this supreme man of action put the case for the sedentary, even the supine. Abraham Lincoln, too, loved irony. He often achieved an effect with jokes where mere oratory would not work so well. And Mr. Reagan communicated and ruled through his enormous collection of one-liners, which he suited to all occasions. And a joke can often enshrine truth, as for instance when I heard him say: “I’m not too worried about the deficit. It’s big enough to take care of itself.”
Margaret Thatcher was often criticized for having no sense of humor. Not true. I once heard her tell a joke to great effect. At the end of a long wearisome dinner with ten speeches, she—as Prime Minister—was scheduled to speak at the end. I could see she was furious. She began: “As the last of ten speakers, and the only woman, I have this to say. The cock may crow, but it’s the hen who lays the eggs.” I think I was the only one to laugh. The rest were shocked. I reminded Mrs. Thatcher of this recently, and she was delighted. She said: “My father told me that joke.” And that itself is a reminder that we learn from our parents at the fireside in our childhood perhaps as much or more than from anyone. But from the heroes of the past we learn, too, and what they teach, by the example of their lives and words, has the special quality of truth by personal example. Thus the good hero lives on, in our minds, if we are imaginative, and in our actions, if we are wise.
*MUST SEE VIDEO*Watch this Muslim cleric say "All Muslims believe that homosexuals should get death penalty" - and a room full of Muslims agree!(Third party video)
Posted by Britain First on Thursday, March 19, 2015
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Clinton's Overlapping Donors Raises Potential Confict
The new York Times has compiled the first list of 97 donors that gave or pledged $69 million for the Clinton presidential library in the final years of the Clinton administration. Hillary Clinton has tapped at least two dozen of them, as "Hillraisers".
In raising record sums for her campaign, Mrs. Clinton has tapped many of the foundation's donors. At least two dozen have become "Hillraisers," each bundling $100,000 or more for her presidential bid. The early library donors, combined with their families and political action committees, have contributed at least $784,000 to Mrs. Clinton's Senate and presidential coffers.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I'm Glad I'm On My Way Out by Norman E. Hooben
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be saying those words, "I'm glad I'm on my way out."
Sometime ago while visiting a prominent Cape Codder and the talk centered around the current state of the nation which was depicted as pretty grim. This gentleman who is in his upper 80's and a life-long Democrat first uttered those words to me, "I'm glad I'm on my way out."
Twelve-hundred miles south, back home in Alabama just a week or so after the Cape Cod tête-à-tête, I'm driving past a friend's house and see my friend outside and stop to chat. He also has been around longer than I and maybe a bit younger than the New Englander. Oh he's been around alright, he was a POW during the Korean conflict. The life-long Republican, in the course of our conversation, says (and you must know the talk was about the grim nation), "I'm glad I'm on my way out." Well, that startled me somewhat...identical phrases, miles apart, and from opposing ideological mind-sets.
Time went on as I wrote about the events above and along with all the other verbiage I've posted, I was asked by someone, "Why do you do this stuff? It's just a waste of time." My explanation covered several paragraphs which ended with something like this, "I may be on my way out, but my grandchildren are on their way in. I do it for the children."
So lets be clear, I never said, "I'm glad I'm on my way out." I said, "I may be..." Well now I have to say it. For along comes a story from an unlikely source that has compelled me to say it. The overwhelming force that drives me to say it, comes from non other than the United States Mint. For you see the United States Mint has decided to mint new coins honoring the better half of history's patriots. They call this particular series, "First Spouse" issue as depicted here:
The first "First Spouse" is of course, Martha Washington, George's better half.
Sometime in the future coinage may appear like this:
I'm glad I'm on my way out !
Friday, December 7, 2007
When I first made that statement, "Biden, The-Iranian-Medal-Of Honor-Winner" it was not
an idle statement...I made the statement back in 2002 when I came across the article below. Don't accuse me of being disrespectful to a U.S. Senator when the headlines of the day point to the truth.
Further, Biden doesn't care about you because you don't have any money...the Iranians have lots of money and Biden follows the money.
Read the article and don't kill the messenger.
Biden buddies up to pro-Iran lobby: Lobbying groups supportive of the Tehran regime seem to have found a high-level friend in Washington: Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden
March 25, 2002 by K. Timmeran
Some might call it reaching out to American Muslims. But to many Iranians living in California, a fund-raiser for Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) at the home of a prominent pro-Iran lobbyist on Feb. 19 sent a wrongheaded message to the ruling clerics in Tehran.
"When we learned that Sen. Biden was planning to hold a fund-raiser at the California home of Dr. Sadegh Namazi-khah, we immediately contacted his office to express our dismay," a prominent Iranian-American activist tells INSIGHT. Why dismay? "Dr Namazi-khah is well-known in the Los Angeles area for his support of the ruling clerical regime in Tehran and is one of the regime's leading unofficial lobbyists in America. We thought that Sen. Biden might not know his background. Getting the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to appear at this event will certainly be seen by the regime in Tehran as a show of support."
On the eve of the fund-raiser, which brought an estimated $30,000 into Biden's re-election coffers, a Biden staffer told the activist that the senator's staff "had all the facts necessary to make a decision," and he was planning to attend the fund-raiser despite the protests.
Several participants who paid to attend the event tell INSIGHT that Biden arrived at 8 p.m., stayed until 11 and delivered a sweeping condemnation of President George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" formula.
"He really impressed us by his grasp of world affairs," Namazi-khah tells INSIGHT in an interview. "He encouraged us to make our views known and to get more involved in American politics."
Biden also impressed many of those present with his friendly attitude toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. The senator said that "Iran always wanted to be an ally of the United States and to have good relations with the U.S.," according to Housang Dadgostar, a prominent lawyer. "As Iranian-Americans, we don't want anything to happen to the Iranian government or to the Iranian people as a result of this war on terrorism," says Mohsen Movaghar, a Los Angeles businessman. Both men belong to the 70-member board of directors of Namazi-khah's Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN).
Namazi-khah denied any official contact with the Iranian government. But he tells INSIGHT that he regularly travels to Iran -- something many expatriates do -- and that he actively supports "moderates" within the ruling clergy, such as Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, in their efforts to bring reform to the Islamic system.
Namazi-khah and other IMAN board members say Biden's office contacted them to inquire if they would hold a private fund-raiser for the senator, who is up for re-election this year, after meeting with them at a pro-Tehran gala in New York last December. That event was sponsored by the American-Iranian Council (AIC), a pro-regime lobbying group trying to get Congress and the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Iran.
The AIC is funded by hefty contributions from Conoco and other U.S. oil companies seeking to get a piece of the potentially lucrative Iranian petrochemicals sector The oil companies are prevented from working in Iran by the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996.
Namazi-khah acknowledges that he and other IMAN board members would like to see the U.S. sanctions lifted and that they worked actively with AIC and another antisanctions lobbying group known as the World Political Action Committee. However, he insists that IMAN is a "cultural and religious group, not a political group." Indeed, the group is registered in the state of California as a "church" and is exempt from financial disclosure. One IMAN board member says the group raises $300,000 to $400,000 per year from members. He insists that they take "no money from the government in Tehran." (Note from Norm: If you believe that last sentence, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell ya!)
California real-estate records show that the group purchased a building at 3376 Motor Ave. in Los Angeles in August 1995 for $925,000 and has spent hundreds of thousands more to build auditoriums and meeting rooms for religious services. It was unclear where the money for these projects originated.
One clue can be found in an official calendar circulated by the Iranian government for the Persian year 1379 (March 2000-March 2001), obtained by INSIGHT. The mission statement of the "General Office of Cultural Affairs of Iranians Outside the Country" which circulated the calendar, is to "promote policies of the government of the Islamic Republic [and] strive to be a bridge between the Iranian community abroad and inside the country." In addition to listing Iranian government Websites, the calendar cites IMAN as a pro-regime group.
"If they are lobbying on behalf of the Tehran government they are probably in violation of U.S. law," an FBI source who has prosecuted several related cases tells INSIGHT. But with high-level friends in Washington, IMAN may believe it has purchased immunity.
Norm Kurz, a spokesman for Biden, tells INSIGHT the Delaware Democrat never would meet knowingly with a group known to back a terrorist organization (Note from Norm: If you believe that, I've got some beach front property in Arizona that I'dlike to sell ya!) and that he makes the distinction between the Iranian people and the regime. Nevertheless, Kurz adds, Biden hopes a dialogue with Iran could be constructive
Monday, December 3, 2007
Please note the date on the photo...I never published this before but I decided that the time has come...people
are either going to wake up or live and die in misery if this regime does not get out of the White House...soon !
The latest video update was posted April 17, 2016
You will learn more in these 23 minutes about what is going on in the world than all the news you've ever read or listened to in the last 23 years combined! See the video at the bottom of this page!
This ↓ is powerful!
In 1978-9 I was living and studying in Denmark . But in 1978 - even in Copenhagen, one didn't see Muslim immigrants. The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism - one in development since the conservatives had lost power in 1929 - a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time.
The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism. Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies - it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism.
How could it have predicted that one day in 2005 a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets - all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite? By the 1990's the growing urban Muslim population was obvious - and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves.
As the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark 's liberal way of life, the Danes - once so welcoming - began to feel slighted. Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, in equality for women, in tolerance for other ethnic groups, and a deep pride in Danish heritage and history. The New York Post in 2002 ran an article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard, in which they forecasted accurately that the growing immigrant problem in Denmark would explode. In the article they reported: "Muslim immigrants constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending." "Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark 's 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes." "Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane." "Forced marriages - promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death - are one problem" "Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark 's Muslim population grows large enough - a not-that-remote prospect. If present trends persist, one sociologist estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim." It is easy to understand why a growing number of Danes would feel that Muslim immigrants show little respect for Danish values and laws. An example is the phenomenon common to other European countries and the U.S. : some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark , a country where once Christian citizens worked to smuggle out nearly all of their 7,000 Jews by night to Sweden - before the Nazis could invade. I think of my Danish friend Elsa - who as a teenager had dreaded crossing the street to the bakery every morning under the eyes of occupying Nazi soldiers - and I wonder what she would say today. In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years - one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal unfettered immigration. Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe . (Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of "racism" by liberal media across Europe - even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.) If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark's history, culture, and a Danish language test. You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate an intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won't find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family to Denmark with you You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen . Although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark , they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren't. In 2006, the Danish minister for employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system, and it was horrifying: the government's welfare committee had calculated that if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in coming decades would be unnecessary. In other words, the welfare system as it existed was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the government. "We are simply forced to adopt a new policy on immigration. The calculations of the welfare committee are terrifying and show how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now," he said. A large thorn in the side of Denmark's imams is the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj. She makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, "The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference," Hvilshøj says, "There is an inverse correlation between how many come here and how well we can receive the foreigners that come." And on Muslim immigrants needing to demonstrate a willingness to blend in, "In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech." Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone. Perhaps to test her resolve, the leading radical imam in Denmark , Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered in a suburb of Copenhagen , stating that the family's thirst for revenge could be thwarted for money. When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand, he argued that in Muslim culture the payment of retribution money was common, to which Hvilshoj replied that what is done in a Muslim country is not necessarily what is done in Denmark. The Muslim reply came soon after: her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time - in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce. Her government has slid to the right, and her borders have tightened. Many believe that what happens in the next decade will determine whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking and social responsibility, or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Sharia law. And meanwhile, Americans clamor for stricter immigration policies, and demand an end to state welfare programs that allow many immigrants to live on the public dole. As we in America look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily , dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history . . . we would do well to look to Denmark, and say a prayer for her future and for our own.
Video courtesy of Little Bonanza Productions. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAFBPO's mission is "to contribute to the security and stability of the United States." Please also watch their video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd8S6h...
Posted by Britain First on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The following was posted in September of 2014 but you have to know that this sort of stuff is going on (watch the video here): GOVERNMENT ARRESTING PEOPLE FOR ANTI-OBAMA FACEBOOK POSTS!
OBAMA SIGNS ANTI-FREE SPEECH BILLProtests and other free speech can now be considered a felony if you say something...
Posted by Don't Tread On Me on Tuesday, October 15, 2013
↓Coming to America... Many of them are already here!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Campaign Trail: Lamenting the healthy U.S. economy, a certain senator from New York says "it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush." But the Clintons' brand of soap always seems to be a mix of sleaze and socialism.
Campaigning in Iowa on Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., spread doom and gloom about an economy that has produced more than 8 million new jobs over the past 50 months amid a powerful economic expansion.
Hillary has been pushing the theme that being first lady for eight years gave her the experience that will make her a good president.
"Every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families," she said in an obvious negative reference to her opponent, Sen. Barrack Obama, D-Ill. "And they cannot afford to keep waiting."
But what exactly is it they are waiting for? Certain expiration of the Bush across-the-board income tax cuts, and his reduction in taxes on investment, policies that caused the economy's current sustained boom?
Is the "experience" our families are waiting to reap the benefits of actually a new version of Hillary's 1993-94 attempt to impose socialized health care on America?
The cleaning up that Hillary claims her husband undertook is a myth. The record shows Bill Clinton inherited from President George H.W. Bush an economy already in recovery.
It also shows that two terms of Clinton Masculinus left George W. Bush in 2001 with an economy already in a downturn.
It wasn't his income tax rate increases or sage words from Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin that produced Intel's Pentium chip and the Internet or the rest of the technological revolution behind the 1990s boom. The seed capital for it all came largely from the low-tax policies of Ronald Reagan years earlier. (Note from Norm: Why does it take the media so long to catch up with me? I’ve been saying this all along. And if you care to go back and check the Wall Street Journal’s economic writers, they all proclaimed that the recession that began in March right after president Bush took office, was a direct result of President Clinton’s tax increase just prior to him (Clinton) leaving office (that was in November after the elections). Further, if you want to check the record, that was the largest tax increase in the nation’s history (at that time). Pelosi and Company have plans for yet a larger increase. Don’t kill the messenger for delivering you the facts.)
Bill Clinton, in fact, never succeeded in getting passed into law what he touted as his vital "jobs bill," a pork-laden $30 billion fiscal stimulus package; only a fraction of it, $220 million, was ever enacted.
Yet government spending is clearly what Hillary's White House job experience would translate into. Her energy policy, for instance, consists of a $50 billion alternative fuels fund and $20 billion worth of new "green vehicle bonds" funding intensified gas mileage regulations. (Note from Norm: Even the un-informed know that you cannot legislate technology…this is just a money scheme to generate fines for not complying with the law. Don’t believe me? Just ask BMW, et al and ask them why they had to pay $26 million dollars in fines for not producing better gas mileage. BMW, et al could care less about the insane laws, they just pass the cost onto you the consumer. Again, don’t kill the messenger for delivering the facts.)
But businesses won't have to worry — if they can grease the lady's palm. Corning, Inc., Western New York state's stalwart Republican Party corporate donor, found that out in 2004 when China threatened a 16% tariff on Corning's fiber optics products.
By having the Red Chinese ambassador to her Capitol Hill office, Hillary apparently got the Communist government to drop the duty. But it seems to have cost Corning executives $46,000 in campaign contributions.
Sleazy deals and big spending are well-remembered from the days of Hillary Clinton's other half. That kind of experience is no recipe for continued economic health.
© Copyright 2007 Investor's Business Daily. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, 28th November 2007
An interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Last Tuesday at nightfall, as the servants of democracy fled SW1, a young Somali woman stood spotlit on a stage in Westminster. Behind her was the illuminated logo for the Centre for Social Cohesion: a white hand reaching down across England to help a brown one up; in front, an audience of some of Britain’s biggest brains — politicians, editors, academics. She drew her shawl a little closer round her shoulders, looked up and said: ‘We are not at war with “terror”, that would make no sense.’
‘Hear, hear,’ said a voice at the back. ‘Terror is just a tactic used by Islam,’ she continued. ‘We are actually at war, not just with Islamism, but with Islam itself.’
Out in the dark began a great wobbling of heads. Neocons nodded, Muslims shook their heads; others, uncertain, waggled theirs anxiously from side to side: at war with all Islam, even here in the UK? What does that mean?
It would be easier in some ways to ignore Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to label her as bonkers — but it would also be irresponsible. She’s not just another hawkish hack, anxious to occupy the top tough-guy media slot — she has the authority of experience, the authenticity of suffering. In the spring of 2004 she wrote a film called Submission (an artsy 11-minute protest against Islamic cruelty to women) which was shown on Dutch TV. In November 2004 the film’s director, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated and the killer left a long letter to Hirsi Ali knifed into his corpse which said, in short: you’re next. But Hirsi Ali couldn’t be silenced. She has since written an autobiography (Infidel) about growing up a Muslim (in Somalia, then Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia), describing her circumcision, the beatings she received, her arranged marriage, her flight to Holland. She risks her life daily, speaking out against what she calls the ‘fairytale’ that Islam is in essence a religion of peace.
The other reason to take her seriously is that Hirsi Ali’s ideas about Islam (that it is unamenable to reform, and intrinsically opposed to Western values) are attracting attention worldwide. In Holland where, until 2006, she was an MP for the People’s Party for Freedom and Independence (VVD), the famous ‘pillarisation’ approach to immigration — where each new culture becomes a pillar upon which the state rests — has given way to a ‘new realism’, much more in tune with Hirsi Ali’s way of thinking, and in part because of her. In Britain and in America, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has become a sort of popstar for neocons, and she now lives in Washington, and works as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute.
But is she right? And what does ‘war with Islam’ mean? I went to find out; to meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the House of Lords on a bitter and blustery afternoon last week, bustling past the police, down the corridors of partial power, to the visitors’ room where she was waiting. We haven’t got much time, so can we dive straight into Islam? I ask. ‘Yes, absolutely, go ahead,’ she smiles. Up close she is disconcertingly beautiful, and fragile-looking. OK then, right. Well, you say that Islam is a violent religion, because the Prophet advocated violence. But isn’t that open to interpretation? I ask. Karen Armstrong, (a non-Muslim biographer of Mohammed) has said the Prophet was a loving man who’d have been horrified at 9/11.
‘Karen Armstrong is ridiculous,’ says Hirsi Ali in her quick, light voice — Africa still audible in the clipped consonants. ‘The Prophet would have not have disapproved of 9/11, because it was carried out in his example. When he came to Medina, the Prophet had a revelation, of jihad. After that, it became an obligation for Muslims to convert others, and to establish an Islamic state, by the sword if necessary.’
But there is such a thing as moderate Islam, I say. Muslims aren’t all terrorists. There are some like Ed Husain (author of The Islamist) who argue that there are many peaceful traditions of Koranic scholarship to choose from. Isn’t it a mistake to dismiss this gentler, acceptable branch of Islam?
‘I find the word “moderate” very misleading.’ There’s a touch of steel in Hirsi Ali’s voice. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as “moderate Islam”. I think it’s better to talk about degrees of belief and degrees of practice. The Koran is quite clear that it should control every area of life. If a Muslim chooses to obey only some of the Prophet’s commandments, he is only a partial Muslim. If he is a good Muslim, he will wish to establish Sharia law.’
But I don’t call myself a ‘partial Christian’ just because I don’t take the whole Bible literally, I say. Why can’t a Muslim pick and choose his scriptures too? Before Hirsi Ali can answer, the door to the waiting room flies open and a House of Lords doorman stands theatrically on the threshold. ‘You must stop this interview immediately!’ he says. Why? Is there a breach of security? A terrorist threat? ‘I have not received authorisation for it,’ he says. But we’re here with a peer, I say. I’m sure he has cleared it. ‘Please proceed to the waiting area in silence.’ So off we trudge to the foyer to sit by a fake fire — ‘it’s much nicer here, anyway,’ says Hirsi Ali kindly — and to continue our discussion about the superiority of the free, enlightened West in urgent whispers behind my rucksack.
‘Christianity is different from Islam,’ says Hirsi Ali, ‘because it allows you to question it. It probably wasn’t different in the past, but it is now. Christians — at least Christians in a liberal democracy — have accepted, after Thomas Hobbes, that they must obey the secular rule of law; that there must be a separation of church and state. In Islamic doctrine such a separation has not occurred yet. This is what makes it dangerous! Islam — all Islam, not just Islamism — has not acknowledged that it must obey secular law. Islam is hostile to reason.’
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s eyes are now aglow. She is a terrific believer in reason. For her, Western civilisation is built on the bedrock not of Judaeo-Christian values, but of logic. After seeking asylum in Holland, she spent five years at Leiden university studying political science, absorbing the Enlightenment philosophers — Spinoza, Hobbes, Voltaire — and she mentions them fondly, as if they’re family. But there’s a steely side to her atheism, which says with Voltaire: Ecraser l’infâme! During a recent debate with Ed Husain, as Husain was explaining his moderate Islam, she began to laugh at him, saying: ‘When you die you rot, Ed! There is no afterlife, Ed!’ And it makes me wonder whether, for Hirsi Ali, Islam’s crime is as much against reason as humanity; whether she sees the point of spirituality at all.
Are you so sure you understand what is at the heart of Islam? I ask her. Isn’t there a peaceful prayerfulness — apart from the politics — that an atheist might not understand? ‘I was a Muslim once, remember, and it was when I was most devout that I was most full of hate,’ she says.
OK then, you talk about your conscience, and how your conscience was pricked by 9/11. But if there’s no God, what do you mean by a conscience? And why should we obey it?
‘My conscience is informed by reason,’ says Hirsi Ali, surprised I should ask. ‘It’s like Kant’s categorical imperative: behave to others as you would wish they behaved to you.’
I say, so let’s assume Islam is hostile and not open to reason, that it needs to be wiped out. The next question then is how? We can’t just ban it. Isn’t it destructive to curtail freedom so much in the interests of protecting it? Don’t you risk loving freedom to death?
Hirsi Ali looks at me with pity. ‘You, here in the UK, are in danger. Of course you can’t ban Islam outright, but you need to stop the spread of ideology, stop native Westerners converting to Islam. You definitely need to ban the veil in schools, and to close down Muslim schools because that’s where kids are indoctrinated.’
But, what about freedom of belief and free speech? I ask (with a nervous look at the doorman). And if you close down Muslim schools, don’t you, by the same logic, have to close all faith schools?
‘Islam is different from other faiths because it is not just a faith, it is a political ideology. Children learn that Allah is the lawgiver, and that is a political statement. You wouldn’t allow the BNP to run a school, would you?’
But if we crack down like this, won’t it make Muslims angry? I say, thinking about terrorists and my safety. ‘Well perhaps anger is no bad thing,’ says Hirsi Ali, thinking about ordinary Muslims, and their enlightenment. ‘Perhaps it’ll make Muslims more aware, help them question their beliefs. If we keep on asking questions, maybe Muslim women will realise, as I did, that they don’t have to be second-class citizens.’
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is on her favourite topic now (the subjection of women), leaning forward, gesticulating. And as she talks I realise (belatedly) what makes her different from her neocon pals. Whereas they seem motivated by fear of Muslims, she is out to protect Muslims from submission to unreason. When she speaks of a ‘war against Islam’, she’s thinking not of armies of insurgents, but of an ideological virus, in the same way a doctor might talk of the battle against typhoid. ‘Yes, I am at war with Islam,’ she says, as she gets up to leave, ‘but I am not at war with Muslims.’ It’s a crucial difference.
It’s teatime now and the House of Lords hallway is suddenly full of peers’ wives chattering, shaking their brollies. Sorry about all these women in headscarves, I say unnecessarily, as I shake her hand goodbye. ‘Don’t worry,’ says Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ‘It’s not the hijab, the headscarves are just to protect them against the rain!’ And she walks off, laughing.
The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London, SW1H 9HP. All Articles and Content Copyright ©2007 by The Spectator (1828) Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
One of the most frequently asked questions in the abortion debate is: "When does life begin?" It's the wrong question. Life, as any biologist will tell you, never begins. It always ends, eventually - but it never begins. All living matter comes only from other living matter.
Let us narrow the scope of the question. "When does human life begin?" The answer is the same as above: Human life comes only from pre-existing human life. Living human cells come only from other living human cells.
Very well then, "When does human life become a human being?" That is the correct question. The answer lies in the definition of "human being." Biologically, a living human being is a vertebrate animal organism, Homo sapiens.
What, then, is an organism? It is a living, corporeal entity that exists and functions of, by, and for itself. It may consist of a single cell, such as an amoeba, or of a group of cells, tissues, and organs that can achieve titanic size, such as a blue whale.
If an organism can consist of a single cell (such as an amoeba) can we say that a sperm cell from a frog is an organism? No. Nor can we make the same statement for a brain cell or a muscle cell. These are highly specialized cells and function only as part of a collective whole. Isolate a brain cell from its living matrix and it soon dies. Likewise, the sperm cell has but one function: to fertilize the ovum or die.
An organism, on the other hand, is self-sufficient. It ingests and metabolizes food; it grows; it is usually capable of locomotion; it is capable of reproduction. Most importantly, it is an independently functioning, living "machine," so to speak, existing of its own accord.
In order to establish the parameters necessary to define an organism, biologists utilize three criteria: morphology (the form of a cell, tissue, organ, or organism); physiology (the function of a cell, tissue, organ, or organism); and genomics (the DNA "blueprint" of a cell, tissue, organ, or organism). Of these three criteria, genomics establishes the identity of an individual organism with the greatest precision.
Every organism has its own unique genetic code. That code tells us precisely what the organism is. Thus, we can present the biologist with two apparently identical samples of tissue, one from the liver of a human and the other from that of a chimpanzee. After carefully examining the chromosomes in the nuclei of cells taken from each of the tissue samples, the biologist can tell us with absolute certainty which is human and which is simian. Living simian cells come only from other living simian cells. Living human cells come only from other living human cells. A simian cell can never become a human cell and vice versa.
Every organism has a definite lifecycle: There is a point in time at which the organism begins its existence as an organism, followed by a period of metabolism, growth, and reproduction, ending at the moment the organism dies.
The human organism - like every other living organism - begins its existence as a single cell. As we have seen above, a sperm cell is not an organism. Neither is an ovum. Yet, when the two unite, they form a zygote. This zygote is a complete - though not completed - living, organized, unique, individual human life form with its own particular morphological and physiological destiny. It contains the entire genetic code sequence of an individual human being (with the informational equivalent of 1,000 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica).
The programming in this genetic code will cause the zygote to divide and differentiate, to form hormones and tissues. In the absence of disease, accident, or incident, this single cell will, in the course of 36 to 39 weeks, become a newborn human. From the time it begins its existence it is never anything but alive (living cells can come only from other living cells) and never anything but human (only human cells come from other human cells). The human zygote is therefore a living, human organism.
But is it a human being?
Most people understand that a frog never becomes an elephant. A frog is a frog. Then again, a tadpole is a tadpole. But is a tadpole a frog? Some folks would argue not: The tadpole has no lungs; it has gills. It has no legs; it has a tail. It looks and acts just like a fish. It can't be a frog, can it? Well, it depends upon how you define the frog organism.
May we identify an organism as a frog purely on the basis of its morphology (physical form)? The biologist will say no. Three criteria are necessary for biological identification, morphology being only one of them. Physiology and genomics are the other two.
The biologist will not hesitate to affirm that the tadpole is indeed a frog. The living organism we call "frog" (Rana catabiensis) undergoes profound morphological and physiological changes in the course of its lifecycle. Although these changes are radical, the genetic code - the DNA blueprint that defines this particular organism - never changes. For this reason, no biologist ever confuses form with substance when establishing the identity of an organism.
The biologist will tell you that a frog is a frog from the instant it first functions as an independent organism, regardless of the form it takes during the course of its development. It will be nothing other than a frog when it dies. An organism is never identified purely on the basis of its morphological or physiological state at any given point in its lifecycle. It would be like declaring the benchmark of life for the butterfly organism is the presence of wings and antennae and then, after examining the caterpillar, pronouncing that, because it has neither wings nor antennae, it is neither living nor a butterfly, despite the fact that it is a living organism with the genome of the butterfly and, if it is not killed before it completes its metamorphosis, will become nothing other than a butterfly.
Nevertheless, there are some people who persist in their belief that an unborn human is not a human being, particularly when discussing the earlier stages of human development in the womb: "But I just don't feel that it's human. It doesn't look or act human. Wouldn't a better criterion be heartbeat, brain waves, arms, legs, viability outside the womb, etc.?"
The list is long and could be extended indefinitely, but all such criteria are vague, arbitrary, or scientifically insupportable. While fetal viability, for example, may be a convenient benchmark for consensus politicians, it is irrelevant with regard to the biological humanity of the developing fetus. The intrauterine development of an organism is simply one phase of its living existence, and is immaterial to its biological identity.The operative word is "feel" and that approach is as old as it is dangerous. Slave owners didn't “feel” that Negroes were fully human; Nazis didn't “feel” that Jews, Slavs and Gypsies were fully human and concocted outrageous pseudo-scientific proof that they were sub-human. From time immemorial, man's inhumanity to man has been rooted in the fact that one particular family, clan, tribe, or nation did not feel that another was truly human, and on countless tragic occasions this has become the twisted rationale behind persecutions, slavery, pogroms, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
Biological science demonstrates with geometric force that every human being begins his existence as a zygote and that every living human zygote is a human being at the first stage of development in his lifecycle. This determination has nothing to do with feeling or emotion and is no more a matter of religion or opinion than 1+1=2 or E=mc2.
Having established through logic and science that every human being begins his existence as a zygote, we now address two additional questions:
1. Are all human beings human persons?
2. Do all human persons have an inalienable right to life?
We now enter the realm of political philosophy and the theory of personhood and rights. Generally, "personhood" is a term used in the context of the rights and obligations of human beings, although the concept has been extended to embrace corporations. In this context, a human person is defined as a human being possessing certain rights and obligations.
Is Joe Doakes a human being because he is a human person or is he a human person because he is a human being? This is the pivotal question in the abortion debate and it has only two possible answers.
A. If we state that Joe Doakes is a human being because he is a human person, we must conclude that the defining source of "personhood" lies apart from his existence as a human organism. In the absence of anarchy and solipsism, the only defining source of personhood becomes the government. The existing political authority defines personhood and establishes who and what are persons, as well as who and what are not persons.
Consequently, personhood is ultimately defined by the prevailing political agenda. If government becomes the source of personhood (and therefore what is and is not human), it logically follows that political power becomes the fountainhead of human rights and a government with this degree of power is nothing less than totalitarian, with Nazi Germany as the paradigm.
In effect, Hitler's Reich said: "You are a human being only if you are a person. We will decide who is and who is not a person. You Jews and Gypsies are not persons and therefore are not humans."
The Nazis might have objected that the reverse was true, that Hitler said: "According to our best scientific minds, you Jews and Gypsies are not humans and therefore are not persons." In this case we can only reiterate the biological facts outlined earlier. The denial of their humanity had nothing whatsoever to do with biological fact; it had everything to do with "feeling" and egregious pseudo-science. If the Nazis were truly honest they would have said, "We just don't feel that you are human."
We are thus presented with the defining question: Is the human fetus a human being only because it is a human person? In effect that was the question addressed by the ruling of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. For that matter, we could have posed a similar question in 1857: "Is the Negro a human being only because he is a human person?" We all know the answer of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision. If we accept that personhood derives from the state and not from the fact that one is a human being, we have made the unalienable right to life (and any other civil right) an empty, meaningless concept.
B. If Joe Doakes is a human person precisely because he is a human being, everything changes. His personhood - and the rights that accompany it – derive exclusively from the fact that he is a human being. To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence "All human beings are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, among these, life..."
An unalienable right is one that is intrinsic to humanity and cannot be ceded to any other individual or authority. From time to time, these rights may be abridged or even deprived through due process of law (e.g., imprisonment for committing a felony, or execution for capital crimes). Nevertheless, as natural endowments, they possess a moral authority that imposes upon the state the obligation to respect and uphold them. Therefore, by his very nature as a human being, Joe Doakes is a person, and no political power on earth can take his personhood away from him.
Biological science tells us that African slaves were human beings (even if ignorant bigots said they were not). The Declaration of Independence tells us that, as human beings, they were therefore human persons (even if a feckless Supreme Court said they were not). The U.S. Constitution tells us that, as human persons, they possessed the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (even if these rights were systematically denied to them for centuries).
The conclusion is unavoidable: The human fetus is a human being; all human beings are human persons; all human persons possess an inalienable right to life which, according to the U.S. Constitution, may not be deprived without due process of law.
In order to conform itself to biological reality, the intent of the Founding Fathers and our own Constitution, both federal and state governments would have to establish as a matter of law that one's very existence as an unborn human being - if undesired by the mother - is a capital crime punishable by death. To fulfill the constitutional requirement of due process, a mother who chooses to abort her child would have to file criminal charges.
However, commission of a crime requires criminal intent - a capacity the unborn human lacks. Assuming this hurdle is vaulted, the abortion procedure would be preceded by a trial in a court of law. In the event of a guilty verdict, the subsequent appeals would take years to move through the appellate courts. By the time they are exhausted, the defendant would be at least 10 years old.
To circumvent this Kafkaesque absurdity, the Supreme Court effectively stripped personhood from prenatal human beings by denying they are human beings, thereby establishing that personhood derives from political authority instead of humanity. This is no more rational than affirming that blacks are chattel or Jews and Slavs are sub-human.
In many cases, well-meaning people oppose abortion for religious reasons or from intuitive feelings of right and wrong. As we have seen in the course of this brief discussion, the argument against abortion need not incorporate either religion or morality; it is founded squarely upon biological science and the political principles upon which our republic was founded. Abortion violates the civil rights of the unborn human person and denies that human person his or her unalienable right to life.