Friday, June 27, 2008

What Issues? This IS the Issue! The only issue!

Now lets not get hung up on the words "only issue" for certainly there are issues (with an s). I emphasize this previously posted commentary because of the need to remind people that which is going on behind the scenes and what the mainstream media is not telling you. Further, that this so called shadow government is bi-partisan and all other issues are designed to keep you side-tracked; off balance, if you will.
All candidates running for the presidency of the United States are firmly entrenched in this movement described herein and I fear for the soverignty of our nation. So disregard the date the article was written and believe me when I say it, "This movement to do away with your country IS still in play!" And you can blame the politic elite from both political parties...the Bush family, the Clinton family, the Obama family...sounds like there's a mafioso family running things. Now if you ask, "What can I do about it?" Simple, get rid of ALL the incumbents in both the House and Senate and elect Independents who have never held office; we need to get back to the Constitution as it were on and be prepared for Mr. Farah's last sentence!

between the lines Joseph Farah

Merger with Mexico

Posted: July 20, 2005
1:00 am Eastern

By Joseph Farah
© 2008

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is this: Why does the federal government refuse to accept its responsibility to enforce immigration laws and border security?

Now the answer is becoming clear.

And it's not pretty.

The shadow government – the elitists – do indeed have a plan. And it is a plan that does not include any vestige of U.S. sovereignty or constitutional government. It is a plan for merger – a European Union-style government for North America and eventually the rest of the Americas and the world.

It's all spelled out in the latest reports by the Council on Foreign Relations. There's a five-year plan for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" with a common "outer security perimeter."

Though there has been no national debate on merger with the corruption and socialism of our neighbors to the north and south, there is a roadmap. And unless the American people rise up in righteous indignation against this plan, the roadmap to merger will become the inevitable, guiding force in setting U.S. policy.

In many ways, it already has.

The goal of this merger couldn't be clearer – "a common economic space ... for all people in the region, a space in which trade, capital and people flow freely."

The CFR's strategy calls specifically for "a more open border for the movement of goods and people." It calls for laying "the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America." It calls for us to "harmonize visa and asylum regulations." It calls for us to "harmonize entry screening."

More open? How could it be any more open? How could the flow of people be any freer? Criminals, terrorists, drug dealers and other undesirables cross into the U.S. on a daily basis – unchecked, unmolested, unscreened. How could we have any less enforcement?

Well, imagine Mexico as the 51st state. That's a picture of what the CFR has in mind with regard to the flow of human traffic back and forth between the two countries.

By the way, even though you didn't hear any national debate about this plan, your president has already committed you, your children and your grandchildren to this policy, according to the CFR.

In "Building a North American Community," the shadow government's 59-page manifesto for merger, we are informed President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin "committed their governments" to this goal March 23 when they met in Texas.

You might remember that little get-together. It was there that Bush characterized the the Minuteman organization of heroic citizen border monitors as "vigilantes."

Last month, a follow-up meeting was held in Canada, suggesting this plan be put on the fast track. The U.S. representative, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, explained at that time that "we want to facilitate the flow of traffic across our borders."

Silly me. I thought the objective of Homeland Security was to protect the American people from terrorist attacks! But the real goal is making it easier for Mexicans and Canadians and anyone else using those territories to enter our country undetected and unmolested.

The CFR plan also calls for massive redistribution of wealth – more of your hard-earned money flowing to Mexico and Canada to make this panacea possible. It also calls for the implementation of "the Social Security Totalization Agreement" so that illegal aliens will be certain to bankrupt the system Bush claims to be trying to save.

It is a stunning betrayal of the will of the American people, the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence and all of our notions of limited government, self-government, freedom, sovereignty, the rule of law and justice.

I don't know how else to say it: It is an open conspiracy to commit treason.

It's time to fight the War of Independence all over again.

Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is "Stop The Presses: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution." He also edits the online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are we there yet? No, but we're very close!

A hat tip to Gerry Phelps
Note: This article was written in 2007 when the price of oil was $60 per barrel. My comment is #4.

Please turn off sound for this post.
Herb Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers.
Meyer is widely credited with being the first senior U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet Union’s collapse, for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Intelligence community’s highest honor. Formerly an associate editor of FORTUNE, he is also the author of several books.
Currently, there are four major transformations that are shaping political, economic and world events. These transformations have profound implications for American business owners, our culture and our way of life.
1. The War in Iraq
There are three major monotheistic religions in the world: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In the 16th century, Judaism and Christianity reconciled with the modern world. The rabbis, priests and scholars found a way to settle up and pave the way forward. Religion remained at the center of life, church and state became separate. Rule of law, idea of economic liberty, individual rights, Human Rights-all these are defining points of modern Western civilization. These concepts started with the Greeks but didn’t take off until the 15th and 16th century when Judaism and Christianity found a way to reconcile with the modern world. When that happened, it unleashed the scientific revolution and the greatest outpouring of art, literature and music the world has ever known.
Islam, which developed in the 7th century, counts millions of Moslems around the world who are normal people. However, there is a radical streak within Islam. When the radicals are in charge, Islam attacks Western civilization. Islam first attacked Western civilization in the 7th century, and later in the 16th and 17th centuries. By 1683, the Moslems (Turks from the Ottoman Empire) were literally at the gates of Vienna. It was in Vienna that the climatic battle between Islam and Western civilization took place. The West won and went forward. Islam lost and went backward. Interestingly, the date of that battle was September 11. Since then, Islam has not found a way to reconcile with the modern world.
Today, terrorism is the third attack on Western civilization by radical Islam. To deal with terrorism, the U.S. is doing two things. First, units of our armed forces are in 30 countries around the world hunting down terrorist groups and dealing with them. This gets very little publicity.
Second we are taking military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are covered relentlessly by the media. People can argue about whether the war in Iraq is right or wrong. However, the underlying strategy behind the war is to use our military to remove the radicals from power and give the moderates a chance. Our hope is that, over time, the moderates will find a way to bring Islam forward into the 21st century. That’s what our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is all about.
The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a world where a small number of people can kill a large number of people very quickly. They can use airplanes, bombs, anthrax, chemical weapons or dirty bombs. Even with a first-rate intelligence service (which the U.S. does not have), you can’t stop every attack. That means our tolerance for political horseplay has dropped to zero. No longer will we play games with terrorists or weapons of mass destructions.
Most of the instability and horseplay is coming from the Middle East. That’s why we have thought that if we could knock out the radicals and give the moderates a chance to hold power; they might find a way to reconcile Islam with the modern world. So when looking at Afghanistan or Iraq, it’s important to look for any signs that they are modernizing. For example, a woman being brought into the workforce and colleges in Afghanistan is good. The Iraqis stumbling toward a constitution is good. People can argue about what the U.S. is doing and how we’re doing it, but anything that suggests Islam is finding its way forward is good.
2. The Emergence of China
In the last 20 years, China has moved 250 million people from the farms and villages into the cities. Their plan is to move another 300 million in the next 20 years. When you put that many people into the cities, you have to find work for them. That’s why China is addicted to manufacturing; they have to put all the relocated people to work. When we decide to manufacture something in the U.S., it’s based on market needs and the opportunity to make a profit. In China, they make the decision because they want the jobs, which is a very different calculation.
While China is addicted to manufacturing, Americans are addicted to low prices. As a result, a unique kind of economic codependency has developed between the two countries. If we ever stop buying from China, they will explode politically. If China stops selling to us, our economy will take a huge hit because prices will jump. We are subsidizing their economic development; they are subsidizing our economic growth. Because of their huge growth in manufacturing, China is hungry for raw materials, which drive prices up worldwide.
China is also thirsty for oil, which is one reason oil is now at $60 a barrel. By 2020, China will produce more cars than the U.S. China is also buying its way into the oil infrastructure around the world. They are doing it in the open market and paying fair market prices, but millions of barrels of oil that would have gone to the U.S. are now going to China. China’s quest to assure it has the oil it needs to fuel its economy is a major factor in world politics and economics. We have our Navy fleets protecting the sea lines, specifically the ability to get the tankers through. It won’t be long before the Chinese have an aircraft carrier sitting in the Persian Gulf as well. The question is, will their aircraft carrier be pointing in the same direction as ours or against us?
3. Shifting Demographics of Western Civilization
Most countries in the Western world have stopped breeding. For a civilization obsessed with sex, this is remarkable. Maintaining a steady population requires a birth rate of 2.1. In Western Europe, the birth rate currently stands at 1.5, or 30 percent below replacement. In 30 years there will be 70 to 80 million fewer Europeans than there are today.
The current birth rate in Germany is 1.3. Italy and Spain are even lower at 1.2. At that rate, the working age population declines by 30 percent in 20 years, which has a huge impact on the economy.
When you don’t have young workers to replace the older ones, you have to import them. The European countries are currently importing Moslems. Today, the Moslems comprise 10 percent of France and Germany, and the percentage is rising rapidly because they have higher birthrates.
However, the Moslem populations are not being integrated into the cultures of their host countries, which is a political catastrophe. One reason Germany and France don’t support the Iraq war is they fear their Moslem populations will explode on them. By 2020, more than half of all births in the Netherlands will be non-European.
The huge design flaw in the post-modern secular state is that you need a traditional religious society birth rate to sustain it. The Europeans simply don’t wish to have children, so they are dying.
In Japan, the birthrate is 1.3. As a result, Japan will lose up to 60 million people over the next 30 years. Because Japan has a very different society than Europe, they refuse to import workers. Instead, they are just shutting down. Japan has already closed 2000 schools, and is closing them down at the rate of 300 per year. Japan is also aging very rapidly. By 2020, one out of every five Japanese will be at least 70 years old. Nobody has any idea about how to run an economy with those demographics.
Europe and Japan, which comprise two of the world’s major economic engines, aren’t merely in recession, they’re shutting down. This will have a huge impact on the world economy, and it is already beginning to happen.
Why are the birthrates so low? There is a direct correlation between abandonment of traditional religious society and a drop in birth rate, and Christianity in Europe is becoming irrelevant. The second reason is economic. When the birth rate drops below replacement, the population ages. With fewer working people to support more retired people, it puts a crushing tax burden on the smaller group of working age people. As a result, young people delay marriage and having a family. Once this trend starts, the downward spiral only gets worse. These countries have abandoned all the traditions they formerly held in regards to having families and raising children.
The U.S. birth rate is 2.0, just below replacement. We have an increase in population because of immigration. When broken down by ethnicity, the Anglo birth rate is 1.6 (same as France) while the Hispanic birth rate is 2.7. In the U.S., the baby boomers are starting to retire in massive numbers. This will push the elder dependency ratio from 19 to 38 over the next 10 to 15 years. This is not as bad as Europe, but still represents the same kind of trend.
Western civilization seems to have forgotten what every primitive society understands-you need kids to have a healthy society. Children are huge consumers. Then they grow up to become taxpayers. That’s how a society works, but the post-modern secular state seems to have forgotten that. If U.S. birth rates of the past 20 to 30 years had been the same as post-World War II, there would be no Social Security or Medicare problems.
The world’s most effective birth control device is money. As society creates a middle class and women move into the workforce, birth rates drop. Having large families is incompatible with middle class living. The quickest way to drop the birth rate is through rapid economic development.
After World War II, the U.S. instituted a $600 tax credit per child. The idea was to enable mom and dad to have four children without being troubled by taxes. This led to a baby boom of 22 million kids, which was a huge consumer market that turned into a huge tax base. However, to match that incentive in today’s dollars would cost $12,000 per child.
China and India do not have declining populations. However, in both countries, there is a preference for boys over girls, and we now have the technology to know which is which before they are born. In China and India, many families are aborting the girls. As a result, in each of these countries there are 70 million boys growing up who will never find wives. When left alone nature produces 103 boys for every 100 girls. In some provinces, however, the ratio is 128 boys to every 100 girls. The birth rate in Russia is so low that by 2050 their population will be smaller than that of Yemen. Russia has one-sixth of the earth’s land surface and much of its oil. You can’t control that much area with such a small population. Immediately to the south, you have China with 70 million unmarried men are a real potential nightmare scenario for Russia.
4. Restructuring of American Business
The fourth major transformation involves a fundamental restructuring of American business. Today’s business environment is very complex and competitive. To succeed, you have to be the best, which means having the highest quality and lowest cost. Whatever your price point, you must have the best quality and lowest price. To be the best, you have to concentrate on one thing. You can’t be all things to all people and be the best.
A generation ago, IBM used to make every part of their computer. Now Intel makes the chips, Microsoft makes the software, and someone else makes the modems, hard drives, monitors, etc. IBM even outsources their call center. Because IBM has all these companies supplying goods and services cheaper and better than they could do it themselves, they can make a better computer at a lower cost. This is called a fracturing of business. When one company can make a better product by relying on others to perform functions the business used to do itself, it creates a complex pyramid of companies that serve and support each other.
This fracturing of American business is now in its second generation. The companies who supply IBM are now doing the same thing-outsourcing many of their core services and production process. As a result, they can make cheaper, better products. Over time, this pyramid continues to get bigger and bigger. Just when you think it can’t fracture again, it does. Even very small businesses can have a large pyramid of corporate entities that perform many of its important functions. One aspect of this trend is that companies end up with fewer employees and more independent contractors.
This trend has also created two new words in business; integrator and complementor. At the top of the pyramid, IBM is the integrator. As you go down the pyramid, Microsoft, Intel and the other companies that support IBM are the complementors. However, each of the complementors is itself an integrator for the complementors underneath it. This has several implications, the first of which is that we are now getting false readings on the economy. People who used to be employees are now independent contractors launching their own businesses. There are many people working whose work is not listed as a job. As a result, the economy is perking along better than the numbers are telling us.
Outsourcing also confused the numbers. Suppose a company like General Motors decides to outsource all its employee cafeteria functions to Marriott (which it did). It lays-off hundreds of cafeteria workers, who then get hired right back by Marriott. The only thing that has changed is that these people work for Marriott rather than GM. Yet, the headlines will scream that America has lost more manufacturing jobs. All that really happened is that these workers are now reclassified as service workers. So the old way of counting jobs contributes to false economic readings. As yet, we haven’t figured out how to make the numbers catch up with the changing realities of the business world.
Another implication of this massive restructuring is that because companies are getting rid of units and people that used to work for them, the entity is smaller. As the companies get smaller and more efficient, revenues are going down but profits are going up. As a result, the old notion that revenues are up and we’re doing great isn’t always the case anymore. Companies are getting smaller but are becoming more efficient and profitable in the process.
1. The War in Iraq
In some ways, the war is going very well. Afghanistan and Iraq have the beginnings of a modern government, which is a huge step forward. The Saudis are starting to talk about some good things, while Egypt and Lebanon are beginning to move in a good direction.
A series of revolutions have taken place in countries like Ukraine and Georgia. There will be more of these revolutions for an interesting reason. In every revolution, there comes a point where the dictator turns to the general and says, Fire into the crowd. If the general fires into the crowd, it stops the revolution. If the general says No, the revolution continues. Increasingly, the generals are saying No because their kids are in the crowd.
Thanks to TV and the Internet, the average 18-year old outside the U.S. is very savvy about what is going on in the world, especially in terms of popular culture. There is a huge global consciousness, and young people around the world want to be a part of it. It is increasingly apparent to them that the miserable government where they live is the only thing standing in their way. More and more, it is the well-educated kids, the children of the generals and the elite, who are leading the revolutions.
At the same time, not all is well with the war. The level of violence in Iraq is much worse and doesn’t appear to be improving. It’s possible that we’re asking too much of Islam all at one time. We’re trying to jolt them from the 7th century to the 21st century all at once, which may be further than they can go. They might make it and they might not. Nobody knows for sure. The point is we don’t know how the war will turn out. Anyone who says they know is just guessing.
The real place to watch is Iran. If they actually obtain nuclear weapons it will be a terrible situation. There are two ways to deal with it.
The first is a military strike, which will be very difficult. The Iranians have dispersed their nuclear development facilities and put them underground. The U.S. has nuclear weapons that can go under the earth and take out those facilities, but we don’t want to do that. The other way is to separate the radical mullahs from the government, which is the most likely course of action.
Seventy percent of the Iranian population is under 30. They are Moslem but not Arab. They are mostly pro-Western. Many experts think the U.S. should have dealt with Iran before going to war with Iraq. The problem isn’t so much the weapons; it’s the people who control them. If Iran has a moderate government, the weapons become less of a concern.
We don’t know if we will win the war in Iraq. We could lose or win. What we’re looking for is any indicator that Islam is moving into the 21st century and stabilizing.
2. China
It may be that pushing 500 million people from farms and villages into cities is too much too soon. Although it gets almost no publicity, China is experiencing hundreds of demonstrations around the country, which is unprecedented. These are not students in Tiananmen Square. These are average citizens who are angry with the government for building chemical plants and polluting the water they drink and the air they breathe.
The Chinese are a smart and industrious people. They may be able to pull it off and become a very successful economic and military superpower. If so, we will have to learn to live with it. If they want to share the responsibility of keeping the world’s oil lanes open, that’s a good thing.
They currently have eight new nuclear electric power generators under way and 45 on the books to build. Soon, they will leave the U.S. way behind in their ability to generate nuclear power.
What can go wrong with China? For one, you can’t move 550 million people into the cities without major problems. Two, China really wants Taiwan, not so much for economic reasons, they just want it. The Chinese know that their system of communism can’t survive much longer in the 21st century. The last thing they want to do before they morph into some sort of more capitalistic government is to take over Taiwan. We may wake up one morning and find they have launched an attack on Taiwan. If so, it will be a mess, both economically and militarily. The U.S. has committed to the military defense of Taiwan. If China attacks Taiwan, will we really go to war against them? If the Chinese generals believe the answer is no, they may attack. If we don’t defend Taiwan, every treaty the U.S. has will be worthless. Hopefully, China won’t do anything stupid.
3. Demographics
Europe and Japan are dying because their populations are aging and shrinking. These trends can be reversed if the young people start breeding. However, the birth rates in these areas are so low it will take two generations to turn things around. No economic model exists that permits 50 years to turn things around. Some countries are beginning to offer incentives for people to have bigger families. For example, Italy is offering tax breaks for having children. However, it’s a lifestyle issue versus a tiny amount of money. Europeans aren’t willing to give up their comfortable lifestyles in order to have more children.
In general, everyone in Europe just wants it to last a while longer. Europeans have a real talent for living. They don’t want to work very hard. The average European worker gets 400 more hours of vacation time per year than Americans. They don’t want to work and they don’t want to make any of the changes needed to revive their economies.
The summer after 9/11, France lost 15,000 people in a heat wave. In August, the country basically shuts down when everyone goes on vacation. That year, a severe heat wave struck and 15,000 elderly people living in nursing homes and hospitals died. Their children didn’t even leave the beaches to come back and take care of the bodies. Institutions had to scramble to find enough refrigeration units to hold the bodies until people came to claim them.
This loss of life was five times bigger than 9/11 in America, yet it didn’t trigger any change in French society. When birth rates are so low, it creates a tremendous tax burden on the young. Under those circumstances, keeping mom and dad alive is not an attractive option. That’s why euthanasia is becoming so popular in most European countries. The only country that doesn’t permit (and even encourage) euthanasia is Germany, because of all the baggage from World War II.
The European economy is beginning to fracture. The Euro is down. Countries like Italy are starting to talk about pulling out of the European Union because it is killing them. When things get bad economically in Europe, they tend to get very nasty politically. The canary in the mine is anti- Semitism. When it goes up, it means trouble is coming. Current levels of anti-Semitism are higher than ever. Germany won’t launch another war, but Europe will likely get shabbier, more dangerous and less pleasant to live in.
Japan has a birth rate of 1.3 and has no intention of bringing in immigrants. By 2020, one out of every five Japanese will be 70 years old. Property values in Japan have dropped every year for the past 14 years. The country is simply shutting down.
In the U.S. we also have an aging population. Boomers are starting to retire at a massive rate. These retirements will have several major impacts:
Possible massive sell-off of large four-bedroom houses and a movement to condos.
An enormous drain on the treasury. Boomers vote and they want their benefits, even if it means putting a crushing tax burden on their kids to get them. Social Security will be a huge problem. As this generation ages, it will start to drain the system. We are the only country in the world where there are no age limits on medical procedures an enormous drain on the health care system. This will also increase the tax burden on the young, which will cause them to delay marriage and having families, which will drive down the birth rate even further.
Although scary, these demographics also present enormous opportunities for products and services tailored to aging populations. There will be tremendous demand for caring for older people, especially those who don’t need nursing homes but need some level of care. Some people will have a business where they take care of three or four people in their homes. The demand for that type of service and for products to physically care for aging people will be huge.
Make sure the demographics of your business are attuned to where the action is. For example, you don’t want to be a baby food company in Europe or Japan. Demographics are much underrated as an indicator of where the opportunities are. Businesses need customers. Go where the customers are.
4. Restructuring of American Business
The restructuring of American business means we are coming to the end of the age of the employer and employee. With all this fracturing of businesses into different and smaller units, employers can’t guarantee jobs anymore because they don’t know what their companies will look like next year. Everyone is on their way to becoming an independent contractor. The new workforce contract will be, a Show up at the my office five days a week and do what I want you to do, but you handle your own insurance, benefits, health care and everything else.
Husbands and wives are becoming economic units. They take different jobs and work different shifts depending on where they are in their careers and families. They make tradeoffs to put together a compensation package to take care of the family. This used to happen only with highly educated professionals with high incomes. Now it is happening at the level of the factory floor worker. Couples at all levels are designing their compensation packages based on their individual needs. The only way this can work is if everything is portable and flexible, which requires a huge shift in the American economy.
The U.S. is in the process of building the world’s first 21st century model economy. The only other countries doing this are U.K. and Australia. The model is fast, flexible, highly productive and unstable in that it is always fracturing and re-fracturing. This will increase the economic gap between the U.S. and everybody else, especially Europe and Japan.
At the same time, the military gap is increasing. Other than China, we are the only country that is continuing to put money into their military. Plus, we are the only military getting on-the-ground military experience through our war in Iraq. We know which high-tech weapons are working and which ones aren’t. There is almost no one who can take us on economically or militarily. There has never been a superpower in this position before.
On the one hand, this makes the U.S. a magnet for bright and ambitious people. It also makes us a target. We are becoming one of the last holdouts of the traditional Judeo-Christian culture. There is no better place in the world to be in business and raise children. The U.S. is by far the best place to have an idea, form a business and put it into the marketplace. We take it for granted, but it isn’t as available in other countries of the world.
Ultimately, it’s an issue of culture. The only people who can hurt us are ourselves, by losing our culture. If we give up our Judeo-Christian culture, we become just like the Europeans. The culture war is the whole ballgame. If we lose it, there isn’t another America to pull us out.

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  1. Long read for a blog post, but definitely interesting.
    You might be interested in a video called “The money masters” about monetary reform, the federal reserve, and banking. Just google it, or you can watch it on google video too - search for “the money masters - part one”
    Comment by cade June 4, 2007
  2. Hey Herb, I worked last year at a home for the elderly. I became very depressed by a few of the clinets. It seems that with our technology, people are living longer and longer. Their quality of life however decreases. Usually the have been widowed sometimes for many years. The homes give them 3 meals a day and a room but not much else. I was very disturbed by the lack of visitation by family. Working their confirmed my worst fears of getting old. I have read that Japan takes the best care of the elderly. Fortunately, none of my grandparents have had to experience a nursing home. It seems that this is a trend in the U.S. Not only does it make sense to have kids economically but you would want to have them take care of you when you can’t do it yourself. I have a grandmother that is able to live independantly. She is one of the lucky ones. Anyways, I enjoyed your blog.
    Comment by Justin Mckay June 4, 2007
  3. [...] Interesting Perspective - Lengthy, but Good Links… Storm King Press - Herbert E. Meyer Herb Meyer on Global Issues The Temple Herb Meyer Interesting perspective but somewhat lengthy…. or there is always the Delete key [...]
    Pingback by Very Interesting Perspective - Lengthy, but Good - XDTalk Forums - Your HS2000/SA-XD Information Source! June 12, 2008
  4. Mr. Meyer,
    You left out the most important “Transformation”. Not only did you omit it, it should be the number one consideration for all Americans. And that is the Socialism Transformation brought about by the traitors from within. These traitors do not have one drop of American Patriotism blood in their cold veins. They follow such Idealogues as Saul Alinsky, Norman Cousins, et al. They have passed laws that have infringed upon our Constitutional rights…the right to vote comes to mind. This nation got along just fine when we voted for all our leaders and now many are appointed (i.e. City Mangers are a great example…nobody ever voted for a City Manager yet they pull all the purse strings!) I could go on and on with this but there is substantial evidence that these culprits are winning their war against our Republic. With that said I will leave you with these words:
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies in the heart of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear.
    The traitor is the plague……” Marcus Tullius Cicero, speech to the Roman Senate.
    Truer words have not been spoken! I can name names but suffice it to identify one and you can go from there; “William Jefferson Clinton”
    We also need to watch the Bush family and the members of the CFR who want to sell us out to the most corrupt organization in the world, the United Nations (see LOST Section G)
    Comment by Norman E. Hooben June 26, 2008
    Click on picture to enlarge

Just Wondering...

With a hat tip to Ron Arnold...

As you watch the flooding in the Midwest, have you noticed that there are no farmers running around with stolen plasma TVs or holding stolen liquor over their heads.

There's no looting or yelling "Where's Bush?", "Where's FEMA?, Where's my check?", or "Why isn't the Gov't out here saving me and my farm?"

Likewise, I've also noticed there are no reports of any other country coming to help or sending aid.

Shocking contrast isn't it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Rev. Wright, God will not damn America. Your Liberal Democratic friends have already done it!

Note: Another article is below this one. (also turn off sound)

Dechristianizing America
by Richard Neuhaus
Issue 110 - June 25, 2008

If you're not a Christian and not about to become a Christian, but you're a public intellectual who is paid to be an expert on a society that is overwhelmingly Christian, you have to make a decision about how to position yourself.

For a long time, beginning in the first half of the last century and accelerating in the aftermath of World War II, many thinkers simply decided to ignore "the religion factor" in American life. The dogma was promulgated, and reiterated in textbooks from grade school through graduate school, that religion was once important, but now America is a comprehensively and irreversibly secular society. Historian David Hollinger of Berkeley has written with admirable candor about the decision of the American intellectual class to emulate the more thorough secularism of European thinkers. This decision was strengthened, he says, by the influence of émigré Jewish intellectuals in the 1930s and 1940s. Hollinger, one notes, strongly approves of the turn toward European secularism.

Over more than twenty years, that way of positioning oneself with respect to American culture became increasingly untenable, as religion of the unmistakably Christian kind began breaking out all over the public square. As a result, some non-Christian thinkers, and Jewish thinkers in particular, began to take a different tack. Since religion could no longer be ignored, one had to assume a posture toward it. In recent years, different postures have been assumed. (Not all the figures I will mention here would be recognized as public intellectuals, but they represent nodal points around which public attitudes and commentaries cluster.)

Some, such as Abe Foxman of the ADL, decided that the resurgence of religion in public poses a lethal threat to all they cherish about America, and to Jews in particular. Joining forces with older proponents of a rigid secularism, they rail against the dangers of the "religious right." Foxman, like the very influential Leo Pfeffer of the American Jewish Congress before him, is personally observant. The insistence is that personally religious means privately religious.

Others, such as Michael Lerner of Tikkun magazine, recognize that religion in public is here to stay and therefore try to spin the phenomenon in the service of their "progressive" ideology. Lerner and a few others are the leftist Jewish counterparts to Jim Wallis (author of God's Politics) in evangelical Protestantism.

A more thoughtful response to the religious resurgence was for decades represented by Irving Kristol's magazine, the Public Interest. Kristol—and his mainly but by no means exclusively Jewish colleagues—took a generally benign view of the assertiveness of a new mix of religion, culture, and politics that challenged regnant secular liberalisms. Kristol's understanding of religion in public was usually described as "instrumental": It doesn't much care about the particularities of Christian beliefs; the assertiveness of Christian morality is socially and politically useful.

A more explicit alliance between Judaism and public Christianity is pressed by the likes of Rabbi Daniel Lapin and his movement, "Toward Tradition." Writers such as Michael Medved, Don Feder, Dennis Prager, and David Klinghoffer adopt a similar posture. Such figures are not intimidated by the charge that they are the Jewish wing of the "religious right."

Then there are those such as Rabbi David Novak and the hundreds of Jewish signers of the 2000 statement Dabru Emet ("To Speak the Truth"). Although Novak and others are generally on the "conservative" side of contested social and moral issues, their chief concern is the religious and moral engagement between Judaism and Christianity. This is presently the most vibrant expression of the long-standing Jewish-Christian dialogue. It is attentive also to grounding the search for a more just and free society in shared Jewish and Christian warrants. It is understood that, while there is not a shared Judeo-Christian religion, there is a shared Judeo-Christian ethic. In the long and troubled history of Jewish-Christian relations, this is the enterprise that goes most deeply and could, I believe, have the most lasting consequences.

Yet others take another approach to the problem of being public intellectuals who are expected to be experts on an assertively religious society in which they are, religiously speaking, in a small minority. One thinks, for instance, of figures such as Alan Wolfe, David Brooks, Harold Bloom, Stanley Fish, and Adam Kirsch. These people are very different. Brooks is a frequently brilliant observer of cultural manners and quirks, and Fish is an energetic philosophical provocateur who would be sorely missed. What this group has in common, and what distinguishes them from other the thinkers, is that they have taken it upon themselves to adjudicate what is real and what is only apparent in the Christianity professed by the great majority of their fellow citizens. This might be described as a particularly bold exercise in chutzpah, but it is not without its charms.

Here, for example, is a review by Adam Kirsch of Washington's God by Michael and Jana Novak. Kirsch does not like the book at all. "It is not a serious work of history. It falls rather in the Parson Weems tradition of Washington biography, using the father of the country as a blank screen on which to project desires and fantasies about the country he fathered." Kirsch is determined not to let the father of the country, which is Kirsch's country, too, be claimed by the Christians. Now, as it happens, I think Washington's God would be a stronger book if it focused less on the personal piety and beliefs of Washington and more on the structure of Christian (and Jewish!) thought that marked the American Founders, including Washington. That structure is nicely analyzed in Michael Novak's earlier book On Two Wings. More pertinent to this discussion, however, is Kirsch's confident assertion about the kind of religion that can be safely admitted to the public square. It is "a vision of faith that does seem genuinely American: pragmatic, experiential, internal, more interested in love and forgiveness than judgment and punishment. More of this kind of faith, at least can't hurt the republic." A safely neutered Christianity whose hard edges have been replaced by the warm and fuzzy may be, according to Kirsch, admitted, if somewhat grudgingly, to the telling of the American story.

The most audacious effort to acknowledge "Christian America" while, at the same time, redefining it in a way that raises no awkward questions, and especially no awkward questions for those who are not Christian, is represented by sociologist Alan Wolfe of Boston College. In FIRST THINGS, I have regularly attended to his writings of recent years in which he assures his readers that Christians do not really believe what they say they believe. Wolfe, who says he does not have a religious bone in his body, set out his oft-reiterated thesis in the 1999 book One Nation, After All: What Americans Really Think About God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, The Right, The Left and Each Other. Using interviews conducted by his assistants, Wolfe concludes that, except for their views on homosexuality, Americans are, despite their claims to be Christian, more or less good liberals like the rest of us. As for conservative Christians and the much-touted "religious right," they hardly show up on his radar screen. As with other "extremists," they are marginal, and must be kept that way.

In the days before religion began breaking out all over, the "religion factor"—meaning the Christian factor—was treated as epiphenomenal. Harold Bloom has an even more ambitious argument in his 1993 book, American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. There we are instructed that Americans, with exceptions, have left Christianity behind in order to join Bloom in embracing an Emersonian gnosticism centered in the actualization of the "divine spark" within each of us.

In these instances, we have non-Christians negotiating their place in a dominantly Christian society and their standing as experts on that society—more specifically as experts on religion in that society—who contend that 85 percent of the population is living in a state of false-consciousness by thinking that they are, in some way that really matters, Christian. It is passing strange.

This attempted de-Christianization of America is not very polite. These writers, in effect, are asserting that Christians in America are the Laodiceans to whom the Lord says in Revelation 3, "I know your works; you are neither hot nor cold. Would that you were hot or cold. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth." Admittedly, with Bloom there is the interesting twist that they are not, in fact, lukewarm but hot for Emersonian gnosticism, albeit with some vestigial Christian trimmings.

It is undoubtedly true that many Christians are mediocre in their faith and its practice. Ordinarily, most people are ordinary. And there is surely a strong streak of gnosticism in popular spiritualities. More striking, however, is the claim that people are not what they say they are; that the majority of Christians who say that being Christian is very important to their lives are simply deceiving themselves. Among social analysts, there is no other social indicator or identity claim that is so cavalierly dismissed or redefined in ways contrary to what people say about themselves. If someone says he is a liberal Democrat or a fervent Red Sox fan, he is thought to have said something significant about himself. If he says he is very seriously a Christian, Messrs. Wolfe, Bloom, et al., are eager to disillusion him, or at least to explain to the rest of us why he is deluded.

Stanley Fish's distinctive contribution is to argue that American Christians are not seriously Christian because Christianity is a "comprehensive account" of reality and comprehensive accounts of reality are of necessity fanatical. Since Christians in America are generally not fanatical but tolerant and quite nice, it follows that they are actually good liberals who do not really believe in the comprehensive account that is Christianity. If one accepts the premise, this has the charm of being logical.

Fifty years ago, Will Herberg published his justly influential Protestant-Catholic-Jew. In those days, the old Protestant oldline establishment was still very much in place, as was what was viewed as tribally intact Catholicism. Herberg insightfully traced the ways in which Jews and Catholics were successfully melding their religious identity with the American Way of Life as defined by the old establishment. A crucial part of this was the adjustment to an "unconscious secularization" that modified, but did not evacuate, religious particularities. Herberg himself was very seriously a Jew.

In American culture, politics, and religion, a great deal has happened in the past half century. The decline of the oldline Protestant establishment, and the energy with which Catholics and evangelical Protestants are prepared to challenge dominant patterns of thought and life are among the most obvious changes. The consensus about the American Way of Life that Herberg assumed has largely collapsed. Driving these changes has been the divide over abortion and related questions inescapably engaging morality and public policy. Yet all this seems to have bypassed some of the thinkers under discussion here. In 1961, sociologist Gerhard Lenski made the case in The Religious Factor that religion is a distinct phenomenon, not an epiphenomenon, in the ordering of public life. All these years later, and we still have public intellectuals working hard to deny that.

The de-Christianizing of America by definitional legerdemain sometimes assumes amusing proportions. I have previously discussed Andrew Heinze's recent book, Jews and the American Soul (FT February). His lavishly documented thesis is that, beginning in the early twentieth century, a handful of Jewish psychiatrists and pop-psychologists succeeded in transforming the ways in which most Americans understand themselves and what they believe. It is a provocative argument and there is something to it. At the same time, one may be permitted to observe that the suggestion that American Christianity is now under the magisterium of Jewish psychotherapy warrants a measure of skepticism.

Thinkers and pundits of all varieties are today paying much more attention to religion than was the case fifty or even twenty years ago. Almost nobody today claims that religion is in the process of withering away. What is being said by some who are uncertain of their place in a pervasively and confusedly Christian society is that the resurgence of religion in public is nothing to worry about.

It is nothing to worry about because it is not distinctively Christian, and therefore is not threatening to non-Christians. In the case of Jewish thinkers, this view reflects a longstanding assumption that the less Christian a society is the better it is for Jews. That assumption had some warrant in the European experience, although one does not forget that the regime that perpetrated the Holocaust was virulently anti-Christian.

Also in this respect, America is something quite new in world history. There is here a context of security and mutual trust that makes possible a genuine encounter between Jews and Christians, and between Judaism and Christianity. This is the encounter called for in the Dabru Emet statement and other initiatives.

Almost all Christians, and some Jews, are convinced that America is good for Jews not despite but because it is a Christian society. The mutually respectful encounter between Judaism and Christianity that is called for is a unique opportunity in two thousand years of history. That opportunity will continue to be squandered if we allow ourselves to be persuaded that religion in America is merely an epiphenomenal muddle of congenially liberal dispositions passing as Christianity.

Except, of course, for the members of the "religious right," who really are Christianly serious and therefore really are dangerous. (Some critics now call them the "Christianists," distinguishing them from the safe Christians.)

Once again, America is, as it always has been, an incorrigibly, confusedly, and conflictedly Christian society. There are relatively small minorities of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. Of these, only Jews play a large role in our public discourse, although that could change in the future. More important, of these only Jews have an intrinsic religious relationship with Christians. Christianity can be understood apart from Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism; it cannot be understood apart from Judaism.

Jewish thinkers who are determined to denature Christianity often do so because they view Christianity as a threat. Perhaps just as often, they do so because they are as alienated from Judaism as they are fearful of Christianity, or even more so. These factors converge in complicated ways.

If they have given up religious particularity in order to be part of the homogeneous American "we," they expect others to accommodate them by giving up their own religious particularity, and resent it when they don't. Or else, as in the instance of Alan Wolfe et al., they convince themselves that others have accommodated them when they haven't.

Will Herberg was right. Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were finding a shared world in the American Way of Life. He recognized the possibility that religious particularity would be sacrificed to the pseudo-religion of Americanism. Critical to his argument was the belief that the American Way assumed and required a vibrant identity as Protestant, Catholic, or Jew.

This is the authentic pluralism in which difference makes a difference; in which, somewhat paradoxically, difference and habits of living with difference without denying that difference conduce to the distinctive form of unity that is the American Way.

Much has changed in the past half century. Protestantism in the form of the mainline-oldline Protestantism that Herberg had in mind has precipitously declined in numbers, influence, and confidence. The return of evangelical Protestantism from its fundamentalist exile was not in his line of vision. Moreover, the tribally intact Catholicism that he thought he knew gave way to the fissiparous dynamics triggered by the Second Vatican Council.

Decades later, the more self-consciously orthodox sectors of Protestantism and Catholicism are converging in a new and more confident cultural assertiveness. There is every reason to believe that these are very long-term trends in American life.

The question inevitably arises: Where does this leave Jews and Judaism? And where does it leave Jews who are alienated from Judaism? In many cases, the latter make common cultural cause with Protestants who are alienated from the oldline Protestantism that Herberg took for granted. The upshot is that there is no longer the secure religio-cultural triumvirate of Protestant- Catholic-Jew.

There is a large and more secularized sector of happen-to-be Protestants, happen-to-be Jews, and happen-to-be Catholics. These are the people who say they are Protestant, Jewish, or Catholic "by background." Together, and quite suddenly it seems, they are faced by, and made uneasy or hysterical by, a combination of more orthodox Christians who are newly assertive about moral truths that they believe should inform the ordering of our common life.

It is all very unsettling. And not least for Jewish intellectuals who make their living as experts on explaining America to their fellow-Americans. The situation is not made easier by the fact that Jews are, as a proportion of the population, a much smaller minority than they were in Herberg's day.

It is understandable that some of these intellectuals resort to the ploy of definitionally de-Christianizing America. "I am only in a small minority," they can tell themselves, "if you assume that the majority is Christian, which it really is not." The ploy is understandable. It is also poignant. More important, it is a great disservice.

It is a great disservice in that it gravely distorts the effort to understand the maddening changes and confusions that are the permanent state of American society. In a larger context that should matter to us immeasurably more, it is a great disservice to a unique moment of opportunity and obligation in which Christians and Jews, precisely as Christians and Jews, can respectfully engage one another in discerning the providential guidance of the God of Israel, also in the right ordering of our life together.

Father Richard John Neuhaus is editor of First Things, where this first appeared. First Things (June/July 2006).

Judges Ignore Real Constitution
by Donald Devine
Issue 110 - June 25, 2008

Even the very best judges fail to appreciate the real Constitution. It is not their fault. The document is simply ignored in law school. All they get of it is a sentence at a time followed by pages of judicial opinions about what that line really means. Lawyers rarely see the whole document. One lawbook mentioned that an outsider had read its proof copy and suggested printing the entire Constitution at the end, which it did, as if this were a radically novel idea.

The reason judges read other judges and lawyers opinions about the Constitution rather than the document itself is that judicial doctrine today holds that the Constitution is simply what judges say it is. That is what the “supremacy clause” says, right? At least that is what the judges think; so it must be so. Why bother taking the really radical step of reading it, right?

Just a few moments ago a judicial symposium covered by C-SPAN recorded a judge being asked at a conference what he would do in a specified legal circumstance concerning mandatory minimum sentences. He replied “I can do anything I want. I am a federal judge! [Laughter] I am only being a little dramatic. A federal judge has lifetime tenure and can do pretty much what he wants.” That is pretty heady stuff.

Even the most conservative jurists are captured by the idea that judges control the Constitution, for better or worse. There is none better than Robert Bork, the man who was so unfairly denied the Supreme Court because his views of the Constitution differed from the majority in the Senate, basically on one issue, abortion. In a recent major essay for The American Spectator, Bork was characteristically blunt. “The Federalists who favored the Constitution regarded its structural features as crucial.” But these proved a “false hope.” The adoption of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment “ultimately led to a virtually omnipotent aristocracy” of judges who have “rewritten major features of the Constitution.”

In no area has this been more true than in the area of federalism. The original idea that the national government is limited in power by the Constitution is a fantasy.

The idea of confining Congress to the enumerated powers of Article I section 8 (an idea reinforced by the Tenth Amendment) is dead and cannot be revived. Contrary to some conservative fantasies, federalism was killed not by New Deal justices who perverted this aspect of the Constitution but by the American people and the realities of national politics. The public wants a large and largely unrestrained national government, one capable of giving them what they want…

The people demand strong national government and the judges will deliver eventually.
The idea that the states or even the institutional structure as a whole can affect this is simplistic. “Today, the vitality of federalism is reduced to the occasional limitation of some federal power that has absolutely no relation to an enumerated power. Such cases tend to be trivial.” Notice that it is “cases” that count. He says he is talking about the “decline of federalism as a judicially enforced doctrine.” What counts is not the structure but what the judges did pervert, the Bill of Rights, and how they enforce their preferences through it.

It is of great importance what federal courts decide to enforce or not in interpreting the Bill of Rights, of course, but is that all there is to the Constitution? Perhaps so from the judicial perspective. Political scientists see it differently. Judges assume their decisions are self executing. Actually, judges do not “enforce” anything. A president by the name of Andy Jackson sitting in one of the other structural institutions the Founders relied upon, put it simply: “The Supreme Court has made its decision, now let it enforce it.” The Supreme Court had ruled that large tracts of land must be returned to the Cherokee Nation--but the Cherokee never got their property back because the president would not enforce the court ruling against the majority population.

Unlike most jurists, Bork can think like a political scientist, indeed he quotes one, when he explains how the courts have taken power from the other branches through an alliance with what he calls the “intellectual class” to change the meaning of the Bill of Rights. But he does not consider that such political alliances can change and new ones can alter the balance of power—this seems a “utopian myth,” although he also says it is possible. But change can take place not only within the judicial branch—but also and more likely can come from the other branches, including the very structures he says are dead. The President can nominate new judges or selectively enforce their decisions or delay or ignore them. Congress can agree to new judges or refuse those holding earlier interpretations, or even pass laws that undermine decisions or void them. Even the weakened states can evade decisions or ignore them.

An old study by the Yale political scientist Robert Dahl should be required reading for every judge. He looked at major Supreme Court decisions over a long period of history and found that Congress –when it was very concerned about the subject matter--often “overrode” court decisions by passing laws that effectively nullified them. Even today, Congress, the president and the states have effectively overruled court decisions against race preferences for decades. As recently as the first Bush presidency, Congress directly overrode the Grove City decision. President George W. Bush has effectively delayed judicial review of the Guantanamo prisoner cases, which will not be settled until long after he leaves office. Even the states have effectively delayed Supreme Court decisions on separation of church and state--cases of religious iconology at Christmas or about prayers keep coming to the courts decades after the judges supposedly had settled the matter.

No, the Bill of Rights does not “have far more viable relevance to individual liberties than do the structural safeguards stressed by Madison.” The individual structures--Congress, president, states (and de facto local and private structures too) as well as courts--still are primary. Checks-and-balances live. Most important, there is no reason to think the present judicial supremacy will last forever. Things change. The Founders did not set precise power boundaries between these structures. It is like a bridge that uses flexibility rather than rigidity for strength. Under Abraham Lincoln, the president was supreme, virtually ignoring Supreme Court demands for habeas corpus the entire Civil War—but he was immediately followed by the weakest president, and the strongest (even effectively unicameral) Congress.

Today, Mr. Bork is correct, the court and national government are the most powerful. But that can change—perhaps as soon as the next election. For the court does follow the election returns—and so do the other structures. And the later can fight back as Jackson, Lincoln and Bush prove. The national government has had a long run since the New Deal. But after its seven generations, its entitlements now are ready to explode and the most likely solution will be to send most other domestic programs back to the state, local and private sectors. After all, the national government was sitting pretty smug in 1787; but the states met, created a new constitution and changed pretty much everything in a few months period.

The law, as important as it is, is not everything. Politics and the structures through which it operates are by far the more viably relevant means, especially for change. That is how the Founders created it and it still pretty much operates how Madison envisioned it—checking and balancing power but with no predetermined result. As strange as this cumbersome and flexible structure seems, it has lasted longer than all of the more legalistic alternatives.

Donald Devine, the editor of Conservative Battleline Online, was the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from 1981 to 1985 and is the director of the Federalist Leadership Center at Bellevue University.