Archive for September, 2007

Oakland Airport, “Spitting On The Marines,” etc.

September 30, 2007 4 comments

Oakland Airport, “Spitting On The Marines,” etc.

I have previously (yesterday) posted the “Spitting On Marines” article to my Gunny G sites, but deleted it after receiving e-mail from the author’s brother asking that I remove the name of his brother from the article; the article had been written by his brother, a Navy chaplain assigned to a Marine unit, but posted to the Internet by the chaplain’s brother. The story had been posted to several online sites earlier before my posting.

Since yesterday it appears the story has “grown legs’ as the saying goes these days.

The following is the latest on the story which some may now find somewhat confusing.
-Gunny G

Spitting on the Marines [Michael Ledeen]

Read more…

Living In An Imperial World by Karen Kwiatkowski

September 29, 2007 Leave a comment

Living in an Imperial World

by Karen Kwiatkowski
by Karen Kwiatkowski


The republic is dead. Not sick, not dying, not failing, or in a gradual decline, not waiting to be resuscitated, but already stone cold dead.

This death probably occurred as we began to win the Cold War, but long before we realized we had prevailed. The professionalization of politics, of military and bureaucratic service to the state, of foreign policy making, and of business seems to have completely done in the old ideas. Simply federated, decentralized, self-depreciating government that once feared the people has self-actualized into a contemptuous, rapacious and iron-fisted murderer of freedom, and murderer of men.

Perhaps the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie’s was really the American political saga, and we never knew.

The founders worried that subsequent elites and factions would take over the republic they had birthed with every aspect of their power, as the gifted political elites of their time. Yet, as the 19th century dawned, even the most pro-state among them loved freedom and hated tyranny.

They were right about government power and human nature, and their predictions true. New elites and government-dependent factions have ascended. Unfortunately, these political elites hate freedom and love the tyranny of government solutions.

One of many truths Ron Paul’s campaign is revealing is how hated real liberty is among the powers that be, how despised the individual, and how all-encompassing the contempt with which modern power brokers in Washington and New York hold the principles of the founders.

Americans who care about the existence of an American republic are many, and those who love freedom are many more. Again, the fantastic and political wisdom-slashing adventure of the Ron Paul campaign stands witness to the fact that sheer passion for liberty remains a vibrant force in American life. But this passion, this life, is nowhere to be found in American government, nowhere to be found in the state, or in the empire.

There seems to be no effective way to save or restore the republic, no way for any individual to even begin to solve the problem of our late 20th and early 21st century imperialism. I tend to agree, and the wisest observers in these pages warn, as Chris Floyd does, “It is pointless – and counterproductive – to simply throw yourself under the wheels of such a monstrous machine in futile spasms of rage and despair. The machine doesn’t care. It will gladly chew up your life and move on.”

All this presumes that an American republic is still viable – not really dead, just severely weakened and in need of strong salts and a booster shot.

A book I read a few years ago, entitled Deep Survival, by Laurence Gonzales, offers a helpful perspective on our current condition. In studying the question of who lives and who dies in extreme survival conditions, Gonzales found that survivors shared a sense that, in fact, they were not going to live. While they wanted to live, to go home again, and to be secure – they recognized that they were so royally and absolutely FUBAR’ed that they would die, probably quickly and perhaps horribly.

Now, obviously those who actually died in these disasters could not be interviewed, but the behaviors and actions of those who lived and those who died were measurably different. The survivors recognized the ugly truth of their own imminent death quickly – and this early recognition of reality – however harsh and frightful and depressing it may have been – was also at once incredibly liberating, in some ways exhilarating.

The survivors tended to reach this point of reality sooner than did the victims. They grieved for themselves, their hoped-for futures, their now impossible dreams. Then they rolled up their sleeves and got started on the hard, and very likely pointless, work of survival.

Rules were abandoned – what could be eaten, what could learned, what could be done, and what could be considered. Old ideas of personal capabilities and limitations were gradually discarded. Prayer became real and palpable rather than formalized and pious.

The idea of “living each day as if it were the last” is sometimes suggested to remind us to be loving and kind, yet it also hints at the value of self-indulgence, impulsivity and risk-taking. But when each day really might be your last – the behavior of survivors seems to be far more practical, far more thoughtful for the future, far more truthful about what one really needs, and quietly courageous without flamboyant risk-seeking.

Recognition of reality is liberating. When Jesus said, “the Truth will set you free,” I’m not sure he was directly speaking of the governments of men. But recognizing the unreality of a once treasured concept – in our American case, a vibrant past and future republic, may in fact free us to do what we need to do.

“And what is that, exactly?” you ask.

Recognize that the republic is dead, and that we owe its rotting bloated corpse no loyalty whatsoever.

This done, act accordingly. Publicly and privately, we should observe the corpse as a public nuisance, a pollutant both aesthetically and materially. When the yellow brick road leads us to the grand doors of government services, we should not avert our gaze but instead pull back the curtain, grandly, loudly, with the contagious laughter of a child, or the righteous anger of a soldier back in pieces from a war, like most wars, that was from the beginning a brutal political lie.

Will we insult a federal or state employee, a law enforcer or judge? Will we anger a politician, a lobbyist, a corporatist employer, or a government news organ for stealing our lives, our freedom of movement and thought, our productivity? We should certainly aspire to do so, with the zeal of missionaries.

To live in an imperial world, we must first, as survivors, recognize that it is an imperial world. History is filled with imperial/totalitarian states, as global graveyards are filled with those who were too late in recognizing what had already happened.

It’s over. The faithful and the hopeful may carry the corpse of the American republic, hoping that it can be brought back into normality, into life, and into power. I am afraid these nurturers will not survive the present reality of imperialism.

But some of us will look directly at the ugly, dangerous and very real empire. We will stare – with little hope but also with little fear – into the face of the FUBAR nation, and then roll up our sleeves and get started on the only life we may honestly live, as internal dissidents. We will no longer pledge allegiance, we will not obey old rules, we will make do and make it up as we go along. Our minds focused on surviving the empire, our talents and creativity unleashed against the state and its fantasist faithful, we will live as if we are free.

This simple prescription will not only make us survivors, but it will gradually cultivate a political landscape for a future of free republics where today we see nascent totalitarianism and bankrupt empire. This prescription was written for us in 1809 by revolutionary war general John Stark. He advised, “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.”

We face a modern American state more overweening and dictatorial than even King George III could imagine, yet we have no declaration of independence, no privileged elite to demand it, no interested population to read and debate it. This time, our declaration will be made individually, every day, in calm desperate fearlessness, as we simply live free.

September 29, 2007

LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.

Copyright © 2007 Karen Kwiatkowski

Karen Kwiatkowski Archives


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The Teflon Alliance With Israel

September 28, 2007 1 comment

September 28, 2007

See No Evil

The Teflon Alliance with Israel


Two recent offhand comments, both widely publicized, have seriously undermined whatever progress might have been made in exposing the fact that the Iraq war was initiated at least in large part to guarantee Israel’s safety and regional dominance in the Middle East.

In late August, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell’s chief of staff when he was secretary of state, told Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service that, when Israel first got wind of U.S. planning for a war against Iraq, a wide range of Israelis, including political and intelligence officials, began warning against such a war. “Israelis were telling us Iraq is not the enemy — Iran is the enemy,” Wilkerson said. Israeli warnings against an attack on Iraq were “pervasive” in Israeli communications with the administration during early 2002, according to Wilkerson.

This story garnered a fair amount of publicity and in at least one instance was used by a radio talk show host to shut off discussion of the John Mearsheimer-Stephen Walt book on the influence of the Israel lobby, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Just a few days after the Wilkerson story came out and also only days after release of the Mearsheimer-Walt book, a caller to the Thom Hartmann radio program commended the book, urged Hartmann and his guest at the time, Senator Bernie Sanders, to read it, and asked Sanders to address the issue of Israel’s and the lobby’s support for the Iraq war. Hartmann shut the caller off with a comment that “we don’t hype books on this program” (after having just allowed another caller to hype another book). Sanders then proceeded to denounce “conspiracy theories” such as the notion that Israel had anything to do with the war, and Hartmann finished off with a remark that, “besides,” a report just came out –obviously meaning the Wilkerson story — that demonstrates there was no Israeli link to the war.

In fact, the Wilkerson report does not refute the notion of an Israeli link; he addresses only Israeli-U.S. contacts in early 2002, whereas by later in 2002 and 2003 the evidence is overwhelming that Israel and particularly the Israel lobby were pushing hard for the war. But this is the way myths are born: Hartmann and Sanders were able to use perhaps 90 seconds on a nationally broadcast radio program to tout an incomplete report reinforcing their own misconceptions and to dismiss a thoroughly researched book disproving those misconceptions. Never again, mostly likely, will they or any of the choir they were broadcasting to, who do not want to have to deal with Israel anyway, even think about the issue.

The Wilkerson assertions were followed in mid-September by the highly publicized single-sentence statement by former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan in his just-released memoir, The Age of Turbulence, that “it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” When the media pounced on this statement, which stands virtually alone and unelaborated in a 500-page book, Greenspan gave several interviews supposedly intended to clarify his statement. To AP he said — in an obvious sop to the administration and the right, which clearly do not want to own up to such a crass motivation for the war as oil — that he had not intended to imply that oil was “the administration’s motive. I’m just saying that if somebody asked me, ‘Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?’ I would say it was essential” for economic reasons. He had come to fear, he explained, that “Saddam, looking over his 30-year history, very clearly was giving evidence of moving towards controlling the Straits [sic] of Hormuz, where there are 17, 18, 19 million barrels a day” passing through. The war was not an oil grab, Greenspan said, but “taking Saddam out was essential” because it assured the continued smooth operation of the oil market.

A week later, on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!,” Greenspan, repeating that he had been watching Saddam Hussein for 30 years, said that he had feared that Saddam would acquire a nuclear weapon, that this would give him control over the Strait of Hormuz, and that he therefore had to be removed. Greenspan said he believed the “size of the threat” that Saddam posed “was scary” because “he could have essentially also shut down a significant part of economic activity throughout the world.”

The logic here is really quite strange and indicates at least that whatever economic genius Greenspan possesses does not extend to military strategizing or political analysis. One wonders, for instance, how exactly Saddam could have controlled the Strait of Hormuz with a nuclear or any other type of weapon when Iraq does not border this key waterway at the opening of the Persian Gulf and has no navy of any significance. One also wonders why Saddam’s future possession of a nuclear weapon was more worrisome than the likelihood that Iran, which does have a navy and does geographically control the strait, might close it. Greenspan’s statements further raise the question of why, given his claimed knowledge of Saddam’s “30-year history” and given the interest of earlier administrations in Iraq’s nuclear ambitions, he began to feel Saddam’s removal was “essential” only when the Bush administration began planning for war. And none of what Greenspan said explained why Iraq would have shut down its economy by blocking its own oil exports.

Greenspan’s fumbling explanations seem at a minimum to be in the nature of meandering remarks by a man concentrated on economics with little political acumen, who went along with the war because of its presumed benefits in safeguarding oil markets but with no concern about the broader consequences of the war and little or no interest in its political motivations or its geostrategic implications beyond what he saw as its global economic goal.

It remains open to question whether Greenspan in addition intended to divert attention from the clear evidence that Israel and its U.S. supporters, both among Jewish American organizations and among neocon policymakers inside the administration, pushed hard for the war, among other reasons to guarantee Israel’s security in the Middle East and its regional domination. But whatever his intent, this has been the effect of his concentration on oil. It reinforces the assumptions of those, primarily on the left, who have always contended that the war was “all about oil,” and only about oil. The left’s refusal to acknowledge that a desire to secure Israel in the region had anything to do with the Bush neocons’ war planning is difficult to fathom, since many on the left are notable critics of Israeli policy. But, again, whatever their intent in quashing discussion of the Israeli link, the effect has been to contribute to silencing domestic debate on a critical U.S. policy issue.

Neither is it clear in Wilkerson’s case whether he intended, by discussing Israeli representations against going after Iraq, to divert attention from Israel’s actual interest in Iraq. But once again, diverting and silencing discussion has been the effect of his brief remarks.

Without closer examination, both Greenspan’s and Wilkerson’s statements seem to let Israel and its U.S. lobbyists off the hook, something that in differing ways serves the interests of Israel and the lobby, of the right in the U.S., and of the left. Israel’s U.S. supporters — fearful that Jews will be blamed for leading the U.S. into the debacle that Iraq has become and fearful of reviving old anti-Semitic canards about Jews exerting undue power — roundly deny any Israeli connection to the war. Israel itself, although not as fearful as its American acolytes of anti-Semitism, has remained silent, obviously not affirming a role in instigating the war and letting its supporters do the denying. The U.S. political right does not, of course, want to acknowledge that the relationship with Israel has grown so close that the U.S. would actually go to war at the behest of or for the benefit of Israel. Nor does it want to own up to any of the other actual motivations for the war — neither, as previously noted, to a motivation like oil nor to a baldly imperial motivation promising (and already providing) great profits for the joint U.S.-Israeli military-industrial complex.

The left, on the other hand, very much wants to believe that oil, and perhaps secondarily the imperial drive, constituted the only motivations, and that Israel played no role at all. The left is as skittish as anyone, and perhaps more so than anyone else, about being seen to criticize Israel except occasionally regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. It is much more comfortable for the left to believe that the U.S. is evil and Israel is at worst a hapless tool of Washington. The thought that the tail might wag the dog is rarely taken seriously.

So the weight of public discourse since before the Iraq war was launched has been that any Israeli role in inspiring or pushing for it is at best a silly invention and at worst a vile anti-Jewish lie, and both the Wilkerson and the Greenspan statements play into this impression. Until these statements, the knowledge of an Israeli connection had begun to gain some greater currency thanks to a few valiant souls who have dared raise the subject, including people like Chris Hedges, Scott Ritter and, most recently, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. In July, Hedges wrote a hard-hitting article for Truthdig, subsequently widely circulated, saying that the war “was strongly shaped by the notion that what is good for Israel is good for the United States,” and Israel and its neocon supporters wanted Iraq neutralized. Hedges also acknowledged a “desire for American control of oil” as a major driver of the war, along with “the belief that Washington could build puppet states in the region.”

Scott Ritter, who served as a weapons inspector in Iraq during the 1990s, paints a somewhat more complex picture in his 2006 book Targeting Iran. He makes it clear, supporting Wilkerson’s statement, that over the years of weapons inspections, Israel had come to regard Iraq as a diminishing threat (unlike Greenspan, apparently), whereas Iran was increasingly viewed as a new looming danger. By August 2002, according to Ritter, when the Israelis passed intelligence about the threat from Iran to the Bush administration, “there was barely a reaction in Washington” because “all eyes were on Baghdad, not Tehran.” But Israel’s Ariel Sharon was, in Ritter’s words, “quick to catch on,” and in those last several months of 2002 — the critical months of war planning, coming well after the early 2002 period that Wilkerson was discussing — Israel jumped on the Iraq war bandwagon, publicly and privately, and began to press for and justify a U.S. invasion. Sharon assigned a senior Israeli military intelligence official to give the U.S. Israeli intelligence assessments on Iraqi WMD activity, according to Ritter, and at the same time, with an eye to later broadening the conflict to Iran and beyond, Israeli intelligence “pressed home to [the U.S.] the notion that the upcoming U.S. invasion of Iraq must serve as a springboard for a larger transformation within the Middle East, one that swept away not only Saddam Hussein, but also anti-Israeli elements in Syria, Palestine, and, of course, Iran.”

This dovetails precisely with the neocon agenda, which was ultimately the operative ingredient in determining whether there would be war or not. This agenda was laid out publicly in the mid-1990s in the now infamous “Clean Break” paper, written in Israel for then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by a group of Israelis and Americans, three of whom later entered the Bush administration and began planning for the attack on Iraq. The principal elements of the paper involved overturning the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to save Israel from having to make any territorial concessions and then sparking massive changes, through force if necessary, in Iraq, Syria, and Iran, leading to an era of peace in which Israel and the U.S. jointly dominated a transformed and intimidated Middle East.

In their book on the lobby, Mearsheimer and Walt provide overwhelming evidence for an Israeli link to the war that completely undermines the public myths revived by Wilkerson’s and Greenspan’s statements, and they build a convincing case against the notion that the war was “all about oil.” They are the first who have done the extensive research necessary to bring the mountain of evidence together.

The two authors devote more than 30 pages and a remarkable 175 footnotes to constructing an irrefutable case for an Israeli role in helping plan, and a large lobby role in pressing for, the war. Although they do not claim that the effort to guarantee Israeli security was the sole reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, they demonstrate clearly — citing public and privates statements by Israeli military and political officials, informed commentary in both Israel and the U.S., and analysis by foreign policy experts — that “Israeli leaders, neoconservatives, and the Bush administration all saw war with Iraq as the first step in an ambitious campaign to remake the Middle East” in order to “make it a more friendly environment for America and Israel.” Israel and the lobby “played crucial roles in making that war happen.” Without the lobby and particularly the core of neocon policymakers inside government and neocon commentators and think-tank analysts on the sidelines, Mearsheimer and Walt conclude bluntly, “the war would almost certainly not have occurred” and “America would probably not be in Iraq today.”

On the question of oil as a principal driver in the war, the authors demonstrate that in fact, although the oil industry was clearly happy to obtain lucrative concessions in post-Saddam Iraq, the argument that the industry pushed for the war in order to enhance profits is counter-intuitive. The disadvantages to the industry of turmoil in the region are evident. Energy companies, they make clear, do not like wars in oil-rich areas. Nor do they like such other recent “staples of U.S. Middle East policy” as sanctions and regime change, because each of these actions “threatens access to oil and gas reserves and thus [the oil companies'] ability to make money.” Mearsheimer and Walt point out that Vice President Cheney opposed sanctions on Iran while he was president of Halliburton in the mid-1990s and complained about the “sanctions happy” policies of the U.S. Instability is rarely in the interests of the oil companies. In the end, the authors conclude, the “wealthy Arab governments and the oil lobby exert much less influence on U.S. foreign policy than the Israel lobby does, because oil interests have less need to skew foreign policy in the directions they favor and they do not have the same leverage.”

It is fair to ask why it matters whether the U.S. went to war solely for oil, or solely for Israel, or out of an imperial drive — or, as is much more likely the case, for some combination of these motivations. It matters, most fundamentally, because, if there is ever to be a course correction and a return to some kind of policy sanity that will prevent similar future disasters, it is necessary to understand how this disaster arose in the first place. All of these motivations, together and separately, are unacceptable reasons for launching an unprovoked aggression against another sovereign nation, for killing up to a million of its innocent citizens, and for fostering chaos throughout the region. Global sanity and global security demand that the U.S. not invade other countries to obtain control over their natural resources or gain huge corporate profits through oil concessions. Global sanity and security also demand that the U.S. cease trying to expand its imperial reach. And, perhaps most important, it is absolutely vital that the U.S. not so subordinate what should be its true interests to those of another nation that it can be led into wars anywhere, but particularly in the most sensitive area of the world, at the behest or for the benefit of Israel. If going to war to secure huge profits for oil companies is obscene, how much more obscene is going to war for the benefit of a foreign power because we are no longer able to distinguish our interests from theirs?

It has become almost trite to quote George Washington’s farewell speech urging moderation in foreign attachments, but his injunctions 200 years ago have an eerie applicability to the U.S. relationship with Israel today. Warning against “a passionate attachment of one nation for another,” Washington observed that this creates “a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.”

The U.S. alliance with Israel has unquestionably led to a gross distortion of U.S. policy in exactly the way in which Washington predicted, creating the illusion of a common interest where none exists and injecting Israel’s enmities into the U.S. with little or no justification. If the U.S. cannot distinguish its own interests from those of Israel and Israel’s lobby, then it simply cannot act, as it should, purely in its own interest. Those who minimize the role of the Israel lobby in influencing U.S. policy choices, and who refuse or fail to recognize the part Israel and the lobby have played in leading the U.S. into disastrous foreign adventures, pose an incalculable danger to the U.S., for a failure to recognize the reason for a misguided policy will inevitably doom us to repeat it.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession. She can be reached at

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.

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Dead Dollar Walking…by Edgar J. Steele

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment
“Edgar J. Steele”
to me

show details

1:02 pm (1½ hours ago)

Dead Dollar Walking…

(This is a response to one of many list member missives I’ve been getting today about things financial – ed)

Thanks, Paul -

This is as critical a moment as you get in financial market watching.

I knew today was going to be interesting, but the next 35 minutes will be especially so. It’s not often that I sit here, watching the tickers nearly nonstop like this.

PM stocks showed surprising strength yesterday, if they knew that the hammer would be falling today. So far today, they are showing similar strength, suggesting that somebody knows otherwise, in fact. Despite WhirlyBen’s walk and talk this past week or so, I refuse to believe the US would not at least pay lip service to protecting the 78 dollar before bowing to the inevitable. This sure doesn’t look like lip service.

The 78 dollar got hit with a truck this morning, dropping .50 to 77.25 as of now. Gold and silver both are showing serious strength this morning, too.

Will they marshall the forces to counter the obvious strength in PM markets at the same time that they are sweating bullets to keep the world stock markets going sideways? Dunno. I’d say, “Yes,” normally, but normally you see the up move begin an hour or so before this on a Friday. I don’t see how they come back from this deficit in the time that is left.

If we finish the hour with the dollar under 78, it is a very, very big statement, just as you note. Then Monday will become critical while we see if they let it stay there. If not, then….look out below…

Good instincts. I know you are positioned well to survive the now-in-progress train wreck. Even so, as you so aptly put it, “God help us,” because WWWIII really has to be just days away if the dollar sails through 78 like this and keeps going. Keep your gas tanks full, your bug-out bags packed and know where your kids are at all times.

I’m going to bcc my response to this to a few thousand of my closest friends, if you don’t mind.


—–Original Message—–

From: Paul

Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 8:50 AM


Subject: Dollar Index Below 78

Hello Ed,

I’ve been reading your columns for a while now.

I noticed that the dollar index has dropped below 78 just a little while ago.

As of 11:11 AM EST, it was at 77.909

Currently, it sits at 77.953

I think from here on out, things will deteriorate very rapidly………it’s both amusing and horrifying to knowingly witness the destruction of our nation and economy, and being powerless to stop it.

God help us.




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Alan Stang Interviewed by Carl Wilson on KAJO Radio

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment
September 27, 2007
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September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Old Corps!!!!!!!!!!


Gunny G’s…

About The Wind and the Lion… 

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From my companion blog…

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

<>The “G” Weblog @N54


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The End of Ford: It Began in the New Deal

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Posted on 9/27/2007

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[This article is excerpted from a chapter in The Wild Wheel, originally published in 1953.]

Henry Ford with Model T

The Great Depression had revolutionary political and social consequences, some of them irreversible, some of them still acting with unspent force. It began in 1930 and continued like a nightmare of Prometheus in chains until the nation’s energies were released again in preparation for World War II.

During these ten years the relations between government and people were fundamentally altered. The welfare of people became a direct responsibility of government, whereas always before government was a responsibility of people, and the people minded their own welfare. American ways of thinking and feeling were deeply changed, to the point at which people were willing to surrender personal freedoms and abide compulsions in exchange for a sense of social security.

The song of the wild wheel died suddenly. Even the echoes of it became hateful. In place of it was heard a mighty chorus, led by the voice of the New Deal, demanding that the wheels be tamed, that their revolutions be governed and planned to produce only as much as people could afford to buy at fair prices.

The delusion was that the wild wheel had caused the depression. It had produced too much, more than people could consume, thereby bringing to pass unemployment and the absurdity of want in the midst of plenty. No man was more unbelieving than Henry Ford. The popular delusion seized a great majority of the men of business, who were willing to strike hands with government to limit production, restore prices and put competition in a straitjacket; it could not seize him. His mind rejected it completely. But what he would not or could not see was that a world was passing. The delusion was but the furor attending its eclipse; and its eclipse was bound to include him because he was its symbol.

He was still under seventy, and apparently at the peak of his unpredictable powers; nevertheless, his horizons had reversed their direction. Instead of going away they were slowly moving toward him. And as a fateful coincidence, crises in the world of the wild wheel, utterly beyond his control, were parallel in time to crises in the affairs of the Ford Motor Company.

The V-8 was his own last mechanical triumph. As it developed year by year thereafter, to meet competition in style and refinement, fewer ideas came from him and more from the organization, subject to his approval. The authority of his yes and no was final and imperious to the end, but only when it was exercised, and many things went around him. More and more he relied upon Charles E. Sorensen, the Magnificent Dane who began as a pattern maker in the Ford shop at three dollars a day and became the great production genius of his time.

It was Sorensen who walked with the rope that pulled the first motorcar assembly line at Highland Park. It was Sorensen who went to California to see how they made airplanes there, because the Ford Motor Company was going to make them, too, for World War II, and said: “I don’t understand this bird’s next method.”

They asked him what he meant by that. He said: “First you build the plane and then you drag everything into it through little holes.”

They asked him how he would do it. He took the print of a plane and bisected it with lines. “I’d build it in sections, like that,” he said, “then stuff the sections and bring them together.”

That changed the method of airplane construction. It was Sorensen who said: “You never can forge enough cylinders for the airplanes you want.”

They asked him how he would make them. He said: “I’d cast them.”

They said: “That proves what we already knew. Automobile people can’t make airplanes. You can cast the cylinders of a motorcar engine but an airplane engine is different.”

What they were talking about was the lining of an airplane engine cylinder, fitted in the piston well like a membrane that grew there — an exquisite, jewel-like thing to look at, absolutely perfect and very slightly tapered because it will expand more at the spark plug end than at the other, which causes it to be precisely true when the engine gets hot. Sorensen went back to the River Rouge plant and cast some sample cylinders. They were tested under hydraulic pressure that would rise until they were crushed. The forged pieces buckled first and crumpled up; the cast cylinder, when it did buckle, went down like an accordion hat. After that, airplane cylinders were cast, else, as Sorensen said, there could hardly have been enough of them, because the forging process is very slow.

And it was Sorensen who built the famous Willow Run plant, to produce a bomber an hour, which was the largest single thing the Ford Motor Company ever did.


The V-8 was brought out in the third year of the Great Depression. That was bad enough. The obstetrical event was long and painful and entailed a kind of engineering crisis. This in turn led to a crisis between the Ford Motor Company and its unhappy dealers, who again for a long time had nothing to sell and began to give up.

Ford’s complacency at this time astonished his associates. If he thought the superiority of the new car would sweep the market back to him he was disappointed. Although the V-8 was successful as a car, the most it could do was to hold the Ford Motor Company in third place, whereas it had been first. Now it had become one of the Big Three. The other two were General Motors, in first place, and Chrysler in second, who by this time knew as much about automobile making as Ford knew, even more. They were beating him in style and meeting him in price.

Each of his competitors had a line of cars, suited in price to the size of your pocketbook — that is, a low-priced car for the many, a more expensive middle-class car, and then one for the rich. Before the V-8 there had never been anything but a Ford car. When it was the Model T it was the Model T and nothing else. When it was the Model A it was the Model A, take it or leave it. A Ford was a Ford was a Ford.

“No factory,” Ford had said, “is large enough to make two kinds of product.”

But now he was persuaded that the Ford Motor Company too must have a line of cars. Besides the V-8 there was a six-cylinder car at a lower price, because the dealers wanted it — and the voice of the dealers was beginning for the first time to be respected, for the Ford agency was no longer the little gold mine it had once been. And then there was the Lincoln, which became a Ford product when Ford bought the Lincoln Motor Company. “More for personal reasons,” he said, “than because we wanted it. We have no desire to make a commodity of the Lincoln.”

Nobody could have made a commodity of the Lincoln. It was in its day the finest and costliest American automobile. Only the rich could afford it. It was designed by Henry M. Leland, whose fame in the motor world was such that when he organized the Lincoln Motor Company its capital stock was subscribed in two hours. At that time Model T was already high on its way. Leland built his ideal car and it was all that he meant it to be, but its cost was so high that its market was bound to be small and it was never a success in a financial way. Ford bought it to save it from bankruptcy. One of his personal reasons may have been the desire to have an automobile of that superb quality within his domain.

The understanding was that the Lincoln Motor Company should continue as a separate province, with Leland as its vassal lord. Ford did not intend to cheapen the car, and he never did; he intended only to reform the manufacturing methods in order to reduce the cost of producing it. But when his engineers, led by Sorensen, entered the Lincoln premises and saw how men worked who had been taught never to worry about cost, they were horrified; on the other side, when these engineers began to apply Ford methods to eliminate waste, Leland’s blood curdled and he retired with an embittered heart.

The Lincoln became then a Ford problem. Simply, it did not lend itself to mass production, which meant that the price could not be reduced, and if the price could not be reduced the sales could not be increased.

One attempt at solution was to bring out a lower-priced car called the Lincoln-Zephyr. Then the hyphen was dropped and there was the Zephyr. Later the Zephyr disappeared and there was a new Lincoln, still a fine car but not like the old Lincoln and not so costly.

Before the Great Depression the Ford Motor Company’s amazing growth, always with its own capital, enabled it to absorb mistakes with astonishing ease. It could write off its white elephants and forget them. So it wrote off a railroad, an excursion into aviation, and the Fordson tractor, to mention only three.

When it became just another motorcar company, one of the Big Three and in third place, something of that reckless spirit went out of it. However, its essential character never changed. General Motors was a confederacy, Chrysler was a democracy, and both were large borrowers of capital; but the Ford Motor Company was a monarchy so long as Ford lived and a tight family possession after he died, with his grandson, Henry Ford II, on the throne.


It was in the middle of the Great Depression that the transfer of economic power from the employer to organized labor took place. It took place legally, but in a curious way. The New Deal passed a law under which organized labor was free to enjoy and exercise the power of monopoly — provided it had the strength to seize it in open combat with the employer, the government to act as umpire. What followed was a series of bitter struggles on the ground of industry-wide collective bargaining. Organized labor won.

In the motorcar industry, as aforesaid, Ford was the most implacable of the Big Three and for that reason the last to be attacked. He was then seventy-five. His defeat was without solace. The union won more than it asked for, and after that the Ford Motor Company was a closed shop; only union members could work there, and Ford became the collector of the members’ compulsory union dues, acting for the union treasury.

What he had lost was not just a battle with labor. He had lost his world. Never again would the wheels be wild in a Ford shop. The union would attend to that. The significance of this change was deeper than anybody knew at the time. Although Ford never expressed it in rational terms he must have known it intuitively.

“The benefits of mass production were intended for the consumer, which includes labor, since all wage earners are also consumers.”

The one great justification of mass production as he had developed it, for all that might be valid in the resentments of labor, was that it did progressively cheapen the cost of satisfying human wants, so that goods, automobiles or anything else, were ever more abundant and more available, possibly to the point at which sometime they might become as cheap as water carried from the well. But in order for mass production to have that result it was necessary that management should be able to control costs, and management cannot control costs unless it controls both wages and the tempo of work and obeys the hard law of the machine. Here lies the enigma. You may do with it what you like.

In Ford’s philosophy, the benefits of mass production were intended for the consumer, which includes labor, since all wage earners are also consumers. In his scheme the consumer was more important than the producer; and if this seems a bit dialectical you may consider the fact that while you may dispense with the wage earner by putting a machine in his place, the consumer, who buys the products of the machine and makes mass production possible, is indispensable. The wage earner is more important in the aspect of consumer than in the aspect of producer, and it follows that in order to be a good consumer he must have high wages.

But when labor itself has the power to say what the wage shall be and how much it will give for the wage received, it claims for itself the first benefits of mass production; the consumer is forgotten. Thus the true economic ends of mass production are defeated, and all you have left is a method of producing goods. You may say it another way: that the intentions of mass production cannot be realized unless management and labor are both free. So long as that freedom existed in the motorcar industry, the cost of an automobile went lower and lower until it became, pound for pound, the cheapest manufactured thing in the world, not the Ford car only but all cars; and automobile labor at the same time was the highest-paid labor of its kind in the world.

It was estimated that one year the Model T generated, directly and indirectly, a payroll of one billion dollars, and that year the car sold for twenty cents a pound. And so we became an automobile people. That could not happen again in a world of tame wheels. If the political and social conditions that now exist had existed in 1900, the American motorcar industry as we know it could not have been created at all.

Garet GarrettGaret Garrett (1878–1954) was an American journalist and author who was noted for his critiques of the New Deal and US involvement in the Second World War. Comment on the blog.

This article is excerpted from The Wild Wheel, chapter 8: “The Broken Song.”


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Stop Lieberman From SNEAKING An Iran War Declaration Through The Senate

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment
Stop Lieberman From SNEAKING An Iran War Declaration Through The Senate
15,515 Submissions so far
Here is the language from the amendment:

(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies.

The policy of the U.S should be to “combat” Iran with “all” “military instruments”?!? You can be absolutely certain that those are the ONLY words Dick Cheney and George Bush will see or care about.

We need every warm body we can muster to call and email their senators RIGHT NOW, before they pull another fast one and sneak this one through in the dead of the night. Call them toll free at 800 828-0498, 800 614 2803 or 866 340 9281, and then ALSO submit the action form below to make sure your message gets through.

The one click form below will send your personal message to all your government representatives selected below, with the subject “Reject the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment On Iran” At the same time you can send your personal comments only as a letter to the editor of your nearest local daily newspaper if you like.

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“Cocked and Locked” The Marine Mail Guards of the 1920s…

September 27, 2007 2 comments

“Cocked and Locked” The Marine Mail Guards of the 1920s…

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What Does Freedom Really Mean? by Ron Paul

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment

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Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

by Ron Paul, Dr. September 6, 2007Fedruary 7, 2007

“…man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan

We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different.

George Orwell wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena*. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, political words were “Often used in a consciously dishonest way.” Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good.

The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect pre-existing rights. Yet how many Americans know that the word “democracy” is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents?

A truly democratic election in Iraq, without U.S. interference and U.S. puppet candidates, almost certainly would result in the creation of a Shiite theocracy. Shiite majority rule in Iraq might well mean the complete political, economic, and social subjugation of the minority Kurd and Sunni Arab populations. Such an outcome would be democratic, but would it be free? Would the Kurds and Sunnis consider themselves free? The administration talks about democracy in Iraq, but is it prepared to accept a democratically-elected Iraqi government no matter what its attitude toward the U.S. occupation? Hardly. For all our talk about freedom and democracy, the truth is we have no idea whether Iraqis will be free in the future. They’re certainly not free while a foreign army occupies their country. The real test is not whether Iraq adopts a democratic, pro-western government, but rather whether ordinary Iraqis can lead their personal, religious, social, and business lives without interference from government.

Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens. Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King.

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive– and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government.

The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state– but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity.

Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us. We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists.

Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.

*Politics and the English Language, 1946.

Keywords: Civil Liberties, Constitution, Iraq

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Ron Paul Wants to Exempt Taxes on Tips

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Ron Paul Wants to Exempt Taxes on Tips Special Contributor and an ardent supporter of 2008 US Presidential candidate Ron Paul wants service employees (bartenders, wait staff, casino dealers, etc..) to pay attention. Read on to find out why…


Ron Paul is Trying to Exempt Taxes on Tips! Casino dealers, waiters, cab drivers, hairdressers, etc. listen up!

Ok, service people. Time to get busy. Pick up the phone and dial like you have never dialed before. Call every one of your friends and have congress calling parties. This is the chance of your lifetime!

Introducing the Tax Free Tips Act

Ron Paul Speech to Congress

September 25, 2007

Madam Speaker, I rise to help millions of working Americans by introducing the Tax Free Tips Act. As the title suggests, this legislation makes tips exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. Tips often compose a substantial portion of the earnings of waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees. However, unlike regular wages, a service-sector employee usually has no guarantee of, or legal right to, a tip. Instead, the amount of a tip usually depends on how well an employee satisfies a client. Since the amount of taxes one pays increases along with the size of tip, taxing tips punishes workers for doing a superior job!

Many service-sector employers are young people trying to make money to pay for their education, or single parents struggling to provide for their children. Oftentimes, these workers work two jobs in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families. The Tax Free Tips Act gives these hard-working Americans an immediate pay raise. People may use this pay raise to devote more resources to their children’s, or their own, education, or to save for a home, retirement, or to start their own businesses.

Helping Americans improve themselves by reducing their taxes will make our country stronger. I, therefore, hope all my colleagues will join me in cosponsoring the Tax Free Tips Act.

That is a bill introduced yesterday by Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul: The man for the people. If you ever had any doubts about who was the man who would protect the people and not the corporations, this should alleviate them. Ron Paul has legislation on the table right now that would exempt tips (gifts) from the Income Tax that taxes wages. Finally, someone who understands how hard these folks work for their money and how tips are not usually required and are based on how well a person does their job. Tips are gifts, they are given when people please others. Most people in service industries don’t even make minimum wage (they are exempted out because they get tips), then to add insult to injury, the IRS usually determines ahead of time just how much they should be making and taxes them accordingly whether they make that much in tips or not.

Service folks, you have a shot at being able to keep your money with no fear that the IRS will be looking over your shoulder. Vote for the greatest man in history: Ron Paul. He needs your help as well. This bill will not pass without a fight. Please everyone, call your congressmen and tell them you support the Tax Free Tips Act! As soon as you are done with that, run, to register as a Republican so you can vote for this man for President. He is supporting you. Now it time for you to support him!

Pass this on!!!! Post this in the kitchen, break room, etc. Tell everyone you know. But you must call Congress about this. Call them, write them, email them. Get busy. You have just been handed the greatest gift in your lifetime. Don’t blow it!

Ron Paul betting odds are currently set at 8 to 1 at

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

Thomas Jefferson


Jennifer Reynolds, Special Contributor to

Originally published September 26, 2007 10:17 pm ET

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My Encounter With Robert Garwood, Part I of a Two Part Series by Ron Charest

September 26, 2007 6 comments

On 9/25/07 I received the following in an e-mail from Ron Charest regarding Robert Garwood.

Dear Gunny G,

I happened to spot your website post from Dec 2005 concerning the whereabouts of Robert Garwood. Robert moved next door to me in the Mississippi town of Gautier in April of 2000, just days after his wife Cathi passed on.

I am sorry to tell you this, but Robert Garwood is no friend of mine. When he first moved in, all I knew of him was that he was a recent widower, former marine, and new neighbor. I welcomed him to our community and treated him as a friend. Within two years Robert destroyed my marriage, spread lies about me more vile than anything I could have once imagined possible, and generally turned my life upside down.

I have just published a full accounting of my encounter with this man at my personal website. If you care to read it, the link is here”

“My Encounter With Robert Garwood, Part I”

“My Encounter With Robert Garwood, Part II”

Please use this info and contact me as you feel is appropriate.

Respectfully Yours,
Ron Charest
ETCS(SS), USN (Ret.)


I read the story, corresponded with him and asked permission to link to my Gunny G webpages, and he kindly consented.
Ron’s contact info is as follows:


This a short excerpt of a much longer, in-depth and thorough story, to continue to the rest of the story please use the url/links provided.
Thank You


My Encounter with Robert Garwood, Part I
Part I of a Two Part Series

(Page: 1/8)

This narrative is about my personal experience with Robert (Bobby) Russell Garwood, PFC, USMC, DD. This story, as painful as it has been for me, is written for and dedicated to the many people who served our nation in the Vietnam war. There are many people still today who belive our nation abandonded our servicemen and women after the hostilities between North Vietnam and the US officially ended.

For those people who still belive, who still search for loved ones who never returned home, I hope one day they find the answers they deserve.


These are the known facts about Robert:

Read more…

Congressman Ron Paul: Archives

September 25, 2007 Leave a comment

Congressman Ron Paul: Archives

Past articles by Congressman Ron Paul on

See the Ron Paul File

Surrender Should Not Be an Option
Ron Paul on the war.

Solving the Malpractice Crisis Constitutionally
Ron Paul on unnecessary litigation.

Congressional Accountability
Ron Paul on how to increase it.

Health Care Costs
Ron Paul on what to do about them.

Ron Paul Debates the War
With libertarian Doug Casey, against neocons Dinesh D’Souza and Larry Abraham.

Decaying Infrastructure
Ron Paul on how to handle it.

Why the Credit Markets Are a Mess
Ron Paul on the culprit.

High-Risk Spending
Some of it is crazy even by federal standards.

Ron Paul on big government’s best friend.

Exposing the True Isolationists
Ron Paul on the protectionists and warmongers.

Muzzle the FDA
Ron Paul on protecting health freedom.

Ron Paul on what it means, and what it should mean.

Bring Our Troops Home Now
Ron Paul on why the Democrats are also wrong.

Hans F. Sennholz, RIP
Ron Paul remembers a great economist.

Defend the Constitution
Ron Paul on the dangerous presidential signing statements.

The Spirit of Independence
Ron Paul on how to recover it.

Missing in the Stem-Cell Debate
The rights of taxpayers.

Ron Paul Against Aggression
And lying war propaganda to justify it.

Ron Paul on Non-Intervention
The original American foreign policy (YouTubes).

Hollow Victory
Ron Paul on earmarks.

The Ron Paul Economics Library
Here’s where to start.

Ron Paul’s Summer Reading List
What you need to know.

Stop Procrastinating
Get out of Iraq.

The Immigration Compromise
It’s a sell-out, says Ron Paul.

The Patriotism Smear
Ron Paul dissents from authoritarian government.

How To End the War
Ron Paul has a moderate plan.

Expensive Security Theatre
Ron Paul on another DC fraud.

Crazed Hate Crime Laws
They threaten freedom.

The Path Out of Iraq
First, Congress must admit its crime of giving the Executive war-making power, says Ron Paul.

Guns vs. Crime
Ron Paul on the massacre that could have been stopped.

Where’s the Exit?
Ron Paul on the one easy step in getting out of Iraq.

The Answer to Racism
Liberty, not government, says Ron Paul.

The Most Dangerous Monopolist
Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve.

The Big Book of Crimes
Ron Paul on the 2008 federal budget.

Making Iraq Even Worse
Ron Paul on the Democrats.

War Is the Enemy of Freedom
Ron Paul interviewed by Michael Shank.

Dr. No on More War Funding
No, says Ron Paul.

Don’t Blame the Market
For the housing bubble, says Ron Paul.

The Original American Foreign Policy
Ron Paul on why it’s still the right one.

The Right To Keep and Bear Arms
Even (especially?) in DC.

The Scandal of US Foreign Policy
And the scandal of Walter Reed.

The Coming Meltdown
Of “entitlements.”

What the Fed Is Doing to the Economy
Ron Paul on Bernanke’s mischief.

The Neoconservative Empire
Stop the war, stop threatening war, and bring the troops home now. Article by Ron Paul.

Ron Paul advises President Bush.

More War Spending
And more, and more.

Stop Glorifying Political Power
It’s the enemy of the rule of law, says Ron Paul.

Everybody Supports the Troops
Let’s move on to the real issues.

Monetary Depreciation and Killing
Ron Paul on inflation and war finance.

Stop All Foreign Aid to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, et al.
That would be a contribution to peace, says Ron Paul.

Will Bush Pull an LBJ?
Will he phony up an Iranian Gulf of Tonkin incident?

George the Warmonger
Ron Paul on the escalations.

No Welfare for Foreigners
Welfare for domestics is quite bad enough.

We Need a Surge of Liberty
Not more tyranny of war, says Ron Paul.

Don’t Blame the Euro
Blame the Congress and the Fed, says Ron Paul.

Foreign Policy and the Prince of Peace
Or do they worship the Prince of War?

George Washington Was Right
It’s long past time to return to his foreign policy, says Ron Paul.

Is Foreign Policy a One-Man Show?
Yes, but that is unconstitutional.

‘The’ Problem
It’s monetary inflation, says Ron Paul.

Time To Abolish ‘Selective Service’
Military slavery is always a pure evil.

The Land of the Free Lunch
It will, or ought to, miss Milton Friedman, says Ron Paul.

The Entitlement State is Coming Down
Ron Paul on the demographic reality.

The Gun Controllers Haven’t Given Up
We must keep our powder dry, says Ron Paul.

The Waco Summit
And the Nafta superhighway.

Do Tax Cuts Cost the Government Money?
That is the wrong question, says Ron Paul.

Taxes, Spending, and Debt
Ron Paul on the real issues.

‘Birthright Citizenship’
Time to rethink it, says Ron Paul.

Diagnosing Our Health Care Woes
Dr. Ron Paul on the government disease.

Amnesty and the Welfare State
Ron Paul on immigration.

Time for Immigration Reform
Now, says Ron Paul.

Big Government Always Fails
And must. Ron Paul on the Law of Opposites.

A North American United Nations?
Ron Paul on another establishment scheme.

Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke
On “plunge protection,” fiat money, and the Fed.

Want To Cut Medical Costs?
Here’s how, says Ron Paul.

Trade With China, Yes
Subsidized trade, no.

The Threat of Property Taxes
Especially rising ones.

What Congress Can Do About High Gas Prices
Stop making war.

Why I Voted Against the Israeli Resolution
It’s dangerous and wrong, says Ron Paul.

The Yoke of the Fed
Ron Paul on the inflation tax.

Your Enemy, the Fed
Ron Paul on what it does to your savings.

Time for a New Declaration
Ron Paul on what we have forgotten.

Undermining the Regime
Ron Paul on why the American people are so angry.

Global Gun Control
Having failed in the US, the disarmers try the UN.

Congress Rejects UN Taxes
But not, unfortunately, US taxes.

The Estate Tax Is a Social and Moral Evil
Abolish it, says Ron Paul.

Bipartisan Evil
Ron Paul on the annual foreign-aid ripoff.

Stop the NAIS
Ron Paul on the totalitarian animal ID system.

Don’t Commit the Crime
Ron Paul on avoiding war with Iran.

Thanks, Ben
Ron Paul on the declining dollar and eroding personal savings.

Upset at Gas Prices?
Look at US foreign and monetary policy, says Ron Paul.

Soaring Gas Prices
Ron Paul on what Congress can do about them.

The Only Worthwhile Foreign Aid

The ‘Academic Bill of Rights’
It’s a trick to suppress dissent on US foreign policy, says Ron Paul.

The Sicker and Sicker Dollar
Ron Paul on what the gold price is telling us.

Rumsfeld Is Not the Issue
The government’s use of force is.

Hands Off Iran
And no murderous sanctions either, says Ron Paul.

Your Money or Your Life
Ron Paul on April 15th.

The Next Neocon Target
Ron Paul on Iran.

Should the Children of Illegal Aliens Be Citizens?
Stop “birthright citizenship,” says Ron Paul.

A Tribute to the Late Harry Browne
Ron Paul on a great libertarian.

Making the World Safe for Christianity
Thanks, neocons.

The Perils of Economic Ignorance
And what to do about it.

Another ‘Emergency’ Spending Bill
Thanks, Republicans.

The Nature of Government Debt
Those who borrow never repay.

International Taxes?
Ron Paul on a UN scheme.

Bringing Sunshine to Mordor
Ron Paul on opening up Congress.

The Port Security Controversy
Constitutionally, this is not the president’s decision, says Ron Paul.

The Federal Hurricane
Ron Paul on Katrina relief, six months later.

Silence the War Drums!
Ron Paul to the congressional Gene Krupas.

Why the US Hates Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela
Ron Paul on the end of dollar hegemony.

A Real DC Scandal
Ron Paul on the Fed.

Abortion Is None of the Feds’ Business
Same with all social policy, says Ron Paul.

New Rules, Same Game
Ron Paul on congressional “reform.”

Federal Courts vs. Freedom
Ron Paul on the growth of government power.

The Real DC Scandal
It’s the leviathan state, says Ron Paul.

A Symptom Not a Cause
Ron Paul on DC scandals.

Peace and Prosperity in 2006?
Only if we limit the feds.

Big George
Ron Paul on domestic surveillance and the Patriot Act.

The Proper American Foreign Policy
It would favor peace over war, trade over sanctions, courtesy over arrogance, and liberty over coercion.

What Do Rising Gold Prices Mean?
Less faith in the paper dollar.

Rothbard vs. Bernanke
Ron Paul on continuing Fed propaganda, and the antidote.

So-Called Deficit Reduction
Ron Paul on another Republican fraud.

Slashing the Budget?
Don’t make me laugh.

The Trouble With Federal Deposit ‘Insurance’
And increasing it in the name of decreasing government spending.

The FDA Suppresses Speech on Dietary Supplements
Ron Paul wants health freedom.

Too Little, Too Late
Ron Paul on spendaholic conservatives and their talk of cutting back.

The Evil of Foreign Aid
Ron Paul on a bipartisan scam.

Big Lies and Little Lies
Ron Paul on the phony justifications for aggressive war.

George Reisman Is Right
We need a free market in gasoline, says Ron Paul.

Hands Off Syria
Stop the foreign-policy lunacy.

The GSE Crisis
Stop pumping up the bubble!

Picking the Pennies Off Dead Men’s Eyes
Will the death tax ever be repealed?

Another Tax Reform Fraud
It’s government spending we need to cut first, says Ron Paul.

Federal Courts Are Political
Ron Paul on the Miers nomination.

Should We Stop Killing and Being Killed?
Ron Paul on leaving vs. staying.

Deficit Hurricane
Ron Paul on the DC spendathon.

Coming Cat 5 Hurricane
Financial, that is.

Cat-5 Government
Ron Paul on the response to Katrina.

The Evil of Standing Armies
Ron Paul on “why we fight.” And why we really do.

Some Things You’re Not Supposed To Think About
Ron Paul on gasoline, taxes, and Middle East policy.

Hey, Big Spender
Ron Paul on the feds.

Borrowing, Spending, Counterfeiting
Ron Paul on the federal parasite.

The Answer to Judicial Tyranny
Strip the federal courts of their power, as the constitution allows, says Ron Paul.

Immigration and the Welfare State
Ron Paul on the nexus.

The Sausage Factory
Make that the poison-sausage factory. Ron Paul on how federal edicts are imposed on us.

Questioning Greenspan
Ron Paul vs. the Counterfeiter-in-Chief, 1997-2005.

Advancing the Police State
Ron Paul on the 4th anniversary of the Patriot Act.

Ron Paul and Alan Greenspan
Mr. Sound Money vs. the Counterfeiter-in-Chief.

Don’t Start a Trade War With China
Ron Paul on the protectionist menace.

Don’t Expand the Police State
Ron Paul on the Patriot Act.

The Party of Big Government
Ron Paul on the Republicans.

Suicide Terrorism
Ron Paul on how to stop it.

Cafta and the War on Supplements
Ron Paul on globalists together.

What Should America Do For Africa?
Not have our politicians send their politicians our money, says Ron Paul.

We Have No Jurisdiction in ‘Kelo’
Ron Paul on what the Supremes should have said, and the war on property.

The Psycho State
Ron Paul on federal “mental health” screening for school children.

The UN Cannot Be Reformed
Because it is inherently illegitimate, says Ron Paul.

Global Central Planning
Ron Paul’s speech on the floor of Congress about the WTO.

Conservatives Expand UN
To use it for conservative world government.

More Government, Less Free Trade
Ron Paul on CAFTA.

Questions for Greenspan
The famed Q&A between Ron Paul and the Fed chairman, 1997-2004.

Missing the Point
Ron Paul on federal funding of stem-cell research.

The Guilty Fed
Ron Paul on dollar erosion.

Get Out of the WTO
We need free trade, not world government, says Ron Paul.

No More Bank Bailouts
Not by the taxpayers.

Don’t Believe the Lies
About a “national ID.” It is meant to control you, not terrorism or illegal immigration, says Ron Paul.

Repeal the Patriot Act
Ron Paul on the federal powergrab and moneygrab.

Health Freedom
Don’t let the FDA restrict our dietary supplements, says Ron Paul.

Why Fund UNESCO?
Ron Paul wants to know.

Being Pro-Life and Pro-War
It doesn’t work, Ron Paul tells conservatives.

The Ordeal
And the hypocrites.

Defender of Life
Ron Paul on John Paul II.

The Iraqi People Are Worse Off
Despite administration propaganda, says Ron Paul.

The Pro-Life Movement
It must be a matter of changing hearts, not an empowered central state, says Ron Paul.

Patriotic Extortion
Ron Paul on the drunken-sailor spending.

Deficits Make You Poorer
Ron Paul tries to teach the Republicans a little economics.

Tax Reform Is a Shell Game
Ron Paul on why Lew Rockwell is right.

The Maestro Changes His Tune
Ron Paul on Alan Greenspan and gold.

The Federal Trojan Horse
Ron Paul on the national ID.

Your Papers, Citizen!
Ron Paul on the totalitarian national ID.

Democracy Isn’t Freedom
In Iraq or America.

Psycho Feds Target Your Children
Don’t let Bush give them mental exams, says Ron Paul.

Bollixing Up the World
Ron Paul on US foreign policy.

Your Papers, Citizen
No Soviet-like internal passports, please.

One Evil of Government IDs
They make identity theft easy, says Ron Paul.

Only Private Charity for Tsunami Victims
Government “help” is evil on several levels.

Hands Off the Electoral College
One of the remaining anti-democratic artifacts of the constitution.

The Police State
America is far from immune, says Ron Paul.

‘They Hate Us Because We Are Sooo Good’
Ron Paul on reality and Iraq.

What Has NED Done in Ukraine?
That’s the National Endowment for Democracy (Neocon Edifice of Dissimulation).

The National (Socialist) ID Card
Down with it, says Ron Paul.

The Dying Dollar
Exposed by gold.

The Federal Feel-Up
Ron Paul on airport security bullies.

Ignore the Neocon Warmongers
Stay out of the Sudan’s civil war, says Ron Paul.

Bush’s ‘Mandate’
Ron Paul on the alarming election and post-election.

Another Republican Disgrace
Ron Paul on raising the debt limit.

Get Out of the Middle East
And stop all the foreign aid.

House of Cards
Ron Paul on Social Security.

All Hail the Electoral College
The alternative, says Ron Paul, is mob rule.

A Real Threat to National Security
Ron Paul on government debt.

‘I Have a Plan…’
Never trust a politician with a plan, says Ron Paul.

Free the District of Columbia
Let the people be armed, says Ron Paul.

The 9/11 Stupidity Bill
More bureaucracy, more intervention, less freedom.

The Draft Is Slavery
Reject it, always and everywhere, says Ron Paul.

Down With the Imperial Judiciary
Let’s clip their wings, says Ron Paul.

Can the Constitution Be Saved?
Video of a congressional speech by Ron Paul.

The Disastrous Federal Marriage Amendment
It’s an attack on liberty and traditional values, says Ron Paul.

The IMF Con
Ron Paul on Keynes’s monstrosity (well, one of them).

Can the Constitution Be Saved?
Video of a congressional speech by Ron Paul.

Restrict the Federal Courts
Don’t let them usurp, says Ron Paul.

The Therapeutic Nanny State
Ron Paul on the police state, child division.

Psycho Government
Psychiatry comes in handy for our rulers.

Reject the Federal ID Card
It’s totalitarian, says Ron Paul.

Ron Paul’s GOP
Texas is, as usual, way ahead of the US.

Ron Paul Interviewed By Brian Lamb
On the 9/11 Commission scam (video).

The 9/11 Commission Fraud
Ron Paul on another state charade.

Police State USA
Ron Paul on why ‘safety’ does not equal freedom.

To Protect Marriage
Curb the judiciary, says Ron Paul.

Worse Than Useless
Ron Paul on the public circuses called conventions.

Peace and Free Trade
Ron Paul on what our relations ought to be with China and Taiwan (video).

Hands Off Sudan!
Ron Paul on yet another criminal venture by the US government.

A Peace Candidate on the Ballot
Let’s break up the two-party monopoly, says Ron Paul.

Aids Welfare for the World
Ron Paul on another DC disaster.

None of Your Business!
Ron Paul to the feds.

A Vicious Tax on the Middle Class
Ron Paul on government spending.

A Real Conservative Rating of Congress
The New American rates the crooks and clowns of Capitol Hill. Needless to say, there is only one hero: Ron Paul.

Ron Paul wants US independence.

Freedom From the UK Was Step One
Now we need freedom from the US.

The Trouble With Forced Integration
Ron Paul on the unfortunate Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Why Can’t the Republican Congress Stop Spending?
And act more like H.R. Gross.

Another Bush Welfare Scheme
Ron Paul on “zero-down” mortgages for the politically connected poor.

Torture, War, and Presidential Powers
Ron Paul is Mr. Constitution.

The Wages of Empire
Debt, debt, and more debt.

The Same Old Middle-Eastern Baloney
Ron Paul on the axis of incompetence.

Building the Dictatorship
Ron Paul says No!

Freedom or Security?
It’s a false – and dangerous – choice, says Ron Paul.

No to Foreign Aid
Ron Paul on the latest incarnation of this evil.

The War on Drugs Is a War on Doctors
Ron Paul on the federal assault on people in pain and their physicians.

Don’t Start a War With Iran!
Ron Paul on the warmongering wackos.

Cut the Con Game
Ron Paul on the abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Passing the Buck in Iraq
Are pfc’s really the culprits?

No 3rd Party Payments
Ron Paul on free-market medical care.

The Lessons of 9/11
Ron Paul on why foreign meddling matters.

Government Ghouls
And their war on pain sufferers.

Federal ‘Justice’
Ron Paul on constitution-violating judges.

An Evening With Ron Paul
Steve Yates on the last real American in DC.

LOST at Sea
Ron Paul on the rotten Law of the Sea Treaty.

Don’t Expand Nato
In fact, let’s rethink the whole idea.

Praise the Troops, Fine
But shut up about “victory.”

The Folly of Fed Interest Rates
Ron Paul on the damage of Greenspanism.

An Indecent Attack on the First Amendment
Ron Paul on the latest federal censorship scam.

A Perennial Gift From Greenspan
Monetary depreciation.

It’s alive and well, says Ron Paul.

Get Out of the Way
Ron Paul’s advice to the government.

Eliminate Federal Court Jurisdiction
On marriage, abortion, education, and a host of other issues, says Ron Paul.

That Old Black Magic
Ron Paul on Greenspan’s machinations.

Hey, Greenspan
Stop ignoring the monetary shark in the water, says Ron Paul.

The Feds Are a Bunch of Sick Puppies
Ron Paul on the war on pain relief.

Greenspan Confesses to Ron Paul
The Fed has inordinate power.

Ron Paul on Liberty
And a wise consistency for freedom.

Start a Brush Fire for Freedom
Ron Paul is interviewed by John W. Whitehead.

In the Face of an Executive Power Grab
Congress rolled over and played dead, says Ron Paul.

Spending and Lying
Ron Paul on the budget.

Don’t Appoint Congress
Ron Paul fights a totalitarian proposal.

Federal Marriage Counseling
Is this Bush’s worst idea?

Amnesty and Culture
Ron Paul on Bush’s y’all come immigration plan.

Sending Social Security to Mexico
Ron Paul on another Bushian outrage.

The War on Religion
And the offensive against Christmas.

No Peace in the Holy Land
It’s especially sad at Christmastime, says Ron Paul.

Time To DeNationalize Peace
Ron Paul on the Geneva Accord.

The Disappearing Dollar
The answer is gold, says Ron Paul.

The party of big government.

Against Imperialism and Socialism
Video of a speech by Ron Paul.

The Crime of Conscription
Are the feds about to raise a slave army?

Republican Socialism
Ron Paul battles the Medicare monster.

Socialist Military Treats Its Cannon Fodder
Like…cannon fodder.

Don’t Blame Other Countries
Our economic woes begin at home, says Ron Paul.

Congressional Censorship
Stop threatening people for what they think and say.

The Looting Process
Ron Paul on appropriations.

Stop Pouring Money Down a Hole
Ron Paul on foreign aid.

Crazed Foreign Aid
One price of empire.

Trade Sanctions Are Evil
And so are those who want to starve Syrians as they starved Iraqis.

Recall DC
Ron Paul on California.

Abolish Neocon Central
Ron Paul on the National Endowment for Democracy.

Free Prescription Drugs
We will pay dearly, says Ron Paul.

Vouchers Are Welfare
Also unconstitutional on the federal level, says Ron Paul.

Big Bucks in Baghdad
That’s your money, says Ron Paul.

No UN Gun Control
Ron Paul is Horatius at the bridge.

$87 Billion? Not 87 Cents
Ron Paul on the costs of war.

Fannie and Freddie
Ron Paul on two federal monstrosities.

Stop COG
Ron Paul on the chilling “continuity of government” proposal.

War and Debt
Ron Paul on the Bush spendathon.

Greenspan’s Monopoly Money
It’s the mother’s milk of tyranny.

Paper Money and Tyranny
Ron Paul on the chilling connection.

Can We Afford To Occupy Iraq?
Not in any sense.

Love the Hangman, America
Ron Paul on Ashcroft’s bizarre promo tour.

Don’t Look to Politics To Solve the Blackout
It’s the problem, says Ron Paul.

The Imaginery Constitution
Created by the federal courts.

Hurrah for Drug Reimportation
It increases medical freedom, says Ron Paul.

Bring Back Honest Money
Ron Paul on repealing legal tender.

The Horrific Cost of Government
Ron Paul on Saddam Bushein and the taxayeen.

Free Trade in Pharmaceuticals
Ron Paul stands tall against protectionism.

Stay Out of Liberia!
It’s another unconstitutional fiasco in the making, says Ron Paul.

The Unpatriot Act
Some encouraging news from Ron Paul.

Lying Us into War
Ron Paul on the phony justifications.

Greenspan Punishes Savers
Ron Paul on the evil central bank.

Rule of the Machiavellians
Ron Paul on the ex-conservative movement.

We’ve Been Neo-Conned
An historic speech by Ron Paul on the followers of Trotsky, Strauss, and Machiavelli who run the conservative movement, and the Bush administration.

Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve
A video with Ron Paul, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Joseph Salerno, and Lew Rockwell.

Exchanging Strings From London
For chains from DC.

Continuity of Government?
It’s another slap at the Constitution, says Ron Paul.

Thanks, Republicans
The party of big government strikes again.

Does Tony Blair Deserve a Gold Medal?
Ron Paul on why it’s a crime.

Buy Canadian Drugs
Ron Paul on free trade in pharmaceuticals.

Greenspan Is To Blame
Ron Paul on the sainted Fed chairman.

The Truth About Tax Credits
And who should get them.

Setting Up the Dictatorship
Ron Paul on the Continuity of Government Act.

Lavish Occupation
Ron Paul on the unbearable cost of Iraq.

Federal Flag Burning
Should it be unconstitutional? Of course not, says Ron Paul.

Pro-Life Action
It must proceed from proper principles, says Ron Paul.

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban
Ron Paul is for it, with grave reservations.

The Republican Debt Monster
Ron Paul on conservative profligacy.

The Federal Drug Bully
Ron Paul on unconstitutional DC meddling in state and local elections.

The Phony Tax-Cut Debate
It’s the total of government spending that counts, says Ron Paul.

Bush’s Foreign Aids Scheme
So much for social conservatism among Republicans.

American Law or UN Law
It’s time, for once, for Congress to do its duty, says Ron Paul.

Keep the UN Out of Iraq
And America too, says Ron Paul.

Gun Rights and States Rights
The speech that has the NRA doing Karl Rove’s bidding against Ron Paul.

Bush Betrayal
This time, on gun control.

Ron Paul vs. the UN
An interview with Thomas R. Eddlem.

Bush the Spender
With his partner in crime, the Republican Congress.

Merchants of Death
Ron Paul on war profiteers.

Stop Censoring Religious Speech
Ron Paul tries to talk some sense to Congress.

Anti-Foreign Hate
Crazed fury at France and other countries endangers the world economy, says Ron Paul.

Stop Funding Abortion
Ron Paul also seeks to deny the usurping federal courts jurisdiction.

The Medical Malpractice Mess
Ron Paul on solving it through the free market.

Bush Has Wrecked the UN
It’s a silver lining in the war cloud, says Ron Paul.

Ron Paul Forges Antiwar Coalition
Right and left against mass murder.

Dangerous Nonsense
Ron Paul on the myth of war prosperity.

Oppose the Federal Welfare State
It’s an unconstitutional evil, says Ron Paul.

Another UN War?
Ron Paul on the Bushian adventure.

Buying ‘Friends’ With Foreign Aid
Ron Paul on compassionate conservatism, international division.

The Heroic Ron Paul
The Texas Observer is astonished to find an antiwar Republican.

Welfare for the Left and Right
And welfare for the world. Ron Paul on the Bush administration.

‘We’re All Democrats Now’
Sorry, Mr. Franklin, says Ron Paul.

Government’s False Prosperity
And real recessions.

Cut Taxes for the Rich
Cut taxes for everybody, says Ron Paul.

Restore the Second Amendment
Ron Paul on gun rights.

Public Slavery
Conscription is collectivism, says Ron Paul.

No National ID Numbers
Ron Paul wants to stop federal SS abuse.

More Foreign Welfare
Thanks, Bush.

Peace and Freedom
Ron Paul on the prospects for these twins in 2003.

What Really Divides Us?
Ron Paul on the centralizing state.

Regime Change
Ron Paul on what the warmongers really mean.

Government Vaccinations
Bad policy, bad medicine.

Our Idiotic Foreign Policy
It makes more trouble in the Middle East.

George LBJ Bush
He is building the state at rates almost unprecedented.

Big Trouble Ahead
As the feds make war on Iraq.

DC Isn’t My Homeland
Ron Paul on the Homeland Security monster.

tate ecurity
Ron Paul on the takeover of the homeland.

Who Should Prosecute the Snipers?
Not the power-mad central government.

Armed Citizens Are a Public Good
Ron Paul on snipers, terrorism, and gun control.

The War on Truth
Ron Paul on DC claims vs. reality, in the planned attack on Iraq.

Illegal War Violates the Constitution
Don’t do it, says Ron Paul.

Will War Doom the Economy?
Ron Paul warns Congress not to allow the invasion.

War Is a Political Disaster
Along with being a moral and economic calamity, says Ron Paul.

Entangling Alliances
They are dangerous and un-American, says Ron Paul.

Abolish the Fed
Ron Paul introduces legislation to do exactly that.

Questions That Won’t Be Asked
About Iraq. Ron Paul has 35.

No Militarism, No Socialism
Ron Paul on the recipe for peace, freedom, and prosperity.

Don’t Commit Aggression
Ron Paul tries to talk some sense to Congress.

Questions About the 2nd War on Iraq
Ron Paul wants them answered before the troops go in.

Don’t Make War on the Rule of Law
Ron Paul on the planned aggression against Iraq.

Hey, Greenspan
Why does the US adhere to an IMF injunction against sound money? Ron Paul wants to know.

Ron vs. Alan
Hard questions for Greenspan from Ron Paul.

Intervention Begets Terror
Ron Paul on the disaster of US foreign policy.

Snitching for the State
Ron Paul on the Bushie Stasi.

The Federal Fraud
Ron Paul wants to know: what about government accountability?

Has Capitalism Failed?
Of course not, says Ron Paul. It’s government that’s the flop.

Are We Doomed To Be a Police State?
Ron Paul on the anti-freedom ambitions of the feds.

Don’t Invade Iraq
Let’s listen to Scott Ritter instead, says Ron Paul.

The Declining Dollar
Ron Paul on why gold is the answer.

For Peace and Freedom
Ron Paul against welfare and war.

Don’t Expand Federal Deposit ‘Insurance’
Ron Paul warns the Congress.

No Conscription
Ron Paul on why Daniel Webster was right.

Don’t Regulate Supplements
Congressmen Ron Paul and Peter DeFazio speak out against the FDA.

Stop the One-Sided Mid-East Meddling
Ron Paul speaks out.

No Corporate Welfare
Ron Paul on FDR’s rotten Export-Import Bank.

Are Your Taxes Too Low?
They think so in DC, says Ron Paul.

Ron Paul’s Predictions
If the feds aren’t stopped from meddling domestically and internationally, we face more war, taxes, inflation, spying, and other tyrannies.

The Framers’ Foreign Policy
They had it just right.

No Entangling Alliances
And the Middle East is no exception.

Get Out of the Middle East
Ron Paul on a radical idea: what’s in the American interest.

The UN Tax Grab
Ron Paul on the latest globalist trick.

Don’t Conscript the Kids
The draft is slavery, plus killing.

No Aggression Against Iraq
It’s illegal, immoral, and dangerous, says Ron Paul.

Stop Meddling in Ukraine
Ron Paul has some advice for the feds.

Protectionism vs. Liberty
Ron Paul on Bush’s vicious and dangerous tax increase on imported steel.

The Truth About Government Debt
Ron Paul on the deficit and the “surplus.”

US Out of Colombia
Ron Paul on the next planned war.

Honest Money, Not Fiat Money
And no federal police state, says Ron Paul.

Get Us Out of the IMF
Ron Paul on Keynes’s rotten International Monetary Fund.

Don’t Attack Iraq
It’s morally wrong, and it only endangers Americans.

Stop Manipulating the Gold Price
Ron Paul’s message to the feds.

Economic Terror
Thanks to Osama Bin Federal.

Why Is There So Much Money in Politics?
Because the rotten reach of politics is so broad and deep, says Ron Paul.

The Truth About Enron
Over-subsidized, not under-regulated.

Down With World Government
And its instrument, the WTO.

The Case for Peace and Freedom
Ron Paul on why we should not attempt to rule the world.

The Argentine Tango
Government, default, and the IMF.

Will This Be a ‘War Year’?
Ron Paul on the future of US foreign policy.

Should the US Attack Iraq Again?
Ron Paul says No.

If We Get the Despotic Draft
Let’s take congressmen first, says Ron Paul.

National (Socialist) ID
Ron Paul condemns a dastardly idea.

9/11 Was Preventable
All we had to do was take George Washington’s urgent counsel. Speech by Ron Paul.

The State vs. Doctors
Dr. Ron Paul’s address to the graduating class at the University of Texas Medical School-Houston.

Faith-Based Statism
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None Are So Blind As Those Who Will Not See The Truth

September 25, 2007 Leave a comment

 None Are So Blind As Those Who Will Not See The Truth

By Jim R. Schwiesow

September 24, 2007

This week we witnessed another act in the traveling George Bush Dog and Pony Show.

Two Bush administration lackeys, U.S. Army General David Petreus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, were the center-ring attraction at a performance of the greatest comedy show on earth the congressional circus. Unable to sustain a desired momentum for his killing campaign in Iraq, which is costing the taxpayers of the United States $122,820.00 a minute or $7.4 Million dollars an hour, the president was forced to trot out his ace sycophants to woo and deceive the people and the congress with more of the same old administration exaggerations and foolishly false contentions that we are winning the war. Here is the sad part everybody knows; and facts are abundant to prove it, that this most shameful military incursion in the nation’s history is a total disaster. In truth it is and always was an unrighteous war that is guaranteed to pull the country down militarily, economically and ethically, one has to question if it is at all possible for this nation to sink any lower ethically, the media knows this as does the majority of the people yet they follow the lies of the administration like stink follows a skunk.

I would imagine that George Bush gives thanks every day that the people of this nation have a propensity to readily believe the lies of his administration and to be easily deceived. And so it was more of the same this week No sooner had George’s carefully selected protagonists left the stage, and the congress had lowered the circus tent and packed it away for another day, than the media was busy pounding the airwaves with the joyous news that things in Iraq were not nearly so bad as it seemed, this despite the fact that U.S. casualties continue to climb at an accelerated rate and that one million Iraqi civilians have been killed since the inception of the Bush Administration’s alleged war for democracy. The handpicked, by GWB, Iraqi puppet government huffily denies these casualty statistics, and maintains that only a mere 650,000 to 750,000 of their people have been killed. Gee-whiz, what a relief everybody should now feel so much better about old George’s war.

In truth the fact of the matter is that George Bush is desperate to keep the war active so that he can keep the troops, battle groups and machinery of war in place in the middle-east for another of his preemptive strikes, this time against Iran. One undeclared war follows another it is only necessary that the aggression be rationalized by lies and half-truths. Adolph Hitler invented the tactics that George Bush employs so well today. I’m convinced that the president reasons why not since no one with the authority or the courage to do so has seized his criminal behind and tossed him into the clink where he rightfully belongs. It is a strange land, is it not? The entire country was bent out of shape (rightfully so) when Bill Clinton lied about having sex with an intern, but no one seems to care much about the fact that George Bush lies serially and boldly about a war that has cost the country dearly in the terms of lives, credibility and money.

This whole staged Petraeus/Crocker episode brought to mind an old song by country singer Bobby Bare about the witch, Marie Laveau who was able to do a little magic to banish those who crossed her in ways that provoked her. It seems that George Bush, like the bent and bony witch of Bare’s song, possesses these same mystical occultist qualities. When confronted by those who oppose his unconstitutional and dictatorial activities he “does a little magic, shakes a little sand, makes a million lies and puts them in our hands, and whoooeeee, Another foe done gone.”

This week an article was emailed to me, which was written by Michael Gaddy the title of which was “Worshipping the State: Why They Die” I am continually enlightened by articles not authored by me, but that I sincerely wish that I had written. However, I also sincerely doubt that I could have expressed myself so eloquently and with such great feeling and passion as did Mr. Gaddy. Nevertheless I resolved to pick up on the theme of the article and express some personal thoughts on his subject, which was the subservience of our military to a criminal regime that has stolen the sovereignty of the people and set the nation up for disaster. Mr. Gaddy has written that our military swears allegiance to the Constitution, but disregards the obligation thereto and instead panders to a governmental criminal enterprise. I seriously urge readers to use the link to read the article. Mr. Gaddy makes no bones about the undeniable fact that George Bush and his fascist cronies have dismantled the Bill of Rights, sacked the Constitution, nullified the guarantee against illegal imprisonment provided by Habeas Corpus and effectively invalidated states rights. In my words, not his, we are now a nation of regimented automons programmed to subservience to a fascist state and controlled and enslaved by the soulless national socialistic leaders thereof.

Many will greet Mr. Gaddy’s article, and mine, with a completely closed mind. The reason for that is that we no longer function as freethinking individuals in this country. To do so is to be labeled as a subversive or a traitor – a traitor to whom? To whom should we give our allegiance? To a government staffed by lying criminals who rule the people by intimidation and by the instilling of fear? I think not. Patriotism is not about serving a government; it is about serving the people in a selfless and meaningful way.

Today we no longer have an armed force that is comprised of citizen soldiers who do their duty in response to threats to the homeland and then return to civilian society once the threat has been terminated by their dedicated service. Those who now serve in the military no longer represent or defend the freedoms of the people as citizen soldiers; they are instead beholden only to a totalitarian collective. The armed services are comprised of volunteers who have been indoctrinated to believe that their service and their allegiance is to the state, right or wrong. One is forced to ask, is it honorable to render allegiance and give service to a state that is pursuing objectives that are contrary to the principles of justice and law, and are of an outright criminal nature?

Those who are totally honest will concede that Iraq had not a thing to do with 9-11, and all, but the absolutely deceived, also know that there were no weapons of mass destruction or any intent by Saddam Hussein’s government to attack the United States. We were lied to and subjected to a steady stream of contrived myths (outright lies) that were designed to instill a false belief that the United States was under the threat of an imminent attack by Iraq. These mythical creations were designed to lead the sheep of the nation into support for an undeclared and illegal war. There was no declaration of war only a resolution by a deceived and compliant congress that allowed, by their pusillanimity, the Bush administration to pursue an outright war of aggression, a war entirely without a just cause.

We will lose this war just as we lost the Vietnam War. When we fight just wars and follow constitutional mandates in regard to pursuing active involvement in a conflict we have the satisfaction of knowing that we are superior to our enemies in regard to moral principles and are more likely to be on the winning side. It is the belligerent bullies – aggressors – of the world that fall by the sword. Those who continually beat the drum for preemptive wars, regardless of a lack outright provocation, make me sick. They are no less criminal in nature than a gangster who murders one who he believes, without reason, may come after him. A preemptive strike today is no less damnable, unequivocally detestable and morally wrong than it was at Pearl Harbor. We will pay the price for our belligerent aggressiveness. Whatsoever a nation sows so shall it reap. In plain terms, what goes around comes around. We are about to learn a lesson that so many nations have learned before us. To defend our nation is morally just, to assault another without reasonable cause is morally reprehensible.

© 2007 – Jim R. Schwiesow - All Rights Reserved

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Jim Schwiesow is a retired sheriff with 46 years of law enforcement service. He served with the Unites States Army with the occupation forces in post war Berlin, Germany, and has a total of nine years of military service, which includes six years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

His law enforcement service includes: three years in the military police, fifteen years as an Iowa municipal police officer, and twenty-eight years as the duly elected sheriff of Sioux County, Iowa.

Jim has written a number of articles, which have been published in various professional law enforcement journals.






Worshipping The State: Why They Die

by Michael Gaddy
by Michael Gaddy


Simple facts most soldiers do not understand: The government (state) is not our country; when you fight and die in undeclared wars, you do so for the State and not for our country or our freedoms; when you forsake the Constitution you swore to uphold and defend to follow unconstitutional orders, even from your commander-in-chief, you cross the line from defender of your country to the very real possibility of becoming a war criminal.

The inboxes at my email sites are constantly bombarded with pictures and articles designed to pull at my heartstrings and make me believe there are troops in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for our freedoms. Many of these have wonderful stirring music intended to make one stand and salute. They picture our soldiers holding young Iraqi children and playing with stray animals – a fit sermon indeed for those who hold membership in the Church of Nationalism and worship its god: the State.

Does the insurgent in Iraq present a greater danger to freedom than the politicians who signed the Patriot Act without reading it? Is al Qaeda to be feared more than the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus? Is the young Iraqi soldier fighting in the streets of Baghdad more dangerous to our freedoms than the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the State to take direct control of any and all National Guard units over the objection of state and local officials to whom they report, through the simple expedient of declaring a “public emergency”? Just exactly who is the greatest threat to our individual rights and freedoms in this country?

In November of 2002, I was asked to present the commencement speech at the graduating class of Military Intelligence Officers at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. It was a very difficult decision for me to accept this invitation; the storm clouds of war were definitely on the horizon. I had seen what I believed to be tainted intelligence in the media used to garner support for a war in Iraq. I wanted to do or say nothing that might in any way be seen as support for the coming conflict – those who promoted it, or those who would fight it – an almost impossible feat to accomplish in a military environment.

When the day arrived and I was introduced to those in attendance, which included high-ranking officers of the post, graduates, instructors, parents and guests, I began my presentation by asking how many in attendance remembered their oath of enlistment.

Everyone raised a hand indicating they did. I then asked how many could repeat that oath; a significantly smaller number raised their hand. I then read the Oath of Enlistment each soldier takes on entry into the various military branches. I emphasized the following was listed first in the oath and was therefore intended to be the most important:

“I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; …

I reminded them it was their duty to fully understand the meaning of the words and phrases: support, defend, and true faith and allegiance in the context of that oath. I told them that anytime they received orders, no matter the origin of those orders, when such orders were in conflict with their oath, they were honor bound to refuse to carry out those orders. I told them their first allegiance was to the Constitution and not to any politician who became their superior simply because they had tricked a majority of the people into voting for them. By this time the higher-ranking officers on the front row were beginning to squirm in their seats.

I spoke of domestic enemies and how much more insidious they are than those we call “foreign.” I explained that when one is ordered by any superior to do that which is a violation of their oath, the entity issuing the illegal order becomes the domestic enemy mentioned in their oath.

I spoke to those gathered of my ignorance of my obligation to that oath during my military tenure, and the obvious offenses I felt I had committed and the unlawful orders I had obeyed. I stated I did not want them to make the same mistakes I had made. When I finished my presentation, the ranking officers on the front row made a hasty departure, but other instructors and soldiers stayed and presented their perfunctory appreciation.

I’m sure many of the young officers in attendance that day did not fully understand the presentation; most were in a hurry to check out, and get started on their leave before their next assignment.

Several days later, my son came to visit and was obviously in a state of anger. He related he had just returned from the Tucson, Arizona office of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he was interviewed for his Top Secret Clearance. During his interview the agent conducting his background check informed him that I was both a subversive and a racist; subversive because I had written articles critical of the government and racist because I was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. At least they had it half right; I had written, and continue to write, articles that are critical of the government, but I have never been a member of the SCV. I qualify for membership in that organization because several of my relatives fought for the Confederacy, but I have never applied for membership.

I relate the incident with the agent of the DIA simply to show that once a person drops his/her support for the collective and assumes their individual God given rights, they become the enemy of the State.

Soldiers serving – and dying in the State’s illegal, immoral wars – do not serve their fellow countrymen, fight for our liberties or bear true faith and allegiance to our Constitution – they serve the collective that is busy stealing our liberties and destroying our Constitution.

Not one opposing force in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anyplace else on this planet, presents a greater threat to our liberty than the collective we call the State or the criminals who control it.

November 15, 2006

Michael Gaddy [send him mail ], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.

Copyright © 2006

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Social Science: America’s Implanted Religious Leadership

September 25, 2007 Leave a comment

Social Science: America’s Implanted Religious Leadership



Nancy Levant
September 25, 2007

It is this writer’s opinion that the divisions in the Christian religion – the denominations – worked like political charms to all but topple the religion on American soil. In light of the fact that nearly 90% of our churches are now governmental/corporate entities (501-c-3′s), perhaps this was the ultimate road to unalienable ruin. But for certain, the voice of the church was divided and replaced with new missions, beliefs, and social/civil mandates. As such, a new priesthood evolved, which now defines and directs the moral values, moral COMPASS, and behavioral trajectory of the American people.

We the people now live under the professional guidance of social sciences. In fact, we are all profiled and counseled by social scientists of many, many makes and measures. Who amongst us does not personally know an MSW, an “advocate,” or a “counselor” working in one “human service” system or another? And who among these “professionals” does not have pen, multiple triplicate forms, and computer entry screens with your names highlighted and in hand?

We the people are now told by our socialist scientists what, when, and how to eat; when and how to sleep, which and how many drugs we are required to take, what to learn and not learn, what to believe and not believe, how and where to volunteer our community services, what careers we should pursue, what life-ling learning courses, certifications, licenses, and credentials we must have to work; what is politically acceptable, what religions are acceptable and unacceptable, what our beliefs regarding gender definition and reproduction should be, and why we must be genetically profiled to determine the reproductive fitness of our personal gene pools.

We are counseled, referred, profiled, and directed in our schools, churches, health care clinics and hospitals, in our mental and social health attitudes, political inclinations and designations, through our TV sets, and throughout all aspects of our “community citizenship” duties and mandates.

We the people are counseled, profiled, and directed toward and into homeowner association living, live-work units, co-op housing and food partnerships, consensus-based and democratic living arrangements, community service (mandatory “volunteerism”), and we are forcibly envisioned by group consensus opinion.

We the people are counseled, profiled, and directed to live as Communitarians vs. individuals with choice, personal opinions, and personal freedom to make individual life decisions. In fact, you have no personal freedom to make decisions whatsoever. You are, in fact, Communitarian people without any freedom whatsoever. If in doubt, ask your social worker what they do with your “profile” if you disagree with their “assessment” of your condition or situation. Ask your social worker where and to whom your “profile” is forwarded once their forms are completed. For that matter, ask them who funds their “community human service project” of which you are forcibly directed – no doubt – having been referred from another “human service” organization or “social” worker.

It would appear that religious guidance in America has been replace by a new priesthood – new religious leadership, so to speak – and one which far, far outweighs the former authority and powers of ministers, pastors, priests, and others. It would appear that totalitarian observation and control of we the people has fallen into the hands of the MSWs, advocates, and professional counselors who now force-direct the beliefs, behaviors, and courses of our lives – and under threats of “mental” and “drug therapy” designations. In other words, one dares not disagree with nor disregard the authority of the social scientists that have acquired the authority to take your children and your sanity if you are seen as a “threat” to their politically prepared definitions of proper “community” opinion.

They have the authority to drug your elders to death. They have the authority to drug your children into insanity or lethargy. They have the authority to forward your entire personal “profile” to their governmental grantors, who, in turn, have the authority to forward your entire profile to the COMPASS data base.

The Communitarian system of governance pays social scientists to govern YOU under threats of many makes and measures. They are the “gatekeepers,” so to speak, who enforce through “counseling and referral,” your total social exposure and control of your behavior and opinions. We’ll just call them priests on dictatorship steroids.

These “human service agents” are crawling all over your public schools systems – in EVERY public school – your daycare centers, your healthcare clinics and organizations, EVERY social/human service organization, and even your public libraries, who are now quietly pushing Teen Screen in their after-school “care” programs for teens.

And how willingly we offer ourselves to these “counselors” and their data bases – how willingly we appreciate their “human service” on our behalf. How willingly we walk into “screenings” of every make and measure – health screenings (mobile units), school screenings (from pre-K through university education), mental health screenings, Internet screening/screen profile date entry, homeowner associations screenings (mandatory interviews before being “invited” to participate in a homeowner association “community”), etc. – the key word being “screening.”

It’s all about transformation, folks – your transformation. Our “screeners” are our behavioral priests, and they operate with the powers of threats behind their smiling human service faces. And they have been thoroughly trained and are well paid to carry out the mandated threats of their financial grantors.

Too old to live and contribute? You are slated for drug overdose. Too cocky to follow rules? You are slated for chemical redirection (drug therapy). Too selfish to become a community servant? You are slated for mandatory volunteerism. Too individualistic to settle into consensus rules and regulations? You are red flagged in the COMPASS data base, which also makes future employment with a community partnership next to impossible. Too traditionally religious? You are slated to be an emotional child abuser and a mentally ill extremist. Too Constitutionally guaranteed? You are slated to be a dissident and enemy combatant. This you doubt? Just ask your social worker, advocate, or counselor. Or, for that matter, ask your 501-c-3 church leader – the ones who answer to the Department of Homeland Security via Executive Order 13397.

One tip: Be very careful about your confessions to social scientists. They are paid to profile and report. Remember that your Americanism, individuality, freedom, and brain now belong to their governing and financial masters, and they are checking to make sure you follow all Communitarian rules.





















© 2007 Nancy Levant – All Rights Reserved

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Nancy Levant is a renowned writer for Constitutional governance and American culture. She is the author of The Cultural Devastation of American Women: The Strange and Frightening Decline of the American Female (and her dreadful timing).

She is an opponent of deceptive governance and politicians, global governance by deception, political feminism, the public school system, political economics based upon manufactured wars and their corporate benefactors, and the Federal Reserve System. She is also a nationwide and lively radio personality. To book an engagement with Nancy Levant, send an email request to:


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Generals opposing Iraq war break with military tradition

September 24, 2007 Leave a comment

SPEAKING OUT Military historians say that before the Iraq conflict, only a handful of active or retired U.S. military officers had publicly criticized civilian leaders’ conduct of a war. Some examples:

In 1864, former Union Army Gen. George McClellan declared the Civil War a failure, called for a peace convention that would leave slavery intact, and ran for president against President Lincoln.

In the 1930s, retired Gen. Smedley Butler – who had spent 33 years in the Marine Corps – wrote a book calling war “a racket” and toured the country labeling civilian leaders who prosecute wars “capitalistic gangsters.”

In 1951, President Truman dismissed Gen. Douglas MacArthur for openly challenging U.S. civilian leadership.

In May 1966, retired Gen. David Shoup, former commandant of the Marine Corps, said this about the escalating war in Vietnam: “I believe if we had, and would, keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own … not one crammed down their throats by the Americans.”

Retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark, supreme NATO commander during President Clinton’s Kosovo campaign, criticized President George W. Bush’s handling of Iraq and ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.
Click Here to Print

In Iraq
Generals opposing Iraq war break with military tradition

By Mark Sauer


September 23, 2007

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton: “The ethos is: Give your advice to those in a position to make changes, not the media. But this administration is immune to good advice.”

Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste: “I had a moral obligation and a duty to do so. I have been speaking out for the past 17 months and there is no turning back.”

The generals acted independently, coming in their own ways to the agonizing decision to defy military tradition and publicly criticize the Bush administration over its conduct of the war in Iraq.What might be called The Revolt of the Generals has rarely happened in the nation’s history.

In op-ed pieces, interviews and TV ads, more than 20 retired U.S. generals have broken ranks with the culture of salute and keep it in the family. Instead, they are criticizing the commander in chief and other top civilian leaders who led the nation into what the generals believe is a misbegotten and tragic war.

The active-duty generals followed procedure, sending reports up the chain of command. The retired generals beseeched old friends in powerful positions to use their influence to bring about a change.

When their warnings were ignored, some came to believe it was their patriotic duty to speak out, even if it meant terminating their careers.

It was a decision none of the men approached cavalierly. Most were political conservatives who had voted for George W. Bush and initially favored his appointment of Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary.

But they felt betrayed by Bush and his advisers.

“The ethos is: Give your advice to those in a position to make changes, not the media,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, now retired. “But this administration is immune to good advice.”

Eaton has two sons serving in Afghanistan and Iraq; his father, an Air Force pilot, was shot down and killed over Laos in 1969. He said his frustration began festering in 2003, when he was assigned to build the Iraqi army from scratch. His internal requests for more equipment and properly trained instructors went unheeded, he said.

While on active duty, Eaton did not criticize his civilian bosses – almost to a man, the generals agree active-duty officers have no business doing that. But he was candid in media interviews. Building an Iraqi army, he warned, would take years, and the effort might never succeed.

In 2004, he was replaced by Gen. David Petraeus – now the military commander in Iraq – and reassigned stateside. Sensing his once-promising Army career had foundered, Eaton retired Jan. 1, 2006.

Two months later, on the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion, Eaton criticized the administration in an opinion piece in The New York Times.“I didn’t think my op-ed would be a big deal,” he said. “It certainly turned out to be otherwise.”

Eaton said he wrote the piece because he believed that three pillars of our democratic system had failed:

The Bush administration ignored alarms raised by him and other commanders on the ground; the Republican-controlled Congress had failed to exercise oversight; and the media had abdicated its watchdog role.

“As we look back, it appears that without realizing it, we were reacting to a constitutional crisis,” Eaton said in a recent interview.

Some of Eaton’s colleagues, both active and retired, endorsed his decision to speak out. Others thought he had stepped out of bounds. He became persona non grata with ethics instructors at the U.S. Military Academy, his alma mater.

Eaton said he has no regrets.

Maj. Gen. John Batiste, former commander of the First Infantry Division in Iraq, chronicled his painful journey from stalwart soldier to outspoken critic in a post on the political Web site Think Progress this month.

Once heralded by many military observers as headed for appointment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Batiste began his journey of introspection after he retired with two stars in 2005.

The self-described arch-conservative and lifelong Republican made the “gut-wrenching” decision to end his 31-year military career in order to “speak out on behalf of soldiers and their families.”

“I had a moral obligation and a duty to do so,” Batiste wrote. “I have been speaking out for the past 17 months and there is no turning back.”

Code of silenceIt is rare in U.S. history for even retired generals to step outside the chain of command and criticize the nation’s civilian leaders.

That was true even at the time of the unpopular Vietnam War.

Andrew Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, said several generals who served in Vietnam now regret they didn’t go public when it might have done the nation some good.

“That has encouraged generals today to voice their unhappiness,” Bacevich said.

LAURA EMBRY / Union-Tribune

Retired Navy Vice Adm. David Richardson said he was surprised that so many retired generals have spoken out against the Iraq war. “They may sound off as they please, but I don’t approve of that,” said Richardson, 93, who lives in North Park.

The once-sacred line between private and public opinion began to blur during the 1991 Gulf War, Bacevich said, when retired generals appeared for the first time as TV network analysts.”But that war was brief, it seemed to go very well and the generals’ comments were almost uniformly positive,” he said. “This war is very long, it has not gone well and that’s a main reason we’re hearing the voices we’re hearing.”

For retired Brig. Gen. John Johns, the decision to finally stand up against the administration was a deeply personal one.

“My wife lost her first husband in Vietnam,” said Johns, who taught leadership and ethics at West Point.

“To learn later that President Lyndon Johnson and (then-Secretary of Defense) Robert McNamara knew as early as 1965 that we could not win there, that hurts her deeply to this day.”

Six months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Johns, who retired in 1978, agonized over whether to go public with a paper calling the impending war “one of the great blunders of history.”

He sent it to retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni and to Pete McCloskey, the moderate-Republican former congressman from California who had opposed the Vietnam War.

“At that time, they did not want to go public,” Johns said.

Zinni has since become one of the most war’s most vociferous critics, and McClosky now calls for bringing the troops home.

“And I was not convinced that the invasion would not be stopped internally,” Johns said. “Zinni was close to (then-Secretary of State) Colin Powell; I believed sane heads would prevail.”

But Powell’s notoriously inaccurate speech to the United Nations in February 2003 “sealed the deal,” Johns said, and he knew the war was unstoppable. “I was very disappointed he did that. Powell was used.”

Many sleepless nights, long talks with his wife and solitary walks followed, said the veteran combat officer.

But Johns didn’t reach his tipping point until 2005, when a longtime friend, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, invited him to discuss the war at tiny Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

“Four out of five of us retired military panelists there said it was a moral duty for us to speak out in a democracy against policies which you think are unwise,” Johns said. “The time was right.”

The lifelong Republican-leaning conservative joined a pair of liberal organizations opposed to the war and supported the Democrats’ call to get the United States out of Iraq.

“I appreciate those who hold to the old school of not speaking out,” said Johns, 79. “I hope they will appreciate my deeply held feelings that led to my decision to do so.”

Reaction mixedOne of those who falls into that old-school camp is Navy Vice Adm. David Richardson.

A one-time adviser to Pentagon chiefs, Richardson, who retired in 1972, said that while retired generals are “entirely within their rights under the First Amendment,” he was quite surprised to see so many speaking out against the Iraq war.

“They may sound off as they please, but I don’t approve of that,” said Richardson, 93, who served in World War II, Korea, and commanded an aircraft-carrier task force during the Vietnam War. He now lives in North Park and remains active in military circles.

“When we are at war, voices that may give aid and comfort to the enemy can cost American blood,” Richardson said. “I would not want what I said to in any way affect our troops’ morale and effectiveness.”

Gard, who retired from the military in 1981, displayed a stoicism typical of old soldiers when asked about his decision to publicly criticize the conduct of an ongoing war.

“I did some serious soul-searching,” Gard said simply.

A West Point graduate with a doctorate in politics and government from Harvard, Gard saw combat in Korea and Vietnam.

Gard’s introspection ultimately led him to conclude that patriotism means more than following orders and keeping complaints inside the military.

“When you feel the country – to its extreme detriment – is going in the wrong direction, and that your views might have some impact, you have a duty to speak out,” he said.

It may not have been that way during the Vietnam era, Gard added. “But times have changed.”

Mark Sauer: (619) 293-2227;
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Hillel Neuer

September 24, 2007 Leave a comment


Hillel Neuer

Human Rights Nightmare

Speech before UN Human Rights Council 4th Session
23 March 2007

Delivered by Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch

Mr. President,

Six decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, Eleanor Roosevelt, Réné Cassin and other eminent figures gathered here, on the banks of Lake Geneva, to reaffirm the principle of human dignity.  They created the Commission on Human Rights.  Today, we ask:  What has become of their noble dream?

In this session we see the answer.  Faced with compelling reports from around the world of torture, persecution, and violence against women, what has the Council pronounced, and what has it decided?

Nothing.  Its response has been silence.  Its response has been indifference.  Its response has been criminal.

One might say, in Harry Truman’s words, that this has become a Do-Nothing, Good-for-Nothing Council.

But that would be inaccurate.  This Council has, after all, done something.

It has enacted one resolution after another condemning one single state:  Israel.  In eight pronouncements—and there will be three more this session—Hamas and Hezbollah have been granted impunity.  The entire rest of the world—millions upon millions of victims, in 191 countries—continue to go ignored.

So yes, this Council is doing something.  And the Middle East dictators who orchestrate this campaign will tell you it is a very good thing. That they seek to protect human rights, Palestinian rights.

So too, the racist murderers and rapists of Darfur women tell us they care about the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet care about the occupied; and the butchers of Muslims in Chechnya care about Muslims.

But do these self-proclaimed defenders truly care about Palestinian rights?

Let us consider the past few months. More than 130 Palestinians were killed by Palestinian forces.  This is three times the combined total that were the pretext for calling special sessions against Israel in July and November.  Yet the champions of Palestinian rights—Ahmadinejad, Assad, Khaddafi, John Dugard—they say nothing.  Little 3-year-old boy Salam Balousha and his two brothers were murdered in their car by Prime Minister Haniyeh’s troops.  Why has this Council chosen silence?

Because Israel could not be blamed.  Because, in truth, the despots who run this Council couldn’t care less about Palestinians, or about any human rights.

They seek to demonize Israeli democracy, to delegitimize the Jewish state, to scapegoat the Jewish people.  They also seek something else:  To distort and pervert the very language and idea of human rights.

You ask:  What has become of the founders’ dream?  Of Eleanor Roosevelt, of Rene Casssin, of John Humphrey, P.C. Chang, Charles Malik, who assembled here in Geneva sixty years ago?  With terrible lies and moral inversion, it is being turned into a nightmare.

Thank you, Mr. President.


For the first time in this session I will not express thanks for that statement.  I shall point out to the distinguished representative of the organization that just spoke, the distinguished representative of United Nations Watch, if you’d kindly listen to me.  I am sorry that I’m not in a position to thank you for your statement.  I should mention that I will not tolerate any similar statements in the Council.  The way in which members of this Council were referred to, and indeed the way in which the council itself was referred to, all of this is inadmissible.  In the memory of the persons that you referred to, founders of the Human Rights Commission, and for the good of human rights, I would urge you in any future statements to observe some minimum proper conduct and language.  Otherwise, any statement you make in similar tones to those used today will be taken out of the records.

To see French, German, Spanish, and Italian translations of the above remarks, click here.

Support UN Watch

Copyright 2007, UN Watch
The Speech that the U.N. doesn’t want you to hear

Author: Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch
Source: YouTube
Date: September 22, 2007


This stunning speech, made at the U.N. in March was rejected as “inadmissible” by the U.N. Human Rights Council, and was subsequently removed from the official U.N. website. YouTube posted the speech, and since that time over 250,000 people have seen it. So should you.



The Speech that the U.N. doesn’t want you to hear



To hear this astounding speech click here.


# #



Note — The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

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Fight Crime: Shoot Back! by Edgar J. Steele

September 23, 2007 2 comments

Nickel Rant

Fight Crime: Shoot Back!

by Edgar J. Steele

September 23, 2007

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“Congress have no power to disarm the militia.
Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American …the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”

—Tench Coxe (Feb 20, 1788)

My name is Edgar J. Steele. This is a Nickel Rant.

If you have been allowed the privilege legally to own a gun, relish it. You may not possess it much longer. Notice that I made no mention of any “right” to gun ownership.

In fact, you may already have lost it and not know it. You may well risk being arrested and imprisoned at any moment on “illegal” weapons charges.

Do you honestly think that there is one single gun-owning American who is not at risk? There are over 20,000 illegal weapons laws on the books in America. For example, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor in which you could have served more than two years in jail under the maximum sentence, you cannot own a gun. Trespass on government land and lose your privilege to own a gun.

He seemed like such a nice man…

Read more…

The Missing 13th Amendment – “Titles of Nobility and Honor”

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment

The Missing 13th Amendment – “Titles of Nobility and Honor”Date 08/01/91
David Dodge, Researcher
Alfred Adask, Editor


I’m looking at this w/Netscape–if you’re seeing it w/Gill Bates’s browser and it doesn’t look right, please click on the url/link, above, to go to the original website.



Copied without any permission whatsoever
(I couldn’t find them, and this is TOO important!)

            TITLES OF NOBILITY” AND “HONOR”In the winter of 1983, archival research expert David Dodge, and former Baltimore police investigator Tom Dunn, were searching for evidence of government corruption in public records stored in the Belfast Library on the coast of Maine. By chance, they discovered the library’s oldest authentic copy of the Constitution of the United States (printed in 1825). Both men were stunned to see this document included a 13th Amendment that no longer appears on current copies of the Constitution. Moreover, after studying the Amendment’s language and historical context, they realized the principle intent of this “missing” 13th Amendment was to prohibit lawyers from serving in government.So began a seven year, nationwide search for the truth surrounding the most bizarre Constitutional puzzle in American history — the unlawful removal of a ratified Amendment from the Constitution of the United States. Since 1983, Dodge and Dunn have uncovered additional copies of the Constitution with the “missing” 13th Amendment printed in at least eighteen separate publications by ten different states and territories over four decades from 1822 to 1860.In June of this year, Dodge uncovered the evidence that this missing 13th Amendment had indeed been lawfully ratified by the state of Virginia and was therefore an authentic Amendment to the American Constitution. If the evidence is correct and no logical errors have been made, a 13th Amendment restricting lawyers from serving in government was ratified in 1819 and removed from our Constitution during the tumult of the Civil War.

Since the Amendment was never lawfully repealed, it is still the Law today. The implications are enormous.

The story of this “missing” Amendment is complex and at times confusing because the political issues and vocabulary of the American Revolution were different from our own. However, there are essentially two issues: What does the Amendment mean? and, Was the Amendment ratified? Before we consider the issue of ratification, we should first understand the Amendment’s meaning and consequent current relevance.

[02] – MEANING of the 13th Amendment

[ 2] MEANING of the 13th Amendment
[ 9] HONOR
[10] WHAT IF?
[16] Article XIII
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September 23, 2007 1 comment

September 19, 2006 Edition > Section: Editorials > Printer-Friendly Version

Arrest Ahmadinejad

New York Sun Staff Editorial
September 19, 2006






Hardliners in the war on Islamic extremist terrorism have long called for it to be treated as a war rather than a law-enforcement issue. Yet by allowing, in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of an Axis regime to come to New York and stay on Park Avenue at the Intercontinental Hotel The Barclay, President Bush is signaling that he’s less than serious in his approach to a regime he marked, at the outset of his presidency, as evil. Those who recognize the Iranian threat are left with the law-enforcement option. Police Commissioner Kelly, District Attorney Morgenthau, or any enterprising federal prosecutor or G-Man has a perfect opportunity at hand to seize Mr. Ahmadinejad and to hold him as a material witness or even as a suspect. Years ago the Jewish Forward newspaper made a similar argument in respect of the Hafez al-Assad of Syria. It didn’t happen, of course, and the Syrian occupation of Lebanon grew worse until the murder of Rafik Harari and the new outbreak of war.

An ample American legal record already holds the Iranian government responsible for terrorist attacks by Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. As our Josh Gerstein reported on April 3, dozens of rulings, many of them by a federal judge in Washington, Royce Lamberth, have found Iran civilly liable for murders; courts have made verdicts against Iran totaling about $6 billion. A December 2003 fact sheet from the Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives lists at least 52 Americans murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists since 1993. Many of the victims are New Yorkers, and Iranian funding and training figured in many of the attacks, according to American and Israeli government and non-government reports on terrorist organizations.

Mr. Bush himself said earlier this month, “The Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies have demonstrated their willingness to kill Americans.” The president said that Hezbollah, which Iran funds with hundreds of millions of dollars a year, is “directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans abroad. It was Hezbollah that was behind the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans. And Saudi Hezbollah was behind the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans, an attack conducted by terrorists who we believe were working with Iranian officials.”

In June of 2001, a federal grand jury in Virginia handed up an indictment for the Khobar Towers bombing that documented how the bombers were trained, directed, financed, and monitored by Iranian government officials. Mr. Bush has been articulating the importance of keeping terrorist leaders detained at Guantanamo so that they are not free to commit more attacks. Mr. Ahmadinejad has been quite clear about what he intends to do if he is allowed to return to Tehran. On August 2, he told the Jews, via the Iranian news channel IRINN translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, “They should know that they are nearing the last days of their lives.”

The August 31 “deadline” set by America and the United Nations for Iran to address its nuclear violations has come and gone. Mr. Bush’s partisan critics are still making hay from Osama Bin Laden’s escape at Tora Bora. In this instance, the terrorist leader won’t be hidden in the mountains of Afghanistan; he’ll be in open view at the Intercontinental Hotel in Midtown. America can let him escape back to Iran without bringing him to justice and signal to the world that the talk about a war on terrorism and an axis of evil is all mere talk. Or it can seize Mr. Ahmadinejad, find out what he knows about the murders of dozens of Americans, and demonstrate that those who murder Americans will be held accountable.

September 19, 2006 Edition > Section: Editorials > Printer-Friendly Version

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The Death of Freedom – Joe American

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment





Joe American
September 23, 2007

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.……corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, And the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” –Abraham Lincoln, November 21, 1864

The Fourth of July. Old Glory. The Constitution. Founding Fathers. Republic. Freedom.


Nice words, right?

What do they mean? More importantly, what do they mean to you?

Unless they mean something, to you, they are as meaningless as your life probably is.

Words, without meaning, are just hollow noise. You can repeat them as much as you like, say in the Pledge of Allegiance (to the Flag, of the United States of America…..), but you are no better than a bad actor tossing out line after line in a play no one wants to pay to see anymore.

What has happened to this country? How can things have deteriorated so fast?

You happened.

If you have read parts one and two of Article One in this series, you know your feelings are not my concern. I write these word with the express purpose of shaking you up, so you will open your eyes to the world around you, so you can start being a part of the bigger picture solution, instead of being the perennial problem the rest of us have to clean-up after.

Because those opening words above don’t have any deeper meaning to you, you are personally responsible for dragging this once great nation into first, a social collapse, soon to be followed by combined economic and military collapse.

Then, from chaos, Order will arise.

Those opening words, along with others of equally great importance, will then truly cease to have any meaning for all of us, for a very long time to come. All because you and others like you, were too damn busy doing nothing important, to help stop it from happening in the first place.

You have put beer, sports, socializing and careers ahead of everything else, because you do not think you have any obligation to protect the future from reverting to the past. Yet there is not one of you who have not heard the saying, “History repeats itself,” or perhaps this version of the same thought, “Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.”

Est ist sehr gut deine fater ist nich zu veile “lazy,” uber du wilst leisen meine scbreiben heir und da Deutche Wehrmacht wilst haben “won WWII.”

I don’t really speak German and my butchering of that language above should prove it, but I present that point, in that way above, to make this point:

If your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers had been as lazy then as you are now, this country would have lost World War Two and German Nazi’s would be running things and you would be reading this article in German, most likely printed on a hand-cranked printing press hidden away in some basement. Anyone caught with this type “subversive” information in their possession could expect to be shot on the spot.

But not to worry, your efforts are paying off. You are single handedly making sure that homegrown Nazi’s will be running this country soon. From chaos……Order.

Freedom is not free! It never has been.

It exists because there were brave people willing to pay the price, in blood if necessary, to secure it. Thomas Jefferson warned us early on that the “tree of Liberty will need to be watered with the blood of tyrants” from time to time. Of course he was presuming we would continue to care about that Liberty tree enough to water it at all.

To the point.

I am a politician. A reluctant one to be sure, but one none the less. I am risking not only my unimportant career by talking to you this way, I am risking my life as well. The folks running the show these days will humor an occasional elected individual who actually tries to make things better, at least for a while. But when someone who has actually won an elective office, at a State or local level, dares to speak-out, the vast machine goes to work.

First, you are approached by other State or local “leaders” who “talk to you.” The message they deliver is clear, “Don’t rock the boat” and you can keep playing the game and keep getting your perks and/or paycheck.

Next, if you really are a true believer in “Truth, Justice and the American way” and fail to curb your enthusiasm for applying those beliefs in you daily work effort, the media will “discover” you and take an “interest.” The more you speak out about what is really going on, the worse your image will be dragged through the mud by that media.

Finally, once you have been deemed “irredeemable,” the taxman “commeth” and you loose everything.

If that does not shut you up, well there is only one thing left to do and that is clean up the mess after your car’s breaks “fail” or write the media press release about the tragedy of the out-spoken elected official who was killed by a “mugger” or who “for some unknown reason” committed suicide.

I tell you there are games within games, in all levels of government in this country today. The most important game at work is the one meant to keep you distracted from what your government is doing, day-in, day-out, to strip you of what few Rights and Freedoms are left with any real meaning.

I don’t care where you live, you are seeing more and more government intrusion into your personal and professional lives. If you can be convinced you need it, then you are easy prey for these predatory efforts to rob you of your birthright.

Land use planning, business licensing, tax collection and reporting, gun control, “hate crime laws,” and on and on and on.

Don’t you get it?! In just those few words I listed in that last sentence above, you’ve lost your Right to own real property, make a living, protect yourself from criminals (both in and out of government), and your freedom of speech. Furthermore, your churches are so completely compromised by the IRS, they will not dare risk their tax exempt status to speak out. So much for religious freedom.

Television, sports, taxes, 24/7 news programming, talk radio, the internet, and yes, even politics, has all been used to keep you from paying attention to the “man behind the curtain.” Most of you don’t even know any of this is happening, right? It is happening, but instead of even considering the possibility of believing me, you are probably thinking I’m a nut. I’m not (see Part One).

The political interests who want to relieve you of your Rights and Freedom are playing for keeps.

The Game they are playing is the Game of Political Power.

They want it. All of it.

You had it, before you gave it away. If you want it back, you’ll now have to fight for it.

That will take real character and that also means you’ll need to reacquaint yourself with the concept of personal courage. It will take a certain amount of that courage for you to even accept what I’m telling you is real. With everything I write, I encourage you to check-out what I tell you is true. My job is to lay out the facts, as best I can, to give you a logical path to explore. I can’t give you courage or build your character. That is a personal job only you can do. I can only help, once you’ve decided to act on your own.

A free person is a terrible threat to those power interests who hate freedom. They can not compete with the concept of freedom. They can only try to crush it in the hope of erasing the very concept from the minds of those they seek to rule.

There will be no easy victory for freedom in this struggle. It is too late for that.

The first battle you have to fight is for your own mind. You have to be willing to “look behind the curtain” and truly see what is going on. Some of you will like what you see and that will be that. Good-bye.

For those of you who don’t like what you see, you will have to sort through your personal distraction addictions and wean yourself from them one-by-one. Television, radio, the internet, newspapers, pleasure books, are a few of the distractions you have used to numb yourself into the sorry state you are in today.

But they can also be used as tools to reclaim your life, by using them differently, to seek out important information that will broaden you mind and make it stronger, less subject to easy plunder by those who wish you no good. You can free yourself, easily, by simply questioning what you see and hear until you understand the world around you, through your own personal epiphany.

You can start easy enough. Here’s how: Go to a used book store and buy an old dictionary, printed before the 1913 if you can find one, but get one printed before 1950 in any case. Then, get a brand new, modern dictionary and compare these words:

1) Alod, Allodium, Alodial, Allodial.
2) Fee, Fee Simple
3) Feud, Feudal

What you will find is that these words are either missing from the newer dictionaries or their definitions will have changed. If the meanings of words are subjective (subject to change), then so are your Rights.

I used these 3 word examples because they are important and will serve as an illustrative case-in-point lesson. The American Revolution was fought, in part, over the right to own property in allodium, instead of in fee.

A feudal title means that land is held in service to the benefit of the overlord. The person living on that land is a serf, a servant, a slave. The overlord owns it (and you) under Feudal Law.

Under English Common Law, feudal titles were slightly changed to create a fee simple title which means your heirs can inherit the “right” to be serfs on the land, but they also inherit your tax debts to the government. A fee title is a feudal title ‘lite,” for you beer drinkers.

Land held in fee, is land held in service to an overlord, subject to their taxes and other whims. It is not yours and can never be yours. You just get to do all the work.

Land held in allodium, is free from an overlord, meaning it is free from taxation. It is yours. You are a sovereign on that land.

The difference between an allodial title and a fee title are the very differences between being a free person or being a serf on the land. The type of land title available to our forefathers was a primary reason they revolted against Great Britain and King George III.

Unless you were the King, a British land title in the Colonies of 1776 was a fee title. After the American Revolution, land titles in the new Republic were in allodium. (They lasted until 1913, but that is the subject for a future Article).

People, the information we all need to be free is out there, at least for now, just waiting to be picked-up and used. But as alluded to earlier regarding new dictionary’s, that is changing rapidly. In addition to eliminating or changing the meanings of our words, public libraries around the country are starting to close. In some areas, “certain books” are being removed from collections. It is happening quietly, but it is happening.

My final point for this Article cannot be made without also placing the final nail in my political careers’ coffin.

Government, at every level in this country and in truth, throughout the world, has become an all consuming machine. It cannot be satiated. It has a hunger for tax money that will, in the end, eat everything, including you, if you don’t stop feeding it, at every level.

From school districts, to fire districts, to villages, towns, cities, counties, states and countries, the emotional cry will go out begging you to “save the children” or some other heart wrenching “cause” in the hope of convincing you to feed the machine. The only hope for a renewed environment where freedom can prosper again, is for you and everyone else to stop feeding the monster your tax money.

Whether you earn Euros’, Yen, Dollars, Pesos or Rubles, to the greatest extent that you possibly can, stop paying all taxes if you can avoid them. Don’t do the things that incur the obligation to pay taxes in the first place. In the United States, it is not a violation of the tax laws to avoid an obligation, but it is an crime to evade an obligation.

If you have the opportunity to vote on a revenue measure, vote no. Don’t get caught up in the arguments “for” or “against” it. They don’t matter, they are part of the greater distraction.

Just vote no whenever and wherever you can.

I know this plan of action sounds like a plan for anarchy, but remember, we are very late in a very real political game that is being played by powerful forces intent on permanently eliminating your remaining freedoms. You don’t have many options at your disposal, short of open rebellion, to slow down these nefarious efforts and eventually rally others to this cause.

The enemies of freedom live on your tax money.

Starve them.

Starve them into retreat or feed them on to victory (over you).

The choice is yours.


One more exercise before we part, for now:

Read about the real reason we celebrate The Fourth of July.

Read about the creation of the Stars and Stripes and find out why it is called “Old Glory.”

Read the Constitution, again.

Read about our Founding Fathers and find out why they fought a bloody war with a tyrannical government, pledging to each other “their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.”

Discover the difference between a “democracy” and a Republic and then find out why our Founders despised the very idea of “democracy.”

Do these things and you will understand the reasons you should cherish your Freedom.

Only then can you even begin to understand the concept of Americanism.

Americanism is the life philosophy of Freedom. For part one click below.

Click here for part —–> 1,


© 2007 J.O.E. American Foundation – All Rights Reserved

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These series of articles by J.O.E. American are written by a current elected official in a fairly high position. Person’s name and state in which this person is currently serving is withheld for fear of retribution. Joe American was honorably discharged from the US armed forces, and served as a law enforcement officer.

Anyone wishing to send Joe American a letter may send it to the following address, and if possible, we will try to forward those letters.
c/o JOE American
P. O. Box 370
Merlin, OR. 97532



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Marines In Search of A Mission

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Return to the Article

Marines In Search of A Mission

By George Will
QUANTICO, Va. — Here at “the crossroads of the Marine Corps,” some officers are uneasily pondering a paradox: No service was better prepared than the Marines for the challenges of post-invasion Iraq, yet no service has found its mission there more unsettling to its sense of itself.

When asked in 1997 to describe the kind of conflict for which Marines were training, Gen. Charles Krulak, then the Corps’ commandant, replied with one word: “Chechnya.” He meant ethnic and sectarian conflict in an urban context. He spoke of “the three-block war” in which a Marine wraps a child in a blanket, then is a buffer between warring factions, then engages in combat, all within three city blocks.

For Marines, however, fighting such a war for more than four years jeopardizes the skills essential to their core mission — combat as an expeditionary force. Marines have not conducted a major amphibious landing since Inchon in Korea, but the Corps, which specializes in operational maneuver from the sea, remains, in theory, a force that penetrates, performs, then departs. Marines say: The nation needs the Army, Navy and Air Force, but it wants the Marine Corps as an expeditionary power, more than just a miniaturized Army.

Marines have an institutional memory of “small wars,” from the Philippines to Central America, and this competence serves them well in Iraq, which is, an officer here says, “a thousand microcosms.” But the exigencies of the protracted Iraq commitment have forced the Marines to adopt vehicles that are heavier and bigger than can easily travel with an expeditionary force on ships. And there is tension between the “nation-building” dimension of the Marines’ Iraq mission and the Corps’ distinctive warrior esprit, which is integral to why the nation wants the Corps.

Officers studying here at the Marine Corps University after tours in Iraq dutifully say they understand that they serve their combat mission — destroying the enemy — when they increase the host nation’s capacity for governance. Besides, says one officer, when his units are helping with garbage collection, they know that “garbage collection is a matter of life and death because there are IEDs [improvised explosive devices] hidden under that garbage.”

Still, no one becomes a Marine to collect garbage or otherwise nurture civil societies. And as one officer here notes with some asperity, there is “no Goldwater-Nichols Act for the rest of the government.” That act required “jointness” — collaborative operations — by the services. Civilian agencies that do not play well together have fumbled the ball in Iraq, and the military has been forced to pick it up. This draws the military deeper into the sensitive responsibility for tutoring civilians who assign the forces nonmilitary tasks.

The political dimension of leadership training remains, however, secondary to instruction in military valor. The other services tend to teach leadership prescriptively, with rules. The Marines teach descriptively, with storytelling about what happened on the sea wall at Tarawa (1943), at Korea’s Chosin Reservoir (1950), in Vietnam’s Hue city (1968). But there is another story pertinent to providing military advice that can ensure civilian comprehension of military functions.

Early in the Kennedy administration, when there was talk about a U.S. invasion of Cuba, Gen. David M. Shoup, Marine commandant, gave President John Kennedy and his advisers a tutorial. David Halberstam wrote in “The Best and the Brightest”:

“First he took an overlay of Cuba and placed it over the map of the United States. To everybody’s surprise, Cuba was not a small island along the lines of, say, Long Island at best. It was about 800 miles long and seemed to stretch from New York to Chicago. Then he took another overlay, with a red dot, and placed it over the map of Cuba. ‘What’s that?’ someone asked him. ‘That, gentlemen, represents the size of the island of Tarawa,’ said Shoup, who had won a Medal of Honor there, ‘and it took us three days and 18,000 Marines to take it.’ “

Because of the dispersed battlefield in Iraq, company commanders must make instantaneous decisions that battalion commanders used to make, and corporals are making decisions that officers used to make reflecting — and affecting — the Marine Corps’ ethics and core values.

Still, “it’s a beautiful thing being in Iraq,” says one officer, “because you aren’t worrying about Corporal Jones stateside getting a DUI.” That is the durable voice of the Marine Corps, which is “first to fight,” and is happier when doing so than when dealing with garrison duties stateside or chores properly belonging to civilian agencies abroad.

(c) 2007, Washington Post Writers Group

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The Right To Be Left Alone…

September 22, 2007 15 comments

The Right To Be Left Alone…




It is largely forgotten that the war for American independence was initiated in large part by the British Crown‘s practice of using troops to police civilians in Boston and other cities.244 Professional soldiers used in the same ways as modern police were among the primary grievances enunciated by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. (“[George III] has kept among us standing armies”; “He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power”; “protecting them, by a mock trial….”).245 The duties of such troops were in no way military but involved the keeping of order and the suppression of crime (especially customs and tax violations).

Constitutional arguments quite similar to the thesis of this article were made by America‘s Founders while fomenting the overthrow of their government. Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that although Parliament was supreme in its jurisdiction to make laws, “his majesty has no right to land a single armed man on our shores” to enforce unpopular laws.246 James Warren said that the troops in Boston were there on an unconstitutional mission because their role was not military but rather to enforce “obedience to Acts which, upon fair examination, appeared to be unjust and unconstitutional.”247 Colonial pamphleteer Nicholas Ray charged that Americans did not have “an Enemy worth Notice within 3000 Miles of them.”248 “[T]he troops of George the III have cross’d the wide atlantick, not to engage an enemy,” charged John Hancock, but to assist constitutional traitors “in trampling on the rights and liberties of [the King's] most loyal subjects …”249

The use of soldiers to enforce law had a long and sullied history in England and by the mid-1700s were considered a violation of the fundamental rights of Englishmen.250 The Crown’s response to London’s Gordon Riots of 1780 — roughly contemporary to the cultural backdrop of America’s Revolution — brought on an immense popular backlash at the use of guards to maintain public order.251 “[D]eep, uncompromising opposition to the maintenance of a semimilitary professional force in civilian life” remained integral to Anglo-Saxon legal culture for another half century.252

Englishmen of the Founding era, both in England and its colonies, regarded professional police as an “alien, continental device for maintaining a tyrannical form of Government.”253 Professor John Phillip Reid has pointed out that few of the rights of Englishmen “were better known to the general public than the right to be free of standing armies.”254 “Standing armies,” according to one New Hampshire correspondent, “have ever proved destructive to the Liberties of a People, and where they are suffered, neither Life nor Property are secure.”255

If pressed, modern police defenders would have difficulty demonstrating a single material difference between the standing armies the Founders saw as so abhorrent and America’s modern police forces. Indeed, even the distinctions between modern police and actual military troops have blurred in the wake of America’s modern crime war.256 Ninety percent of American cities now have active special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams, using such commando-style forces to do “high risk warrant work” and even routine police duties.257 Such units are often instructed by active and retired United States military personnel.258

In Fresno, California, a SWAT unit equipped with battering rams, chemical agents, fully automatic submachine guns, and ‘flashbang’ grenades roams full-time on routine patrol.259 According to criminologist Peter Kraska, such military policing has never been seen on such a scale in American history, “where SWAT teams routinely break through a door, subdue all the occupants, and search the premises for drugs, cash and weapons.”260 In high-crime or problem areas, police paramilitary units may militarily engage an entire neighborhood, stopping “anything that moves” or surrounding suspicious homes with machine guns openly displayed.261

Much of the importance of the standing-army debates at the ratification Read more…

Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution

September 21, 2007 3 comments

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Excerpts from:

By Bruce E. Johansen

Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution

All of the Introduction and Afterword, as well as excerpts from Chapters 1 through 6, are included here for people interested in this subject but not feeling they have the time to read the entire book.


It is now time for a destructive order to be reversed, and it is well to inform other races that the aboriginal cultures of North America were not devoid of beauty. Futhermore, in denying the Indian his ancestral rights and heritages the white race is but robbing itself. America can be revived, rejuvenated, by recognizing a Native School of thought.

Chief Luther Standing Bear
Lakota (Sioux)
Land of the Spotted Eagle

The seeds for this book were sown in my mind during a late-summer day in 1975, by a young American Indian whose name I’ve long since forgotten. As a reporter for the Seattle Times, I had been researching a series of articles on Washington State Indian tribes. The research took me to Evergreen State College in Olympia, where a young woman, an undergraduate in the American Indian studies program, told me in passing that the Iroquois had played a key role in the evolution of American democracy.

The idea at first struck me as disingenuous. I considered myself decently educated in American history, and to the best of my knowledge, government for and by the people had been invented by white men in powdered wigs. I asked the young woman where she had come by her information.

“My grandmother told me,” she said. That was hardly the kind of source one could use for a newspaper story. I asked whether she knew of any other sources. “You’re the investigative reporter,” she said. “You find them.”

Back at the city desk, treed cats and petty crime were much more newsworthy than two-centuries-past revels in the woods the width of a continent away. For a time I forgot the meeting at Evergreen, but never completely. The woman’s challenge stayed with me through another year at the Times, the writing of a book on American Indians, and most of a Ph.D. program at the University of Washington. I collected tantalizing shreds — a piece of a quotation from Benjamin Franklin here, an allegation there. Individually, these meant little. Together, however, they began to assume the outline of a plausible argument that the Iroquois had indeed played a key role in the ideological birth of the United States, especially through Franklin’s advocacy of federal union.

Late in 1978, the time came to venture the topic for my Ph.D. dissertation in history and communications. I proposed an investigation of the role that Iroquois political and social thought had played in the thinking of Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Members of my supervisory committee were not enthusiastic. Doubtless out of concern for my academic safety, I was advised to test my water wings a little closer to the dock of established knowledge. The professors, however, did not deny my request. Rather, I was invited to flail as far out as I might before returning to the dock, colder, wetter, and presumably wiser.

I plunged in, reading the published and unpublished papers of Franklin and Jefferson, along with all manner of revolutionary history, Iroquois ethnology, and whatever else came my way. Wandering through a maze of footnotes, I early on found an article by Felix Cohen, published in 1952. Cohen, probably the most outstanding scholar of American Indian law of his or any other age, argued the thesis I was investigating in the American Scholar. Like the Indian student I had encountered more than three years earlier, he seemed to be laying down the gauntlet — providing a few enticing leads (summarized here in chapter one), with no footnotes or any other documentation.

After several months of research, I found two dozen scholars who had raised the question since 1851, usually in the context of studies with other objectives. Many of them urged further study of the American Indians’ (especially the Iroquois’) contribution to the nation’s formative ideology, particularly the ideas of federal union, public opinion in governance, political liberty, and the government’s role in guaranteeing citizens’ well-being — “happiness,” in the eighteenth-century sense.

The most recent of these suggestions came through Donald Grinde, whose The Iroquois and the Founding of the American Nation (1979) reached me in the midst of my research. Grinde summarized much of what had been written to date, reserving special attention for Franklin, and then wrote that “more needs to be done, especially if America continues to view itself as a distinct entity set apart from many of the values of Western civilization.” He also suggested that such a study could help dissolve negative stereotypes that many Euro-Americans still harbor toward American Indians’ mental abilities and heritage.

By this time, I was past worrying whether I had a story to tell. The question was how to tell it: how to engage readers (the first of whom would be my skeptical professors) with history from a new angle; how to overcome the sense of implausibility that I had felt when the idea of American Indian contributions to the national revolutionary heritage was first presented to me.

Immersion in the records of the time had surprised me. I had not realized how tightly Franklin’s experience with the Iroquois had been woven into his development of revolutionary theory and his advocacy of federal union. To understand how all this had come to be, I had to remove myself as much as possible from the assumptions of the twentieth century, to try to visualize America as Franklin knew it.

I would need to describe the Iroquois he knew, not celluloid caricatures concocted from bogus history, but well-organized polities governed by a system that one contemporary of Franklin’s, Cadwallader Colden, wrote had “outdone the Romans.” Colden was writing of a social and political system so old that the immigrant Europeans knew nothing of its origins — a federal union of five (and later six) Indian nations that had put into practice concepts of popular participation and natural rights that the European savants had thus far only theorized. The Iroquoian system, expressed through its constitution, “The Great Law of Peace,” rested on assumptions foreign to the monarchies of Europe: it regarded leaders as servants of the people, rather than their masters, and made provisions for the leaders’ impeachment for errant behavior. The Iroquois’ law and custom upheld freedom of expression in political and religious matters, and it forbade the unauthorized entry of homes. It provided for political participation by women and the relatively equitable distribution of wealth. These distinctly democratic tendencies sound familiar in light of subsequent American political history — yet few people today (other than American Indians and students of their heritage) know that a republic existed on our soil before anyone here had ever heard of John Locke, or Cato, the Magna Charta, Rousseau, Franklin, or Jefferson.

To describe the Iroquoian system would not be enough, however. I would have to show how the unique geopolitical context of the mid-eighteenth century brought together Iroquois and Colonial leaders — the dean of whom was Franklin — in an atmosphere favoring the communication of political and social ideas: how, in essence, the American frontier became a laboratory for democracy precisely at a time when Colonial leaders were searching for alternatives to what they regarded as European tyranny and class stratification.

Once assembled, the pieces of this historical puzzle assumed an amazingly fine fit. The Iroquois, the premier Indian military power in eastern North America, occupied a pivotal geographical position between the rival French of the St. Lawrence Valley and the English of the Eastern Seaboard. Barely a million Anglo-Americans lived in communities scattered along the East Coast, islands in a sea of American Indian peoples that stretched far inland, as far as anyone who spoke English then knew, into the boundless mountains and forests of a continent much larger than Europe. The days when Euro-Americans could not have survived in America without Indian help had passed, but the new Americans still were learning to wear Indian clothing, eat Indian corn and potatoes, and follow Indian trails and watercourses, using Indian snowshoes and canoes. Indians and Europeans were more often at peace than at war — a fact missed by telescoped history that focuses on conflict.

At times, Indian peace was as important to the history of the continent as Indian war, and the mid-eighteenth century was such a time. Out of English efforts at alliance with the Iroquois came a need for treaty councils, which brought together leaders of both cultures. And from the earliest days of his professional life, Franklin was drawn to the diplomatic and ideological interchange of these councils — first as a printer of their proceedings, then as a Colonial envoy, the beginning of one of the most distinguished diplomatic careers in American history. Out of these councils grew an early campaign by Franklin for Colonial union on a federal model, very similar to the Iroquois system.

Contact with Indians and their ways of ordering life left a definite imprint on Franklin and others who were seeking, during the prerevolutionary period, alternatives to a European order against which revolution would be made. To Jefferson, as well as Franklin, the Indians had what the colonists wanted: societies free of oppression and class stratification. The Iroquois and other Indian nations fired the imaginations of the revolution’s architects. As Henry Steele Commager has written, America acted the Enlightenment as European radicals dreamed it. Extensive, intimate contact with Indian nations was a major reason for this difference.

This book has two major purposes. First, it seeks to weave a few new threads into the tapestry of American revolutionary history, to begin the telling of a larger story that has lain largely forgotten, scattered around dusty archives, for more than two centuries. By arguing that American Indians (principally the Iroquois) played a major role in shaping the ideas of Franklin (and thus, the American Revolution) I do not mean to demean or denigrate European influences. I mean not to subtract from the existing record, but to add an indigenous aspect, to show how America has been a creation of all its peoples.

In the telling, this story also seeks to demolish what remains of stereotypical assumptions that American Indians were somehow too simpleminded to engage in effective social and political organization. No one may doubt any longer that there has been more to history, much more, than the simple opposition of “savagery” and “civilization.” History’s popular writers have served us with many kinds of savages, noble and vicious, “good Indians” and “bad Indians,” nearly always as beings too preoccupied with the essentials of the hunt to engage in philosophy and statecraft.

This was simply not the case. Franklin and his fellow founders knew differently. They learned from American Indians, by assimilating into their vision of the future, aspects of American Indian wisdom and beauty. Our task is to relearn history as they experienced it, in all its richness and complexity, and thereby to arrive at a more complete understanding of what we were, what we are, and what we may become.

– Bruce E. Johansen
Seattle, Washington
July 1981

From CHAPTER ONE A Composite Culture:

. . . Unlike the physical aspects of this amalgam, the intellectual contributions of American Indians to Euro-American culture have only lightly, and for the most part recently, been studied by a few historians, anthropologists, scholars of law, and others. Where physical artifacts may be traced more or less directly, the communication of ideas may, most often, only be inferred from those islands of knowledge remaining in written records. These written records are almost exclusively of Euro-American origin, and often leave blind spots that may be partly filled only by records based on Indian oral history.

Paul Bohanan, writing in the introduction of Beyond the Frontier (1967), which he coedited with Fred Plog, stressed the need to “tear away the veils of ethnocentricism,” which he asserted have often kept scholars from seeing that peoples whom they had relegated to the category of “primitive” possessed “institutions as complex and histories as full as our own.” A. Irving Hallowell, to make a similar point, quoted Bernard de Voto:

Most American history has been written as if history were a function soley of white culture — in spite of the fact that well into the nineteenth century the Indians were one of the principal determinants of historical events. Those of us who work in frontier history are repeatedly nonplussed to discover how little has been done for us in regard to the one force bearing on our field that was active everywhere. . . . American historians have made shockingly little effort to understand the life, the societies, the cultures, the thinking and the feeling of the Indians, and disastrously little effort to understand how all these affected white men and their societies. [1]

To De Voto’s assertion, Hallowell added: “Since most history has been written by the conquerers, the influence of the primitive people upon American civilization has seldom been the subject of dispassionate consideration.”

Felix Cohen, author of the Handbook of Indian Law, the basic reference book of his field, also advised a similar course of study and a similar break with prevailing ethnocentricism. Writing in the American Scholar (1952), Cohen said:

When the Roman legions conquered Greece, Roman historians wrote with as little imagination as did the European historians who have written of the white man’s conquest of America. What the Roman historians did not see was that captive Greece would take captive conquering Rome and that Greek science, Greek philosophy and a Greek book, known as Septaugint, translated into the Latin tongue, would guide the civilized world and bring the tramp of pilgrim feet to Rome a thousand years after the last Roman regiment was destroyed.

American historians, wrote Cohen, had too often paid attention to military victories and changing land boundaries, while failing to “see that in agriculture, in government, in sport, in education and in our views of nature and our fellow men, it is the first Americans who have taken captive their battlefield conquerers.” American historians “have seen America only as an imitation of Europe,” Cohen asserted. In his view, “The real epic of America is the yet unfinished story of the Americanization of the white man.”

Cohen’s broad indictment does not include all scholars, nor all historians. The question of American Indian influence on the intellectual traditions of Euro-American culture has been raised, especially during the last thirty years. These questions, however, have not yet been examined in the depth that the complexity of Indian contributions warrant.

To raise such questions is not to ignore, nor to negate, the profound influence of Europe on American intellectual development. It is, rather, to add a few new brush strokes to an as yet unfinished portrait. It is to explore the intellectual trade between cultures that has made America unique, built from contributions not only by Europeans and American Indians, but also by almost every other major cultural and ethnic group that has taken up residence in the Americas.

What follows is only a first step, tracing the way in which Benjamin Franklin and some of his contemporaries, including Thomas Jefferson, absorbed American Indian political and social ideas, and how some of these ideas were combined with the cultural heritage they had brought from Europe into a rationale for revolution in a new land. There is a case to be made in that American Indian thought helped make that possible. [2]


A. Irving Hallowell, “The Backwash of the Frontier: The Impact of the Indian on American Culture,” in Walker D. Wyman and Clifton B. Kroeber, eds., The Frontier in Perspective (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957), p. 230.


Henry Steele Commager discusses this theme in The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977).

From CHAPTER TWO The Pre-Columbian Republic:

. . . At whatever date the confederacy was formed, it came at the end of several generations of bloody and divisive warfare between the five nations that joined the league. According to the Iroquois’ traditional account, the idea of a federal union was introduced through Deganwidah, a Huron who lived in what is now eastern Ontario. Deganwidah was unsuited himself to propose the idea not only because of his non-Iroquoian ancestry, but also because he stuttered so badly that he could scarcely talk. He would have had the utmost difficulty in presenting his idea to societies where oratory was prized. And writing, aside from the pictographs of the wampum belts, was not used.

Deganwidah, wandering from tribe to tribe trying to figure ways to realize his dream of ending war among them all, met Hiawatha, who agreed to speak for him. Hiawatha (a man far removed from Longfellow’s poetic creation) undertook long negotiations with leaders of the warring Indian nations and, in the end, produced a peace along the lines of Deganwidah’s vision.

This peace was procured, and maintained, through the constitution of the league, the Great Law of Peace (untranslated: Kaianerekowa). The story of the Great Law’s creation is no less rich in history and allegory than the stories of cultural origin handed down by European peoples, and is only briefly summarized here. . . .

The text of the Great Law begins with the planting of the Tree of the Great Peace; the great white pine — from its roots to its spreading branches — serves throughout the document as a metaphor for the unity of the league. The tree, and the principal council fire of the confederacy, were located on land of the Onondaga Nation, at the center of the confederacy, the present site of Syracuse, New York.

From the Tree of the Great Peace

Roots have spread out . . . one to the north, one to the west, one to the east and one to the south. These are the Great White Roots and their nature is peace and strength. If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall obey the laws of the Great Peace and shall make this known to the statesmen of the League, they may trace back the roots to the tree. If their minds are clean and they are obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Council of the League, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves.

This opening provision complements the adoption laws of the confederacy, which contained no bars on the basis of race or national origin. Nor did the Great Law prohibit dual citizenship; several influential Anglo-Americans, emissaries from the Colonial governments, including William Johnson and Conrad Weiser, were given full citizenship in the confederacy. Both men took part in the deliberations of the Grand Council at Onondaga. . . .

During the 1730s and 1740s, the British Crown decided that if it was to stem the French advance down the western side of the Appalachians, alliance with the Iroquois was imperative. The French advance south from the Saint Lawrence Valley and north from Louisiana threatened to hem the English between the mountains and the Atlantic. And so the peace belt went out in a diplomatic offensive that would end in France’s defeat two decades later.

To win the Iroquois, the British envoys had to deal with the Iroquois on their own terms, as distasteful as this may have been to some of the more effete diplomats. They would find themselves sitting cross-legged around council fires many miles from the coastal cities, which Indian sachems refused to visit except on the most compelling business, fearing disease and the temptations of alcohol, as well as possible attacks by settlers along the way.

In order to cement the alliance, the British sent Colonial envoys who usually reported directly to the various provincial governors, one of whom was Benjamin Franklin, to the frontier and beyond. This decision helped win North America for the British — but only for a time. In the end, it still cost them the continent, or at least the better part of it. The Colonial delegates passed more than wampum over the council fires of the treaty summits. They also came home with an appetite for something that many proper colonials, and most proper British subjects, found little short of heresy. They returned with a taste for natural rights — life, liberty, and happiness — that they saw operating on the other side of the frontier. These observations would help mold the political life of the colonies, and much of the world, in the years to come.

From CHAPTER THREE “Our Indians Have Outdone the Romans”:

. . . The diplomatic approach to the Iroquois came at a time when the transplanted Europeans were first beginning to sense that they were something other than Europeans, or British subjects. Several generations had been born in the new land. The English were becoming, by stages, “Americans” — a word that had been reserved for Indians. From the days when the Puritans came to build their city on a hill there had been some feeling of distinction, but for a century most of the colonists had been escapees from Europe, or temporary residents hoping to extract a fortune from the new land and return, rich gentlemen all, to the homeland. After a century of settlement, however, that was changing.

From the days of Squanto’s welcome and the first turkey dinner, the Indians had been contributing to what was becoming a new amalgam of cultures. In ways so subtle that they were often ignored, the Indians left their imprint on the colonists’ eating habits, the paths they followed, the way they clothed themselves, and the way they thought. The Indians knew how to live in America, and the colonists, from the first settlers onward, had to learn.

When the British decided to send some of the colonies’ most influential citizens to seek alliance with the Iroquois, the treaty councils that resulted provided more than an opportunity for diplomacy. They enabled the leading citizens of both cultures to meet and mingle on common and congenial ground, and thus to learn from each other. The pervasiveness and influence of these contacts has largely been lost in a history that, much like journalism, telescopes time into a series of conflicts — conquistadorial signposts on the way west. . . .

The first systematic English-language account of the Iroquois’ social and political system was published in 1727, and augmented in 1747, by Cadwallader Colden, who, in the words of Robert Waite, was regarded as “the best-informed man in the New World on the affairs of the British-American colonies.” A son of Reverend Alexander Colden, a Scottish minister, Colden was born February 17, 1688, in Ireland. He arrived in America at age twenty-two, five years after he was graduated from the University of Edinburgh. Shortly after his arrival in America, Colden began more than a half century of service in various offices of New York Colonial government. His official career culminated in 1761 with an appointment as lieutenant governor of the colony. In addition to political duties, Colden carried on extensive research in natural science. He also became close to the Iroquois, and was adopted by the Mohawks.

In a preface to his History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New York in America, Colden wrote that his account was the first of its kind in English:

Though every one that is in the least acquainted with the affairs of North-America, knows of what consequence the Indians, commonly known to the people of New-York by the name of the Five Nations, are both in Peace and War, I know of no accounts of them published in English, but what are meer [sic] Translations of French authors.

Colden found the Iroquois to be “barbarians” because of their reputed tortures of captives, but he also saw a “bright and noble genius” in these Indians’ “love of their country,” which he compared to that of “the greatest Roman Hero’s.” “When Life and Liberty came in competition, indeed, I think our Indians have outdone the Romans in this particular. . . . The Five Nations consisted of men whose Courage and Resolution could not be shaken.” Colden was skeptical that contact with Euro-Americans could improve the Iroquois: “Alas! we have reason to be ashamed that these Infidels, by our Conversation and Neighborhood, have become worse than they were before they knew us. Instead of Vertues, we have only taught them Vices, that they were entirely free of before that time. The narrow Views of private interest have occasioned this.” . . .

The original form of government, Colden believed, was similar to the Iroquois’ system, which he described in some detail. This federal union, which Colden said “has continued so long that the Christians know nothing of the original of it,” used public opinion extensively:

Each nation is an absolute Republick by itself, govern’d in all Publick affairs of War and Peace by the Sachems of Old Men, whose Authority and Power is gained by and consists wholly in the opinions of the rest of the Nation in their Wisdom and Integrity. They never execute their Resolutions by Compulsion or Force Upon any of their People. Honour and Esteem are their principal Rewards, as Shame and being Despised are their Punishments.

The Iroquois’ military leaders, like the civilian sachems, “obtain their authority . . . by the General Opinion of their Courage and Conduct, and lose it by a Failure in those Vertues,” Colden wrote. He also observed that Iroquois leaders were generally regarded as servants of their people, unlike European kings, queens, and other members of a distinct hierarchy. It was customary, Colden observed, for Iroquois sachems to abstain from material things while serving their people, in so far as was possible:

Their Great Men, both Sachems [civil chiefs] and captains [war chiefs] are generally poorer than the common people, for they affect to give away and distribute all the Presents or Plunder they get in their Treaties or War, so as to leave nothing for themselves. If they should be once suspected of selfishness, they would grow mean in the opinion of their Country-men, and would consequently lose their authority. . . .

The Iroquois’ extension of liberty and political participation to women surprised some eighteenth-century Euro-American observers. An unsigned contemporary manuscript in the New York State Library reported that when Iroquois men returned from hunting, they turned everything they had caught over to the women. “Indeed, every possession of the man except his horse & his rifle belong to the woman after marriage; she takes care of their Money and Gives it to her husband as she thinks his necessities require it,” the unnamed observer wrote. The writer sought to refute assumptions that Iroquois women were “slaves of their husbands.” “The truth is that Women are treated in a much more respectful manner than in England & that they possess a very superior power; this is to be attributed in a very great measure to their system of Education.” The women, in addition to their political power and control of allocation from the communal stores, acted as communicators of culture between generations. It was they who educated the young.

Another matter that surprised many contemporary observers was the Iroquois’ sophisticated use of oratory. Their excellence with the spoken word, among other attributes, often caused Colden and others to compare the Iroquois to the Romans and Greeks. The French use of the term Iroquois to describe the confederacy was itself related to this oral tradition; it came from the practice of ending their orations with the two words hiro and kone. The first meant “I say” or “I have said” and the second was an exclamation of joy or sorrow according to the circumstances of the speech. The two words, joined and made subject to French pronunciation, became Iroquois. The English were often exposed to the Iroquois’ oratorical skills at eighteenth-century treaty councils.

Wynn R. Reynolds in 1957 examined 258 speeches by Iroquois at treaty councils between 1678 and 1776 and found that the speakers resembled the ancient Greeks in their primary emphasis on ethical proof. Reynolds suggested that the rich oratorical tradition may have been further strengthened by the exposure of children at an early age to a life in which oratory was prized and often heard.

More than curiosity about an exotic culture that was believed to be a window on a lost European past, drew Euro-Americans to the Iroquois. There were more immediate and practical concerns, such as the Iroquois’ commanding military strength, their role in the fur trade, their diplomatic influence among other Indians and the Six Nations’ geographical position astride the only relatively level pass between the mountains that otherwise separated British and French settlement in North America. . . .

One way that the English acted to maintain their alliance with the Iroquois, noted previously, was trade. The giving of gifts, an Indian custom, was soon turned by the English to their own ends. Gift giving was used by the English to introduce to Indians, and to invite their dependence on, the produce of England’s embryonic industrial revolution. The English found it rather easy to outdo the French, whose industries were more rudimentary at the time, in gift giving. The Iroquois — premier military, political, and diplomatic figures on the frontier — were showered with gifts.

By 1744, the English effort was bearing fruit. At a treaty council during that year, Canassatego, the Iroquois chief, told Colonial commissioners from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia:

The Six Nations have a great Authority and Influence over the sundry tribes of Indians in alliance with the French, and Particularly the Praying Indians, formerly a part with ourselves, who stand in the very gates of the French, and to shew our further Care, we have engaged these very Indians, and other Indian allies of the French for you. They will not join the French against you. They have agreed with us before we set out. We have put the spirit of Antipathy against the French in those People. Our Interest is very Considerable with them, and many other [Indian] Nations, and as far as it ever extends, we shall use it for your service. . . .

The English were not giving because they were altruistic; by showering the Iroquois with gifts, the English not only helped secure their alliance, but also made the Indians dependent on some of England’s manufactures, thus creating new markets for the Crown. If, for example, the Iroquois took up European arms and laid down their traditional weapons, they also became dependent on a continuing supply of powder and lead. According to Jacobs, the British skillfully interwove the political and military objectives of imperialism with the economic objectives of mercantilism.

Much of the gift giving took place at treaty councils. Historically these meetings were some of the most important encounters of the century. By cementing an alliance with the Iroquois, the British were determining the course of the last in a series of Colonial wars with France in North America. The councils were conducted with solemnity befitting the occasion, a style that shows through their proceedings, which were published and widely read in the colonies and in Europe. . . .

The tone of the treaty councils was that of a peer relationship; the leaders of sovereign nations met to address mutual problems. The dominant assumptions of the Enlightenment, near its height during the mid-eighteenth century, cast Indians as equals in intellectual abilities and moral sense to the progressive Euro-American minds of the time. It was not until the nineteenth century that expansionism brought into its service the full flower of systematic racism that defined Indians as children, or wards, in the eyes of Euro-American law, as well as popular discourse.

Interest in treaty accounts was high enough by 1736 for a Philadelphia printer, Benjamin Franklin, to begin publication and distribution of them. During that year, Franklin published his first treaty account, recording the proceedings of a meeting in his home city during September and October of that year. During the next twenty-six years, Franklin’s press produced thirteen treaty accounts. During those years, Franklin became involved to a greater degree in the Indian affairs of Pennsylvania. By the early 1750s, Franklin was not only printing treaties, but representing Pennsylvania as an Indian commissioner as well. It was his first diplomatic assignment. Franklin’s attention to Indian affairs grew in tandem with his advocacy of a federal union of the colonies, an idea that was advanced by Canassatego and other Iroquois chiefs in treaty accounts published by Franklin’s press as early as 1744. Franklin’s writings indicate that as he became more deeply involved with the Iroquois and other Indian peoples, he picked up ideas from them concerning not only federalism, but concepts of natural rights, the nature of society and man’s place in it, the role of property in society, and other intellectual constructs that would be called into service by Franklin as he and other American revolutionaries shaped an official ideology for the new United States. Franklin’s intellectual interaction with Indian peoples began, however, while he was a Philadelphia printer who was helping to produce what has since been recognized as one of the few indigenous forms of American literature to be published during the Colonial period. In the century before the American Revolution, some fifty treaty accounts were published, covering forty-five treaty councils. Franklin’s press produced more than a quarter of the total. These documents were one indication that a group of colonies occupied by transplanted Europeans were beginning to develop a new sense of themselves; a sense that they were not solely European, but American as well.

Benjamin Franklin was one of a remarkable group who helped transform the mind of a group of colonies that were becoming a nation. It would be a nation that combined the heritages of two continents — that of Europe, their ancestral home, and America, the new home in which their experiment would be given form and expression.

From CHAPTER FOUR Such an Union:

. . . As early as 1750, Franklin recognized that the economic and political interests of the British colonies were diverging from those of the mother country. About the same time, he began to think of forms of political confederation that might suit a dozen distinct, often mutually suspicious, political entities. A federal structure such as the Iroquois Confederacy, which left each state in the union to manage its own internal affairs and charged the confederate government with prosecuting common, external matters, must have served as an expedient, as well as appealing, example. As Franklin began to express his thoughts on political and military union of the colonies, he was already attempting to tie them together culturally, through the establishment of a postal system and the American Philosophical Society, which drew to Philadelphia the premier Euro-American scholars of his day. . . .

Franklin then asked why the colonists found it so difficult to unite in common defense, around common interests, when the Iroquois had done so long ago. In context, his use of the term “ignorant savages” seems almost like a backhanded slap at the colonists, who may have thought themselves superior to the Indians but who, in Franklin’s opinion, could learn something from the Six Nations about political unity:

It would be a very strange thing if Six Nations of Ignorant Savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union and be able to execute it in such a manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble, and yet a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies. . . .

Two stated desires of the Iroquois leadership — that the Indian trade be regulated along with the illegal movement of settlers into the interior, and that the colonies form a federal union — figured importantly in Franklin’s plans for the Albany congress of 1754. Plans for this, the most important intercolonial conference in the years before the last North American war with France, were being made at the time of the Carlisle treaty conference. The London Board of Trade wrote to the New York provincial government September 18, 1753, directing all the colonies that had dealings with the Iroquois to join in “one general Treaty to be made in his Majesty’s name.” It was a move that began, in effect, to bring about the unified management of Indian affairs that Colden, Kennedy, Franklin, and the Iroquois had requested. Similar letters were sent to all colonies that shared frontiers with the Iroquois and their Indian allies, from Virginia northward. Franklin was appointed to represent Pennsylvania at the Albany congress. . . .

During debates over the plan of union, Franklin cited Kennedy’s brochure and pointed to “the strength of the League which has bound our Friends the Iroquois together in a common tie which no crisis, however grave, since its foundation has managed to disrupt.” Recalling the words of Hendrick, Franklin stressed the fact that the individual nations of the confederacy managed their own internal affairs without interference from the Grand Council. “Gentlemen,” Franklin said, peering over the spectacles he had invented, “I propose that all the British American colonies be federated under a single legislature and a president-general to be appointed by the Crown.” He then posed the same rhetorical question he had in the letter to Parker: if the Iroquois can do it, why can’t we?

The plan of union that emerged from Franklin’s pen was a skillful diplomatic melding of concepts that took into consideration the Crown’s demands for control, the colonists’ desires for autonomy in a loose union, and the Iroquois’ stated advocacy of a Colonial union similar to theirs in structure and function. For the Crown, the plan provided administration by a president-general, to be appointed and supported by the Crown. The individual colonies were promised that they could retain their own constitutions “except in the particulars wherein a change may be directed by the said Act [the plan of union] as hereafter follows.”

The retention of internal sovereignty within the individual colonies, politically necessary because of their diversity, geographical separation, and mutual suspicion, closely resembled the Iroquoian system. The colonies’ distrust of one another and the fear of the smaller that they might be dominated by the larger in a confederation may have made necessary the adoption of another Iroquoian device: one colony could veto the action of the rest of the body. As in the Iroquois Confederacy, all “states” had to agree on a course of action before it could be taken. Like the Iroquois Great Council, the “Grand Council” (the name was Franklin’s) of the colonies under the Albany Plan of Union would have been allowed to choose its own speaker. The Grand Council, like the Iroquois Council, was to be unicameral, unlike the two-house British system. Franklin favored one-house legislatures during and later at the Constitutional Convention, and opposed the imposition of a bicameral system on the United States. . . .

Almost two decades would pass before the colonists — inflamed into union by the Stamp Act and other measures the British pressed upon the colonies to help pay the Crown’s war debts — would take Franklin’s and Canassatego’s advice, later epitomized in Franklin’s phrase: “We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Returning to America from one of many trips to England, Franklin would then repackage the Albany plan as the Articles of Confederation. A Continental Congress would convene, and word would go out to Onondaga that the colonists had finally lit their own Grand Council fire at Philadelphia.

From CHAPTER FIVE Philosopher as Savage:

. . . For the rest of his life, shuttling between America, England, and France on various diplomatic assignments, Franklin continued to develop his philosophy with abundant references to the Indian societies he had observed so closely during his days as envoy to the Six Nations. Franklin’s combination of indigenous American thought and European heritage earned him the title among his contemporaries as America’s first philosopher. In Europe, he was sometimes called “the philosopher as savage.”[1]

“Franklin could not help but admire the proud, simple life of America’s native inhabitants,” wrote Conner in Poor Richard’s Politicks (1965). “There was a noble quality in the stories . . . which he told of their hospitality and tolerance, of their oratory and pride.” Franklin, said Conner, saw in Indians’ conduct “a living symbol of simplicity and ‘happy mediocrity . . .’ exemplifying essential aspects of the Virtuous Order.” Depiction of this “healthful, primitive morality could be instructive for transplanted Englishmen, still doting on ‘foreign Geegaws’; ‘happiness,’ Franklin wrote, ‘is more generally and equally diffused among savages than in our civilized societies.’”

“Happy mediocrity” meant striking a compromise between the overcivilization of Europe, with its distinctions between rich and poor and consequent corruption, and the egalitarian, democratic societies of the Indians that formed a counterpoint to European monarchy. The Virtuous Order would combine both, borrowing from Europe arts, sciences, and mechanical skills, taking from the Indians aspects of the natural society that Franklin and others believed to be a window on the pasts of other cultures, including those from which the colonists had come. There is in the writings of Franklin, as well as those of Jefferson, a sense of using the Indian example to recapture natural rights that Europeans had lost under monarchy. The European experience was not to be reconstructed on American soil. Instead, Franklin (as well as Jefferson) sought to erect an amalgam, a combination of indigenous American Indian practices and the cultural heritage that the new Americans had carried from Europe. In discussing the new culture, Franklin and others drew from experience with native Americans, which was more extensive than that of the European natural rights philosophers. The American Indians’ theory and practice affected Franklin’s observations on the need for appreciation of diverse cultures and religions, public opinion as the basis for a polity, the nature of liberty and happiness, and the social role of property. American Indians also appear frequently in some of Franklin’s scientific writings. At a time much less specialized than the twentieth century, Franklin and his associates (such as Colden and Jefferson) did not think it odd to cross from philosophy to natural science to practical politics.

Franklin’s writings on American Indians were remarkably free of ethnocentricism, although he often used words such as “savages,” which carry more prejudicial connotations in the twentieth century than in his time. Franklin’s cultural relativism was perhaps one of the purest expressions of Enlightenment assumptions that stressed racial equality and the universality of moral sense among peoples. Systematic racism was not called into service until a rapidly expanding frontier demanded that enemies be dehumanized during the rapid, historically inevitable westward movement of the nineteenth century. Franklin’s respect for cultural diversity did not reappear widely as an assumption in Euro-American thought until Franz Boas and others revived it around the end of the nineteenth century. Franklin’s writings on Indians express the fascination of the Enlightenment with nature, the natural origins of man and society, and natural (or human) rights. They are likewise imbued with a search (which amounted at times almost to a ransacking of the past) for alternatives to monarchy as a form of government, and to orthodox state-recognized churches as a form of worship.

Franklin’s sense of cultural relativism often led him to see events from an Indian perspective, as when he advocated Colonial union and regulation of the Indian trade at the behest of the Iroquois. His relativism was expressed clearly in the opening lines of an essay, “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America,” which may have been written as early as the 1750s (following Franklin’s first extensive personal contact with Indians) but was not published until 1784.

Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the Perfection of Civility; they think the same of theirs. . . . Perhaps, if we could examine the Manners of different Nations with Impartiality, we should find no People so rude, as to be without any Rules of Politeness; nor any so polite, as not to have some Remains of Rudeness.

In this essay, Franklin also observed that “education” must be measured against cultural practices and needs:

Having few artificial Wants, they [Indians] have abundance of Leisure for Improvement by Conversation. Our laborious Manner of Life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the Learning, on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. . .

Franklin’s “Remarks Concerning the Savages” shows an appreciation of the Indian councils, which he had written were superior in some ways to the British Parliament. “Having frequent Occasion to hold public Councils, they have acquired great Order and Decency in conducting them. . . . The women . . . are the Records of the Council . . . who take exact notice of what passes and imprint it in their Memories, to communicate it to their Children.” Franklin also showed appreciation of the sharpness of memory fostered by reliance on oral communication: “They preserve traditions of Stipulations in Treaties 100 Years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we always find exact.” When a speaker at an Indian council (the reference was probably to the Iroquois) had completed his remarks, he was given a few minutes to recollect his thoughts, and to add anything that might have been forgotten. “To interrupt another, even in common Conversation, is reckon’d highly indecent. How different this is to the conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce a day passes without some Confusion, that makes the Speaker hoarse in calling to Order.” Indian customs in conversation were reflected in Poor Richard for 1753, the year of Franklin’s first diplomatic assignment, to negotiate the Carlisle Treaty: “A pair of good Ears will drain dry a Thousand Tongues.” Franklin also compared this Indian custom favorably with “the Mode of Conversation of many polite Companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your Sentence with great Rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient Loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffer’d to finish it!” Some white missionaries had been confused by Indians who listened to their sermons patiently, and then refused to believe them, Franklin wrote.

To Franklin, the order and decorum of Indian councils were important to them because their government relied on public opinion: “All their Government is by Counsel of the Sages; there is no Force, there are no Prisons, no officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment.” Indian leaders study oratory, and the best speaker had the most influence, Franklin observed. In words that would be echoed by Jefferson, Franklin used the Indian model as an exemplar of government with a minimum of governance. This sort of democracy was governed not by fiat, but by public opinion and consensus-creating custom:

All of the Indians of North America not under the dominion of the Spaniards are in that natural state, being restrained by no laws, having no Courts, or Ministers of Justice, no Suits, no Prisons, no Governors vested with any Legal Authority. The Persuasion of Men distinguished by Reputation of Wisdom is the only means by which others are govern’d or rather led — and the State of the Indians was probably the first State of all Nations.

Franklin also compared the Indians’ offers of free lodging and food for visitors to the customs of Euro-Americans. The Iroquois kept guest houses for travelers. This custom was contrasted by Franklin with Indians’ treatment in white towns. He recounted a conversation between Conrad Weiser and Canassatego, who were close friends. In that conversation, Canassatego said to Weiser:

If a white Man, in travelling thro’ our country, enters one of our cabins, we treat him as I treat you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, we give him Meat and Drink that he may allay his Thirst and Hunger; and we spread soft furs for him to rest and sleep on; we demand nothing in return. But, if I go to a white man’s house in Albany, and ask for Victuals and Drink, they say “Where is your Money?” And if I have none, they say, “Get out, you Indian Dog!” . . .

While Indians did not seem to have much inclination to exchange their culture for the Euro-American, many Euro-Americans appeared more than willing to become Indians at this time:

When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and makes one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return. And that this is not natural [only to Indians], but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived awhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet within a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of Life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.

Franklin followed with an example. He had heard of a person who had been “reclaimed” from the Indians and returned to a sizable estate. Tired of the care needed to maintain such a style of life, he had turned it over to his younger brother and, taking only a rifle and a matchcoat, “took his way again to the Wilderness.” Franklin used this story to illustrate his point that “No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.” Such societies, wrote Franklin, provided their members with greater opportunities for happiness than European cultures. Continuing, he said:

The Care and Labour of providing for Artificial and fashionable Wants, the sight of so many Rich wallowing in superfluous plenty, whereby so many are kept poor and distress’d for Want, the Insolence of Office . . . the restraints of Custom, all contrive to disgust them with what we call civil Society.

With so many white people willingly becoming associated with Indian societies, it was not difficult for thoughts and customs practiced behind the frontier to leak back into the colonies. . . .

During the decade after the Stamp Act, Franklin’s writings developed into an argument for American distinctiveness, a sense of nationhood in a new land, a sense that an entirely new age was dawning for the Americans who traced their roots to Europe. The new nation would not be European, but American — combining both heritages to make a specifically different culture. Franklin and his contemporaries, among whom one of the most articulate was Jefferson, were setting out to invent a nation. Before they could have a nation, however, they had to break with Britain, an act that called for an intellectual backdrop for rebellion, and a rationale for revolution.


See: Peter Gay, “Enlightenment Thought and the American Revolution,” in John R. Howe, Jr., ed., The Role of Ideology in the American Revolution (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 48.

From CHAPTER SIX Self-Evident Truths:

. . . “There appeared to me to be more respect and veneration attached to the character of Doctor Franklin than to any other person in the same country, foreign or native. . . . When he left Passy, it seemed as if the village had lost its patriarch,” Jefferson recalled. Having admired Franklin so, it was not surprising that where Franklin laid down an intellectual thread, Jefferson often picked it up. Jefferson’s writings clearly show that he shared Franklin’s respect for Indian thought. Both men represented the Enlightenment frame of mind of which the American Indians seemed a practical example. Both knew firsthand the Indian way of life. Both shared with the Indian the wild, rich land out of which the Indian had grown. It was impossible that that experience should not have become woven into the debates and philosophical musings that gave the nation’s founding instruments their distinctive character. In so far as the nation still bears these marks of its birth, we are all “Indians” — if not in our blood, then in the thinking that to this day shapes many of our political and social assumptions. Jefferson’s declaration expressed many of these ideas:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That, when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.

The newly united colonies had assumed “among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them,” Jefferson wrote. The declaration was being made, he said, because “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

There were few ideas in the declaration (outside of the long list of wrongs committed by the Crown) that did not owe more than a little to Franklin’s and Jefferson’s views of American Indian societies. In drawing sanction for independence from the laws of nature, Jefferson was also drawing from the peoples beyond the frontiers of the new nation who lived in what late eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinkers believed to be a state of nature. The “pursuit of happiness” and the “consent of the governed” were exemplified in Indian polities to which Jefferson (like Franklin) often referred in his writings. The Indian in Jefferson’s mind (as in Franklin’s) served as a metaphor for liberty.

Jefferson wrote to Edward Carrington January 16, 1787:

The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, our very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. . . . I am convinced that those societies [as the Indians] which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments.

Echoing Franklin’s earlier comment, Jefferson looked across the frontier and found societies where social cohesion was provided by consensus instead of by the governmental apparatus used to maintain control in Europe. Among the Indians, wrote Jefferson, “Public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere.” The contrast to Europe was obvious: “Under presence of governing, they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe.” Returning to America, Jefferson concluded: “Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention.” To Jefferson, public opinion among the Indians was an important reason for their lack of oppressive government, as well as the egalitarian distribution of property on which Franklin had earlier remarked. Jefferson believed that without the people looking over the shoulder of their leaders, “You and I, the Congress, judges and governors shall all become wolves.” The “general prey of the rich on the poor” could be prevented by a vigilant public.

Jefferson believed that freedom to exercise restraint on their leaders, and an egalitarian distribution of property secured for Indians in general a greater degree of happiness than that to be found among the superintended sheep at the bottom of European class structures. Jefferson thought a great deal of “happiness,” a word which in the eighteenth century carried connotations of a sense of personal and societal security and well-being that it has since lost. Jefferson thought enough of happiness to make its pursuit a natural right, along with life and liberty. In so doing, he dropped “property,” the third member of the natural rights trilogy generally used by followers of John Locke.

Jefferson’s writings made it evident that he, like Franklin, saw accumulation of property beyond that needed to satisfy one’s natural requirements as an impediment to liberty. To place “property” in the same trilogy with life and liberty, against the backdrop of Jefferson’s views regarding the social nature of property, would have been a contradiction, Jefferson composed some of his most trenchant rhetoric in opposition to the erection of a European-like aristocracy on American soil. To Jefferson, the pursuit of happiness appears to have involved neither the accumulation of property beyond basic need, nor the sheer pursuit of mirth. It meant freedom from tyranny, and from want, things not much in abundance in the Europe from which many of Jefferson’s countrymen had so recently fled. Jefferson’s writings often characterized Europe as a place from which to escape — a corrupt place, where wolves consumed sheep regularly, and any uncalled for bleating by the sheep was answered with a firm blow to the head.

Using the example of the man who left his estate to return to the simplicity of nature, carrying only his rifle and matchcoat with him, Franklin indicated that the accumulation of property brought perils as well as benefits. Franklin argued that the state’s power should not be used to skew the distribution of wealth, using Indian society, where “hunting is free for all,” as an exemplar:

Private property . . . is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing, its contributors therefore to the public Exingencies are not to be considered a Benefit on the Public, entitling the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honor and Power, but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or as payment for a just Debt.

“The important ends of Civil Society, and the personal Securities of Life and Liberty, these remain the same in every Member of the Society,” Franklin continued. He concluded: “The poorest continues to have an equal Claim to them with the most opulent, whatever Difference Time, Chance or Industry may occasion in their Circumstances.”

Franklin used examples from Indian societies rather explicitly to illustrate his conception of property and its role in society:

All property, indeed, except the savage’s temporary cabin, his bow, his matchcoat and other little Acquisitions absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public Convention. Hence, the public has the rights of regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the quantity and uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man is his natural Right, which none may justly deprive him of, but all Property superfluous to such Purposes is the property of the Public who, by their Laws have created it and who may, by other Laws dispose of it.

Franklin, a believer in simplicity and “happy mediocrity,” thought that an overabundance of possessions inhibited freedom because social regulation was required to keep track of what belonged to whom, and to keep greed from developing into antisocial conflict. He also opposed the use of public office for private profit. If officials were to serve the people rather than exploit them, they should not be compensated for their public service, Franklin stated during debate on the Constitution. “It may be imagined by some that this is a Utopian idea, and that we can never find Men to serve in the Executive Department without paying them well for their Services. I conceive this to be a mistake,” Franklin said. On August 10, 1787, also during debate on the Constitution, Franklin opposed property qualifications for election to Congress. So fervent was his opposition to the use of public office for private gain that Franklin wrote in a codacil to his will, “In a democratical state there ought to be no offices of profit.” . . .

In Franklin’s mind, there appeared to be no contradiction between orderly expansion of settlement and support of Indian needs for a homeland and sustenance. Looking westward into what he believed to be a boundless forest, Franklin assumed that the Indians would always have land enough to live as they wished. He thought that the continent was so vast that Europeans would not settle the breadth of it for a thousand years. Although both were scientists, technological innovators and politicians, neither Franklin nor Jefferson saw the technological changes or the increase in European immigration that would sweep across the continent in less than a century.

While he didn’t forsee the speed of expansion, Franklin was troubled by the greed that he did see emerging in America, a huge and rich table laden with riches, seemingly for the taking. “A rich rogue is like a fat hog, who never does good ’til he’s dead as a log,” he wrote in Poor Richard for 1733. In the same edition, he also wrote: “The poor have little, beggars none; the rich too much, enough, not one.”

Like Franklin, Jefferson defined property not as a natural right, but as a civil right, bestowed by society and removable by it. To Jefferson and Franklin natural rights were endowed (as the declaration put it) by the Creator, not by kings or queens or legislators or governors. Civil rights were decreed or legislated. As Jefferson wrote to William Short, property is a creature of society:

While it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from Nature at all . . . it is considered by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no one has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land . . . [which] . . . is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes that occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.

Societies that gave undue emphasis to protection of property could infringe on the peoples’ rights of life, liberty, and happiness. According to Jefferson: “Whenever there is, in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so extended as to violate natural right.” At the opposite end of Jefferson’s intellectual spectrum stood the Indian societies of eastern North America that, in spite of minimal government that impressed Jefferson, had different laws or customs encouraging the accumulation of material wealth. Jefferson, although he retained a vague admiration for this form of “primitive communism” until late in his life, acknowledged that such a structure could not be laid atop a European, or a European-descended, society: “Indian society may be best, but it is not possible for large numbers of people.”

While some aspects of Indian society were admirable but impractical, Jefferson found many aspects of European cultures deplorable but likely to be emulated in America if the people and their leaders did not take care to resist them. Jefferson acknowledged late in his life that “a right of property is founded in our natural wants,” but he remained, to his death, adamantly opposed to concentration of wealth. . . .

Both Franklin and Jefferson believed that power provided temptations to corruption (to which European leaders had long ago succumbed) and that to keep the same thing from happening in America required mechanisms by which the people kept watch on their leaders to make sure that they remained servants, and did not yield to a natural inclination to become hammer to the popular anvil. Public opinion became central to the maintenance of liberty — a notion contrary to European governance of their day, but very similar to the Iroquois confederacy, where the war chiefs sat in the Grand Council with the express purpose of reporting back to the people on the behavior of their leaders.

Jefferson described the role of public opinion in American Indian society in Notes on Virginia. His description was remarkably similar to Franklin’s. The native Americans, Jefferson wrote, had not

Submitted themselves to any laws, any coercive power and shadow of government. The only controls are their manners, and the moral sense of right and wrong. . . . An offence against these is punished by contempt, by exclusion from society, or, where the cause is serious, as that of murder, by the individuals whom it concerns.

“Imperfect as this species of coercion may seem, crimes are very rare among them,” Jefferson continued. Recapitulating Colden’s remarks, as well as Franklin’s, Jefferson developed his thought: “The principles of their society forbidding all compulsion, they are led by duty and to enterprise by personal influence and persuasion.” Sharing with other founders of America the Enlightenment assumption that Indian societies (at least those as yet uncorrupted by Europeans) approximated a state of nature, Jefferson questioned the theory advanced by supporters of monarchy that government originated in a patriarchial, monarchial form. Having studied Indian societies, such as the Iroquois, which were matrilineal and democratic, Jefferson speculated that:

There is an error into which most of the speculators on government have fallen, and which the well-known state of society of our Indians ought, before now, to have corrected. In their hypothesis of the origin of government, they suppose it to have commenced in the patriarchial or monarchial form. Our Indians are evidently in that state of nature which has passed the association of a single family, and not yet submitted to authority of positive laws, or any acknowledged magistrate.

Public opinion, freedom of action and expression, and the consent of the governed played an important role in Jefferson’s perception of Indian societies. The guideline that Jefferson drew from the Indian example (and which he earnestly promoted in the First Amendment) allowed freedom until it violated another’s rights: “Every man, with them, is perfectly free to follow his own inclinations. But if, in doing this, he violates the rights of another, if the case be slight, he is punished by the disesteem of society or, as we say, public opinion; if serious, he is tomahawked as a serious enemy.” Indian leaders relied on public opinion to maintain their authority: “Their leaders influence them by their character alone; they follow, or not, as they please him whose character for wisdom or war they have the highest opinion.” . . .

Like that of the Iroquois, Jefferson’s concept of popular consent allowed for impeachment of officials who offended the principles of law; also similar to the Indian conception, Jefferson spoke and wrote frequently that the least government was the best. Jefferson objected when boundaries for new states were drawn so as to make them several times larger than some of the original colonies:

This is reversing the natural order of things. A tractable people may be governed in large bodies but, in proportion as they depart from this character, the extent of their government must be less. We see into what small divisions the Indians are obliged to reduce their societies.

Jefferson’s writings indicate that he did not expect, nor encourage, Americans to be tractable people. Least of all did he expect them to submit to involuntary conscription for unjustified wars. Freedom from such was the natural order of things. Franklin showed a similar inclination in Poor Richard for 1734: “If you ride a horse, sit close and tight. If you ride a man, sit easy and light.”

Franklin, Jefferson, and others in their time who combined politics and natural history intensively studied the history and prehistory of northwestern Europe as it had been before the coming of the Romans. Like the Celts and other tribal people of Germany and the British Isles who had lived, according to Jefferson, in societies that functioned much like the Indian polities he had observed in his own time: “The Anglo-Saxons had lived under customs and unwritten laws based upon the natural rights of man. . . .” The monarchy was imposed on top of this natural order, Jefferson argued. In so doing, according to Chinard, Jefferson “went much farther than any of the English political thinkers in his revindication of Saxon liberties.” To Charles Sanford (The Quest for Paradise, 1961), America and its inhabitants represented to many Europeans a recapitulation of the Garden of Eden; to Henry Steele Commager, the Enlightenment mind assumed that “only man in a state of nature was happy. Man before the Fall.” To English whigs, as well as to Franklin and Jefferson, government by the people was the wave of the past, as well as the future. Augmented by observation of Indian peoples who lived with a greater degree of happiness than peoples in Europe, this belief gave powerful force to the argument that the American Revolution was reclaiming rights that Americans, Englishmen, and all other peoples enjoyed by fiat of nature, as displayed by their ancestory — American Indian and European.

English radicals and American patriots traded these ideas freely across the Atlantic during the revolutionary years. One example of this intellectual trade was Tom Paine, who came to America at Franklin’s invitation and within three years of his arrival was sitting around a council fire with the Iroquois, learning to speak their language and enjoying himself very much. Paine attended a treaty council at Easton during 1777, in order to negotiate the Iroquois’ alliance, or at least neutrality, in the Revolutionary War. According to Samuel Edwards, a biographer of Paine, he was “fascinated by them.” Paine quickly learned enough of the Iroquois’ language so that he no longer needed to speak through an interpreter.

It was not long before Paine, like Jefferson and Franklin, was contrasting the Indians’ notions of property with those of the Europe from which he had come. Paine not only demoted property from the roster of natural rights and made of it a mere device of civil society, but also recognized benefits in the Indians’ communal traditions:

To understand what the state of society ought to be, it is necessary to have some idea of the natural and primitive state of man; such as it is at this day among the Indians of North America. There is not, in that state, any of those spectacles of human misery which poverty and want present to our eyes in all the towns and streets of Europe.

Poverty, wrote Paine 1795, “is a thing created by what is called civilization.” “Civilization, or that which is so called, has operated in two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would ever have been the lot of either in a natural state,” Paine concluded. Despite the appeal of a society without poverty, Paine believed it impossible “to go from the civilized to the natural state.”

The rationale for revolution that was formulated in Philadelphia during those humid summer days of 1776 threw down an impressive intellectual gauntlet at the feet of Europe’s monarchies, especially the British Crown. Franklin, Jefferson, and the others who drafted the Declaration of Independence were saying that they were every inch the equal of the monarchs who would superintend them, and that the sheep of the world had a natural right to smite the wolves, a natural right guaranteed by nature, by the precedent of their ancestors, and by the abundant and pervasive example of America’s native inhabitants. The United States’ founders may have read about Greece, or the Roman Republic, the cantons of the Alps, or the reputed democracy of the tribal Celts, but in the Iroquois and other Indian confederacies they saw, with their own eyes, the self-evidence of what they regarded to be irrefutable truths.

Wars are not won soley by eloquence and argument, however. Once he had recovered from the gout, Franklin recalled his talents at organizing militias and threw himself into the practical side of organizing an armed struggle for independence. He marshaled brigades that went house to house with appeals for pots, pans, and curtain weights, among other things, which would be melted down to provide the revolutionary army with ammunition. The colonists set to work raising a volunteer army in the Indian manner (much as Franklin had organized his Philadelphia militia almost three decades earlier), using Indian battle tactics so well suited to the forests of eastern North America. George Washington had studied guerrilla warfare during the war with France, and when the British sent soldiers over the ocean ready for set-piece wars on flat pastures manicured like billiard tables, their commanders wailed that Washington’s army was just not being fair — shooting from behind trees, dispersing and returning to civilian occupations when opportunity or need called. A British Army report to the House of Commons exclaimed, in exasperation, “The Americans won’t stand and fight!”

Having failed to adapt to a new style of war in a new land, the British never exactly lost the war, but like another world power that sent its armies across an ocean two centuries later, they decided they could not win a war without fronts, without distinction between soldiers and civilians. America would have its independence.

Meeting in Paris to settle accounts during 1783, the diplomats who redrew the maps sliced the Iroquois Confederacy in half, throwing a piece to the United States, and another to British Canada. The heirs to some of the Great Law of Peace’s most precious principles ignored the Iroquois’ protestations that they, too, were sovereign nations, deserving independence and self-determination. A century of learning was coming to a close. A century and more of forgetting — of calling history into service to rationalize conquest — was beginning.


From the beginning of European contact with the Americas, a kind of intellectual mercantilism seemed to take shape. Like the economic mercantilism that drew raw materials from the colonies, made manufactured goods from them in Europe, and then sold the finished products back to America, European savants drew the raw material of observation and perception from America, fashioned it into theories, and exported those theories back across the Atlantic. What role, it may be asked, did these observations of America and its native inhabitants play in the evolution of Enlightenment thought in Europe? “The Indians,” wrote Charles Sanford with credit to Roy Harvey Pearce, “presented a reverse image of European civilization which helped America establish a national identity which was neither savage nor civilized.” How true was this also of Europe itself? During the researching of the foregoing study, the author came across shreds of evidence which, subsequently not followed because they fell outside the range of the study, indicate that European thinkers such as John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and others may have drawn from America and its native inhabitants observations on natural society, natural law, and natural rights, packaged them into theories, and exported them back to America, where people such as Franklin and Jefferson put them into practice in construction of their American amalgam.

In The Quest for Paradise, Sanford drew a relation between American Indians’ conception of property and that expressed by Thomas More in his Utopia. Paul A. W. Wallace also likened the Iroquois’ governmental structure to that of Utopia. Work could be done that would begin with the basis laid by Sanford, Robert F. Berkhofer, and Roy Harvey Pearce, which would examine how Europeans such as Locke and other seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophers integrated observation and perception of American Indians into theories of natural rights. Michael Kraus (The Atlantic Civilization, 1949) wrote that during this period, anthropology was strongly influencing the development of political theory: “[Thomas] Hobbes and Locke, especially, show a familiarity with the social structure of the American Indians which they used to good purpose. Each of the English political scientists wrote in a period of crisis and in search of a more valid ordering of society. . . . The American Indian was believed to have found many of the answers.” If such intellectual intercourse did, in fact occur, how did the Europeans get their information? How accurate was it? What other non-Indian precedents did they use in formulating their theories? How were these theories exported back to America, which, as Commager observed, acted the Enlightenment that Europe dreamed? Berkhofer quoted Locke as having written: “In the beginning, all the world was America.” According to Berkhofer, Locke believed that men could live in reason and peace without European-style government; Berkhofer implied that Locke saw proof of this, as Jefferson and Franklin did, in the societies of the American Indians. Koch wrote that the English radicals of the eighteenth century were “students and advocates” of the American cause. Franklin, with his rich, firsthand knowledge of Indians and their societies, was well known in England before he began work there in the 1750s. Gillespie wrote that England had been suffused with influences from America, material as well as intellectual, as part of its rapid overseas expansion of empire. Gillespie noted Indian influences in More’s Utopia and in Hobbes’s Leviathan. Gillespie also found similar relationships in Locke’s writings.

In France, reports of Indian societies traveled to the home country through the writings of Jesuit missionaries, among other channels. How might such writings have influenced the conceptions of natural rights and law developed by Rousseau and others? Frank Kramer has described how some ideas were transmitted home from New France. As the Indians’ societies became a point of reference for natural rights theorists in England, so did conceptions of the “Noble Savage” in France. More study needs to be done to document how these ideas, and others, made their way across the Atlantic and into the intellectual constructs of Rousseau and others who helped excite the French imagination in the years preceding the revolution of 1789.

Carried into the nineteenth century, study could be given to whether American Indian ideas had any bearing on the large number of social and political reform movements that developed during the 1830s and 1840s in the “burned over district” of western New York. That area had been the heart of the Iroquois Confederacy a hundred years earlier, when Colden was writing his history of the Iroquois. Do the origins of the anti-slavery movement, of women’s rights, and religions such as Mormonism owe anything to the Iroquois?

Two contemporaries of Buffalo Bill, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, about the time of the Custer Battle were drawing on the Indian models to support their theories of social evolution. As had Franklin and Jefferson a century before, Marx and Engels paid particular attention to the lack of state-induced coercion and the communal role of property that operated in the Iroquois Confederacy.

Marx read Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society, which had been published in 1877, between December 1880 and March 1881, taking at least ninety-eight pages of handwritten notes. Ancient Society was Morgan’s last major work; his first book-length study had been The League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois (1851). Morgan was a close friend of the Seneca Ely Parker, a high-ranking Civil War officer. Like Johnson, Weiser, Colden, and others, Morgan was an adopted Iroquois. When Marx read Morgan’s Ancient Society, he and Engels were studying the important anthropologists of their time. Morgan was one of them.

Marx’s notes on Ancient Society adhere closely to the text, with little extraneous comment. What particularly intrigued Marx about the Iroquois was their democratic political organization, and how it was meshed with a communal economic system — how, in short, economic leveling was achieved without coercion.

During the late 1870s and early 1880s, Marx remained an insatiable reader, but a life of poverty and attendant health problems had eroded his ability to organize and synthesize what he had read. After Marx died, Engels inherited his notes and, in 1884, published The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, subtitled In Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan. The book sold well; it had gone through four editions in German by 1891. Engels called the book a “bequest to Marx.” He wrote that Morgan’s account of the Iroquois Confederacy “substantiated the view that classless communist societies had existed among primitive peoples,” and that these societies had been free of some of the evils, such as class stratification, that he associated with industrial capitalism. Jefferson had been driven by similar evils to depict Europe in metaphors of wolves and sheep, hammer and anvil.

To Engels, Morgan’s description of the Iroquois was important because “it gives us the opportunity of studying the organization of a society which, as yet, knows no state.” Jefferson had also been interested in the Iroquois’ ability to maintain social consensus without a large state apparatus, as had Franklin. Engels described the Iroquoian state in much the same way that American revolutionaries had a century earlier:

Everything runs smoothly without soldiers, gendarmes, or police, without nobles, kings, governors, prefects or judges; without prisons, without trials. All quarrels and disputes are settled by the whole body of those concerned. . . . The household is run communistically by a number of families; the land is tribal property, only the small gardens being temporarily assigned to the households — still, not a bit of our extensive and complicated machinery of administration is required. . . . There are no poor and needy. The communistic household and the gens know their responsibility toward the aged, the sick and the disabled in war. All are free and equal — including the women.

Concern for the depredations of human rights by state power is no less evident in our time than in the eighteenth century. American Indians, some of the earliest exemplars of those rights, today often petition the United Nations for redress of abuses committed by the United States government, whose founding declarations often ring hollow in ears so long calloused by the thundering horsehooves of Manifest Destiny and its modern equivalents. One may ask what the United Nations’ declarations of human rights owe to the Iroquois and other Indian nations. Take the following excerpts from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted December 10, 1948), and place them next to the Great Law of Peace, and the statements Franklin and other American national fathers adapted from experience with American Indian nations:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1)

Every person has a right to life, liberty and security of person. (Article 3)

Everyone has a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. (Article 18)

Everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and religion. (Article 19)

. . . The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of governments . . . (Article 21)

Looking across the frontier, as well as across the Atlantic, looking at Indian peace as well as Indian wars, history poses many tantalizing questions. The thesis that American Indian thought played an important role in shaping the mind of European America, and of Europe itself, is bound to incite controversy, a healthy state of intellectual affairs at any time in history, our own included. The argument around which this book is centered is only one part of a broader effort not to rewrite history, but to expand it, to broaden our knowledge beyond the intellectual strait jacket of ethnocentricism that tells us that we teach, but we do not learn from, peoples and cultures markedly different from our own.

Fortunately, there are fresh winds stirring. Dr. Jeffry Goodman has started what one reviewer called a “civil war” in archaeology. Dr. Henry Dobyns’s mathematically derived estimate that 90 million Indians lived in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus has also stirred debate. There is a sense that we are only beginning to grasp the true dimensions of American history to which Europeans have been personal witness only a few short centuries. The Europeans who migrated here are still learning the history of their adopted land, and that of the peoples who flourished here (and who themselves are today rediscovering their own magnificent pasts). In a very large sense we are only now beginning to rediscover the history that has been passed down in tantalizing shreds, mostly through the oral histories of Indian nations that have survived despite the best efforts of some Euro-Americans to snuff out Indian languages, cultures, and the land base that gives all sustenance. History in its very essence is rediscovery, and we are now relearning some of the things that Benjamin Franklin and others of our ancestors had a chance to see, feel, remark at, and integrate into their view of the world.

The United States was born during an era of Enlightenment that recognized the universality of humankind, a time in which minds and borders were opened to the new, the wondrous, and the unexpected. It was a time when the creators of a nation fused the traditions of Europe and America, appreciating things that many people are only now rediscovering — the value of imagery and tradition shaped by oral cultures that honed memory and emphasized eloquence, that made practical realities of democratic principles that were still the substance of debate (and, to some, heresy) in Europe. In its zest for discovery, the Enlightenment mind absorbed Indian traditions and myth, and refashioned it, just as Indians adopted the ways of European man. In this sense, we are all heirs to America’s rich Indian heritage.

Like the eighteenth-century explorers who looked westward from the crests of the Appalachians, we too stand at the edge of a frontier of another kind, wondering with all the curiosity that the human mind can summon what we will find over the crest of the hill in the distance, or around the bend in the river we have yet to see for the first time. What will America teach us next?

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Message From Ron Paul

September 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Message from Ron Paul
Ron Paul 2008 ^ | 09/20/2007 | Ron Paul
Posted on 09/20/2007 7:14:12 PM EDT by NapkinUser
Edited on 09/20/2007 7:38:52 PM EDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Dear friend,

Our American way of life is under attack. And it is up to us to save it.

The world’s elites are busy forming a North American Union. If they succeed, as they did in forming the European Union, the good ol’ USA will only be a memory. We cannot let that happen.

The UN wants to confiscate our firearms and impose a global tax. The UN elites want to control the oceans with the Law of the Sea Treaty. And they want to use our military to police the world.

Our right to own and use property is fading because bureaucrats and special interests are abusing eminent domain.

Our right to educate our children as we choose is under assault. “No Child Left Behind” is seeing to that. And our right to say “no” to forced mental screening of our school-aged children is nearly gone.

The elites gave us a national ID card. They also gave us the most misnamed legislation in history: The Patriot Act. And these same people are pushing to give amnesty to illegal immigrants and erase our national borders.

Record government debt is putting a burden on our children and grandchildren that is shameful.

Yes. Our American way of life is under attack. And it’s understandable that many are concerned, even discouraged, about the kind of country our children and grandchildren will inherit.

But we must never let discouragement become surrender.

One reason I am NOT discouraged is because I know I am not fighting alone. Each day I head out I know that you and thousands of other patriotic, freedom-loving Americans are right beside me, standing brave and true for what is good and right.

I need your help now, more than ever, to save the country we love…for the people we love.

My wife Carol and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary early this year. We are proud parents of five children and 18 grandchildren. We love them very much, as I know you love your family.

As a U.S. congressman, I always think about the well-being of my family and of all the families of our great nation when I cast a vote or introduce legislation. I also remember that I have sworn a solemn oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.

For me, upholding that oath is the first and best way to preserve and protect the blessed American way of life for our children and grandchildren.

And now you know why I’m running for president of the United States.



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Death Squad In Delaware The Case of The Murdered Marine

September 20, 2007 Leave a comment

Death Squad In Delaware The Case of The Murdered Marine
By William Norman Grigg

He survived Iraq, only to suffer Death By Government in the “Land of the Free”: Sgt. Derek J. Hale, USMC, ret. ~ RIP
Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It may be the first state to be afflicted with a fully operational death squad ­ unless a civil lawsuit filed on Friday against the murders of Derek J. Hale results in criminal charges and a complete lustration (in the Eastern European sense of the term) of Delaware’s law enforcement establishment.
Hale, a retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and was decorated before his combat-related medical discharge in January 2006, was murdered by a heavily armed 8­12-member undercover police team in Wilmington, Delaware last November 6. He had come to Wilmington from his home in Manassas, Virginia to participate in a Toys for Tots event.
Derek was house-sitting for a friend on the day he was murdered. Sandra Lopez, the ex-wife of Derek’s friend, arrived with an 11- year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter just shortly before the police showed up. After helping Sandra and her children remove some of their personal belongings, Derek was sitting placidly on the front step, clad in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, when an unmarked police car and a blacked-out SUV arrived and disgorged their murderous cargo.
Unknown to Derek, he had been under police surveillance as part of a ginned-up investigation into the Pagan Motorcycle Club, which he had joined several months before; the Pagans sponsored the “Toys for Tots Run” that had brought Derek to Delaware. As with any biker club, the Pagans probably included some disreputable people in their ranks. Derek was emphatically not one of them.
In addition to his honorable military service (albeit in a consummately dishonorable war), Derek’s personal background was antiseptically clean. He had a concealed carry permit in Virginia, which would not have been issued to him if he’d been convicted of a felony, a narcotics or domestic violence charge, or had any record of substance abuse or mental illness.
On the day he was killed, Derek had been under both physical and electronic (and, according to the civil complaint, illegal) surveillance. Police personnel who observed him knew that his behavior was completely innocuous. And despite the fact that he had done nothing to warrant such treatment, he was considered an “un- indicted co-conspirator” in a purported narcotics ring run by the Pagans.
The police vehicles screeched to a halt in front of the house shortly after 4:00 p.m. They ordered Lopez and her children away from Derek ­ who, predictably, had risen to his feet by this time ­ and then ordered him to remove his hands from his the pockets of his sweatshirt.
Less than a second later ­ according to several eyewitnesses at the scene ­ Derek was hit with a taser blast that knocked him sideways and sent him into convulsions. His right hand involuntarily shot out of its pocket, clenching spasmodically.
“Not in front of the kids,” Derek gasped, as he tried to force his body to cooperate. “Get the kids out of here.”
The officers continued to order Derek to put up his hands; he was physically unable to comply.
So they tased him again. This time he was driven to his side and vomited into a nearby flower bed.
Howard Mixon, a contractor who had been working nearby, couldn’t abide the spectacle.
“That’s not necessary!” he bellowed at the assailants. “That’s overkill! That’s overkill!”
At this point, one of the heroes in blue (or, in this case, black) swaggered over to Mixon and snarled, “I’ll f*****g show you overkill!” Having heroically shut up an unarmed civilian, the officer turned his attention back to Derek ­ who was being tased yet again.
“I’m trying to get my hands out,” Derek exclaimed, desperately trying to make his tortured and traumatized body obey his will. Horrified, his friend Sandra screamed at the officers: “He is trying to get his hands out, he cannot get his hands out!”
Having established that Derek ­ an innocent man who had survived two tours of duty in Iraq ­ was defenseless, one of Wilmington’s Finest closed in for the kill.
Lt. William Brown of the Wilmington Police Department, who was close enough to seize and handcuff the helpless victim, instead shot him in the chest at point-blank range, tearing apart his vitals with three .40-caliber rounds. He did this after Derek had said, repeatedly and explicitly, that he was trying to cooperate. He did this despite the fact that witnesses on the scene had confirmed that Derek was trying to cooperate. He did this in front of a traumatized mother and two horrified children.
Why was this done?
According to Sgt. Steven Elliot of the WPD, Brown slaughtered Derek Hale because he “feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat.” That subjective belief was sufficient justification to use “deadly force,” according to Sgt. Elliot.
The “position” Derek was in, remember, was that of wallowing helplessly in his own vomit, trying to overcome the cumulative effects of three completely unjustified Taser attacks.
When asked by the Wilmington News Journal last week if Hale had ever threatened the officers ­ remember, there were at least 8 and as many as 12 of them ­ Elliot replied: “In a sense, [he threatened the officers] when he did not comply with their commands.”
He wasn’t given a chance to comply: He was hit with the first Taser strike less than a second after he was commanded to remove his hands from his pockets, and then two more in rapid succession. The killing took roughly three minutes.
As is always the case when agents of the State murder an innocent person, the WPD immediately went into cover-up mode. The initial account of the police murder claimed that Derek had “struggled with undercover Wilmington vice officers”; that “struggle,” of course, referred to Derek’s involuntary reaction to multiple, unjustified Taser strikes.
The account likewise mentioned that police recovered “two items that were considered weapons” from Derek’s body. Neither was a firearm. One was a container of pepper spray. The other was a switchblade knife. Both were most likely planted on the murder victim: The police on the scene had pepper spray, and Derek’s stepbrother, Missouri resident Jason Singleton, insists that Derek never carried a switchblade.
“The last time I saw Derek,” Jason told the News Journal, “he had a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade.”
Within hours, the WPD began to fabricate a back-story to justify Derek’s murder. Several Delware State Police officers ­ identified in the suit (.pdf) as “Lt. [Patrick] Ogden, Sgt. Randall Hunt, and other individual DSP [personnel]” contacted the police in Masassas, Virginia and informed him that Derek had been charged with drug trafficking two days before he was murdered. This was untrue. But because it was said by someone invested with the majestic power of the State, it was accepted as true, and cited in a sworn affidavit to secure a warrant to search Derek’s home.
Conducting this spurious search ­ which was, remember, play-acting in the service of a cover story ­ meant shoving aside Derek’s grieving widow, Elaine, and her two shattered children, who had just lost their stepfather. Nothing of material consequence was found, but a useful bit of embroidery was added to the cover story.
Less than two weeks earlier, Derek and Elaine had celebrated their first anniversary.
The Delaware State Police officer is guilty of misprision of perjury, as are the officials who collaborated in this deception. And it’s entirely likely that the Virginia State Police had guilty knowledge as well.
Last November 21, in an attempt to pre-empt public outrage, the highest officials of the Delaware State Police issued a press release in conjunction with their counterparts from Virginia. The statement is a work of unalloyed mendacity.
“Hale resisted arrest and was shot and killed by Wilmington Police on November 6, 2006,” lied the signatories with reference to the claim that he “resisted.” “Hale was at the center of a long term narcotics trafficking investigation which is still ongoing.”
As we’ve seen, Hale did not resist arrest, as everyone on the scene knew. And he was not at the “center” of any investigation; before his posthumous promotion to “un-indicted co-conspirator,” he was merely a “person of interest” because of his affiliation with a motorcycle club.
Most critically, the statement ­ which bears the august imprimatur of both the Delaware and Virginia State Police departments, remember ­ asserts: “Both [State Police] Superintendents have confirmed that there was never any false information exchanged by either agency in the investigation of Derek J. Hale, or transmitted between the agencies in order to obtain the search warrant.”
This was another lie.
“Delaware State Police spokesperson Sgt. Melissa Zebley conceded last week that no arrest warrant for Hale was ever issued,” reported the News Journal on March 22. Three days after Hale was murdered, police arrested 12 members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club on various drug and weapons charges, but identified Hale at that point only as a “person of interest.”
Last Friday (May 23), the Rutherford Institute ­ one of the precious few nominally conservative activist groups that gives half a damn about individual liberty ­ and a private law firm in Virginia filed a civil rights lawsuit against several Delaware law enforcement and political officials on behalf of Derek’s widow and parents. They really should consider including key officials from the Virginia State Police in the suit, as well.
Those who persist in fetishizing local police ­ who are, at this point, merely local franchises of a unitary, militarized, Homeland Security apparatus ­ should ponder this atrocity long and hard.
They should contemplate not only the inexplicable eagerness of Lt. William Brown to kill a helpless, paralyzed pseudo-suspect, but also the practiced ease with which the police establishments of two states collaborated in confecting a fiction to cover up that crime.
According to the lawsuit, Lt. Brown, Derek’s murderer, “has violated the constitutional rights of others in the past through the improper use of deadly force and has coached other WPD officers on how to lie about and/or justify the improper use of deadly force.” Rather than being cashiered, Brown was promoted ­ just as one would expect of any other dishonest, cowardly thug in the service of any other Third World death squad.
Derek J. Hale survived two tours of duty in Iraq, a country teeming with Pentagon-trained death squads, only to be murdered by their home-grown equivalent.
March 29, 2007
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.
Copyright © 2007 William Norman Grigg


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September 20 2007, 10:59 AM 

Death Squad In Delaware
The Case Of The Murdered Marine
By William Norman Grigg

He survived Iraq, only to suffer Death By Government in the “Land of the Free”: Sgt. Derek J. Hale, USMC, ret. ~ RIP

Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It may be the first state to be afflicted with a fully operational death squad ­ unless a civil lawsuit filed on Friday against the murders of Derek J. Hale results in criminal charges and a complete lustration (in the Eastern European sense of the term) of Delaware’s law enforcement establishment.

Hale, a retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and was decorated before his combat-related medical discharge in January 2006, was murdered by a heavily armed 8­12-member undercover police team in Wilmington, Delaware last November 6. He had come to Wilmington from his home in Manassas, Virginia to participate in a Toys for Tots event.

Derek was house-sitting for a friend on the day he was murdered. Sandra Lopez, the ex-wife of Derek’s friend, arrived with an 11- year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter just shortly before the police showed up. After helping Sandra and her children remove some of their personal belongings, Derek was sitting placidly on the front step, clad in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, when an unmarked police car and a blacked-out SUV arrived and disgorged their murderous cargo.

Unknown to Derek, he had been under police surveillance as part of a ginned-up investigation into the Pagan Motorcycle Club, which he had joined several months before; the Pagans sponsored the “Toys for Tots Run” that had brought Derek to Delaware. As with any biker club, the Pagans probably included some disreputable people in their ranks. Derek was emphatically not one of them.

In addition to his honorable military service (albeit in a consummately dishonorable war), Derek’s personal background was antiseptically clean. He had a concealed carry permit in Virginia, which would not have been issued to him if he’d been convicted of a felony, a narcotics or domestic violence charge, or had any record of substance abuse or mental illness.

On the day he was killed, Derek had been under both physical and electronic (and, according to the civil complaint, illegal) surveillance. Police personnel who observed him knew that his behavior was completely innocuous. And despite the fact that he had done nothing to warrant such treatment, he was considered an “un- indicted co-conspirator” in a purported narcotics ring run by the Pagans.

The police vehicles screeched to a halt in front of the house shortly after 4:00 p.m. They ordered Lopez and her children away from Derek ­ who, predictably, had risen to his feet by this time ­ and then ordered him to remove his hands from his the pockets of his sweatshirt.

Less than a second later ­ according to several eyewitnesses at the scene ­ Derek was hit with a taser blast that knocked him sideways and sent him into convulsions. His right hand involuntarily shot out of its pocket, clenching spasmodically.

“Not in front of the kids,” Derek gasped, as he tried to force his body to cooperate. “Get the kids out of here.”

The officers continued to order Derek to put up his hands; he was physically unable to comply.

So they tased him again. This time he was driven to his side and vomited into a nearby flower bed.

Howard Mixon, a contractor who had been working nearby, couldn’t abide the spectacle.

“That’s not necessary!” he bellowed at the assailants. “That’s overkill! That’s overkill!”

At this point, one of the heroes in blue (or, in this case, black) swaggered over to Mixon and snarled, “I’ll f*****g show you overkill!” Having heroically shut up an unarmed civilian, the officer turned his attention back to Derek ­ who was being tased yet again.

“I’m trying to get my hands out,” Derek exclaimed, desperately trying to make his tortured and traumatized body obey his will. Horrified, his friend Sandra screamed at the officers: “He is trying to get his hands out, he cannot get his hands out!”

Having established that Derek ­ an innocent man who had survived two tours of duty in Iraq ­ was defenseless, one of Wilmington’s Finest closed in for the kill.

Lt. William Brown of the Wilmington Police Department, who was close enough to seize and handcuff the helpless victim, instead shot him in the chest at point-blank range, tearing apart his vitals with three .40-caliber rounds. He did this after Derek had said, repeatedly and explicitly, that he was trying to cooperate. He did this despite the fact that witnesses on the scene had confirmed that Derek was trying to cooperate. He did this in front of a traumatized mother and two horrified children.

Why was this done?

According to Sgt. Steven Elliot of the WPD, Brown slaughtered Derek Hale because he “feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat.” That subjective belief was sufficient justification to use “deadly force,” according to Sgt. Elliot.

The “position” Derek was in, remember, was that of wallowing helplessly in his own vomit, trying to overcome the cumulative effects of three completely unjustified Taser attacks.

When asked by the Wilmington News Journal last week if Hale had ever threatened the officers ­ remember, there were at least 8 and as many as 12 of them ­ Elliot replied: “In a sense, [he threatened the officers] when he did not comply with their commands.”

He wasn’t given a chance to comply: He was hit with the first Taser strike less than a second after he was commanded to remove his hands from his pockets, and then two more in rapid succession. The killing took roughly three minutes.

As is always the case when agents of the State murder an innocent person, the WPD immediately went into cover-up mode. The initial account of the police murder claimed that Derek had “struggled with undercover Wilmington vice officers”; that “struggle,” of course, referred to Derek’s involuntary reaction to multiple, unjustified Taser strikes.

The account likewise mentioned that police recovered “two items that were considered weapons” from Derek’s body. Neither was a firearm. One was a container of pepper spray. The other was a switchblade knife. Both were most likely planted on the murder victim: The police on the scene had pepper spray, and Derek’s stepbrother, Missouri resident Jason Singleton, insists that Derek never carried a switchblade.

“The last time I saw Derek,” Jason told the News Journal, “he had a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade.”

Within hours, the WPD began to fabricate a back-story to justify Derek’s murder. Several Delware State Police officers ­ identified in the suit (.pdf) as “Lt. [Patrick] Ogden, Sgt. Randall Hunt, and other individual DSP [personnel]” contacted the police in Masassas, Virginia and informed him that Derek had been charged with drug trafficking two days before he was murdered. This was untrue. But because it was said by someone invested with the majestic power of the State, it was accepted as true, and cited in a sworn affidavit to secure a warrant to search Derek’s home.

Conducting this spurious search ­ which was, remember, play-acting in the service of a cover story ­ meant shoving aside Derek’s grieving widow, Elaine, and her two shattered children, who had just lost their stepfather. Nothing of material consequence was found, but a useful bit of embroidery was added to the cover story.

Less than two weeks earlier, Derek and Elaine had celebrated their first anniversary.

The Delaware State Police officer is guilty of misprision of perjury, as are the officials who collaborated in this deception. And it’s entirely likely that the Virginia State Police had guilty knowledge as well.

Last November 21, in an attempt to pre-empt public outrage, the highest officials of the Delaware State Police issued a press release in conjunction with their counterparts from Virginia. The statement is a work of unalloyed mendacity.

“Hale resisted arrest and was shot and killed by Wilmington Police on November 6, 2006,” lied the signatories with reference to the claim that he “resisted.” “Hale was at the center of a long term narcotics trafficking investigation which is still ongoing.”

As we’ve seen, Hale did not resist arrest, as everyone on the scene knew. And he was not at the “center” of any investigation; before his posthumous promotion to “un-indicted co-conspirator,” he was merely a “person of interest” because of his affiliation with a motorcycle club.

Most critically, the statement ­ which bears the august imprimatur of both the Delaware and Virginia State Police departments, remember ­ asserts: “Both [State Police] Superintendents have confirmed that there was never any false information exchanged by either agency in the investigation of Derek J. Hale, or transmitted between the agencies in order to obtain the search warrant.”

This was another lie.

“Delaware State Police spokesperson Sgt. Melissa Zebley conceded last week that no arrest warrant for Hale was ever issued,” reported the News Journal on March 22. Three days after Hale was murdered, police arrested 12 members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club on various drug and weapons charges, but identified Hale at that point only as a “person of interest.”

Last Friday (May 23), the Rutherford Institute ­ one of the precious few nominally conservative activist groups that gives half a damn about individual liberty ­ and a private law firm in Virginia filed a civil rights lawsuit against several Delaware law enforcement and political officials on behalf of Derek’s widow and parents. They really should consider including key officials from the Virginia State Police in the suit, as well.

Those who persist in fetishizing local police ­ who are, at this point, merely local franchises of a unitary, militarized, Homeland Security apparatus ­ should ponder this atrocity long and hard.

They should contemplate not only the inexplicable eagerness of Lt. William Brown to kill a helpless, paralyzed pseudo-suspect, but also the practiced ease with which the police establishments of two states collaborated in confecting a fiction to cover up that crime.

According to the lawsuit, Lt. Brown, Derek’s murderer, “has violated the constitutional rights of others in the past through the improper use of deadly force and has coached other WPD officers on how to lie about and/or justify the improper use of deadly force.” Rather than being cashiered, Brown was promoted ­ just as one would expect of any other dishonest, cowardly thug in the service of any other Third World death squad.

Derek J. Hale survived two tours of duty in Iraq, a country teeming with Pentagon-trained death squads, only to be murdered by their home-grown equivalent.

March 29, 2007

William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.

Copyright © 2007 William Norman Grigg


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America Is No More by Paul Craig Roberts

September 19, 2007 1 comment

America Is No More

By Paul Craig Roberts

09/18/07 “ICH” — — N aïve Americans who think they live in a free society should watch this video filmed by students at a John Kerry speech September 17, Constitution Day, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

At the conclusion of Kerry’s speech, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year old journalism student was selected by Senator Kerry to ask a question. Meyer held up a copy of BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast’s book, Armed Madhouse, and asked if Kerry was aware that Palast’s investigations determined that Kerry had actually won the election. Why, Meyer asked, had Kerry conceded the election so quickly when there were so many obvious examples of vote fraud? Why, Meyer, went on to ask, was Kerry refusing to consider Bush’s impeachment when Bush was about to initiate another act of military aggression, this time against Iran?

At this point the public’s protectors—the police—decided that Meyer had said too much. They grabbed Meyer and began dragging him off. Meyer said repeatedly, “I have done nothing wrong,” which under our laws he had not. He threatened no one and assaulted no one.

But the police decided that Meyer, an American citizen, had no right to free speech and no constitutional protection. They threw him to the floor and tasered him right in front of Senator Kerry and the large student audience, who captured on video the unquestionable act of police brutality. Meyer was carted off and jailed on a phony charge of “disrupting a public event.”

The question we should all ask is why did a United States Senator just stand there while Gestapo goons violated the constitutional rights of a student participating in a public event, brutalized him in full view of everyone, and then took him off to jail on phony charges?

Kerry’s meekness not only in the face of electoral fraud, not only in the face of Bush’s wars that are crimes under the Nuremberg standard, but also in the face of police goons trampling the constitutional rights of American citizens makes it completely clear that he was not fit to be president, and he is not fit to be a US senator.

Usually when police violate constitutional rights and commit acts of police brutality they do it when they believe no one is watching, not in front of a large audience. Clearly, the police have become more audacious in their abuse of rights and citizens. What explains the new fearlessness of police to violate rights and brutalize citizens without cause?

The answer is that police, most of whom have authoritarian personalities, have seen that constitutional rights are no longer protected. President Bush does not protect our constitutional rights. Neither does Vice President Cheney, nor the Attorney General, nor the US Congress. Just as Kerry allowed Meyer’s rights to be tasered out of him, Congress has enabled Bush to strip people, including American citizens, of constitutional protection and incarcerate them without presenting evidence.

How long before Kerry himself or some other senator will be dragged from his podium and tasered?

The Bush Republicans with complicit Democrats have essentially brought government accountability to an end in the US. The US government has 80,000 people, including ordinary American citizens, on its “no-fly list.” No one knows why they are on the list, and no one on the list can find out how to get off it. An unaccountable act by the Bush administration put them there.

Airport Security harasses and abuses people who do not fit any known definition of terrorist. Nalini Ghuman, a British-born citizen and music professor at Mills College in California was met on her return from a trip to England by armed guards at the airplane door and escorted away. A Gestapo goon squad tore up her US visa, defaced her British passport, body searched her, and told her she could leave immediately for England or be sent to a detention center.

Professor Ghuman, an Oxford University graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, says she feels like the character in Kafka’s book, The Trial. “I don’t know why it’s happened, what I’m accused of. There’s no opportunity to defend myself. One is just completely powerless.” Over one year later there is still no answer.

The Bush Republicans and their Democratic toadies have, in the name of “security,” made all of us powerless. While Senator John Kerry and his Democratic colleagues stand silently, the Bush administration has stolen our country from us and turned us into subjects.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.


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How the Internet Is Changing Political Campaigning

September 18, 2007 Leave a comment


Published by The John Birch Society – Truth, Leadership, Freedom (

How the Internet Is Changing Political Campaigning

Created 2007-10-01 05:00

digg_url = ‘;; digg_bgcolor = ‘#fff’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;

If the presidential election were held in cyberspace, [Ron] Paul would probably win hands down.
— Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune syndicated columnist

When Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s name is brought up in conversation, more often than not, the typical response is, “Who’s that?” This is reminiscent of the “Jimmy who?” refrain that one often heard in the early months of the 1976 U.S. presidential campaign. For younger readers of this magazine, the reference was to Jimmy Carter, who overcame seemingly impossible odds and went on to become our 39th president. Ron Paul’s polling numbers are about the same as Jimmy Carter’s were at this point in their respective presidential campaigns. But unlike Carter, who was helped along by a supportive mainstream media and early membership in the Trilateral Commission, Dr. Paul (he’s an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies) is being virtually ignored by the press. However, Dr. Paul is enjoying phenomenal success in a realm of the media that did not even exist in Carter’s day: the Internet.

To get an idea of the extent to which the mainstream media is blocking out news about Ron Paul, consider the Washington Post article reporting the results of the August 11 Iowa Straw Poll. After proclaiming that Mitt Romney was the winner, the Post went on to comment on the closely trailing finishers:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee finished second with 18 percent of the 14,302 votes cast, and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas ran third with 15 percent. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, the most outspoken opponent of current U.S. immigration policy, finished fourth with 14 percent. Former Wisconsin governor Tommy G. Thompson was sixth at 7 percent.

Blatantly omitted was the fifth-place finisher, Ron Paul, who received nine percent of the votes cast. That in itself was a major story, as a poll of Iowa voters just six days earlier had placed Dr. Paul back in eighth position, with just two percent. And yet, his name was never mentioned anywhere in that Washington Post article.

On the other hand, when 10-term Congressman Paul is given an occasional bit of attention by mainstream news journalists and broadcasters, he is often derided. For example, in a recent interview with Dr. Paul, the host of ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos, asked the candidate for his definition of success. Paul predictably responded that it was to win. “That’s not going to happen,” Stephanopoulos bluntly informed him. Ironically, this is the same George Stephanopoulos who was working on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign back in 1991, when Clinton’s chances of winning anything were being rated as slim to none (though Clinton was already a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations).

Even among Republicans, Dr. Paul and his supporters are often ridiculed. While introducing Ron Paul at the Iowa Straw Poll, Master of Ceremonies Laura Ingraham referred to Paul’s cheering fans in front of the stage as “inmates” who had “left the asylum.” Ms. Ingraham remarked that Congressman Paul had recently proposed that President Bush allow private citizens to go after Osama bin Laden (an obvious reference to Congress’ power to grant Letters of Marquee and Reprisal, a decree authorized in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that would allow private sources or bounty hunters to pursue bin Laden). She then mockingly inquired if anyone in the audience would like to volunteer, and went on to add that the Discovery Channel would soon be broadcasting a new show called Ron Paul: Bounty Hunter.

Following that disrespectful introduction, candidate Paul launched into a 15 minute speech, during which he declared, “Our campaign is all about freedom, prosperity, and peace.”

As Paul’s “mosh pit” spectators filed out of the Hilton Coliseum to make way for the next candidate’s cheering entourage, Ingraham obviously had that speech line in mind when she derisively stated, “The peace train is leaving the arena.” President Ronald Reagan once noted that the 11th commandment was to never criticize a fellow Republican. Notably, Ms. Ingraham actually worked as a speechwriter in the White House near the end of the Reagan administration.

With such headwinds to fly against, one might think that Ron Paul would find it almost impossible to get noticed on anybody’s radar screen — until one goes to the Internet. Then one gets the impression that he is some kind of superstar, moving through cyberspace like a titan. Despite the fact that the mainstream media is treating Ron Paul virtually as a nonentity, a growing number of Americans are learning about him through the Internet. Many of them like what they are finding out and are supporting his candidacy. This prompted Wired magazine to run a commentary on its website entitled, “Ron Paul: How a Fringe Politician Took Over the Web.” Consider the following:

Debate Polls: After the first five Republican debates on national television, four mainstream news channels featured online polls asking the American people who had won. After the first debate on May 3, MSNBC ran a poll, which had obtained over 72,000 responses, showing that Ron Paul was the most convincing candidate, receiving 45 percent of the vote. Fox News ran a poll after the second debate on May 15 and, with over 40,000 votes, Ron Paul came in a close second with 25 percent of the vote. MSNBC also ran a poll about that debate and discovered that Ron Paul was, again, the most convincing candidate, with 64 percent of the more than 25,000 responses. After the third debate on June 5, CNN’s poll of over 25,000 respondents showed that Ron Paul had won with 60 percent of the vote. An ABC News online poll showed that Ron Paul decisively won the fourth debate on August 5, receiving almost 59 percent of the more than 36,000 votes cast. Finally, a Fox News text messaging poll following the fifth debate on September 5 put Ron Paul first with 33 percent.

Meetup Groups: is defined as “an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world.” allows people to find and join groups that are unified by a common interest, such as politics, careers, hobbies, etc. Users enter their ZIP code and the topic they want to meet about, and the website helps them arrange a place and time to meet up with others who have the same interest. Meetup Groups interested in promoting Ron Paul are springing up like mushrooms all over the country. At the time that this article was being written, there were 37,423 members in 867 Meetup Groups, with an additional 5,143 people on a waiting list looking for a Ron Paul Meetup Group to join in their area. Trailing far behind in second place among presidential contenders was Barak Obama, with 4,188 members in 67 Meetup Groups, and 1,621 waiting for a Meetup Group to join.

YouTube Viewings: is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view, and share video clips. A recent analysis of the presidential candidates’ videos on YouTube, prepared by Professor Edward Lee of the Ohio State University and based on data up to August 6, 2007, made the following observations:

Among all the candidates, Ron Paul’s popularity on YouTube stands out. Paul ranks No. 1 in three of the four categories measured. By a wide margin, Paul has the most views on average per video (nearly 85,000) and the most subscribers on YouTube (nearly 25,000) — more than doubling the numbers of the closest competitor from any party. He also has the most number of views total on YouTube (over 2.8 million), having gained 1.2 million views in the past month (which more than doubled the increase in views of each of the other candidates during that time period). The one category in which Paul does not lead the other candidates is the Single Most Viewed Video on YouTube, a category in which Paul places no better than most of the other candidates. The data suggest that Ron Paul’s popularity on YouTube comes from a consistent and respectable number of views for all or most of his videos, instead of one “big hit” video.

However, on August 15, it was reported that “the #1 most viewed, top rated, most discussed, and top favorite News and Politics video on YouTube” was Ron Paul’s speech at the Iowa Straw Poll.

Facebook Supporters: is a social networking website that is particularly popular with college students. The name of the site refers to the facebooks depicting members of the campus community that U.S. colleges give to students at the start of the academic year, with the intention of helping students get to know each other. The Ron Paul campaign has more than 100 student groups with more than 24,000 members, more than any other Republican candidate. Here are the figures as of September 10:

Ron Paul


Mitt Romney


Fred Thompson


John McCain


Mike Huckabee


Sam Brownback


Rudy Giuliani


Tom Tancredo


Duncan Hunter


MySpace Friends: is described by Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, as “a popular social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos internationally.” Many 2008 presidential candidates have set up MySpace profiles, presumably in an effort to attract younger voters. These profiles feature photos, blogs, videos, and ways for viewers to get involved with campaigning. Thus far, Ron Paul has more than 60,000 MySpace friends, which puts him ahead of any other Republican candidate. Here are the figures as of September 10:

Ron Paul 60,636
John McCain 39,584
Mitt Romney 29,873
Sam Brownback 11,104
Rudy Giuliani 7,813
Mike Huckabee 6,832
Fred Thompson 6,815
Duncan Hunter 6,794
Tom Tancredo 3,787

Fundraising: The bulk of Ron Paul’s campaign contributions (around 80 percent, according to his national campaign headquarters) comes from online donations, because the Internet is where he is best known, and that is where his support base lies. As reported on

On July 15th, the Federal Election Commission announced the 2nd-quarter fundraising totals for each presidential candidate. In the Republican field, Ron Paul’s $2.4 million placed him:

  • 3rd in total receipts for the quarter
  • 4th in total receipts to date
  • 3rd in total current assets (ahead of former front-runner John McCain, and just $800,000 behind Mitt Romney)

Thus far, 47% of the contributions made to Ron Paul’s campaign are donations of under $200 from individuals (John McCain’s 17% is the second-highest percentage). This is a telling statistic, as it highlights the fact that most other candidates rely heavily upon donations from corporate interests and political action committees (PACs) (i.e., moneyed, influence-seeking sources who can readily afford to contribute large sums). Since Congressman Paul has always voted against special favors and privileges for anyone, special interests know they have nothing to gain by stuffing Ron Paul’s campaign coffers.

Straw Polls: An online straw poll, conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which closed on July 16, yielded the following order of finish (depicted in a bar graph with no totals or percentages):

    1. Fred Thompson
    2. Ron Paul
    3. Rudy Giuliani
    4. Mitt Romney
    5. Tom Tancredo
    6. Mike Huckabee
    7. John McCain
    8. Sam Brownback
    9. Duncan Hunter
    10. Tommy Thompson

And on the USA Election Polls website, one can still vote on the question, “Who do you want to see as president? (Reps and Dems).” At the time that this article was being written, Ron Paul was leading all presidential candidates with 8,772 votes, which amounted to 58 percent of the total votes cast.

Dr. Paul’s straw-poll success online is being translated into straw-poll success offline, as well. As reported on his official campaign website, “Congressman Ron Paul has finished in the top 5 in 16 of the last 17 straw polls and can claim 1st place victories in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, and Alabama. In comparing results head-to-head, Congressman Paul has blown away most of the field, defeating Rudy Giuliani in 15 of the 17 polls and John McCain in 15 of the 16 [sic] polls.” Since that commentary was posted, five more straw polls have been staged and Dr. Paul’s tally now stands as follows:

First Place 9 times
Second Place 4 times
Third Place 4 times
Fourth Place 3 times
Fifth Place 1 time
Sixth Place 1 time

To what can this incredible grass-roots support be attributed, particularly on the Internet? There are a number of plausible reasons for Ron Paul’s online success. Most importantly, the Internet is the primary source of information about Dr. Paul. The mainstream media and major-party establishments have already anointed the top six Republican and Democratic candidates (Giuliani, McCain, Romney; Clinton, Edwards, Obama). As a result, countless opinion makers have informed Americans that these six politicians complete the list of the so-called “viable” presidential contenders. The pundits are saying, in effect, “There is no need to look any further; we have already done your thinking for you.”

Each of the already-anointed presidential candidates has received regular, daily coverage for many months (in some cases, for several years). Although Dr. Paul has benefited from a smattering of media attention since his “blowback” exchange with Rudy Giuliani in last May’s debate, people who are curious about Paul’s track record and platform must turn to the Internet. And when people first learn of Dr. Paul’s track record, they apparently want to know more, because they like what they see. For example, as his campaign literature points out, Ron Paul has:

  • never voted to raise taxes.
  • never voted for an unbalanced budget.
  • never voted to raise congressional pay.
  • never taken a government-paid junket.
  • never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
  • not participated in the lucrative congressional pension program.
  • voted against regulating the Internet.
  • repeatedly been named the “Taxpayers’ Best Friend” in Congress.

Dr. Paul has been a critic of the Iraq War from the outset, because there was no declaration of war, and that has made him very unpopular among the neoconservatives in the Republican Party. But as Paul puts it, “If you give up one part of the Constitution, you give up the whole thing, because it becomes arbitrary for the executive branch and the judicial branch and the legislative branch. And that’s where we are — we are an arbitrary government today. The government does what they please with no restraint.”

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that, based on the July 2007 Quarterly Finance Reports to the Federal Election Commission, Ron Paul is now first among all presidential candidates in total donations from military personnel and veterans. And this leads to another plausible explanation for Dr. Paul’s online popularity: it’s younger people who are most against the Iraq War, and it’s the younger generation that is most savvy about using cyberspace. However, when students talk with their parents and grandparents, the older generations learn more about Ron Paul. (For instance, an article in the Des Moines Register just before the Iowa Straw Poll referred to Internet-savvy kids telling their parents about Ron Paul.) As a result, his campaign has been able to attract people from all across the political spectrum. As Paul sees it, “There is only one thing — the Constitution and freedom — that brings people together. And it’s not divisive. We are not confrontational and we’re very tolerant of other people’s views. That’s why individuals can come no matter what views they have.”

Ron Paul’s political philosophy seems unconventional by today’s standards, but it represents the political philosophy of the framers of our Constitution. And yet, as out of step as he may appear to be, especially as portrayed in the conventional press, he has been able to win reelection time after time. If Dr. Paul can bring his message and appeal at the district level up to the national level, and can bring his Internet popularity to the masses — helped along by his fiery rhetoric in the Republican debates, which is forcing the mainstream media to give him increasingly more attention — then we may be in for a very interesting presidential primary season.

From the Editor

THE NEW AMERICAN, like its parent company the John Birch Society, does not endorse candidates for public office. Our view regarding party politics is that when enough Americans become informed and involved, candidates who truly uphold constitutional principles will become electable once again, and those politicians who do not uphold the Constitution will suffer defeat.

But a major obstacle to informing our fellow citizens has been the major media, which promote a big-government, internationalist agenda while pretending to be “objective.” The advent of the Internet, however, is providing a splendid opportunity for political “outsiders” to circumvent the major media.

To date, probably no candidate has harnessed the power of the Internet to get the word out, and to organize, better than Ron Paul. His presidential campaign also shows that everyday Americans — not just older generations but young Americans too — support the freedom message when it is presented to them.

Of course, other candidates — not just for president but for Congress too — could also make the Constitution their political platform and use the Internet to inform and activate. With the traction that the Paul campaign is getting despite little media attention, we suspect more will. Regardless of what happens in the primaries or general election next year, the Ron Paul Revolution has already demonstrated the popularity of the freedom message and what can be done to get the word out.


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The Dr. No! Zone…(Ron Paul)

September 18, 2007 Leave a comment

The Dr. No! Zone…(Ron Paul)

All You Need To Know About Cultural Marxism, Psychology, Sociology, Education, Humanism, etc.

September 17, 2007 11 comments

The Roots of Revolution

by Reginald Firehammer

In the opening article to this series, ” Marxist Revolution of the West ,” I explained that the revolution that has all but destroyed Western civilization, and is in its final stages in every aspect of Western society and culture, though explicitly planned and initiated by avowed Marxists, it was contributions of other individuals, movements, and institutions that made it possible for the revolution to be so spectacularly pulled off. The interrelationships between these various contributors to the revolution is very complex. There are six major threads of influence which I have identified and in terms of which all the complexity of that revolution can be explained.

Six Anti-Western Anti-civlizing Threads

The six threads are: 1. Cultural Marxism; 2. Post Modernism; 3. Psychology; 4. Sociology; 5. Education; and 6. Humanism.

Cultural Marxism is the movement initiated by the avowed Marxists, Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukacs, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and Max Horkheimer and others of the Frankfurt School. These men made it clear in their writing, teaching, speeches, and lectures that a complete revolution of Western society and the eventual establishment of a one-world socialist order was and is their intention.

Post Modernism is a philosophy primarily epistemological (study of knowledge) which has its roots in the logical positivists of the Vienna Circle. Though many of the positivists were also socialists, there was never any overtly stated intention to foment revolution, though the results of their influence on society and culture has certainly resulted in one. Most important, the result of this philosophical movement produced the fertile anti-intellectual soil in which cultural Marxism has thrived.

Psychology is the pseudo-science which began with the conflation of physiology (a legitimate science) and philosophy of mind (a legitimate branch of philosophy) by Wilhelm Wundt in the early 1900s. By combining both “philosophical introspection” (subjectivity) and laboratory technique (objectivity), “psychology” provided the means to put over any wild speculation about the nature of human consciousness in the name of “science.” It was perfectly suited to the purposes of the cultural Marxists, two of whom, Wilhelm Reich and Erich Fromm, were influential “psychologists” whose marxist ideas have, through the medium of psychology, infiltrated every aspect of Western culture and thought.

Sociology is another pseudo-science, the invention of Auguste Compte (1798-1857) which he called the greatest of sciences that would subsume all others (which in a very real sense it has—think environmentalism and the subordination of science to political agendas). Sociology is “dressed-up” collectivism; it’s fundamental premise is that society is the ultimate end or purpose of values and actions and that individuals are subordinate to and derive their values and purpose from their relationship to or membership in society. Compte coined the word altruism to refer to the moral obligation of individuals to serve others and place the interests of society above their own. He is the father of positivism, which he regarded as “human religion”; both the logical positivists (Vienna Circle) and Secular Humanism have their origins in Compte. If Sociology is a science, its application is “social engineering.”

Education is a social-engineering method of implementing control, based on “principles” derived from sociology and psychology. The educational system that dominates America, and virtually all the West had its origins in Prussia, the brain-child of the collectivist philosopher, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who said, “The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”

In the 1800′s there were no Phd programs in America and more than 10,000 of America’s wealthiest families sent their sons to Prussian universities to obtain a Phd There they learned the Prussian education system. America’s first Phd was Edward Everett, who, as Governor of Massachusetts, together with another Phd, Horace Mann, who is considered the father of American education, established the Prussian system of education in 1852 in Massachusetts. Under the influence of these men, the Prussian system was set up in New York shortly after, and subsequently throughout the entire country.

Humanism is an ideology meant to take the place of religion, particularly Christianity, which is why it is usually referred to as “Secular Humanism.” Humanism is an eclectic pseudo-philosophy containing elements from all the other threads, especially sociology and psychology, and under its banner every possible form of statism and collectivism is promoted.

A Single Origin

These threads are like separate streams of influence, at times operating independently, but more often than not are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. I have identified them because their relationship is so poorly understood, and almost all attempts to understand the collapse of Western Civilization only identify one or two of these influences, if any at all, which always leaves inexplicable gaps in a full understanding of the principles all these have been aligned against—because it is those principles which were the basis and foundation of Western Civilization and it is the loss of those principles that is reason for the West’s collapse. To a very large extent, most attempts to understand the disintegration of Western culture and society addresses symptoms, such as the growing threat of Islam in Europe. Islam is like an opportunistic parasitic disease that thrives on the “flesh” of dying societies—Islam is no threat to healthy civilized societies because it has no appeal to people of such societies or power to influence them.

The cure for the Islamic threat is the same as the cure for all other apparent threats to civilization, the establishment of the principles of civilization in individual minds. The alternatives that are always proposed are social or political solutions—which is exactly what has been the cause of the anti-civilizing revolution of the West.

Though they diverge in many places, both historically and philosophically, all these threads have a common source and the nature of that source can be traced through every thread. It is also the reason why they ultimately reinforce each other because they all have the same philosophical foundation. That philosophical foundation is the philosophy of a single man, David Hume (1711-1776).

The two men whom Hume influenced directly who were ultimately responsible for both cultural Marxism and postmodernism were Immanuel Kant and Auguste Compte. While Kant’s philosophy is mistakenly thought to have been a refutation of Hume’s skepticism, it is actually a reinforcement of the worst of Hume’s ideas, because Kant accepted Hume’s premises. Compte, on the other hand, thoroughly embraced Hume’s radical empiricism, (which is itself a misnomer).

The following briefly illustrates the streams of influence that trace all the threads back to Hume.
David Hume
Hume Immanuel Kant
Hume Auguste Compte
Hume Kant (Fichte) Hegel Wundt Psychology
Hume Kant Fichte Education (Prussian system) Edward Everett, Horace Mann
Hume Kant Hegel Frankfurt School Cultural Marxism Critical Theory, Multiculturalism, Relativism, Political Correctness [Note: cultural Marxists use psychology, social science, education, and media (journalism, film, and TV) to put over their ideas and agenda.]
Hume Compte Social Science Social Engineering, Altruism, Collectivism, statism
Hume Compte Positivism Secular Humanism Socialism, Collectivism, Statism, Anti-absolute (e.g. religion, philosophy)
Hume Compte Positivism Vienna Circle (logical positivism) Postmodernism Deconstruction, Critical Reason, Relativism

[NOTE: Compare the similarity in the results in terms modern influence of the seemingly separate threads, beginning with the Vienna Circle and the Frankfurt School. "Critical Theory," and "Deconstruction (so-called critical reason)" are very similar anti-concepts. Both result in relativism, on which multiculturalism and political correctness are based.]

The Civilizing Principles

I have made the point as strongly as I can, that what makes a society civilized is not the kind of government it has, not its economic or technological achievements, not it’s dominant culture or even ideology, but the kind of people a society is comprised of. There are governments that preclude civilization, of course, by suppressing the kind of people required for a civilized society, and where people are free and civilized, a very high level of culture and prosperity is inevitable. Ultimately, though, it is the people themselves that determined a society’s level of civilization.

Always, civilized people embrace certain principles, if not explicitly, then implicitly demonstrated by the choices they make and the lives they live. The principles are not always held consistently, but these principles are dominant in civilized societies, because without them, civilization is impossible and savagery and barbarity dominate.

The Principles of Civilization

Historically, many of these civilizing principles have been associated with religion, particularly religions of Judeao-Christian origin. Though it is not the religion itself (in the context of which some of the least civilized periods of history prevailed) but the philosophical principles held within the context of religion that were the civilizing influence; in the West, the abandonment of religion, unfortunately, has also meant an abandonment of the civilizing principles as well.

I’ve alluded to these principles in the second article in this series. Though the principles are philosophical in nature, most men are not philosophers, so I am going to describe those principles here in the language most men understand them, or at least, did understand them in more civilized times.

Perhaps the best way to introduce what those principles are is by means of illustration. In this case the illustration is what men who hold and live by such principles do.

Between 1785 and 1958 (just 173 years) the following discoveries and inventions were made, more or less, in the order listed: the use of foxglove (digitalis) for treating heart arrhythmias; Lavoisier’s law of conservation of mass; Volta’s electric battery; Dalton’s atomic theory; refrigeration; steam locomotive; stethoscope; faraday’s electric motor; photography; internal combustion engine; Ohm’s law (electricity); Avogadro’s (gas) law; Faraday’s electrical generator; first enzyme, diastase, isolated; refrigerator; all plants are made of cells proven; Goodyear’s’ vulcanization of rubber; chemical fertilizer; anaesthesia; Helmholtz law of conservation of energy (first law of thermodynamics); absolute zero defined; Bessemer steel making process; oil drill; lead acid battery; Pasteurization; vaccination; Mendel’s basis for genetics; dynamite; periodic table; Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism; electric lights; telephone; Tesla’s induction motor; Edison’s phonograph; Boltzmann’s statistical definition of entropy; Röntgen’s x-rays; Thomson’s electron in cathode rays; cathode ray tube (oscilloscopes, TV); automobile; Tesla’s radio; diesel engine; magnetic tape recorder; air conditioner; neon lamp; Arthur D. Little’s rayon cellulose ester; electrocardiograph (EKG); heavier-than-air powered flight; triode amplifier; washing machine; cellophane; bakelite: cracking process for gasoline; Bohr model of the atom; helical structure of DNA; stainless steel; neoprene, nylon; microwave radar; jet engine; computer; transistor; Shannon’s information theory; nuclear power reactor; laser; integrated circuit; communications satellite.

With the exception of the helical structure of DNA, the transistor, and the Wright Brothers, of course, these discoveries and inventions were all accomplished by individuals, often in the face of great collective and popular opposition. Every one of these are ideas that make the world we take for granted in the West what it is. Not only is every convenience and luxury we enjoy the direct result of these discoveries and inventions, our very health and longevity would be impossible without them.

Much more significant than the particular discoveries, the technological developments, and inventions made by these individuals are the ideas that not only these men, but most men of that era understood and lived by—ideas that made that whole age possible—ideas that produced the highest levels of civilized society in history, societies comprised of men of individual integrity, ingenuity, ambition, self-reliance, an exuberant love of life and its possibilities and an almost universal sense of hope and happiness.

The Philosophical Brilliance that was “Common Sense”

The basis of the concepts were philosophical, but for the men of that civilized era they were, “common sense,” and they primarily concerned two things men had come to understand: the nature of the world they lived in and nature of human beings themselves.

In as non-technical terms as I can describe them, what men knew about the world was, (1) that what one saw and heard and directly experienced is real. (2) The real world and all the things in it have specific natures, the attributes that make things what they are, and (3) whether men knew what those natures were or not, things are what they are, independently of what anyone thinks, believes, or knows about them. (4) The events of the world are not disconnected random events; things happened for a reason, and there are connections between the nature of things and nature of events. (5) Whether they called them the, “laws of nature,” or the “laws of physics,” or “God’s order of the universe,” it is by means of the principles that describe the attributes of things and events that the nature of this world is understood, and (6) it is that knowledge by which this world becomes the object of man’s use and benefit—it is that knowledge that made the most incredible 173 years in history possible.

More important than what they knew about the world is what they knew about their own natures, particularly about their own consciousness—the uniqueness of man is that (7) he not only can, but must consciously choose all he does (volition), and he is (8) endowed with the means of making those choices, which is his capacity to think (reason). It is these two attributes of man that determine all that is appropriate for men living in this world. To choose correctly, (9) men must have knowledge of how this world works, else there would be no way to predict the consequences of one’s choices.

But men who can understand the world and make choices have another attribute that lies at the very heart of human nature— (10) a being that must consciously choose every thought and action and is capable of understanding the consequences of his choices is responsible for all his actions. This, perhaps was the most important concept of that entire age and, whether it was called ethics or morality, it means every individual is responsible for every choice and act. It is that concept of individual responsibility, combined with the recognition of the absolute nature of reality that determined the kind of people that comprised that society and culture—a people of integrity, self-reliance, and a sense of personal dignity; people who understood that every individual succeeds or fails because of his own thoughts, choices, and efforts.

It is the kind of world one lives in (objectively real) and one’s own nature (volitional) that determine what one must do to live happily and successfully in this world. Since all values are principle of the, “to achieve this end, this is what you must do,” and since (11) moral values assume the happiness of man as the ultimate end, all moral values in essence, say, “to live happily and successfully in this world, this is what you must do, this is how you must live.”

These twelve values and principles are what (12) philosophy should supply all men, though most men find these things in their religions. The religion that is least contradictory in providing these concepts is Christianity—thus its close association with Western Civilization.

Hume’s Attack On the Foundations of Western Civilization

These were the concepts that distinguished Western Civilization from all other societies and cultures in history and were the basis for the freest most prosperous country that has ever existed, yet in the very year of that country’s inception, the man responsible for the ideas that would come to dominate European philosophy, and eventually the intellectual influences of the world, ideas that would undermine, corrupt, and ultimately destroy every one of the civilizing principles had reached the end of his productive life. That man was David Hume. [Ironically, the beginning most civilized nation in history occurred concurrently with the death of the man who had spent his life producing the philosophy that would ultimately end Western Civilization.]

Hume’s was not a philosophy but an anti-philosophy. Hume systematically cut down every concept of sound philosophy; because, Hume was not a philosopher, he was a Sophist, and every “anti-philosophy” including nihilism, existentialism, and all forms of skepticism have their roots in sophism. I will not burden you with the details of that philosophy here (or anywhere else, though some aspects of Hume’s philosophy will be expanded on as the foundation of the anti-civilizing revolution of the West in subsequent articles). If you wish to research Hume yourself, the following will be useful:

A biographical note with links to some of his works from The University of Adelaide, Australia; most of his works online at Gutenberg Press; and links to various works and letters at The Online Book Page.

Unless you are a mental sadist and don’t mind slogging it out with David Hume himself (not recommended), this discussion of Hume’s work from the Stanford Encycopedia of Philosophy , with bibliography and links, and even the shorter entry in Wikipedia are good summaries.

What you will discover, if you do the research, is that Hume essentially denies everything “common sense” knows is true, even if the philosophical principles behind those principles are not understood. Like all good sophists, Hume’s arguments are not for anything in particular, but plausible questions of the nature, “you may believe in an objective reality, but if there is one, how can you know the one you perceive is it?” This is the style of Hume’s argument (not his actual one), by which he denies reality itself. The specific denials include:

—A denial of an objective external world, or at least, being able to know it.
—A denial of abstract ideas or principles, supposedly based on empiricism.
—A denial of “causation,” mistakenly called “cause and effect.”
—A denial of the identity of existents in terms of their characteristics (by denying his version of induction).
—A denial of the individual conscious self.
—A denial of volition (wrongly called “free will”).
—A denial of ethical values (his so-called “is/ought” problem).

All of these assaults on philosophy are based on Hume’s view of knowledge (epistemology), which is so incredibly naive (or ignorant or intentionally evil), nothing like it will be found except in very young children or the most primitive of men, though it is smuggled into almost all subsequent philosophy in some more plausible form. I will discuss the epistemology in the next article in which I will show that everyone one of Hume’s ideas are both self-contradictory and logically meaningless. I will conclude this article with a brief summary of how his influence on Western philosophy has corrupted every one of the twelve civilizing principles discussed above.

Hume, Father of the Uncivilization of the West

Since Hume explicitly denied (1) we can know the world and the things in it we directly experience are what we believe they are, (2) the reality we are conscious of cannot be directly known (Kant), because the characteristics of things are not absolute but “contingent.” Therefore all our (3) presumed knowledge of it is a “construct.” (social or cultural) and the presumed nature of things is what we feel, think, or believe it is—it is not independent of the mind; so, (4) the connections between things and events are merely conventional ways of looking at things, causes are social, psychological, and political, not physical (cultural Marxism). (5) There are no absolute principles, only conventions and cultural viewpoints, (multiculturalism); not (6) knowledge. (7) “Free will,” (their mistaken term for volition) is an illusion; men’s choices are determined by their cultural, psychological, and social influences, education, heredity, and economic condition. (8&9) All of men’s reasoning is determined by their society, culture, language, and the constructs they have learned (called cultural hegemony, by Gramsci and cultural Marxists, or the influence of language by the Logical Positivists/Linguistic Analysists, or ones literature and arts by the postmodernists). (10) Individuals are, therefore, not responsible for their actions because their behavior is determined by their culture, society, etc.; and there are (11) no absolute ethical values, there are only desires, feelings, and “whatever makes one happy.” (12) Objective philosophy and religion, particularly Christianity, are authoritative and absolute (just like reality) and must be eliminated to “free” mens minds to question all authority, all values, all “conventions,” and all absolutes. (I speak as a Humean postmodernist cultural Marxist).
[Index To This Series]


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Black Regiment Directory Now Online

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Black Regiment Directory Now Online

By Pastor Chuck Baldwin

September 18, 2007

I am pleased to announce that our initial “Black Regiment” directory is now online. We received more than 800 responses to my initial appeal back in July [Read]. Obviously, we had to sift through all these recommendations and also contact each one individually in order to obtain their consent to be listed. The initial list is now up and can be seen here.

For those who may not be aware of what I am talking about, the “Black Regiment” (also called the “Black-Robed Regiment”) was a group of patriot-pastors in Colonial America who greatly assisted America’s fight for freedom by courageously preaching the Biblical principles of liberty and independence from their pulpits. These were preachers from virtually every protestant denomination throughout the colonies. The moniker came from the tendency of these preachers to wear long, black robes in their pulpits.

My attempt to identify modern-day preachers who will emulate our Christian forebears and once again “proclaim liberty throughout the land” stems from the numerous requests I have from people all over America desiring to locate such pastors. People across the country are desperate to find courageous men of God who are not afraid to preach the truth to power. Men who are not enamored with popularity or position. Men who are not trying to be politically correct or appeal to the wealthy and affluent. Men who love America’s Christian history and heritage. Men who support and defend the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. Men who are willing to publicly condemn injustice, duplicity, and infidelity (to the Constitution and the American people) regardless of which political party or individual politician promotes it.

Read more…

How Libertarians Ought To Think About The U. S. Civil War

September 17, 2007 4 comments

How Libertarians Ought To Think About The U.S. Civil War
Reason Papers ^ | Spring 2006 | TIMOTHY SANDEFUR
Posted on 09/17/2007 5:35:27 PM EDT by Delacon

How Libertarians Ought To Think About The U.S. Civil War

By Timothy Sandefur

[Reason Papers vol. 28, pp. 61-83, Spring 2006]

I. Introduction

For decades, outspoken libertarians have seen the Civil War not only as a

historical calamity, but as a political calamity as well. According to many libertarians,

the Union victory in the Civil War, and the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in general,

represented a betrayal of American Constitution and of the fundamental principles of

American political philosophy.

This interpretation rests on two major arguments as well as a variety of more

minor concerns. The more minor concerns include specific critiques of the policies of the

Lincoln Administration, or of the conduct of the War by Union forces. For example,

many libertarians condemn the Union for instituting a military draft, or for suspending

the writ of habeas corpus. There are many of these specific criticisms, which deserve

detailed discussion which cannot be provided here.1 Suffice to say that some of these

criticisms are well-founded; indeed, libertarians deplore war precisely because it tends to

give rise to such evils.

Understanding the Civil War as a matter of political philosophy, however,

requires a systematic, two-step analysis: first, does a state have the legal authority under

the United States Constitution, to secede unilaterally? If the answer to this question is

yes, then the analysis is at an end: if states have the right to secede, the Union was in the

wrong to put down the Confederacy. If, however, the answer is no, then we must proceed

to a second step: even illegal acts, like the American Revolution, are justified by the right

1 For example, it ought to be noted that the Confederacy instituted a military draft as well, and did so before

the Union did. J. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (New York: Ballantine, 1988) p. 427.

of revolution, so even if the Constitution does prohibit secession, the people of the

southern states had the right to rebel against the Union, if their act was a legitimate act of

revolution. It is essential to keep in mind the distinction between secession and

revolution. As Lincoln wrote, “It might seem, at first thought, to be of little difference

whether the present movement at the South be called ‘secession’ or ‘rebellion.’ The

movers, however, well understand the [*62] difference.”2 Was, then, the Confederate

rebellion a legitimate act of revolution?

The prevailing libertarian answers to these questions are, first, that states have the

constitutional right to secede, and that Abraham Lincoln violated the Constitution by

leading the nation into war against the seceding states. This argument is based on the

“compact theory” of the Constitution. Second, the prevailing argument holds that the

rebellion represented a legitimate act of revolution. This argument is based on the

concept of “self-determination.”3 These premises, however, are invalid, as are the

prevailing libertarian conclusions. In fact, states have no constitutional authority to

secede from the union unilaterally; nor were southern states engaged in a legitimate act of

revolution, because they initiated force, rather than acting in defense of individual rights.

II. Do States Have The Legal Right to Secede?

A. Three Interpretations of Union

2 R. Basler, ed., Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln 8 vols. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press,

1953) 4:432.

3 See, e.g., J. Livingston, “A Moral Accounting of The Union And The Confederacy.” Journal of

Libertarian Studies. 16:2 pp. 57-101 (2002).

There are at least three ways of looking at the nature of the federal union under

the Constitution. First, the “compact theory” of the Constitution holds that it is much like

a treaty between essentially independent states. This theory found its first major

expression in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and

James Madison, respectively, as a protest to the Alien and Sedition laws in 1798.4 In the

1830s, South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun based his theory of nullification on these

resolutions—despite Madison’s repudiation of nullification—and thereby laid the

intellectual foundation for secession thirty years later.5 According to the compact theory,

each state is a sovereign entity which is bound to the other states only by a compact

which it may break whenever the compact imposes unbearable burdens on the state—just

as a country may decide to break a treaty. Under the compact theory, the federal union

contains no inherent element of sovereignty—it is a league of sovereign states. In

Calhoun’s view, [*63] the Constitution “is the government of States united in a political

union, in contradistinction to a government of individuals socially united…the

government of a community of States, and not the government of a single State or


Opposed to the compact theory are two theories that we may call the “weak

union” and the “strong union” views. According to these views, the federal Constitution

is not a treaty, but a law, and the federal union contains at least some element of

4 D. Mayer, The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson . (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia,

1994) p. 201.

5 D. McCoy, The Last of The Fathers: James Madison And The Republican Legacy (New York: Cambridge

University Press, 1989) pp. 132-62; L. Banning, The Sacred Fire of Liberty. (Ithaca: Cornell University

Press, 1995) pp. 387-95.

6 C. Post, ed., A Disquisition on Government And Selections from The Discourses by John C. Calhoun.

(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953) p. 86.

sovereignty; the federal union is not seen as a league of sovereigns, but as the government

of a single State or nation.

The strong-union view, most famously espoused by Daniel Webster, and later

adopted by Abraham Lincoln, Charles Sumner, and even Lysander Spooner,7 the union of

states predates the Constitution itself: it was created by the Declaration of Independence,

and the sovereignty of the states was itself a consequence or product of national

sovereignty. This view has much to commend it; the Declaration of Independence, for

instance, was issued in the name of the “thirteen united States of America,” who, as “ one

people” were breaking their former political bonds, and declaring that “these united

colonies are free and independent states.” It then goes on to describe what “free and

independent states may of right do”—things like carrying on foreign policy—none of

which were actually done by the states. In fact, at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention,

Delegate Rufus King explained that

The states were not “sovereigns” in the sense contended for by some.

They did not possess the peculiar features of sovereignty,—they could not

make war, nor peace, nor alliances, nor treaties. Considering them as

political beings, they were dumb, for they could not speak to any foreign

sovereign whatever. They were deaf, for they could not hear any

propositions from such sovereign. They had not even the organs or

faculties of defence or offence, for they could not of themselves raise

troops, or equip vessels, for war…. If the states, therefore, retained some

portion of their sovereignty [after declaring independence], they had

certainly divested themselves of essential portions of it.8

7 L. Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1860) pp. 56, 78-79.

8 J. Elliott, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution . 5

vols. (Washington: Elliott, 1836) 5:212-213. This argument formed a central point in Justice Sutherland’s

interpretation of federal foreign policy power in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp ., 299 U.S.

304 (1936). See J. Eastman and H. V. Jaffa, “Understanding Justice Sutherland As He Understood

Himself,” University of Chicago Law Review 63:1347. 1352 n. 17 (1996).

[*64] James Wilson (a signer of the Declaration) agreed, saying that he “could not

admit the doctrine that when the colonies became independent of Great Britain, they

became independent also of each other. He read the Declaration of Independence,

observing thereon, that the United Colonies were declared free and independent states,

and inferring, that they were independent, not individually, but unitedly, and that they

were confederated, as they were independent states.”9 Consequently, the Constitution of

1787 did not purport to create the union, only to make it “more perfect.” Jefferson and

Madison called the Declaration of Independence “the fundamental act of union of these

States,”10 and even at the South Carolina Ratification Convention, when one delegate

claimed that “[t]he [1783] treaty of peace expressly agreed to acknowledge us as free,

sovereign, and independent states…[b]ut this new Constitution at once swept those

privileges away, being sovereign over all,” Charles Cotesworth Pinckney answered that

“[t]he separate independence and individual sovereignty of the several states were never

thought of by the enlightened band of patriots who framed this Declaration; the several

states are not even mentioned by name in any part of it,—as if it was intended to impress

this maxim on America, that our freedom and independence arose from our union, and

that without it we could neither be free nor independent.”11

There are ambiguities, however, which undermine the strong union view. Section

two of the Articles of Confederation, for example, did acknowledge the separate

sovereignty of the American states: “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and

independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this

Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” This

9 Elliott (1836) 5:213.

10 M. Peterson, ed., Jefferson: Writings (New York: Library of America, 1984) p. 479.

11 Elliott (1836) 4:287, 301.

seems inconsistent with the view that the union was created by the Declaration.

And the fact that the Continental Congress carried out foreign policy only shows that the

federative power,12 which is only part of the national [*65] sovereignty, was vested in the

national government. The nature of federal sovereignty at the time of the American

founding was at least ambiguous13—surely one reason that the union needed to be made

more perfect eleven years later.

The “weak-union” view was most famously espoused by James Madison.

According to it, the Articles of Confederation did indeed acknowledge the separate

sovereignty of the American states—and that was exactly the problem. Alexander

Hamilton put it well in a sentence which is the theme of the entire Federalist: “The great

and radical vice in the construction of the existing Confederation is in the principle of


COLLECTIVE CAPACITIES, and as contradistinguished from the INDIVIDUALS of

which they consist.”14 The new Constitution would solve this problem by creating a new

kind of government—one of “divided sovereignty,” partly national and partly federal, in

which all of the people of America would vest the national government with a part

limited and enumerated—of their sovereignty. The national sovereignty would therefore

be totally separate from the sovereignty of the states. This is why Madison insisted that

the Constitution be ratified, not by state legislatures, but by special ratification

conventions: to make clear that the states were not parties to the Constitution—thus it

12 In his Second Treatise, Locke explains that the “federative power” is that part of the executive power

which deals with foreign relations. P. Laslett, ed., John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (Oxford:

Oxford University Press, rev ed. 1963) pp. 409-412.

13 Justice Chase pointed out some ambiguities in his opinion in Ware v. Hylton , 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 199, 224-

225, 231-232 (1796).

14 C. Rossiter, ed., The Federalist (New York: Signet, 1961) p. 108; see also J. Rakove, ed., Madison:

Writings (New York: Library of America, 1999) p. 69.

would “be then a government established by the thirteen States of America, not through

the intervention of the Legislatures, but by the people at large…[a] distinction…[which] is

very material.”15 Thus, contrary to the strong-union view, the sovereignty of the states

did not depend on the creation of the federal authority; they were two wholly independent

systems, in which the federal power was supreme within its limited sphere—and

nonexistent outside of that sphere. One might analogize divided sovereignty to a

homeowner who receives separate bills from the electric company and the gas company.

An American citizen is separately a citizen of the state and of the federal union, and

neither of these types of citizenship is superior to or inferior to the other.

[*66] Under either the weak-union view or the strong-union view, states have no

unilateral power to secede. Thus, in addressing whether the Confederacy had the

constitutional authority to secede, it is unnecessary to resolve the question of whether the

union was created by the Declaration of Independence or not, because ratification

resolved the fundamental point: the federal union was an agreement between the people,

not the states. The Constitution’s fundamental premise of divided sovereignty—

respected by both the weak-union and strong-union views, means that the people of

America are bound together as one people for certain purposes—and therefore a state

may not unilaterally secede.

B. What Divided Sovereignty Means16

15 B. Bailyn, ed., Debate On The Constitution (New York: Library of America, 1993) 2:619.

16 Obviously, in the following, I refer only to the Constitution as it existed before the Fourteenth

Amendment, which changed the nature of state and federal sovereignty.

Because the sovereignty of a state is distinct from that of the union, a state can no

more absolve its people of their allegiance to the federal government than the gas

company can absolve a customer from paying her electric bill. The people, who adopted

the Constitution, may decide to allow the people of a state to leave the union—through

Congressional action (according to the weak-union view), or by adopting a Constitutional

Amendment (according to the strong-union view). But unilateral secession is


“In the compound republic of America,” said Madison, “the power surrendered by

the people is first divided between two distinct governments….”17 But “[t]he main

[fallacy] of nullification,” he later explained,

is the assumption that sovereignty is a unit, at once indivisible and

unalienable; that the states therefore individually retain it entire as they

originally held it, and, consequently, that no portion of it can belong to the

U.S…. [W]here does the sovereignty which makes such a Constitution

reside[?] It resides not in a single state but in the people of each of the

several states, uniting with those of the others in the express & solemn

compact which forms the Constitution. To the extent of that compact or

Constitution, therefore, the people of the several States must be a

sovereign as they are a united people…. That a sovereignty should have

even been denied to the States in their united character, may well excite

wonder, when it is recollected that the Constitution which now unites

them, was announced by the convention which formed it, as dividing

sovereignty between the Union & the States; that it was presented under

that view, by contemporary expositions recommending it to the ratifying

[*66] authorities; that it has proved to have been so understood by the

language which has been applied to it constantly….18

Divided sovereignty (also called “dual sovereignty”), was the principal innovation

of the Constitution. While the strong-union view saw ratification as simply an

overhauling of the union, to the weak-union view, ratification reformed the sovereignty

17 Rossiter (1961) p. 323.

18 M. Meyers, ed., The Mind of The Founder: Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison (Hanover:

University Press of New England, rev. ed. 1981) pp. 436-38.

of the states as well as of the federal government. But according to both views, federal

sovereignty is independent of the sovereignty of the states.

Even Anti-Federalists acknowledged that ratifying the Constitution meant

redefining American sovereignty. “Cincinnatus,” for instance, complained that “[s]uch is

the anxiety manifested by the framers of the proposed constitution, for the utter extinction

of the state sovereignties, that they were not content with taking from them every

attribute of sovereignty, but would not leave them even the name.—Therefore, in the very

commencement they prescribe this remarkable declaration—We the People of the United

States.”19 The “Federal Farmer” wrote that “when the people [of each state] shall adopt

the proposed…it will be adopted not by the people of New Hampshire, Massachusetts,

&c., but by the people of the United States….”20 Robert Yates opposed ratification of the

Constitution precisely on these grounds: he admitted that “if it is ratified, [it] will not be a

compact entered into by the States, in their corporate capacities, but an agreement of the

people of the United States as one great body politic…. It is to be observed, it is not a

union of states or bodies corporate; had this been the case the existence of the state

governments might have been secured. But it is a union of the people of the United

States considered as one body, who are to ratify this constitution, if it is adopted.”21

Indeed, at the Virginia Ratification Convention, Patrick Henry challenged James Madison

on this point: “Who authorized [the Constitutional Convention] to speak the language of

We the people, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of a

confederation.”22 Madison replied that the authority of the Articles of [*67]

19 Bailyn (1993), 1:118-119.

20 Bailyn (1993) 1: 275

21 P. Kurland and R. Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1987) 4:237.

22 Bailyn (1993) 2:596-597.

Confederation had been “derived from the dependent derivative authority of the

legislatures of the states; whereas this [Constitution] is derived from the superior power

of the people.”23 The Constitution did not consolidate the states entirely, but “[s]hould all

the States adopt it, it will be then a government established by the thirteen States of

America, not through the intervention of the Legislatures, but by the people at large.”24

Opponents of the Constitution, therefore, were well aware that the Constitution

would create, not a league of essentially independent sovereignties, but a new nation,

retaining its own sovereignty for certain limited purposes. The Federalists explicitly

defended this fact: for most purposes, they explained, the people of the states would find

their state citizenship unchanged, but for a specified list of other purposes, the whole

people of America would now agree, as a single political unit, to invest the union with

sovereignty directly, not through any intermediary step of state authorities. The federal

and the state sovereignty travel, as it were, on parallel rails: state sovereignty connecting

the sovereignty of the people of a state to their state capitol; federal sovereignty joining

all the people through its national network, to arrive at Washington, D.C. James Wilson,

signer of both the Constitution and the Declaration, told the Pennsylvania Ratification

Convention that

the sovereignty resides in the people, they have not parted with it; they

have only dispensed such portions of power as were conceived necessary

for the public welfare…. In order to recognize this leading principle, the

proposed system sets out with a declaration, that its existence depends

upon the supreme authority of the people alone…. When the principle is

once settled, that the people are the source of authority, the consequence

23 Bailyn (1993) 2:619.

24 Id.

is, that they may take from the subordinate governments with which they

have hitherto trusted them, and place those powers in the general

government, if it is thought that they will be productive of more good…. I

have no idea, that a safe system of power, in the government, sufficient to

manage the general interest of the United States, could be drawn from any

other source, or rested in any other authority than that of the people at

large, and I consider this authority as the rock on which this structure will


[*68] So while the states would, for the most part, retain their sovereignty,

ratification meant that the whole People of the United States would now agree to vest

their inchoate power to engage in, for example, foreign policy, exclusively in the federal

government, which would be supreme for the limited, enumerated purposes of the federal

union; otherwise, wrote Hamilton, the Constitution would “be a mere treaty, dependent

on the good faith of the parties, and not a government, which is only another word for

POLITICAL POWER AND SUPREMACY.”26 For Hamilton, the reason for a new

Constitution was precisely to end the notion that the union was a league of sovereigns:

one of the “infirmities” of the Articles of Confederation, he wrote, was

that it never had a ratification by the PEOPLE. Resting on no better

foundation than the consent of the several legislatures, it has been exposed

to frequent and intricate questions concerning the validity of its powers,

and has, in some instances, given birth to the enormous doctrine of a right

of legislative repeal. Owing its ratification to the law of a State, it has been

contended that the same authority might repeal the law by which it was

ratified. However gross a heresy it may be to maintain that a party to a

compact has a right to revoke that compact, the doctrine itself has had

respectable advocates. The possibility of a question of this nature proves

the necessity of laying the foundations of our national government deeper

than in the mere sanction of delegated authority. The fabric of American

empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE

PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from

that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.27

25 Bailyn (1993) 1:820-21.

26 Rossiter (1961) 204.

27 Rossiter (1961) 152.

One argument against the principle of divided sovereignty is that the Constitution was

adopted by the members of distinct states, rather than by a national referendum. But

Chief Justice John Marshall (who had been a delegate to the Virginia Ratification

Convention) answered that in McColloch v. Maryland:

[The Constitution] was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the

only manner in which they can act safely, effectively, and wisely, on such

a subject, by assembling in Convention. It is true, they assembled in their

several States—and where else should they have [*69] assembled? No

political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the

lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people

into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their

States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the

measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State


This was not only the opinion of High Federalists like Marshall. As Madison explained

(long after his break with the Federalists), the Constitution was formed

by the people in each of the States, acting in their highest sovereign

capacity…. Being thus derived from the same source as the Constitutions

of the States, it…is as much a Constitution, in the strict sense of the term,

within its prescribed sphere, as the Constitutions of the States are within

their respective spheres; but with this obvious & essential difference, that

being a compact among the States in their highest sovereign capacity, and

constituting the people thereof one people for certain purposes, it cannot

be altered or annulled at the will of the States individually, as the

Constitution of a State may be at its individual will.29

28 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 403 (1819). See also Chisolm v. Georgia , 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419, 435 (1793) (“The

powers of the general Government…do for the most part (if not wholly) affect individuals, and not States:

They require no aid from any State authority. This is the great leading distinction between the old articles

of confederation, and the present constitution”); id. at 470 (Jay, C.J.) (“the people, in their collective and

national capacity, established the present Constitution”); Respublica v. Corbbet , 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 467

(1798); Hylton v. United States, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 171, 178 (1796) (per Paterson, J.,); id. at 181 (per Iredell,

J.); Ware v. Hylton, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 199, 236 (1796) (per Chase, J.); Banks v. Greenleaf, 10 Va. 271, 277-

78 (1799) (“the general government derives its existence and power from the people, and not from the

states, yet each state government derives its powers from the people of that particular state. Their forms of

government are different, being derived from different sources; and their laws are different.”)

29 Rakove (1999), p. 843.

These sources reveal how well understood was the central fact that the Constitution was a

government of the whole people of the United States, not a league or treaty of states in

their corporate capacities, as the compact theory would have it. Contrary to Calhoun’s

later claim that “the States, when they formed and ratified the Constitution, were distinct,

independent, and [*70] sovereign communities,”30 the reality is that, in Marshall’s words,

federal sovereignty

proceeds directly from the people; is ‘ordained and established’ in the

name of the people…. It required not the affirmance, and could not be

negatived, by the State governments. The constitution, when thus adopted,

was of complete obligation, and bound the State sovereignties…. The

government of the Union, then…is, emphatically, and truly, a government

of the people. In form and in substance it emanates from them. Its powers

are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their

benefit…. [T]he government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is

supreme within its sphere of action.31

As Justice Anthony Kennedy recently put it, “The Framers split the atom of sovereignty.

It was the genius of their idea that our citizens would have two political capacities, one

state and one federal, each protected from incursion by the other…with its own direct

relationship, its own privity, its own set of mutual rights and obligations to the people

who sustain it and are governed by it…. [T]he National Government, the mark of its

legitimacy, is that it owes its existence to the act of the whole people who created it.”32

The federal government is directly vested with sovereignty of the whole People of the

United States. Secession is not, therefore, like a person who chooses to cancel his

membership in a club—because the states are not in the “club” to begin with. Only “We

the People” are members of the federal club, and only the “people” which created it can

30 Post (1953) p. 91.

31 M’Colloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 403-405 (1819).

32 U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 838-39 (1995).

change it, by altering the contours of that “people” through amendment, or a new

Constitutional Convention. So, while the whole people may allow a state out of the

union, or may even dissolve the Constitution entirely, a state cannot claim on its own the

authority to withdraw from the union. Lincoln put it with dry understatement when he

noted that advocates of secession were “not partial to that power which made the

Constitution, and speaks from the preamble, calling itself ‘We, the People.’”33

These sources reveal that in 1787, both the federalists and anti-federalists

recognized that the United States Constitution was just that—a constitution [*71] for a

nation, not a league of sovereign states. And, if these sources are not enough, as Akhil

Reed Amar points out, “no major proponent of the Constitution sought to win over states’

rightists by conceding that states could unilaterally nullify or secede in the event of

perceived national abuses. The Federalists’ silence is especially impressive because such

a concession might have dramatically improved the document’s ratification prospects in

several states.”34 “[I]f a more explicit guard against misconstruction was not provided,”

wrote Madison in 1831, “it is explained…by the entire absence of apprehension that it

could be necessary.”35

Some of those who defend the constitutionality of secession claim that it was

foreseen, and that several states ratified the constitution did so with explicit reservations

of the right to secede.36 This claim, however, is seriously exaggerated. The only state

which passed such a “reservation” while ratifying, and which later seceded, was Virginia.

That state’s “reservation” read: “The powers granted under the Constitution being

33 Basler (1953) 4:437.

34 A. Amar, “Of Sovereignty and Federalism,” Yale Law Journal 96:1425, 1462 n.162.

35 Rakove (1999) p. 853.

36 T. DiLorezno, The Real Lincoln : A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary

War (Roseville: Prima Publishing, 2002) p. 91.

derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whenever the same

shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”37 These phrases nowhere mention any

right to unilateral secession, nor to any unconditional right to revolt for any reason the

state sees fit. Instead, the “reservation” is simply a restatement of the right to revolution,

which we will consider below. Moreover, it is made in the name, not of the people of

Virginia, but of “the People of the United States,” and it makes the unremarkable

assertion that they have the right to change their government.

It is also frequently argued that another set of Resolutions, the Virginia and

Kentucky Resolutions, reveal the true nature of the Constitution as a league of sovereign

states, and that Madison’s later repudiation of the compact theory was an instance of

intellectual dishonesty. The facts, as usual, are more complicated. Jefferson, whose

Kentucky Resolutions unequivocally endorsed the compact theory, sent a draft to

Madison for his review. Madison was somewhat startled by Jefferson’s argument, and he

replied, “Have you ever considered thoroughly the distinction between the power of the

State, & that of the Legislature, on questions relating to the federal pact[?] On the

supposition that the former is clearly the ultimate Judge of infractions, it does [*72] not

follow that the latter is the legitimate organ especially as a convention was the organ by

which the Compact was made.”38 Madison’s Virginia Resolutions were somewhat more

guarded, and, he insisted, never endorsed the compact theory of the Constitution.

Decades later, writing furiously to oppose Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification, Madison

explained, just as he had at the Philadelphia and Richmond conventions, that the

37 Emphasis added.

38 Rakove (1999) p. 392.

Constitution was binding on the people, not on the states, and the states had no right to

nullify the laws:

[T]he characteristic peculiarities of the Constitution are 1. The mode of its

formation, 2. The division of the supreme powers of Govt between the

States in their united capacity and the States in their individual capacities.

1. It was formed, not by the Governments of the component States, as the

Federal Govt. for which it was substituted [i.e., the Articles of

Confederation] was formed; nor was it formed by a majority of the people

of the U.S. as a single community in the manner of a consolidated

Government. It was formed by the States—that is by the people in each of

the States, acting in their highest sovereign capacity; and formed,

consequently, by the same authority which formed the State Constitutions.

Being thus derived from the same source as the Constitutions of the States,

it has within each State, the same authority as the Constitution of the State,

and is as much a Constitution, in the strict sense of the term, within its

prescribed sphere, as the Constitutions of the States are within their

respective spheres, but with this obvious & essential difference, that being

a compact among the States in their highest sovereign capacity, and

constituting the people thereof one people for certain purposes, it cannot

be altered or annulled at the will of the States individually, as the

Constitution of a State may be at its individual will.39

In any case, what Jefferson and Madison wrote in 1798, in a series of resolutions

adopted by two state legislatures, cannot change the nature of the federal Constitution as

adopted in 1787: it is a binding government of the whole people of the United States. No

state may unilaterally leave the union.

C. Other Constitutional Provisions Barring Unilateral Secession

We have seen that the nature of federal sovereignty under the Constitution makes

unilateral secession illegal. Since the Constitution is a [*73] law binding the People, and

39 Rakove (1999) pp. 842-843.

not a league of states, states have no authority to intervene between the people and the

national government. If the people of a state wish to leave the union, they may not do so

unilaterally, but must obtain the agreement of their fellow citizens—or they must rebel in

a legitimate act of revolution.

Several other clauses of the Constitution are consistent with this view, and would

be inconsistent with any interpretation allowing a state to leave the union unilaterally.

The Constitution guarantees to every state a republican form of government (Art. IV § 4),

prohibits states from entering into any compact with other states without Congressional

permission (Art. I § 10), guarantees the privileges and immunities of citizens when they

travel interstate (Art. IV §2), prohibits states from entering into any “Treaty, Alliance, or

Confederation,” even with Congressional approval (Art. I § 10), preserves every state’s

right to two senators (Art. V), is the supreme law of the land (Art. VI § 2), and requires

state officeholders to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States (Art.

VI § 3). These clauses are inconsistent with the theory that secession is a constitutional

prerogative of state government. Consider, for example, the republican guarantee clause:

if a state could unilaterally secede, then any group of criminals might declare themselves

the “rightful” government of a state, issue a proclamation of secession—and then leave

the federal government unable to enforce the guarantee. Likewise, if states could leave

the union at any time, it would make little sense to require state officials to take an oath

to support the United States Constitution, since their allegiance to the federal union

would depend wholly on whether their state decided to remain in the union or not.

One common argument is that the Tenth Amendment reserves to the states the

power to secede from the union. But this claim begs the question, in two ways. The

Amendment says that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the

Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or

to the people.”40 First, since the Constitution does prohibit secession, that power cannot

be reserved to the states. And, second, the Amendment refers explicitly to “the people.”

To what “people” does this refer? Not to the people of each state separately, but to a

single people: that is, “We the People” who ratified the Constitution.41 [*74] Under the

compact theory, this clause would be surplusage, since no mere league of sovereigns has

the authority to reserve nondelegated powers directly to the people of separate

sovereignties, any more than the United Nations can “reserve” any rights to the people of

the United States.

III. Was The South Engaged In Revolution?

The fact that states have no Constitutional right to unilaterally secede does not

end the inquiry, because people retain the right of revolution regardless. If the

Confederacy represented a legitimate act of revolution, then the Union was still in the

wrong to put down the rebellion. Madison never denied that all people retain the right to

revolution. Nor did Abraham Lincoln. Even in his First Inaugural Address, Lincoln

40 Emphasis added.

41 Believers in the “strong-union” view would argue that this is the same “one people” who dissolved their

political bands with England. Also, according to one adherent of the strong-union view, one of the more

sophisticated manifestations of the pre-constitutional origin of the union is found in the fact that the

Constitution itself limits the degree to which the Constitution can be amended. No amendment, for

instance, was permitted to change the date of the Importation Clause, and no amendment can deprive a state

of its two senators. If the states had created the federal union, then these clauses would be selfcontradictory,

since there could be no higher sovereignty which could institute, let alone enforce, such a

restriction on the power to amend. “A sovereign is by definition a source and not a subject of law,” so a

compact between sovereigns can never be made unamendable. But, according to either the strong- or

weak-union views, since the whole people of the union created the Constitution only to make that union

more perfect, they could place limits on the degree to which the Constitution itself could be altered. H.V.

Jaffa, The Conditions of Freedom (Claremont: Claremont Institute Press, 2000 (1975)) pp. 161, 172.

acknowledged that “[i]f, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a

minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view,

justify revolution—certainly would, if such right were a vital one. But such is not our

case.”42 Even though the Constitution is a compact between the whole people of the

United States, and thus is alterable by the whole people only, any individual or group

retains an inalienable right to fight against tyranny.

Many libertarians defend the Confederate states’ secession on the grounds that it

was engaged in a revolution consistent with the principles of the Declaration of

Independence. Writing in 1920, H.L. Mencken claimed that “The Union

soldiers…actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought

for the right of their people to govern themselves.”43 More recently, Jeffrey Rogers

Hummel has written that “as a revolutionary right, the legitimacy of secession is

universal and unconditional. That at least is how the Declaration of Independence


The problem with this argument is that this is not how the Declaration of

Independence reads. In fact, the libertarian principles of [*75] revolution enunciated in

the Declaration do not justify the Confederacy’s acts at all.

According to libertarianism, as espoused by John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and

others, the individual’s right to own himself puts him on a par with all other individuals

in a state of nature. Before government exists, each person has the equal right to run his

own life as every other person, and this includes the right to self-defense. Since selfdefense

is difficult in the state of nature, however, people agree to join a social compact

42 Basler (1953) 4:267.

43 H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (New York: Vintage 1982 (1948)) p. 223.

44 J.R. Hummel, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (Peru, Ill.: Open Court, 1996) p. 351.

by delegating part of that right to the government, which is entrusted with the power to

protect their lives, liberties, and estates. But government has no authority to violate their

rights, because no individual in the state of nature has the right to violate another person’s

rights, and therefore cannot confer such a right to the government. “[T]he Legislat[ur]e,”

wrote Locke, “is not, nor can possibly be, absolutely Arbitrary over the Lives and

Fortunes of the People. For it being but the joynt power of every Member of the Society

given up to that Person or Assembly which is Legislator, it can be no more than those

persons had in a State of Nature before they enter’d into Society…. For no Body can

transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no Body has an absolute

Arbitrary Power…[to] take away the Life or Property of another.”45 Thus, if those

appointed to govern “endeavour to take away and destroy the Property of the People, or

to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power…and…endeavour to grasp themselves,

or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and

Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put

into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right

to resume their original Liberty….”46 The right to revolution, therefore, is an expression

of the right to self-defense.

The right to self-ownership allows individuals to agree to a social compact, and

the right of self-defense gives that compact its legitimacy. Any society which contradicts

these fundamental premises—such as a society based on inequality and slavery—is

therefore not a legitimate government; it is instead a criminal gang, and it cannot justify

its robbery or enslavement by claiming that the people voted for these things, because the

45 Laslett (1963) p. 402.

46 Laslett (1963) p. 461.

people no right to enslave others in the first place.47 Such a “government” lacks

legitimacy and may rightly be overthrown. As Lincoln summarized it, “no man is good

enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I [*76] say this is the

leading principle—the sheet anchor of American republicanism.”48

The Declaration of Independence enunciates these principles in what is almost a

syllogism: “all men are created equal… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable

Rights… among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… to secure these

rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the

consent of the governed… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of

these ends… it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government….” This right

and duty, however, may only be exercised after “a long train of abuses and usurpations,

pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [the people] under

absolute Despotism.”

The Declaration of Independence, therefore, far from recognizing any

“unconditional” right of people to overthrow their government, places several important

limits on rebellion: it is justified only by a collective act of self-defense, and even then,

only after “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” And a rebellion which institutes a

new government based not on securing individual rights, but on violating them (such as a

revolution that consists of stealing people’s property), is not a legitimate revolution at all

in the eyes of the Declaration’s libertarian theory; it would be merely a massive criminal

act or coup.

47 A. Rand, “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, (New York: Signet, 1964).

48 Basler (1953) 2:266.

These arguments are all essentially rewordings of libertarianism’s famous maxim

against the initiation of force. Libertarian theory holds that political institutions are

justified only insofar as they protect the freedom of the individuals who make up that

society. A political society’s “right to self-determination,” therefore, is not a

fundamental principle according to libertarianism, but is a consequence and function of

the self-determination of individuals who make up that society.

The non-initiation of force principle means that the distinction between a

revolutionary act and a crime is that the former is a kind of self-defense, undertaken to

protect individual rights, while the latter is an initiation of force, to violate the rights of

others, or protect the proceeds of some robbery. In the former case, libertarianism holds

that it is legitimate to commit acts of physical force in retaliation against those who have

initiated its use; the American Revolution, for instance, while illegal, was a legitimate act

of revolution because Parliament had declared its right to “bind [the American colonies]

in all cases whatsoever,” and had engaged in “a long train of abuses and usurpations.”

Americans had the right to defend themselves by throwing off such government, even if

doing so cost many lives.

[*77] Analyzing the alleged “revolution” of 1861 also requires understanding the

purposes behind the act: why did the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter, and thus violate

the supreme law of the land? Although several writers have tried to claim that the Civil

War was not fought over slavery, but over issues of domestic economic policy,49 these

49 See e.g., Livingston (2002) pp. 72-76.

claims are highly exaggerated.50 Mississippi’s declaration of secession, for example,

stated unequivocally:

In the momentous step which our State has taken…it is but just

that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our


Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of

slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the

product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of

commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging

on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the

black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun…. [A] blow at slavery is

a blow at commerce and civilization…. There was no choice left us but

submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union,

whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

Domestic economic policy (other than that relating to slavery) is nowhere

mentioned in this document, or in South Carolina’s declaration of secession, which

focused only on “The right of property in slaves,” and complained that other sates “have

denied the rights of property established…have denounced as sinful the institution of

slavery…[and] have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their

homes.” Georgia’s declaration reiterated its “numerous and serious causes of complaint

against [the] non-slave-holding…States with reference to the subject of African slavery,”

and although it complained of the fact that Northern economic interests had received

federal protection (“they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and

the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury”), it did so only to protest that federal

protection of slavery was inadequate. Texas’ declaration of secession complained that

“In all the non-slave-holding States…the people have formed themselves into a great

sectional party…based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these [*78] Southern

50 E. Volokh, “More on Secession And Slavery.” The Volokh Conspiracy. (2002)

States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the

debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color—a doctrine at war

with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest

revelations of Divine Law.”51

These documents could hardly be clearer. The Confederate states, whatever their

other reasons for seceding, were primarily moved by the desire to preserve their slave

property from interference by the federal government. Or, more accurately, in reaction

against the election of a President who had pledged himself to halt the spread of slavery

into the western territories.52 Although the Confederates phrased their arguments in

terms of “freedom,” it was the “freedom to enslave” that they were defending. Indeed,

the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, section IX clause 4,

unambiguously declared that “No…law denying or impairing the right of property in

negro slaves shall be passed.” This clause demonstrates just how off the mark

Mencken’s criticism of Lincoln really was. It was not true that “the

Confederates…fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”53 The

Confederates fought for the (literally absolute) right of white people to govern black

people, without the black people’s consent.

Unlike present-day defenders of the South, the leaders of the Southern cause

realized that their cause could find no support in the Declaration of Independence. Thus

51 These declarations are available at .

52 The Constitution, of course, barred the federal government from depriving southerners of their slaves,

except possibly through condemnation in exchange for just compensation. But it did permit the Congress

to bar slavery from the western territories, which would become states eventually. If admitted as free

states, this would mean that southerners would eventually find themselves outvoted in Congress, which

could lead to the ultimate extinction of slavery. It was Lincoln’s insistence on forbidding slavery in the

west—as enunciated in his Cooper Union speech, for example—that served as the proximate cause of the

war. McPherson (1988) pp. 51-72.

53 Mencken (1982) p. 223.

they rarely based their arguments on the Declaration, and in fact explicitly denounced it.

“There is not a word of truth in it,” said John C. Calhoun.54 The principle that all men are

created equal, he said was “inserted into our Declaration of Independence without any

necessity. It made no necessary part of our justification for separating from the parent

country, and declaring ourselves independent.” Others went [*79] farther. Senator Pettit

of Indiana declared it a “self-evident lie.”55 Governor Hammond of South Carolina—

who had once said “Slavery is…the greatest of all the great blessings which a kind

Providence has ever bestowed upon our glorious region”56—denounced the “muchlauded

but nowhere accredited dogma of Mr. Jefferson that all men are created equal.”57

Contrary, then, to the oft-repeated claim that the Civil War was not about slavery,

the question of slavery answers the essential question which determines whether

secession in 1860 was an act of revolution on one hand, or a criminal conspiracy, in the

other. The secession of 1861 was not a legitimate revolution because its “cornerstone”

rested on the “the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—

subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.”58 As Lincoln

had said before the war,

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean

the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do

as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others

the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other

men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only

different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And

it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two

different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny. The shepherd

54 Cong. Globe, 30th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 875 (1848)

55 Cong. Globe, 33rd Cong., 1st Sess. p. 214 (1854)

56 W. L. Miller, Arguing About Slavery. (New York: Knopf, 1988) p. 134.

57 C. Merriam, History of American Political Theories (New York: Kelly 1969 (1903)) p. 230; see further

C. Oliver, “Southern Nationalism” Reason, Aug.-Sep. 2001.

58 A. Stephens, “Cornerstone Speech”

html (1861).

drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the

shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as

the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly

the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word


The Confederacy, built upon the wolf’s definition of liberty, was an illegitimate

government by the libertarian standards of the Declaration of Independence. When the

Confederacy initiated force by firing on Fort [*80] Sumter, therefore, it became the

responsibility of the President to “take Care that the Laws [including the supreme law of

the land] be faithfully executed,”60 by putting down the rebellion by force if necessary.

IV. Why Libertarians Defend The South

Among the reasons that so many libertarians argue that the Confederacy was in

the right in the Civil War is their perception that Union victory ushered in an era of

federal expansion and control over the economy. It is certainly true that in the late

nineteenth century, the federal government intervened more and more in national

economic policy. But blaming this on Union victory is problematic at best. For one

thing, the argument partakes of the post hoc fallacy. While it is true that government

manipulation of the economy increased in the years following the war, this had many

causes, especially the rise of the Populist, and later Progressive, political movements.

These can be only distantly connected to the Union cause. Moreover, while there was

much to deplore in the culture of Yankee political economy, there was at least as much to

deplore about the culture of the antebellum south.

59 Basler (1953) 7:301-302.

60 U.S. Const. Art. II § 3.

More specifically, some libertarians argue that the Union victory caused an

expansion of federal authority by destroying the political will of states to resist the

expansionism of the federal government.61 After such a bloody experience, states were

less willing to say no when the federal government proposed to step on state prerogatives.

Although there is some truth to this argument, there are two mitigating thoughts that must

be kept in mind. First, it did not entirely destroy the will of states to resist federal

encroachment: as the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s revealed, southern states

were still quite willing to resist what they perceived as federal encroachment, through the

policy of “massive resistance” to integregation. But, secondly, that experience shows

that state resistance to federal authority is just as likely to be inimical to individual liberty

as it is to redound to the benefit of individual liberty. State resistance, after all, is usually

predicated not on protecting individuals from oppression, but on protecting the official

dignity of state governments. For libertarians to venerate state government is therefore a

risky enterprise. As Madison explained in the Federalist, the legitimacy of state

governments is only valid so long as the states protect the freedom of Americans: “is it

not preposterous,” he asked,

to urge as an objection to [the Constitution]…that such a government may

derogate from the importance of the governments [*81] of the individual

States? Was, then, the American Revolution effected, was the American

Confederacy formed, was the precious blood of thousands spilt, and the

hard-earned substance of millions lavished, not that the people of America

should enjoy peace, liberty, and safety, but that the government of the

individual States…might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be arrayed

with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty? We have heard of the

impious doctrine in the Old World, that the people were made for kings,

not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New…?

[T]he public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the

supreme object to be pursued; and…no form of government whatever has

61 See e.g., W. Williams, “The Civil War’s Tragic Legacy,” Ideas on Liberty, Jan.1999.

any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.

[A]s far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the

happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the

former be sacrificed to the latter.62

While state resistance to federal expansion may be helpful for protecting

individual liberty, it has also often been inimical, and this was never more true than in the

case of the Civil War.

Finally, I suspect one reason libertarians are misled into embracing the

Confederate cause is because of the formative event in the lives of many libertarians, as

well as the Libertarian Political Party: The Vietnam War. The lessons that many

Vietnam protestors drew from that experience were that war is never justified, and that it

is simply “none of our business” what another country’s rulers do to the people of that

country. If the Vietnamese “choose” to live under communism, other nations must not

interfere. Likewise, this argument goes, if southerners in the 1860s chose to enslave

blacks, that may have been wrong, but it was none of the Union’s business. Seeing the

Confederacy through the lens of the Vietnam experience, however, is misleading. First,

it ignores the fact that, unlike in foreign policy, where a nation may choose whether or

not to intervene in a conflict, the Constitution requires the president to faithfully execute

the law, including the Constitution itself. Second, such a view obscures the ultimate

values of libertarian political philosophy. Although it is true that Americans do not owe a

duty to intervene when other nations’ rulers oppress their peoples, it is not true that other

nations have the right to oppress their people. To say that another nation’s oppression of

its people is “none of our business” is similar to what Lincoln described as the perverse

62 Rossiter (1961) p. 289.

notion “that ‘if one man would [*82] enslave another, no third man should object.’”63

The United States, and every other nation, does have the right, though not the duty, to

liberate oppressed peoples held captive by dictatorships. The federal government had the

right, and the duty, to put down the Confederate rebellion.

War is a terrible thing. But libertarianism holds that it is justified at times, when

undertaken in defense of individual liberty. As Jefferson said, “all men know that war is

a losing game to both parties. But they know also that if they do not resist encroachment

at some point, all will be taken from them…. It is the melancholy law of human societies

to be compelled sometimes to choose a great evil in order to ward off a greater….”64 The

Civil War was an awful conflict, costing hundreds of thousands of lives. But the right

side did prevail in that war, and libertarians should stop doing themselves the great

disservice of defending a cruel and oppressive slave society.


Ames, H., ed. 1911. State Documents on Federal Relations (Philadelphia: University of


Anastaplo, G. 2000. “John Quincy Adams Revisited.” Oklahoma City University Law

Review 25:119.

Fehrenbacher, D. 1989. Constitutions and Constitutionalism in the Slave-Holding South.

(Atlanta: University of Georgia Press).

Lence, R., ed. 1992. Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun

(Indianapolis: Liberty Fund).

63 Basler (1953), 3:538.

64 Peterson (1984) p. 356.

News-N-Views, Military, History, Politics,
Controversial, Unusual, Non-PC
Eye-opening, Thought-provoking,
Articles Just Not Seen… Elsewhere!
The “Original/The Only” Gunny G
By R.W. “Dick” Gaines
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Previous/Numerous GyG Posts Below!!!!!
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Yeah, Bill You Do Need A History Lesson…

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

By: Devvy
September 17, 2007

© 2007 –

“The [US government's] Veterans Administration asked me to lie about the risks of incorporating depleted uranium in the human body.” Dr. Asaf Durakovic, former Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Georgetown University

On September 12, 2007, war monger General Thomas McInerney, announced during a segment on FAUX (FOX) News that it will be “easy” to bomb Iran. He said all “we” need to do is conduct a 48-hour air campaign, take out all Iran’s nuclear sites and “free the Iranian people.” These statements are the same flavor of insanity as when our Commander in Grief whoopie kiya’d in his ten gallon hat and cowboy boots about Iraq. I wonder if our soldiers who have come home broken, maimed and scarred for life think their sacrifices are worth Bush’s maniacal obsession with conducting unconstitutional invasions of foreign countries based on mountains of lies? I wonder if our soldiers coming home and dying slow deaths from depleted uranium feel their sacrifices are worth Bush’s insane agenda to “free” the people of Iraq” and force an entire nation to submit to foreign domination while promoting the failure of democracy?

The buzz over this past weekend is centered on Alan Greenspan’s new book and his bold assertion that the unconstitutional invasion of Iraq was for oil. Duh. Naturally, those who still cling to the misguided concept that it is the obligation of our military and our treasury to bail out foreign countries by removing dictators from power, will poo poo Greenspan’s comments. Well, it’s important to keep those comfort zones shored up because reality is an ugly beast that most people are incapable of facing.

There’s no need to rehash Iraq and Bush’s lies because they’ve been documented in a million written words. Those who continue to defend his quest for imperialism either benefit from it financially, are too afraid they’ve put their trust in a liar or have a loved one in the Middle East in harm’s way and they must continue to believe in a “noble mission” or go crazy. It is a raw, open wound tearing this country apart. A substantial number of Americans know Bush lied and deceived the American people into this guaranteed failure and are fed up with sacrificing any more precious American lives and $10 BILLION BORROWED dollars per month. Bâtards like former tabloid gab fest mouthpiece, Bill O’Reilly, continue to beat the drums of war because somehow, he and Shallow Sean Hannity are the real geopolitical experts.

Let’s bomb Iran!

Does the little guy (or gal), you know, we the people – do we have the right to voice our objections to continuing down this disastrous course being pursued by Bush and his war mongering minions? I mean, millions of us aren’t “experts” in the sense that we belong to “think” tanks or appear on cable networks. You bet. We are the government. We are the people. We elect civilians to make domestic and foreign policy. They work for we the people, or that used to be the idea until the powerful banking cartels waltzed in and began buying up Washington, DC, and not only took control of our monetary system, but our foreign policy as well. However, millions of Americans have become quite educated on the under pinnings of this insane quest for world domination. Rearranging the Middle East is at the top of the list – which includes making sure that oil flows into America.

My last column for WorldNetDaily (January 6, 2006) was about Iran and I asked the question: What benefit would Iran gain by lobbing a nuclear weapon at the U.S.? It would mean that within a day or two Iran would resemble a parking lot because the U.S. would simply retaliate and wipe Iran off the face of the earth. Back in 2002, Bush was hawking Iran as part of an axis of evil and he’s been shoving this fecal matter down our throats on a near daily basis ever since. War mongers on cable networks insist that Iran is “within a heart beat” of finalizing nuclear weapons which they will send our way. They all chant that Iran will sell nucs to rogue terrorist organizations who will haul them to the U.S. and produce another 911.

During a one on one between Bill O’Reilly and presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, Dr. Paul attempted to explain to the constitutionally and historically challenged O’Reilly about something called blow back; see short video here or read the transcript here. O’Reilly wasn’t having any of it. He shouted down Ron Paul with “we don’t need a history lesson.” Well, I beg to disagree, Bill. That’s exactly what you and tens of millions of Americans do need. Ron Paul is a long time member of Congress with access to information and documentation that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t even know exists and yet, during that interview he tried to mock down Dr. Paul’s comments regarding the CIAs own assessment of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It is EXACTLY this type of propaganda being spewed on radio, electronic and in print media who mislead the American people and continue their blatant attempts to scare them into rallying for yet another endless “war on terrorism.” Charley Reese wrote in one of this columns of wisdom: “There is no evidence to contradict that. Iran has said repeatedly that it has no desire to acquire a nuclear weapon….”

One startling admission did came out of the mouth of Bill O’Reilly recently that clearly shows he knows the invasion of Iraq was in violation of the U.S. Constitution, but doesn’t care. On September 11, 2007, O’Reilly opened his show with his diatribe that anyone who asks reasonable questions about 911 and demands a real investigation is mentally unbalanced. Yes, that’s right. Mentally ill and out to destroy America! During this show, O’Reilly said the biggest mistake the Bush Administration made was not to declare war against Iraq, but it’s still a war! Well, isn’t it nice. This constitutionally fact challenged narcissist finally got to the meat of the issue: Congress declares war, not the president.

Equally shocking were the responses by the so-called “upper tier” Republican presidential candidates during the FAUX (FOX) News debate regarding the unconstitutional invasion of Iraq. This is just one example:

Mike Huckabee: “We have to continue the surge, and let me explain why, Chris. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me: If I picked something off the shelf at the store and I broke it, I bought it. I learned I don’t pick something off the shelf I can’t afford to buy. Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It’s our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away. Because something is a stake. And on this issue, when he says we can’t leave until we’ve left with honor, I, 100 percent agree with him because, Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion the historians can have, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it.”

Gee, how folksy while American troops were dying as Huckabee was playing hillbilly; list of soldliers killed the day of that debate here. I wonder what Huckabee will say after “we” go in and “break” Iran? Congressman Paul responded to this bilge: “We have lost over 5,000 Americans killed in — we’ve lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan, in Iraq and plus the civilians killed. How many more you want to lose? How long are you going to be there? How long — what do we have to pay to save face? That’s all we’re doing, is saving face. It’s time we came home.”

Bush intends to keep our troops in Iraq for DECADES in his quest to FORCE the indigenous population to buckle under to the demands of the U.S. government – the occupying force. Hell, after four years, our military can’t even secure Baghdad (Water Taps Run Dry in Baghdad), much less sort out the constant squabbling and civil war between fighting factions in that country who have been at it for CENTURIES. Just like Kosovo. Just like all the other failed nation building “exercises” conducted by the U.S. government and it must stop. Now we have Iran lined up for “order” in the grand scheme of things. After almost four years of this grotesque war, the politicians in Iraq are still in failure mode and it’s not going to change no matter how much depleted uranium we dump on that country or how many more of our precious soldiers are sacrificed.


I believe that most Americans who hear the bombastic gas that seems to pour out of the mouth of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just that. While he huffs and puffs and makes all kinds of ridiculous and very offensive comments, he surely knows that he is surrounded by countries heavy in nuclear weapons, not to mention the U.S. As for a final development of nucs and selling them off to rogue nations, does anyone with a rational mind actually believe this hasn’t and isn’t going on with our enemies, i. e., the Russians, communist Chinese and others? Oh, please, this is a big game over there with high stakes bucks involved.

How can I make such a statement? Because over 18 long years I have given up the good times to research and read. The Reading Room section on my web site represents just a small fraction of books and videos I have read and watched. Not to mention the tens of thousands of hours I have spent on the Internet reading, reading, evaluating, analyzing and comparing documents so that I can understand what is happening on this globe. Because I work at home, I have the time to get this critical research done. How many Americans who do care about what’s happening have the time to read a sampling of world events in the morning (or evening) on excellent web sites like World Affairs Brief? Not enough because time is an issue. If you are fed nothing but 15-second sound bites on the evening news from controlled media sources like ABC, CBS or NBC, or propaganda from the “left” or “right” on networks like FAUX (FOX) News, MSNBC or CNN without doing any research, how can you possibly really understand what’s behind the curtain?

After four years of threatening, is Bush going to simply continue his role as a dictator and order precision military strikes deep inside Iran without a formal declaration of war? We the people must NOT allow this to happen. Charley Reese had an excellent column on bombing Iran back on January 21, 2006 in which he stated:

“Presumably, we didn’t want Israel to have the bomb, but the Israelis built them anyway. Ditto Pakistan, India and North Korea. In the end, despite the hot rhetoric, if the Iranians want a bomb, they will probably end up building it. That might cause the Israelis to lose a little sleep – though not much, as they have 200 nuclear weapons – but it shouldn’t bother us in the least. The Iranians are just as sensible and levelheaded as anyone else. Don’t buy the propaganda that they are all a bunch of crazies. They’ve been around a lot longer than we have. I would trust them with nuclear weapons as much as – perhaps even a hair more than – I trust Bush. Americans must stop allowing politicians and propagandists to scare them into reckless behavior.”

This surely causes conniption fits with the pro war factions and defense contractors, but it’s true. More than a dozen countries have nucs and most of them are enemies of this republic. We’ve learned to live with it while maintaining a superior military force as a deterrent. As I said in the opening, what would Iran have to gain 5, 10 years down the road by firing off a couple of nucs at America? Not a damn thing. The only people who will benefit are the same ones who have raped and pillaged hundreds of billions from our treasury courtesy of an inept and cowardly Congress sitting by while this dictator in the White House invades foreign countries who have not attacked us. As the columns and media continue to talk about Bush’s next conquest in his whoopie kiya mode, we the people MUST stop this folly. We must take the time out of our busy schedules and call your congressman and counterfeit U.S. Senator. You should be doing that this week:

(1) These scalawags are going to try to slip another illegals amnesty bill through this week and we must stop it – again; see here.
(2) Mexican trucks: We want this program canceled and that means getting US out of NAFTA; see here.
(3) In the January 7, 1999 issue of USA TODAY, Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton stated that “…when the president decides to go to war, he no longer needs a declaration of war from Congress.” Bull, Mr. Reich. That’s how your former boss unconstitutionally invaded Kosovo while Congress sat on their well padded rumps. The U.S. Constitution requires a formal declaration of war, see Art. 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. We the people demand Congress stop Bush from another unconstitutional invasion of a foreign country, Iran, which has NOT attacked the U.S.

TODAY – it’s imperative that you call your both your counterfeit U.S. Senator and House member because the vote is coming to restore habeas corpus, wiped out by the Republicans; see here for bill history (scroll down to H). This is our opportunity to force Congress to reverse the stupidity of the Republicans who pushed this through last year.

Please get on the phone this week to both your congress critter and counterfeit U.S. Senator and give them Hell. If the lines in DC are busy, call the district offices because they also take tallies. These people serve us, not the other way around. We the people must reassert our power over our politicians. Our military is stretched so thin, it’s dangerous. If Americans think the blow back from our immoral and unlawful invasion of Iraq has been bad, I guarantee you it will be child’s play if Bush bombs Iran. We have absolutely no right, despite the ravings of media mouthpieces like Thomas McInerney, to simply go precision bomb another country because of a “perceived threat” years down the road. It’s got to stop and only millions of voices will make that happen. Be sure to call friends, business colleagues and family who might not know about these upcoming votes.

Important links:

1, Lying War Propaganda Against Iran
2, On the Escalator to War With Iran
3, Depleted Uranium is WMD
4, U.S. Weapons Poison Europe
5, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
6, Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction
7, Iraqi Government Falling Apart While American Casualties Mount
8, Where has all the money gone? Following the auditors into Iraq
9, More War on the Horizon
10, The Proper Role of America’s Military
11, America’s contining failures in “nation building”
12, Military father who willfully believes lies
13, Open Letter to Sean Hannity

© 2007 – – All Rights Reserved

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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty; 2 million copies sold. Devvy appears on radio shows all over the country, ran for Congress and is a highly sought after public speaker. Devvy belongs to no organization.

She left the Republican Party in 1996 and has been an independent voter ever since. Devvy isn’t left, right or in the middle; she is a constitutionalist who believes in the supreme law of the land, not some political party. Her web site ( contains a tremendous amount of information, solutions and a vast Reading Room.

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Islam, Terrorism, and Our Schools!

September 17, 2007 1 comment
Please Also See the above link!

On 9/17/07,
<> wrote:

Go all the way to the bottom to see an enlightening exchange between Ashooter and Smokey. — thegunny, 419

” What was found in an insurgent, an Al-Qaeda affiliated safehouse over in Iraq, they were school blueprints, basically, floor plans for schools across the country. San Diego, California, West Salem, Oregon, Boyertown, Pennsylvania, schools in Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, and this was very, very disconcerting…”



Brad Thor on What Could Be Coming
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
- Show quoted text -


GLENN: Now, what is Al-Qaeda possibly planning for us? We started to line it out yesterday on the radio and last night on television, and Brad Thor is with us. He’s a guy who is a best selling author. His latest book is The First Commandment, but he’s also part of the, what is it, the red cell?

THOR: The Analytic Red Cell unit, Glenn. I was invited to join that after 9/11 which is a group of people in the Department of Homeland Security that try to stay four or five steps ahead of the terrorists by envisioning what they might do to us next.
GLENN: Now, Brad, I wanted — I just want to point out that what we’re talking about is not just a bunch of think tankers saying, ooh, this could happen. This is really coming from hard evidence that our Government really does not want us to know per se. I mean, they’ve been alerting people, but they’re been doing cryptically because they don’t want widespread panic.

THOR: It’s true. And Glenn, you know what, you and I have not spoken since last night on the TV show. I was contacted late last night by someone who said — a source that I trust who said, Brad, you know, there’s one thing you and Glenn haven’t talked about. Osama Bin Laden is a real student of history. And he said, there is a historic precedent for The Perfect Day, and this is a connected person who I know is involved in the war on terror and what’s going on. He said, there was something in India called the sepoy mutiny, or the first Indian uprising where the — and I’m trying to get the rest of it and I hope to have more for your radio program tomorrow, but this thing we’re talking about, The Perfect Day, actually happened in colonial India where the Brits knew it was coming but they thought, no, this, this can’t be, and how are we ever going to defend against one guy here, one guy there and it actually happened in India. So this is something I want to track down for you.

GLENN: Okay.

THOR: But the rest of what we’ve been talking about, yes, the dots are out there. Every time we look, there’s something else, and they are connected and that’s something we need to be very conscious of.

GLENN: Okay. So tell quickly about the dots that we explained yesterday.

THOR: Well, we talked about things. First of all, we based it on this Al-Qaeda model of being like a shark, how they swim big concentric circles. They don’t come right in and bite you. They collect Intel, getting closer and closer, tighter and tighter in the circles. But before they attack, before they take the bite, they come up and they bump you. They want to see are you a threat, are you going to put up a fight, or can we get you. And that’s what we’re seeing across the country with the two Saudi Arabian men. I talked to people in that investigation down in Florida, in the Tampa area, the two Saudi men that boarded that school bus and wouldn’t get off and all that kind of stuff where there was a strong feeling among people involved in that investigation that that was a dry run. We see this, we see school buses missing, 17 in Texas. We see thousands of school bus radios missing in the Northwest, the Pacific Northwest. We find, in the course of this investigation, I talked with — it would blow your mind how many law enforcement departments I talked to that have interrupted active surveillance on schools across the country. The dots are there.

GLENN: So tonight — first of all let me just tell this story again. In Iraq we found a diskette that had a — that had downloaded all of the Department of Education security measures, and they’re all available online.

THOR: Not only a diskette, Glenn, but that disk was on an Iraqi who was arrested in a terrorism raid, an Iraqi with known ties to active Islamic terrorism.

GLENN: Okay. Well, that makes it even happier. So the diskette has basically our emergency procedures in our schools and what the Department of Education says you’ve got to be ready for and this is what you do in case. So there’s another sign that they’re studying us.

THOR: Yes.

GLENN: The next thing that we found in Iraq again was eight different schools. Tell me where these schools were and what we found.

THOR: Okay. What was found in an insurgent, an Al-Qaeda affiliated safehouse over in Iraq, they were school blueprints, basically, floor plans for schools across the country. San Diego, California, West Salem, Oregon, Boyertown, Pennsylvania, schools in Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, and this was very, very disconcerting and there was a cover story that was concocted that, hey, this was just some Iraqis who were involved with the Ministry of Education in Iraq and they’re looking to rebuild their schools and all that kind of BS.

GLENN: Unbelievable. I mean, who would buy that, that they come to us to look at the architectural plans of schools all around the country, six or eight — I mean, were these remarkable schools, architecturally speaking, Brad?

THOR: No, no, it wasn’t incredible Frank Lloyd Wright but it shows you how desperate the FBI is to get to the — they are desperate. They are working so hard to prevent this from happening. That’s one thing I want your listeners to know is that they do not want this to happen. They are working hard, but at the same time they are trying to prevent people from panicking.

GLENN: Right.

THOR: And it’s a real delicate balancing act that those who keep us safe have to juggle.

GLENN: I will tell you this. The frustration and the reason why we’re exposing this is not because we don’t feel the Government is doing their job. Quite the opposite. The Government is doing their job on this. They don’t have all of the dots. They just have it — it’s exactly like September 11th. What did you know and when did you know it. Well, we knew that they were trying to do pilots but who would have thought that they were going to do it into the World Trade Center? We didn’t know that piece. We’re in exactly the same situation.

THOR: Well, and what’s amazing, Glenn, is as I’ve done this investigation and I’ve talked to my sources and you talk to one who says, well, I’ve got somebody else who’s fed up with the foot-dragging here and you need to talk to him and you need to talk to her, a lot of the reticence to implementing plans that can keep our kids safe, believe it or not, are coming from the schools themselves.

GLENN: Yeah. Well, that’s because — and this goes to what I was saying just a little while before you came on, that’s because a lot of these schools are in the heartland, they’re in small communities and they think, oh, well, nothing will happen here. You are the bigger target than New York City on this particular case, right?

THOR: Exactly. In one of the things that we’re seeing here is that they are looking for the softest targets possible, and that means when you’re looking at schools in the heartland, you look at how long it takes from a 911 phone call to getting a tactical team, not just patrol officers but a tactical team on site, and in a lot of places that takes a long time, especially if you have a multijurisdictional swat team. So what these terrorists are looking for from the stuff that’s been recovered, and tonight on your CNN Headline News program, we’re going to have John Giduck on who wrote the book terror at Beslan who wrote the book, the dress rehearsal. Bin Laden has said what we did in Russia, we will visit 100 times worse in America. He’s even gotten a religious edict allowing him to kill up to two million American children and what they are looking for is a school where the girls are old enough to rape and the boys are too small to fight back.

GLENN: Okay. I asked you, I just talked to a woman about a half hour ago. She said she watched last night’s special with her 14-year-old son. I ask you that you do not have your kids watch tonight. Tonight is really horrific stuff. I mean, tonight is — and correct me if I’m wrong, Brad. You’ve seen much more of this than I have. It’s “Take your breath away” evil stuff.

THOR: Glenn, I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old and I’ve known John Giduck for a little bit who’s going to be on tonight, John Giduck is going to reveal things on your show tonight that I’m going to bet you 99.9% of your audience has never heard before and it’s, it’s actually going to even be difficult for me to sit through it tonight because it’s that bad.

GLENN: Okay. Now, there’s two things, also. One, there was something else that — Stu, just remind me, football games and buses, will you? ADD moment. There was — hang on just a second, Brad.

THOR: Sure.

GLENN: I want to go back to Pakistan because there was something else that we touched on last night and we didn’t play this tape. We were only cleared to play a few seconds of it. I’m going to try to expand that and put it on tomorrow’s newsletter so you can see it. There’s eight hours of tape that we found in Pakistan in another Al-Qaeda training camp, eight hours of tape where they made a mock American school. The guy, the terrorists came in and they took mock American students, they took one little boy and they shot him in the head immediately and then in English said, “Now follow our directions exactly.” It’s how to take over an American school. It’s eight hours of tape. Only an hour of it has been seen by American law enforcement officials here in America. We’ve only seen part of it. What else is on this eight, the eight hours? What is this?

THOR: It’s kind of the master planning tapes of Al-Qaeda. It is the full library as best as our intelligence and military people know, and what they did was they edited down to a one-hour version to show American law enforcement in particular what they need to be prepared for, and the most chilling thing, there’s the drive-up motorcycle assassinations and things like that but the one thing that’s resonated throughout the law enforcement community has been the attack on the school where they have the mock role players. They’ve even got — you can hear in the background there’s almost like a soundtrack of children crying, to add realism to the training of these Al-Qaeda operatives, and they are issuing their commands in English and then what they’re doing almost kind of PR media savvy is they take a bunch of them up to the roof and they execute them on the roof, kind of for the television cameras to show how serious they are. And one of the — if that isn’t frightening enough, Glenn, what we’ve discovered is all of their plans on how to surveil the schools, how to get in the schools, how to hold the schools, the one thing that’s missing from all these plans, there is no exit strategy. These people are not planning to leave alive. They want to play this out for the media. They want to absolutely devastate us emotionally, psychologically and also financially with this kind of attack here.

GLENN: Right.

THOR: And then they are going out feet first.

GLENN: And this is not something that is going to happen in one school.


GLENN: The theory is that this is going to be a coordinated attack all across the country in multiple locations.

THOR: Same day.

GLENN: To — yeah, to completely devastate, shock and horrify America. You know, I said yesterday that the instruction that I gave my ex-wife, the mother of my older children, and she didn’t want to know. She said, Glenn, I don’t want to know all the details, and I give her the option because she’s kind of that person. And she really doesn’t — usually she just dismisses me. She’s not somebody who — you know, she’s heard my rhetoric for a long time and she’s like, uh-huh, right. It was very surprising when I talked to her about this. She said, tell me what I need to know, and I did, and I gave her some of the sources, et cetera, et cetera of what we’ve learned and she believed me, much to my surprise, and I gave her the advice of, if you see — if you’re watching TV or if I see it, I will call you. And I don’t care if you’re in a meeting where you are, you know, your boss is saying, you know, you’re going to be fired and you’re going to lose your job. If I call you or if you happen to see that in Kansas, a school has been taken, you leave, you go to our school and you tell the principal, I need to get my kid because she’s got a doctor’s appointment.

THOR: Right.

GLENN: Don’t panic anybody, don’t do anything because it’s most likely not going to happen. Don’t cause panic but get the kid out of school. Now, if it happens at our kids’ school, you do not go to the school. That’s the last thing you do.

THOR: Exactly. And the big reason why, this is something that has not filtered out enough to the American public. One of the big concerns is because — and you and I have talked about this on the program before that as human beings, as Americans we gather at the site of a tragedy to help support each other. Well, the big fear is that Al-Qaeda is counting on that. They want us — because it’s this overwhelming urge to protect our children, that we will rush to the scene and as we gather there with news crews and the First Responders are trying to set up a cordon to keep us back, what’s going to happen is they’ll either be snipers or, worse, there are going to be car bombs strategically placed throughout the parking lot and around the perimeter of the school that they will start lighting off one by one to just get an even bigger body count.

GLENN: Brad, we have a late afternoon feed today, a video feed of, from what I understand is some of the footage from inside Beslan that has never been seen before. Can you tell me about it? Are you aware of it? Do you know what this is?

THOR: I know a little bit about it. John Giduck again is the expert. He’s former military, he’s a law enforcement trainer. John actually speaks Russian and he was there very early on with the siege at Beslan. He has trained some of the Russian special forces members. So he’s very intimate with this, and I think this is something again that’s part of this whole package of the things that Americans need to see and know. I’ve seen some, but I don’t know exactly what it is that John’s going to be sharing.

GLENN: And I don’t know if that video’s going to be ready for tonight’s broadcast because it’s a very late afternoon feed and it’s been sketchy on whether or not it’s going to come in on time, et cetera, et cetera. But if not, we will put it in the newsletter at Free newsletter. Just sign up on the front page of the website at and each participant of each special on each episode of the TV show this week is writing a longer kind of piece for the newsletter so you’ll be able to have all the information that they talked about on television, all of the transcripts and also additional information that they have. Again it’s free. Get it. Sign up right now at You’ll be able to see the video and you’ll also, you’ll be able to pass it on to your friends so they know. But the important thing is, know this information. Information is power. You don’t panic from this information.

Brad, we’ll talk to you tonight.

THOR: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: All right. Bye-bye.

THOR: Bye-bye.

Smoky’s Comments

Honestly, what do they need the blueprints for? How much more efficient would it be if you had the plans vs. not having them. I have said for nearly 30 years that if the bastards really wanted to terrorize america it would not be hard. Give me 100 fairly motivated grunts and the resources of New Mexico for backing and I’ll give you a terror ride in this country that would still be in the history books 1,000 years from now. Take out the switching stations. Blow some interstate bridges. Ambush the first on the scene boys who are going to “fix” the damage. Start hunting cops and feds like rednecks on opening day and send the rest to elementary schools across the nation. Two men per school with shotguns for the slaughter and deer rifles for the last stand with the cops.

We’ve already designed the schools as perfect sites to hit. The doors are locked. There are only a couple of ways in and out, the windows don’t open, and who cares if half get away? You still get a hundred, maybe two hundred kia/wia’s. These would be suicide hits. Once you are out of shotgun shells and targets you hole up with two good deer rifles and start whacking cops and ambulance drivers. Kick the whole gig off on the same day. Two men per target. 50 targets. Half or more of the country would be in the dark for days if not weeks or months, interstate commerce would be a joke (especially since the interstate teams would be charged with whacking random truckdrivers and highway patrols after the bridges are blown) and 25 or so elementary schools would be morgues.

The point is, they aren’t really serious. Yeah, they may pop a school one day, but you have to remember what their motivations are. And the fact that, unlike us, they can conceive of generational warfare. Ten years is not a big deal. An op like the above is freaking war. Hell, their own people would stop them before they got here, if at all possible, because the possible backlash for the Muslim world sucks. We might just nuke the whole region.

But, if they do want this kind of op, blueprints are silly. I think the info is a plant. It it were the real deal we wouldn’t be hearing about it. This is just fanning the fires when the fires are flagging a bit — we’ll see more of this **** in the next 14 months.


Ashooter’s Response

Hi Smokey.

I agree with you… sort of.

I’m one of the “nuts” that thinks the govt is somehow involved with 9/11 in the first place. Whether there were govt “contractors” who set thermite charges inside the buildings to give us those nice neat drops we saw on 9/11, I don’t know. At the very least, elements within the govt watched the muslim terrorists prepare for 9/11 and not only didn’t try to stop them, but removed stumbling blocks for them….

Anyway, the point of all that is that the “people” who benefit most from this whole business are not the muslim whackos as much as the power brokers right here at home. So at the very least they make use of the “useful idiot” muslims who would like to pull of a Beslan here in the U.S. The backlash against muslims here would no doubt be pretty swift and severe, but the useful idiot muslims (and the neocons) would benefit from that in the long run since it would deepen the emotional divide between “us and them” on BOTH sides and thus make both sides support more active killing of each other. The neocons would have their support for going into Iran, and the whacko muslims would have their support for perpetual jihad.

The point is, if they’re giving us these previews, we’re likely to see something go down whether or not this is semi fabricated info from the propaganda machine.

take care,

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The top 10 big stories the U.S. news media missed in the past year

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment


The top 10 big stories the U.S. news media missed in the past year


By Amanda Witherell

There are a handful of freedoms that have almost always been a part of American democracy. Even when they didn’t exactly apply to everyone or weren’t always protected by the people in charge, a few simple but significant rights have been patently clear in the Constitution: You can’t be nabbed by the cops and tossed behind bars without a reason. If you are imprisoned, you can’t be incarcerated indefinitely; you have the right to a speedy trial with a judge and jury. When that court date rolls around, you’ll be able to see the evidence against you.

The president can’t suspend elections, spy without warrants, or dispatch federal troops to trump local cops or quell protests. Nor can the commander-in-chief commence a witch hunt, deem individuals “enemy combatants” or shunt them into special tribunals outside the purview of our 218-year-old judicial system.

Until now. This year’s Project Censored presents a chilling portrait of a newly empowered executive branch signing away civil liberties for the sake of an endless and amorphous war on terror. And for the most part, the major news media weren’t paying attention.

“This year it seemed like civil rights just rose to the top,” says Peter Phillips, the director of Project Censored, the annual media survey conducted by Sonoma State University researchers and students who spend the year patrolling obscure publications, national and international websites and mainstream news outlets to compile the 25 most significant stories that were inadequately reported or essentially ignored.

While the project usually turns up a range of underreported issues, this year’s stories all fall somewhat neatly into two categories: the increase of privatization and the decrease of human rights. Some of the stories qualify as both.

No. 1: ADIOS, habeas corpus

The Military Commissions Act, passed in September 2006 as a last gasp of the Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by Bush that Oct. 17, made significant changes to the nation’s judicial system.

The law allows the president to designate any person an “alien unlawful enemy combatant,” shunting that individual into an alternative court system in which the writ of habeas corpus no longer applies, the right to a speedy trial is gone and justice is meted out by a military tribunal that can admit evidence obtained through coercion and be presented without the accused in the courtroom, all under the guise of preserving national security.

Habeas corpus protects against arbitrary imprisonment. Alexander Hamilton, writing in the Federalist Papers, called it the greatest defense against “the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.”

The Military Commissions Act has been seen mostly as a method for dealing with Guantánamo Bay detainees, and most journalists have reported that it doesn’t have any impact on Americans. On Oct. 19, 2006, editors at The New York Times wrote, in quite definitive language, “This law does not apply to American citizens.”

Investigative journalist Robert Parry disagrees. The right of habeas corpus no longer exists for any of us, he wrote in the online journal Consortium. In the lower sections of the act, the language shifts from the very specific “alien unlawful enemy combatant” to the vague “any person subject to this chapter.”

“Why does it contain language referring to ‘any person’ and then adding in an adjacent context a reference to people acting ‘in breach of allegiance or duty to the United States’?” Parry wrote. “Who has ‘an allegiance or duty to the United States’ if not an American citizen?”

Reached by phone, Parry told the Guardian that he’s consulted with lawyers who are experienced in drafting federal security legislation, and they agreed that the “any person” terminology is troubling.

Though U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., moved quickly to remedy the situation with the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, that legislation has yet to pass Congress, which some suspect is because too many Democrats don’t want to seem soft on terrorism. Until tested by time, exactly how much the language of the Military Commissions Act may be manipulated will remain to be seen.

Sources: “Repeal the Military Commissions Act and Restore the Most American Human Right,” Thom Hartmann, Common Dreams website,, Feb. 12, 2007; “Still No Habeas Rights for You,” Robert Parry, Consortium, consortium, Feb. 3, 2007; “Who Is ‘Any Person’ in Tribunal Law?,” Robert Parry, Consortium, consortium, Oct. 19, 2006

No. 2: Martial law

The Military Commissions Act was part of a one-two punch to civil liberties. While the first blow to habeas corpus received some attention, there was almost no media coverage of a private Oval Office ceremony held the same day the military act was signed at which Bush signed the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, a $532 billion catchall bill for defense spending.

Tucked away in the deeper recesses of that act, section 1076 allows the president to declare a public emergency and dispatch federal troops to take over National Guard units and local police if he determines them unfit for maintaining order. This is essentially a revival of the Insurrection Act, which was repealed by Congress in 1878, when it passed the Posse Comitatus Act in response to Northern troops overstaying their welcome in the reconstructed South. That act wiped out a potentially tyrannical amount of power by reinforcing the idea that the federal government should patrol the nation’s borders and let the states take care of their own territories.

The Warner act defines a public emergency as a “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any state or possession of the United States” and extends its provisions to any place where “the president determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the state or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.” On top of that, federal troops can be dispatched to “suppress, in a state, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.”

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., was the only elected official to publicly express concern about section 1076, warning his peers Sept. 19, 2006, that “we certainly do not need to make it easier for presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. One can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders.” In February, Leahy introduced Senate Bill 513 to repeal section 1076. It’s now in the Armed Services Committee.

Sources: “Two Acts of Tyranny on the Same Day!,” Daneen G. Peterson, Stop the North America Union website,, Jan. 20, 2007; “Bush Moves Toward Martial Law,” Frank Morales,, , Oct. 26, 2006


President Jimmy Carter was the first to draw a clear line between America’s foreign policy and its concurrent “vital interest” in oil. During his 1980 State of the Union address he said, “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

Under what became the Carter Doctrine, an outpost of the Pentagon called the United States Central Command, or CENTCOM, was established to ensure the uninterrupted flow of that slick “vital interest.”

The United States is now constructing a similar permanent base in Africa, an area traditionally patrolled by more remote commands in Europe and the Pacific. No details have been released about exactly what AFRICOM’s responsibilities will be or where troops will be located, though government spokespeople have vaguely stated that the mission is to establish order and keep peace for volatile governments – that just happen to be in oil-rich areas.

“A new cold war is under way in Africa, and AFRICOM will be at the dark heart of it,” Bryan Hunt wrote on the Moon of Alabama blog. Most U.S. oil imports come from African countries – in particular, Nigeria. According to the 2007 Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, “disruption of supply from Nigeria would represent a major blow to U.S. oil-security strategy.”

Though details of the AFRICOM strategy remain secret, Hunt has surveyed past governmental statements and reports by other independent journalists to draw parallels between AFRICOM and CENTCOM, making the case that the United States sees Africa as another “vital interest.”

Source: “Understanding AFRICOM,” Moon of Alabama website, _a_1.html, Feb. 21, 2007

No. 4: Secret trade

As disappointing as the World Trade Organization has been, it has provided an open forum in which smaller countries can work together to demand concessions from developed nations when brokering agreements.

At least in theory. The 2006 negotiations crumbled when the United States, the European Union and Australia refused to heed India’s and Brazil’s demands for fair farm tariffs.

In the wake of that disaster, bilateral agreements have become the tactic of choice. These one-on-one negotiations, designed by the United States and the European Union, are cut like back-room deals, with the larger country bullying the smaller into agreements that couldn’t be reached through the WTO.

Critics see them as fast tracks to increased foreign control of local resources in poor communities. “The overall effect of these changes in the rules is to progressively undermine economic governance, transferring power from governments to largely unaccountable multinational firms, robbing developing countries of the tools they need to develop their economies and gain a favorable foothold in global markets,” states a report by Oxfam International, the antipoverty activist group.

Sources: “Free Trade Enslaving Poor Countries,” Sanjay Suri, Inter Press Service, , March 20, 2007; “Signing Away the Future,” Emily Jones, Oxfam website, , March 2007

No. 5: slaves build U.S. Embassy

Part of the permanent infrastructure the United States is erecting in Iraq includes the world’s largest embassy, built on Green Zone acreage equal to that of Vatican City. The $592 million job was awarded in 2005 to First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting. Though much of the project’s management is staffed by Americans, most of the workers are from small or developing countries like the Philippines, India and Pakistan and, according to David Phinney of CorpWatch – a Bay Area organization that investigates and exposes corporate environmental crimes, fraud, corruption and violations of human rights – are recruited under false pretenses. At the airport, their boarding passes read Dubai. Their passports are stamped Dubai. But when they get off the plane, they’re in Baghdad.

Once on-site, they’re often beaten and paid as little as $10 to $30 a day, CorpWatch concludes. Injured workers are dosed with painkillers and sent back on the job. An ex-foreman who’s worked on five other U.S. embassies around the world says, “I’ve never seen a project more fucked up. Every U.S. labor law was broken.”

These workers have often been banned by their home countries from working in Baghdad because of unsafe conditions and flagging support for the war, but once they’re on Iraqi soil, protections are few. Kuwaiti managers take their passports, which is a violation of U.S. labor laws.

The Pentagon has been investigating the slavery-like conditions but has not released the names of any violating contractors or announced penalties. In the meantime, billions of dollars in contracts continue to be awarded to First Kuwaiti and other companies at which little accountability exists. As Phinney reported, “No journalist has ever been allowed access to the sprawling 104-acre site.”

Source: “A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad: Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World’s Largest Embassy,” David Phinney, CorpWatch website, =14173, Oct. 17, 2006

No. 6: FALCON’s talons

Operation FALCON, or Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally, is, in many ways, the manifestation of martial law forewarned by Frank Morales (see No. 2). More than 960 federal, state and local police agencies teamed up in 2005 and in 2006 to conduct the largest dragnet raids in U.S. history. Armed with fistfuls of arrest warrants, they ran three separate raids around the country that netted 30,150 criminal arrests.

The Justice Department claimed agents were targeting the “worst of the worst.” However, as writer Mike Whitney points out on, none of the suspects has been charged with anything related to terrorism. Additionally, while 30,110 individuals were arrested, only 586 firearms were found. That doesn’t sound very violent either.

Though the U.S. Marshals Service has been quick to tally the offenses, Whitney says the numbers just don’t add up. For example, FALCON in 2006 captured 462 violent sex-crime suspects, 1,094 registered sex offenders and 9,037 fugitives.

What about the other 7,481 people? “Who are they, and have they been charged with a crime?” Whitney asks.

The Marshals Service remains silent about these arrests. Whitney suggests those detainees may have been illegal immigrants and may be bound for border prisons currently being constructed by Halliburton.

The Justice Department supplied local news outlets with stock footage of the raids, which some TV stations ran accompanied by stories sourced from the Department of Justice’s news releases without any critical coverage of who exactly was swept up in the dragnets and where they are now.

Sources: “Operation Falcon and the Looming Police State,” Mike Whitney,,, Feb. 26, 2007; “Operation Falcon,” SourceWatch, Operation_FALCON, Nov. 18, 2006

No. 7: Blackwater

The outsourcing of war has served two purposes for the Bush administration, which has given powerful corporations and private companies lucrative contracts supplying goods and services to American military operations overseas and quietly achieved an escalation of troops beyond what the public has been told or understands. Without actually deploying more military forces, the federal government instead contracts with private security firms like Blackwater to provide heavily armed details for U.S. diplomats in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries where the nation is currently engaged in conflicts.

Blackwater is one of the more successful private companies profiting from the war. Started in 1996 by an ex-Navy SEAL named Erik Prince, the North Carolina company employs 20,000 hired guns, training them on the world’s largest private military base.

“It’s become nothing short of the Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration’s so-called global war on terror,” author Jeremy Scahill said on the Jan. 26 broadcast of the TV and radio news program Democracy Now! Scahill’s Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army was published this year by Nation Books.

Source: “Our Mercenaries in Iraq,” Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! website, www., Jan. 26, 2007

No. 8: The KIA

A March 2006 pact under which the United States agreed to supply nuclear fuel to India for the production of electric power also included a less-publicized corollary: the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture. While it’s purportedly a deal to assist Indian farmers and liberalize trade, critics say the initiative is destroying India’s local agrarian economy by encouraging the use of genetically modified seeds, which in turn is creating a new market for pesticides and driving up the overall cost of producing crops. The deal provides a captive customer base for genetically modified seed maker Monsanto and a market for cheap goods to supply Wal-Mart.

Monsanto’s hybrid Bt cotton has already edged out local strains, and India is currently suffering an infestation of mealy bugs, which have proven immune to the pesticides the chemical companies have made available. Additionally, the sowing of crops has shifted from the traditional to the trade-friendly. Farmers accustomed to cultivating mustard, a sacred local crop, are now producing soy, a plant foreign to India.

Sources: “Vandana Shiva on Farmer Suicides, the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal, Wal-Mart in India,” Democracy Now! website,, Dec. 13, 2006; “Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India take on Monsanto,” Arun Shrivastava, Global Research, &code=ARU20061009&articleId=3427, Oct. 9, 2006


In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ushered in legislation for the greatest public works project in human history: the interstate highway system, 41,000 miles of roads funded almost entirely by the federal government.

Fifty years later many of those roads are in need of repair, but the federal government has not risen to the challenge. Instead, more than 20 states have set up deals leasing the roads to private companies in exchange for repairs. These public-private partnerships are being lauded by politicians as the only financial solution to providing the public with improved services. But opponents of all political stripes are criticizing the deals as theft of public property. They point out that the bulk of benefits is actually going to the private side of the equation; in many cases, to foreign companies with considerable experience building private roads in developing countries. In the United States these companies are entering into long-term leases of roads and bridges, for a low amount. They work out tax breaks to finance the repairs, raise tolls to cover the costs and start realizing profits in as little as 10 years.

As Daniel Schulman and James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones, “the Federal Highway Administration estimates that it will cost $50 billion a year above current levels of federal, state and local highway funding to rehab existing bridges and roads over the next 16 years. Where to get that money, without raising taxes? Privatization promises a quick fix – and a way to outsource difficult decisions, like raising tolls, to entities that don’t have to worry about getting reelected.”

The Indiana Toll Road, the Chicago Skyway, Virginia’s Pocahontas Parkway and many other stretches of the nation’s public pavement have succumbed to these private deals.

Cheerleaders for privatization are deeply embedded in the Bush administration, where they’ve been fostering plans for a North American Free Trade Agreement superhighway, a 10-lane route set to run through the heart of the country and connect the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Sources: “The Highwaymen,” Daniel Schulman with James Ridgeway, Mother Jones,, January/February 2007; “Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway,” Jerome R. Corsi, Human Events, article.php?id=15497, June 12, 2006

No. 10: Vulture funds

Named for a bird that picks offal from a carcass, this financial scheme couldn’t be more aptly described. Well-endowed companies swoop in and purchase the debt owed by a Third World country, then turn around and sue the country for the full amount, plus interest. In most courts, they win. Recently, Donegal International spent $3 million for $40 million worth of debt Zambia owed Romania, then sued for $55 million. In February an English court ruled that Zambia had to pay $15 million.

Often these countries are on the brink of having their debt relieved by the lenders in exchange for putting the owed money toward necessary goods and services for their citizens. But the vultures effectively initiate another round of deprivation for the impoverished countries by demanding full payment, and a loophole makes it legal.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast broke the story for the BBC’s Newsnight, saying that “the vultures have already sucked up about $1 billion in aid meant for the poorest nations, according to the World Bank in Washington.”

With the exception of the BBC and Democracy Now!, no major news source has touched the story, though it’s incensed several members of Britain’s Parliament as well as the new prime minister, Gordon Brown. U.S. Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Donald Payne, D-N.J., lobbied Bush to take action as well, but political will may be elsewhere. Debt Advisory International, an investment consulting firm that’s been involved in several vulture funds that have generated millions in profits, is run by Paul Singer, the largest fund-raiser for the Republican Party in the state of New York. He’s donated $1.7 million to Bush’s campaigns.

Source: “Vulture Fund Threat to Third World,” Greg Palast and Meirion Jones, Newsnight,, Feb. 14, 2007

A version of this story appeared originally in the San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper.

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The Betrayal of the American Right

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

The Betrayal of the American Right

by Charles A. Burris


Contrary to popular belief, the betrayal of the American right and the Republican Party did not begin with the administration of George W. Bush, his father George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, or Barry Goldwater. It began much earlier as this new book by the late Murray N. Rothbard details.

This is a fabulous book I have eagerly awaited almost thirty years. It meets my every expectation and confirmation of the brilliance of its author. Murray Rothbard remains unsurpassed in analytical insight and clarity of perception.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul often describes himself as belonging to the non-interventionist tradition of the “Old Right” in American politics, and that his hero or mentor in this regard is Ohio Republican Senator Robert A. Taft, son of President and Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft.

To the mouthpieces of the mainstream news media with their shallow view of American political history, this is very perplexing. Their superficial knowledge of events rarely stretches beyond the Reagan years, if indeed that far back.

The “Old Right” arose in opposition to the warfare/welfare state of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Harry Truman’s Fair Deal policies of domestic corporate statism and foreign imperial interventionism.

The “Old Right” Republicans in Congress, such as Senator Taft, Congressman Howard Buffett (father of the billionaire investor Warren Buffett), Congressman George Bender, and Congressman H. R. Gross, were pro-peace opponents of war, militarism, imperialism, and conscription. Reminiscent of Ron Paul, they fought against tyrannical centralization of power in the executive branch, and the undeclared, no-win Korean War as Paul has done with the Iraq War.

There was lies and intelligence duplicity involved in the Korean conflict as there has been with the war in Iraq. Howard Buffett was convinced the disastrous war in Korea was aggressively launched by the U. S. as described in secret Senate Armed Services Committee classified testimony by CIA Director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoeter, much like the role played by George Tenent and the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans concerning Iraq.

But after WWII this glorious tradition suffered crucial setbacks (such as the well-documented theft of the 1952 Republican nomination of Taft by the Eisenhower forces) and eventually in the early 1950s the “Old Right” was being replaced by a “New Right” of aggressive militarists committed to a global imperial role for the United States.

I have long believed that the secret role of the intelligence community (in particular that of CIA operative William F. Buckley’s National Review magazine) in precipitating this decisive shift in opinion was crucial and Rothbard confirms these suspicions. This terrific new book details how this betrayal all came about. Originally written in the early 1970s and updated in the 1990s prior to his death, it has finally been published and is more timely than ever.

For a terrific description of the 1952 Republican Convention story and much more, see Phyllis Schlafly’s A Choice Not An Echo, one of the true American classics of modern political publishing. While Schlafly’s 1964 pamphlet was designed to advocate the presidential candidacy of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, it nevertheless remains an on-target exposé of how the “secret kingmakers,” the northeastern seaboard anglophile Establishment of the Morgan/Rockefeller international bankers, relentlessly tried to destroy and sabotage the popular “Old Right” Republican forces in presidential elections from 1936 onward.

Another related book is Thomas E. Mahl’s Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939–44, which details the vast secret intelligence campaign of British intelligence, the Roosevelt administration, and the anglophile Establishment to push the United States into World War II and destroy the “Old Right” in the process. As pointed out above, these efforts were continued under the CIA, the successor to the WWII Office of Strategic Services.

This process continues today by the CIA’s demonic spawn, the neocons. Neoconservatism: A CIA Front?

These guys hated Robert Taft and the “Old Right” and did everything possible to destroy their influence and impact on American policy. Their Establishment descendants hate Ron Paul and will try to do everything to destroy him and his presidential candidacy.

These three books are must-reading for all Ron Paul supporters to know your history and what we are up against.

Our greatest saving grace today is that the Internet has destroyed the formerly all-powerful impact of the Establishment’s mainstream news media’s gatekeepers in setting the parameters of the presidential policy debate.

Knowledge is power.

Act upon this knowledge.

Buy The Book

September 17, 2007

Charles A. Burris [send him mail] is a history instructor in an American high school.

Copyright © 2007

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September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

O.J. Simpson Ordered Held Without Bail

In my opinion…
by R.W. Gaines

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Non-Voters Finally Have a Good Reason to Return to the Polls

September 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Non-Voters Finally Have a Good Reason to Return to the Polls
Attention non-voters of all “parties”. You folks have been given a bum rap for some time now even though you represent roughly half of the eligible voting population. Don’t be ashamed. There is nothing wrong with not voting when you have nothing to vote for. In fact, it is more immoral to vote for a candidate you don’t like because you think they are the lesser of two evils. In that case, you are voting for evil. So, to all of you who stay home on election day because you know your vote won’t make a bit of difference, you are to be applauded. You send a message, that unless they give you someone to vote for, you will not volunteer to legitimize a fixed system: a system where the rich get richer and the rest of us get the shaft. You have been absolutely correct… up until now.

This election there is finally a candidate worthy of your vote. Ron Paul is a politician for those who absolutely hate politicians. He is running as a Republican, but don’t let that fool you. This is not the current day neo-con big government take your money and go kill people with it Republican. Ron Paul is a small government, tiny taxes, bring the troops home today and let’s stop this ridiculous nation-building Republican. He wants to strengthen our borders, not the borders of Iraq. He wants to protect your Social Security funds from the greedy hands of Congress who would rather use it to give to their friends so they can buy more votes. Oh, Ron Paul doesn’t have many friends in Washington, but he is the people’s best friend.

You wonder why you haven’t heard of him? The major media are all controlled by big corporations who receive corporate welfare from the government and they don’t want the money to stop flowing. Now, you can’t really blame them, but you sure don’t have to listen to them, be persuaded by them, or let them tell you who has a chance of winning and who does not.

Ron Paul is the best friend the average Joe will ever see running for President. He even wants to end the Income tax. Oh, don’t worry, the country can survive without it. The Income Tax is only one of many, many taxes that we all pay. Ron Paul wants you to own your money. He wants you to own your body (he is against the Selective Service and the Draft). He wants you to be able to keep your secrets, and he thinks the government should be the one to open up and let you know what it is up to.

Feeling like your paycheck doesn’t go so far anymore? Confused when they keep repeating on the evening news how great the economy is going when you can hardly pay for groceries? That is because of the Inflation Tax. When Congress wants to spend more money, it borrows money and the Federal Reserve simply prints it up for them. (This is a simplification of the process, but that is what happens more or less.) Then all this “new” money floats around, or more likely ends up in the hands of military contractors and all of a sudden the dollars that used to be in your pocket are worth less. More dollars means each one has less value. The less value the dollar has the less it buys and you notice it when you see prices rise. Instead of complaining that the companies are trying to rip you off, the real focus of your frustration should be at the Federal Government that made you money worth so little it now takes three dollars just to buy a gallon of gas. There’s a reason counterfeiting is against the law.

Ron Paul would change all of this for you by getting us back on a hard money system, so that Congress cannot spend what it does not have. Of course the economy of the ultra-rich is looking good, so would yours if you borrowed a million dollars a week. But just as any college student soon learns, those bills must be paid back. And guess who is paying back those debts? You got it. Taxpayers. You and me. That is why it now takes two to support a household, two people working to even think of sending kids to college, two people working harder and harder every year and somehow ending up with less.

Yes, you are right. You are being ripped off. But Ron Paul actually wants to stop all of that. He says he doesn’t want to be President for all the things he can do to you, he wants to be President for all the freedom and liberty he can give back to you. Starting with your money.

He wants to abolish the Department of Education but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean he wants to abolish public schools. He just wants the Federal government out of your hair so you can decide locally what your children are taught instead of some bureaucrats in Washington. He voted against the National ID card because he doesn’t want American citizens to ever be forced to “produce your papers”. He wants to further protect your privacy by keeping the Internet free of regulations. He wants Big Brother off your back, not running your life.

Ron Paul is an excellent reason to come back to the voting booth, if only for the primaries. Please find out what the rules are for the Presidential Primary in your state. They can be tricky about this too, because truth be told, they don’t want you to vote. In Arizona, they call the Presidential Primary a “Presidential Preference Election” but still hold primaries for other offices like councilmen, etc. So if you call in and ask about the rules for “the Primary” they tell you things that have nothing to do with picking the next President. Don’t let them trick you. Call the county in your area. Tell them you want to vote for Ron Paul who is running as a Republican and you want to vote for him in the primary or whatever they call it. Then register to vote. In a lot of places you must be a registered Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the Primary. Check the rules for your state.

If by some chance Ron Paul does not win the nomination, then go back to your couch and stay there. The rest of the field doesn’t have much to offer. The Democrats promised to end this war in the last election. See any soldiers coming home? Well, Ron Paul voted against the war from day one. You can trust that a man will behave in the future the way he behaved in the past.

If Ron Paul doesn’t secure the Republican nomination, then I won’t blame you for not voting in the general election. You are right. The rest of the choices are dismal. No matter who wins we will get more of the same. This year, vote for someone you believe in. Vote for the one man who has been fighting for your rights for twenty years in Congress. Give that man a voice: your voice. If you would like to read more about Ron Paul you can visit his website at and  (look for the Ron Paul file in the lower left corner) and also visit the Ron Paul Library to find articles and speeches on specific topics.

Ron Paul is listed with 8 to 1 odds of becoming the next US President

Also See:

Ron Paul Inspires Gambling911 Activism

2008 Presidential Betting Odds home page


Jennifer Reynolds,

Originally published September 5, 2007 12:14 am ET

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Lucianne’s website has suggestions from the readers as to a suitable title——too good to pass up—-

September 16, 2007 Leave a comment

This one comes from my friend, Jack Whitesell–thanx, Jack!
Lucianne’s website has suggestions from the readers as to a suitable title——too good to pass up—-



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Sen. Edward Kennedy pondering book about his career, views on historic events, aide says

Associated Press, by Hillel Italie

Original Article
Posted By:JoniTx, 9/16/2007 8:49:31 AM
NEW YORK – Sen. Edward Kennedy has held preliminary discussions with publishers about writing a book on his career, an adviser to the senator told The Associated Press on Saturday. (Snip) “After many years of being requested to do so, and after writing several other books in recent years, Sen. Kennedy has decided to consider the possibility of writing a book about his career and his views

Reply 1 – Posted by: Jimmyboy1, 9/16/2007 8:51:52 AM
Titled, “Splash”……

Reply 2 – Posted by: Pitbull, 9/16/2007 8:54:31 AM
“Jim Beam, We Hardly Knew Ye”….

Reply 3 – Posted by: Sandra1, 9/16/2007 9:00:04 AM
Oh, please….gonna write about the girl he killed, the things he did to his wife which drove her to alcoholism, the ‘waitress sandwiches’ that he and that fool DODD used to guffaw about? Don’t care one iota for this man and his entire family. IMHO, they are the biggest reason the senate is such a corrupt place. Kennedy, from Joe all the way down to the last great grandchild….bah!



Reply 4 – Posted by: jhp, 9/16/2007 9:06:37 AM

“A young cowboy named Teddy K grew restless on the farm
A boy filled with wonderlust who really meant no harm
He changed his clothes and shined his boots
And combed his dark hair down
And his mother cried as he walked out
Don’t take your Olds to town son
Leave your Olds at home Ted
Don’t take your Olds to town”*
*Apologies to Johnny Cash

The above is just an excerpt–please click the link below for much more…

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“We are not an empire. We’re a republic.”

September 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Ron Paul: Utah turnout wows candidate
Before a crowd of 1,000, Republican hopeful speaks about foreign policy, war
By Sheena McFarland

The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:09/16/2007 02:38:49 AM MDT

More than 1,000 people gathered Saturday at the Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City to rally behind U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Paul, an obstetrician from Texas, was impressed with the turnout.
“Wow. If they only knew you existed over in Washington, they’d change things over there,” he said as he greeted the cheering crowd.
Paul spoke fervently of his support of smaller government, including the abolition of agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, and of his support for strictly following the Constitution. He also spoke out against the war in Iraq and any pre-emptive military action.
“Because of our careless attitude about foreign policy and how we go to war, we have allowed our government to build an American world empire,” he said. “We are not an empire. We’re a republic.”
Paul’s stances on such topics are “clearly proven” in his voting record, which has earned him the nickname of “Dr. No” in the House of Representatives, said supporter Ronald Levine Saturday.
“I tell people not to listen to what a candidate says before an election or what he does,” he said. “I tell them to look at what he has consistently done for the past 20 years.”
That voting record is what drives his grass-roots supporters, said Mark Hudson of Syracuse.
“He is the only candidate who attracts everyone from libertarians to constitutional conservatives to true conservatives,” Hudson said.
Paul visited Utah for the free rally and for a $1,000-a-plate brunch that drew fewer than 20 supporters and a $2,000-per-plate dinner. He is the eighth presidential candidate to visit Utah, the fourth Republican. Paul had raised about $13,000 in Utah as of the June 30 filing, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
Though polls show Paul garnering an average of only 2 percent of potential voters, many of his supporters believe the polls don’t accurately show how many people support him.
“He’s the only candidate I’ve seen homemade signs for,” said Tom Salt, who is studying mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University.
Salt sees many young people supporting Paul.
“We look at his principles and we’re too young to be cynical about his chances,” Salt said.
The mainstream media has not treated Paul fairly, said Jed Hardman of Springville, and neither have some of the other Republicans in the race, pointing to Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney “openly mocking” Paul after debates.
“They’re afraid because as soon as such a true conservative emerges, one who is anti-abortion and has conservative views on taxes, they’re going to lose,” he said.

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Gunny G’s Updates

September 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Gunny G’s Weblog Posts…

The First Code Talkers

September 16, 2007 Leave a comment

The First Code Talkers

By Chris Vaughn
Star-Telegram staff writer
DURANT, Okla. — Not many Choctaw Indians can speak their ancient tongue anymore.As was the case in many tribes, the Choctaw elders wanted their children to speak the white man’s language, while the U.S. government tried hard to eradicate it on its own.

“Choctaw was all I could talk until I was 9 years old,” said Bertram Bobb, 83, one of the tribe’s elders. “But I can’t speak it fluently anymore. Not too many can.”There was a time — many years ago now — when the Choctaw language not only served as a cultural touchstone but also saved lives.

Although few people know it outside the Choctaws’ original grounds in southeastern Oklahoma, they were the first “code talkers” in the U.S. military, using the intricacy and obscurity of their language a full generation before the Navajos played the same role in World War II.

A small band of Choctaw Indians volunteered when the U.S. entered World War I and joined the 36th Infantry Division, a joint Texas and Oklahoma outfit that made Camp Bowie into a household name in Fort Worth.

They were never recognized by the government for their role….
More below…

The Petraeus Diary

September 15, 2007 Leave a comment


by Dr. W.R. Marshall, Ph.D
September 15, 2007

During the weeks that led up General David Petraeus‘ Surge Report he kept a diary. We’ve recently secured a copy of these writings from an inside source at the White House. What appear today are exclusive excerpts from his diary made during the week before his appearance on the Hill. (In the spirit of full disclosure, we did pay for the diary, although no cash was exchanged. It cost us two boxes of Milk Bones and a Bin Laden chew toy.)

Sept 4 Tuesday
3:30pm: Just got another call from the C in C. You’d think he’d have something better to do than call me twenty times a day, but I guess wandering around the White House all day gives him a lot of free time. He told me for the hundredth time that I’m a “good guy.” There was an embarrassing silence after that, until I told him he was good guy too. I’m pretty sure Larry Craig is gay—not that there’s anything wrong with that. 10:30pm: C in C called and asked me what kind of dog I like. He said he likes Cocker Spaniels and giggled when he said “cocker.”

Sept 5 Wednesday
6:30am: Just got off the phone with Cheney—is it me, or does he look the same as he did during Bush I? He said he was sending over new pages, and then started yelling at someone in the room about closing the curtains before sunrise. When he came back on the phone he wanted assurances that I wouldn’t fold under the pressure of questioning. Who does he think I am, a Democrat? I told his draft dodging candy ass not to worry about it. He cackled—that was a little scary.

11:30am: The new rugs arrived from that Dora Market I set up at Baghdad. They were cheap at twice the price—because it’s not my money. Funny thing is, that cracker Lindsey Graham thinks he got a good deal on the rugs when he was there. How’d he put it, “I jewed them A-rabs down.” I guess he didn’t know about the $2500 we slip the vendors weekly to keep their shops open. Potemkin village my ass, money talks, b.s. walks.

Read more…


September 15, 2007 Leave a comment

Iran leader: Bush will be tried
Associated Press ^ | 14 Sept. 07 | By NASSER KARIMI
Posted on 09/15/2007 10:14:15 AM EDT by Seabee133
TEHRAN, Iran – President Bush will one day be tried in court just like deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his involvement in the Iraq tragedy, Iran’s supreme leader said Friday.

Speaking to thousands of worshippers during the first Friday prayer of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Bush will be called to account for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

“A day will come that the current U.S. president and officials will be tried in an international supreme court for the catastrophes they caused in Iraq,” he said.

“Americans will have to answer for why they don’t end occupation of Iraq and why waves of terrorism and insurgency have overwhelmed the country,” he added. “It will not be like this forever and some day they will be stopped as happened to Hitler, Saddam and certain other European leaders.”

Khamenei mocked the U.S., describing the recent congressional testimony of the top U.S. officials in Iraq as a sign of weakness and the failure of American policy in the war torn country.

“More than four years have passed since the occupation of Iraq and today everyone knows that America has failed and is frantically looking for a way out,” he said.

In their testimony Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker raised allegations — denied by Iran — of Iranian meddling in Iraq by financial and military support of militias and insurgent groups. They warned that the U.S. was already embroiled in a proxy war with the Islamic republic.

Despite U.N. sanctions and efforts to isolate Iran internationally, the country is flourishing, maintained Khamenei.

(Excerpt)


Iran Leader: Bush Will Be Tried


The Associated Press
Friday, September 14, 2007; 3:52 PM

TEHRAN, Iran — President Bush and other American officials will one day face trial just like deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for “the catastrophes they caused in Iraq,” Iran’s supreme leader said Friday.

Speaking to thousands of worshippers during the first Friday prayer of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Bush will be called to account for the U.S.-led invasion.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a Friday prayer at the Tehran University campus, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. U.S. President George W. Bush will one day be tried in court just like deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his involvement in the Iraq tragedy, said Iran's supreme leader Friday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a Friday prayer at the Tehran University campus, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. U.S. President George W. Bush will one day be tried in court just like deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his involvement in the Iraq tragedy, said Iran’s supreme leader Friday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) (Vahid Salemi – AP)




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A day will come that the current U.S. president and officials will be tried in an international supreme court for the catastrophes they caused in Iraq,” he said.

“Americans will have to answer for why they don’t end occupation of Iraq and why waves of terrorism and insurgency have overwhelmed the country,” he added. “It will not be like this forever and some day they will be stopped as happened to Hitler, Saddam and certain other European leaders.”

Bush painted quite a different picture Thursday, describing an Iraq on the mend.

“One year ago, much of Baghdad was under siege,” Bush said in a televised speech from the Oval Office. “Today, most of Baghdad’s neighborhoods are being patrolled by coalition and Iraqi forces who live among the people they protect. … Sectarian killings are down. And ordinary life is beginning to return.”

But Khamenei mocked the U.S., describing the recent congressional testimony of the top American officials in Iraq as a sign of weakness and the failure of American policy in the war torn country.

“More than four years have passed since the occupation of Iraq and today everyone knows that America has failed and is frantically looking for a way out,” he said.

In their testimony Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker raised allegations _ denied by Iran _ of Iranian meddling in Iraq by financial and military support of militias and insurgent groups. They warned that the U.S. was already embroiled in a proxy war with the Islamic republic.

Despite U.N. sanctions and efforts to isolate Iran internationally, the country is flourishing, maintained Khamenei.

“Today we are in a better political position compared to four to five years ago,” he said. “We have moved forward economically and the spiritual preparedness and happiness of our nation has improved.”

“A nation like ours, without an atomic bomb and not as wealthy as these other powerful governments, has foiled a whole series of their conspiracies and forced them to give up and withdraw,” he added.

The U.S. accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and has called for further international sanctions against the country. Iran denies the charge.

Iran and the U.S. have not had diplomatic relations since Washington cut its ties with Tehran after Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy there in 1979.


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“One Sensed That He Was Not Saying Everything He Thought”

September 15, 2007 1 comment

(Received via e-mail…)

At the end of last week it seemed we knew the immediate future — the administration will get what it asked for, more time — but had no greater sense of long-term outcomes.

In a way, David Petraeus won the day when came forth with its famous “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad. They shot themselves in the foot and deserve to be known by their limp. Republicans enacted fury (Thank you, O political gods, for showing the low nature of our foes!), and Democrats felt it (Embarrassed again by the loons!). No one — no normal American — thinks a U.S. Army four-star came back from Iraq to damage our democracy by telling lies.

Gen. Petraeus’s testimony was dry, full of data points and graphs. He gave the impression that everything he said was, to the best of his considerable knowledge, true. One sensed that he was not saying everything he thought.
Wall Street Journal
September 15, 2007
Pg. W16

Just The Facts

By Peggy Noonan

We are at a new point in the American experience of the Iraq war. It is also a decisive one: We have to decide, now, what to do. Stay. Go. Stay in a certain way, or at a certain size. But the mood of the moment, the mood of many Americans, is at odds with one of the demands of decision making.

Big decisions require a certain spirit, a certain do or die — the faith and wildness to roll the dice, throw ‘em, watch and roll again. That’s gambling, of course, not decision making, but many big decisions are to some degree a gamble. Our president must think this, for he so often doubles down. The Decider is The Gambler.

I was thinking this week about how the mood now, among normal people and political figures, is so different from the great burst of feeling that marked the early days of the war — the 17 days to Baghdad, the unstoppable Third Infantry Division, the dictator’s statue falling. The relief that Saddam didn’t use poison gas, as he had against the Kurds, that he collapsed like an old suitcase and got himself out of Dodge. There was a lot of tenderness to those days, too — the first tears at the loss of troops, the deaths of David Bloom and Michael Kelly. Still, the war seemed all triumph, a terrible swift answer to what had been done to us on 9/11.

Then occupation, the long slog, the beginning of bitterness. They thought they could do a war on the cheap? They thought shock and awe would stun ancient enmity into amity? And the puzzlements. Sometimes you looked at the war and wondered, Is Washington’s plan here that good luck began this endeavor and good luck will continue? But how can you lean so much on luck! At this point, about 18 months ago, Americans started thinking, It’s strange to assume good news. Bad news happens. Those guys in Washington must never have faced a foreclosure.

The American people are not impatient, but they are practical. They have a sense of justice and duty to which appeals can be addressed; they will change themselves to better themselves; and they are very proud of their country. But they have sacrificed in Iraq. And they didn’t do it to make it worse. It’s not that the U.S. hasn’t won quickly. It’s that the people of the U.S. can’t see a path to winning.

And so last week spirits on all sides and among all sorts of players were relatively low, and statements seemed less like a debate than a sigh. But great nations can’t sit around sighing, and all of us know this.

At the end of last week it seemed we knew the immediate future — the administration will get what it asked for, more time — but had no greater sense of long-term outcomes.

In a way, David Petraeus won the day when came forth with its famous “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad. They shot themselves in the foot and deserve to be known by their limp. Republicans enacted fury (Thank you, O political gods, for showing the low nature of our foes!), and Democrats felt it (Embarrassed again by the loons!). No one — no normal American — thinks a U.S. Army four-star came back from Iraq to damage our democracy by telling lies.

Gen. Petraeus’s testimony was dry, full of data points and graphs. He gave the impression that everything he said was, to the best of his considerable knowledge, true. One sensed that he was not saying everything he thought.

He was earnest, unflappable, and low-key to the point of colorless. Maybe he figures things are colorful enough. I felt relief that he was not wearing his heart on his sleeve or talking about our guys and gals. It was very Joe Friday: Just the facts, ma’am.

He clearly had a point of view, and it was, not surprisingly, in line with the administration’s. But I think the appearance of independence and straight dealing that was necessary to his credibility was lessened by the White House’s attempts to associate itself with him in the weeks leading up to his appearance.

The level of sophistication and seriousness shown by Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain and Chris Dodd was equal to the moment, and seemed to me patriotic. They were probing, occasionally strict, always respectful. At one point Gen. Petraeus was asked by Sen. John Warner if Iraq has made America safer and said, “Sir, I don’t know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind.” Later, invited to expand on this by Sen. Evan Bayh, he said he’d been surprised by Mr. Warner’s question and added that “we have very, very clear, very serious national interests” in Iraq.

That of course is the great question. History will answer it.

An unspoken part of the larger story is that Gen. Petraeus backed up the argument that our troops have been stretched painfully thin, and the postsurge presence cannot, practically, be maintained. Thus a seeming illogic in the general’s presentation: For the first time in years we’re making progress, therefore we should reduce troop levels to the same point at which we made no progress.

In seeming to stand pat and at the same time lower temperatures by bowing to public pressure and reducing troop levels, the administration has made a virtue of necessity. This was not unshrewd.

As for the president’s speech on Thursday night, it managed to seem both wooden and manipulative, which is a feat. For days conservative commentators had warned that the president should leave the week where it was, and not put on it his distinctive stamp. They were right. He said “the character of our people” is being revealed as we choose whether to back the Iraq endeavor. He said he would “explain” recent events there. He said the mission “will evolve.” It will. It has.

One felt at the end of the week that Iraq will continue as a long and ongoing story, that it is unlikely that we will find a perfect moment to leave, that it will always be too soon, the situation too delicate. It will always seem a place perched on a precipice over a canyon.

One sensed too that Iraq will in fact be issue No. 1 to be faced by the next president, whoever he or she is. That individual, in January 2009, will likely be faced by mischief makers of all stripes throughout the capital, with a question that is an artificial construct. “Did he see the mission through?” Or “Did he lose Iraq?” The latter would be most unjust, because we never had Iraq. We haven’t found it, in spite of our best efforts, because the people of Iraq never found it. And it was their nation to find. This seemed clearer than ever this week, which was part of the reason for the sighing.


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Yet Still More Old Whine in New Battles by Edgar J. Steele

September 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Yet Still More Old Whine in New Battles by Edgar J. Steele

September 14, 2007

Downloadable audio file of Old Whine in New Battles:
streaming mp3 (2.5 mb, 23 min)

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[In light of Israel now bombing the hell out of Syria, a fact that our media seems to be suppressing, and America readying the invasion of Iran, this column assumes even more importance than when I first wrote it, over a year ago. See if you don't agree. -ed]

“Its (the Mearsheimer-Walt paper on anti-Semitism) basic point — that Israel’s American supporters have immense influence over U.S. foreign policy — is inarguable. After all, President Bush has just recently given Israel NATO-like status without so much as a murmur from Congress. “I made it clear, I’ll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel,” Bush said. This was the second or third time he’s made this pledge, crossing a line that previous administrations would not — in effect, promulgating a treaty seemingly on the spot. No other country gets this sort of treatment.”
— Richard Cohen, American Jewish reporter, “
No, It’s Not Anti-Semitic” (Washington Post, 4/25/06, pg. A23)

Do you see now?

Why…what I’ve been telling you all along, that’s what: Iraq and Afghanistan have been about Israel.

See for yourself. Go here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and here … and … well, you get the idea. And that list is up through just the middle of 2003. I’ve had three more years in which I’ve gotten even more worked up, even to the point of writing a book about the real problem – check through my archives and see for yourself.

Iraq and Afghanistan have been about Israel. Not oil. Not Weapons of Mass Destruction. Not Saddam Hussein. Not Osama bin Laden. Not Al Qaeda. Not 9/11. Israel. Always Israel. Just Israel.

Others have been telling you, as well, in ever-increasing numbers. But, then, you knew that, didn’t you?

Are you now willing to listen? If not, how many more innocent lives must be sacrificed on the altar of Zionism before you wake up? How many more innocent children must be murdered? How many more of your sons and daughters must die? How much more blood must be on your head before you say: “Enough?” How much?

To see a very disturbing but brutally honest PowerPoint slideshow of just a handful of the horrors being inflicted upon defenseless Palestine and its civilian residents by Israel right now, click here. For another slideshow of what’s happening in Lebanon, click here.

Both Lebanon and Palestine erupt at the same time and on the same pretext: Israeli soldier abductions. What a coincidence! In both cases, innocent civilians are being targeted instead of the military objectives claimed by Israel. Schools…hospitals…families in vans…churches.

The Christian Connection

Churches? That’s right. Christian churches. You see, so far, Israel has been shelling and strafing mainly the Christian areas of southern Lebanon. Not the Muslim areas. Not yet. The Christian areas.

Why did the Jew cross the road? He didn’t. Jews hate crosses.

You didn’t know that? You didn’t know that Israeli Jews are honor bound to spit upon or in the direction of every cross they might see? You didn’t know that Christianity is all but outlawed in Israel? You didn’t know that almost all Jews snicker behind your back about American usage of the phrase Judeo-Christian? You honestly didn’t know? Once again, you haven’t been listening, have you?

You do recall the Jewish effort to suppress one of the biggest-grossing movies of all time, The Passion of the Christ? An anti-Semitic porn snuff film is what the ADL’s Abe Foxman called it, as I remember, as he tried to get it banned throughout America.

Yes, the same ADL that, together with AIPAC, lavishly funds opponents of American congressional candidates who don’t sing Israel’s tune, with the result that last week’s U.S. House of Representatives vote to support Israel’s current carnage in Lebanon was a staggering 410 to 8. That ADL. Guess which 8 House members’ opponents get a blank check in the upcoming mid-term election?

A great many American Christians actually support and applaud Israel’s campaign of genocide, if you can believe it. Fundamentalist dispensationalists, they are called. Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled, they believe. They believed the same thing the last time Israel reduced Lebanon to rubble, some 25 years ago. And they believed the same thing when Israel took over Jerusalem completely from the Palestinians, with whom it pledged to share Palestine when Israel was given Palestinian land by the UN – the same Palestinians they now are exterminating in Gaza, the West Bank and those foolish enough to have remained in Israel for the few crumbs allowed them for doing the crap jobs that Israelis refuse to do. And, of course, when Israel was formed, nearly 60 years ago, American Christian fundamentalists were rapturous.

Well, not that kind of rapture. The Rapture is what American fundamentalist dispensationalists believe will whisk them directly into heaven, just as the anti-Christ rises up to turn the world into a living Hell. These same fundamentalists believe the Bible is the literal word of God and is complete unto itself. Of course, it never crosses the unfurrowed brows of lunatics like TV preacher John Hagee that the Rapture isn’t even hinted at in the Bible, let alone directly mentioned. That embellishment was added by Civil War veteran Cyrus Scofield in an extensive set of notes added to a version of the Bible commissioned by Jewish-owned Oxford Press that soon was pressed into so many palms that it has become the standard for modern fundamentalists. A standard written specifically to convert Christians into Zionists.

Onward, Christian Terrorists

But, then, killing Arabs to hasten the Second Coming isn’t mentioned in the Bible, either, yet fundamentalists wildly support that, as well, even to the extent of offering up their own sons and daughters to die in Middle Eastern hellholes to advance Israeli interests. “To stand against Israel is to stand against God,” is the way that another TV preacher, Jerry Falwell, put it in his book, The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Onward, Christian terrorists.

I do recall something that is mentioned in the Bible, though: Thou Shalt Not Kill. What part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” do you suppose it is that Hagee, Falwell, other fundamentalist preachers and their many followers not seem to understand?

On the left, Israeli schoolchildren write clever sayings like “Love, Israel” on shells destined for Lebanese civilians (note the schoolteacher in the background). On the right, Lebanese children after receiving one of those shells.

The current Middle-Eastern genocide against Arabs has American fundamentalists as giddy as Jewish schoolgirls who write to Israeli reservists now on duty, imploring, Dear soldier, please kill a lot of Arabs.”

Christian Arabs, don’t forget. Somebody should go back and redo all those old “Spy-vs-Spy” cartoons. Amazing. Not in a million years would it occur to me to make up something like this. Jews actually have Christians rooting for the death of other Christians. Of course, they had us doing that in Bosnia-Herzogovina not so long ago, too, didn’t they? What’s that? You didn’t notice the irony of Christians killing Christians then? Will you notice it now?

Call it “Pre-emptive Self Defense”

Oh, so you believe that Israel simply is defending itself with its current war against rock-throwing children in Palestine?

Do you still think that America simply is defending herself against Iraq, too? Not even George Bush buys that anymore, though he has yet to give up his Administration’s doctrine of Pre-emptive Self Defense. Bush’s latest excuse: We have to keep killing Iraqis because we have invested so much in our current war in that country. In other words, now my son has to die there, simply because your son already died there.

Am I the only one who fails to see the logic in Bush’s current revelation? If you want my son to die just because you lost yours, why don’t you simply cut to the chase? Come to my home and kill him yourself. Be warned, however: I have a cannon and a backhoe and I know how to use them. Why kill a bunch more innocent Iraqis to prove a nonexistent point? Never mind that my son is innocent, as well.

Of course, you have heard the justification for America expanding its aggression to Syria and, especially, Iran. Quick now…exactly what is that justification? Did you manage to come up with anything other than, “They hate our freedom?” What freedom, by the way?

Blame Israel

Face it. You know it’s true. America is in the Middle East because of Israel. You know now that the oil was just a cynical excuse. After all, we could have bought the oil outright for a whole lot less than we’re spending on this obscene war.

You now know that Al Qaeda never had anything to do with Iraq and that, in fact, Saddam Hussein was Al Qaeda’s enemy. You now know that there never were any “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq. You now know that this war was planned by the Neocons (a euphemism, mainly, for American Jews) long before 9/11 and, if you are even vaguely awake, you know now that 9/11 was not carried out by Arabs with box cutters – and certainly not Iraqi Arabs (the fall guys almost all were Saudi Arabian, by the way).

Blame Israel. As always. Come on, say it right out loud. It will make you feel better and you know it: Blame Israel.

Old Whine in New Battles

Oy vey! Foist Egypt, den Goimany. Vhy, oh vhy, are dey alvays peeking on us? Now dose nasty little Arab kids are t’rowing rocks. Make dem stop, America. Make dem stop peeking on us. Bomb Afghanistan. Bomb Iraq. Bomb Syria. Bomb Iran. Kill ‘em, kill ‘em all!

We’ve heard it all before. Old whine in new battles, that’s all it is.

Now comes the setup: Israel’s military leaders today say that they believed their air superiority would be enough to subdue Lebanon, but now they admit they were wrong. It’s going to take ground troops. Lots of them. Sound familiar? It should. It is pretty much the same thing that the Neocons said about Iraq when America’s current effort there first bogged down. And Syria is next, of course … then Iran. The die is cast.

Here’s the problem: Israel simply doesn’t have the manpower to pull off a house-to-house, even in Lebanon. What’s more, Israel cannot afford to lose any of the forces that it does have available, else shortly Israel would find itself overrun by the vastly numerically-superior Arabs – really pissed-off Arabs, too – who live all around them. That’s why you hear so many Jewish Americans, particularly the media bosses (you know, the ones who own every single last little scrap of media in America today and use it to reprogram all of us) and their lickspittle lackeys calling for American intervention, first in Syria, then in Iran. The House voted 410 to 8, don’t forget – 410 to 8! Oy vey! Make dem stop peeking on us. Old whine in new battles.

Of course, Israel is used to getting America to fight its fights. Actually, I should say the world’s Jews are used to it, because we’ve been fighting their fights ever since World War I, the first time we intervened on behalf of Jews where none of our interests were at stake.

Now Israel has picked yet another fight that it cannot win by itself, just as Jews did when they declared economic war on Germany several years before the actual outbreak of WWII hostilities. Of course, they never let us forget about World War II, which we also won for them, yet insist that, somehow, we owe them, rather than it being the other way around, as logic might dictate. Never forget de Holocaust. You never prevented it. Oy vey! Save us now. Save us. Make dem stop peeking on us. Bomb Afghanistan. Bomb Iraq. Bomb Syria. Bomb Iran. Und don’t forget to pay for all uff eet. Pay us, too, just like alvays. Like I said: Old whine in new battles.

And we will do it for them yet again, of course (410 to 8!!!).

Yes, That is a Draft You Feel

Conveniently, America has a lot of fighting-age youngsters available. First, of course, are the increasingly unemployed (and unemployable, thanks to the breakdown of America’s education system) young American citizens – your kids and mine. Second, all those illegal aliens (“Guest Workers,” as Bush calls them), who are welcomed with open arms by all three American branches of government – Administration, Legislative and Judicial – despite the clearly-expressed wishes of almost all Americans.

Already, aliens are doing the jobs of Americans sent overseas to die for Israeli hegemony, while a great many more of those jobs are about to come open, as their current occupants go off to war. Undoubtedly, a great many illegals will go, as well, lured by the promise of instant citizenship. Come on, you didn’t really think all this illegal immigration was about picking fruit, did you? Give me a better reason. I dare you.

If you go away from this column with just one thought, let it be this one: All modern immigration since passage of the 1965 Immigration Act likely has been designed from the beginning to provide American cannon fodder for World War III. As I said: Give me a better reason.

Remember that 1963 marked the beginning of the slow, rolling coup that has been taking place in America and only recently come to a full boil, with Americans no longer in charge of any of America’s destiny, foreign or domestic.

Here’s another perfectly-valid reason for all the illegal immigration that is being allowed, but you probably haven’t believed it when I have told you about it, either: massive illegal alien immigration dilutes the native European-American population base, thereby making us much easier to control.

Also convenient: America’s draft now is ready to go, with the Selective Service System reactivated, local draft boards repopulated, forms and procedures all updated and, finally, all youngsters forcibly being registered for the draft by high schools and DMV offices.

Just prior to America’s entry into WWII, one of the Chosen, Julius Adler, agitated for and helped draft legislation which conveniently was just in time to respond to Pearl Harbor a few weeks later. That resulted in the draft of thousands upon thousands of America’s best and brightest young men (and over a million American casualties, 405,000 of which were deaths).

In light of Israel’s impending need, having just picked a fight with the entire Arab world, if not the entire world altogether, what a coincidence it is that the only thing now necessary to force America’s sons and daughters into uniform is an Executive Order!

Of course, Bush has proven that he no longer need consult with Congress about making war. It would be pointless to ask Congress anyway, since virtually every member has been bought and paid for by Israel’s minions (your tax dollars at work, but that is a story for another day). Some things never change anymore. Old whine in new battles.

A Proposed Solution has “reported that the Israeli military is using poison gas on villages in south Lebanon. According to a former U.S. weapons expert who served in Iraq, the artillery shell in a photo taken in Lebanon (left) is a chemical weapon delivery device. It is being handled by an Israeli Defense Force soldier and Hebrew lettering can be clearly seen on the armored vehicle. Another chemical weapons shell of the same type can be seen lying on the ground to the right. It is not known what type of chemical is in the chemical canister, however, gas dropped by the Israelis in villages in southern Lebanon has resulted in severe vomiting among the civilian population.”

Never one simply to complain without offering a better way, I have a modest proposal for fixing things. Not fixed right, but a good start, at any rate:

1. Either take away all of Israel’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, including its 400 nuclear warheads, or allow Arabs to acquire an equivalently deadly deterrent. To be perfectly fair, since America armed Israel for free, America should be forced now to provide equivalent arms to the Arabs, also for free.

2. Give Israel a choice: Withdraw immediately to the lines originally drawn for it by the UN after WWII and stay there or move to a new Israel, located elsewhere (there are lots of places possible for this, most of them much nicer than the Middle East). The cost of this is to be borne by Israel and the world’s Jewish community. In either case, Israel must pay substantial reparations to Palestine and Lebanon for the death and destruction caused to their nations.

3. Withdraw American forces from the Middle East immediately, in total and forever. America to pay reparations to both Afghanistan and Iraq for the death and destruction caused to their nations.

4. Declare all American Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, to be traitors, strip them of American citizenship and exile them to Israel. Since they love Israel so much as to subvert America to Israeli interests and desires, they should be required to live in Israel. This simultaneously will solve America’s massive media disinformation problem, too.

We Can Dream, Can’t We?

None of the foregoing stands a prayer of taking place, of course, but the alternative truly is horrible: World War III. Maybe not right away. Maybe not even in connection with the current Middle Eastern crisis, but soon. You know it. I know it. Why pretend otherwise? We’ve seen it all before, time and again. We know how this must play out. All that is going on today is old whine in new battles.

Again, soon will come the scenario laid out in the latter half of my book, Defensive Racism. Also again: This would be a good time to leave the cities, boys and girls.

My name is Edgar J. Steele. Thanks for listening. Please visit my web site,, for other messages just like this one.

New America. An idea whose time has come.


Now, just a very few of your recent Emails, the volume of which continues to be staggering. Please forgive me for not even acknowledging receipt of emails these days. Your emails mean more to me than I can say. While I try my best to read them all, I simply haven’t enough hours in the day to answer hardly any of them, except in the following fashion:

Re: World War 3

Richard writes: “You sure have the un-Godly Jews stirred up over this one. I received a hot rebuttal for just forwarding it on.”
Heat is the best indicator of activity. Though activity does not necessarily indicate progress, I guarantee that you got them thinking.

Charles writes: “On the U.S. tombstone – Here lies the Eagle: Killed by Sparrows.”

Barbara writes: “Seven days without hearing from Ed Steele makes one weak!! Please keep me on your subscription list.”
I’ve been with this current list manager for two months now. Of course, this is the first truly hot piece I have sent in that time, so we will see what happens. Meanwhile, the list got whittled down pretty radically by bounces and failures to respond to my request for subscription reconfirmations. If you didn’t get this directly, please go to the link below and sign up again. Provide your contact information and you just might be surprised to hear directly from me one of these days.

Philip writes: “You forgot about the millions strong army of Islamic Indonesia, which claims Australia as South Irianjara.”
I suppose that means that New Zealand is out, too.

Joe writes: “What I like about your piece is that you are prepared to think what many believe is unthinkable; i.e., a global conflict involving a massive exchange of nuclear weapons. Over and over I hear people say that since the loss of life would be so staggering such a conflict will never take place. To them I say bullshit … history is filled with examples of genocidal conflicts that characterize primary warfare. Even the Thirty Years War which was fought between Europeans killed approximately a third of the people of central Europe. And although not a war, the Black Death killed off even a greater fraction of humanity. Your “hypothetical” would return world population levels to what they were about in the mid nineteenth century… humanity would survive and unfortunately so would its ‘enemy.’”

Mario writes: “I’m building a fallout shelter.”

Gary writes: “I have one correction to make. America, meaning you and I, do not wish to rule the world. It is the corporate U.S. government that wishes to rule the world. The American people, by and large, just want to eat, sleep, fart and play with their toys.”
By and large, very true. But there are a great many Americans who actively support this war. The rest of us allow our government to continue, which makes us culpable to some degree.

Joerg writes: You have one heck of a phantasy. Perhaps good for a polit-thriller, but not much more.”
We will see. I hope you are correct, but I doubt it.

Merle writes: Sheesh. Depressingly convincing scenario, especially as you have left off the most important thing: all those nuke strikes result in radioactive pollution, fallout, and nuclear winter. Earth’s biosphere largely dies. Millions of years pass. Finally, on a high mountaintop, two surviving amoebae have gained the ability of speech:
“Well, shall we start it all over again?”
“You mean, the different species?”
“Well, OK, but this time: no brains!

ummmmmm…are you sure that wasn’t how it went the most recent time? Thomas writes: OK. So what’s the bad news?”

Re: R.I.P. America

Arthur writes: OUTSTANDING! I will forward this to everybody in my address book. BTW, are you on the radio in the South Jersey area?”
Thanks. No, I am not on any radio with any consistency. I often get interviewed, but generally am too hot to get invited back. I’ve been offered a handful of small-time niche broadcasting slots (the time for which I would have to pay), but I won’t do a regular show until I am prepared to make it a really top-quality broadcast, week after week.

Edward writes (from England): “The Russians wanted to protect us from the race-mixing Americans. One day I hope they liberate Europe from the now detested Yankee, although the stupid English still like Americans.”
Gee, I wonder if someday they might be interested in liberating America, too?

Rob writes (from Australia): “Oh! Come on, Edgar, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel about the present political climate. (Just kidding.) What a great essay … Great to see the gloves come off, and express what everyone with a brain is thinking but not saying … I have read some of your other works on Rense … but none quite as direct and hard hitting as this gem … I hope this ignites the debate further and sparks independent journalism again. (Something that is sadly missing in our main stream media.) That is why everyday people are turning to the internet for information and comment … your message is getting out there. Well done.”
Thank you for the kind words. Meanwhile, newspapers and TV both wonder aloud about their ever-declining audiences. Little wonder to those of us addicted to the truth, eh?

Gordon writes: Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are being held by Israel – and many thousands more have passed through Israeli jails during nearly three years of the current Palestinian intifada. And that evil Palestine takes one????? … If Israel’s response to taking one prisoner was justified, what response was justified by the Palestinians for all the prisoners Israel has taken?

Michelle writes: Well, will it bring you any comfort if I tell you I’m feeling the same way you do, right now?”
Misery loves company…

That’s just a handful of the horde that came in from this past week, alone. I’ll work in reader responses to older pieces as we go along, since it has been so long since I had the time to add any at all.


Copyright ©2006, Edgar J. Steele

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The Rule of Law without the State

September 13, 2007 Leave a comment

“…here is the irony: it is the presence of the United Nations that has caused virtually all of the turbulence we have seen in Somalia.”

And the propaganda machine marches on. This is another example for you guys who are still having a hard time envisioning the possibility of a Stateless society. Bring it on.

thegunny, 419



The Rule of Law without the State

By Spencer Heath MacCallum

Posted on 9/12/2007

Were there such a category, Somalia would hold a place in Guinness World Records as the country with the longest absence of a functioning central government. When the Somalis dismantled their government in 1991 and returned to their precolonial political status, the expectation was that chaos would result — and that, of course, would be the politically correct thing to expect.

Imagine if it were otherwise. Imagine any part of the globe not being dominated by a central government and the people there surviving, even prospering. If such were to happen and the idea spread to other parts of Africa or other parts of the world, the mystique of the necessity of the state might be irreparably damaged, and many politicians and bureaucrats might find themselves walking about looking for work.

If the expectation was that Somalia would plunge into an abyss of chaos, what is the reality? A number of recent studies address this question, including one by economist Peter Leeson drawing on statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization. Comparing the last five years under the central government (1985–1990) with the most recent five years of anarchy (2000–2005), Leeson finds these welfare changes:

  • Life expectancy increased from 46 to 48.5 years. This is a poor expectancy as compared with developed countries. But in any measurement of welfare, what is important to observe is not where a population stands at a given time, but what is the trend. Is the trend positive, or is it the reverse?
  • Number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30 to 40 percent.
  • Number of physicians per 100,000 population rose from 3.4 to 4.
  • Number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per thousand to 0.3 — almost none.
  • Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9.
  • Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100.
  • Percent of population with access to sanitation rose from 18 to 26.
  • Percent of population with access to at least one health facility rose from 28 to 54.8.
  • Percent of population in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1 per day) fell from 60 to 43.2.
  • Radios per thousand population rose from 4 to 98.5.
  • Telephones per thousand population rose from 1.9 to 14.9.
  • TVs per 1,000 population rose from 1.2 to 3.7.
  • Fatalities due to measles fell from 8,000 to 5,600.

Another even more comprehensive study published last year by Benjamin Powell of the Independent Institute, concludes: “We find that Somalia’s living standards have improved generally … not just in absolute terms, but also relative to other African countries since the collapse of the Somali central government.”

Somalia’s pastoral economy is now stronger than that of either neighboring Kenya or Ethiopia. It is the largest exporter of livestock of any East African country. Telecommunications have burgeoned in Somalia; a call from a mobile phone is cheaper in Somalia than anywhere else in Africa. A small number of international investors are finding that the level of security of property and contract in Somalia warrants doing business there. Among these companies are Dole, BBC, the courier DHL, British Airways, General Motors, and Coca Cola, which recently opened a large bottling plant in Mogadishu. A 5-star Ambassador Hotel is operating in Hargeisa, and three new universities are fully functional: Amoud University (1997) in Borama, and Mogadishu University (1997), and University of Benadir (2002) in Mogadishu.

The Call to “Establish Democracy”

All of this is terribly politically incorrect for the reason I suggested. Consequently, the United Nations has by now spent well over two billion dollars attempting to re-establish a central government in Somalia. But here is the irony: it is the presence of the United Nations that has caused virtually all of the turbulence we have seen in Somalia. Let me explain why this is the case.

Like most of precolonial Africa, Somalia is traditionally a stateless society. When the colonial powers withdrew, in order to better serve their purposes, they hastily trained local people and set up European-style governments in their place. These were supposed to be democratic. But they soon devolved into brutal dictatorships.

Democracy is unworkable in Africa for several reasons. The first thing that voting does is to divide a population into two groups — a group that rules and a group that is ruled. This is completely at variance with Somali tradition. Second, if democracy is to work, it depends in theory, at least, upon a populace that will vote on issues. But in a kinship society such as Somalia, voting takes place not on the merit of issues but along group lines; one votes according to one’s clan affiliation. Since the ethic of kinship requires loyalty to one’s fellow clansmen, the winners use the power of government to benefit their own members, which means exploitation of the members of other clans. Consequently when there exists a governmental apparatus with its awesome powers of taxation and police and judicial monopoly, the interests of the clans conflict. Some clan will control that apparatus. To avoid being exploited by other clans, each must attempt to be that controlling clan.

The turmoil in Somalia consists in the clans maneuvering to position themselves to control the government whenever it might come into being, and this has been exacerbated by the governments of the world, especially the United States, keeping alive the expectation that a government will soon be established and supplying arms to whoever seems at present most likely to be able to “bring democracy” to Somalia. The “warlord” phenomenon refers to clan and independent militias, often including leftovers of the former central government, who promise to establish a government under the control of their own clan. They often operate outside the control of the traditional elders and sometimes in opposition to them.

Hence the most violent years in Somalia were the years following 1991 when the United Nations was physically present, attempting to impose a central government. When the United Nations withdrew in 1995, the expectation of a future central government began to recede, and things began to stabilize. But the United Nations continued it efforts to re-establish a government through a series of some sixteen failed “peace conferences.” In 2000 it set up a straw government, the Transitional National Government (TNG). However, not only did the northern Somali clans not recognize the TNG, it was unable to control its intended capital city of Mogadishu. Today a combined “peace-keeping mission” of United States–backed troops from Ethiopia, Somalia’s traditional enemy, and Uganda under the aegis of the African Union is in Mogadishu attempting to prop up the TNG and secure its control over the rest of Somalia. Violence soars.

The situation is curiously like an event in Greek mythology. The gods on Mt. Olympus were enjoying a festive party, to which, understandably, they had not invited Eris, the goddess of discord. Eris, just as understandably, took the matter personally. She had the blacksmith Hephaestus fashion a golden apple, on which was written καλλιστι — “To the fairest.” Then she opened the door a crack and rolled the golden apple into the festive hall. In no time at all, the gods were fighting over who should have the apple. The golden apple in Somalia is the expectation that there will soon be a central government. As long as there is that expectation, the clans must fight over who will control it.

Somalia and the Rule of Law

Now, I’ve gone this far without telling you much about Somalia. It’s the Horn of Africa, that part of northeast Africa that juts out into the Indian Ocean just below the Arabian Peninsula. The Somali culture area includes all of the Horn and is home to some 11.5 million people. The colonial powers arbitrarily fragmented this culture area so that today parts of it fall under the jurisdiction of Kenya in the south, some in Ethiopia in the west, and some in Djibouti in the north. The remainder along the coast is now without a working government.

What these people have in common, even more than similar language, lifestyle, and physical character is a body of customary law, the Xeer, which differs from clan to clan in nonessential ways such as founding myths but is remarkably uniform with respect to its provision for the protection of persons and property. The Xeer provides a rule of law — customary law, that is — permitting safe travel, trade, marriage, and so forth throughout the region. The Xeer is most intact in the north of Somalia, which was under British rule; in the south, the Italians tried to eradicate it. Nonetheless, it survives to a significant degree everywhere, even in the urban areas, and is virtually unaffected in rural Somalia.

The Xeer is the secret to the whole perplexing question of Somalia’s success without a central government, since it provides an authentic rule of law to support trade and economic development. Fortunately, we know something about the Xeer because of Michael van Notten, a Dutch lawyer who in the early 1990s married into the Samaron Clan in the northwest of Somalia, the fifth largest of the Somali clans, and lived with them for the last twelve years of his life. He took full advantage of that opportunity to research the Xeer. The result was his pioneering study, The Law of the Somalis (Red Sea Press, 2005). Van Notten died when his manuscript was half finished. Fortunately, he had largely completed assembling the ethnographic material. In his will, he asked that I edit and complete the manuscript for publication. The task ahead is to see the work translated into Somali.

Highlights of the Xeer

There is time in this short talk to give you only some of the highlights of the Xeer. First, law and, consequently, crime are defined in terms of property rights. The law is compensatory rather than punitive. Because property right requires compensation, rather than punishment, there is no imprisonment, and fines are rare. Such fines as might be imposed seldom exceed the amount of compensation and are not payable to any court or government, but directly to the victim. A fine might be in order when, for example, the killing of a camel was deliberate and premeditated, in which case the victim receives not one but two camels.

Fines are used in another interesting way. It is expected that a prominent public figure such as a religious or political dignitary or a policeman or a judge should lead an exemplary life. If he violates the law, he pays double what would be required of an ordinary person. Also, it should be noted, since the law and crime are defined in terms of property rights, the Xeer is unequivocal in its opposition to any form of taxation.

Second, in order to assure that compensation will be forthcoming even in cases where the perpetrator is a child, or penniless, or crazy, or has fled abroad, the Xeer requires that every person be fully insured against any liability he might incur under the law. If an individual cannot make the required payment, a designated group of his kin is responsible. Van Notten describes in an interesting way how this happens:

A person who violates someone’s rights and is unable to pay the compensation himself notifies his family, who then pays on his behalf. From an emotional point of view, this notification is a painful procedure, since no family member will miss the opportunity to tell the wrongdoer how vicious or stupid he was. Also, they will ask assurances that he will be more careful in the future. Indeed, all those who must pay for the wrongdoings of a family member will thereafter keep an eye on him and try to intervene before he incurs another liability. They will no longer, for example, allow him to keep or bear a weapon. While on other continents the re-education of criminals is typically a task of the government, in Somalia it is the responsibility of the family.

If the family tires of bailing out a repeat offender, they can disown him, in which case he becomes an outlaw. Not being insured, he forfeits all protection under the law and, for his safety, must leave the country.

Customary law is similar in this and many other respects throughout the world. An instance is told in the founding legend of my own Clan MacCallum in Scotland. The founder of the Clan supposedly was exiled 1,500 years ago from Ireland because he was a hothead whom his family disowned for embroiling them in fights. In the loneliness of his exile on the North Sea, he became a man of peace. He couldn’t return to Ireland, as he was no longer under protection of the law and could have been killed with impunity. So he went instead to Scotland and there founded our clan.

A third point about the Xeer is that there is no monopoly of police or judicial services. Anyone is free to serve in those capacities as long as he is not at the same time a religious or political dignitary, since that would compromise the sharp separation of law, politics, and religion. Also, anyone performing in such a role is subject to the same laws as anyone else — and more so: if he violates the law, he must pay heavier damages or fines than would apply to anyone else. Public figures are expected to show exemplary conduct.

Fourth, there is no victimless crime. Only a victim or his family can initiate a court action. Where there is no victim to call a court into being, no court can form. No court can investigate on its own initiative any evidence of alleged misconduct.

Last, the court procedure is interesting. From birth, every Somali has his own judge who will sit on the court that will judge him should he transgress the law. That judge is his oday, the head of his extended family consisting of all males descended from the same great grandfather, together with their spouses and children. Several extended families make up a jilib, which is the group responsible for paying the blood price in the event a member kills someone of another jilib or clan. The oday, or judge, is chosen carefully, following weeks or months of deliberation by elders of the clan. He has no authority over the family but is chosen solely for his knowledge of human affairs and his wisdom, and he can lose his position if his decisions are not highly regarded in the community.

When an offense is committed, the offender goes first to his oday, who then forms a court with the oday of the plaintiff. If the two odays cannot resolve the matter, they form another court made up of odays representing additional families, jilibs, or clans. A virtue of each person knowing from birth who will be one of his judges, and vice versa, is that an oday knows each person in his extended family intimately and can observe and counsel him before what might seem to be a small problem escalates into a crime.

Once a court forms and accepts jurisdiction over a case, its first action is to appoint a recorder, who will repeat loudly during the hearing each important point made by the speakers. The court then announces when and where it will hear the case. When the court session opens, the court invites the plaintiff to state his case. The plaintiff has the right to appoint a representative to make the presentation on his behalf. During the presentation, the plaintiff has opportunity to confer with his family to make sure that he has not forgotten anything. When the plaintiff has finished, the court asks him to summarize his case and state his demands. Lastly, the court asks the defendant to present his defense and any counterclaims.

Then the court adjourns to deliberate on whether any witnesses should be heard. A disputed fact is admitted as evidence only when three witnesses have testified to its truth. The parties can also call in experts and character witnesses. If the victim has died or has been wounded, the court will instruct a religious dignitary to assess how the victim died or was wounded. These dignitaries assess injuries usually by applying the standards enumerated in the commentary of the twelfth-century Muslim scholar al-Nawawii’s Minhaaj at-Talibiin. When the plaintiff has elaborated his case with witnesses and evidence, the defendant is given a chance to refute the plaintiff’s charges, arguments, and evidence. It is not customary to cross-examine witnesses.

Finally, the court adjourns again to evaluate the evidence. If less than three witnesses support a fact, or if the witnesses contradict each other, the court will proceed to oath taking. There are several types of oaths. The simplest starts by the oath giver saying, “I swear by my virility.” Alternatively, he can say, “I swear by Allah.” A stronger oath is the so-called triple oath, in which he swears the same oath three times. A stronger oath yet is the one that is repeated 50 times. Also, there is the so-called divorce oath, in which the oath giver swears by his marriage(s). If it is later found out that he lied, his marriage(s) become null and void.

It should be noted that even when the plaintiff fails to convince the court of his case, the court will usually not rule in favor of the defendant until the latter has taken an oath of innocence.


In a longer talk, I could discuss the role of police and enforcement of judgments, but this much should give some flavor of the legal system practiced by the Somalis. It provides an effective rule of law entirely without the backing of a government.

The Xeer takes its place among such great legal systems of the world as the Roman law, the English common law, the Law Merchant, and the Jewish traditional law (Halacha). It must be extremely old and is believed to have developed in the Horn of Africa. There is no evidence that it developed elsewhere or was greatly influenced by any foreign legal system. The fact that Somali legal terminology is practically devoid of loan words from foreign languages suggests that the Xeer is truly indigenous.

Michael van Notten’s book describing this system of law deserves to be better known and widely read. It is the first study of any customary law to treat it not as a curiosity of the past, but as potentially instructive for a future free society. In his book, Van Notten lays out some practical applications to the world in which we find ourselves today, applications I haven’t had time to touch on here. Whether or not the intervention of foreign governments, which has intensified with the refusal of Somalis to die or remain poor, will frustrate this potential, only time can tell.

I would like to end with a plea to help get this book into wider circulation.

If you are connected with any schools or colleges, please contact them. Many of them will find it highly appropriate. A review by a distinguished legal anthropologist on ends on this note:

“The readability and relative brevity of the text highly recommend The Law of the Somalis for classroom use. It fits comfortably alongside, and is a refreshing addition to, the scholarly tradition reflected in such classic ethnographic legal-political titles as, Tswana Law (I. Schapera), The Cheyenne Way (K. Llewellyn and E.A. Hoebel), and The Judicial Process among the Barotse (M. Gluckman).”

– Howard J. De Nike, J.D., Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico

Spencer Heath MacCallum is a writer and social anthropologist in Chihuahua, Mexico. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.

This paper was presented at the 26th annual World Freedom Summit, International Society for Individual Liberty, Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, VA, August 11-15, 2007.


De Nike, Howard J. 2006. “Customary Law Upholds Natural Law.” Customer-Reviews

Leeson, Peter T. 2005. “Better Off Stateless: Somalia Before and After Government Collapse.” West Virginia University. (PDF)

Powell, Benjamín, Ryan Ford, and Alex Nowrasteh. 2006. “Somalia after State Collapse: Chaos or Improvement?” Independent Institute Working Paper No. 64. (PDF)

Van Notten, Michael. 2005. The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation for Economic and Social Development in the Horn of Africa. Trenton NJ: Red Sea Press.


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Superior Derided Petraeus as Suck-Up, Opposed the Surge

September 13, 2007 Leave a comment

September 13, 2007
Superior Derided Petraeus as Suck-Up, Opposed the Surge
by Gareth Porter

In sharp contrast to the lionization of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the US Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus’ superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickens**t” and added, “I hate people like that,” the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

That extraordinarily contentious start of Fallon’s mission to Baghdad led to more meetings marked by acute tension between the two commanders. Fallon went on to develop his own alternative to Petraeus’ recommendation for continued high levels of US troops in Iraq during the summer.

The enmity between the two commanders became public knowledge when the Washington Post reported Sep. 9 on intense conflict within the administration over Iraq. The story quoted a senior official as saying that referring to “bad relations” between them is “the understatement of the century.”

Fallon’s derision toward Petraeus reflected both the CENTCOM commander’s personal distaste for Petraeus’ style of operating and their fundamental policy differences over Iraq, according to the sources.

The policy context of Fallon’s extraordinarily abrasive treatment of his subordinate was Petraeus’ agreement in February to serve as front man for the George W. Bush administration‘s effort to sell its policy of increasing US troop strength in Iraq to Congress.

Read more…

Thompson Surge Means Conservatives Are Desperate

September 13, 2007 Leave a comment



September 14, 2007

Thompson Surge Means Conservatives Are Desperate

By Pastor Chuck Baldwin

Many conservatives (including Christian conservatives) seem to be jumping on the Fred Thompson bandwagon. As far as Republican presidential contenders go, the biggest loser of the Thompson surge is Mitt Romney. Many conservatives were supporting Romney only because they perceived him as being the best chance to beat Rudy Giuliani. A Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani presidential election is a conservative’s worst nightmare. Romney has the charm and money and is now saying the “right” things. Hence, he has enjoyed moderate support in the early goings of this campaign season. However, Romney’s liberal track record is very disconcerting to conservatives. In their hearts, conservatives cannot trust Romney.

The entrance of Fred Thompson in the presidential race immediately took a toll on the Romney campaign. Romney’s support is dropping like the temperature in northern Idaho in the wintertime. That trend will probably continue, as more conservatives catch the Thompson wave.

The problem is, Thompson is not a conservative. Worse still (for the GOP), Thompson cannot beat Hillary in a general election. Mark my words, if Fred Thompson is the Republican nominee next November, Hillary Clinton is your next president.

For that matter, I see only one Republican contender who might be able to beat Hillary in the 2008 general election: Ron Paul. Yes, you read it right. Ron Paul.

If Giuliani is the Republican nominee, conservative Christians will stay home or vote third party. (It is past time for conservative Christians to abandon the GOP, anyway. I encourage readers to check out the Constitution Party as a viable alternative.)

A Republican cannot win the White House without widespread support from evangelical Christians. And Giuliani will never have widespread support from evangelical Christians.

Newt Gingrich is toying with the idea of entering the race, but the truth is out about Newt. His infidelities, his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and his past betrayal of conservative principles precede him. Newt is damaged goods. He has little chance of obtaining the Republican nomination, and even if he did, he has no chance of beating Hillary. None. Zero. Zilch.

The only Republican with the potential to pull an upset victory over Clinton is Ron Paul. He is extremely popular among constitutionalists, independents, and many Christians (including me). He is doing very well in fundraising and on the Internet. And if Paul’s message was given a fair hearing, evangelical Christians and traditional conservatives would come to support him.

The only reason that some conservative Christians do not already support Ron Paul is because they, themselves, do not understand constitutional government. Years of Republican chicanery and compromise have taken a toll on conservatives to the point that many of them don’t understand truth when they see it. However, this could change. The more people learn about Ron Paul and constitutional government, the more they like him and it.

On the other hand, the more people learn about Fred Thompson, the more they will dislike him. As with Gingrich, Thompson is a member of the sinister cabal, the CFR, whose principle purpose for existence seems to be the construction of one-world government and the destruction of U.S. independence and sovereignty. This means Thompson will do nothing to stop illegal immigration. [ Read]

He will do nothing to stand in the way of the emerging North American Union, and the NAFTA Superhighway, and he will continue the push for globalization.

In addition, Fred Thompson is the personification of a Washington insider-lobbyist. Thompson was a lobbyist for twenty years before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented organizations like the Tennessee Savings and Loan Association and deposed Haitian President Aristide. He continued lobbying after he left the Senate, including representing a British insurance company that wants to limit payments to the families of those who died from asbestos exposure. In fact, Thompson’s presidential campaign is literally overflowing with advisors and donors who are lobbyists, former lobbyists or employees of lobbying firms. [Read] If Thompson was elected President, he would be the country’s first Lobbyist-in-Chief.

On the life issue, Fred Thompson’s record is clearly pro-choice. In 1991 and 1992, Thompson was a paid lobbyist for the pro-abortion organization, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. He also lobbied against the Republican Party’s pro-life plank. According to Terry Jeffrey, “[W]hen Fred Thompson was in the United States Senate, both times he ran for the Senate he ran as a pro-choice candidate.”

One of the Religious Right’s most respected leaders, Richard Viguerie, recently said this about Fred Thompson: “Fred Thompson’s record may appear to be ‘conservative,’ but only by comparison with Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney, and a Less-of-a-Big Government Republican is still a Big Government Republican. And given his lack of conservative leadership as a Senator, it would be a grave mistake to expect conservative leadership from him as President.”

However, there is another glaring (and I mean glaring) reason why any Republican presidential contender outside Ron Paul will not defeat Hillary next November: every other Republican presidential contender supports the Iraq war. That means every one of them (except Ron Paul) is completely out of touch with over two-thirds of the American electorate. And the longer our troops keep dying in Iraq, the more out of touch the GOP will become with a vast majority of the American people.

President Bush has already made it clear that he intends for American troops to remain in Iraq for years–if not decades–to come. And it also seems clear that the GOP presidential candidates (except Ron Paul) plan to follow Bush’s madness.


Republicans need to wake up to reality: people are sick of George Bush, and they are sick of the Iraq war. Good grief! In less time than our troops have been in Iraq, our men and women in uniform defeated the combined forces of Germany, Japan, and Italy during World War II. In Iraq, we have not been able to secure the city of Baghdad.

When America’s top military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, was asked if all the efforts in Iraq–including the latest surge–make America safer, his answer was an astounding, “I don’t know.” That is an incredible statement. After more than four years of combat in a country approximately the size of Texas, more than one-half trillion dollars in cost, and the sacrifice of thousands of American lives, our top military commander cannot honestly say that America is any safer. Yet, Bush says we are “winning,” and he wants our troops to stay in Iraq indefinitely.

I dare say that by the time November 2008 rolls around, support for the Iraq war could be so low that the Republican Party may be lucky to even be competitive in the national elections, no matter who their candidate is (unless it is Ron Paul). This is because every single one of the other GOP presidential contenders (including Fred Thompson) is on record as supporting a continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq. In addition, most of them are on record as supporting an expansion of the war into other parts of the Middle East. (Interestingly enough, however, none of them wants to discuss–much less threaten–the real sponsors of terrorism: Russia and China.)

That Fred Thompson is surging to the position of Republican presidential frontrunner means that conservatives are desperate. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be desperate enough to look at their own erroneous policies. Neither are they willing to look at the recipe for their own recovery: principled, constitutional government.

I already hear the fat lady warming up.

© 2007 Chuck Baldwin – All Rights Reserved

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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. 

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, “Chuck Baldwin Live” This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet and newspapers.  

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: When responding, please include your name, city and state.


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