Thursday, December 22, 2005

Energy Prices

Price controls do damage and cost us more than just allowing normal supply and demand laws to operate.

Thomas DiLorenzo in his "Four Thousand Years of Price Control" article http://www.mises.org/story/1962 provides some historical perspective. He states, "for more than four thousand years the results have been exactly the same: shortages, sometimes of catastrophic consequence; deterioration of product quality; the proliferation of black markets on which prices are actually higher and bribery is rampant; destruction of a nation's productive capacity in the industries where prices are controlled; gross distortions of markets; the creation of oppressive and tyrannical price control bureaucracies; and a dangerous concentration of political power in the hands of the price controllers."

We all have a choice to buy or not to buy. The problem is that we do not like the alternatives. This is a key element of the economic equation--at what point will we not pay the price being asked? We can walk, bike, take public transportation, used most cost-efficient vehicles, put on extra closing, turn down the thermostat, etc. The supplier knows this. At some point, an equilibrium is reach. This fluxuates over time.

Market factors always win out of forced measures. Governmental mandates do the wrong thing and the wrong time and have no lasting value. They are seat-of-the-pants reactions. One thing we never want to hear or see is government holding hearing on the topic. They will only create bigger messes.

Politicians are posers. They react for selfish reasons. The less government involvement the better. The more involved it is, the more it will cost the supplier and the buyer. Government is not the solution to economies travesties, free markets are.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dangers of Arab Democracies?

The question is bantered around...do the positives of Arab democracies outweigh the negatives. The positives are that in most cases, democracies promote freedom, open dialogue, and opportunities; see Turkey. The negative is that terrorists organizations can (and do) get elected; see the Palestinian Authority. (Jordan and Egypt are examples of pseudo-democracies.)

If a terrorist organization gets a legitimate voice, does that mean they will take over? Does it mean that if they get control they will squash the democratic principles they used to get power, to create state sponsored terrorism? Maybe. Their uniqueness is they have private "armies" (which tends to violate the definition of a democracy. However a terrorist-based platform will only carry them so far. It will be a losing proposition in the long term. The pain is in the short term.

If allowed to operate, the democratic process will work out for the best of the nation, as they define themselves. Let the world community and economics drive their acceptance. Economics drives all disaffection. With job creation, prosperity will eliminate most descent. It gives hope. And hope is what the terrorists recruits lack.

Non-democratic nations last for a while; eventually they fail, especially in today's world. With the communications available, it makes it difficult to hold everyone down for long. Most Arab nations are run by individuals very aware of the value of global business practices. They get rich by participating. They create their stability by helping those that surround them.

The real concern it seems is creating a religious state via the democratic process. Do I really care? Do I care that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim state? No. They participate in the world as they see fit. Doesn't mean I want to live there but I will do business with them without blinking an eye.

The postitives of Arab democracies outweigh the negatives. Give hope and what happens. It does not happen as fast as we'd like but it will over time.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Seeing The Job Through

12/12/05 - Mortimer B. Zuckerman

President Bush arrived a little late with the 7th Cavalry. Until he rode up last week with an arsenal of powerful arguments for fighting on in Iraq, his policy had been dangerously enfiladed by hostile fire, some of it wild but all of it taking a toll on public confidence.

The ambush by Rep. John Murtha was a critical moment, his record as a defender of America in blood and word suddenly legitimizing the argument for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. A new CNN/ USA Today /Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans want the troops withdrawn within the next 12 months. That's strikingly similar to the numbers who wanted America out of Vietnam in the pivotal year of 1970.

Two developments have brought public confidence to this low ebb, and it's important to distinguish between them so that we can confront the central issue. The first is the incontrovertible evidence that sound plans for dealing with post-invasion Iraq were recklessly disregarded. This is by far a more relevant issue than the red herring that Bush lied about the prewar intelligence and misled the nation. Anybody who spoke to him before the invasion, as I did, knows that the president truly believed the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, as did British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former President Bill Clinton, ambassadors at the United Nations, and so many others, as I documented recently.

"Greatest battle." The Big Lie campaign by the Democrats is a cheap cop-out for those who voted for the war. These two strands of criticism about the Iraq venture--flawed intelligence and the execution of the occupation--are important and must be thoroughly examined--but not now. As the president has said, the challenge in Iraq is about whether we win the war on terrorism or quit the field before victory is achieved. Iraq is the central front of the American defense against Islamic terrorism around the world. Osama bin Laden, in whatever cave he's skulking, and Abu Musab Zarqawi, scurrying from hidy-hole to hidy-hole across Iraq like a furtive rat, both know this. We should, too, for there is grave danger for us if we don't.

Zarqawi's aspirations in Iraq could not be more clear. In a letter to bin Laden, he called Iraq the "land of jihad," the new Afghanistan. Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, wrote that al Qaeda views Iraq as "the place for the greatest battle" and vowed that control of Iraq would help "extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq," principally Turkey and Jordan.

The consequences of leaving Iraq prematurely could be a radical Islamic regime funded with oil revenues, an unfettered platform for terrorist attacks, destabilizing the Middle East and threatening America itself. Know the enemy. Zarqawi has a long history of terrorist activities. He organized the assassination of Lawrence Foley, a U.S. Agency for International Development official, in Amman in 2002, he planned terrorist attacks in Germany a year later, and he plotted last year to attack Jordan's intelligence service and prime minister's office, as well as the U.S. and Israeli embassies there. Three al Qaeda operators crossed from Iraq into Jordan, smuggling seven Katyusha missiles in the underbelly of an aging Mercedes with a hidden second gas tank. Moreover, Jordanians discovered a warehouse of chemical substances and 20 tons of explosives. The 71 types of chemical substances included nerve gas and substances that cause third-degree burns and asphyxiation. Ultimately, the terrorists were diverted, but this is the kind of mayhem we can expect if al Qaeda is permitted to establish paramountcy in Iraq. This year, of course, it was Zarqawi who masterminded the suicide attacks on the three tourist hotels in Amman in which dozens died.

We should contemplate the prospect of a jihadist Iraq because it puts our struggles there in the proper perspective. We are fighting a guerrilla war while trying to reconstruct a broken society, so there will inevitably be ebbs and flows in violence, civil amenities, and oil flow. A straight line of progress is harder to measure than in a conventional war, in which claiming territorial gains is the mark of success. The news media's instinct, naturally, is to focus on the violence. The large majority of the Iraqi-related news reports on the three main U.S. TV networks, in the six months after the June 2004 handover of sovereignty, were dedicated to daily violence; there was barely a mention of the step-by-step reconstruction successes. There will no doubt be another upswing in violence before the December 15 voting, but we know, too, that the number of suicide bombings in November was the lowest in seven months. The assaults are the work of a few, not the many. The Sunni insurgency does not even enjoy the support of the 20 percent of the population who are Sunnis--who are not even a majority in Baghdad--and certainly not of the Shiites and the Kurds, the overwhelming majority in Iraq.

Zarqawi is focused on attacking Iraq's Shiite population, who he believes are the foes of the revolution. From his perspective, they are apostates, heretics, and historic collaborators with the enemies of Islam--that is, Sunni Islam. So Zarqawi, a Sunni, refers to them as "the lurking snakes and the crafty scorpions, the spying enemy," and "the most evil of mankind." His program is to provoke the Shiite community to act against the Sunnis, but the Shiites have ignored the bait and turned against the jihadist rank whose suicide murders have alienated them and many other ordinary Muslims.

Of course, this doesn't mean they wish to embrace us, for all the good we did in ridding them of Saddam Hussein. An army of liberation that becomes an army of occupation is never going to be wildly popular. That was one of the most cogent points in Murtha's recantation. In the short term, however, most Iraqis want American forces to remain until enough indigenous troops and police are recruited and trained. They know that the American presence is a major deterrent to an all-out civil war, with Shiites storming Sunni villages while the insurgents would focus their attacks on those who collaborated with the Americans. Think of what it would do to our credibility and moral stature if our allies in Iraq were to be massacred.

Courage. President Bush did well to spell out the progress being made to train the Iraqis to take over. "There are over 120 Iraqi Army and police combat battalions," he declared. "Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side by side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. Most of these 40 battalions are controlling their own battle spaces and conducting their own operations." The president's judgment is supported by that of Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, just returned from his fourth visit to Iraq. This progress cannot be maintained, however, if we continue to sow doubts about our willingness to persevere. That can only create mistrust and insecurity among Iraqis, causing many to look the other way regarding guerrilla and terrorist activities. Their reasoning is simple: fear of retaliation when the Americans leave. Let us remember that after Desert Storm, America left the Shiites and the Kurds to Saddam. That was a betrayal that still lingers in the minds of the victims--and if we flee again, moderates in Iraq and all across the Middle East, which accounts for some 60 percent of the world's oil reserves, will never again believe America's assurances of support for reform.

In short, we must stay. What may have been originally a war of choice is now a war of necessity. So we must stop all this destabilizing talk about withdrawal. To withdraw to some timetable divorced from reality on the ground would grant militant Islam a huge victory, and Arabs who want to democratize and modernize would know they could not count on America to stand by its friends. Whatever the cost of our staying may be, the cost of retreat would be much higher. It would hardly persuade Zarqawi and his fellow terrorists to stop pursuing Americans around the globe. For those who think it was a big mistake to go in, it would be a bigger mistake to quit now.

Indeed, a withdrawal would be presented across the Arab world as a defeat of the American infidels by the jihadists who would inflate the glory of victory and attract many new followers. It would also undermine our strategy of hitting terrorists hard abroad, while loyal allies and new friends around the world would find themselves leaderless in the global struggle against Islamist radicalism. A loss of nerve and a humiliating retreat would seriously undermine America's role in the world. Indeed, what a foolish time to talk of getting out, just when we are getting our act together with the accelerated and improved training of Iraqi troops, and just before an election when Shiites and Sunnis are working to form the sort of institutions required to build a nation and quell the low-level civil war. After all, the insurgency is not destined to succeed. They are not fighting for a clear ideology; they lack any great power backing; they lack a positive agenda; they lack a charismatic leader; they have no territory of their own; they lack the support of the Shiites and the Kurds, as well as a significant portion of the Sunni population.

When America has prevailed in foreign ventures, it has been in the places where it stayed--in places like Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan, never mind Germany, Japan, and South Korea; in the places where America left too soon--Haiti, Somalia, and Vietnam--the results speak for themselves.

But this raises a question. Is the Democrats' priority for the country to win in Iraq or for the party to win next year's midterm elections? A defeated Iraq is not just a defeat to the Bush administration. It would be a defeat for the entire country. The good news is that many Democrats in Congress agree with the principal elements of the president's strategy for victory, mainly to build up a representative government and the security forces to defend it over the next few months, while gradually shrinking the numbers and duties of U.S. troops. This includes Sens. Joseph Biden, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Barak Obama, and especially Lieberman, who had it exactly right when he wrote that the Iraqi people are within reach of a modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood, unless the American military is prematurely withdrawn. As he said, it would be "a colossal mistake" for America "to lose its will and . . . seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory."

The vigor of the president's address last week should give heart to wobbly Republicans and pause to querulous Democrats. But he must now hammer home the theme that he is following a strategy for victory, not a strategy for retreat. In doing so, he is sure to rally a nation that always responds to straight talk and courage.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina: A Different Set of Questions

Natural disasters are regular occurrences throughout the world. Until recently, they were rarely covered: 250,000 perish in a flood in Asia; typhoon wipes out 10,000s in the Asian subcontinent; thousands perish in African famine; and hurricane destroys thousands of homes and businesses. In all cases, they are tragic. People go on; they rebuild; they relocate; they deal with it in their own ways. What's different about Hurricane Katrina?

It happened in the U.S., close to the mighty media, who are always looking for a way to sell papers, periodicals, and A/V air time. In this case, the typical coverage is less than stellar. Like always, they focus on the negative.

Why is the media focus on New Orleans? Why have they completely ignored the other areas in Louisiana and Mississippi? There are plenty of people there that have lost everything.

Why haven't they covered the people walking out of the flooded areas? Certainly some chose not to walk--a story in itself. Some were unable to walk.

Why do most people placed in such dire conditions endure them quite admiralty? Why was the focus on the few people who showed their heathanistic behavior?

They talk about the dead, the rapes, the assaults, the theft, the shootings, as if this is something new in a large U.S. city. How many deaths, rapes, assaults, thefts, shootings occur in New Orleans over the course of a normal 5 days? I would guess that more occur during a normal five days than have occurred during this aftermath. There were a few thousand stranded and suffering but there were 100,000s that made it out.

Ever thought about all of the valuable items in New Orleans' homes, offices, government buildings, and museums that were (are) covered in water? Seems to me that professional thiefs would be opportunistic. I can hear them saying: "if N.O. gets flooded (the disaster everyone was expecting), we are going to steal the gold coins in bank ABC"; or "...the paintings at Joe Smith's house"; or "...the jewelry at the Jones' house." That's more interesting than the losers stealing TVs, guns or shoes. Don't think that some of this has not happened.

The political repercussions are going to be ugly. They need not be. Disasters happen. Lessons are learned. But it seems that people are always trying to assign blame. This will fill the airways for months, if not years. If the discussion focused on disaster prevention and recovery, risk mitigation, and urban design, then the experience makes us better.

I am so impressed by the actions of millions--their time, their resources, their money. What I have learned from experience is that where some of the worst are, some of the best are there also.

Finally, I am not a Republican nor a Democrats, but if anyone tries to blame Pres. Gush for this; i.e., the problems with the rescue in N.O., he or she is an idiot. I hope the people that scream "we can get water to the people in Indonesia after the tsunami or we can fight a war in Iraq but we can't rescue people in our own country or feed our own people" must be temporarily caught up in the moment. If you are one of those who think like this, I feel sorry for you. You must lead a very miserable life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Justice Served to the Shoe Bomber (Richard Reid)

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court:

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I will not apologize for my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:
"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.

That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature.

Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not--you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled wit h and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much&nb sp;that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual ju stice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on
which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

Friday, July 22, 2005

CAFTA: Stepping Stone to the FTAA

The Central American Free Trade Agreement would extend NAFTA-style regulations to Central America on the road to an FTAA-based supranational government of the Americas.

On February 20, President Bush officially notified Congress that he intends to sign the recently negotiated Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). That letter of notification started the clock ticking on the president’s so-called fast track trade negotiating authority, which Congress reauthorized in 2002. Under the fast track rules, the president must give Congress a 90-day notice before signing any trade agreement. That means President Bush could sign CAFTA as early as late May, although he could decide to sign at a later date. Once the president signs the agreement and then formally sends it to Congress, the legislators are bound by fast track rules to vote on implementing legislation within 90 legislative days. They may not amend the pact; as with NAFTA and other “free trade” agreements (FTAs), only an up-or-down vote is permitted.

The Bush administration has repeatedly stated that creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) — encompassing all of North and South America — is one of its top priorities, and CAFTA is viewed as an important stepping stone to that ultimate goal. In its January 16, 2002 press release announcing the official opening of CAFTA negotiations, the Bush White House stated: “This negotiation will complement the United States’ goal of completing the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) no later than January 2005 by increasing the momentum in the hemisphere toward lowering barriers....”

The big question is: Will the administration and its trade allies — Wall Street’s corporate Insiders and one-world elites — be able to build enough momentum and marshal sufficient political capital to push this project through Congress in an election year in which jobs, outsourcing, record trade deficits and record budget deficits have become key issues? The 10-year record of NAFTA’s broken promises is working against the CAFTA proponents. NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, Canada and the U.S.) has proven disastrous for America, undermining all of our basic resource industries, spurring a massive exodus of U.S. manufacturing plants and jobs, and vastly increasing the influx of illegal aliens into the U.S.

Recently, an even more serious NAFTA threat has become apparent: international tribunals set up under NAFTA have been ruling on U.S. cases, claiming the authority to supersede U.S. court decisions. NAFTA critics (including this magazine) warned about this threat to our national sovereignty and our constitutional protections when NAFTA was debated more than a decade ago. NAFTA proponents scoffed at such concerns; now many of the scoffers are expressing shock at the enormous implications the NAFTA judicial rulings pose to U.S. sovereignty. People are beginning to wonder if similar surprises may be hidden inside the new trade agreements.

Mounting opposition to all FTAs has caused Washington Insiders on both sides of the issue to predict that the White House will not jeopardize Republican seats in Congress by forcing a vote on CAFTA before the November elections. If that turns out to be the case, then the next big question becomes: Will President Bush try to push CAFTA through a special lame-duck session of Congress, as President Clinton did with the World Trade Organization 10 years ago, after the 1994 elections? If he does try a reprise of the Clinton WTO strategy, will the grass-roots opposition be strong enough to overcome a combined White House-Wall Street blitzkrieg?


FTAs: Fraudulent Trade Attacks

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick completed negotiations with four of the CAFTA parties — El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras — in December of last year, following the November Summit of the Americas in Miami. Since then, the administration has added Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to the CAFTA accord.

“CAFTA will streamline trade; promote investment; slash tariffs on goods; remove barriers to trade in services...,” etc., stated Mr. Zoellick in a December 17, 2003 press release. “Step by step, country by country, region by region,” Zoellick continued, “the United States is opening markets with top-notch, comprehensive FTAs that set the standard.”

But setting the standard for what, except a breakneck “race to the bottom”? The FTAs promoted by the Clinton and Bush administrations have been disasters; they are not Free Trade Agreements, but rather Fraudulent Trade Attacks against America.

In announcing the completed CAFTA negotiations, Zoellick declared: “The United States is committed to opening markets around the world because American farmers, workers, consumers and businesses want to sell our world-class goods and services.”

Zoellick’s statement is a colossal fraud. The debt-strapped, bankrupt countries of Central America are going to buy U.S.-made products? With what? The only cash they’ll have for U.S. goods will come from the IMF, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other multilateral institutions, meaning, ultimately, from the U.S. taxpayer. Alan Tonelson, a Research Fellow at the U.S. Business & Industry Educational Foundation, put the economies of our prospective CAFTA partners in perspective in a recent column. Tonelson writes:

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are not only among the world’s poorest countries, they’re among its smallest economies as well. Measured by their ability to buy U.S. products, their combined economic output totaled only $62 billion, according to the latest (2002) data. That’s less than the output of Orlando, Fla. or Bergen County, N.J.

The collective economies of the five Central American CAFTA countries are also half the size of San Diego and Phoenix. And U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick’s decision to tack the Dominican Republic onto CAFTA doesn’t help much. Adding its $23.2 billion economy to the Central American 5 creates a total market still smaller than the economies of the metropolitan areas of Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., San Jose, Cal., and St. Louis, Mo. ($87.5 billion, $88.3 billion, and $92.2 billion, respectively).

How in the world can economies this small, filled with people so poor, be important markets for U.S. exports and growth engines for the $10 trillion U.S. economy?

The answer, of course, is that the only things we’ll be exporting to these countries under CAFTA are U.S. jobs, industry, capital — and our children’s future. Many of the factories that moved to Mexico under NAFTA would, under CAFTA, move further south to cheaper labor markets. And the CAFTA countries would act as a U.S.-subsidized, low-cost magnet causing still more businesses to follow the path south, fleeing the U.S. tax and regulatory burden. Like the Clinton administration, the Bush White House puts a rosy glow on the trade picture by citing deceptive statistics. To pump up support for its trade agenda, it claims that U.S. exports to the six CAFTA countries increased by 51 percent 1996 to 2003.

But Alan Tonelson has pointed out that “many of these shipments consisted of fabric sent to Central America for sewing once done in the United States, then returned to America to be sold as final products.”

“Essentially,” notes Tonelson, “U.S. companies are exporting to Central America the materials for garment production work that used to be done in U.S. factories. The results? No new final markets for U.S.-made products, the loss of tens of thousands of working-class American jobs, and higher U.S. trade deficits and international debts. At a time when manufacturing employment is feeble, U.S. debts are nearing alarming levels, and the dollar’s future strength consequently is in doubt, these are the last outcomes America needs.”

Transfer of U.S. Wealth, Sovereignty

The CAFTA accord would be a bad deal even if it were to boost U.S. exports — which it won’t — and thereby help with our horrendous trade deficit. It would still be a bad deal even then because no temporary prosperity it might provide could compensate for the infringements of our national sovereignty that the pact entails. We would be like Esau selling our birthright for a bowl of pottage. The preamble to the massive CAFTA agreement states that the party nations are resolved to “promote regional economic integration.” It states further that they will “contribute to hemispheric integration and provide an impetus toward the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas.”

This “integration” agenda was central to the CAFTA/FTAA campaign from its initial launch at the Miami Summit of the Americas in 1994. Mack McLarty, President Clinton’s chief of staff, noted at the time that “this summit is much broader than [lowering tariffs], and that’s how it should be looked at. This is not a trade summit, it is an overall summit. It will focus on economic integration and convergence.”

McLarty, now president of Kissinger McLarty Associates, is a major player in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Council of the Americas (COA), two of the organizations that have been most influential in the design and promotion of the FTAA and CAFTA. When McLarty and his fellow CFR/COA globalists talk about “integration and convergence,” they mean full-blown economic, political and social merger. They mean an end to U.S. sovereignty and independence and the subjection of U.S. citizens to the “laws” and administrative dictates of a regional, hemispheric suprastate.

As we have detailed in these pages previously, these one-world architects have repeatedly announced their intentions to follow the model of the European Union (EU) in merging the countries of the Western Hemisphere into a unitary system, with a single currency, and, eventually, a central government enforcing international law as mandated by the United Nations. Each Summit of the Americas has produced Declarations and Plans of Action, all of which are replete with commitments to implement UN treaties, conventions and programs on environment, labor, education, population, health care, transportation, housing, water, agriculture, energy, immigration, terrorism, law enforcement, elections, etc. UN agencies and the UN “family” of multilateral lending agencies — IMF, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) — have been given a lead role in the CAFTA/FTAA process.

The governments of Central America have been bribed into signing on to the CAFTA agreement with an avalanche of financial incentives from the U.S. government and the multilateral banks. The U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USAID and other U.S. agencies, along with the World Bank and IDB, have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into “Trade Capacity Building Initiatives” for Central America. All of which is facilitating the convergence of our legal system and regulatory agencies into the new EU-type governing framework: transgovernmentalism.

“Transgovernmentalism is emerging as the real new world order, rapidly becoming the most widespread and effective mode of international governance,” Harvard Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter (CFR) approvingly proclaimed in “The Real New World Order,” her 1997 essay for the CFR journal Foreign Affairs. “The state is not disappearing,” she noted, “it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts — courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures — are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order.”

Dr. Slaughter is correct about one thing: the “state is not disappearing.” But should she and her fellow CFR members succeed, the nation-states will become empty political shells, with real sovereignty shifting to regional governments — on the road to world government.

New Level of Judicial Tyranny

Professor Slaughter is particularly enthusiastic about the potential for transgovernmentalism through the Organization of Supreme Courts of the Americas (OSCA) which was launched in 1995 as part of the NAFTA/CAFTA/FTAA process. Over the past few years, federal court rulings on homosexuality, abortion, public prayer and religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments have demonstrated the increasing arrogance of the federal judiciary and the need for Congress to exercise its constitutional authority to stop judicial usurpation. But if Congress has been remiss in its duty to curtail federal court abuses (as it most certainly has been), how likely is it to stand up to usurpations by international courts? This is no longer a mere speculative issue; NAFTA tribunals have made this a very real, live threat.

In an April 18 story entitled “Nafta Tribunals Stir U.S. Worries,” the New York Times reported:

After the highest court in Massachusetts ruled against a Canadian real estate company and after the United States Supreme Court declined to hear its appeal, the company’s day in court was over. Or so thought Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall of the Massachusetts court, until she learned of yet another layer of judicial review, by an international tribunal. “I was at a dinner party,” Chief Justice Marshall said in a recent telephone interview. “To say I was surprised to hear that a judgment of this court was being subjected to further review would be an understatement.”

Tribunals like the one that ruled on the Massachusetts case were created by the North American Free Trade Agreement, and they have heard two challenges to American court judgments.

The Times piece provided several expert opinions on the revolutionary nature of this development. “This is the biggest threat to United States judicial independence that [few people have] heard of and even fewer people understand,” said John D. Echeverria, a law professor at Georgetown University.

“It’s basically been under the radar screen,” Peter Spiro, a law professor at Hofstra University, said. “But it points to a fundamental reorientation of our constitutional system. You have an international tribunal essentially reviewing American court judgments.” It should be noted that Professor Spiro did not express opposition to this “reorientation”; indeed, as noted in our story on page 25, Dr. Spiro has been one of the leading advocates of this subversive process.

According to the Times story, “The part of NAFTA that created the tribunals, known as Chapter 11, received no consideration when it was passed in 1993.” Not true; this magazine warned precisely of the threat posed by the Chapter 11 tribunals, as did other NAFTA opponents. The Times is providing cover for members of Congress who ignored this danger and voted for the agreement anyway. A prime recipient of this favorable Times treatment is Senator John Kerry. “When we debated NAFTA,” the Times quoted Kerry as saying, “not a single word was uttered in discussing Chapter 11. Why? Because we didn’t know how this provision would play out. No one really knew just how high the stakes would get.”

Senator Kerry, like other members of Congress who voted for NAFTA, is hoping that a plea of ignorance will exculpate him from charges of selling out U.S. sovereignty. But ignorance is no excuse. All of those who voted for NAFTA must be held accountable for this emerging threat to our sovereignty and independence. Any who claim to be genuinely alarmed at this supposedly unforeseen assault on our constitutional system should be made to prove it by sponsoring legislation to terminate U.S. membership in NAFTA and by opposing CAFTA, FTAA and all other Fraudulent Trade Attacks against America.

William F. Jasper The New American, May 17, 2004

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

After the McCain Mutiny

It is being called "the McCain Mutiny."

On May 23, Senate Republicans were poised to disarm Harry Reid and Co. of the weapons they have used to kill the Bush judges. Every hostage still held by the Democratic minority was about to be freed.

And the Senate was about to dynamite the last obstacle to President Bush's honoring of his pledge to end judicial activism. The road was about to be opened for two, three or perhaps four Supreme Court justices, who would bring an end to the social revolution that has been imposed upon us from above since the time of Earl Warren.
Victory was at hand.

Majority Leader Bill Frist had the 50 votes to pass a rule permitting the majority to ensure each judicial nominee gets a vote, up or down, and none is smothered to death by a tyrannical minority.

But that evening, Sen. John McCain and six other Republicans defected and threw victory away. They agreed to let Reid and Co. keep the filibuster-veto, if they would agree only to use it in "extraordinary circumstances."

The naivete of the moderate Republican is a thing to behold.

Only 72 hours later, those "extraordinary circumstances" suddenly arose, as Reid and Co. beat John Bolton to a bloody pulp, refused to let the Senate vote to confirm or reject him and sent him back to his cell.

Not to worry, said the McCain Seven. Bolton is not a judge. He is only the president's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. By bringing Bolton out for a ritual beating and dragging him back to his dungeon, our Democratic colleagues did not violate the Spirit of Munich.

The filibuster-veto is the moral equivalent of letting a mob tie a man to a whipping post and lash him almost to death, without a trial, while denying the majority the right to set him free. Under the filibuster-veto, at least a dozen conservative judges have seen their good names smeared by Senate demagogues, as in a show trial, but been denied a vote by the full Senate on the truth or falsity of the charges against them.

This is un-American. But now we are instructed by McCain and his colleagues that Senate comity requires this tactic be made a permanent Senate institution.

For dissing his colleagues and Frist, and leaving Bush's Supreme Court nominees subject to a filibuster gauntlet and death by a thousand cuts, McCain is being hailed as the conscience of the Senate. But the ball is now back in the court of the majority, Frist and President Bush himself.

Will they accept the demand of the McCain Seven that the president "consult" them on all future appellate and Supreme Court nominees? And does that mean prior approval? Will they accept a minority veto of Bush's judicial choices? Will they accept the deal cut by the McCain Seven that freed three hostages – Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor – but gave Reid, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer a conceded right to take future hostages under "extraordinary circumstances"?

In brief, is the Republican Party bound by this Munich? If it is, the GOP has lost its last chance to change the composition and course of the Supreme Court, and Bush's legacy will be as diminished – as was that of his father and every Republican predecessor since World War II.

Dwight Eisenhower said that his nominations of Earl Warren and Bill Brennan were two of his biggest mistakes. Nixon came to office determined to recapture the Supreme Court for constitutionalism. But after Judges Haynesworth and Carswell were rejected by a liberal Senate, he was persuaded to name Harry Blackmun, father of Roe v. Wade, for which three of Nixon's four nominees voted. Only William Rehnquist dissented.

President Ford's lone choice was John Paul Stevens, the most reliable liberal on the court. Reagan elevated Rehnquist to chief justice and named Antonin Scalia, but his first choice was Sandra Day O'Connor, who is now reading up on international law to find out how she should rule. After Robert Bork was keel-hauled, Reagan named the mugwump Anthony Kennedy. Bush's father named cipher David Souter, but redeemed himself with Clarence Thomas. And so it has gone.

Since Nixon, then, Republican presidents have named 12 justices to the Supreme Court. Three turned out to be "strict constructionists" who look for guidance beyond the rulings of the Warren Court, as they should, to the Constitution of the United States.

The mega-issue here, then, is: Who shall rule us? Shall it be unelected Supreme Court justices? Or elected legislators we can replace at election time? Is America a judicial dictatorship or a constitutional republic?

If Frist and President Bush cannot break up the McCain Seven and bring two of those senators back to supporting majority rule, the game is up. As Barry Goldwater used to say, "It's as simple as that."

By: Pat Buchanan; 1 June 2005; © 2005 Creators Syndicate Inc.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why Islam Is Disrespected

It was front-page news this week when Newsweek retracted a report claiming that a US interrogator in Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Everywhere it was noted that Newsweek's story had sparked widespread Muslim rioting, in which at least 17 people were killed.

But there was no mention of deadly protests triggered in recent years by comparable acts of desecration against other religions.

No one recalled, for example, that American Catholics lashed out in violent rampages in 1989, after photographer Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ"—a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine -- was included in an exhibition subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts. Or that they rioted in 1992 when singer Sinead O'Connor, appearing on "Saturday Night Live," ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.

There was no reminder that Jewish communities erupted in lethal violence in 2000, after Arabs demolished Joseph's Tomb, torching the ancient shrine and murdering a young rabbi who tried to save a Torah from the flames.

And nobody noted that Buddhists went on a killing spree in 2001 in response to the destruction of two priceless, 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha by the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Of course, there was a good reason all these bloody protests went unremembered in the coverage of the Newsweek affair: They never occurred.

Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don't lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted. They don't call for holy war and riot in the streets.

It would be unthinkable today for a mainstream priest, rabbi, or lama to demand that a blasphemer be slain. But when Reuters reported what Mohammad Hanif, the imam of a Muslim seminary in Pakistan, said about the alleged Koran-flushers—"They should be hung. They should be killed in public so that no one can dare to insult Islam and its sacred symbols"—was any reader surprised?

The Muslim riots should have been met by an international upwelling of outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of condemnation was directed not at the killers and the fanatics who incited them, but at Newsweek.

From the White House down, the magazine was slammed—for running an item it should have known might prove incendiary, for relying on a shaky source, for its animus toward the military and the war. Over and over, Newsweek was blamed for the riots' death toll. Conservative pundits in particular piled on. ”Newsweek lied, people died" was the headline on Michelle Malkin's popular website.

At NationalReview.com, Paul Marshall of Freedom House fumed: "What planet do these [Newsweek] people live on? . . . Anybody with a little knowledge could have told them it was likely that people would die as a result of the article." All of Marshall's choler was reserved for Newsweek; he had no criticism at all -- not a word -- for the marauders in the Muslim street.

Then there was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who announced at a Senate hearing that she had a message for "Muslims in America and throughout the world." And what was that message?

That decent people do not resort to murder just because someone has offended their religious sensibilities?

That the primitive bloodlust raging in Afghanistan and Pakistan was evidence of the Muslim world's dysfunctional political culture?

That the Bush administration would redouble its efforts to defeat the Islamofascist radicals who use religion as an excuse to foment violence and terror?

No: Her message was that "disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States. We honor the sacred books of all the world's great religions."

Granted, Rice spoke while the rioting was still taking place and her goal was to reduce the anti-American fever. But what "Muslims in America and throughout the world" most need to hear is not pandering sweet-talk.

What they need is a blunt reminder that the real desecration of Islam is not what some interrogator in Guantanamo might have done to the Koran. It is what totalitarian Muslim zealots have been doing to innocent human beings in the name of Islam.

It is 9/11 and Beslan and Bali and Daniel Pearl and the USS Cole. It is trains in Madrid and schoolbuses in Israel and an "insurgency" in Iraq that slaughters Muslims as they pray and vote and line up for work. It is Hamas and Al Qaeda and sermons filled with infidel-hatred and exhortations to "martyrdom."

But what disgraces Islam above all is the vast majority of the planet's Muslims saying nothing and doing nothing about the jihadist cancer eating away at their religion.

It is Free Muslims Against Terrorism, a pro-democracy organization, calling on Muslims and Middle Easterners to "converge on our nation's capital for a rally against terrorism" this month -- and having only 50 people show up.

Yes, Islam is disrespected. That will only change when throngs of passionate Muslims show up for rallies against terrorism, and when rabble-rousers trying to gin up a riot over a defiled Koran can't get the time of day.

Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, May 19, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005

Everybody Loses in Sharon's Gaza Plan

PLOTS OF FLOWERS grow outside most of the homes we pass as we drive through this small agricultural cooperative in southern Gaza. I point out a particularly lavish one, and the driver, a gruff 55-year-old, stops the car.

''What are those white ones?" I ask, motioning through the window. ''And those yellow ones with the orange tips?"

From the back seat, Rafi Horowitz, a veteran of four Arab-Israeli wars, calls out a Hebrew name for one of them. Debbie Rosen, a resident of nearby Neveh Dekalim and a spokeswoman for Gaza's Jewish communities, isn't sure he's right. I get out of the car to take a closer look, and a moment later the three Israelis are in the garden with me, admiring the flowers and arguing about their names. A consensus is reached on the begonias, hibiscus, and pimpernel, but the white ones remain an enigma.

Rosen knocks on the front door and tells the man who opens it about the botanical debate underway in his front yard. He steps back inside, then reappears with a well-worn guide to the flora of the Holy Land. In it we find a picture of our mystery flower: white bougainvillea.

A visitor would have to be strangely obtuse not to sense the deep attachment of Gaza's Jews to the land they live on. In places like Gadid, streets and kindergartens are named for the Bible's seven species. "Gadid" itself is an old Hebrew word meaning date harvest, and the names of other settlements, like Pe'at Sadeh ("edge of the field") or Netzarim ("sprouts"), similarly evoke the agricultural yearnings of their founders.

When those founders arrived, Jewish Gaza was all yearning and no agriculture: These settlements were mostly built on barren sand dunes where no one lived and nothing grew. Today it is a horticultural powerhouse, supplying two-thirds of the organic vegetables and cherry tomatoes Israel exports, and renowned for its bug-free lettuce and other leafy greens. Gaza's legal status may be complicated (it is technically an unallocated portion of the League of Nations' 1922 Palestine Mandate), but the moral status of this land is as clear as day: As a matter of justice and sweat equity, the Jewish homesteaders whose faith and hard work have made the sand dunes bloom surely have as much right to their homes in Gadid and Neveh Dekalim as the Arabs have to theirs in nearby Khan Yunis and Dir El Balah.

Yet in just 10 weeks, if Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's ''disengagement" program goes forward, the 8,000 Jews who live in Gaza -- men, women, and a great many children -- will be expelled. Their homes and property will be taken over by the Palestinian Authority. And the green revolution that has transformed Gaza's sandy wastes into a spectacular oasis of hothouses, nurseries, and gardens will almost certainly come to an end.

But Jews won't be the only victims of Sharon's plan.

At Tnuvot Katif, a large produce-packaging plant here, I watch for a while as about two dozen workers, most of them local Arabs, get heads of tall leaf lettuce ready for export. More than half of Tnuvot's 127 year-round employees are Arab; they in turn account for about 2 percent of the 3,500 Arabs employed by Gaza's Jewish firms.

During a break in the shift, I ask some of workers if they like their jobs. They shrug. But when I ask what they think of the plan for Israeli withdrawal, they grow animated. If the Israelis go, they tell me through an interpreter, they'll lose their jobs. If the plant shuts down, they'll be out of work, and if the Palestinian Authority takes it over, they'll still be out of work -- their jobs will go to workers with better connections to the PA's ruling thugs.

''If that's how you feel," I ask, ''why don't you oppose the disengagement publicly? Why don't you tell the PA that you want your Jewish neighbors to stay?"

When my question is translated, the men look at me as if I'm crazy.

''It's forbidden!" replies Randoor, the only one of the workers who would give even a first name. ''We're not allowed to say that!"

I press him: Why not? What would be so bad about saying that Jews and Arabs should be able to live together? But Randoor shakes his head and crosses his wrists, as if being handcuffed. ''They might put us in jail," he says. ''They might call us 'collaborators.' " In the jungle that is Palestinian society, being called a ''collaborator" can be a death sentence. Indeed, the PA's newly elevated security chief -- a cold-blooded killer named Rashid Abu Shabak -- is known in Gaza as the ''collaborator hunter."

Politicians and pundits are applauding Sharon's planned retreat, yet a simple lettuce-packer like Randoor seems to grasp what they cannot: The lives of Gaza's Arabs will not be improved by expelling Gaza's Jews.

by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, May 9, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

So much change is such a short time...

One evening, a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events . The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandma replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.

There were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man had yet to walk on the moon.

Your Grandfather and I got married first and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, "Sir"- - and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir".

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, day-care centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends - not purcha sing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios. And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk.

The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 & 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad because, gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day, "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in, and "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.

"Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store and software" wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.

And how old do you think grandma is?


. . . Grandma is 58 (born 1946)

How could so much go wrong in such a short time?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Illegal Immigration Crime Wave Part 1

By Frosty Wooldridge
March 25, 2005
NewsWithViews.com

He’s a former U.S. Marine. He served his country with honor. Now in his late 20’s, he serves as an officer of what is known as the ‘thin blue line’. He’s the difference between you being safe at night in your home or being mugged on a city street or killed by a speeding drug dealer. He patrols a major city on the East Coast during his grave yard shift. This is his log in three parts relayed to this journalist concerning stories of America’s accelerating crime crisis: illegal immigration.

“What made you get in touch with me?” I asked Doug Hamilton (not his real name).

“Nobody in the media will expose what is happening in every city in America,” he said.

“I couldn’t possibly make any of this up," Hamilton said. "Of dozens of calls that were dispatched last night, two crashes involved Hispanics that fled the scene. One illegal was arrested. Later, a female from Peru, who did not speak English, was arrested for domestic assault with a weapon. I ticketed another unlicensed illegal for motor vehicle violations. As a police officer, I come into contact daily with people who are in this country illegally and who have no respect for the law or American citizens. Even when treated with respect and courtesy, and being warned instead of being arrested, they again flaunt the law. The reason for this is that they know there are no federal repercussions after they are arrested even though it is discovered they are here illegally. They don’t respect our laws because we don’t enforce them. Period!”

Few Americans realize that 29 percent of criminals filling jails across this country are illegal and legal immigrants. They cost US taxpayers $1.6 billion annually. The ones that suffer from tuberculosis or hepatitis spread those diseases to other inmates. This causes further medical costs into the millions. This officer proceeded with a few examples:

“I stopped a car for a violation and discovered the operator was an unlicensed illegal immigrant who worked as a busboy in a Spanish bar,” Officer Hamilton said. “I allowed a licensed friend of his to drive him home and warned him he could not drive. Several days later while I was walking a foot post, I observed him about to enter a car. He looked at me, got in, and started to drive away. I towed his car and gave him a ticket. The very next week I again observed him driving and this time placed him under arrest. He posted bail. He was arrested again by another officer for operating without a license. He did not respond to court or pay any of his fines. He was arrested on a warrant, but did not serve any jail time. Every officer I know can relate similar stories. These are just the ones we catch.”

What would you say is one of your greatest frustrations as a police officer?

“This summer I observed a group of illegal male Hispanics drinking from beer bottles in one of our parks. I did not take action, but told them to the empty the bottles and then join their friends in the picnic area. Beer is allowed, glass is not. I parked a short distance away, but right in front of me, they returned to the vehicle and removed several beer bottles, drinking them a short distance away. I ended their party and wrote tickets. Why did they do this despite my presence? No respect for our laws.”

What are the dangerous aspects you encounter regarding identification?

“This one drives me nuts,” Hamilton said. “Illegal aliens learn many ways to confuse the police and hinder them in their investigations. The most common way is to pretend that they don’t speak English. Another common method is using several different names. If a man’s name is Juan Sebastien Lopez-Garcia, he will use several variations of that name and often change his date of birth. He may use Juan Lopez the first time he is arrested. The next time he may use Sebastien Garcia. The intent is to prevent an officer from discovering a past arrest or warrant--and it does work. The reason is that rarely does an illegal alien have any true documentation, so it is much tougher to verify a person’s identity. A better way is to make a custodial arrest and require photo ID before allowing release. Unfortunately these offenders are often released after showing dubious photo ID’s that are easily obtained for a fee.”

What you’re reporting is a complete lack of law and order or respect for the law. With millions more poised to be added with the Bush amnesty, what do police officers think about illegal aliens?

“I gotta tell you,” Hamilton said. “Many Americans are fed up with the current trend of our government turning a blind-eye to the massive problem of illegal migration. We create immigration laws that are ignored and then, when enough people sneak into this country, we pardon them by granting amnesty. This encourages further violations. It is also unfair to the thousands of people who have followed the proper immigration procedures to obtain citizenship. It also encourages these people to continue breaking laws while they are in the country, especially motor vehicle laws. Municipal and state law enforcement officials, like me, are fed up with arresting illegal aliens, only to have them released. We must re-arrest these individuals when they again commit a crime, as they invariably do.”

Are you saying that national security is ineffectual? How great is our risk each day?

“I can tell you,” Hamilton said. “If an illegal alien wants to legally circumvent our driving laws, he can obtain a license from a state with minimal identification requirements. In Virginia for example, if a person has a Virginia address and a photo ID, like a passport, he can obtain a license. Once an illegal has this document, he can now legally drive in this country and has legitimate identification. I discovered this after I compared notes with several other officers and learned that illegal aliens would go to Virginia, get a license, and then use it to drive in other states that had stricter laws for obtaining licenses. This way when they were stopped, the only action an officer could take would be to write a ticket for failure to change address. This is what I do. I spoke with a cooperative illegal who told me that many of his friends would go to Virginia and that they all used the same address of someone they knew in Virginia, on the application. This was very common. This is a tremendous hole in our national security system that needs to be closed--NOT opened by allowing illegals to obtain licenses. Since 9/11, I believe that states have tightened up on this aspect, but I still receive Virginia licenses with regularity.”

After writing a ticket to an illegal alien from Guatemala whom had no license, this officer said, “Guess what he is doing? Delivering papers. His job requires him to drive a car, yet he has no license. Unbelievable! But it gets better. I warned this same guy several weeks ago not to drive. I had been heading to a call and told him it was his lucky day because I did not have time to write him a ticket. I told him that if I saw him driving again, the next time I would tow his car. So after writing him over $400.00 worth of tickets, that is what I did.”

This officer’s shift was over at daybreak. He was worn, tired and ready for a hot shower and meal. What would go through one’s mind if they were serving their state and country with their lives on the line daily while their own leaders would not uphold our nation's laws? It begs the question across America concerning the rule-of-law. If our laws are routinely disobeyed by illegal aliens at the federal level and then, at the state level—and finally, at the local level with impunity—at what point does a nation move toward lawlessness as the norm? What is the definition of law? How long before it breaks down to the point whereby so many disregard it that a community can’t function or functions in fear. With 20 million illegal aliens operating in the United States, an amnesty will draw millions more just as a green light means ‘GO’ in traffic. This officer will explore what it means on his night shift.

© 2005 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved

Frosty's new book "Immigration's Unarmed Invasion"

Website: www.FrostyWooldridge.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Understanding The Religious War Against Israel And America: Barbarism As Sacrifice

Understanding The Religious War Against Israel And America: Barbarism As Sacrifice
By Louis Rene Beres
Jewish Press, March 24, 2005


How shall we truly understand what happened on the last day of March one year ago, when an Iraqi mob burned, desecrated and hanged four American contractors from a bridge in Fallujah? Utterly jubilant in their orgy of mutilation and murder, the members of this frenzied mob seemed to be acting in ways that were only marginally human. In fact, however, their behaviors were not only decidedly human, they were also tied intimately to certain distinct and long-enduring forms of religious worship. I refer specifically to the undiscarded practice of ritual sacrifice.

To find plausible comparisons with what happened at Fallujah, we needn`t go back to medieval times. Rather, only a few years earlier, a similar mob in Palestinian Ramallah tortured, gouged out the eyes, disemboweled and burned two entirely defenseless human beings. The sacrificial victims of that particular day, two Russian-speaking Israelis who had gotten lost on the roads, were not in any way identifiable to the mob as individual persons. For the sacrificers, it was more than enough that they were "Jews." For that reason alone, Vadim Norjitz and Yossi Avrahami were ripped apart with a measure of bliss and cruelty that seemed to defy all rational conduct.

"Truly I live in dark times," says the poet Bertolt Brecht. "The man who laughs has simply not yet heard the terrible news." The "news" here is that those who mete out brutality in places like Fallujah and Ramallah act with premeditation, conviction and purity of heart. Presuming their barbarism to be both enviable and sanctified, an incontestably worthy fulfillment of divine expectation, they revel in the literal dismemberment of "G-dless" enemies. (Editor's note: Beres observes the Jewish orthodox custom of not spelling out the name of the divine.) Though mired in blood, their joyous discovery of victims is always self-assured and firmly reinforced by religious faith. Such discovery is born of the deeply felt knowledge that the death they are dealing is not in any fashion evil, but is instead genuinely heroic.

The American military authority in Iraq had pledged one year ago to "find and punish" the perpetrators of Fallujah. This is well and good, to be sure, but it misses a much more important point. There are certainly tens of thousands of others in the area who are potential perpetrators, entire legions of others whose only regret is that they were not there this time, but who would surely participate robustly if another opportunity arose.

We can`t fight this sacrificing enemy with guns and rockets alone. We can`t even fight it effectively with improved intelligence and targeted killings of lead terrorists. We must fight it also by first understanding how to "delink" mob violence from religious sacrifice throughout the Arab/Islamic world.

To understand what happened at Fallujah we can go back to the prior events at Ramallah. There the torture-killing of the two Israelis exhibited clear signs of ritual sacrifice. When one of the overjoyed murderers appeared before the crowd of thousands smeared in the victims` blood, the mob roared a collective orgasm of satisfaction. The victims, after all, were "unbelievers," Jews, not true humans deserving of care and compassion. Even more importantly, their violent elimination was a signal to allah of the sacrificers` own worthiness and a clear promise of divine reward.

America and Israel must soon understand that terrorism in the Arab/Islamic world is only a tactic and that murder by mutilation in this world is related directly to religious sacrifice. Until now, this understanding has lent itself only to very insubstantial theorizing. Now, immediately, Arab/Islamic terrorism must be recognized, at least in part, as a bloody and sacred act of mediation between sacrificers and their deity. To be sure, the killers who take visible delight in mutilation-centered forms of terror are also enjoying themselves immensely, but this does not in any way deny the religiously sacrificial quality of their unforgivable barbarisms.

Religious sacrifice always serves to quell growing violence and hatreds within a primitive community. Left unappeased, violence will accumulate until it overflows its confines, flooding the surrounding areas. A firm principle of sacrificial behavior, then, is that it stems a rising tide of random and intracommunal harms, redirecting it into "proper" and socially productive channels.

The two "Jews" in Ramallah, as expressions of an already-despised other in Palestinian society, were more than a proper channel. They were altogether perfect victims for ritual killing. So, too, for the same reasons, were the "Americans" in Fallujah.

An intended function of religious sacrifice is to restore harmony to the primitive community, to strengthen a fragile social fabric. The murders in both Ramallah and Fallujah offered exactly such restoration. Having stumbled upon vulnerable surrogates for their own overflowing violence, the perpetrators in both cases revealed that their surface affinity for mutilation was part of a much deeper passion for "sacred" sacrifice of despised "others." In both cases, the sacrifices were approved widely by Islamic clerics round the world.

We can also learn more about all this from the world of ancient Greece, from the myth of Dionysus described by Euripides in [his play] "The Bacchae." Idyllic at first, the Bacchantes` celebration quickly evolves into a bloodthirsty nightmare. The delirious women of Thebes hurl themselves indiscriminately on men and beasts. They are reportedly in the midst of a "strange illness," one that we can now recognize unquestionably as a sacrificial crisis.

It is futile, it seems, to try to restrain the still-growing tide of violence and mayhem in parts of the Arab/Islamic world. The Dionysian outbreak prevails over all. So it was that terrible morning in Ramallah, and again — several years later — in Fallujah.

The murderous mutilations of Ramallah and Fallujah are strikingly similar to the sacrificial violence of Dionysian ritual practice. We can better understand the contemporary events by looking backward to ancient Greece. In Dionysian ritual, "Sparagmos, or dismemberment, is always included. Moreover, as many of the Bacchantes as possible take part in the collective frenzy. This is meant to satisfy the requirement of unanimity, which figures importantly in sacrifice.

Significantly, few or no actual weapons are used in Dionysian practice. The victim is always torn apart by the killers` bare hands. This dismemberment of a living victim, by multiple assailants — each participating wholly in the act — assumes a clear religious meaning. A mob rapidly comes to a high pitch of mass hysteria, then throws itself on a fragile individual or individuals — victims who serve thereby to polarize all the fears, anxieties and hostilities of the profane assembly. Finally, the victims` death provides the desired outlet for mass frustration while it simultaneously restores intracommunal peace.

Fallujah, like Ramallah before it, must be understood in America and Israel as much more than an explosion of passionate hatreds. It was, more than anything else, a selected venue for primal sacrifice. We shall now need to better recognize this religious dynamic before we can prevent its intermittent recurrence in Iraq, Israel, the United States or elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Is Bush Misdiagnosing the Malady?

From Pat Buchanan, 9 Feb 2005
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If a doctor – even a God-fearing, Bible-believing evangelical Christian – misdiagnoses a mortal malady, there is a probability the medicine he prescribes will do no good and the surgery he proposes may worsen the patient's condition.

Rereading the president's Inaugural and State of the Union, this seems an apt metaphor for U.S. war policy.

In his Inaugural, President Bush described Sept. 11 as "a day of fire ... when freedom came under attack." But was it really freedom that was under attack on 9-11? Was bin Laden really saying, "Give up your freedom!"? Or was he saying, "Get out of our world!"?

If al-Qaida was attacking our freedom, which of the freedoms in the Bill of Rights does Bush believe bin Laden wishes to abolish?

No, al-Qaida was no more attacking our "freedom" when it drove those planes into the World Trade Center than were Iroquois, Sioux and Apache attacking our freedom when they massacred settlers on the frontier. Like Islamists, the Indians saw us as defiling their sacred soil, dispossessing them, imposing a hated hegemony. They cared not about our Constitution – they wanted us off their land.

If we were truly being attacked for our beliefs, and not our behavior, the war would have no end. Yet, all the other guerrilla and terror wars against Western powers there have ended. How?

When the British left Palestine, Irgun terror ended. When the French left Algeria, FLN terror ended. When Israel left Lebanon, Hezbollah terror largely ended. These countries chose to resolve their terror problem by giving up their occupations and letting go. Their perceived imperial presence had been the cause of the terror war, and when they departed and went home, the wars faded away.

The president says we must fight them over there, so we do not have to fight them over here. But, before we invaded Iraq, not one American had been killed by an Iraqi in a dozen years. Since we invaded, 1,500 Americans have died and the number of insurgents has multiplied from 5,000 to 20,000. By Don Rumsfeld's own metric, our intervention is creating more terrorists than we are killing. We are fighting a guerrilla army that our own invasion called into being.
Do our Saudi friends whose necks are now on the line agree with us that terrorists attack America because of our democratic principles? Or do they believe al-Qaida, when it says it is attacking us because of our Middle East policies and presence? It would appear to be the latter. For Riyadh has lately asked us to remove our planes from Prince Sultan Air Base and our troops from Saudi soil.

Even the Saudis believe they are safer without the provocative presence of U.S. troops?
Americans have often fought wars over lands we coveted or deemed to be ours: the French and Indian War, Jackson's invasion of Florida, the war of Texas independence, the Mexican-American War. Yet, never has an enemy attacked us because we were free. Who told the president this was what 9-11 was all about?

Consider the Bush panacea for peace: democracy, rule by the people and by governments that reflect the popular will.

But what makes Bush believe this would advance peace or U.S. vital interests? Does the Arab street share our love for Israel or Bush's admiration for Sharon as a "man of peace"? Do Arab masses revere Bush, or bin Laden?

When free elections were held in Algeria, the people voted for an Islamic republic. In Gaza, they just voted 70 percent for Hamas. Moderate Mahmoud Abbas was elected to succeed Arafat, but only because Marwan Barghouti, now serving a life sentence in Israel, declined to run. In Iraq, the Shia voted as an ayatollah told them to vote, so they could take over the country from the Sunni.

Democracy is America's panacea. But if the abdication of the kings, sheiks, sultans and autocrats in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the Gulf states would be good for America, why is the fall of these royal houses and of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt also sought by bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood? What assurances are there, in the history of the region, that when the kings depart, democrats will arise?

President Bush's advisers were 100 percent wrong about what would happen in Iraq, but perhaps they are right now. If not, however, he and we may discover that the alternative to autocracy is not democracy, but Islamic fundamentalism or anarchy, and Bush may find himself with the epitaph penned a century ago by an old imperialist who knew the region well:

"A fool lies here / Who tried to hustle the East."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Europe and Islamic Fundamentalism

One German Who Gets It—Europe: Thy Name Is Cowardice
By Mattias Dapfner, CEO, Axel SpringerDie Welt, January, 2005

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe—your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush. Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany. I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolf Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century—a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary—we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy—because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake—literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our four weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice

The Separation of Church and State

A great article on the separation of church and state by David Barton
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In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” The “separation of church and state” phrase which they invoked, and which has today become so familiar, was taken from an exchange of letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President.

The election of Jefferson-America’s first Anti-Federalist President-elated many Baptists since that denomination, by-and-large, was also strongly Anti-Federalist. This political disposition of the Baptists was understandable, for from the early settlement of Rhode Island in the 1630s to the time of the federal Constitution in the 1780s, the Baptists had often found themselves suffering from the centralization of power.

Consequently, now having a President who not only had championed the rights of Baptists in Virginia but who also had advocated clear limits on the centralization of government powers, the Danbury Baptists wrote Jefferson a letter of praise on October 7, 1801, telling him:

Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity . . . to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the United States. . . . [W]e have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which He bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you. . . . And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.(1)

However, in that same letter of congratulations, the Baptists also expressed to Jefferson their grave concern over the entire concept of the First Amendment, including of its guarantee for “the free exercise of religion”:

Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. (2)

In short, the inclusion of protection for the “free exercise of religion” in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government-given (thus alienable) rather than God-given (hence inalienable), and that therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. This was a possibility to which they strenuously objected-unless, as they had explained, someone’s religious practice caused him to “work ill to his neighbor.”

Jefferson understood their concern; it was also his own. In fact, he made numerous declarations about the constitutional inability of the federal government to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. For example:

- [N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.Kentucky Resolution, 1798 (3)

- In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805 (4)

- [O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 (5)

- I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 (6)

Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion. As he explained to Noah Webster:

It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion. (7)

Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination-a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

[T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. (8)

Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

Since this was Jefferson’s view concerning religious expression, in his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:

Gentlemen--the affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my high respect and esteem. (9)

Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. While the phrase “natural rights” communicated much to people then, to most citizens today those words mean little.

By definition, “natural rights” included “that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain.” (10) That is, “natural rights” incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? (11)

Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only once prior to the 1947 Everson case-the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson’s letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. (12)

That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State. (13)

With this even the Baptists had agreed; for while wanting to see the government prohibited from interfering with or limiting religious activities, they also had declared it a legitimate function of government “to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.” That Court, therefore, and others (for example, Commonwealth v. Nesbit and Lindenmuller v. The People), identified actions into which-if perpetrated in the name of religion-the government did have legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice, polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and promotion of immorality, etc.

Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were “subversive of good order” and were “overt acts against peace.” However, the government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in “the Books of the Law and the Gospel”--whether public prayer, the use of the Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.

Therefore, if Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given-as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter-words clearly divorced from their context-have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

For example, in addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States.” Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.

One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

Endnotes:
1. Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, from the Thomas Jefferson Papers Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
2. Id.
3. The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, editor (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), p. 977; see also Documents of American History, Henry S. Cummager, editor (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1948), p. 179.
4. Annals of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1852, Eighth Congress, Second Session, p. 78, March 4, 1805; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.
5. Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.
6. Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, pp. 103-104, to the Rev. Samuel Millar on January 23, 1808.
7. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 112-113, to Noah Webster on December 4, 1790.
8. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. III, p. 441, to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800.
9. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282, to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1, 1802.
10. Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker (Oxford: University Press, 1845), Vol. I, p. 207.
11. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237.
12. Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878).
13. Reynolds at 163.